Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Outfit Post: Non-LFW Street Style

Confession: I shot this outfit a month ago and saved it to run during London Fashion Week. I love the rhythm I've gotten into work my blog, posting a weekly outfit post at the beginning of the week and wanted to continue this while I was busy at the shows. As an old-school blogger, I'm at the shows in a serious capacity, to report on the collections and everything I see rather than focusing on what I'm wearing and having a semi-annual blogger catch up. 

However, things didn't quite go to plan this season. Earlier in the week, I launched a brand I've been working on for the past 6 months and I was utterly exhausted. Not exhausted in that "I'm so glad Monday is over" way, actual exhaustion. The vision going blurry, headaches for days, insomnia kind of exhaustion. The late nights and continued lack of sleep caught up with me and I physically could not drag myself in for the shows.

Honestly, I'm disappointed in myself but sometimes, your health needs to come first. In London, we make a massive deal of being busy and overworked, wearing it like a badge of honour but there's nothing great about working yourself into the ground. Instead of running around in the cold for 12 hours a day, I spent LFW holed up in my room sleeping and it was the best decision I could have made. The impact of digital on fashion week means you don't *technically* need to be there; with live streaming and images being emailed across immediately post-show, you can be there without being there. 

What isn't captured in the live stream and images is the *excitement*. The queuing and running around, especially as a blogger aka one-person publishing team, is exhausting and dull. But once you've taken your seat in the show space, the excitement is electric. The hum of chatter, PRs rushing to get everyone seated, the booming music subtly setting the tone for the show. It all adds to the frisson of excitement that can't quite be conveyed without being there. 

The other element of fashion week that can't be faked is what's going on in the streets. Street style is as influential as the clothes going down the runway, arguably more so. It's given birth to countless photographers, influencers, books and bloggers. In the early days, before Garance Dore, Phil Oh and Tommy Ton were shooting campaigns, street style was a candid, almost voyeuristic peek into someone's sartorial world. Street style is a lot more contrived, often planned meticulously weeks in advance but it's still as fascinating to see how pieces are put together. 

This brings us full circle, to a look I shot weeks before the shows. It wasn't really even supposed to be a street style look, I just happened to be wearing the outfit as we strolled past a graffiti-filled street and it all just came together. I think that's when the best looks are pulled together, a little spontaneously rather than overthought and diligently planned until there's nearly no impulsive flair left. Let's keep a little joy in dressing. 

Denim jacket - Topshop
Mesh bodysuit - Missy Empire
Khaki trousers - Topshop
Belt - Off White
Heels - Brian Atwood

Photography by Adorn Girl


Monday, 16 January 2017

London Fashion Week Men AW17

This season saw the menswear shows undertake a little revamp. ‘London Collections: Men’ is long gone, say hello to London Fashion Week Men. Here are my favourite shows for the autumn/winter 2017 season: 

Liam Hodges

Fashion Week Men started strong on its first day. Liam Hodges’ collection was politically charged and extremely relevant to the times. Inspired by one line performance poet Hector Aponysis – “Looking for a vocation in the decline of civilisation” – as well as the likes of A Clockwork Orange and Mad Max, Hodges’ collection, entitled ‘Dystopia Lives’, was dark and deconstructed with a slight upbeat feel, indicating that “darkness can be beat”. The collection featured his signature earthy colour palette with flashes of neon as well as mismatched patchwork, smudged camouflage, distorted prints and embroidered outerwear. Slogans including “Ideology is a myth” made a strong statement in this brilliant AW debut collection.


References for YMC’s AW17 collection include the Bauhaus movement and Berlin in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The resulting collection was functional and directional with clean lines but at the same time, each piece was extremely wearable. With a muted palette of neutrals pepped up with a handful of geometric prints, the collection highlights included sheepskin flight jackets, a speckled wool coat and fishtail parkas. Each piece instantly covetable but crucially, it would fit in seamlessly into any wardrobe. I’m coveting all of the womenswear pieces shown in the presentation too!

