Canadian Design Highlights at London Fashion Week

Common wealth.

On the eve of the Fall/Winter 2020 edition of London Fashion Week, a fashionable crowd gathered at the stately Canada House—official home to the Canadian High Commission to the United Kingdom—in London’s Trafalgar Square to see the latest collections from a group of talented Canadian designers.


A Studio Lorem Ipsum design.


The invite-only gathering, the brainchild of Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) Executive Director Susan Langdon, offered eight fashion and accessory labels the opportunity to introduce their work to an influential international audience consisting of buyers, sale agents, and journalists. Supported in part by CanExport, a main focus of the showcase is export market development, making it a unique opportunity for Canada-based brands to grow and build their businesses overseas.

The idea for A Celebration of Canadian Design, now in its fifth season, came to Langdon a few years ago, while she was in London to support TFI resident designer Sid Neigum during what was then his first showing at LFW. “There was already some interest in Canadian clothing being worn by the royal family, particularly Kate Middleton [and] there was already a momentum starting, with Canadian brands being recognized in London,” says Langdon.

Recruited from across the country and curated to include a wide selection of aesthetic styles and product categories, this season’s Canadian Design showcase featured both emerging labels such as Studio Lorem Ipsum and Adrian Arnieri and established designers like Alan Anderson and David Dixon. Selected via application by Langdon and a UK-based jury panel, the brands offer designs ranging from artisanal fine jewelry to playful ready-to-wear to premium outerwear.


A Adrian Arnieri design.


First-time participants this season include Msichana, an Edmonton-based apparel and accessories label that emphasizes wearable art and ethical manufacturing processes, Arnieri, a women’s ready-to-wear brand which just debuted at Toronto Fashion Week last fall, and Shelli Oh, an eveningwear label with an ethereal viewpoint.

The elegant evening reception, comprised of both a showroom set-up and an on-model presentation, may be primarily about growing businesses, but it is remarkable for its ongoing championship of Canadian creativity, too. As an established event on the official LFW calendar, the showcase gives these independent talents an accessible, unique platform on the international stage.

“It’s really rewarding to see how much interest there is in Canadian design; it’s really incredible,” says Langdon.


Photograph by DRGNFLY Productions.

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