With the shadow of Brexit, Trump and rising tuition fees looming over London, it would be right to assume this year’s London Fashion Week would be a more somber affair than the last.
But instead of being downcast, the industry has taken the political setbacks in their stride – and in their arsenal of weapons, was youth and emphasis on diversity.
Versace’s younger line, Versus’ show last Saturday was a collection all about young people, a point made no less obvious with fashion’s current “It Girls” – the Hadid sisters – headlining the event.
Donatella Versace called their collection, “super comfortable – but not for me. For Versus, I think about how the young people get dressed.”
— Elizabeth Paton (@LizziePaton) September 17, 2016
Industry leaders also grabbed the occasion to press on with calls to maintain a diverse student and talent pool for the fashion trade.
“Talent is the key issue. The tariffs we will find a way to cope with. Around 20% of my team are not British, so that is what feels most important to us,” said designer Anya Hindmarch to The Guardian.
“If you look at London Fashion Week, there are many international students that came to London, that studied here, that have built businesses, that are contributing to the economy, that are employing more young people and that’s a really positive news story and that’s something that certainly we don’t want to go away,” British Fashion Council’s Caroline Rush said to CNBC.
“The doors need to stay open and we need to continuously work with all the incredible talent that’s available to us,” added Topshop’s Kate Phelan.
— FashNerd (@FashNerd) February 19, 2017
And despite the rain and concerns above, the young talent at #LFW was out in droves. Here are the top 5 tweets showcasing the English capital’s fashion students’ artistic flair:
1. Nottingham Trent University School of Art and Design’s Amy Carter won the prestigious Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competition, which was judged by Missoni’s creative director Angela Missoni.
— NTU Art & Design (@NTUArtandDesign) February 21, 2017
2. Sophie Whatling from Arts University Bournemouth was inspired by European artists in her menswear collection that infused culture, technology, form and function. She won the second runner-up prize in the Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competition.
— Megan Goodwin (@megangoodwin_) February 21, 2017
3. This Central Saint Martins student showed off his skills with sheepskin 🐑.
— Glencroft (@GlencroftUK) February 18, 2017
4. Not forgotten are all the make-up artists holding up the shows from MelVicMakeup Academy!
— Melanie Doyle MUA (@MelVicMakeup) February 20, 2017
5. #LFW’s street style game was on form, especially with the likes of this lovely graduate from Central Saint Martins.
— Jai'me Jan (@jaimelondonboy) February 18, 2017
With these students, London never looked that fresh.