Then: Many American buyers and press skipped London Fashion Week. The British designers tended to be very indie, very small and very under capitalized; which made it absolutely fabulous for indie shops and just a handful of majors but frustrating to chains. Really its fashion industry had always rattled with its wealth of hand knits, proper ballgowns, fair isle sweaters, tweeds: it was artisan to Milan's industrial capacity while Paris was forever Paris: frivolous, wonderful fashion.
Zandra Rhodes and Thea Porter had sumptuous and exotic evening clothes - maybe Beautiful Punk or (very) Rich Bohemian while Jean Muir's demure matte jersey dresses belied their sensuality and you just had to scoop them up by the armful. (Even as we paced outside the showroom waiting to be let in and told we couldn't until a Royal left.) Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb, Anthony Price, Joseph, Ghost, Manolo Blahnik .... the list is endless.
Then there was John Galliano, straight out of St Martin's with his graduation runway collection in Brown's windows; it sold out and just a few photos of heartbreakingly beautiful pieces remain.
I found this screen printed invitation today, missing for years.