Visit London Blog » fashion Enjoy the very best of London Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Video of the Week: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier Fri, 04 Apr 2014 09:51:09 +0000

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier opens at Barbican Art Gallery next week. In this video, the French avant-garde designer describes why London is a special place. The much-anticipated show brings together more than 140 cutting edge garments, including the conical bra and corsets worn by Madonna, stage costumes worn by Kylie Minogue and pieces created for Luc Besson’s film The Fifth Element.

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London Fashion Week: Fashion Exhibitions in London Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:00:25 +0000 From The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. Kylie Minogue, 2008. William Baker. The Surrealists collection, “Médée” gown Haute couture fall/winter 2006–2007 © 2008, Darenote Ltd. All rights reserved

The capital is gearing up for the start of London Fashion Week which begins on Thursday. But it’s not the only display of fashion finery in town.

Learn about fashion’s icons and see their fabulous designs at these fashion-forward exhibitions.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House

Explore the amazing life and wardrobe of Isabella Blow, the legendary fashion director who is credited with discovering and nurturing the likes of designers Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan, as well as models Sophie Dahl and Stella Tennant. Try to tie in your visit to Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! with one of the special related events, be it a free tour or the documentary about ‘the empress of fashion’ Diana Vreeland. Until 2 Mar

The Cloth. Photo credit: Anita Cobin. From the V&A exhibition Club to Catwalk

Club to Catwalk at the V&A

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s closes bang in the middle of LFW (on 16 Feb), so if you haven’t been yet, don’t miss your chance! This popping exhibition explores the creative explosion of London fashion during the 80s, and the influence of club styles such as New Romantic and High Camp. See outfits worn by Adam Ant and Leigh Bowery, and discover the bold, experimental new looks being conjured by the bright young designers of the day, such as Betty Jackson, Katharine Hamnett and John Galliano. Until 16 Feb

Dress worn by Princess Margaret

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace

The changing styles of British fashion are brilliantly illustrated through Fashion Rules, an exhibition of rare dresses once worn by Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales. Spot the nipped-in waist of the buoyant 1950s, the short hemlines of the defiant 1960s, the sparkles and shoulder pads of the outrageous 1980s – the Royals knew the fashion of the day, and made sure they followed it! Entry to the exhibition is included in admission to Kensington Palace, so save enough time to explore this remarkable building – we can’t guarantee you’ll bump into Wills, Kate and George though (even if they do live there!). Until 2015

Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol at the Fashion & Textile Museum

Fabulous fashion would be nothing without fabulous textiles. In Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol, the Fashion  & Textile Museum explores the history of 20th century art in textiles – featuring more than 200 rare pieces (many of which have never been seen before) by Salvador Dalí, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, among others. See how artistic movements such as Cubism and Pop Art influences textile designs, and how the public engaged with modern art through their clothing and home furnishings. Until 17 May

The Anatomy of a Suit at Museum of London

What makes a suit? Find out in the Museum of London’s free exhibition The Anatomy of a Suit. The museum’s experts have dissected a selection of retro suit jackets, picked up from London markets, to discover the engineering that lies within. Find out how clever tailoring and design can change the shape of the wearer’s body, and discover the trade secrets of the nimble-fingered tailor. Until 1 Jun

Paul Smith in his office. Courtesy of the Design Museum

Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum

The Design Museum is celebrating the world and work of Paul Smith, acclaimed British fashion designer. In Hello, My Name is Paul Smith you can find out how his quintessentially British label began in Nottingham and went on to become one of the leading brands in the world – plus discover what’s next in store. Until 22 Jun

COMING SOON: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier at the Barbican

Ok, so it doesn’t start until April but we had to give a mention to this very exciting exhibition coming to the Barbican. The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is the first major exhibition devoted to the acclaimed French couturier, and features more than 180 cutting-edge couture and ready-to-wear garments, including Madonna’s infamous conical bra and corsets, stage costumes designed for Kylie Minogue and pieces created for the films of Pedro Almodóvar and Luc Besson‘s The Fifth Element. There’ll also be footage of catwalk shows, concerts, music videos, dance performances and Gaultier’s cult television show Eurotrash. Book now! 9 Apr to 17 Aug

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What’s On This Weekend. 1-3 November 2013 Mon, 28 Oct 2013 08:15:54 +0000

The start of November sees some fantastic events in our capital – check out a world-beating range of cars, listen to a beautiful and innovative new piece of classical music, or head to London’s green spaces for some spectacular fireworks.

