40 Years of London Fashion Week

20 March 2024

London Fashion Week marked its milestone ‘big birthday’ in 2024. Here, we look at all the trends, talking points and tailor-made experiences for dedicated followers of fashion – now and then, at The Berkeley and across the capital.

They say ‘life begins at 40’. And it couldn’t be truer of London Fashion Week 2024. Rather than revert to classic mid-life crisis clichés, the autumn/winter show marked its fourth decade with an eclectic collection of established and emerging designers – celebrating both its own enduring creative energy and that of the city it calls home. 107 brands cat-walked into (and across) the capital, with many of The Berkeley’s Mayfair neighbours among the runway successes. Simone Rocha turned mourning dress into a moment. While ERDEM paid an haute couture homage to Maria Callas at the British Museum.

And though LFW has reached middle age, there’s no sign of slowing down. Live music performances, pop-up events, and sartorial Q&As turn London into one, big stage – with all eyes on the capital. After all, long after the runways have left and the camera flashes have dimmed, Knightsbridge and Mayfair are still where many of the world’s boldest and brightest fashion houses set their flagships.


Many saw Burberry, and Daniel Lee, as the star turn at London Fashion Week 2024. The Berkeley’s fellow Knightsbridge resident celebrated being on home soil by pitching up in a sprawling festival-esque tent, with a show set to Amy Winehouse’s back catalogue. Duffle and trench coats, and tailoring were the talking points here.

Fellow 40+ year-olds may have let out a nostalgic sigh when spotting Saul Nash’s hat tip to rave culture, with his dancing models and ‘Smiley’ logo-ed tracksuit. Another designer reimagining London street style circa the year 2000 was Sinead Gorey, whose Union Jack motifs and hair scrunchie accessories were the perfect fit for nightclub Heaven, her inspired choice of venue.

Grandparent chic, greyscale hair and heavy knits were the calling cards of the JW Anderson collection, inviting audiences to rediscover the past – as Prêt-à-Portea favourite Molly Goddard paired oversized knitwear with statement tulle, using her eBay watchlist as a mood board. There was also a much talked-about cameo from Dame Joanna Lumley, for London jewellery brand Completedworks, who performed a beautifully poignant monologue – although not as Patsy Stone. 


A man wearing a white knitwear, a jacket and a cap in a car.
two men in eleventy beige coloured coats,  with one leading a horse while the other sits astride, both looking into the distance with serious expressions
man dressed in eleventy clothing, a grey blazer, white shirt and white pocket square in the blazer.

Long after the lights dim on the London fashion shows, their legacy is felt across the capital – and beyond. There’s also a dash of Milan Fashion Week to be found here. Eleventy at The Berkeley is the first flagship for this Italian house – bringing beautifully crafted la dolce vita to Belgravia.

It’s a two-way street, in every sense. London street style turns heads, influenced by the show just as much as it influences it. And for those who don’t make it to the frow, the Knightsbridge shopping avenues are a natural next port of call during London Fashion Week – with many of the LFW designers bringing their collections to Harrods and Harvey Nichols. Here, the first of the new season’s cuts and colours appear faster than the Christmas lights on Oxford Street. Meanwhile, the boutiques of Old (and New) Bond Street include heavyweights such as Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Ralph Lauren. After all, this is an address synonymous with high-end fashion – and has been for 40 years (and more).

Stylish Soirées at The Berkeley

Of course, London Fashion Week’s impact goes far beyond the city’s style-savvy brands and boutiques. With sartorial spin-offs in the form of couture-inspired menus and a calendar of pop-up talks throughout the year, the city becomes one big, continuous London fashion show. Raising a glass to the next 40 years at fashion’s forefront, limited-edition cocktail menus are in the mix at The Berkeley Bar & Terrace and the Blue Bar, where many gather for post-runway DJ vinyl sessions. Even menus carry nods to the new season, for those who know where to look.

Tailoring his flavours and ingredients to what’s fresh and at its best, there’s something of the couturier about renowned pâtissier Cédric Grolet, too. After all, his signature collections shift with the seasons. Bold, beautiful and technically brilliant pieces are his hallmark. And creativity is the thread that runs through it all.

A marble table at the Berkeley bar & terrace
Marcello mixing a cocktail in the blue bar
Cedric Grolet Vanilla Flower cake

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