Every British fashionista has the dates in February and September circled in their calendar – the twice-yearly event of London Fashion Week. Showcasing the best of British fashion since 1984, London Fashion week is an opportunity for Britain’s brightest and most talented designers to show the world what they’re made of.
Since its inception in the ‘80s, this fashion showcase has launched careers, started trends and caused a fair bit of controversy. Here is our roundup of the 10 most memorable moments from London Fashion Week history:
1. In 1989 the world was introduced to Kate Moss, making her runway debut at London Fashion Week for designer John Galliano. The 15-year-old model enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in the years to come, becoming one of the world’s most successful supermodels.
2. Alexander McQueen made his debut at Fashion Week in 1992 with a collection entitled “Jack The Ripper Stalks His Victims”. He caused controversy with his shocking designs, such as his extreme low-cut “bumster” trousers and earned himself a name as “L’Enfant terrible” of fashion.
3. In 1993 a topless Naomi Campbell walked down the catwalk, modelling headgear for milliner Philip Treacy’s first show.
4. Stella McCartney was still a fashion student when her debut collection was shown at the graduation runway show during the 1995 London Fashion Week. Her designs caused a storm of media attention (helped in no small part by Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Yasmin Le Bon, who were modelling the clothes) and her entire collection was sold to Tokio, a London boutique.
5. In 1997, plus-size Sophia Dahl made her catwalk debut, sparking debate about the extreme thinness of fashion runway models and linking the fashion industry to eating disorders.
6. Victoria Beckham modelled for Maria Grachvogel in 2000, striding down the catwalk in green satin hot pants.
7. Hussein Chalayan’s collapsible coffee table dress caused a stir at the 2001 London Fashion Week.
8. In 2005, high street retailer Topshop becomes the first to show at fashion week with a Mods and Rockers-inspired collection with an eighties twist.
9. Gareth Pugh’s artistic and unique designs received a lot of media attention after his show at the 2007 London Fashion Week. British Vogue called his collection “an incredible, unmissable show”, and stated, “his genius is undeniable.”
10. Musical superstar Prince performed at the 2007 Spring Fashion Week for Matthew Williamson’s 10th year anniversary show.