London Fashion Week officially kicks off today. And while cities like New York and Paris are undergoing seismic shifts (Raf Simons showed his first collection for Calvin Klein in New York since leaving Dior and Paris powerhouses Chloé and Givenchy will both be saying goodbye to their Creative Directors), London's levels of drama for AW17 remain to be seen. For us, that's what makes it all the more exciting. Here's everything you need to know:
BREWER STREET CAR PARK IS SO LAST SEASON
After dumping the sophistication of Somerset House for the grime and glory of Brewer Street Car Park three seasons ago, the British Fashion Council have relocated to the Strand's Store Studios for AW17 and last month's menswear shows christened this new relationship. Given that Brewer Street Car Park is mere minutes from the ELLE offices, we won't pretend this hasn't left us feeling the latent rage of a Tiffany Pollard meme but if we survive attempting to look candid for camera without getting run over by a double-decker bus, we'll be content.
YOU SHOULD KEEP ONE EYE ON HALPERN…
Now for our favourite thing about London Fashion week: new labels. A native New Yorker with a BA from Parsons School of Design and an MA from Central Saint Martins, Michael Halpern consults at Atelier Versace alongside developing his eponymous label. And judging by the craftsmanship at Halpern, this isn't gone to waste. If you like glamour so shameless you can hear it cackling and OTT embellishment, you'll fall hard onto concrete.
…AND THE OTHER ON RICHARD MALONE
A Fashion East alumna, Richard Malone is a fashion designer of many accolades: he won the LVMH Grand Prix scholarship while studying for his BA at Central Saint Martins, his graduate collection opened the BA show and went on to win the Deutsche Bank Award for Fashion before being stocked in Dublin's Brown Thomas and - finally - he was recently the only fashion designer to be selected by the BBC as one of the Best Young Artists under 25 working in the UK. But what of the clothes? Beaming, oceanic hues and a fresh take on shape: let's just say none of those accolades are undeserved.
FASHION EAST HAS TWO NEW CHILDREN
While both Mimi Wade and Matty Bovan were part of Fashion East last season, the nonprofit is welcoming two new labels into the fold for AW17. ASAI is the brainchild of A Sai Te, a Londoner whose BA collection took embroidery to chaotic but beautiful levels before forsaking his MA to accept a position at Yeezy. The only member of the quartet who isn't a Central Saint Martins alumna, Supriya Lele gained her BA at Edinburgh College of Art and her MA at the Royal College of Art where her graduate collection explored the duality between her Indian roots and her Britishness.
A.W.A.K.E. IS PRESENTING IN LONDON FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER
Surprisingly for a British label that's existed since SS13, this season will be the first time A.W.A.K.E. has ever presented in London. Founder Natalia Alaverdian's previous and debut presentation was held in Paris.
YOU'LL WANT TO SEE TYVANNI WALK IN EVERY SHOW
Selected as one to watch during London Fashion Week by fellow model Manna Mcleod, Tyvanni Osaheni Ebuehi is a Dutch former professional footballer (and a Scorpio). Having already walked for Sibling at the menswear shows in January, Manna also grades Leah Alexxander-Caine with similar estimations.
SHOWING MENSWEAR AND WOMENSWEAR SIMULTANEOUSLY IS STILL A THING…
Whether to save time, money and sanity or to say something about how gender operates in the fashion industry, shows that incorporate both menswear and womenswear now even have their own key on the London Fashion Week website. While labels such as Teatum Jones and Burberry have done this in previous seasons, it's a first for Margaret Howell.
…BUT SEE NOW, BUY NOW IS ONLY REALLY A THING AT BURBERRY
While Topshop Unique experimented with this newfound retail model last season, it doesn't seem to be doing the same this time round. Burberry, however, is sticking with it — and as such is the only 'SN/BN' brand on the London schedule.