The most prominent fashion news since London Fashion Week opened didn't regard any designers presenting a smashing collection, but revolved around UK Prime Minister Theresa May unofficially opening the event.
May welcomed indeed the British fashion industry - among them key figures such as Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, British Fashion Council chairman Natalie Massenet, Browns founder Joan Burstein, but also executives, designers, previous BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winners, apprentices and graduate trainees - to Number 10 Downing Street on Thursday evening to celebrate the first London Fashion Week under her premiership. May took office after David Cameron's resignation that followed the June Referendum.
This was therefore the first LFW event that took place since UK voted to leave the EU following the Brexit vote on June 24. May never mentioned the dramatic results of the Brexit, but tried to be vague and optimistic.
The Prime Minister stated she holds the fashion industry in high esteem, highlighted it contributes £28 billion to the UK economy (May said the value of UK fashion exports was £5.8 billion in 2015, but who knows if that sum also included the donated clothes sent to developing countries that damage the latter's economy…) and supports nearly 900,000 jobs.
The UK Prime Minister promised the government will keep on investing in fashion training, and entioned British brands such as Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Sophia Webster as successful examples of companies reaching out to markets in the USA, Japan, France and Italy (well, technically Alexander McQueen is not a British company anymore since it's owned by French luxury goods company Kering...).
This is when you wished that May had announced a more specific plan, rather than a pile of general promises that showed the cluelessness of the British government regarding important issues.
After all, the UK can't expect to walk out of the EU and maintain the privileges that come from the membership. How can indeed the country be able to hire talent from overseas or welcome EU students in UK universities, and how will it be able to avoid customs and duties and keep tariffs low and red tape to a minimum when it stops being a member of the European Union?
The fashion industry lives and thrives in a multi-cultural environment: the staff at many houses and brands is international; designers work with manufacturing companies and suppliers located in other countries and their products benefit from specific import and export laws and regulations.
In a nutshell, the free movement of people and goods guarantees a prosperous industry and not the opposite,that's why Theresa May and Brexit sound like an oxymoron when mentioned in connection with fashion.
It's interesting to see that at the moment it seems extremely difficult to provide precise answers about certain issues in a post-Brexit Britain, so being vague is en vogue and, rather than criticising May's inconsistent speech, designers seem to prefer faking forced smiles while they may be thinking of moving to Jersey (if they haven't done so already...).
Fashion critics in the meantime focus on May's clothes in approving tones, noting how the white shirt she was wearing on Thursday night was designed by London label Palmer Harding, but sells for £120 as part of a collaboration with John Lewis (so should this make her "working class"?) and she also opted for Russell & Bromley kitten heels.
The most surprising thing was seeing at the event ex-rebels à la pro-EU activist Vivienne Westwood (in a vaguely protest shirt that read "Theresa Talk Vivienne"), who, in a July interview with The Spectator stated that "Theresa May is awful", and Burberry designer Christopher Bailey, who - just a few months ago - signed a letter backing the Remain campaign.
So, yes, it looks like being vague, sober and civilised are en vogue things (mind you, Christopher de Vos from the Peter Pilotto duo opted for a Prada A/W 16-17 shirt, so maybe he was trying to make a statement about British fashion...).
Who knows if Brexit will genuinely happen when May realises that most of the clothes and accessories in her wardrobe by celebrated British designers and brands are actually made all over the world, from Bangladesh, China and Turkey to Italy and France.
In the meantime, Brexit opposers cheer up: maybe it was the Prime Minister's bag that Larry the Cat from Downing Street used as his litter tray.