London Fashion Week: scholars go beyond catwalks and top models

London Fashion Week arrives this week amidst a flurry of questions about the industry’s future. Can traditional fashion cycles meet demands for instant gratification? Which hashtags, apps and discount codes do we need to keep up?

Whether you’re sipping sazeracs at a #LFW party this weekend, or want to know more about fashion beyond the catwalks and top models, these academics have got you covered.

Why don’t fashion models smile?

Yes, there are actually some pretty good reasons. Nottingham Trent University’s design and visual culture lecturer Vanessa Brown explains why there’s more to a surly pout than meets the eye.

What’s athleisure and why has it become our go-to clothing?

Long gone are the days when yoga pants were for yoga. University of Birmingham’s Marketing Professor Isabelle Szmigin explains our curious obsession with athletic wear.

When is fashion unhealthy?

Remember the frenzy when a woman was hospitalised for wearing skinny jeans? Turns out there’s more where that came from. Nottingham Trent University’s research fellow Naomi Braithwaite counts down five fashion trends that are terrible for you.

Can luxury fashion brands become cool again?

If anything proves it possible, it’s Saint Laurent, an ailing Parisian fashion house that’s seen a meteoric return to glory over the last few years. L’Oréal Professor of Creativity Marketing, ESCP Europe, Benjamin Voyer explains what every luxury brand should learn from its fortunes.

What do your shoes really say about you?

Quite a lot, according to Nottingham Trent’s research fellow Naomi Braithwaite. Shoes occupy a unique position in debates around feminism, fetishism and fashion, which means your choices may be more political than you think.

What relevance does fashion have for people on the streets?

LFW may seem like a world away from your daily dress, but the link between the two is closer than you’d think. Naomi Braithwaite investigates.

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