London-ALSHARQIYA September 19: Fashion shows returned to London on Friday, after the Covid-19 pandemic led to conducting some of them virtually online, as part of the Fashion Week in the British capital, which holds hope for the fashion sector after lifting most of the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of the virus.
Last February, London Fashion Week was held in an all-virtual format, given that public shows were banned under lockdown.
This time, "this international event is back to embody the long-awaited reopening of cultural activities in London," according to the British Fashion Council, which represents the sector.
The five-day program dedicated to the Spring 2022 collection includes 28 shows, including well-known designers such as Britain's Edward Crutchley, Serbian Roxanda, or Ireland's Simon Rocha, whose brand is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
The absence of two prominent names, the former "Spice Girls" member, fashion designer Victoria Beckham, and the "Burbury" house, was remarkable. The week kicked off Friday with a show by 28-year-old designer Sol Nash, which included a sportswear collection that relives his teenage years in Hackney, a borough of north-east London.
Nash, who is also a dancer and choreographer, features freedom of movement in streamlined pieces with removable sleeves or hoods. Nash made modifications to the short-sleeved shirt, which is an integral part of the English school uniform, providing an elegant and comfortable look. As for the Edward Crutchley collection, it was distinguished by a completely different style, dominated by the character of luxury, through puffy dresses in lime green or floral prints.
And unlike some of the designers who gave live shows, others chose to display their collections on an appointment-only basis, or as videos that could be viewed on the Fashion Week platform launched in June 2020 with the aim of adapting to a healthy context.
The 32-year-old American designer, Michael Halpern, showcased a glamorous assortment of dresses embellished with sequins or covered with feathers, in a short video clip filmed at the Royal Opera House, in which the dancers acted as models.
131 brands will be present at the London Fashion Week event, which follows New York Fashion Week and precedes its counterpart in Milan.
Among its emerging talents is London-based Albanian designer Nancy Doyaka, at the first-ever show of the founder's fashion for the namesake brand.
The 27-year-old designer is a graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins School of Fashion in London, and recently won the LVMH Young Talent Award, after her glamorous designs and black dresses were admired by the judges.
The fashion industry in Britain, which numbered about 890,000 employees in 2019, hopes to recover, after what it suffered during the pandemic. The data provided by "Oxford Economics" showed that the creative sector could recover faster than the Kingdom's economy as a whole, if the "appropriate investments" were made.
The study, prepared for the Creative Industries Consortium, forecasts growth of more than 25 percent by 2025 for the creative industries sector and a contribution of 132.1 billion pounds ($180 billion) to the UK economy, around 28 billion pounds higher than 2020, from 2020.
In July, Burbury announced that sales during the first quarter of the year had returned to the pre-pandemic level. As for the sales movement in Europe, it remained suffering from a lack of tourists.
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