By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
LONDON (Reuters) – A hybrid London Fashion Week kicked off on Friday, with a mix of digital presentations and the event’s first in-person shows in a year.
International press and buyers were back watching the catwalk presentations, including an early display from menswear designer and choreographer Saul Nash.
“It feels really great to be back,” Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC), told Reuters. “We’re excited to see those key media and retailers that help drive British business.”
The line-up features 79 physical events – including shows, appointments and presentations – and 82 digital productions. Only a handful of designers held in-person catwalk shows last September.
At in-person events “we will be asking for proof of vaccination, we will be encouraging everybody to test every morning,” Rush said.
“And if people haven’t been vaccinated, then testing every morning will be absolutely mandatory as well. Backstage is much stricter … and we will be encouraging people to wear masks.”
This season, the BFC has teamed up with short-video platform TikTok to host its NEWGEN programme aimed at up-and-coming designers.
Saul Nash dressed models in relaxed loungewear including shiny or printed tracksuits and matching polo tops and shorts.
Known for her feminine designs, Alice Temperley took inspiration from Agatha Christie mystery “Death on the Nile” for her spring/summer 2022 collection.
In a pre-recorded video, models wore floral, leaf and zebra-print dresses, checked trouser suits and safari-inspired denim jumpsuits. For eveningwear, there were green silky and black sparkly gowns.
On Thursday evening, sustainable designer Tammam nodded to nature with a colourful “Flight”-themed collection. Some of the clothes featured the blue and red ‘warming stripes’ graphic, illustrating climate change data, produced by climate scientist Ed Hawkins.
The stripes, which show the changes in annual global average temperature since 1850, appeared on dresses, asymmetric skirts and inside a cape.
London Fashion Week runs until Tuesday.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; additional reporting by Ben Makori; Editing by Andrew Heavens)