And… they’re off! London Fashion Week hit the ground running today with shows all over the capital.Wonderland tells you what to expect during one of the most exciting Fashion Weeks in the world (well, to us, anyway).

(1) Splits, spills and thrills

It’s every model’s nightmare. The last big fall was Burberry Spring/Summer 2011 – who knows which brand will produce the next pair of life-threatening, dignity-destroying pair of heels? But don’t worry, fashion folk are more likely to applaud a successful recovery than laugh at a pratfall. After all, everyone’s familiar with the sensation of almost tripping one of those damn Somerset House cobblestones.

(2) Celebspotting

Don’t act like you don’t care about the celebs: nobody’s immune to the magnetism exerted by the rich and famous. (Or just someone who was on T4 once.) London has yet to reach the front row celeb infestation levels of New York, but we’re getting there. Attending Fashion Week’s a quick way for celebs to earn fashion cool points. Hey, it’s their world, we’re only living in it.

(3) Street style bloggers

What’s that? Blinding multiple strobe flashes? Nope, the paparazzi hasn’t arrived yet, it’s only the style bloggers. Armed with a DSLR and a higher tolerance for waiting around than most, the street style hunters will be out in force. London Fashion Week is a safari and you’re their prey. Just wipe that smile off your face, strike a pose and think “viral, baby, viral”.

(4) The next big thing

New York’s sophisticated, Paris is luxurious – what’s London? The scrappy kid who won a reputation as being the place to spot new talent, that’s what. Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll made it big here, and this year, who knows? We’ve got our sights set on Simone Rocha as the breakout hit. And, as ever, don’t neglect the Topshop Effect – now that the Topshop name’s a huge global brand, it’s got the clout to push any young designer into the spotlight with its NEWGEN programme.

(5) Virtual reality

Fashion Week has traditionally been seen as a bit of an ivory tower – nice to read about in the papers, but impossible to get to if you’re not in the industry. The BFC have done a stellar job of bringing LFW to the masses by being one of the first to livestream runway shows (they’ve got 70% of shows covered this year and are aiming for 100% in the future). Burberry’s launching their Tweetwalk initiative; Topshop’s letting visitors tune in and customise the collection online as they watch the livestream. LFW – a techy dream come true?

(6) Parties, parties, parties

Fashion Week wouldn’t be Fashion Week without the afterparties (and a queue snaking out the door to match). After all, weary fashionistas need somewhere to prop their feet up after a hard day’s work tramping between LFW venues. Recession, what recession?

(7) Kooky, spooky and a little bit crazy

London’s the one place where crazy isn’t just accepted, it’s embraced with open arms. Just think of Pandemonia, the LFW icon in all her glorious seven-feet of rubberized PVC. Or Meadham Kirchhoff, whose runway shows transform the catwalk into joyously deranged pop culture raves. Hell, all you need to do is look at Vivienne Westwood to know that London fashion is all about rebellion, eclecticism and good ol’ British eccentricity. All together now: that shit cray.

Words: Zing Tsjeng


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