London Fashion Week: The Early Days

There' s never an occasion that the Neoclassical building of Somerset House - or more precisely the vast central courtyard area of it - would welcome this large bunch of peculiar visitors like during the London Fashion Week. The historical building plays the role of the main show space, and as happend at all the main show space of all fashion events, fashion birds of all colourful feathers flock together.

London is second to none when it comes to personal style - and this shows in the show audience: the quirky sensibility and that out-of-this-world colour combination belonging to London is something even other great fashion capitals cannot easily claim to match. Sadly, London is still a struggling city when it comes to its significance as fashion capital. It can' t even put key shows on early days due to conflicting schedule with some main shows in last days of New York, and in case of two seasons ago when Gucci kicked off Milan Fashion Week with its anniversary, followed closely by Prada show, London was struggling with all its might just to keep the number of models adequate for its final days.

Last season, London saw her hope. After Burberry Prorsum returned to London stage a fee seasons earlier, bringing with it a stellar crowd and media magnates, the city welcomed the show by McQ and a mini-showcase by Stella McCartney, giving its autumn/winter 2012-2013 showcase one of the most vibrant seasons in years.

Although that sort of vibe does not seem to be the case for this ongoing Spring/Summer 2013 season, London still has much to offer. Taking a leave from the runway show, Alexander McQueen's sipecond line McQ is busy celebrating the opening of the new store on Dover Street this month. Like Burberry, McQ seems to be enamoured with a mixture of British heritage and a knack for technological advancement. (Burberry is one of the first luxury houses to incorporate interactive elements in store and runway live streaming). McQ's Dover street flagship store boasts hi-tech mirror that allows customers to have a full look of themselves and send their image to friends by email or share on Facebook. When not in use as interactive mirror, it functions as a screen showing looks from the runway.

Another fun technological glitz at the McQ store is an interactive table. To be used with special slide and video box/frames - the table acts like a projector-cum-screen on which you can draw images and videos you want, adjust their sizes and even project onto the large screen by a single swipe up the top of the table.

It's notable that the store is designed by interior design David Collins undqer fetinishitic theme of "boudoir meets brutalism and futuristic, interactive hi-techs." Some of the concrete walls remain part of the store, especially on the stairs leading down to the menswear section.

Heirtage meets hi-tech should likely be the keyword for London to fight back its fashion capital crown, indeed.

About the author

columnist
Writer: Samila Wenin
Position: Freelance contributor