London: A behind the seams guide to Fashion Week

Alex Robinson
London calling

Late February in London means Fashion Week—and from cafés to cool bars the city over, Londoners are chatting couture over coffees and cocktails.

Topic of the moment is the sudden and sad death of Britain's favorite designer, local East End boy Alexander McQueen. There are fond memories of how McQueen helped to make Fashion Week seriously cool in the 1990s, with his hipster pants and angular cuts. And while his suicide has cast a shadow over the celebrations, the show goes on…as do a series of tempting fairs and sales.

It's the tenth year of the Vintage Fashion fair this Sunday, Feb. 21, where over 100 vintage dealers proffer their retro-fashion at retro prices. Be at the exhibition space Hammersmith Town Hall, (King St W6) at 8 a.m. for the best deals.

The fair's upstart rival, the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion fair begins later—at 11 a.m., presenting the chance to get a makeover from professional pamperers the Powderpuff Girls. There are a spate of sales too: 60 percent off Britt Letner sharp women's suits, 80 percent off Love from Australia sheepskin boots and some 70 percent off designer items at the show itself, London Fashion Weekend (tickets $25).


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