As the most iconic calendar event of the year among the capital’s fashionistas approaches, we take a look at some of Westminster’s most prestigious venues with stand-out spaces for photo shoots and catwalks.
London Fashion Week returns to the city on 14-18 February 2020.
116 Pall Mall
116 Pall Mall has been a regular host for fashion shows over the years, including shows for London and Pakistan Fashion Week and three more large-scale shows scheduled for 2020. With multiple interlinking rooms leading off from the stunning grand staircase and balcony, 116 Pall Mall is the ideal venue for fashion shows. Clients can book a number of different spaces for dressing rooms and outfit changes, hair and makeup, as well as break-out rooms for dining or networking. The Nash Room is the largest room and ideal for long catwalk set ups. The grand staircase is also a unique backdrop for fashion photoshoots, with the glittering 15ft chandelier dominating above.
Church House Westminster
Both British and international up-and-coming fashion brands have showcased their collections at Church House Westminster. The catwalk events, which have coincided with London Fashion Week in previous years, were a great success. Nestled in picturesque Dean’s Yard, the Grade II listed venue boasts stunning views over Westminster Abbey. The Assembly Hall offers a very large dome-shaped space of 519 square metres with seven entrances, ideal for unusual and dramatic catwalk layouts. The polished English oak panelling and emblems sit beneath the room’s architectural focal point – a striking 30-foot glass dome. Transforming the room is expertly accomplished by the in-house AV technicians using state-of-the-art lighting systems, projection and sound equipment.
Churchill War Rooms
Churchill War Rooms is no stranger to London Fashion Week photoshoots. Located underneath the bustling streets of Westminster, this enigmatic venue offers a rich historic backdrop and ambient lighting for photo shoots. Whether in front of the 1940s electric generator wall packed with switches and dials, or in the long corridors where Winston Churchill himself walked, there’s plenty of scope to capture some truly iconic photos. Host your next shoot or celebrate London Fashion Week in style at Churchill War Rooms.
IET London: Savoy Place
The Johnson Roof Terrace at IET London: Savoy Place offers breath-taking views over London and the River Thames – a perfect backdrop for filming and photo shoots. The riverside setting is within easy reach of London Waterloo and staffed by professionals who understand the needs of photographers and production teams. It’s been used by leading fashion brands included Barbour in 2019. The top floor terrace is a flexible, secluded space with full power and wireless connectivity, and is bookable alongside the Riverside Room, an expansive indoor space overlooking London’s Southbank.
Lumiere London: The Embassy is owned by acclaimed fashion photographer Carlos Lumiere and used during London Fashion Week for all manners of photoshoots. The event space reflects Carlos’ rich, emotive and dynamic style, blending classic lines with luscious splashes of colour. The Embassy embodies a passion for architecture and offers intimate spaces for fashion photography with a striking backdrop.
One Great George Street
One Great George Street has been nominated and is now a finalist for the category of Best Fashion Event Venue at the Prestigious Venues Prestigious Star Awards 2020. The Great Hall has played host to several fashion shows including collections from the likes of Halpern, Matthew Williamson and Issa London. The ornate details of the room, such as the carved, painted ceiling, and two stunning over-sized chandeliers, make it the perfect space to showcase the art that is fashion.
With its high ceilings, grand staircase and beautiful art deco features, RIBA is brimming with aesthetic backdrops for fashion shows or photoshoots. Brands and designers can take advantage of the light and spacious Florence Hall with its floor to ceiling windows and 400 capacity or can take to the Gallery for more intimate viewings for 150. For more creative and dynamic shows, the staircase can be utilised for models, as the audience watches from the first-floor balcony. RIBA has previously hosted brands including Barbour, Orla Kieley, Nicole Farhi, Jasper Conran and the Wales Bonner fashion show during London Fashion Week 2017. Lipsy London, Good House Keeping and Stella have all used the stunning surroundings of RIBA.
RSA House boasts 11 event spaces, three of which have played host to fashion shows for up to 150 seated guests. The Vaults offer an atmospheric, subterranean space and a backdrop that can be transformed to suit any show and have their own private entrance on Durham Street to heighten exclusivity. The Great Room is the largest space and is dominated by the epic series of paintings, Progress of Human Knowledge and Culture, which never ceases to wow guests. In 2019, Sassi Holford showcased her Enamour collection of wedding dresses and eveningwear within the breath-taking surroundings of the Great Room, seen here. The Benjamin Franklin is contemporary, modern and the perfect blank canvas for more intimate shows.
The QEII Centre
The QEII Centre has an impressive track record of hosting and delivering successful fashion shows. From launching new ranges to showing off collections, industry leading designers such as Peter Pilotto and Natasha Zinko, and high-profile brands including Topshop Unique have held events here.
The Centre can offer two core spaces, The Churchill and Third Floor that allow the easy installation of full-size runways with ample space for the audience and photographers. Additional rooms are available for hair and makeup, backstage and press. The Churchill is atmospheric, with the lighting showcasing models against a dark background, while the Third Floor has exceptional natural light with the spectacular backdrop of Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.
Photo: RSA House