Manolo Blahnik thinks English fashion is ''important''

The Spanish footwear designer is set to put on a show in Somerset House as part of London Fashion Week, and after having taken inspiration from the scenery during a train journey from Bath to London, Manolo hopes his use of imagery will remind guests how renowned England is for its designs.

He said: ''Eveybody now makes a point of coming to London - which is very different to Milan and Paris. London is now so important to all these international buyers.

''It's also a great opportunity to remind people, that we in Europe, in England, have the best small factories and that they should be put back into use again - a lot of them are disappearing.

''All our designers should be using English things and English materials, I think it's so important - and this increased interest in London definitely helps.''

Manolo also feels ''privileged'' to be hosting the show with the British Fashion Council and thinks of the event as a tribute to his late friend, editor and stylish Anna Piaggi - who died last October aged 81.

He continued to ''It is a great privilege to be asked, and to be able to give the city I love a few seconds of attention. I had a friend and she adored London - Miss Anna Piaggi, she died a few months ago - and I'm doing this as a kind of homage to her.

''She always used to say that she thought that London was the freshest place - and all the ideas she used to pick up in London were always her best. She had this incredible vision, fashion-wise, so this is a tribute to her and to London.''