London Fashion Week kicked off in style this week as the latest must-have autumn-winter designs took to the catwalk.
The coveted six-day event will include a diverse and innovative schedule showcasing emerging talent alongside iconic British designers and brands.
An audience of more than 5,000-including buyers, media and celebrities-is expected at London's Somerset House, home to the British Fashion Council, where most of the shows take place.
A record number of American buyers are expected to attend the bi-annual event including Barneys and Saks Fifth Avenue, while some 65 catwalk shows will take place over the six days.
The event has helped to launch the careers of top British designers such as Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney as well as introducing models such as Kate Moss and Lily Cole.
Designers, including Burberry, Holly Fulton, David Koma and Mark Fast will be showing in Kensington Park Gardens on Monday with a live-stream of the show beamed onto the Coca-Cola screen in Piccadilly Circus. Vivienne Westwood, Nicole Farhi, Jaeger, Paul Smith, John Rocha and Antonio Berardi are also showing.
On the third day of the week's festivities, iconic British label, Mulberry brought the English countryside to the catwalk. The inspiration was clearly "countryside-cute" with the stage covered in twigs, foliage and faux birds setting the mood. Models donned bold colors along with prints, leather and even fur including a Miniature Schnauzer strutting the catwalk sporting a camel colored covering.
Buyers will also be closely watching the Issa show–a favorite of royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton, who wore one of the label's dresses to announce her engagement to Prince William. The aftershow parties will be like a "Who's Who" of the fashion world–with the most revered designers, buyers, celebrities and fashion journalists such as Vogue's Anna Wintour, rubbing shoulders.
More than 170 emerging and established accessories, jewelery and ready-to-wear labels will be showcasing their autumn/winter 2011 collections at the leading "The Exhibition," known as a platform to view emerging designer businesses alongside established brands.
Susan Haird, acting chief executive of UK Trade and Industry, said: "London Fashion Week is an excellent platform for British designers to showcase to the international fashion community the creative, edgy brilliance of our multi-billion pound fashion industry, which is worth £21 billion to the UK economy and supports 1.31 million jobs. We look forward to partnering once again with the British Fashion Council to assist new and exciting designers make their mark in key international markets."
The start of London Fashion Week certainly brought the city to a standstill as top models strutted their stuff on the world's first car catwalk.
A 20-meter long runway was constructed across the roofs of three Vauxhall Corsa cars to mark the tenth season of Vauxhall Fashion Scout, a showcase for the best up-and-coming fashion designers.
The models, who normally perform on perfectly polished catwalks, spent a week learning to sashay at a height of over 1.5 meters ahead of the carefully choreographed three-hour show. Wendy Towler from Vauxhall Motors commented, "What better way to highlight our long-running commitment to emerging British fashion than by creating the world's first carwalk and giving young designers a unique platform to showcase their talents."