Oliver Spencer

Oliver Spencer’s AW17 collection is timeless in more ways than one. Hats off to whoever put together a fabulous cast of models from all age brackets, bucking the norm of brands showcasing their goods on models who are likely to alienate their core customer. The casting was fitting for a collection which was beautifully timeless and instantly covetable. Featuring layers upon layers and cosy fur-collared overcoats and a rainbow of roll necks, the collection also had flashes of velvet and tartan and stripes.


Nature called and Cottweiler’s design duo Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty answered. Their AW17 collection is heavily inspired by nature and camping. Models clad in colour-blocked waterproof sportswear stomped down the runway with bags, iphone chargers and sleeping bags strewn across their person. Black and green dominated with a pepper of indigo and lilac. Subtle swan motifs scattered throughout the collection added a softer edge to a great collection which packed a 90s punch.


Maharishi and military go together like peanut butter and jelly. I look forward to their new twist on the perennial trend every season. Autumn/Winter 2017 sees the brand travel across to Africa for inspiration. The collection, entitled ‘Tour D’Afrique’, took inspiration from the Chinese and US occupation in different parts of Africa, resulting in an impactful collection with Eastern, Western and African influences. The colour palette, of course, featured khakis and camo as well as a sprinkling of earthy tones and coral. Tiger stripes complemented the camouflage in this great collection.

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. 

Friday, 23 September 2016

London Fashion Week: Ashish SS17

I love Ashish Gupta, his namesake label can always be relied upon for fun, sparkles and some light relief during the relentless London schedule. His collections also hold a soft spot for me for personal reasons, his show at Hippodrome was the first ever on-schedule show I attended at London Fashion Week some 12 seasons ago.
This season, his collection strikes a chord for different reasons. Almost overnight, post-Brexit Britain has made a lot of ethnic minorities feel uncomfortable - Gupta moved to London in the 90s and said that this is the first time he felt unwelcome in the country he regards as home. His spring/summer 2017 collection is a beautiful celebration of Indian culture with stunning saris and sherwanis alongside the London uniform of tracksuits and urban streetwear – a bold statement about the fusion of British and Indian culture and belonging.
His collection speaks to me due to my own Indian heritage. As a second generationer, I’m acutely aware of walking the line between the culture I grew up with and the culture of my parents and grandparents. I think most people of colour living in Britain are conscious of existing somewhere in the middle of two worlds and trying to carve out an identity somewhere between the two. For me, it’s so beautiful to see a LFW show celebrating Indian culture with Indian styling, including traditional jewellery and plait extensions I used to wear to weddings. To recognise the blue painted faces as the goddess Kali. To see my favourite model Neelam Gill walking the runway.
I also loved the beautiful cast of models, white, black, Indian and pretty much everything in between. While diversity in the industry is a hot topic, I’m still appalled at the lack of Indian models fronting campaigns and walking the runway. Props to Ashish for creating such a beautiful collection and celebrating diversity, unity, Indian culture and being British all in one unforgettable collection. 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

London Fashion Week SS17

Here's a round up of my favourite shows from London Fashion Week spring/summer 2017:

