Don’t fancy waiting in the rain at Somerset House to catch a glimpse of someone wearing a teapot on their head? Want an authentic fashion experience at the upcoming AW14 shows without being on the wrong side of the velvet rope? With London Fashion Week around the corner, we thought we’d give you the ultimate guide to enjoying all it has to offer without having to have your name on the door.
1. Check out the finest Scandi sartorialists at the Re Present Exhibition
We’ve always admired that hard to recreate Swede-cool. Then Sarah Lund wore that knit, and ever since we’ve had both eyes on the Scandinavian fashion game, which is, we can confirm, booming. One way of getting a head of the catwalk curve is by heading down to the Re Present exhibition in Holborn. It’ll be showcasing the hottest Swedish designers like Carin Wester (she nails modern elegance) and Ann-Sofie Back (the original wunderkind of Stockholm style). There are also a selection of amazing talks being held there that are open to the public. We’ll be heading down to a talk on Tuesday 18 at 2pm on fashion education in the UK, hosted by Lina Hellgren, who is the Design Department Head of H&M. It doesn’t get much more insider than that.
Address: 64 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3TL
Dates: 15 – 18 February 2014. Opening hours: Saturday 12 – 6pm; Sunday – Tuesday 10 – 6pm.
2. Fashion Week frock-off
This alternative fashion week event is being organized by slightly bonkers events company Bearded Kitten. Head down to The Dalston Department store if you want to find wacky pieces, that no one at fashion week will have their hands on, from the myriad pop-up boutiques the event is hosting. You’ll get to enjoy music from live DJs whilst sipping cocktails from Roberto Campari’s bar and Karl Lagerfeld Beer Haus. Who ever said fashion wasn’t funny?
Address: Dalston Department Store, Unit 2, Star House, 3 Richmond Street, London, E8 3HY
Date: Sat Feb 15
3. Scout new fashion talent from accross the world
This is the only public event at London Fashion Week that’s been given the official British Fashion Council and British Council, stamp of approval, and everyone you need to know about will be there – The International Fashion Showcase is presenting the finest talent from 30 countries. From a collection of installations exploring Korean avant-garde fashion to a Scandinavian group show, this is an amazing – and, did we mention, free – opportunity to take a walk around the world of fashion. This showcase will make the careers of some young designer, too, with awards for the winning showcase, individual designer and curator up for grabs. The judges are some of fashion’s coolest characters including Susie Lau and US Vogue deputy editor Sarah Mower. Why not cast your critical eye over the collection before the big cheeses do?
Address: International Fashion Showcase, 180 The Strand
4. Shop The Shows
Ok, so it’s not quite FROW, but it is next to the tents, and this is an opportunity to shop the most exciting new designers in the world. The pop-up concept store is inviting the public to peruse the hippest movers and shakers in contemporary British design, and will be a great place to buy into burgeoning designers before they make it big. Brands on offer range from Bella Freud and DJ by Dominic Jones, to Keely Hunter, Markus Lupfer, Prism and Zoe Jordan.
Address: Somerset House, London
5. LCF MA14 Exhibition
This graduate fashion show, from the talented students at the London College of Fashion, is open to all. Alumni include Sophia Webster and William Tempest so get FROW to spot the next biggest thing. These students are hotly tipped to make it big, so make it down to Holborn for a high-tempo atmosphere and to see London’s new-wave guarde try out their collections on the public for the first time. You might want to be on celeb-watch as well – Grayson Perry always snaps up a graduate outfit or two.
Address: Victoria House, Southampton Row, WC18 4DA
Date: Feb 11 – 16; noon – 7pm
6. Get inside the mind of the woman changing fashion in London
Fashion’s nuttiest style maven and prop designer has taken over the KK Outlet and turned it into her own utopian world filled with art and fashion shrines. It might not surprise you to learn that Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Beth Ditto are big fans of Fred Butler’s work. This is her first ever solo show and will give true fashion lovers a glimpse into a unique mind which is influencing the London fashion scene now.
Dates: 7 – 28 February. For more info visit KK Outlet
What’s it really like for a model during London Fashion Week?