André Leon Talley was right, it really is a famine of beauty

“The famine of beauty, honey! My eyes are starving for beauty!” 

This week, Pretty Little Thing announced that it would be taking to the runway during London Fashion Week with the news coming via the label’s creative director, influencer Molly-Mae Hague. “I’ve been working with the PLT team on something HUGE, our biggest project yet. Get ready for my first catwalk show in LONDON!,” she captioned a selfie, informing her 6.2 million Instagram followers of her “favourite campaign to date”.

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Having previously shown at New York Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week, this will be Pretty Little Thing’s first ever London presentation. Paris, meanwhile, has probably imposed some kind of taste level requirement, meaning Pretty Little Thing is an Ugly Big Non. The PLT show will debut 37 of the “hottest looks for 2022” as designed by Hague, which is about one third of the number of items that get uploaded to the site per day, and will be live streamed across the brand’s social channels before 300 IRL invitees will funnel into an afterparty on February 16.

London Fashion Week’s confirmed schedule will be released later today (January 26) but a representative has confirmed that Pretty Little Thing is not on the official line-up and, as such, has nothing to do with LFW as an organisation. Obviously, other high street brands, like Topshop, have shown at fashion weeks before, but this move comes as a slew of ultra-fast fashion brands grapple to stave off negative press. Despite repeatedly plagiarising young designers’ work, last year Shein launched a reality TV competition to collaborate with emerging designers. And earlier this month, the ex-Love Islander came under fierce criticism for parroting a Thatcherite ‘everyone has the same 24 hours in a day’ commentary. They say a fashion show can distract from the clothes, but it can also distract from the company itself.

Of course, luxury labels are also guilty of exploiting workers and contributing to environmental collapse but there is an implicit appreciation for the people who construct their garments – be that the petites mains or those who assemble items further down the factory line. Workers in Boohoo’s premises, on the other hand, get paid £3.50 an hour. Though the conglomerate has has begun production at its first ever manufacturing site to improve its reputation (and pay packet), as fashion struggles to take stock of the worsening climate crisis and the supposed lessons it took from the pandemic, the last thing the industry needs is a Fast Fashion Week.