If you’re not lucky enough to get a ticket to next week’s London Fashion Week AW14, don’t worry – there are plenty of other ways to enjoy LFW fever in London.
From couture cocktails to catwalk shows, we’ve picked out the coolest official and unofficial London Fashion Week events – and, best of all, they’re open to everyone!
International Fashion Showcase 2014
Discover emerging designers from around the world at the International Fashion Showcase. Organised by the British Council and British Fashion Council, the umbrella event sees 30 embassies and cultural institutions across the capital exhibit works by emerging fashion designers from their countries. And, for the first time, you can catch 14 of the showcases in one place: 180 The Strand.
London Fashion Weekend
After London Fashion Week, Somerset House remains a buzz of activity with London Fashion Weekend (20-23 Feb). Unlike LFW, it’s open to everyone (with a ticket), so you can make like Anna Wintour and catch all the action from the front row. Catwalk showcases feature Julien Macdonald, Amanda Wakeley, Farhi by Nicole Farhi and Maria Grachvogel. You’ll also get the chance to shop top designer brands, attend industry talks and get a free Limited Edition Designer Tote Bag. Plus if you’ve got your own fashion blog, you can apply to be the Official London Fashion Weekend SS14 Blogger!
Juergen Teller ‘Bus Stops’
If you take a bus along The Strand during London Fashion Week, check out the tops of the bus-stop shelters and you’ll spot a series of photographs by top fashion photographer and artist Juergen Teller. This uniquely placed exhibition has been organised by Transport for London and gallery Annin Arts as part of celebrations for the Year of the Bus. The photos portray well-known faces from the fashion industry and beyond, including Kate Moss, Bjork and Dame Vivienne Westwood. Just make sure you nab a window seat on the correct side of the top deck!
The Vintage Collections: Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair
To mark London Fashion Week, Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair is hosting a special edition entitled The Vintage Collections. Known as ‘the Selfridges of vintage’, the fair will present a highlight of the LFW schedule, with style inspiration for the coming season. There’ll be 50 traders offering womenswear, menswear and accessories from classic London labels such as Vivienne Westwood, Ossie Clark and Biba – plus a tearoom, an alterations service, makeovers and more.
X Guestlist Catwalk Show at Vibe Bar
Brick Lane’s happening Vibe Bar is hosting its own alternative to London Fashion Week, the X Guestlist Catwalk Show. As well as catwalk showcases by designers Elena Ferti, Yan Neo and Jenny Sun, there’ll be an exhibition of work by Mia Hawk and Benjamin Jensen.
London Fashion Week Cocktails
Maybe it’s something to do with Sex & The City, but cocktails and fashion seem to be the perfect pairing – just like Carrie and Big (eventually). Bartenders across London are busy conjuring up fashion-themed cocktails ready for the LFW set. The PJ Lounge at Mayfair hotel Dukes St James London has a limited-edition cocktail menu for February, featuring tipples such as The Cara, The Kate and The Karl.
Drake & Morgan (the people behind The Refinery, The Parlour and other London restaurants and bars) have had a similar brainwave, and during LFW will be serving cocktails inspired by classic fashion icons: including The Brigitte Bardot (bourbon, brandy, sugar syrup, egg yolk, cream and chocolate powder) and The Jackie Kennedy (white rum, lime, sugar syrup and Maraschino Liqueur).
Skinny Salads at Mews of Mayfair
Close by, restaurant/bar Mews of Mayfair will be catering for model diets with its limited-edition range of low-calorie Skinny Salads, paired with ‘super-slim Couture Cocktails’. There are four pairings to choose from, including Hot Smoked Salmon accompanied by a flute of English Garden fizz (in total: 235 calories) and Prawn & Crayfish Salad with Mutiny Mews (146 calories). Available 14-18 Feb only.
Help A Capital Child LFW Party
This Valentine’s Day, show some real love and book a ticket for the Help a Capital Child LFW Party. The shindig at London’s Sway will raise money for Capital FM’s Help A Capital Child charity, and promises to be great fun, with catwalk shows from London’s hottest emerging designers, DJs, music and partying until 3am.
Italian Valentine Fashion Night
The very same evening, the Italian Valentine Fashion Night will take place at Il Bottaccio near Hyde Park, featuring some of the best fashion and homeware brands from Italy and raising money for the Amy Winehouse Foundation with a charity auction. There’ll also be a special performance by Mitch Winehouse and other celebrities.