Sustainable fashion icons VIN + OMI have been working with Congress Centre for the last six years to showcase their latest work during London Fashion Week. The pair see their work as an Ideology – based on science and the mathematics and equations of sustainability – rather than what most people would imagine when they think of a modern mainstream fashion brand.
As OMI discussed in a recent video interview with the Congress Centre team, their clothes aren’t designed for sale but are instead a reflection of the world around us and their fashion show therefore needs to deliver that – as does their chosen venue.
A one-night fashion show for an audience in the region of 350 attendees ranging from well- known celebrities to the general public. In addition to a main “catwalk” and show space; areas must be provided for dressing, make-up and hair etc. Most challenging of all is the need for the space to reflect the message of the collection. In 2022 this includes a response to the cost-of-living crisis and global escalation of fuel prices. Specifically, this means that the entire first part of the 2022 show needed to be conducted without the use of power (including hair / makeup prep etc).
With more than half a decade working with VIN + OMI, the Congress Centre team are well acquainted with their creative needs and ideas. The venue is perfectly located in the heart of London, just a stone’s throw from Tottenham Court tube station and the new Elizabeth Line. Our ethos and ethical background align with theirs and as OMI said in a recent video, they appreciate the fact we aren’t “corporate” and beholden to brand requirements that challenge their own. From a pure logistics point of view, we are ideal not just because of location but also our spaces. The street level entrance allows for potentially substantial queues; we have a variety of rooms close to the man hall from preparation; the Congress Hall has a sprung floor (avoiding the need for a purpose-built catwalk); and this year in particular our incredible levels of natural light allowed them to deliver on their promise of no power in the first part of the show.
For Congress Centre, our work with VIN + OMI has become a true collaboration over the years. We love the way they challenge us and make us look more creatively at out spaces; and they are in turn supporting our journey towards being a more sustainable venue (a challenge for a Grade II listed property). Sponsoring this event for them demonstrates just how invested we are in their ethos and work going forward. The 2022 event was a great success as can be seen from the critical acclaim the show received across the press. It took place under challenging circumstances, following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which could have limited numbers and the show’s
impact. However as long-term collaborators with His Majesty King Charles III, during his time as the Prince of Wales, this year’s collection reflected the new King’s historic support of the environment and sustainability and was therefore a poignant reminder that no matter what else is affecting our lives we must always look to the welfare of the planet on which we all live.