Thursday, 26 February 2009

Moving on up: interview with Vauxhall Fashion Scout Directors Martyn Roberts and John Walford as LFW ups sticks to Somerset House

With the latest news that the London Fashion Week tents are pitching up across town at Somerset House next season, the foundations of both On/Off and Vauxhall Fashion Scout have momentarily been shaken, but not stirred it seems as we put it to both Martyn Roberts and John Walford of Fashion Scout International, the organisation behind the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue.

Roberts whispered, "we are excited and nervous about moving as we have grown in this venue since we started…but anything that changes is great", and there is no reason why he should be anything but excited as this season, the Vauxhall Fashion Scout noticed a surge in attendees at many of the 22 shows. "When we started six seasons ago, we had to put our interns on the seats to fill them but this time, we're lucky if we get them in the bloody hall at all!" laughs co-founder, John Walford. He remains upbeat about the move, "Vauxhall Fashion Scout isn't rooted here at Baden Powell House, we've had a great time and it's a fantastic venue and we'll be very sorry to leave but the challenge is to always keep moving and changing."

For many designers it often seems that the venue needs to speak as loudly as the clothes, however both Roberts and Walford disagree, "we don't look at the building exclusively. It may be the most beautiful, but the catwalk may be quite small. Ultimately we always look for something that will benefit the designers," Roberts replies. Walford's concerns are more poignant, "at Somerset House, there is a local thriving community around it and I think it's great to have fashion involved in a community rather than being in a sterile playground" he concludes. Dal Chodha

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