Even in the midst of an unprecedented, historic period of mourning, London Fashion Week’s vibes were second to none

This season’s London Fashion Week was heralded as the industry’s first real homecoming since the pandemic: a celebration, a return to the community at the heart of it all. But a week after opening night, an unprecedented event took place: the death of its longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

The country immediately entered an official 10-day period of mourning, and shortly after the announcement, the British Fashion Council issued an address canceling all parties and non-essential events. Important names, such as Burberry and Raf Simons, that is put the stick on their showswhich led to an emergency call with over 200 industry people on Zoom to discuss whether the week should be completely canned to avoid the backlash that would undoubtedly come from e.g. Daily Mail to continue. But in the end, the decision, made through separate WhatsApp chats between designers in the hours that followed, was to present a united front in support of London’s debut and young talent: those who had organized sponsors, spent beyond their means and gathered help from friends, relatives and volunteers to assemble their collections, all against the backdrop of a looming recession.

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