London was once considered the 'poor relation' of the fashion week family, its schedule shortened to fit in between New York and Milan...
Not anymore. In recent years, the Big Smoke has blown the competition out of the water with its innovative, experimental and totally unique vision — all of it served up with a gargantuan dose of British humour.
With the well-heeled style pack ready to descend on the capital as London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013 gets underway on Friday, here's what we're looking forward to.
Legendary designer Tom Ford is, for the first time ever, appearing on the schedule. His presentations used to be exclusive Madison Avenue affairs behind closed doors, with the likes of Beyonce and Julianne Moore modelling alongside Karen Elson and Daphne Guinness.
On Monday night Tom, a self-confessed Anglophile who loves TOWIE, will put on a presentation "for 500 to 1,000 people. Photographers, bloggers – a regular, real show". Expect to see Anne Hathaway on the front row as she's been wearing some of his elegant creations on the red carpet lately.
Among the A-list crowd-pullers no one is hotter right now than Rihanna, who will present her collaboration with high street retailer River Island at their first ever catwalk show.
To represent our own glam squad, model of the moment Cara Delevingne is coming home. She was hot property on the runways of Paris and New York, but the London-born beauty, who has recently moved into a North London property with model friend Georgia May Jagger, is set to take the capital by storm.
Britain's newest supermodel will, no doubt, be lending her stunning features to the Burberry show once again. As the face of the brand, Cara often walks their runway, and last year rumoured boyfriend Harry Styles was in the audience looking on.
But the presence of an A-lister on Burberry's front row was no one-off – the British brand always pulls a starry crowd, and expectations are high after Dita Von Teese, Dev Patel, Victoria Pendleton and Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray, along with his glamorous girlfriend Kim Sears, ramped up the star power at the label's last show.
Let's not forget the actual collections. Christopher Kane, who based his last offerings on Frankenstein with an array of garments featuring nuts and bolts, is bound to put on a good show. And Henry Holland – whose front row regulars include Alexa Chung, Kelly Osbourne and the Geldof girls – will inevitably reinvent the word 'cool' with brilliantly edgy offerings.
While Britain's number one poster girl the Duchess of Cambridge is unlikely to make an appearance, Kate Middleton's aura will be felt as her favourite designers unveil their latest wares. We can expect gorgeously ladylike confections from Emilia Wickstead, who works out of a tiny atelier close to the Middleton sisters stomping ground Chelsea.
Issa will unveil an updated version of their perennial favourite, the wrap dress, and Erdem is likely to reveal the new It dress for Autumn/Winter 2013.
For all the front row action, best collections and most stunning shows, visit fashionweek.hellomagazine.com/london-2013-autumn-winter
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