The Regent Street Motor Show

Regent Street will be closed off to traffic this Saturday to host a spectacular display of cars from throughout automotive history. From examples of early steam cars to the latest and greatest supercars, there is something for every petrolhead at this free event. Find out who won the Concours d’Elegance,  in which 100 veteran cars are entered, see a special display of Aston Martins to celebrate the marque’s 100th anniversary and have a go in their Pit Stop Challenge. Entry is free and the event runs from 10am to 4pm. 2 Nov

Secular Requiem

There are some exquisite pieces of music used at religious funerals, but what about ceremonies of death for those without religion? For the very first time, a large-scale work has been created that provides a musical exploration of death and bereavement for a secular audience. There are five movements, each representing a different stage of grief, and the traditional Latin text has been replaced by readings from literary figures such as Thomas Hardy and John Donne. Hear the work performed for the first time in London at Cadogan Hall on Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets are £22. 2 Nov

Tube150: Behind the Scenes Open Weekend

What better way to enjoy the 150th anniversary of the London Underground than with a tour of the London Transport Museum Depot in Acton? Visitors can browse the collection of more than 400,000 items, which include tube art, vehicles, photographs, photographs and much more. You can also enjoy talks, miniature railway rides, demonstrations, heritage bus rides and much more. Adult tickets are £10. 1-3 Nov

Fireworks Night in London

Celebrate Guy Fawkes’ failure to blow up the Houses of Parliament at the many bonfire night celebrations around London.  The city hosts many spectacular displays, and this year sees the much anticipated return of the Alexandra Palace display, which has long been one of the biggest and best. See our event page for individual event dates and times. 1 – 5 Nov

The Stylist’s Rail

Head to Dalston to bag some unique fashion bargains at The Stylist’s Rail this Saturday. Held at the Birthdays bar in Dalston, the monthly event features stalls from independent London stylists, vintage collectors and ASOS marketplace traders. You have between 12pm and 5pm to bag a bargain, and entry is free2 Nov

More London events

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Visiting the Past: Hanover Square’s Fashionable History Wed, 17 Apr 2013 09:30:52 +0000 If you stray off the top end of Regent Street or Bond Street you might find yourself in Hanover Square, once the site of a very famous fashion house. Lucy Wallace (born Sutherland) set up a dressmaking establishment in the West End in 1894, after divorcing her first husband.

Following several changes of address and an aspirational marriage to Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, Maison Lucile settled at 23 Hanover Square.

Lucile was an innovator and was particularly good at marketing. She sold matching lingerie; dressed actresses and musical comedy stars on and off-stage; opened a branch in New York; and briefly designed a mail order fashion line for Sears, Roebuck & Co.

The designer was also one of the first to promote dresses with fashion shows, which not only attracted female clients but also gentlemen who came to stare at the beautiful models.

After 1920, Lucile retired from her business but continued to broadcast and write about fashion. She published her autobiography, aptly named Discretions and Indiscretions, not long before her death on 20 April 1975 (78 years ago this week). Despite her contribution to the fashion world, Lucile became best known for having survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912.

Museum of London

A guest post by Beatrice Behlen from the Museum of London as part of our Visiting the Past series. More fascinating London history next week

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Disney Princesses at Harrods, Knightsbridge Tue, 06 Nov 2012 12:23:53 +0000 Sleeping Beauty by Elie Saab Mulan by Missoni Snow White by Oscar de la Renta Cinderella by Versace The Disney Castle at Harrods Tiana by Ralph and Russo

Disney fans are in for a festive treat at Harrods, where Disney Princesses are the stars of its magical Christmas window display.

The Knightsbridge department store has asked internationally renowned designers such as Valentino and Versace to create new gowns for some of Disney’s best loved characters, and the results are fantastic in every sense of the word. In each of the store’s main windows you’ll see spellbinding scenes that feature princesses such as Cinderella dressed by Versace, Snow White by Oscar de la Renta and Mulan by Missoni. Modern yet true to the Disney films, these captivating dresses really bring the characters to life, and it’s easy to lose track of time as you stand in front of the magical display. The gowns will be on view throughout the festive season, after which they will be auctioned for charity.

Those inspired by these sparkling windows can then head up to Harrods‘ first floor, which is home to equally beautiful gowns by the world’s leading designers. Budding princesses will also love the Disney pop-up shop on the fourth floor, as it contains everything children need to recreate their favourite films. There’s even a treat for mums at the Cinderella Slipper salon, which carries a sparkling selection of shoes in both child and adult sizes.

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Malaysia Night in London 2012 Mon, 08 Oct 2012 09:15:49 +0000 dragon Ladies on a bench Dignitaries opening the night by cutting the ribbon Musicians with traditional Malaysian instruments Preparing delicious Malaysian food Dancers on stage Traditional curries and noodle dishes Yummy! A couple in ceremonial dress

Last Friday, London was treated to a tantalising glimpse of the exotic at the third annual Malaysia Night in Trafalgar Square. The event, which attracted thousands of people despite the rain, demonstrated the huge variety of Malaysia’s culture and provided a spectacular start to London’s 2012 Malaysia Week.

The event was officially opened by a group of Malaysian luminaries, including Dr Wong Lai Sum, Dr Syed Kamal and renowned shoe designer Jimmy Choo. Speaking at the event, member of the London Assembly James Cleverly pointed out that ‘Malaysia has a huge affinity with London’, explaining that the city’s diversity is an important factor in the close links between the two locations.

