There's not only the theatrics that British fashion is known for but slick productions with the most powerful editors and influential buyers in the front row, talk of money in the billions and at least one heart-stoppingly beautiful show that will change global fashion. Can this really be London Fashion Week for autumn 2012?
Yes, because British fashion is having a watershed moment. Not only are its designers now contributing £21 billion ($30.9 billion) to the economy - more than the car industry - but increasingly it's the young guns who are doing so, names known a couple of years ago only to hardcore fashionistas but who are now in huge demand.
The show that brought tears to the eyes was Burberry - not only has it earned its spurs as a heavyweight global luxury brand (along with Mulberry and Paul Smith) but its designer Christopher Bailey now has the creative power to influence global fashion thinking.
Meanwhile, names such as Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Peter Pilotto or Giles are no longer young ingenues; they have serious businesses making top-quality clothes that cost thousands of pounds and sell like hot cakes to the new wealthy the world over, just like their competitors in Paris and Milan.
And they get proper support. As the latest winner of the British Fashion Council/Vogue Fashion Fund to help expand a small but thriving business, Jonathan Saunders is getting a cool quarter of a million, while Sir Philip Green, the Topshop billionaire and staunch supporter of young designers through his decade-long NewGen scheme, has just pledged another 10 years and come up with a bright scheme to encourage small-scale manufacturing in Britain, too. Topshop has had 10 of the hottest young designers create special T-shirts that have gone on sale for charity worldwide, spreading their names to an even wider market.
Burberry, whose dark summer colours are proving a major influence, set down an even bigger marker for autumn, by tapping into the yen for nostalgia typified by the TV series Downton Abbey, and made country shooting-party kit look both contemporary and sexy.
Traditional British tweed or waxed jackets and trench coats came out curvy, with tiny waists outlined in gathered leather belts with bows, flirty peplums skimming the hips and soft, pouchy, poachers' pockets. They were worn with gathered, longer skirts in bold but soft stripes, or sexily tight numbers with ruffles down the front. Autumn-shaded prints and quilted velvet or down-filled jackets looked glamorous rather than utilitarian and even the ''rain'' that poured down on the outside of the transparent tented venue seemed magical.
Mulberry staked its claim as a true luxury brand with tightly belted, generously cut coats and parkas, large-scale artisan knits in glowing tapestry shades, and a new ''It'' bag named after star guest and new pop sensation Lana del Rey.
Paul Smith's trademark masculine-inspired tailoring had a richer glamour with stylish overcoats and painterly printed silk dresses.
Giles Deacon created another magical moment in a mediaeval livery hall hung with heraldic banners, where his designs - strict black tailcoats, almost armoured satin jackets, body-slithering satin gowns laser cut to look like thorn thickets over a blown-up fragile flower print, and burnt-out pale silks stretched to crinoline proportions, all worn with stiff white collars that hinted at a Jacobean ruff - displayed a sense of historic drama not seen since the glory days of the late Alexander McQueen.
Antonio Berardi, too, upped the game for his faultlessly cut and constructed cocktail dresses, grand gowns and coats, this time with a modern couture cut that involved stand-away or cocoon shapes or fluid insets of different colours.
Meanwhile, the New Establishment designers are becoming stars. They wowed for summer with expressions of sweetness but have toughened up for a darker winter. Erdem coated and textured fabrics as well as printing them, working with harder shades such as Klein blue and fluorescent green and with abstract art prints, with lace overlaying print and even tweed for complex finishes on simple wearable shapes.
Saunders supplied a fashion moment, showing atop a skyscraper with a 360-degree view of a dusk-descending cityscape, against which his supremely clean-lined collection of masculine-inflected tailoring and softer dresses glowed brighter than the sunset.
Kane went for a dark, disciplined colour palette of black, purple, royal blue and fiery dark red for the square-cut tunic shapes, simple coats and skinny pants that are ubiquitous in London, worked in rich moire brocade or softer tulle with black velvet flowers, edged and outlined in black leather.
Peter Pilotto, by contrast, softened his style, sticking with optical, spacey prints but putting them on curvy, modernist dresses, sexy little flippy-hemmed skirts or skinny leggings to wear with cropped, silver ruffle-trimmed Puffa jackets.
Mary Katrantzou is the latest name to feel the heat - her capsule collection of virtuoso prints for Topshop sold out in hours last week. For her autumn collection, she based the extraordinary mixed prints for her sculptural shapes on household items, from spoons to coathangers, but you would never have known - digitally manipulated and in vivid colour, they looked otherworldly.
Then there are the new breed - fledglings with one or two shows under their belts but already selling in some of the globe's hippest stores. They have their own, already recognisable London viewpoint - oversized yet structured shapes with a modern cut based on couture tradition and a feeling for white and pale neutrals.
From Simone Rocha (daughter of John), with her mixes of clotted-cream crochet lace veiled in chiffon, silver leather and clear PVC, through J.W. Anderson's quilted flak vests, apron skirts, plain wrap coats and chunky knits, to Thomas Tait's square-cut sporty simplicity, the future of London looks exciting.
As to trends - well, London is a bit individual for those but some ideas for next autumn are emerging. Nostalgia is hot, from Burberry to Emilia Wickstead, with her elegant and perfectly made 1950s country-house debutantes, to Orla Kiely's 1930s schoolgirls' tea dance.
Or there's Scottish style - tartan veiled in Edwardian-looking black tulle or lace by Corrie Nielsen, turned into curvy, heathery-soft patchwork suits by Vivienne Westwood and hinted at in abstract print and silk kilt pleats at Saunders.
There are Russian dolls, embroidered, beaded and full-skirted under huge fur hats at Temperley, in fluid jersey prints and babushka scarves at Issa and in restrained peasant prints and constructivist cashmere at Clements Ribeiro.
Today's woman does it tough, in military coats and oversized biker jackets at Aquascutum, in crocodile versions at Belstaff, or even bigger khaki or dark grey greatcoats and parkas at Topshop Unique.
Long, slinky and sheer is the look for evening, in art deco chiffon panels at John Rocha, in gold and navy lace over print at Kinder and in black or aubergine lace and tulle at Marios Schwab.
Enough variety for most wardrobes and the global show season is only halfway through.
Georgina Safe reports from the Milan and Paris fashion shows, beginning in tomorrow's Sydney Morning Herald.