The who, what, when and why of London Fashion Week

Victoria Beckham Vivienne Westwood Burberry

Fashion week! There are so many shows it’s hard to keep up with small moments and the big trends. From young designers showing as part of talent incubator Fashion East, to fresh graduates like Matty Bovan, Dilara Findikoglu and Supriya Lele, to the big dogs like JW Anderson, Christopher Kane and Erdem, the offering is nothing short of eclectic. And this season was no exception. Here we picked out three of our favourites from spring/summer 2020, and break down the biggest collections into the who was it, what was it, where was it and why should I check it out?

Victoria Beckham

Who?

Victoria Beckham. Few have accomplished such a drastic transformation from popstar to serious designer as VB. She’s long shed her pop music image and become a respected and revered designer by the fashion industry. In attendance: Helen Mirrin, Anna Wintour and the whole Beckham clan!

Where?

A very grand hall in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. What venue could better exemplify the fact she’s a very British, international designer? Up until last season she showed at New York Fashion Week, so she’s still relatively new to the London schedule.

What?

The clothes were, as usual, super chic, grown-up and luxe. There were elements taken straight out of the 1970s -- houndstooth prints, ruffles, high-waisted trousers, loafers, collared shirts, polo necks… “Lightness, easiness, freedom” were the ideas Victoria was thinking of when designing the collection, according to the show notes. “It’s about dynamic women today, women in motion.”

The colour pallete was much more eclectic than she’s typically known for. Lots of clashing and contrasting. “I always love contrasts. The colour is strong – brights punctuating a new palette of neutrals.”

Why?

London Fashion Week can often feel like it’s dominated by the young ones. There’s no better city for DIY creativity, big imagination and youthful spirit. But it’s great to have Victoria showing her elegant, refined and wearable pieces in London as well. New York’s loss is London’s gain!

Burberry

Who?

Burberry. Now led by former Givenchy creative director, Riccardo Tisci. Prior to him Christopher Bailey helmed the fabled and quintessential British label. In attendance: Dua Lipa, FKA Twigs, Lily James, Taron Egerton and many more celebs.

Where?

An absolutely vast theatre in west London with a giant mirrored cube installed in the centre. On the outside the theatre was covered in a giant white Burberry tent!

What?

Lots of clothes and lots of whites, greys, silvers and neutral earth tones. Across 110 looks, Riccardo presented his refined vision of the brand. Classic styles refracted through the Italian designers sexier vision of the brand. This takes cues from the classic Burberry staples… The beige trench coats. The iconic check. The elegant silk scarfs. Even white lace harking back to the brand’s Victorian origins were present. But this was a thoroughly modern affair despite its nostalgic qualities. Kendall Jenner, complete with freshly-dyed blonde hair, sported a particularly fresh white leather jacket with brown trim while Gigi Hadid donned a silky printed shirt and silver high waisted trousers with straps – a Burberry trench staple – attached at the waist. Want.

Why?

Burberry is one of the oldest British brands in existence and an international marker of the country’s style. It’s no exaggeration to say the trench coats are some of the most recognisable pieces of a label in the world.


Vivienne Westwood

Who?

Vivienne Westwood. The outspoken stalwart of London’s fashion scene for the last 50 years who continues to make punk-y, youthful clothes that capture the energy of an angsty generation. In attendance: no one. (See next point).

Where?

Nowhere. Well, nowhere at London Fashion Week. The designer decided, in lieu of a conventional fashion show, to release clothes digitally instead and invite a select few fashion press to come and see the clothes at her showroom instead. This was down to Vivienne’s continued belief that fashion needs to scale back and become significantly more sustainable. “We are using this as an opportunity to show our best clothes, the future is quality not quantity. Less is more sustainable” the brand wrote in a press release.

What?

The clothes were her usual mix of gender non-specific mix of prints, colours and patterns. Baggy oversized printed shorts. Bags with the words “We are not sustainable”. Flags that read “What’s good for the planet is good for the economy” and “What’s bad for the planet is bad for the economy”. Some of the models even sported swords, which we’re assuming that doesn’t come part of the collection or isn’t encouraged as a way to tackle climate change. You never know with Dame Viv though...

Why?

We owe a lot to Vivienne Westwood. She’s one of the most formative British designers of the last century and her influence can be felt across the fashion industry.

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