From a live screening at Piccadilly Circus to a department stores collaboration to the spectacle of a giant cloud inside a palace, the 68th edition of London Fashion Week delivered a thrilling show of firsts.
Indeed, this season’s experiences embraced the very best of British quirkiness – none more so than the latest and largest activation by Anya Hindmarch. Back in February, the designer delighted the fashpack and the public alike with her open love letter to London in the "Chubby hearts" campaign.
This season, she returned with arguably the experience of this LFW, bringing a huge "Chubby cloud" to Historic Royal Palaces' magnificent Banqueting House for visitors to sit dreamily beneath a Rubens ceiling. The installation, inspired by the accessories designer’s cloud motif in her AW18 collection, was complemented by a programme of events inviting visitors to climb on and sink into the world’s largest bean bag. Across three days, a series of live talks, guided meditations and live music took place on the "cloud".
Hindmarch explained: "Inspired by our Chubby Collection, the world’s biggest beanbag will, quite literally, immerse people in our brand whilst listening to and experiencing things that we love."
Back on the front row, which the Queen herself graced in February, LFW this time around included its own fashion royalty moment as Victoria Beckham celebrated a decade of her brand. To celebrate the milestone, the Victoria Beckham brand appeared in the first-ever live stream of the catwalk show on the Piccadilly Lights, preceded by a video recapping the decade.
The event marked the culmination of the brand's out-of-home campaign and highlighted the recent revamp of Ocean Outdoor's digital site, bringing new capabilities and potential for experience-savvy creators.
Lavazza returned to LFW for the 18th year as coffee partner, with a pop-up activation to introduce its new ethical range, Tierra. Dennis Zoppi, one of Italy’s best-known mixologists, ran a series of masterclasses for guests at the Lavazza Bar showcasing coffee-based recipes made from the new organic blend.
"This year’s London Fashion Week is focused on positive fashion, and just as the LFW seeks to communicate the strides being made to help the fashion industry become more sustainable and conscious of the environment, we want to use it as a platform to raise awareness of the parallel steps that we are making within the field of coffee," Lavazza Coffee UK managing director David Rogers said.
Brand experience agencies involved in this season’s show included Momentum Worldwide, which introduced Platinum House, delivering exclusive experiences for American Express platinum card members. Set within the former site of Central Saint Martins, Platinum House featured performances from James Bay, food from Duck & Waffle and Hakkasan, a pop-up shop, a live art luggage graffiti wall with Jen Rubio of suitcase brand Away and fitness sessions hosted by Equinox.
A theme of inclusivity emerged from a number of campaigns tying in with LFW. Fortnum & Mason, Harrods and Harvey Nichols marked 100 years since women won the right to vote in the UK by unveiling window displays commemorating the suffrage movement in support of the Mayor of London and the British Fashion Council's #BehindEveryGreatCity initiative.
In Covent Garden, "female-first" dating app Bumble collaborated with Charlotte Simone to deliver the interactive BFF Hub, compete with boomerang swings, a friendship bracelet-making station and selfie spots – an unashamedly joyful experience designed to bring friends together between shows.
This LFW was a zen edition that brought together competing brands, democratised fashion through digital and opened doors across the city – and, perhaps fittingly, it will be best remembered for a dreamy giant cloud.