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LONDON FASHION WEEK

Yes, it's that time of the year when our favourite city gets even more fabulous. As the style setters flock to the capital, we bring you the 10 things we love about LFW – the shows to see, the collaborations to covet and the exhibitions to inspire.

BURBERRY PRORSUM embroidered cashmere coat

1. BURBERRY'S NEW WORLD ORDER

Not content with giving us spring/summer's most desirable take on military – cue sergeant major-style gold embroidery, smart brass buttons and on-parade wool capes from the new-to-selfridges.com Prorsum collection – our favourite establishment label is set to turn the whole fashion system on its head. CEO and creative director Christopher Bailey has announced that from September 2016 Burberry will only show twice a year, with the collections available to buy straight from the catwalk. Radical. The see-now, buy-now revolution starts here.

 

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Backstage at Alexander McQueen SS16

2. HOMECOMING McQUEEN

The most anticipated show of the week? It has to be McQueen. Not only is Sarah Burton bringing the Alexander McQueen mainline show back to London after almost 15 years (McQueen's first Paris show was The Dance of the Twisted Bull, in October 2001), but the creative director is also making headline news herself. Rumoured to be up for the big job at Christian Dior, will Burton trial the French fashion house's signature Bar jacket and New Look silhouette at LFW? Watch this space.

 

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Backstage at Erdem SS16

3. PRAIRIE GIRL

It's all about the prairie dress this season. And the man to look to for those Laura Ashley-inspired flower prints and pie-crust collars? Step forward LFW favourite Mr Erdem Moralioglu. The Canadian-born, London-based designer's mainline SS16 collection drops in the next few weeks with a wealth of gorgeous frocks. Can't wait that long? Take your styling cues from London's FROW and satisfy your cravings for all things floral and flouncy with the beautiful Pre collection, available right now.

 

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Backstage at Topshop Unique SS16

4. JUST OUR CUP OF TEA

What could Topshop Unique and a purveyor of fine china possibly have in common? A rather special catwalk collaboration, that's what. The high-street brand teamed up with Wedgwood – yes, the iconic name in porcelain, founded way back in 1759 – with a sweet SS16 collection that celebrated the company's heritage Wild Strawberry and Jasperware prints. The results? Oh-so-pretty tea dresses and blouses strewn with our favourite summer fruits. We predict they'll be all over Instagram this week.

 

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Phoebe English SS16

5. THE SISTERHOOD

This is a good year to be a young designer – and an especially good year if you happen to be a young female designer. Phoebe English, Katie Jones, Caitlin Price, Helen Lawrence, Hannah Weiland (of Shrimps)... the list of great new names, who just happen to be women designing for women, goes on and on. Let's hear it for the sisterhood this season.

 

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Will we see avant-garde heels out in force at fashion week?

6. GOING UP?

Could the reign of the flat shoe be coming to an end? Sarah Mower, our favourite fashion pundit, certainly thinks so. The British Fashion Council big-wig and American Vogue frontline reporter is "feeling heels again", citing the unholy mix of Central Saint Martins MA graduation shows, the Hood By Air AW2016 menswear show and the very first Balenciaga collection by Vetements' frontman Demna Gvasalia as proof. What about us? We're already stocking up on corn plasters.

 

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Style icon and Gossip front woman Beth Ditto

7. THE NEW MUSE

Watch out world: fashion has a new style icon, and she's not to be messed with. "I wanted to make pieces that will last years. Beyond trends, beyond chain stores," says Arkansas-born punk-singer-turned-designer Beth Ditto of her new vintage-inspired plus-size clothing line. "I wanted to create something just for us, made with love and consideration, and made ethically in the USA as a small company with no big corporate input. Uncompromising, unapologetic and timeless." We certainly won't argue with that, Ms Ditto.

 

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Mulberry creative director Johnny Coca by David Bailey

8. I SHOULD COCA

Mulberry is another hot name making a welcome return to London Fashion Week. After an absence of almost three years, the Brit label we just can't get enough of is back on-schedule, with newly installed creative director Johnny Coca at the helm. The former Céline accessories head honcho promises to put a Parisian spin on the classics we love – and no doubt add a few new must-haves of his own. Form an orderly queue here.

 

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© The Condé Nast Publications Ltd

9. THE 100 CLUB

Is it rude to talk about a lady's age? Surely not if you've hit a landmark birthday and are looking even better than ever. Yes, it is hard to believe, but the grande dame of glossies, British Vogue, celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year. Starting off as an outpost of its American sister publication back in September 1916, the much-loved mag has come to define our very British take on style. Want to see more for yourself? Then head to the National Portrait Gallery's newly opened exhibition, Vogue 100: A Century of Style.

Paul Kindersley

10. THE CONFORMIST

Paul Kindersley is a man who knows how to make an exhibition of himself. The performance artist is curating London Fashion Week's must-see exhibition, The Conformist, which opens on 23 February at Mayfair's Belmacz gallery. With a collection of work that mixes fashion, art and performance – including everything from portraits of Emma, Lady Hamilton (yes, Lord Nelson's famous lover), to the late Leigh Bowery's costumes, contemporary works from milliner Stephen Jones and artist Julie Verhoeven – this is set to be a serious study in eccentric style.