Even if you haven’t the slightest interest in the fashion scene,
you could not have failed to notice that London Fashion Week was taking
place last week.
After a week of high-profile shows in London, it is certainly ’ra ra’
for Britain and British design. Organisers, the British Fashion Council,
have successfully grown the event from fewer than 20 shows in the early
1990s to well over 50 today. Life PR ensured extensive media coverage,
which was, on the whole, extremely positive.
According to Claudia Marten, fashion director of Life PR, early
indications show that attendance from international buyers and the press
were all up on last year’s figures. Whether this translates into actual
sales remains to be seen, for surely this is the key test of
The media focus is, perhaps deliberately, firmly on the designers, their
collections and catwalk extravaganzas and less on the fact that there is
very little real support for fashion design in the UK.
Our home-grown talent should not be forced to seek production deals
abroad because the British clothing industry can only cope with mass
Our talented designers should be nurtured and given every opportunity to
stamp their product ’designed and made in Britain’ and be able to mean
it. But if Life’s brief was to secure acres of editorial coverage,
spotlighting London as a world stage for the fashion and design
industries and our wealth of home-grown talent, then they certainly
fulfilled their objective.
A well-kept secret, perhaps intentionally so, was the fact that the
public can also rub shoulders with the stars, which is surely an
additional source of revenue. I have only been aware of a Sunday Times
promotion in which tickets were offered, but, although not being privy
to the brief, perhaps more could have been done to encourage the public
to attend on the final few days.
Now that Cool Britannia is firmly on the fashion map and London has
rightly confirmed its place alongside Milan, New York and Paris for the
seasonal collections, it would be encouraging to see confirmed support
from the Government to keep our designers doing what they do best here
in this country instead of being forced to pursue their careers abroad.