Julien Macdonald SS17
For me, Julien Macdonald’s show is always a highlight of the LFW schedule. More often than not, grey skies and rain make an appearance so it’s a welcome relief to be transported into Macdonald’s high octane, super glam world. This season, Macdonald took his inspiration from Africa, albeit a luxurious molten gold Africa with a rock ‘n’ roll edge. Next season, expect to see the Julien Macdonald girl clad in all shades of metallic with snakeskin and fringing details and cutouts galore. A stunning collection which was opened and closed with model-of-the-moment Hailey Baldwin, but for a show inspired by Africa I would have liked to see a bit more diversity.
Roksanda SS17
At first glance Roksanda Illincic’s vision of summer in 2017 doesn’t look, well, very summery. Long, languid layers in a colour palette of saffron, burnt orange, cool navy and liquid gold seem more well suited for autumn than summer. But with her signature effortless elegance, she has created a beautiful airiness with voluminous silhouettes which make me think of long, lazy days in Capri. A stunning collection.
Mary Katrantzou SS17
This season sees Mary Katrantzou return to form after a couple of tricky seasons. Known for her signature digital prints, Katrantzou diversified away from this aesthetic but spring/summer 2017 sees her return to her roots in more ways than one. Ancient Greek references such as key patterns and vase-like silhouttes merged with psychedelic prints resulting in a bold, sometimes chaotic, collection. Like the Roksanda show layers were key, skater dresses layered with slip dresses, peplums layered over maxi skirts, floaty tunics layered over flared trousers. Ancient Greece meets bold retro prints for huge style statement that is sure to grace the style set next season.
Simone Rocha SS17
Simone Rocha is a master of the artful juxtaposition and spring/summer is no exception. Pretty, white lace and buttercup yellow dresses contrasted with heavy duty rubber gloves and Perspex boots, inspired by Jackie Nickerson’s farm photography. The resulting off-kilter collection lands just on the right side of pretty, with the utilitarian accessories grounding the frothy innocence of the organza and broderie anglaise As usual, a standout collection during the LFW schedule.
Barbara Casasola SS17
Barbara Casasola’s spring/summer 2017 collection offered up a clean palette, a welcome change from London’s inevitable carnival of colour and print. Beautiful 50s Italian vibes echoed through the collection, with full skirts and runic tops alongside signature ribbed knitwear in an earthy, neutral shades.  There was something extremely satisfying about such a clean, beautiful collection which has me yearning for summer. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

London Fashion Week AW16

Here are my highlights from LFW’s autumn/winter 2016 season:
Inspired by The Night Porter, Roksanda’s AW16 collection was decidedly subdued compared to her signature vibrant collections. A compelling progression, the collection was full of Ilincic’s signatures from the midi-length silhouette, long and languid aesthetic and pretty flared sleeves. High collars and sunray pleats in deep, romantic shades of burgundy and royal blue completed the collection. The introduction of Roksanda handbags is also worth noting, the doctor’s bag is one of the stand out pieces. Ilincic is a women’s designer, and this mature and modest collection is one of her best.
Simone Rocha
Similar to New York’s Rodarte, Simone Rocha’s collections always have a poetic, dreamlike quality to them. This season, the verses tying her collection together are inspired by her personal journey; taking a month off after giving birth fed Rocha’s creativity. Medical aprons, motherly knitting and swaddling references are all evident in her collection – subtly interwoven rather than an overt reference. As usual, gothic darkness and contrasting texture are the main statements of her collection along with oversized, baggy pockets, dropped shoulders, wisp thin gauze, unravelled knitting and embroidery. Watching Rocha go from strength to strength is one of the highlights of London Fashion Week for me.
Julien Macdonald
Mr Macdonald is a woman’s designer and he likes his women to be strong, confident and above all, proud of their bodies. His particular aesthetic leaves very little to the imagination – high hemlines, backless and slashed necklines paired with fish-scale beading or cobweb knits. The workmanship behind his high octane collections is more than evident. As per last season, a few menswear looks featured in the show, this season with military influences. Unrestrained glamour from Macdonald. 
Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burton’s collection for Alexander McQueen was undoubtedly the show of the season. I knew it would be special as the brand was ‘coming home’ to London instead of showing in Paris but the collection blew me away. Exquisite and almost couture-like, it was a poetic celebration of femininity and epitomises everything that I love about fashion – drama and breathtaking beauty. It gave me goosebumps.
The collection started off slightly more sombre, paying homage to McQueen’s Saville Row roots. It then transitioned into a collection which was undoubtedly Burton – almost as if the designer created a collection to show the evolution of the brand from its beginning to present day. Cobweb knits, fine gossamer layers and pretty tulle, it was the collection of dreams.
Edeline Lee
The beauty of LFW is picking up emerging designers from their early collections and, hopefully, seeing them flourish. There is always a turning point when the designer strikes the balance between creativity and commerciality; this is one of the most pivotal and exciting points in their career. Being a fan of Edeline Lee for the last few seasons she has been showing, I feel like the AW16 collection is her turning point. Slightly pared back in aesthetic, it was a very focused and finished collection which was both well thought out and well executed. Nothing but covetable pieces. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

