I spend most of the year looking at exactly the same garments, trend pieces that repeat themselves all over the mainstream market. Just when I am about to lose faith in fashion, LFW arrives like a breathe of fresh air; reminding me that creativity is still out there.

New designers and also established ones such as Pam Hogg come out in full force this September, showing that Vauxhall Fashion Scout is, in fact, the home of innovation.

Season after season, VFS showcases such rare and unique pieces from designers who wish to make a name for themselves in the industry, that often sales are not achieved; yes brand awareness is heightened, but without the influx of sales how does a brand survive? Is innovation alone a realistic recipe for success?

What shines on the catwalk needs to fill hangers on the high street or boutiques alike, otherwise the whole business lose its meaning. If sometimes “wearable” is the antithesis of “creativity”, when the designer combines both words, the economical success normally takes off.

Nova Chiu for example, presented a stunning colourful collection as part of the “Ones to Watch” show last season and even though the collection made an impression on the catwalk, the items where extremely heavy and far to avant garde for the average Jane. This season instead, Nova and her partner Jeff Archer presented a breathtaking collection, still colourful but light and ready to wear. They introduced “Bon Voyage” with a short video presentation including roads and waterfalls; images that were actually printed on their garments. The fashion critics said that the collection was difficult to identity with her identity but you could tell that buyers were really excited on the front row.

Pam Hogg presented an eccentric collection, which was completely challenging to wear yet easy to identify; looking at her collection you could actually see her signature. In this case, designing extravaganza is what made her name; she is one of those privileged designers that by appealing to a niche market are able to make a statement while remaining profitable.

Phoebe English was one of the most anticipated shows of the season and she presented a contrasting collection with shades of black and cream, keeping her monochromatic signature. Mouth accessories, completed her looks while provoking different reaction in the catwalk hall; was she trying to make a social statement? The truth is that while the industry sees Spring Summer as the colourful season, many women wear black and white and Phoebe’s accessories where the perfect complement to generate brand awareness while presenting a collection that is easy to wear

The contradiction is the beauty of it all; while brave collections have a great impact on the catwalk, the average women always go safe and that is why most of the pieces that shine on the catwalk end up translated into high street garments. The creativity shown during fashion week is what generates the trend phenomenon, but it is also what keeps the industry alive, whether the designers make profit or not.

Laura Roig Vericat

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