5-Minute Fashion Month Debrief: London edition

By Alice Newbold

Erdem autumn/winter '24 at London Fashion WEek. Photo: Acielle / StyleDuMonde

Grab a coffee and take five minutes to get your quick-fire, need-to-know updates on the London leg of fashion month

As Burberry rounded out London Fashion Week autumn/winter '24 with a band of beloved Brits (Aggy Deyn and Lily Donaldson on the runway! Joanna Lumley and Jade Parfitt on the front row!), it was fair to say that the old gal had been feeling a touch nostalgic. It was, after all, her birthday.


As the city looked back on decades of wild, scrappy, inventive resourcefulness, designers did their best to honour the past while driving the capital’s style legacy forward. And so, Lumley not only cropped up at Burberry, a brand for which she modelled in the ’70s, but also Completedworks’s jewellery presentation-turned-performance art piece. “I think the whole thing about fashion is if you can’t go badly wrong, you’ll never go really right,” she told us of the lessons she lives by, while surrounded by stacks of old Vogue issues, burnt toast and reciting lines from a Gala Gordon-produced script about the mundanity of life. It was pitch perfect.

Dilara Findikoglu AW24. Photo: Acielle / StyleDuMonde

Simone Rocha AW24. Photo: Acielle / StyleDuMonde

Fun flashbacks cropped up on moodboards elsewhere. Kate Moss’s Topshop era (specifically her Joni jeans) received another moment in the sun at Aaron Esh, as he funnelled “the vibe and the c***iness” of Parisian mesdames through the prism of Kate and Pete at Glasto; ’70s bow-bedecked M&S blouses inspired JW Anderson’s show about curtain-twitching pensioners (those grey wigs are actually hats!); the “boyishly handsome” Emilia Wickstead models channelled London’s rebellious teddy girls; Simone Rocha quite literally peeled back the layers of Queen Victoria’s mourning dress to inform the delicate details in her latest wake-themed edit; and Dilara Findikoglu’s references were their usual mash-up of naughty, niche fetishistic nods and Nell Gwyn. The list goes on.

Erdem AW24. Photo: Acielle / StyleDuMonde

Indeed, Molly Goddard, who came back from maternity leave to deliver a blinder of a collection, described herself as “anti-fashion”. The Western tropes and eBay watchlists percolating in her mind came secondary to excellent garment construction. “I think I often struggle with the ‘big themes’,” she replied when asked about her process. “This is just the world I like to create, and I like seeing how other people interact with the pieces.”

Marco Capaldo at 16Arlington also proved it pays to go your own way, with a grown-up, sequin-free edit inspired by monsters, and Conner Ives noted that he did not want to be seen as just a Y2K designer, with a debutante adjacent collection worthy of his catwalk bride, Tish Weinstock.

Sinéad O’Dwyer AW24. Photo: Getty

Fashion East AW24. Photo: Acielle / StyleDuMonde

It seems reductive to group the smaller names under an “emerging” umbrella when they are all establishing thoughtful work of their own, but it’s worth noting that the likes of Sinéad O’Dwyer and Tolu Coker were the predominant forces driving important conversations around size and sustainability forward. (Including one plus-size model in an awkwardly fitting coat does not count as inclusive.) While overarching trends – such as Prada-fied trains, the ongoing predilection for sheerness and, unfathomably, faux fur and shearling – were clear from day one – there felt like an absence of big picture ideas. Still, there was plenty to intrigue from the ambitious bright sparks – Talia Byre, in particular, impressed, while Derrick and Kazna Asker are ones to watch – who keep London’s reputation for raw talent alive and kicking.

“All I know is that this collection was better than the last, and that next time it’s going to have to be even better,” said Aaron Esh, who summed up the mood of the season with the surprisingly apt metaphor: “It’s a bottle of Prosecco with a spoon in it.” London Fashion Week in its 40th year was trying to keep her fizz.

JW Anderson AW24.

Richard Quinn AW24.