Global Kids Fashion Week – keeping kids fashion fun?

Taking place in London with two shows on 19th to 20th March, Global Kids Fashion Week was billed as a fun way to end the current fashion season with a fashion event full of vibrancy and excitement. And they pulled that off with the professionalism of a grown-up catwalk, with mini-models having lots of fun.

It’s essential that fashion is seen as fun to children, and from the squirming in the front row maybe the toddlers (if not the older kids) would have preferred to be running around in a soft play centre rather than be subjected to an hour of watching other kids have fun on stage. But I’m sure they enjoyed the after party activities later!

 

 

The press and media show I attended on Tuesday was slick and furious but filled with fun and frivolity. The models were not done up like dogs dinners, but exuded relaxed kiddy cool, especially the boys who were a mixture of nerdy and laid back style. No prima donnas here. We saw a medley of AW13 preview looks from the establishment kids wear labels like Paul Smith Junior, Little Marc Jacobs, Junior Gaultier and Chloe alongside sports casual brands like Diesel and some smaller emerging labels. In fact the models were having such an amazing time they didn’t want to leave the catwalk at the end of the finale, and had to be reminded of the way off by a smiling stylist waving from the catwalk entrance.

The celebrity front row included the Kidd sisters and their children, and various other models and makeup artists showing off their very cute offspring like nobody’s business and showing the rest of the audience how to restrain a toddler who wants to gatecrash the runway (or not in a couple of cases). There could have been a melee of minor tv personalities and pop stars dominating proceedings, so the fact that the attendees were at least fashion related types was a bit of a relief.

On the 20th, the public were able to buy tickets for a spring summer 2013 show with all proceeds going to the wonderful Kids Company. It was great to see some emerging London labels spring in to action with some fluxlings’ favourites added to the bill including La Loi, Rachel Riley and Isossy Children.

Each of the events was followed up by a party with popcorn, photo booths, bubble makers and nail painting. I didn’t hang around too long – you really did feel like you needed to be supported by a little person to get into that with any gusto.

This was a great event and I’d love to see it come back next season. The kid’s fashion sector is developing at an amazing rate, and a show like this supports London’s wonderful array of children’s fashion design. But to name itself ‘Global Kids Fashion Week’ in its inaugural year may be a bit bombastic. I bet the organisers of all the other kid’s events that take place around the world throughout the year were spitting into their proverbial alphabet spaghetti when they read the first releases. 

There’s also a blur between the industry and public faces, as the two have very different functions. And are shows like this giving our kids an elite view of fashion? But fashion is an elite business, and I guess it’s up to the approach of individual parents. There are ethical questions there. But I’d say the shows were for the parents, and the after parties for the kids – and the big kids. Fashion fun for the kids and fashion marketing for the grown ups, no matter how expensive the dress is.

Overall, full marks to AlexandAlexa.com for getting the ball rolling and supporting the event this year as I’m sure their support helped it happen in such a stylish way. For the event to become a true global kid’s fashion event, it would be great to see some distinction and an expanded schedule – come on designers – why not put on your full preview shows in London next season? We’d be happy to see you.

 

Fluxlings travelled from Manchester to London courtesy of Virgin Trains, with departures every 20 minutes. Typical travel time is 2 hours 8 minutes and advance ticket prices can be purchased from £12.50. For journey information or to book tickets visit www.virgintrains.com or call 08719 774 222.