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London Fashion Week: Day Four

Olivia Rubin, Maria Grachvogel and William Tempest, 23 February 2009

Written by Jennifer McNulty

Clear your calendars for the next few weeks, abortion about it because the good people at Fair Trade have put together a fortnight that you wont want to miss. In fact, diagnosis I would go one step further and say that you need to be there. The ethics of Fair Trade are never more pertinent than in this current economic climate. While we are all feeling the pinch, pilule there are two billion people – a third of the planets inhabitants who are surviving on less than $2 a day. And while we have all noticed (and complained) that the price of our cupboard staples are going up in our local supermarket, there are farmers on the other side of the world producing these essentials who are being squeezed out of the market and struggling to stay afloat. Fair Trade is aiming to change this, and is constantly working to tip the balance of trade in favour of poor producers.


The aim is to galvanise everyone – from every age and back round – into action. So for the next few weeks, Fair Trade will be everywhere; town halls, markets stands, cinemas, schools and universities all around Britain. And a lot of it is going to be fun! Seriously, this s*** is bananas (there is a little bit of a banana theme to the Fair Trade activities). How often to you get to have bananas in sandwiches, cake and even deep-fried for afternoon tea? Well, Fair Trade are providing this for you in London’s Lancaster Hotel on March 6th and 7th. (Check and venue details for more information)


It is worth noting that Whole Foods are playing host to many of the talks and activites that Fair Trade have organized. This is an interesting choice given that this large scale organic market is an organization that has divided opinion since it came to Britain, and has weathered much criticism over its brand and size. On Wednesday 25th February, Fair Trade and Whole Foods will be screening Black Gold at their Kensington Branch.


The documentary was made by Nick Francis, and guarantees that you will never look at your latte or cappuccino in the same way again. There will also be a Q&A session with the director afterwoods. The tickets cost £5.00 and you can be reassured to know that the money will go to the Farmers Cooperative in Ethiopia. (Film screening starts at 7.00pm) Contact for more details.

A key event for budding businessmen/women takes place on Thursday 5th March at the Museum of London Docklands. If you have ever wanted to set up your own social enterprise then this workshop could be invaluable . It will work in the format of a training day with the onus on how to use an active global citizenship framework. There will be plenty of businesses, co-ops and corporations present to network with as well. Contact for further details.

There is just too many events to list here, so remember to check out all the Fair Trade fortnight details at Here you will find all the venue details and information about all of the activities and events planned. The next few weeks promise to be informative, enjoyable and educational – we simply can’t afford to miss it.
There are three venues at London Fashion Week, order the main tent, where the official on-schedule shows take place, the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue that champions newer designers and On|Off fashion, who hold shows in the science museum. Olivia Rubin showed as part of On|Off, and it was my first show in the science museum. An interesting venue, as you wait amongst the exhibits as you queue for the show. Her collection was young and fresh, with an eye-catching brick work print on the fabric.



After lunch, it was onto The Hospital Clubin Covent Garden, Maria Grachvogel showed a presentation, which I assumed meant you went to a venue and the clothes were there for you to peruse at your leisure but it actual fact, it was catwalk shows every half hour for 3 hours. This is a brilliant idea as firstly, there’s none of the waiting around that comes with an actual show and it means a lot more people can see the collection. Plus, if you’re among the first there you get to sit front row, no ticket hierarchy required.


The Maria Grachvogel models had amazing eyebrows, maybe a futuristic trend for A/W 09:


I attended the William Tempest show in the evening with Audrey Rogers, one of our contributors, who writes her own fashion blog, our paths randomly crossed at the shows, so it was a lovely to meet her in the flesh for the first time, she kindly wrote a review of the Tempest show for us, which you can read here. Enjoy.

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