June 19, 2024
The Rookie’s Guide to London Fashion Week


WATCH & WATCH: This year’s LFW is set to be a celeb-fest, with the writers’ strike meaning more A-listers are likely to come to town (Dave Bennett/Getty)

London Fashion Week is here from Friday and with it comes never-ending FOMO. Watch as big-name designers and models rub shoulders with the most glamorous of A-list people, while the rest of us sit breathing down our necks for a glimpse of the good life. But while there are usually only a few great parties in town – if you don’t know someone who knows someone, most are off limits – there are plenty of ways to get involved. And you should: This year is a big one, as the British Fashion Council celebrates the 30th anniversary of its NEWGEN initiative. Beyond the red velvet ropes and impossible catwalks, London Fashion Week continues in bars, hotels and restaurants across the capital. So then, here’s our bluffer guide to LFW.

show worth watching

While the public is usually kept away from the main events, smaller shows offer a glimpse of the glamor life. L Saha Only a few tickets remain at lsaha.co.uk for the Spring/Summer ’24 show on 15th September from 7pm to 10pm with a catwalk and an after-party. The location of the event is revealed on booking, but it is in central London. Elsewhere, there are a number of evening events, exhibitions and catwalks running throughout the week, including the best of Ten Year Anniversary Celebration of Conde Nast College (14 September), the models of diversity exhibition (September 15) and the Silk Road Fashion, London: Destiny Catwalk (16 September). These hard-to-find evenings are intentionally elusive, but RSVP through the online LFW schedule and you’ll soon be matched with those in the know. devonshire square (EC2M, dsq.london) is also hosting a catwalk with Emerge on 16 September, with front row tickets available. Oh, and be on the lookout for British designers Ashley Williams’s Off-schedule show, scheduled for September 16 (venue said to be Brick Lane). Details of all this at londonfashionweek.co.uk.

celebs to spot

    (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Every September, movie stars appear at the Fro, but, as NYFW has shown, attendance is likely to be higher than usual this season due to the writers’ strike. Once their red-carpet schedule is cleared, they might be ready for LFW. Don’t be surprised to see Sydney Sweeney, above, who arrived in London for the Rolling Stones’ album launch. Those associated with Vogue World, which takes place in the West End on September 14, will no doubt also be there for LFW. These include Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, Adwoa Aboah, Ashley Graham, Paloma Elsesser, as well as Vittoria Ceretti, FKA Twigs, Stormzy and others. Even Linda Evangelista is in town.

One of the bigger shows this year comes from KNWLS, which was founded by Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault, both graduates of Central Saint Martins. This is a brand loved by the likes of Dua Lipa, Julia Fox, Bella Hadid, Mia Regan and Lily Rose-Depp, so a sprinkling of stardust may be on the cards. Speaking of shows, if you’re one to hang out in the name of seeing the A-list, put Supriya Lele, Holzweiler, Mains, 16Arlington, JW Anderson, and Aaron Ashe on your list.

Like you were invited to the party

The key to really feeling like you’re living a fashionable life is to do it all day long; You may not be chauffeured from one show to the next, but you can recover in between. start from Mandrake (W1T, themandrake.com), a fashion-forward Fitzrovia hotel that’s hosting Central Saint Martins for a two-day residency, and peruse the bar while you’re there. Next, take this selfridges (W1A, selfridges.com). The Selfridges Lounge opens a new permanent event space with in-store music, cultural programming and a late-night bar. The first residency comes from Londoners Jamz Supernova; Expect to hear sets from some of the city’s most famous DJs on Saturday evening. However, the biggest celebration can be reserved for the closing party, which will be hosted i london (WC2R, melia.com) on September 19. This early evening event in collaboration with BY ROTATION and CULTNAKED is scheduled to run from 6PM to 9PM; An after-party should follow.

High-style drinking and dining

    (@orangevine/Instagram)

(@orangevine/Instagram)

The hottest locations have their own fashion-forward specialties, including Berkeley Hotel (SW1X, the-berkeley.co.uk) The famous prêt-à-porte dubbed the couture cakewalk this year received an upgrade via the approval of famed designer Vivienne Westwood (immortalized in biscuits, no less). Elsewhere in Mayfair, Biltmore Hotel (W1K, hilton.com) Malone Souliers is hosting a footwear-themed afternoon tea for fans of both chocs and shoes — while Rai Cafe (W1K,raeycafe.splashthat.com) MATCHESFASHION looks at the team behind zero-waste restaurant Silo pop-up at the boutique. If this all sounds too expensive, oddly enough, Burberry has you covered. Historic British Mac-maker heading to North London hotspot Norman Cafe (N19, Normanscafe.co.uk) For an upmarket greasy spoon takeover, with a mobile food truck that will sit on the Strand and Duke of York Square.

Still, much of the joy of LFW is the chance to mingle with the right people – which means knowing where they’ll be. There are no guarantees here, but it’s no surprise that five-star hotels are the right place to start. Rosewood London (WC1, rosewoodhotels.com) Long known as a low-key A-list hangout (Brad Pitt has been spotted several times). Head to the hotel’s Scarface Bar and keep your eyes peeled. Otherwise, our money is on the choice Standard (WC1H, standardhotels.com), twenty two (W1K, the22.london) and london edition (W1T, editionhotels.com). As far as restaurants are concerned, try Rita’s (W1F, ritasdining.com) – Dua Lipa likes – LPM (W1K, lpmrestaurants.com), said to be a favorite of Harry Styles, reopened Claridge’s Restaurant (W1K, claridges.co.uk) and party venue Albemarle Street isabel (W1S, IsabelW1.London), where the likes of Alicia Vikander and Sienna Miller have been spotted relaxing at the bar before heading downstairs.

    (Courtesy of Claridge's)

(Courtesy of Claridge’s)

Speaking of times, try Orange Wine Bar (E1, oranj.co.uk). The Shoreditch venue is difficult to get into, and although membership is not required, persistence and strength is required. It is hidden in a warehouse with no number, and the entrance is from the back street through a heavy steel door. For this reason, it’s a perfect spot for front row guests to let their hair down without drawing unwanted attention. Otherwise, come in reference point, 180 The Bar down the Strand (WC2R, reference-point.uk). The bouncers say Leonardo DiCaprio was there last September.

Do you want the perfect TikTok? Super glam pitch. Since last year’s ES Mag x Perfect magazine party, Dorchester’s Vesper Bar (W1K, dorchestercollection.com) continues to come up with names for drinks. Let’s do it in this year’s ES marx club (W1J, marksclub.co.uk) is equally set to prosper, while if you are a member, Annabel’s (W1J, annabels.co.uk) and george (W1K,georglub.com) Always busy with celebs. nearby nipperkin (W1J, 20berkeley.com) Ideal for getting close to the glamor and also being around the corner from Prada-owned Marchesi 1824 (W1K, Pasticceriamarchesi.com) Makes a stylish set. Otherwise, try Viajante87 (W11, viajantebar.com), the Red Room in Connaught (W1K, the-connaught.co.uk) and Idris Elba porte noire (N1C, portenoire.co.uk), which with a little luck can host an under-the-radar party. See you there.

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