London Fashion Week struggles to mourn Elizabeth II

The death of Elizabeth II preceded London Fashion Week by a few days, which promised a gloomy Fashion Week, deprived of media attention. The big names in fashion were able to opt out, while young designers had no choice but to parade.

“Show must go on” as the saying goes. But can British fashion continue to parade as if nothing had happened while the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth is buried? It is to avoid being completely overshadowed by this news that big names in fashion like Burberry and Raf Simons have decided to cancel their shows scheduled for London Fashion Week. This one is held despite everything from September 15 to 20, 2022, as wanted by the British Fashion Council (BFC). Whatever it costs?

The state funeral of Elizabeth II that plagues London Fashion Week

Inspired by the restoration of art, the Erdem Spring-Summer 2023 collection examines “the space between care and obsession in the pursuit of preservation”, and appears almost as a tribute to the monument that was Elizabeth II.

Indeed, maintaining a parade in a period when the funeral of Elizabeth II monopolizes all the media attention is a risky bet. However, young creators and small brands cannot afford to cancel, because of the costs already incurred for their long-planned show (usually nearly six months in advance). Unable to back down, several designers parade therefore at all costs, in these particular conditions. The official BFC calendar indicates as follows:

There will be no activity scheduled for Monday, September 19 due to the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. All activations have been rescheduled or postponed. »

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Part of the collection presented by Dilara Findikoğlu during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023. © Instagram screenshot.

As noted by Guardianthe designer of Turkish origin Dilara Findikoğlu, for example, found herself parading on Saturday the 17th rather than Monday the 19th: two days less, that’s quite a penalty before a parade.

A funeral that indebted the young British fashion designer

That’s not all: not only have most parties been banned, but many parade sponsors, who help cover a large part of the costs of these shows cut to be grandiose, withdrew at the last moment. Since what interests them in sponsoring an event is the visibility that it is supposed to bring them. However, as all the media have their eyes fixed on the funeral of Elizabeth II, why support a small designer who will necessarily make less noise? Enough to indebted part of the young British fashion designer.

Worse, in this period of royal mourning, the BFC even suggests suspending all street style work: enough to fine a large number of street photographers, and even content creators for whom this represents a part of their livelihood, especially during Fashion Week.

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The final look from the JW Anderson Spring/Summer 2023 show. © Instagram screenshot.

Several designers have adapted part of their show according to this major news for the United Kingdom, this is the case for example of JW Anderson who closed his show with a t-shirt in tribute to the late Queen of the United Kingdom. Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, while Harris Reed’s bride carried a bouquet of lily of the valley, Elizabeth II’s favorite flower. This nevertheless represents a huge shortfall for this industry which usually brings in £32 billion to the country. And the domino effect of Elizabeth II’s death on the UK economy has only just begun…

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Feature photo credit: Instagram screenshots JW Anderson, Harris Reed, Erdem.

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London Fashion Week struggles to mourn Elizabeth II