A pared-back London Fashion Week will go ahead next week but will lose one of its biggest names after Burberry said it is cancelling its show following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8.
In a statement released on Thursday evening, shortly after the announcement of the Queen’s death, the British Fashion Council (BFC) said: “London Fashion Week is a business-to-business event, and an important moment for designers to show their collections at a specific moment in the fashion calendar, we recognise the work that goes into this moment.
“Therefore, shows and presentations of collections can continue, but we are asking that designers respect the mood of the nation and period of national mourning by considering the timing of their image release.” The BFC has recommended postponing or cancelling “non-essential” events like parties and openings as a mark of respect and will pause its own communication channels, or dedicate them to the Queen, until after the 10-day period of mourning.
Burberry said on Thursday evening it will not move ahead with its Spring/Summer 2023 show on 17 September “as a mark of respect”.
The date of the Queen’s funeral is yet to be confirmed. It is expected to take place around 10 days after her death, on either 18 or 19 September. Shows set to take place on the day of the Queen’s funeral “will need to be rescheduled”, the BFC recommended in the statement. The BFC also advises that designers with retail stores “may want to consider 24[-hour] immediate closure, black armbands for staff and closure on the day of the funeral”.
Prior to the news of the Queen’s death, London was gearing up for its biggest fashion week in three years, with both established and emerging designer brands returning to the schedule after pandemic-related disruptions.
Designers currently scheduled to show on 18 September — 10 days from the Queen’s death — include Nensi Dojaka, 16 Arlington, Rejina Pyo, Halpern, Simone Rocha, Erdem, Stefan Cooke and Richard Quinn; shows scheduled for 19 September include Christopher Kane, Roksanda and Chopova Lowena. A representative for Purple PR, which is overseeing Yuhan Wang and David Koma’s shows on 18 September, said the shows will not take place or be made public if the funeral is scheduled for the same day.
In the aftermath of the Queen’s passing, tributes poured in from the fashion industry, including the BFC, Burberry and Christopher Kane. The London Fashion Week website was updated with the message: “It was a great honour in 2018 to host Her Majesty at London Fashion Week to launch the QEII Award for British Design, which recognises design excellence and positive impact. Her Majesty’s effortless style, charm and sense of fun were evident, and her passion for supporting young creatives will continue to inspire the next generation.”
Originally published in Voguebusiness.com