Luxury Fashion: Six years after first coming to show in New York, UK designer Luella Bartley is taking her catwalk event back home.
Bartley has announced that she will show her Spring/Summer 2008 collection this September in London Fashion Week, and not in Manhattan.
"We... are delighted to have Luella showing back in London," said Hilary Riva, head of the British Fashion Council, the organizer of the London season.
"Luella is a great role model for new designers as she has created a distinct British brand, which enjoys global recognition - another testament to the fashion creativity that exists here in the UK," added Riva.
Her departure means the loss of a distinctive voice from American fashion's key season. Bartley's edgy shows are known for their bizarre titles and wacky inspiration: one collection was entitled Geek, and inspired by everything from Yoko Ono and French art movement Fluxus, where experimentation blended with anarchist politics. Her posh punk show of 18 months ago was staged in the atmospheric Union League Club on Park Avenue and backed up by a droll live country rock band, Holly Golightly.
Luella's first catwalk show "Daddy, Who Were the Clash?" was at London Fashion Week in February 2000. She took her show to New York Fashion Week in September 2001.
Apart from Matthew Williamson, and until now Bartley, most important UK designers have elected to show their collections in Milan or Paris, whenever they decided to move their runway shows out of Britain.
Luella's decision to return to London announcement comes as the designer readies herself to open her first ever standalone Luella store at 25 Brook Street, in central London.
The Mayfair flagship store opening follows the opening of a major Luella shop-in-shop in Takashiyma, Shinjuku in Tokyo. A second Luella store is planned for Hong Kong this September.
Luella's worldwide distribution network encompasses 41 countries and includes 5 shop-in-shop concepts from London and Paris through to Istanbul, Dubai and Tokyo.