Thursday, 6 October 2016

London Fashion Week Diary

It's a little late but as well as my post on my highlights at Fashion Week, I also wanted to share a diary of my time at the shows:
My favourite outfit
Despite the glitz and glamour, London Fashion Week is a trade show. As it is about fashion, naturally what people are wearing to the shows has become as important as what is sent down the runway. There was a period of time when peacocking hit peak – people heading down to the main showspace in outlandish outfits simply to get papped. I’ve pretty much seen it all from conehead hairstyles and Barbie-head adorned bodysuits to identical twins dressed identically with their hands in each other’s pockets. The old venue at Somerset House was a magnet for people just swanning around hoping to catch a street style photographer’s eye. Thankfully, there’s been a lot less peacocking since the main showspace moved to Brewer Street Carpark, there simply isn’t anywhere to parade around.
I’ve pretty much always stuck to my own style, yes I do want to look good but I’m there to work – both for my day job in brand relations and for my blog. In between running around for shows, I don’t usually have time to find someone to snap my outfit but this was my favourite and thankfully I bumped into Danielle from Fashionista Barbie who took a couple of pictures for me.
It’s not a crazy outfit and I’ve worn every single piece to death. The shirt/dress is new from Zara, I’m obsessed with shirts and stripes thanks to Caroline Constas so absolutely had to buy this shirt. I just paired it with black linen shorts from ASOS and tied a light denim shirt from H&M around my waist. The shoes are totally amazing and from ASOS too, though quite a few seasons old. The bag is Saint Laurent and I adore it.

Burberry’s Makers House
Pretty much everyone in the industry can agree that the current system of shows is antiquated and needs a shake up and most people in the industry view the new see-now-buy-now model favourably. The rise in social media, livestreaming, Snapchat etc. mean that shows are instantly accessible directly to the consumer; it’s no longer an event to woo press and buyers.
Known for the digital innovation, Burberry unveiled the smartest companion to their see-now-buy-now show – Burberry Makers House. Not content to simply allow customers to shop immediately, they created a real-life ode to Christopher Bailey’s creative process and the artisans behind the collection. The beautiful pebbled grounds were full of sculptures while the ground floor housed artisans, calligraphers and sculptures as well as real life mood boards with patterns, pictures, fabric swatches and leather samples. Upstairs, the womenswear and menswear looks were displayed, allowing customers to experience the inspiration behind the collection then see and feel the collection up close and in real life. Such a beautiful concept.
Martine Jarlgaard
I have to admit, one of the highlights of the last few seasons at London Fashion Week is seeing what Matthew Drinkwater and the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) have in store. Over the past few seasons, FIA has bought us dresses made out of Nokia phones, a huge Star Wars collaboration complete with 3D printed bionic arm and a light up LED Tinkerbell dress. This season, FIA partnered with emerging designer Martine Jarlgaard and Microsoft to present a ‘mixed reality’ presentation for the first time. Using the Microsoft Hololens headset, I walked into an empty room but saw a 3D hologram of a model wearing a look from Jarlgaard’s collection. Different to Virtual Reality, when you are immersed in a separate world, I was able to see and speak to Matt while walking around the model to experience the dress as if it were right there. One of my highlights for LFW.
Julien Macdonald
Julien Macdonald’s show is always a favourite of mine. I’ve included it in my review of London Fashion Week but couldn’t not include it in my personal round up of the shows.
Notion Magazine
My Fashion Week started with a bag at Notion Magazines party at Tape, one of my favourite clubs in London.
Grooming Room
I also headed to the launch of Forward PR’s Grooming Room on the rooftop of the Century Club, beautiful views!
Paula Knorr
Although shows get the lion’s share of attention, I love popping into a presentation and seeing a collection in a stripped back setting. None of the crazed hype, pumped up music and drama. I like seeing a collection against a relatively blank canvas and close enough to see the details. It’s usually the smaller, emerging designers who have them so there’s also the added excitement of discovering something really special. Paula Knorr’s collection was just that. Knorr started with a collection of her own paintings and sketches and the beautiful self-portraits and paintings became digital prints or embroidery on precisely tailored pieces and tulle. Texture heavy, I loved being able to examine her pieces up close to admire her handiwork.
China Ball
I’m so stoked to have attended the inaugural China Ball, held at the Natural History Museum. How often can you say you partied with Dippy the Diplodocus?!
London Design Festival
London Fashion Week also coincided with London Design Festival, making for a very aesthetically pleasing few days in the capital. I headed down to the Bulgari Hotel to check out Studio Myerscough’s interactive installation, The Sign Machine. 
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