All of the highlights from LFW AW19

The inclusive mood for the season embraced what’s good for humans and for the planet, too.

In an industry founded on exclusivity, this season the British Fashion Council (BFC) appeared to take inspiration from The Labour Party’s ‘For the Many’ slogan, presenting a London Fashion Week (LFW) that was, more than ever before, geared towards everyone. For AW19, BFC held London Fashion Week Festival – the consumer-facing extension of LFW – over the same weekend. This gave it an integrated feel and ensured that ticket holders received a more authentic experience.

Meanwhile, the organisation’s Positive Fashion Initiative, fronted by supermodel Adwoa Aboah, aimed to reach more people than ever before by collaborating with BBC Earth and ethically conscious womenswear brand, Mother of Pearl, for the #SustainableMe campaign. Launching across the BBC Earth’s digital platforms, with a global reach of 12 million people, a thought provoking film highlights the hugely negative impact that fast fashion has on the environment while encouraging shoppers to consider more, buy less, repair and repurpose.

This is not a message that the fashion industry is traditionally known for spreading. But then LFW has always been a bit different. With its reputation for leading the way in creativity and innovation, five days of shows and presentations featured some of the most exciting emerging design talent as well as the city’s established favourites.

Marta Jakubowski presented an accomplished collection that was grown up, wearable and replete with refined silhouettes. Hussein Chalayan marked 25 years of his brand with a show that cemented his reputation as the master of pleats, folds and billowing fabric. Roberta Einer delighted with pattern clashing, interesting textures and excellent Quality Street wrapper moments, and under the Fashion East umbrella, Charlotte Knowles continued to impress with her vintage silhouettes crafted from modern, technical fabrics. Also worth celebrating was the fact that this was the second completely fur-free LFW.

As ever, the Toni&Guy Session Team set the season’s hair trends. Most excitingly at Bethany Williams, where the designer was given The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. The trophy honours her ability to create value with her work, not just sartorially but socially, too. Williams brings her brightly coloured pieces to life by partnering with charities working towards female empowerment, rehabilitating offenders and programmes that focus on literacy. Showing her collection ‘Adelaide House,’ which takes its name from a women’s shelter in Liverpool, 20% of the proceeds from sales will go to the shelter. The designer’s AW19 jersey pieces are also a collaboration with the London College of Fashion’s ‘Making for Change’ programme, which provides support and training for inmates at HMP Downview.

  • Words: Miriam Bouteba