After the dignitaries cut the huge ribbon on stage, London was treated to spectacular entertainment that included colourfully-attired dancers, a spellbinding fashion show and haunting melodies from musicians using traditional Malaysian instruments. Around the square, stalls representing London’s best Malaysian restaurants sizzled with freshly cooked delights that ranged from traditional curries to sumptuously plump Malaysian pancakes.

Fortunately for those now hooked on Malaysia’s many delights, the South Bank is hosting Malaysia Week from now until 10 October. Here you’ll  find cultural exhibitions, traditional board games and, of course, the country’s delicious cuisine. As those who attended Malaysia Night will attest, the wealth of what’s on offer will even make you forget it’s raining!

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London Photo of the Week: Trafalgar Square, 1957 Sat, 01 Oct 2011 08:00:38 +0000

This photo of Trafalgar Square in 1957 makes us want to rush to London’s vintage fashion shops and fill our wardrobes with pretty dresses!

Krogen shared this great photo with the Visit London Flickr group. If you have some facinating vintage photos of London, we would love to see them!

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Ecuador in London: Fashion Designer Soraya Fernandez Tue, 06 Sep 2011 09:00:23 +0000 Soraya Fernandez is a fashion designer inspired by the colourful cultural art of her home country, Ecuador. She lives and works in London, creating unique designs for her own fashion label, Soraya Fernandez DF.

Why did you leave Ecuador for London?

I love London, it is a city that always hypnotised me. I came to live in London more than one year ago because I feel it is one of those perfect places to experience a new life and is ideal for me to develop my profession – there are many opportunities.  I always search for a historical aspect to the places where I walk, and find a lot of inspiration.

Is there an Ecuadorian community in London?

Yes, there is a very large Ecuadorian community in London. I am more connected to communities based in South East London, where I live. I am involved with a group known as Nueva Generacion, which is a workshop for Latin American people who raise awareness of social issues, stimulating change and promoting our culture.

Do you know of any Ecuadorian places to visit in London?

Around Elephant and Castle there are some very good restaurants and shops specialising in Ecuadorian food. On the weekend at La Tienda Latina in the shopping centre you can taste typical food. And there are some very good live bands on the weekend at Costa Azul restaurant and Parrilladas del Sur on Old Kent Road.

How would you describe your designs? Are influenced by Ecuador?

My designs are a reflection of my vision of the Andean world view. In Ecuador we have many ethnic groups which provide a colourful magic and allegory in their traditional costumes and handicrafts.

I like that people are not dressed for reasons of fashion or trend – clothing is something that identifies each individual. So I don’t repeat my designs, they are each unique.

How can people buy your clothes?

I sell my work online and to individual customers. My work includes designing and making tailored suits, cocktail dresses, wedding dresses, luxury dresses – all to suit an individual style and made with the highest quality.  

What do you hope to do next?

I’m currently working on the release of my autumn/winter collection for stores that sell work of independent fashion designers in London. I’m also working on a project called Almas del Cuarto Oscuro (Souls of the Darkroom) with Fotosynthesis,  which is a community project founded by a group of photographers.

Where else can you find Ecuadorian culture in London? Tell us in the comments below.

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London Video of the Week: 100 Years of East London Style in 100 Seconds Fri, 02 Sep 2011 14:00:12 +0000

Here’s a great video from Westfield’s YouTube channel to celebrate the arrival of Westfield Stratford City later this month.

There are so many fantastic things about this vid. I love the music, the dance, and of course, seeing all the brilliant, iconic East End fashions through the ages.

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Tommy Nutter: Rebel on the Row at the Fashion & Textile Museum Fri, 20 May 2011 11:00:55 +0000 The latest exhibition at the Fashion & Textile Museum celebrates the work of Tommy Nutter (1943-1992), Savile Row’s rebel tailor.

During the swinging 60s, the understated traditional suits of Savile Row were considered boring and the fashionable flocked to menswear boutiques on Carnaby Street for brightly coloured suits and shirts. When Nutters of Savile Row opened in 1969, the two worlds collided. Rock stars, artists and the stylish embraced Nutter’s bespoke suits because they were fashionable as well as beautifully crafted.

The exhibition includes suits, jackets, sketches and a couple of pieces of knitwear. Some of the suits are very much of their time, made from velvet or satin, with flares and flouncy trim. They are the sort of outfits worn by celebs on those old episodes of Morecombe and Wise. But the Fashion & Textile Museum understands the zeitgeist and these suits feel unexpectedly fresh and exciting.

As well as fans of fashion, tailoring and style, this exhibition is also perfect for music fans as suits have been loaned by stars like Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Cilla Black and Elton John. Nutter made astonishing jumpsuits for Elton’s 80s tours, as well as a coral flared jumpsuit for Neil Sedaka which is amusingly 70s. It says a lot about Nutter’s star-attracting style that one of The Beatles turned up at the exhibition’s private view last night. (Ringo! Very exciting.)

Admission also includes entry to a small photography exhibition of work by Justin De Villeneuve featuring Twiggy at the legendary London department store Biba.

Tommy Nutter is on at the Fashion and Textile Museum from 20 May to 22 October 2011. Adult £8, concessions £5.

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