One of the most hotly anticipated fixtures on the fashion calendar, London Fashion Week, is taking place on February 18–22 as a hybrid digital–physical event.
This is an opportunity for top British designers to showcase their collections of womenswear, menswear and gender-neutral clothing. Here’s how you can get involved with the official show, and how to find an alternative fashion fix across London throughout the week.
How to experience London Fashion Week in 2022
London Fashion Week is one of the hallowed "Big Four" biannual fashion events (New York, Milan and Paris are the others). In the past, it has been possible for members of the general public to buy tickets to limited shows. However, for 2022's five-day fiesta of garment design, attendees will need to seek advance accreditation for all physical shows, and then request invitations from each individual brand to gain access to catwalks and events. If you're not a fashion buyer, industry-insider, or social media influencer attending in a professional capacity, you're unlikely to get in.
The good news is that the London Fashion Week digital hub is updated year-round and is free and accessible to anyone interested in viewing or buying collections. The provisional digital line-up for February 2022 is a varied schedule of catwalk shows, presentations, appointments, and events throughout the city. So what else can you do to celebrate in London if you’re feeling inspired by the trade's top fashions?
Explore the collections and exhibitions at the V&A
The Victoria & Albert Museum sets the standard for almost every other design-focused museum in the world, and alongside its permanent fashion collection (head to Room 40), it hosts exceptional exhibitions that put the spotlight on groundbreaking designers, such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, and Christian Dior. Fashion in Motion is a series of live fashion events held at the V&A desgined to bring the catwalk experience to a wider audience. Best of all, entrance to the museum is free (pre-book your entry time), and tickets to temporary exhibitions rarely cost more than £20.
Browse or buy unique pieces
Whether you’re window-shopping or looking for a complete wardrobe refresh, London has you covered, from the luxury of Liberty on Regent Street or Selfridges on Oxford Street, to quirky finds at Annie’s Vintage Costume & Textiles in Camden.
London's suburban high streets are often home to charity shops, volunteer-run stores selling donated pre-loved fashions. Quality varies, but one known for its boutique vibe and top-notch clothing is Mary's Living & Giving Shop in Islington, where you might find designer dresses or jackets for £60 to £80, with proceeds going to support a children's charity.
The London neighborhood of Spitalfields, Dalston, Shoreditch and Brick Lane is also worth visiting for a variety of second-hand and thrift stores stocking unusual and one-of-a-kind items. Vintage sportswear can be found at the stalls in Old Spitalfields Market.
Go where you can see and be seen
Your chances of sashaying into an exclusive after-show soiree are slimmer than slim, and since the British Fashion Council isn't hosting an official Show Space and the locations of the physical events hasn't been announced, it's even harder to stumble upon the Fashion Week crowd.
Your best bet might be to book in for your beauty sleep at the official hotel of London Fashion Week, The Londoner in Leicester Square, and you might just find yourself rubbing shoulders with some of the fashion set over breakfast, or a Bloody Mary.
Or refuse to be a dedicated follower of fashion
It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the least sustainable, and activist collective Extinction Rebellion has previously called for London to cancel similar fashion events entirely. No demonstrations or protests against London Fashion Week 2022 are overtly being advertised at the moment, but the group's message remains: we need to reduce our impact on the environment by up-cycling, swapping, and buying second-hand.
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