Stella McCartney leads the pack as London prepares for its most glittering fashion week ever
Designers, models and fashionistas from all over the world are expected to descend on the capital tomorrow as London Fashion Week kicks off.
One of the highlights of the event will undoubtedly be Stella McCartney's much-anticipated return to London's catwalks after previously showcasing her designs solely in Paris.
The much-lauded British designer, who is also holding a fashion show in the French capital, will be hosting a 'special fashion presentation' at Somerset House on Saturday.
Homecoming: British designer Stella McCartney is to hold a presentation at London Fashion Week, which starts tomorrow in the capital
Big draw: Stella's accomplished show is set to be one of the highlights of the week
Her decision to show on British soil has been hailed as a sign that London Fashion Week has finally become a worthy contender for New York, Paris, and Milan.
Last season's spring/summer Fashion Week was deemed one of the most successful to date.
Highlights were the epic Swan Lake show from Giles, held in the stunning environs of the Royal Courts of Justice; Mulberry's quintessentially English collection (with Kate Moss sat front row); and the explosion of colour, crystals and feathers that was London-based Issa designer Daniella Helayel's carnival-inspired show.
Fashion blogger Fashionfreude said: 'Last season's fashion week was epic. But this time round it's set to be even bigger.
'Since the shows moved from the Natural History Museum to Somerset House in WC1 they have been better attended and surrounded by more of a buzz.
'Visitors from out of town prefer the central location, and it means buyers can attend more readily, which is ultimately vital for the event to make money.
'Anna Wintour (who is set to attend the shows this year) has said she can't remember a more culturally exciting time in London, and she's got a point.'
'Not only are many British designers returning to show in London, but we also have the Olympics just a few months away, which is adding so much extra excitement to the capital'.
London girl: Issa designer Daniella Helayel takes to the catwalk with models Alice Dellal and Jourdan Dunn at the end of yet another successful show
Monday is set to be the biggest day of the event, with Christopher Kane, Burberry, Giles, Erdem and McQ on the schedule.
Mulberry presents on-schedule for the first time on Sunday morning, with a show at Claridge's hotel, and Vivienne Westwood's Red Label show is scheduled for 2pm the same day.
Sunday will also see shows from print guru Jonathan Saunders, who was recently handed BFC's designer fashion fund award, Belstaff and Topshop's Unique label.
Not only will these shows be a feast of fashion, but the front rows are guaranteed to be of magnetic appeal for celebrities.
An insider at the British Fashion Council told MailOnline that more big names were confirmed to be attending than ever before.
'This is going to be more stellar then ever,' they said. 'It's been a logistical feat to plan the shows so that all of the front rows will happen, but we've done it.
Glittering front row: Peaches Geldof, Rosario Dawson and Pippa Middleton sat front row at the Temperley runway show last September – and reports suggest this year's attendance will be even better
'This London Fashion Week is going to be the best we've seen.'
As well as Stella's one-off return,
this Fashion Week sees the first catwalk show for McQ, the diffusion
Alexander McQueen range.
brand, which counts Emma Watson, Chloe Moretz and Rihanna as fans, will
present its autumn/winter 2012 collection on Monday evening.
will mean the return of the 'Kate effect' concept, given that the
Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress designer Sarah Burton, creative
director of Alexander McQueen, oversees the more affordable McQ range.
number of other designers favoured by the duchess will also be putting
on shows, including Issa London, Mulberry, Erdem and Burberry.
Kate's sister Pippa Middleton was spotted on the front row at the Temperley show last year, landing the show, already one of the week's highlights, headlines worldwide.
Visitors from many countries routinely flock to the city for the biannual fashion week, one of the highest-profile fashion events in the world.
It will feature more than 100 catwalk shows, which are are expected to generate orders in the region of 100 million and to contribute further millions to the London economy.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: 'I'm delighted to be backing UK fashion, which is not just appealing to the eye, but is big business for our city.
'Last year our support helped British designers double their international sales to 74 million at London Fashion Week, an important showcase that also benefits other parts of our economy such as retail, restaurants and hotels.
'As we welcome the world for the 2012 Games, it underlines how vital it is to invest in the amazingly talented people working in our creative industries – not only do they enhance our city's reputation for culture, their creativity and innovation will help ensure our city's future prosperity.'