Five Talking Points From London Fashion Week

February 18, 2019

London Fashion Week began on Friday.

The five-day showcase is the second of February’s four big international fashion weeks, which are also held in New York, Paris and Milan.

Among the talking points from the New York shows were Paris Hilton on the catwalk and a surprisingly political show from Tom Ford. But four days in, LFW already looks set to eclipse its Stateside sister.

Here are some of the highlights of the UK extravaganza so far:

1. Activism was on-trend

There’s been an air of activism both on and off the catwalk at LFW. For the first time in its 34 year history, London is the first of the major fashion weeks to go fur-free.

On Sunday, Vivienne Westwood used the catwalk as her political stage. Her show was called “homo loquax” – a derisive term meaning “chattering man”.

Westwood turned the insulting phrase on its head, giving her models a platform to speak on issues from Brexit to climate change.

As well as making speeches, models including actress and anti-harassment campaigner Rose McGowan, wore clothes emblazoned with political slogans.

Westwood’s wasn’t the only designer making a political statement.

At the opening of London Fashion Week, models like Adwoa Aboah stood side by side with survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire on the catwalk to demand justice for victims of the tragedy.

The group held hands and wore T-shirts inspired by the Oscar-winning film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that read: “72 dead and still no arrests? How come?”

Off stage, climate change protestors from the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion attempted to disrupt events, forming human blockades on roads around event venues on Sunday. They want to see efforts made to reduce the impact of so-called “fast fashion”.

However, LFW has gone some way to addressing environmental concerns this year.

The BBC has launched a sustainability project, in collaboration with the British Fashion Council and clothing company Mother of Pearl, to try to get the fashion industry to stop contributing to plastic pollution.

2. Victoria Beckham returned to spice up London

The designer – formerly known as Posh Spice – has previously shown off her collections at New York Fashion Week. But after showing in Britain last season, Beckham has returned to LFW for a second time.

Her latest line, showcased at Tate Britain on Sunday, is a far cry from the figure-hugging clothes she made her name with, when she began her career as a designer a decade ago.

Models wore coats, chunky knitwear, and loose dresses that fell in soft pleats.

Sadly for Spice Girls fans though, Beckham’s successful fashion career means she won’t be returning to the band for their upcoming reunion.

However, there was a band reunion of sorts at the show’s after-party. Beckham poked some gentle fun at her Posh Spice past, as she partied with drag tribute act The Spice Gurrls and even joined in with a rendition of the band’s hit Wannabe.

3. Gigi Hadid’s hair stole the show

Sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid are two of the world’s most recognisable and sought after supermodels.

But when Gigi Hadid made her debut on Burberry’s catwalk on Sunday evening, she was harder to spot than usual.

Hadid was the sixth model to come down the catwalk to show off Riccardo Tischi’s second collection for the British brand. She wore a monochrome, street-wear inspired outfit, and sported bleached eyebrows.

But it was Hadid’s hairstyle that made her look so different to her usual self. Redken’s creative director Guido Palau slicked back the model’s locks, and made an unusual lattice of infinity signs in hair across her forehead.

The model’s appearance in the show got a mixed reaction on social media.