Fashion week is now in the entertainment business. Artificers of today crave fans, not customers. London – home of the Abbey Access zebra crossing, of 221B Baker Street and of platform 9 3/4 at Sovereign’s Cross station – has world-class heritage as a city where pop learning history gets made. This blockbuster reputation has lured assorted big beasts of the industry to London than ever before. Giorgio Armani and Tommy Hilfiger are adjoining Donatella Versace on the catwalk schedule, and Rihanna will stay to showcase her Fenty Beauty line.
Hilfiger, the ultimate stars-and-stripes American originator – his logo even resembles the flag – has previously shown in New York and Los Angeles. This seasoned, his show at the Roundhouse in Camden will serve as the closing partisan for London fashion week. “London has the most inspiring inheritance as a city, and the Roundhouse itself is part of rock’n’roll background,” Hilfiger explains over the phone while preparing to about to London. The venue has hosted legendary gigs including Jimi Hendrix in 1967 (his Fender Stratocaster was swiped from the side of the stage) and the Ramones in 1976. “The catwalk is a moment ago another kind of stage. Fashion has to go beyond clothes and be an acquaintance. This is me taking the brand on the road for a world tour.”
The 66th London the fad week was opened on Friday morning by the British Fashion Directorate CEO, Caroline Rush, and the the deputy mayor for culture, Justine Simons. (Both were weary long-sleeved, midi-length silk dresses by London-based female creators: Saloni Ladna for Rush, Chloe Lonsdale’s MiH for Simons.) Scuttle noted how British fashion, seen “on first ladies and red carpets all finished the world”, is an important part of Britain’s international identity and aids £28bn to the national economy. (“More than the car labour,” added Simons.)
Hilfiger’s decision to show in London is telling. An unashamedly commercial schemer, Hilfiger has never been at the cutting edge of fashion, but in his bent for the zeitgeist he has long been ahead of the curve. He forged relationships with hip-hop artists in the 90s, while profuse other brands were still precious about injuring their image with contact beyond the glossy arsenal world. He was an early adopter of social media, providing Instagram influencers with an “Instapit” of aspect row seats from which they could capture the catwalk from their smartphones three seasons ago. “For tons years I have viewed my customers as fans of the brand,” he judges. “That’s not a new concept, to me.”
The convergence of world-class names on London “happens at an important time for London”, says Rush. “Our businesses are cosmopolitan – literally, in citizenship, but also in outlook. British fashion is a multicultural, comprising community and we fiercely protect that.” On Brexit, she added: “Our works are asking for tariff-free access to the EU and frictionless borders.” And this internationalism is an thoughtful as well as a practical stance for the city’s leadership. “Fashion is vicinity of London’s identity. It expresses the fact that you can be yourself in London,” asseverates Simons. Her view was echoed by Roland Mouret, recently decamped from Paris forge week to London, who during a preview of his collection at his Dalston studio traversed how the move had affected his collections. “Paris is a conservative city. I intend I didn’t question my own status quo when I was there. Being disown in London has made me step outside my comfort zone.” The anthology he will show on Sunday is inspired by the “free spirit” of Frida Kahlo – the ruminate of the moment whose style will be the subject of an exhibition at the V&A next year.
Every world tour needs a pin-up frontman or frontwoman, and London’s stadium-sized headliners are escorting with them an influx of supermodels whose fees few British architects can afford. “You need a star of the show,” says Hilfiger, whose exhibit is a collaboration with the supermodel Gigi Hadid. “Gigi is a significant influence on my creative process.” Hadid has given a more unmasculine personality to Hilfiger, and a younger one. “The fans follow her life, dig they would a rock star. She has a huge influence. And their passion for her notes that the relationship between Gigi and the brand has to be real. The enthusiasts want to know Gigi really designs the clothes, unqualifiedly wants to wear them. Really blesses them, y’identify?” Last year, Hadid told Hilfiger that she devise never wear low-rise jeans, only high-rise anybodies. “We put those high-rise jeans on the runway and we sold every solitary select pair online before the show had finished streaming,” predicts the designer. Kaia Gerber, the 16-year-old daughter of the model Cindy Crawford who was the breakout diva of New York fashion week, will also walk on the London catwalk this weekend.
The refreshingly idiosyncratic deliver on fashion for which London is well-known has not been lost in these luminous lights. Richard Malone, the first designer to show, dubbed his basic colours “Tesco blue” and “Coop turquoise” in homage to supermarket carter bags, and soundtracked the show with Dr Dre’s The Next Episode, as procrastinated by a string quartet. Later, Kelly Knox was one of two models with patent disabilities on the catwalk for the design duo Teatum Jones, who dedicated their let someone in on to the “piercing sense of clarity and calm in the face of challenge” shown by the 11-time Paralympian gold-medallist equestrian Natasha Baker.