When it comes to fashion shows, the clothes speak for themselves and as long as the runway is on point it will be hailed a success. That being said, the right venue can elevate a fashion show in so many ways – The build-up, the atmosphere, the look, the lighting, the layout, you name it.
While some venues boast rich characteristics like a baroque ceiling or marble floors, others can act as a blank canvas allowing creativity to blossom. The type of venue chosen depends on how much the designer wants it to interact with or juxtapose the collection. To inspire the debut of your next collection, we have hand-picked a few of the most stylish venues for a fashion show in London. From high-end hotels to London landmarks, there’s something to suit every designer.
Taking pride of place on a riverbank spot beside London Bridge, Glaziers Hall sets itself apart as a soft and elegant Georgian building against a backdrop of flashy skyscrapers. The inside, meanwhile, is a sleek and sophisticated contemporary space with wooden flooring and starch-white walls. Some rooms inside the building are stripped back and simple, leaving the room to focus their attention on the clothing design rather than the interior design. In others, the ‘stripped back’ style has been taken quite literally, exposing the original brick walls dating back to 1808, achieving a gritty edge that runs parallel with the London fashion scene.
The selection of simple white and brick rooms is ideal for fittings, press, and other event needs. And for the runway (hold onto your hats); the London Bridge arches. Yes, you read that right. Glaziers Hall offers exclusive access to a space within the iconic bridge. Picture a corridor completely surrounded by exposed brick with a row of archways on each side opening out to white-rendered interconnecting vaults. Not only is its tubular shape perfect for a classic up-and-down catwalk, but its sense of attitude will elevate the event’s atmosphere.
Through the epic Thames views to the London Bridge arches, Glaziers Hall is practically screaming out to host contemporary designers inspired by British heritage. Whether the collection reflects a classic British or an edgy London style, Glaziers Hall is the perfect match for your fashion event.
Imposing and slightly intimidating, the Stone Nest is a stunning Grade II Listed building formerly known as the Charing Cross Chapel, a 19th-century London Welsh church. Situated at the confluence of Leicester Square, Tottenham Court Road, and Covent Garden, the Stone Nest is at the very heart of an area renowned for showcasing talent – the West End. Being a historic church, the venue is just as dramatic as the theatres that surround it. The turn-of-the-century build is characterised by its bold, bare red-brick walls and a high-rising dome, giving it a loftiness that is almost haunting.
Whilst the dramatically high dome is the venue’s aesthetic wow-factor, the highlight is in the functionality of its features. Each of the main hall’s four walls is recessed and framed by a grand floor-to-ceiling archway with a balcony laced between them. With seating at both the ground and balcony levels, the venue acts as a theatre where the audience can sit and gasp or tear up at the gripping fashion show. Add the right music and light effects, and you have yourself an eerily beautiful performance.
The bold and dramatic Stone Nest is a statement setting best suited to eclectic designers who hope to capture the audience’s imagination with drama and flair. Follow in the footsteps of Alexander McQueen who held a fashion show here in 2014, as well as other top names like Isabel Marant, Central Saint Martins, and Viktor and Rolf.
ME London Studios is the coveted meeting and event space by Melia Hotel, a luxury lifestyle hotel that stands proudly in the line-up of iconic buildings on The Strand. While some venues are extravagant, others bold, ME London Studios is a simple venue with eight rooms that open out into one large gallery-type space. Think of it as a versatile blank canvas that can be transformed into anything the visionary wishes. Yet, in keeping with the hotel itself, the venue exudes a modern sophistication that sets a high standard of luxury no matter how the space is staged. With such a desirable address as The Strand on the invitation too, the fashion show will be sure to impress the right people.
Whilst it’s tempting to keep the room simple so the focus stays on fashion, ME London Studios can create an immersive sensory experience that combines fashion with visual art. With the equipment to project anything onto the white walls, the room can be transformed into an ocean reef, a dark forest, or even Tokyo’s famous Shibuya Crossing if so inclined. Add light and sound effects, and the sky becomes the limit.
ME London Studios is the perfect fit for futuristic designers who want to create their own world. Those who like to take fashion further and make their show an experience rather than a performance. Its location makes it a covetable venue for lifestyle brands too.
Christ Church Spitalfields, a saintly-looking sandstone church beside Spitalfields Market, is perhaps the most attractive venue on our roster for fashion shows. Built in the 18th century in a Baroque design, the church is tall and slender (just like a fashion model) with a grand entrance featuring Tuscan columns to welcome the guests. Inside, the columns continue along the nave of the church towards the altar supporting a rich wood-panelled balcony that matches the lower walls. The upper half of the church walls along with the columns and ceiling are painted in the same soft-white. Against the rich wood panels, it’s safe to say Christ Church Spitalfields is a real statement venue.
As most churches are decorated with Rennaisance frescoes and kaleidoscopic stained-glass windows, Christ Church Spitalfields sets itself apart as an elegant and understated place of peace. Yet, it maintains the best detail of a Baroque church: intricate geometric plasterwork with a floral focus. Somehow, it gives the church a soft and romantic atmosphere. But while the swoony ceiling is enough to lure in any venue scout, wait ‘til you hear the organs playing in the background. The aisle isn’t only for brides to walk down anymore!
Christ Church Spitalfields is an ideal fashion show venue for designers with a feminine style. Soft cuts, delicate materials, and muted hues with floral or geometric patterns would be a match made in heaven for this romantic setting.
Sat in the heart of trendsetting Shoreditch, there couldn’t be a better fashion show venue for London’s latest design talents than Protein Studios. Referred to by the Studios as the ‘White Box’, it’s a vast white warehouse-style space with a steel-framed vaulted roof and long skylights for a floodlit room. They almost hit the nail on the head with their description, but we’d be inclined to add the word ‘industrial’ at the beginning. While the big blank space makes Protein Studios versatile and adaptable, its warehouse-like design and exposed metal ceiling will give any event held here an edgy spin.
At 13,000 square feet (told you it was vast), Protein Studios has a capacity of 400-700 people, providing the biggest audience of any venue on this list. For some designers, small and intimate is most suitable, but the phrase ‘the bigger the better’ comes to mind for others. Having a longer guestlist could create a buzz around the fashion show that captures the public’s attention. Plus, it really elevates the energy in the room as the excitement and applause get louder.
Thanks to its trendsetting location, Protein Studios is the perfect match for up-and-coming designers who want to either break into the fashion industry or turn it on its head. If there’s any place in London where fashion can make waves, it’s in Shoreditch, especially with the London College of Fashion around the corner.
Each of the five esteemed fashion show venues featured on this list is the best in London (if we say so ourselves) which means they’re in high demand. To secure the venue of your fashion dreams, click the title links or see what else is available here.