Here we are, again. London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 is due to start at Somerset House in September, and tickets are already on sale. 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 Carnaby Style Night). Here are 10 LFW-related happenings you should consider, most of them are free.
Attend A Pop-Up Fashion Show
Get the excitement of the catwalk directly inside an art gallery: >frenchartstudio gallery in Kensington hosts the pop-up fashion show Bepop. Franco-Brazilian artist Christine Drummont and fashion designer Caroline Denquin got together to create a fashion collection that is inspired by the artist’s work. The show starts officially on Thursday 11 September and ends on Friday 12. You can take part in the free preview on Wednesday 10 September from 6.30pm, just send an email through to book your place.
The Old Truman Brewery hosts House of Dernier Cri for a one-day fashion show, on Saturday 13 September. There will be catwalks showcasing the talent of the fashion brand’s best designers, a social gathering with the models and live music, from noon until 5pm. Tickets are £25-£10, prebook is suggested.
Party On The High Streets
Where? At Carnaby Style Night, of course. On Thursday 11 September, the free fashion bonanza returns to Carnaby Street. Plenty of shops, cafés and restaurants offer 20% off your purchase during the day. The list of events is seemingly endless: expect music, dance performances and even a garden party — buzz starts at 5pm and ends at 9pm.
Listen To The Story Of Tartan
On Friday 12 September, the V&A hosts an evening dedicated tartan. Learn how this fabric started its journey from Scotland and ended up in Africa, travelling across the Carribean. The evening includes a documentary screening and a traditional dance performance with tartan costumes. The event starts at 6.30pm and it’s totally free, you can just turn up any time.
Admire Fashion Photography At The Bus Stop
American fashion photographer David LaChapelle teams up with TfL for an unusual exhibition, to be held on bus stops. Ten of his iconic images will be displayed on the top of ten bus stops shelters along the Strand during London Fashion Week from Friday 12 until Monday 22 September. Bus stops featured in the exhibition along the Strand include: Aldwych — Somerset House, Bedford Street, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross Station and Southampton Street — Covent Garden. We recommend you sit on the top deck of the bus!
Swap Your Clothes
If you’re tired of your past fashion choices and would like to spice up your wardrobe, why not swap your clothes? Try the Swishing event at St Thomas’s Church in Oakwood or the Swapaholics meet-up at the Grafton Pub in Kentish Town. Both of them happen on Sunday 13 September.
Learn How To Make Shoes
From 13 until 21 September, The London College of Fashion opens its doors to everyone who’s interested in learning more about the art of making shoes. The event, which is part of The London Design Festival, happening in the same period, brings you close to emerging and established footwear designers. You just need to sign up online, participating is free.
Meet The Experts
From Friday 12 until Friday 19 September, Oxford Street Fashion Showcase animates the famous shopping district. The main flagship stores will host more than 25 style seminars chaired by recognised fashion authorities alongside experts from behind the scenes. It’s an opportunity for shoppers and fashionistas to experience an insight into the UK fashion industry, as all of them are free. See website for full programme.
Interested in seeking new career opportunities? The London College of Fashion hosts a Fashion Media and Communications Open Day on Saturday 13 September. The one-day event gives you an insight of this BA degree course with themed talks throughout the day. To attend, you just need to submit the online booking form.
Get Styled Up
The American clothes chain Forever 21 has just launched a new free personal shopping service within its flagship store in Oxford Street. Get suggestions from fashion professionals for free while shopping, you just need to sign up online and you’ll be given an appointment.
Go To A Vintage Fair
The Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair happens on Sunday 14 September. The focus is on vintage collections. During the day, expect jazz music, nail art and afternoon tea. Tickets are just £4 and can be booked by email.
See Fashion Exhibitions
The Fashion Space Gallery in Oxford Circus hosts Simon Costin’s Impossible Catwalk Shows, starting on Friday 12 September. Discover the career of the fashion designer, who worked both for Tim Walker and Alexander McQueen, and his way of creating cutting-edge fashion. The free exhibition is on until 13 December and is accompanied by a series of events, which will be announced in early September.
London Fashion and Textile Museum launches its new exhibition Knitwear: Chanel to Westwood on Friday 19 September. On display, vintage fashion knitwear from the 20th century, from the timeless 1920s Chanel jersey to the eccentric designs of Vivienne Westwood and Julie MacDonald. Tickets are £8.80, and can be purchased on the day to get access to the museum as well.
Head To Forest Hill Fashion Weekend
Taking place from Thursday 18 until Sunday 21 September, Forest Hill Fashion Week celebrates the borough’s creatively independent spirit and dedication to high street regeneration. There will be catwalk shows, designers on the high streets, workshops, fashion parties and even family events. Most of the events are free as well.
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 LFW with catwalk shows, discount designer shopping, trend spotting and industry talks. The event runs 18-21 September, tickets start from £20.
London Fashion Week is at Somerset House and venues around London, 12-16 September 2014.