It’s exciting, ground-breaking and exclusive. If you want to experience this top fashion industry event, here’s what you need to know about LFW and enjoying the capital.
What’s on at London Fashion Week 2016
LFW spring/summer SS17 isn’t just catwalk shows; there are dinners, presentations and a variety of events taking place across the capital during the six days. Highlights include:
- Thursday 15: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania & Melissa launch party
- Friday 16: Paul Costelloe presentation
- Saturday 17: Julien Macdonald show
- Sunday 18: Temperley London show
- Monday 19: NEWGEN Pop-up Showroom: Marta Jakubowski
- Tuesday 20: Amanda Wakeley presentation.
The official London Fashion Week schedule provides plenty more details. Alternatively, the subsequent, open-to-the-public London Fashion Weekend features shows from Preen, Sibling and J. JS Lee, plus talks by Agent Provocateur, Patrick Grant and Brix Smith Start. A full run down (names are still to be announced) is available on the London Fashion Weekend site.
Read about our highlights from LFW fall/winter 2016 (held in February).
Who might you see at LFW?
Aside from the big designers, it’s guaranteed the events – certainly the catwalk shows – will be teeming with celebrities. Past ‘attendees’ include Cara Delevigne, Kate Moss, Paloma Faith, Karlie Kloss, The Beckhams, Alexa Chung, Suki Waterhouse and a spattering of Hollywood film stars, so brush off those over-sized designer sunglasses and get schmoozing.
The city – what to see and do
London is arguably the greatest city on the planet – certainly during LFW, it will be the focus of the world. If you’re visiting during this time, you definitely have to take advantage of everything the capital has to offer. Here’s our pick of the where to go, what to do and where to be seen in London.
Occupy yourself away from the crowds
The Houses of Parliament, Westminster, Buckingham Palace – yes, yes, yes, you’ve been there, done that. Seen them all from the window of your Black Cab en route to the Mulberry Show. To avoid the crowds and see an attraction that many, even some Londoners, never knew existed, seek out the Roof Gardens in Kensington. Endorsed by Sir Richard Branson, no less, it comprises three themed gardens set high among the hustle and bustle below. And you can enjoy a coffee or cocktail while there, too.
Image: The Roof Gardens
If retail therapy is what you need, shop away from prying eyes at famous store, Liberty, with its private shopping service. This is more than just a session with a stylist; you can spend two hours browsing the iconic shop’s full product range, perhaps inspired by what you’ve seen on the catwalks.
Should you need to relax, visit the beautiful Corinthia Hotel ESPA spa, rated by Tatler among London’s finest. A day spa package pass entitles you to use all facilities (including the Experience showers, Amphitheatre Sauna and Vitality Pool) plus bespoke, seasonal treatments which will revitalise and refresh.
Where to be seen out of hours
Our writer, Sophie, shared some great places for you to refresh and refuel with the fashion glitterati in her blog on LFW FW16, but London being London – ever changing and evolving – there are naturally more hotspots to discover. One is the Sanctum Soho Hotel Roof Terrace, a ‘first-come, first served’ tranquil and elegant hidden gem. Not only is there a 24-hour bar, but you have access to a hot tub, too.
Nola, in Shoreditch, is described as a ‘speakeasy’, and is accessed by an ‘inconspicuous’ staircase at the back of the Bedroom Bar. It doles out Southern-style hospitality and great New Orleans cocktails.
Perhaps the most secret is Lounge Bohemia, hidden away next to a kebab shop in Shoreditch. Patrons of the Soviet-themed bar are admitted ‘by appointment only’, so you can be guaranteed exclusivity. The website reveals nothing but contact details.
Other places to check out in London
- A guide to The King's Road
- Best walking tours of London
- London Fashion Week hotspots
- London spas that are perfect for detoxing
- Ten things you need to know about London
Eat with the elite
London boasts more restaurants and quirky eateries than you can shake a breadstick at, many of which have served some famous diners. You could go back to The Ivy or Nobu, but why not try somewhere else? The Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone, is a renowned nightmare to book, but justifiably so, with people clambering to sample its trendy menu. Kate Moss, Jon Hamm, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have all been spotted here. You won’t see any Big Brother wannabes there, that’s for sure.
For an Italian to dream of, head to Mayfair and the striped marble floors of Cecconi’s, where reportedly Madonna and Stella McCartney have been seen. Non-pretentious, it modestly describes itself as a ‘modern day classic Italian restaurant’. Go for breakfast, then back for dinner and cocktails.
Anywhere that has fed a top celebrity chef has got to be worth a visit, right? Counting Gordon Ramsay among its clientele, J Sheekey is a seafood restaurant and oyster bar in Covent Garden, which attracts all kinds of famous faces, particularly those from the stage. Enjoy your assiette de fruits de mer in a relaxed atmosphere, keeping an eye out for Sienna Miller or Suki Waterhouse.
Other places to eat
- London's best Champagne bars
- London's luxury fish and chip shops
- London's best tasting menus
- London's best experiential bars
Where to stay in London
A LUXOS favourite is the opulent Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge, a luxury hotel which is as stylish as you would expect. Its facilities, too, are second to none, featuring a cinema, cigar shop and sampling room, 25-metre pool, ballroom and spa. The spacious rooms are stunning and well worth you extending your stay beyond LFW.
For something more discreet, the San Domenico House in Chelsea is billed as a home that ‘will excite and delight you’. Minutes away from Sloane Square, this hotel offers privacy and superior levels of service, with an eclectic décor – all combining to produce a unique, lavish experience.
For something more ‘boutique’, Dean Street Townhouse, with just 39-rooms, could be perfect. Located in the heart of Fashion Week action, in Soho, the Georgian residence offers contemporary classical décor, free-standing bathtubs and four poster beds (in the biggest rooms), plus fine dining to knock your on-trend ankle socks off.
Well, if you’re going to do London Fashion Week, you really ought to do it in style!
Other places to stay