Forget designer musical chairs — recently, the industry has been playing the same game with Fashion Week venues. New York Fashion Week recently announced that it will no longer show at Lincoln Center, instead opting to make a new home further downtown at Skylight Clarkson Square in Soho, as well as at Skylight Moynihan Station in Midtown. On Monday, the British Fashion Council announced that it has likewise secured a new headquarters for London Fashion Week.
Beginning with the September 2015 shows, Somerset House — a historic arts and cultural center in London that was once the home of Queen Elizabeth I — will no longer serve as the home base for LFW. Instead, it will move to the Brewer Street Car Park in Soho, an iconic art deco building (and, yes, a functioning car park) that's more centrally located in the heart of the city. According to Caroline Rush, chief executive of the BFC, the two-story space will "offer freedom and flexibility to designers who will be able to transform the show space to reflect their own aesthetics and identity."
Much like Lincoln Center in New York, Somerset House was set up with different halls for both emerging and established designers to show their collections, both in presentation and runway formats. However, as is also the case in New York, many of the marquee names of London Fashion Week choose to show off-site. Designers like Erdem, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Burberry (to name just a few) typically present their collections in unique venues, many of which are very spread out around the city. Topshop also hosts a show space which it lends to up-and-coming designers in London.
While we're curious to see how the fashion set reacts to the new LFW home in bustling, retail-heavy Soho — and how street style shots will turn out with a backdrop that's an actual parking lot — we doubt that the flow of the event will change much at all. Stay tuned in September to see how it plays out.