Entertainment & Arts

What to look out for at London Fashion Week

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Media captionStreet style - what people are really wearing at London Fashion Week

It was good news for fans of catwalks and cocktail parties on Thursday evening as London Fashion Week got under way.

The event is held twice a year, in February and September, and is sandwiched between New York Fashion Week (which concluded on Wednesday), and Milan, which begins next week.

Designers' collections remain a closely-guarded secret until they debut on the catwalk, but here are a few things to look out for over the weekend.


Plus-size protests

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Image caption Hayley Hasselhoff (fourth from the left) led the protest on Friday

A group of plus-size models took to the streets of London on Friday morning to protest against the use of size zero models at fashion week.

They were led by David Hasselhoff's daughter, 25-year-old Hayley - a vocal advocate for the plus-sized model industry.

Criticism of the use of slim models in fashion is nothing new, but the campaign to see larger body types represented has been gathering steam in recent years.

One designer who has actively started using plus-size models is Michael Kors, whose show in New York earlier this week starred Ashley Graham and Sabina Karlsson.

The body image debate isn't the only controversy that regularly crops up at fashion weeks.

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Image caption Campaigners for Peta protested at London Fashion Week on Friday

Anti-fur campaigners often protest outside fashion shows. Several turned up to Marc Jacobs's show in New York on Wednesday with placards reading: "Animals are not ours to wear."

Meanwhile, in London, campaigners for Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) went topless as part of a flash mob protest at one of fashion week's flagship venues on the Strand on Friday.


Christopher Bailey's last Burberry show

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Image caption Christopher Bailey has been credited with helping turn the brand around

In October, Christopher Bailey announced he was leaving Burberry after 17 years.

The company's chief creative officer has been credited with helping turn the brand around.

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Media captionChristopher Bailey joined Burberry in 2001

When he arrived in 2001, Burberry's brand had become overexposed and associated with footballers and soap stars rather than high-end fashionistas.

Bailey helped change all that, helping the famous check print become more chic, cutting-edge and exclusive - drastically increasing the company's share price in the process.

Image copyright Burberry
Image caption The new Burberry scarf is inspired by the LGBT flag

All eyes will be on Burberry on Saturday evening as the company's final collection under his tenure debuts.

The collection will be at least partly dedicated to LGBT communities - after the label unveiled a rainbow print earlier this week.


Rubbish and recycling

Image copyright Vin and Omi

Two designers say they're bringing a "political message" to the London event with clothes made from plastic bottles and sustainable wool.

Vin and Omi say it's almost impossible for low-cost high street clothes to be ethical.

The pair make their own textiles and say they want people to think about the waste created by our clothes.

They aren't the only designers who are keen to champion sustainability.

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Image caption Richard Malone's show was one of the first of the LFW schedule
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Image caption His show was inspired by the market stalls from his hometown of Wexford

One of the first shows in London was Irish designer Richard Malone, whose latest collection was inspired by the markets in his hometown of Wexford.

In a trade-like setting complete with rolled-up carpets, models were seen wearing clothes that looked like they could've been made made with materials gathered from colourful and varied fabric stalls (and even from discarded fruit nets).

Malone also uses recycled fabrics and still works with a community of weavers in southern India who he has partnered with since his first collection.


Homegrown talent

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Image caption Molly Goddard's designs helped her win the British emerging talent prize at the 2016 Fashion Awards

There are plenty of established designers and brands at London Fashion Week, but the industry will also be closely watching collections from some of fashion's newer upcoming talents.

Sadie Williams, who was named one of Selfridges Bright Young Things in 2013, will show her latest collection on Saturday afternoon.

Molly Goddard, who won the British emerging talent prize at the 2016 Fashion Awards, will also be showcasing her latest collection on Saturday.

But it's not all about clothes - as shoe designer Sophia Webster launches her latest collection on Monday.

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Image caption Sophia Webster is known for her eye-catching footwear designs

London Fashion Week runs until Tuesday.


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