And just like that: we’re back in business. London Fashion Week never went away, of course. But the pandemic certainly put paid to the pomp and pageantry that typically characterises the biannual event. Catwalks were live-streamed in empty venues, presentations took place over Zoom, and many of the big fashion houses withdrew altogether. It was, much like everything else at that time, rather bleak. Not anymore.
With 66 per cent of the population now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, this season’s schedule is packed with real-life runways, presentations, and one-to-one appointments with designers. The venues, scattered across the city, are just as lavish as they always have been, comprising a charming garden behind the Institute of Directors on Pall Mall, the Old Selfridges Hotel off Oxford Street, and the London Aquatics Centre in east London.
Gone, too, are the days of designers unveiling their collections to an audience swaddled on their sofas in loungewear. Street style has made a triumphant return, with fashion week attendees making the most of the opportunity to wear all of the flamboyant and highly impractical items that have been stashed away in their wardrobes for more than 18 months – think low-back dresses, fluorescent velvet jumpsuits, and knee-high cowboy boots.
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