London Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the biggest events on the fashion industry’s calendar, and takes place every September and February. But if you’re not able to get to any of the LFW shows, or your trip to the nation’s capital doesn’t coincide with the weeks in question, what other fashion delights does London hold?
Take a look at fashion through the ages
Some people say you should never throw out any of your clothes as they’re bound to come back into fashion at some point in the future. And if you read the report conducted by Voucherbox that looks at the best known iconic items that followed Coco Chanel’s creation of the little black dress, you might still find some of them in your wardrobe today.
The best museum to visit for anyone interested in how fashion styles have ebbed and flowed over the years has to be the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington. The permanent fashion exhibition that spans five centuries of worldwide fashion and clothing is said to be the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of dress. There are also special exhibitions such as Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear, which is running from now until next March.
Stock up on some vintage gear
If you love vintage, then London is definitely the place to do some rifling around some vintage clothes rails. The city has a big selection of vintage shops to visit and there’s a concentration of them in Brick Lane and Portobello. Try Rokit in Camden, Covent Garden or Brick Lane or Beyond Retro in Brick Lane, Soho, or Dalston, or One of a Kind in Portobello Road for starters. If the prices in vintage shops put you off, then try the Kilo Vintage Fair instead, where £15 will buy you a kilo of clothing – you rummage through the rails and whatever you choose is charged by the kilo. The Kilo Vintage Fair travels around the country, but is in Camden on a fairly regular basis.
Go to fashion school for the day
You may have missed your moment in life to be a fashion student, but there are plenty of events going on in London’s fashion schools that are open to the public. These include talks, workshops and exhibitions. Go and see what this year’s crop of students are producing – you never know, you might encounter the next Versace or Ted Baker while you’re there.
Go shopping, of course!
If you have just a short amount of time, and want to visit as many high-street names as possible, then Oxford Circus and Regent Street are still hard to beat for fashion shopping. Just aim to pick a quieter time – midweek, maybe – so you can have more space to browse. Alternatively, spend an hour or two in one of London’s big department stores – Harrods, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Liberty are calling you. At the other end of the spending scale, visit markets such as Brick Lane, Portobello and Camden Market to pick up some bargain clothing gems.
Finding fashion-based things to do while visiting London isn’t really ever going to be an issue; it’s more a question of how to divide your time efficiently, so you can fit all that you want to see in while you’re there!