London Fashion Week after Queen’s Demise
The death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8 effectively resulted in the cancellation of London Fashion Week. A week or two ago, there was a call between designers and the British Fashion Council. In response to that appeal, the London fashion community banded together to carry out the events during the scheduled week in a way that honored the nation’s state and the industry’s planning, which in many cases had already advanced too far to reverse.
Cancelling could have negative effects on younger, lesser businesses, as Jonathan Anderson, the established founder of JW Anderson and creative director of LVMH-owned Loewe, stated bluntly. In response to the monarch’s demise, the calendar of runway displays, events, and parties — which starts today — has been trimmed.
Designer Rejina Pyo, who will proceed with her show on Sunday morning, thinks that most people outside the industry are unaware that Fashion Week is largely a business event. It is a component of a worldwide fashion calendar that is predetermined a year in advance and immutable.
Some choose not to participate. To avoid competing with Buckingham Palace, Burberry postponed its Saturday night headlining performance. It has since been moved and rescheduled for October 26 as a “show of respect.” The Belgian designer Raf Simons also postponed his presentation. Young designers in London frequently anticipate and capitalize on the draw of well-known brands and advertisements.
The young talent has traditionally been fostered by London Fashion Week, which receives funding from organizations like Fashion East. Speaking anonymously to the Cut, several young designers disclosed that they had to reorganize their financial plans to put on a show after well-known sponsors withdrew their support. They admitted that they needed to think quickly and shrewdly to continue presenting collections as scheduled.
One of the first designers showing this week is Daniel W. Fletcher, 30. The second-place finisher on Netflix’s Next in Fashion and Central Saint Martins graduate revealed that his show will commemorate the occasion with a heartfelt tribute: “I am very aware of how various people deal with sorrow as someone who has endured numerous big losses of my own in the last 12 months,” he tells the Cut. “I want to be sensitive to the fact that the queen’s passing is a great loss for many people, especially for her family.” Fletcher said he will “pay honor to this guy who has served our country for so many years,” adding that his work frequently alludes to British culture and that he has previously organized anti-Brexit demonstrations during London Fashion Week.
Harris Reed, a 26-year-old British American designer, claims that since he had already paid for the event, canceling was not an option. “I believe that right now is the perfect time to celebrate the creativity that exists in the United Kingdom. Although it has been a difficult few years, fashion is a medium that inspires people to dream. “Sometimes, I believe, people mistake fashion for something frivolous, but for us, it’s a business. It’s crucial to have these opportunities twice a year to showcase your brand and market your company’s future through the show.
In a similar manner to Fletcher, Reed paid tribute to the late queen with a final ensemble that included a bouquet of lily of the valley, one of her majesty’s favorite flowers. But over the following four days, there will likely be more than just acts of devotion and obvious allusions to the queen.
Asian American designer Chet Lo, who is based in London and will this season make his first solo appearance during London Fashion Week after three seasons as a member of talent incubator Fashion East, says he was “disappointed” to learn that the major companies were postponing shows. It was unsettling to think that all of the time, effort, and money that so many young designers—including myself—had invested in developing our exhibits would have been in vain. If the show didn’t go on, the consequences would be highly detrimental to the brand, he warned. It will go to a place, JW Anderson said, but “it will be more intimate and private than ever before.” The brand added, “Now we must stand together and continue to tell the amazing stories for which this city is renowned.