No the title isn’t a reference to the award-winning Fuller beer but actually is a slightly unfortunate thought that plagues my mind of the eve of London Fashion Week S/S 09.  After a rather insightful chat with the owner of bStore, the thoughts plagued further as he felt that London was going backwards, that a year ago, London had a momentum going with their fashion week, that we had something to be really proud of and celebrate, going against this country’s trait to be overly modest/polite about everything, and now something is missing and that the British Fashion Council hasn’t taken advantage of that exciting wave and capitalise on that.  I’ve expressed similar thoughts in the past, that rather than concentrating on playing up London’s strengths which is producing and exposing new design talent what with the number of stellar schools here, instead, BFC tries to chase the so-called big names, to pack out the schedule with returning Brits.  Emphasis on the ‘returning’.  The Brits have a knack for leaving for greener pastures in New York/Paris; Jonathan Saunders and Preen to New York and now Gareth Pugh to Paris for this season and no doubt others will follow.  Even my beloved Jean Pierre Braganza is off to Milan to show at the White Show.

Now as opposed to patriotism, I’ve always had a terrible case of of cityism…a shameful sense of pride in London.  I’ll admit it, I don’t care if I come off as being smug about living here as I do love it full and through with big glassy rose-tinted goggles.  Yet the niggles are there and despite being a staunch supporter for all things LFW, the worry does exist that the fashion scene has somewhat turned ‘backwards’ and isn’t making the strides it deserves.  Effects of globalisation and the catch-up process does mean that cities like Vienna, Amsterdam, Berlin and cities further affield are coming up with fresh ideas and taking concepts further because they have a lack of restraint and experimentation can be afforded…be it in retail, fashion design or other creative fields.   The upside is that it gives me impetus and motivation to travel more.  The downside is that in a climate where people are holding back and feeling unsure, perhaps fashion will suffer, not the luxury labels as I always insisted that the recession would never affect the rich because the rich would keep on spending, but the creative talent feeling like they’re lacking in support…

Disingenuous charity giving has always irked me but I do so solemnly swear if I stumbled upon oodles of cash, I’d throw it all at this fashion scene I so lovingly support.  Guess the pride hasn’t diminished that much.

Lfwaw08

Comments (15)

  1. Selene says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you have to say! It’s embarrassing the way the BFC are chasing the headline- grabbing big boys. (Perhaps most notably Marc Jacobs who doesn’t even have humble beginnings this side of the atlantic despite an occasionally “grungy London” aesthetic.) Though I can’t complain when we get Dame Vivienne back, it’s a shame that we get the Red Label rather than the main line. It makes us seem a little desperate.
    Saying all that – London still has that unexplainable vibe that foreign press and buyers always comment on. And I think it’s unlike any city I’ve ever been to. And I love it!

  2. Oh don’t worry creativity always flourishes in hard times, but the BFC is a tad too cautious and is always faced with the unenviable task of trying to get London recognised with the big three, and never finding the solution – nothing changes but new talent always comes through!

  3. Oh don’t worry creativity always flourishes in hard times, but the BFC is a tad too cautious and is always faced with the unenviable task of trying to get London recognised with the big three, and never finding the solution – nothing changes but new talent always comes through!

  4. Oh don’t worry creativity always flourishes in hard times, but the BFC is a tad too cautious and is always faced with the unenviable task of trying to get London recognised with the big three, and never finding the solution – nothing changes but new talent always comes through!

  5. Oh don’t worry creativity always flourishes in hard times, but the BFC is a tad too cautious and is always faced with the unenviable task of trying to get London recognised with the big three, and never finding the solution – nothing changes but new talent always comes through!

  6. Oh don’t worry creativity always flourishes in hard times, but the BFC is a tad too cautious and is always faced with the unenviable task of trying to get London recognised with the big three, and never finding the solution – nothing changes but new talent always comes through!

  7. Janavi says:

    This off & on thing with London has been going on since the 60′s.

  8. If you decide to make it NY Fashion Week, let me know would love to have you at the shows!

  9. KD says:

    It is a shame, but you should definitely be proud of your city!

  10. Anonymous says:

    its a disgrace the way fashion is treated in this country. The UK is renowned for producing the best design students in the world. But due to the lack of support for fashion business these talented students are forced to leave the country to work for the large multinational businesses else where, where fashion has been traditionally valued and supported. The governments spends millions educating the students, then they have to leave. I have heard questions in parliament ridiculing the government for the limited support it does give. If the country can not support fashion for fashions sake, surely they can support it for the sake of the economy? Look to countries like sweden where young innovative designers like Sandra Backlund are backed by the government.

  11. coco says:

    I always feel let down when designers leave to UK but I see why they would. New York especially seems to let designers grow into brands more.
    We are great at finding new talent but it would be great if that talent would stay here too.

  12. Janavi says:

    The US government gives no support to new designers, and not much to students either.

  13. I dont understand why they leave the place that has made them. You always hear of designers that london is the edgiest and fashionable place and many many designers each season get inspiration from london so why does everyone leave?

  14. `````````````````````````````````````` says:

    I can assure you that the number one reason that designers leave london is COSTS. Value for money is non-existent and once the ‘up-and-coming’ tag wears thin and TopShop sponsorship expires, it’s just too expensive.

  15. ***???*** says:

    Declaring your pride in London then having a pop at BFC is cliched, tried and tested. Anyone involved in the organising of LFW or run who actually runs a fashion business knows how imortant yet difficult it is to attract buyers to the shows. Its not just about “supporting” new talent – which I think they do try their best with New Gen – but about getting buyers to the shows (in the end its money from buyers not bottomless govt support that makes a business successful). With Coterie always around the same time and Paris straight after its always hard to get buyers to juggle their timetable and the attention London deserves. So I defend the BFC for trying to use established designers to get their attention, its a no brainer imo, having met many buyers in my former job, they are not going to come all the way to London to check out some unknowns…although they may just get hooked if they are here to see a “big” name…and why do Designers depart once they get established? its because they follow where the money is. NY and Paris are where the heavyweight spenders come, if you are going to spend ¬£50K laying on a show, you want to get some value and also a return on it. Unfortunatley London is cool, but just not glam or big enough. All the best to all those working hard towards a successful LFW, organisers and designers alike!!!

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