Friday, 12 September 2008

Battle of the Catwalks

London Fashion Week is starting this Sunday but it emerged today that this year will be the last time it will have a six day extravaganza.
The blame falls entirely with the promoters of the New York Fashion Week, who have been threatening for the past two years to change the dates on their Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter shows, and finally this year they decided to do it.

Fashion Weeks exist for buyers to see the collections beforehand and make their decision on what they will buy to sell in their stores the following year.

Traditionaly, London Fashion Week takes place in the week between New York and Milan, with Paris following immediately after the Italian venue.
This has always been seen as a great move from the British Fashion Council, because it would allow international buyers in transit from New York - where they watch Calvin Klein, Donna Karan et al - towards Paris to stay a few days in London and support the Btitish designers, buying a few pieces of clothe in the process.

But now New York decided that in February 2009, their Autumn/Winter show will start on its second Friday, a week later that until now. That means that the gap between New York and Milan Fashion Weeks is just 4 days... in reality just 3, because of the travel time from America. The British Fashion Council will still try to convince US designers to spare the last Friday of big names, but that will just not happen: Donna Karan always shows on Friday at 3pm!!

But London Fashion Week could have just disappeared completely!!!! The reason why they will still have 3 days next year is because Milan and Paris agreed to delay their start in 4 days, creating the gap where London will try to fit in... but there is no guarantee it will continue to be like that in years to come!!!

This looks like a game of names, with New York backed by Donna Karan, Versace and Hilfiger, Milan with Prada and Armani, and Paris with Gucci and Dior, leaving the British Fashion Council with the support of Jaeger, Aquascutum and Paul Smith... not a very fair fight!!

As far as I am concerned, London Fashion Week never created a lot of expectations, maybe because I never dealt directly with the Fashion world as such, and never went to see a show. Until now, that is!. If London Fashion Week is to end, at least this year I will be able to say: "I was there for the final curtain".


Lua said...

I was never aware that this was soo planned to the bone! I think it's a pity if London cannot continue doing it :( How will be get noticed otherwise?

Can't they do it after the Paris one? I mean, Milan is a bit southern so people will need to head north for the Paris one anyway :) It's just a train ride with the Eurostar (well... when the tunnel opens again anyway!)

Wask said...

Because a later slot means the clothes will not arrive in store on time for the new season...
Basically, London is screwed!!!