London Fashion Week: £100m Extravaganza Underway

Models on the catwalk during the Bora Asku Spring/Summer 2014 show on day one of London Fashion Week. Picture: PA

The cream of Scottish designers, such as Christopher Kane, who won the New Establishment award at the British Fashion Awards 2011, and Edinburgh born designer, Holly Fulton, will also be showing off their latest creations. The event is expected to attract more than 100 million in orders, according to the British Fashion Council (BFC), as buyers and bloggers descend on London to spot the latest trends. However, this year organisers are hoping to change the elite perception that hangs over the twice-a-year extravaganza. While the show is ultimately a trade event aimed at a few thousand buyers, editors, celebrities and fashion elite, organisers are hoping to reach out to a wider audience using social media. British Fashion Council cheif executive Caroline Rush said the goal this year was to raise British fashions profile by making the event more accessible to consumers. Social media lets you share messages, get it out to broad audiences. Its a great way to get an instant response, to find out whats trending, she said. Accordingly, fashion news will be beamed to digital screens in Londons subway stations and many shows will be streamed live to fans this year, allowing them to view the latest catwalk previews from home or on their phones just like any front-row editor. Despite a still-struggling global economy, British fashion brands are hoping to cash in on evidence of a rebound in the luxury sector as solid demand in Japan and the United States combines with recovery in Europe to offset Chinas slowdown. The British luxury sector is forecast to almost double in size over the next five years from 6.6 billion in 2012 to 12.2bn in 2017, according to a Luxury Benchmark study by Walpole and Ledbury, published in July. Scotlands cashmere queen, Belinda Dickson, who is currently in the process of setting up a digital platform to sell her products, said the importance of London Fashion Week for young designers should not be underestimated. This is one of the most prestigious events in the fashion calendar, where the big trend-setters flock, she said. Its a great platform for young designers where they get the chance for their collection to be seen by many influential people.

‘London Whale’ deputy: I am innocent

prosecutors to drop criminal charges against his client, Julien Grout, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday. On Aug. 14, prosecutors accused Grout, who was Iksil’s deputy in the bank’s Chief Investment Office in London, of trying to hide hundreds of millions of dollars in trading losses by marking positions in a credit derivatives portfolio at falsely inflated prices. In a meeting with prosecutors late last month, Grout’s lawyer Edward Little argued Grout did not know the prices were wrong, the source said. Instead, based on the instructions he was given by superiors, including Iksil, Grout recorded prices he thought were correct. In response, the source said, prosecutors offered Grout the chance to talk to them directly and tell them whatever he knew without the risk of further incrimination. He declined, the source said. The U.S.government still has the option not to pursue the charges against Grout. But if a grand jury votes to indict him, the opportunity for the charges to be dismissed will vanish. Prosecutors are expected within the next month to seek indictments against Grout and his former boss, Javier Martin-Artajo, who was also charged. The trades in question were part of a series of outsized positions Iksil took in an illiquid market for credit derivatives. When news of the JPMorgan traders’ big bets became public early last year, the bank was forced to quickly unwind the trades, incurring a $6.2 billion loss. After conducting an internal investigation, JPMorgan said it found evidence that someone migh thave tried to deliberately hide the mounting losses from others in the bank. The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted its own investigation. Iksil struck a deal with U.S.