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London Fashion Week A/W 2018: The designers and trends to watch

London Fashion Week

With fashion week set to kick off on Friday, bloggers, press and fashion influencers across the country are waiting with bated breath to see the trends set to dominate 2018 finally revealed – and we can’t wait. One of the biggest dates in the fashion calendar, all eyes will be on London over the next seven days, and with an array of big-name designers preparing to unveil their Autumn/Winter 2018 collections, there’s plenty of reason to start getting excited.

Event organiser The British Fashion Council announced a shake-up of events last year, moving the official show space of LFW and London Collections (the men’s equivalent) to its new home at The Store Studios, in central London – and with a thrilling line-up that is packed with up-and-coming designers, there’s all the more reason to secure you place on the FROW. Although many of us are still balking at the thought of donning our Spring/Summer 2018 attire thanks to the freezing weather, it’s never too soon to start planning next season’s wardrobe – and any fashionista worth their salt will be taking furious notes to ensure they are a step ahead of the game when September dawns.

London Fashion Week
London Fashion Week A/W 2018 kicks off on February 15th. Image credit London Fashion Week

The venue isn’t the only change to expect at LFW, with Topshop passing up on the opportunity to hold a catwalk show – but with the likes of Mulberry set to return with a bang after a one-season break and impressive sartorial offerings expected from the likes of A.W.A.K.E. and Erdem, it’s hardly a deal breaker.

Xiao Li is likely to be a highlight of this year’s show, having quickly made a name for herself in recent years as a designer who favours voluminous shapes, plays with structure, and embraces an unrestrained colour palette of primary colours. After producing just three shows, she was shortlisted for the reputable LVMH Prize in 2015, previously won by huge names such as Marc Jacobs, Phoebe Philo and Karl Lagerfeld. Her innovative creations are expected to stun the crowds this LFW, making her show one you really can’t afford to miss.

London Fashion Week Festival September 2017
With London Fashion Week mere days away, the capital is gearing up for yet another season of shows, stars and style. Image credit London Fashion Week

Meanwhile, Ashley Williams, a favourite designer of style icon, Alexa Cheung, is also preparing to wow the crowds with a distinct London-themed take on her shows. From her designs all the way down to her hair, makeup and styling, capital influences are strong and evident, and the thought of getting a sneak peek into her latest vision for the young fashion brand has us literally on the edge of our seats.

Two of the biggest influences on fashion in recent years have been sport and cars – both rather unlikely, yet hugely successful, nonetheless – and for many brands, it’s an anxious wait to see if those trends will receive a renewed nod at the latest Fashion Week.

With some of the UK’s biggest designers creating garments that highlight technical innovation just as much as the active lifestyle in recent years, it’s been a catalyst for niche brands worldwide embracing the sports luxe trend with innovative edges – from Moncler’s Grenoble line, to Aence and DYNE. Meanwhile, high end designers Chloe, Fendi and Hermes have all launched their own capsule collections specially designed for skiing and Crossfit. Brands which have built their reputation on this will be hoping that the spell continues – but if LFW reveals otherwise, they’ll be pushed to think outside the box and go in a new direction for the seasons that lie ahead.

Italy is known for high fashion and fast cars and the two worlds have collided on a few occasions. Perhaps the most successful is Maserati’s tie-up with Ermenegildo Zegna – the fashion brand’s silks are offered as trim for seats, door cards and headliners in some of Maserati’s most desirable models, not least the £120,000 Quattroporte GTS GranLusso saloon.

The motoring world, similarly, has had a huge impact on fashion over the years, with high-end brands such as Gucci and Hermes clamouring to collaborate with the likes of Citroen and Fiat. Car manufacturers like Ferrari and Maserati have long been synonymous with a sharp image, but the trend, it seems, goes both ways – with fashion influences increasingly pronounced in the car world throughout 2017. At April’s Shanghai Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz presented its rounded Concept A Sedan with the purr and pout of a Parisian atelier – indicating that fashion is just as much a key consideration for the Carbuyer, too. It remains to be seen what car-themed surprises lie in store this February, but we certainly can’t wait to find out. It’s a trend that has stood the test of time, and it’s unlikely that 2018 will be the year this changes.

London Fashion Week 2018 is set to be a thrilling week that is full of the unpredictable – so be prepared to throw out your wardrobe and start again from scratch with some of 2018’s most exciting and innovative creations.

See you on the Front Row!