13 February 2014 by

Our Guide To London Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2014 (When You Don’t Have A Ticket)

With all the immediacy and instant coverage of the shows during fashion weeks, with multiple live drip-feed of looks from the catwalk to just about everyone’s ‘First Look’ Instagram snap from the FROW (you basically get a panoramic view of the catwalk from the 100s of phones dangling in the air) – firestarters often start asking ‘who needs a show nowadays anyway?’.

Well at Grazia, we do! The music, the atmosphere, the location, the mood – they are all very special ways to understand the new collections and that designer’s new direction. But happily – a lot of this buzz is available to everyone! Most notably with the new location of this season’s Topshop Show Space: the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall.

The Turbine Hall at Tate Modern [Topshop]

The Topshop Show Space hosts no less than 7 of the shows on the LFW’s busy schedule including: Michael Van Der Ham, Ashish, Marques Almeida, Simone Rocha, Fashion East, Meadham Kirchhoff and of course, Topshop Unique. Topshop are very generous hosts every season but the difference this year, is the total access the public have to the Turbine Hall - from the many platforms and tiers of the gallery anyone and everyone can watch the set-up, the rehearsals, the catwalk show itself AND all the get-out. We thought last season was all about Fashion 4 Art – this season the very models and the frow-ers will become the Tate’s latest installation.

Aside from these dizzy new heights of fashion voyeurism, there are plenty of ways to fall in love with the sartorial spirit of the city from Friday 14th:

1.    BFC – The Shop

The British Fashion Council’s pop-up shop at Somerset House returns again this season, brimming with Spring Summer 14 goodies. There’ll be plenty of Bella Freud, Markus Lupfer and Prism to snap up whilst admiring some fashion birds’ nests. Yes - in aid of RSPB, 11 British designers including Vivienne Westwood and Katherine Hamnett have designed installation nests that will be on display from Friday 14th until the shop closes on 23rd Feb, when they will be auctioned. Definitely worth dipping your beak into.

2.    International Fashion Showcase

The BFC are showcasing 30 countries’ most exciting new fashion talent over fashion week and beyond. The magic-weaving council have collaborated with a wealth of embassies from Argentina to Nigeria, The Philippines and back again to bring us 14 showcases, exhibits and shows. Runs from 13th-23rd Feb at 180 The Strand, WC2R 1EA.

3.    Topshop Virtual Front Row – Oxford Street Store

Alongside the fully immersive experience of LFW at the Turbine Hall – the clever team at Topshop have developed a Google-glass like headset that will take keen fashion fans straight into the show – as if they were right there, and in about 6 different places at once: participants will wear specially commissioned head-sets to enter the 360 degree virtual world which will be a hybrid of live feed of the runway, the backstage action, the VIP arrivals, the set design and animated features. All this available to customers on the 16th, 17th & 18th of February during store hours. This video explains it in a sort of abstract way!

4.    MA14 – London College of Fashion’s MA exhibition

London College of Fashion’s prized Fashion MA students will be flaunting their catwalk wares for all to see over the LFW period.  As well as a runway show for the press at 10.30am on Friday morning (which will also be live streamed here), the MA designs will be free for all to see from now until Sunday 16thFeb. We’re most excited to see the pastel delights of Barbara Kolasinski, Aristides Vanis and some luxe sportswear from Yuanxi Sun all pictured below.

From left: Aristides Vanis, Barbara Kolasinski,  & Yuanxi Su - [LCF]

5.    Internet interaction

Happily – whilst we’re all trudging between shows, most likely in pouring rain and pushing and shoving our way into our favourite collections, much of LFW can be delved into from one’s very own sofa. Instagram is an obvious course – follow @britishfashioncouncil for the official line but there are a trillion editors, bloggers and stylists to follow so make sure you’ve updated your list. Models and crew backstage will be #LoveLFW with all their highlights too. Whilst many of the shows will be live streamed here – just keep clicking and refreshing to stay on the pulse of the new Autumn Winter 14 collections. For onsite interaction, head to Somerset House where numerous projection screens will collate all of the LFW-oriented social media content and get the 360 web experience, without clicking or scrolling a thing AND soak up the buzz as editors slide between the shows.

6.    Culture Cruising

If the busy vibes of Somerset House still don’t put you off – head to the Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! exhibit on site to absorb some truly inspirational fashion history  -
(tickets, £12.50 or £10 concessions).

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

If the incessant click-clack across the cobble stones is just too much, head elsewhere for your taste of culture. Explore the industry’s current (and evidently, eternal) obsession with the art world and visit London’s Fashion and Textile Museum to take in Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol (tickets, £3.80, or £6.60 concessions).

Or head to the Design Museum to take in Hello, My Name is Paul Smith or take in the much fawned-over fashion portraits at Bailey’s Stardust at the National Portrait Gallery.

Kate Moss by David Bailey

7.    River Island Designer Q&A with Katie Eary

Still craving a fashion fix after the eds have all jet off to Milan? Off-beat British designer Katie Eary will be answering a Q&A about her much awaited range for the high street chain. Head to 473 Oxford Street for 6.30pm for complimentary drinks and tote bag gifts with every purchase.

8. Vodafone Fashion Weekend

Shopping aplenty at last season's Vodafone London Fashion Weekend

Another way to keep the LFW love alive the following weekend is to buy a ticket to Vodafone’s London Fashion Weekend – a variety of packages ranging from £20 to £45 (the uber-luxe tickets have already sold out) will get you entrance to exclusive designer shopping, catwalk shows, trend shows and industry talks all taking place at the scene of the crime – Somerset House.

Whatever your fashion poison - there's a little (or a lot) of LFW to go round.


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Sandra Taggart (Sat Feb 15 17:17:46 GMT 2014): I just discovered a Virtual FAshion Space over at myshoppingspy.com/FROW where you can watch the london college of fashion show in 3D. absolutely amazing!