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London Fashion Week to go ahead with no live audiences

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jan 13, 2021

The British Fashion Council has confirmed that London Fashion Week in February will go ahead as a digital-only event. All shows, presentations and installations will take place without a live audience. 

Taking place from February 19 to 23, London Fashion Week organisers said that the decision to go digital-only follows the return of coronavirus lockdown measures in the UK. 

The British Fashion Council said in a statement that they had been “specifically discussing with Government the appropriate way forward with regards to London Fashion Week considering the current backdrop to a public health emergency. The organisation’s priority was to find a way for fashion businesses to continue to operate in a Covid secure way.”

Under Covid secure guidelines, London Fashion Week designers will still be able to film and photograph their collections, however, the British Fashion Council added that this should all now take place without an invited audience. 

These measures fall under the governments Performing Arts, Shoot Guidelines and Filming Guidelines, however, the British Fashion Council stated that all permitted activity that involves interaction with individuals outside of immediate households is “under constant review” and these guidelines should be referred to regularly to ensure alignment with latest lockdown and tier levels.

London Fashion Week in February to run as digital-only event

Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council chief executive, said in a statement: “The British Fashion Council continues to ask Government to engage in support of the fashion industry. One of the main active requests is to allow key creative and model talent to travel to and from the UK with a phased introduction of quarantine exemptions for the fashion industry, in order to carry out essential business, to protect the competitiveness of the British fashion industry.

“This further lockdown is incredibly challenging for businesses, freelancers and individuals. Our industry is one of amazing creativity and this is more true in the UK than any other country. The majority of businesses and individuals we work with are independent businesses and creatives who contribute significantly to the cultural and creative reputation of our country.”

Rush, added: “We will continue to push for support and champion our extraordinary businesses to global audiences. Despite all the challenges the last few years have brought, I truly believe that the creativity, agility and business savvy of our sector will prevail and the societal conscious of our British businesses and fashion workforce will see us re-calibrate to not only be strong creatively but strong sustainably too.”

London Fashion Week will now take place on its digital platform, LondonFashionWeek.com, where all designers showcasing new content and selling new collections will be featured throughout the year.

The February schedule has yet to be published, instead, the website just features a line-up of designers, which includes Erdem, Bora Aksu, Bethany Williams, Eudon Choi, Daniel W. Fletcher, Edeline Lee, Edward Crutchley, Mark Fast, Richard Quinn, Rixo, Temperley London and Richard Malone. 

Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Paris Haute Couture Week and Copenhagen Fashion Week also go digital-only

London’s move online follows news earlier this week that the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has confirmed that Paris Men’s Fashion Week and Haute Couture Week this month will still go ahead, however, there will be no invited guests this season due to Covid-19 restrictions in the country. 

In addition, Copenhagen Fashion Week confirmed it was also going digital-only this February for its autumn/winter 2021 season due to the prolonged Covid-19 restrictions in Denmark.

Image: courtesy of Bora Aksu by Chris Yates