Kate Middleton style adds to London Fashion Week interest

09:26 18 February 2011

Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton

Royal bride-to-be Kate Middleton's fashion role model status is expected to add interest to London Fashion Week

2010 Mario Testino

Some of the world’s top designers descend on the capital from today to show their collections at London Fashion Week.

Around 200 UK and international designers will show their ready-to-wear and accessories collections for autumn/winter 2011 over the next six days, attracting an estimated 5,000 visitors.

And royal bride Kate Middleton’s status as a fashion role model is tipped to bring a new level of interest to the British catwalk.

One of the week’s most sought-after tickets is for the autumn/winter 2011 show from Issa London tomorrow, after Miss Middleton wore one of the British-based label’s gowns to announce her engagement to Prince William.

She has worn Issa’s signature “draped” dresses to many events and chose a £385 gown for the televised announcement.

American Tom Ford is another designer making a high-profile appearance after announcing he will show his womenswear collection for the first time in London.

He has opted out of staging a full catwalk show and will instead hold a series of private appointments with fashion editors.

Dublin-born Paul Costelloe will be the first to show his collection today at the main venue of Somerset House in central London.

While the bulk of the shows will take place there, a number of designers have chosen to show their collections at other locations, including the Royal Opera House and a freemasons’ hall.

Other high-profile shows include Burberry, Mulberry, Julien Macdonald and Vivienne Westwood.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “London Fashion Week contributes around £100 million to London’s economy and I am pleased to be able to continue my support for this important industry.

“I am looking forward to working closely with the sector in order to attract more investment and retain our position as one of the most exciting creative capitals of the world.

“Fashion is a powerful force stitched into the fabric of our city and London is home to some of the finest colleges in the world, producing astonishingly talented designers, whose influence permeates global fashion.

“Across the city are thrusting and gifted individuals, whose entrepreneurial spirit as well as creative flair underpin our reputation as one of the great design capitals and we should do all that we can to support them.

The Mayor’s office said the fashion industry employs around 80,000 people in London alone and is worth around £21 billion to the UK economy.

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