13 Cool Things To Do In London Around London Fashion Week
We can all get a bit swept up in the London Fashion Week mania, as international fashion editors, bloggers, photographers and buyers descend on the capital during February and September, to see first hand the new season collections by the great and the good of British fashion design.
As exciting as it is, London Fashion Week is also essentially a trade event and closed to the public, so unless hanging around the cobbles of Somerset House is your thing, you won’t get in a hair’s whisp of the collections and catwalk. Mindful of this, Vodafone’s London Fashion Weekend was launched a few years ago, a consumer-facing event which takes place directly after London Fashion Week (in the same venue) and gives everyone the chance to experience a live fashion show.
Having said that, if you do want to get involved in the action during the main London Fashion Week event (February 20-24), there’s plenty going on in London and around Somerset House, which – if you love fashion – in many ways is just as exciting.
I’ve picked out 13 cool things to do in London around London Fashion Week…
British Designers Installation, Dover Street Market
British designers have taken over the iconic concept store Dover Street Market to celebrate London Fashion Week. Craig Green was commissioned to create an installation for the basement, NEWGEN recipient Molly Goddard has created a pop-up space on the second floor showcasing her colourful collection in a dollhouse-like setting, and Simone Rocha has redesigned her space on the third floor drawing inspiration from “Mad Flowers” SS15. The installation is available to see from now.
Dover Street Market, 17-18 Dover Street, London W1
Anya Hindmarch’s Sticker Shop & Afternoon Tea at the May Fair Hotel
The May Fair, the official hotel of London Fashion Week, is hosting Anya Hindmarch’s Sticker Shop, a window installation (showcasing her iconic bag of the season) at the hotel which is on display as of now. Hindmarch has also created a custom afternoon tea served in the hotel bar, available from February 20-24.
The May Fair Hotel, Stratton Street, London W1
LFW Catwalk Cocktails, The Athenaeum Hotel
Mixologists at the five-star Athenaeum Hotel & Apartments are taking inspiration from the catwalks of London Fashion Week and creating a Catwalk Cocktail Collection. Available throughout February, in celebration of London Fashion Week, the cocktails are being served in the hotel’s bar overlooking Piccadilly.
The Athenaeum, 116 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, W1
Knyttan: Factory of the Future Installation, Somerset House
Knyttan’s Factory of the Future, based in the New Wing of Somerset House, is allowing visitors to create their own designs using the latest technology. Its designs are then made with the studio’s industrial machines using the finest-quality Merino wool. Open now until March 13.
New Wing Somerset House, Strand, London WC2
House of Vans Fashion Films, SE1
Footwear brand Vans is celebrating London Fashion Week with a week of fashion-inspired films. Starting with “Bill Cunningham New York” today, the screenings are free of charge and on a first come first served basis. Available to see now until February 26.
House of Vans, Arches 228, 232 Station Approach Road, London SE1 8SW
Mary Katrantzou x Selfridges Installation
The designer is inaugurating her bag collection at Selfridges to coincide with London Fashion Week, Mary Katrantzou has created a unique installation on the Ground Floor. Open from now.
Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London W1
‘Icons Of Fashion’ Installation, Trafalgar Hotel
Guests can immerse themselves in the world of French fine artist and performer Wyland as they witness his ‘Icons of Fashion’ installation come to life through a series of live art sessions at the hotel featuring images of Kate Moss (pictured above), John Galliano and Coco Chanel amongst others, which will be held on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st February, in the Rockwell Bar – 2pm to 3pm. The sessions are free to attend.
The Trafalgar, 2 Spring Gardens, Trafalgar Square, London SW1
Matthew Williamson Afternoon Tea at Balthazar
Matthew Williamson is creating a custom afternoon tea menu for Covent Garden restaurant, Balthazar, inspired by his SS15 collection. Available from now until May 6, 3pm – 5pm.
Balthazar Restaurant, 4-6 Russell Street, Covent Garden, London WC2
Pringle of Scotland’s 200th Anniversary Exhibition, Serpentine Gallery
Celebrating 200 years of iconic knitwear, Pringle of Scotland is opening a major exhibition held at the Serpentine Gallery coinciding with its catwalk show on Sunday, 22nd February. The exhibition will feature archive pieces as well as films and photographs which trace the brand’s history. As well as the exhibition, Pringle of Scotland will launch a new service, Deconstructed, which allows customers to create their own 3D knits and prints. Open from February 22.
Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, London W1
Thea Porter Exhibition, Fashion & Textile Museum
The first-ever exhibition on the fashion and interior design of Thea Porter (1927–2000) who pioneered bohemian chic in the 1960s and 1970s (the image above is from the exhibition). Her shop in Greek street, Soho opened in 1966 and instantly drew a rock and film star crowd of clients from the Beatles and Pink Floyd to Elizabeth Taylor, Faye Dunaway and Barbara Streisand.
Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London SE1
Finery London Fashion Pop-up, Covent Garden
New online fashion business Finery London is opening “The Fitting Room,” a pop-up showroom in Covent Garden. Customers can buy the collection online and have it delivered to the showroom to try it on and receive professional style advice from its founders (a trio of ex ASOS buyers). Open until February 23, 10-7 pm.
The Finery Fitting Room, 35 Monmouth Street, London WC2
Gareth Pugh Retrospective Exhibition, Covent Garden
As well as Gareth Pugh’s return to the catwalk at London Fashion Week, the designer is staging a retrospective exhibition to celebrate the label’s tenth anniversary. Open now until May 29.
Galeria Melissa, 43 King Street, Covent Garden, London WC2
Woman Fashion & Power Exhibition, Design Museum
Using exclusive interviews, an immersive multimedia journey and historic pieces of clothing, this exhibition is examining how women use fashion to define and enhance their position in the world. The image above is of Kids Company CE Camila Batmanghelidjh, one of the women featured. Open now until April 26.
Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, London SE1