London has a reputation for being one of the most fashionable cities on the planet. It attracts many a budding fashionista with a lively calendar of events. If you love fashion, but don’t work in the industry, it can be difficult to know where to start! These are the best fashion events in London for beginners.
1. London Fashion Week Festival
Taking place in February and September, London Fashion Week is the highlight of the season for the industry. This is when the bulk of the catwalk shows take place, and sets the tone for the rest of the year. Although the week itself is generally reserved for professionals, London Fashion Week Festival (formerly London Fashion Weekend) is open to everyone. The festival takes place just after fashion week, and features talks from designers, catwalk shows and exclusive shopping events.
2. Central St Martins Graduate Shows
There are countless fashion superstars who are alumni of the prestigious Central St Martins. To name a few: Alexander McQueen; Stella McCartney; Matthew Williamson; and Zac Posen all attended the illustrious art school. With this in mind, how could any dedicated follower of fashion miss the opportunity to see the work of the graduating classes? You’ll get to see work by the great designers of tomorrow, and the show is free and open to the public. Expect to see challenging, intelligent design that inspires you.
3. Graduate Fashion Week
Having recently celebrated its 25th birthday, Graduate Fashion Week is a certified institution in the London Fashion world. The event takes place on the first weekend of June, and features the work of designers graduating from 60 different universities. There are catwalk shows and exhibitions galore. If you’re passionate and have the time to dedicate, then sign up to be a volunteer and help with the event organisation!
4. The Fashion And Textile Museum
No true fashion lover in London would skip this landmark. On the 26th May, the museum will reopen with its new exhibition, The World of Anna Sui. Not only that, but they’ve refurbished the café so you’ll have somewhere lovely to unwind after taking in the display of over 100 looks from Sui’s archive. The museum also hosts a number of special events and talks, so it’s worth keeping an eye on their ‘What’s On’ page! Upcoming highlights include opportunities to meet the exhibition curator, and a talk about fashion subcultures.
5. Events At Selfridges
Every fashionista knows that Selfridges is buzzing with the latest trends. Situated on Oxford Street, the department store knows how to remain on the cutting edge of style. They regularly host talks from experts, such as the upcoming event with the Beauty editors from Tatler on 16th May. Or you might fancy a tour of the store, to get a behind-the-scenes peek at the goings on in the luxury shopping destination. Snap up tickets fast though, as events often sell out.
6. Events At Liberty
Few places inspire such fondness as Liberty. Built in 1924 in mock-Tudor style, the building itself is, quite rightly, an icon. As such, they often foster intimate connections with designers, holding exclusive meet and greets with names such as Alex Monroe. Since 2009, they’ve held open calls for British designers, so you can find unique pieces here you won’t get anywhere else. If you fancy trying your hand at making your own fashion, Liberty’s sewing school would be an excellent and inspirational place to start.
7. London Ethnic
Bringing together established and new designers from the capital, London Ethnic is an essential part of London’s fashion scene. From catwalk shows to networking events, they will keep any style maven busy! They even host talks on how to become a successful blogger and how to cut patterns for garments. An absolute must for anyone who wants to support London’s home-grown fashion scene.
8. Exhibitions and Events at the V and A
Aside from being a jaw-droppingly beautiful location, the Victoria and Albert Museum is regularly host to a number of spectacular fashion exhibitions. The unforgettable display of Alexander McQueen’s work, Savage Beauty, came here after its installation at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the 27th May, they will be showing Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion, which promises to be a remarkable exploration of the designer’s influence on modern fashion. They also frequently host one-off events, such as the recent talk on 150 years of Harper’s Bazaar.
9. Salon Couture High Tea at The Savoy
Fashion fans were delighted when The Savoy Hotel announced they would be bringing back their famous Salon Couture high tea. On the 1st Wednesday of every month, you can see models strut their stuff in beautiful ball gowns while sipping tea in the opulent setting of the Thames Foyer. A high society classic, this is unmissable for lovers of fashion and tea alike.
In a move that could only be described as genius, The Berkeley has made its afternoon tea a fashion event in its own right. An afternoon tea with a difference, the cakes are designed by pastry chef Mourad Khiat to replicate clothes seen on the runway. The elegant creations look almost too good to eat, so no one will blame you for snapping some pictures before you dig in. The menu changes every six months to reflect the season’s trends, so it’s worth coming back!
Do you have any events to add to the best fashion events in London for beginners!? Share in the comments below
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