LONDON FASHION WEEK

Covid checks, major absences, and a dissipating FROW: This is London Fashion Week after a pandemic

As the industry adjusts to the new normal, Olivia Petter examines how coronavirus has disrupted LFW’s established code of conduct

Saturday 18 September 2021 15:09
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<p>Mark Fast SS22 </p>

Mark Fast SS22

“Isn’t it wonderful to be back?” calls a street style photographer as I head into the Bora Aksu show. “It’s lovely,” I reply. “We had no idea how long it would take! We’re so excited!” they add, darting between the crowd, vying for their next snap. “Anyway, have fun!”

In the six years I’ve been going to London Fashion Week, this is the first time a stranger has made conversation with me. To the uninitiated, this might sound odd. But as any seasoned fashion week attendee will tell you, this is not a crowd that is famed for its pleasantries. That is unless you have something to offer, be it industry clout, prestige, or 500,000 Instagram followers.

But we’ve been through a lot, these past 18 months. The pandemic has united many of us in grief, loss, and illness, experiences that have shifted our priorities and given all of us a new lease of life. As a result, that veneer of insouciance that might have once prevented one person from chatting to another has splintered. And that’s how I made my first friend at London Fashion Week.

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