As the world’s most stylish gear up to take over London for Fashion Week once again, we couldn’t help but feel a little bit nostalgic.
It’s been over 30 years since the first ‘official’ London Fashion Week was proclaimed, and it’s helped spearhead some of the most iconic designers in the industry to stardom. From Alexander McQueen to Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha to Erdem, LFW has championed them all from their earliest beginnings, nourishing the UK’s homegrown talent season after season. Heritage brands have also seen their brands resurge thanks to London Fashion Week – Burberry has fast become the hottest ticket in town, while the likes of Mulberry continually pushes the boundaries of its long heralded legacy through its bi-annual presentations.
It’s not just about the clothes, either – every year it lures the planet’s top models to walk its boards and pulls in the starriest of FROWs, making London Fashion Week one of the most exciting locations out of the four cities.
To honour the iconic institution that is London Fashion Week, we’ve looked back the most glorious moments in its history.
LFW, this is your life…
Henry Holland's Groundbreaking Debut
Henry Holland made a colourful and memorable debut with his AW07 collection, featuring 16 models and those now infamous slogan tees. 'Let’s Play Naked Twister, Linda Evangelista' and Let’s See Who’s Boss, Kate Moss' will go down in history as the most tongue-in-cheek entry to the fashion world. He’s since moved on from the slogans, but still remains at the forefront of quirky Brit design.
Burberry's Game-Changing Finale
Burberry has long been the stalwart of London Fashion Week, featuring the hottest young supers, their actor boyfriends and a galaxy of Brit starlets on the front row. But they weren’t just supporting great British talent at the AW12 show: come the finale, a great crack of thunder announced a sudden downpour of rain, and a parade of models strode down the catwalk with umbrellas. The perfect spectacle for a brand as British as Burberry.
Editor's Note: This was also the first time Burberry veteran Cara Delevingne walked in one of the label's LFW shows.
Topshop Finds Its Fashion Week Status
If there’s one moment that stands out to us in the history of London Fashion Week, it’s the elevation of Topshop, our go-to high street shop, to the status of must-have label. Topshop Unique launched in 2005 to great acclaim and we’ve never looked back. What’s more, Topshop has become integral to London Fashion Week. From sponsoring the Fashion East scheme to hosting the best of Brit designers in the Topshop Show Space, the brand is now one of the biggest supporters of emerging design talent. What’s not to love?
The Show That Proved LFW Would NEVER Be The Same Again...
Alexander McQueen’s 1994 debut collection will go down in fashion history as a pivotal moment. Featuring his infamous bumster trousers, which helped usher in the era of the low-rise jean, this show saw the launch of fashion’s “enfant terrible”. Another iconic McQueen moment was his SS1999 collection, which closed with the spray painting of a dress live on the catwalk. Unforgettable.
Kate Walks For Stella
Their friendship has always been one of the tightest in the biz, but did you know that Kate Moss walked for Stella McCartney in her graduate show? Kate was already well on her way to supermodel stardom when she walked for her BFF in 1995, making this one of the most impactful grad shows in history. Even before Twitter and Instagram, Kate's appearance in the show caused a 20th century media storm. Yep, things went cray cray back in the day, too you know...
Naomi Takes A Tumble
Sometimes, fashion week can be tough, even for the supermodels who dazzle their way down the catwalks. Step forward Naomi Campbell, possessor of the most memorable runway fall ever. Attempting her famous strut in a pair of towering purple Vivienne Westwood platforms, the super hit the floor rather spectacularly in the designer’s 1993 runway show at Paris Fashion Week.
Christopher Kane's Glorious Debut
In what has since gone down as one of LFW's hottest debuts in history, Christopher Kane cemented his designer heavyweight status with his neo-pop collection for SS07. Fluorescent mini dresses were the order of the day, while his safety clip fastenings have remained a key aesthetic to his designs today. Start as you mean to go on, huh?
Victoria Beckham's Catwalk Turn
Before her own fashion collection took off, Victoria Beckham made her REAL catwalk debut on at London Fashion Week, taking to the boards for Maria Grachvogel's 2001 collection. A classic case of life imitating art...
Let AW16 commence!