London Fashion Week has been officially declared open this morning by Natalie Massenet, Chairman of the British Fashion Council, and James McCarthur, CEO of Anya Hindmarch.
The British fashion industry is now worth £46 billion to the UK ecomnomy and is responsible for 797,000 jobs - which, as Massenet pointed out, is more than the car industry.
Over the next five days 78 designers and labels will unveil their A/W 2015 collections to press and buyers in a packed schedule that includes everything from fashion powerhouses to fledgling labels.
Today will be dominated by the memory of Professor Louise Wilson OBE; friends and former students of the now legendary course leader of the Central Saint Martins MA Course will gather this morning at St Paul’s Cathedral for a memorial service dedicated to her, while this evening the final year of students who were taught by her will show their graduate collections.
Stand-out shows will surely come from Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and JW Anderson, while the new crop of NEWGEN designers such as Molly Goddard, Sadie Williams and Faustine Steinmetz are ones to watch.
Haven’t bagged yourself tickets? There are plenty of events for you to get involved in, from the British Fashion Council and River Island’s Fashion Film screenings to the Gareth Pugh Retrospective exhibition at Galeria Melissa in Covent Garden. Plus we'll be live streaming the shows here so you can watch from wherever you are.
And the week will be rounded off on Tuesday night with the biggest party in the British fashion calendar, ELLE Style Awards, hosted once again by Nick Grimshaw.
Brace yourself: it’s going to be a fun-filled, action-packed few days.
5 FAST FACTS TO KNOW ABOUT LONDON FASHION WEEK
1. £46billion is the total contribution from the UK fashion industry - including indirect support for supply chain industries and induced spending of employees’ wages
2. £26billion is the direct contribution to the UK economy from the UK fashion industry (up from £21billion in 2009)
3. 797,000 jobs are supported by the UK fashion industry
4. 10,000 hours are spent on mentoring LFW designers through BFC initiatives over the twelve months
5. 5,000 visitors are expected to attend LFW this season