Fashion week starts this week and as we've all come to expect, the big musical chairs announcements are coming in thick and fast too. Last week we heard that Sally Singer had resigned from T magazine and Eva Chen from Teen Vogue and now you add Harold Tilman to that list. Yesterday the Business of Fashion confirmed that he has stepped down from his role as the chairman of the British Fashion Council.
Natalie Massenet has been appointed as his replacement and she seems like the perfect choice. Tilman has been instrumental in bringing in all of those key press and buyers that used to skip the London shows and Massenet, what with her all of her experience at Net-A-Porter, will no doubt help make London Fashion Week bring in more financially. But don't worry the role is only honorary so won't affect her position on the board of Net-A-Porter and while the standard commitment is three years, she has reportedly only signed up for one.
Last night the British Fashion Council hosted an event to announce the nominees for this year's British Fashion Awards and on the whole, there isn't many surprises.
Fash Pack favourite Stella McCartney lead the pack with a nod for the designer of the year award along with nominations for the red carpet award and designer brand too. The model category is probably the most predictable category with regulars like Jourdan Dunn,Cara Delevigne and David Gandy all receieving nominations.
'2012 has been a momenous yar and seen a nationwide celebration of British talent,' British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tilman said at The Savoy last night. 'The British Fashion Awards recognise and celebrate the exceptional individuals and brands who've defined out fashion industry over the past year and we're incredibly proud to announce these nominations who represent a cross section of British fashion talent.'
Despite working with London Fashion Week for the past four seasons, the A/W12 shows in February marked the first season that Vodafone served as the principal sponsor for the event and following that success this morning they confirmed that they have a big fashion project in the works.
Following in the footsteps of their successful partnership with Richard Nicoll last season, today they confirmed that they've just entered into a two season partnership with fashion favourite, Mary Katrantzou, which is set to officially launch in February.
As the partnership is still in it's infant stages, nothing concrete has been confirmed about what the projects will be but what we do know is that the collaboration will allow Vodafone customers access to her show and potentially the chance to meet her backstage.
For a while now we've known that Kate Moss will take part in the closing ceremony alongside other big British models like Naomi Campbell and Stella Tennant but even now, it's still unclear what, or who, they will down the runway. The latest issue of Vogue might reveal a clue.
To mark the event and in collaboration with the British Fashion Council, Vogue commissioned Nick Knight to shoot all of the models involved wearing British designers, leading people to speculate that the girls will wear the same brands for the closing event as they wear in the shoot.
In the issue Moss appears wearing a gold encrusted dress by Sarah Burton, as does Campbell, while Stella Tennant appears in Christopher Kane, Lily Cole and Donaldson in Erdem and Vivienne Westwood respectively, Georgia May Jagger in Victoria Beckham and Jourdan Dunn in Jonathan Saunders. I think it's safe to assume that they won't wear the same things but I'm sure the brand choice will be the same.
The London Collections in July were a hit. Press and buyers, who usually skip the old menswear day, all came to town and everyone from Prince Charles to Tinie Tempah hosted events in the capital over the course of the three day festivities. Thankfully, it won't be a one off. Today the British Fashion Council confirmed that London's first men's fashion week is officially here to stay and will return in January 2013.
Joining GQ editor Dylan Jones, Tinie Tempah, Tom Ford and David Walliams on the panel next year will be model Douglas Booth, actor Tom Hiddleston and artist Tracey Emin. Even more exciting about next season is the news that Ford will join the schedule by showing his menswear show, which will take place in the same month that his first British store on London's Sloane street will open. 'I am very pleased to be showing my menswear collection in London next January,' he said in statement. London has a vibrancy that is inspiring and much of what I create for men takes inspiration from traditional British menswear.
Yesterday was a really sad day as Aquascutum confirmed that are going into administration. In a statement the board explained that 'the senior management team have worked tirelessly to develop and build the Aquascutum brand and offer.'
Despite their efforts, the news didn't come as a surprise. For a long time reports have been surfacing confirming that the brand's financial problems were dire. Things looked like they were possibly on the up back in 2009 when British Fashion Council chairman Harold Tilman and Belinda Earl bought the company and brought on designer Joanna Sykes to serve as creative director but sadly the company continued to make significant losses. 'The challenging conditions in the UK, however, has unfortunately meant that the team have been unable to develop and build the Aquascutum brand' the statement said.
Earlier on this week the British Fashion Council played host to the third British Designer's Collective pop-up shop at Bicester Village and just about every journalist in London was there to celebrate. As we reported, Alexa Chung replaced Thandie Newton this year to open the shop in line with her new role as the BFC's Style Ambassador.
'I am proud to support Value Retail on their British Designers' Collective pop up store at Bicester Village,' she said. 'The initiative opens up a whole new market to the participating designers that they might not otherwise have access to at this stage in their career. I look forward to choosing some key pieces from their collections for myself.' Starting from this week, great British brands like Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders and Holly Fulton will be available for up to 60% percent off but for a limited time only so don't waste time. Get down there soon.
Earlier on this week Collin McDowell told an audience at London's Royal College of Arts that London is the most exciting fashion capital at the moment and it's true. Through the support of the British Fashion Council, Topshop NewGen and of course, McDowell's Fashion Fringe, editors and buyers can no longer afford to skip London Fashion Week. In fact, our homegrown talent are getting some of the biggest traction in the world right now.
Take Peter Pilotto for this example. This week the London based design duo visited Saks Fifth Avenue in New York to view a series of windows that the department store has dedicated to their much-loved S/S12 collection as well as their new space on the shop floor. In a conversation with McDowell this week Erdem too said that things changed for him when former Barneys fashion director Julie Gilhart bought his first collection seven years ago and the department store has done so ever since. So the tides are really changing for British designers in the international sphere. Far from just being creative, their collections are actually proving to be commercially viable too.
“A while ago, it was like you had to start in London and try to get out of there as soon as possible and move to Paris or New York,” Pilotto said during an interview at Saks. “But London Fashion Week is becoming a stronger fashion week. It’s great. I guess London has realized it has to support its new talent since there aren’t too many of the big old houses.” When asked about the increasing popularity of London Fashion Week, he said: “People go because they really enjoy seeing it,” not because it’s an obligation or a big advertiser or anything. Everyone who goes there goes because they’re curious. They’re excited to see what’s coming."
The British Fashion Council are really doing well by British design talent. Over the past few seasons they've drawn in all of the key international press and their London Show Rooms that take place in both Los Angeles and Paris have helped expose these designers to an international audience. In L.A. for example, more and more celebrities are wearing British designers like Peter Pilotto and Christopher Kane thanks to these initiatives.
But it doesn't end there. Now they have partnered with thecorner.com to make the S/S12 collections of Felicity Brown, Todd Lynn, Simone Rocha and Louise Gray available to purchase online here.
Since Alexa Chung was announced as the new Style Ambassador for the British Fashion Council, they've been keeping her busy. Aside from her more general duty to promote British fashion talent abroad, Chung has also been booked to host the Scottish Fashion Awards and now she's working on something else too.
Today the BFC confirmed that the presenter will serve as the spokesperson for the annual British Designers Collective, which takes place at Bicester Village. Chung will replace Thandie Newton and open as well as host the launch of the initiative on March 21. Now in it's third year, the Designers Collective is a six-week pop-up shop based at the outlet shopping destination allowing international shoppers to discover great British brands like Holy Fulton, Jean-Pierre Braganza and Emma Cook, which are all available at discounted prices.