Here we are, again: London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2014 is due to start at Somerset House — on Valentine's Day, by the way. Access to the super glam events and catwalks is largely restricted to celebrities and fashion industry people. But there's plenty going on around town to appeal to fashionistas and even those who wouldn't normally pay much attention to fashion (see the bus stop event). Here are 10 LFW-related happenings you should consider.
Discover New Talent
Forward-looking fashionistas should head to Bloomsbury Square for the London College of Fashion MA14 Exhibition. Fresh, inspired and talented MA students showcase their creations at Victoria House Basement during the week. The exhibition is open to the public 11-16 February, from noon every day. If you'd like to take part in a catwalk experience instead, the MA14 Catwalk will be streamed live from 10.30am.
Get Stuck Into The Research
Ready for London Fashion Week? If not, learn from Chelsea Reference Library's experts, whose 13 February session (11am) explores online fashion resources and the fashion collection. You can book your place by email.
Listen To A Life Story
The Fashion and Textile Museum hosts the exhibition Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol until 17 May 2014. As part of this exhibition, on Thurday 13 February at 6.30pm you can attend a lecture on Lee Miller in Fashion. Author Becky E Conekin from Yale University tells the life story of Lee Miller: a model, surrealist artist, muse, photographer and war correspondent. Seats are limited, so book now online.
Attend An Art Show
Fashion is Fake is the title of the art show at the Indra and Samia Gallery (off Commercial Road) opening on Friday 14 February. The exhibition features projects by an artist, a womenswear designer and an activist model. They aim to spread the word about ethics and aesthetics within the fashion industry. Free, until May 2014.
Fashion on Bus Stops
For both the Year of the Bus and London Fashion Week, Transport for London in collaboration with Annin Arts art gallery launches the first ever ‘bus stop top’ photographic exhibition providing bus passengers with exclusive access to works of celebrated fashion photographer Juergen Teller. The exhibition called ‘Bus Stops’ features 10 images on 10 bus stops along Strand on 14-23 February — pictures can be seen on the top of bus stop shelters, making them exclusively visable to people on the top deck, or the exceptionally tall. We've listed out the bus stops here.
Party On A Bus
Look out for a special bus parked along Strand on Saturday 15 February from 10am onwards, just opposite Somerset House. Shopcade, the online shopping hub launches the Shopcade LFW Party Bus, featuring live DJ sets, free make up and styling sessions, free drinks and goodie bags (while supplies last). The event is free but you need to book by email. *please note that this event is now sold out*
Swap Your Clothes
The concept is quite simple: give away clothes you don't want anymore by exchanging them for those of another. Taking inspiration from a Danish online concept, the SwapAmok website gives a step-by-step explanation. You can swap your clothes (1-3 items) on Saturday 15 February from 2pm during the Swap Catwalk at St James's Clerkenwell. Wine and snacks provided. Entrance is free but book by email.
Go To A Vintage Fair
Celebrate London Fashion Week by going back in time. Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair takes place at the Old Finsbury Town Hall, near Farringdon. It features over 50 of London's most well-known traders in womenswear, menswear and accessories. The event happens on Sunday 16 February and starts at 11am. Tickets are £4 and can be purchased in advance.
Investigate The Relationship Between Gardens and Fashion
Even before Arts and Crafts founder William Morris brought floral patterns into the design mainstream, fashion designers had long been inspired by flowers and plants. The Garden Museum hosts Fashion & Gardens, the first exhibition on the relationship between gardens and fashion throughout the centuries, curated by Nicola Shulman. On Sunday 16 February the museum hosts a Fashion Panel Discussion with Amanda Harlech from 6.30pm. Book in advance.
Take Part In London Fashion Weekend
Once the sparkle and fascination of London Fashion Week are gone, fashion-addicted Londoners can meet up at Somerset House again for London Fashion Weekend — the bit that allows the public in for a taste of London Fashion Week with catwalk shows, discount designer shopping, trend spotting and industry talks. The event runs 20-23 February, tickets start from £20.
London Fashion Week is at Somerset House and venues around London, 14-18 February 2014.