Sunday, June 23
Inside 40 years of London Fashion Week — Madonna on

Inside 40 years of London Fashion Week — ‘Madonna on the front row, Princess Diana popping in…’



Inside 40 years of London Fashion Week — Madonna on

In the early Eighties, there were small showrooms and disparate exhibitions but no central schedule or space to entice international buyers to take London as seriously as the other fashion capitals. “We were not on the international calendar at all” recalls Franks, who’d come back from Paris impressed by its tents at the Louvre. “I thought if they can do it, why can’t we?” The first venue was the Commonwealth Institute (now Design Museum) in Holland Park, until the weight of the tents sunk the grass. Franks, who helped launch the British Fashion Council, funded the venture with backing from her client Mohan Murjani, the investor behind Gloria Vanderbilt jeans and Tommy Hilfiger, and brought in sponsorship from Swatch and Harrods. It moved to the Duke of York Barracks (now Saatchi gallery) on the Kings road. “We had Boy George, Spandau Ballet, the designers and press loved it. We had Madonna sitting front row at the Joseph show, [Princess] Diana would pop in. It was really vibey.” 



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