London Fashion Week: Simone Rocha SS16

For those who fear that the pressure of commerciality has dulled some of London’s creative sparkle, just look to Simone Rocha for proof to the contrary. Her subversive avant guard collections have made her a firm favourite in just five years and this season only serves to strengthen her position as a shining light of creativity. A trip to Japan served as inspiration to the collection, with fertile green forests jostling with gritty sake bars as the main source of inspiration. Ethereal prettiness was grounded by tough touches; a tulle dress tied up with plastic cording here and a jacquard dress paired with heavy patent brogues there. Feminine but also overtly sexual, this was a collection of contradictions which once again triumphed. 

London Fashion Week: Teamtum Jones SS16

The setting of the serene Swiss Church juxtaposed with design duo Teatum Jones’ politically-charged spring/summer outing. Inspired by an interview with a Liberian Peace Activist who lead demostratiosn fighting for women’s rights, the show ended with sweatshirts reading “refugees welcome”. The collection itself featured mismatching patterns, layering and technical pieces layering yarn on mesh. Monochrome pieces made way for bold red, pink and blue African-inspired prints, making for a striking juxtapose. Even the embellished dresses and pretty layering felt tough, the overwhelming vibe from the collection was that of empowered femininity. Sublime.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

London Fashion Week: Holly Fulton SS16

Inspired by artist Eileen Agar, Holly Fulton’s spring/summer collection had more than a hint of English eccentricity grounded by Fulton’s neat silhouettes. Bold and feminine, the collection featured pretty dresses and superbly tailored trousers with boxy tops. Embellishment and embroidery channelled Agar’s surrealist work, making this one of the stand out collections from London.


London Fashion Week: Natasha Zinko SS16

Set in Mayfair’s Erarta Gallery, Natasha Zinko’s collection was more than what meets the eye. On the surface, with its sumptuous fabrics and rich colour palette, her spring/summer collection looked beautifully regal. But upon closer inspection, beneath the soft satin and delicate lace, the collection was strongly inspired by traditional, functional sportswear. Intriguing detailing such as lacing on a floor length gown and 70s-style running shorts layered under sheer lace skirts featured heavily. Stand out pieces included the extravagantly draped boxers robes and gowns paired with sporty slip on shoes.

London Fashion Week: Markus Lupfer SS16

Although the setting for Markus Lupfer’s spring/summer 2016 collection was an English garden setting on Horseguards Avenue, his collection was in fact inspired by Mexico. Drawing on the natural landscape of Mexico rather than stereotypical motifs, the collection is earthier than one may expect. Featuring desert flowers, luchador prints and patterns inspired by nature. Lupfer’s signature embellishment and playful aesthetic.

London Fashion Week: J. JS Lee SS16

New season, new home. The first day of London Fashion Week feels like a new beginning thanks to its new home. Gone are the neoclassical surroundings of Somerset House, we are firmly in 2015 with a gritty new home in Soho’s Brewer Street carpark. The first designer to show in the new show space was J. JS Lee. Inspired by street art with graphic, linear lines featuring heavily, it was a fitting way to start the season. The collection had a relaxed, carefree vibe, juxtaposing Lee’s minimalist tailoring signature with sportswear-inspired voluminous shapes. Sombre black pieces were perked up with pastel and bold striped pieces, which were the stand out looks of a very solid collection.

London Fashion Week: Julien Macdonald SS16

The fashion crowd descended on Smithfields Market en masse, the functioning meat market was the unlikely setting for Julien Macdonald’s SS16 show. Serving up his signature sexiness in spades, his spring/summer collection was a real showstopper. Models shimmied down the runway in heavily beaded and embroidered dresses in rich jewel tones, often slashed to the navel with equally exposed backs. Macdonald also showcased his debut menswear collection; think baroque prints with a hint of sports luxe and a smattering of jewels. An unashamedly indulgent, opulent collection from the king of red carpet gowns, I can’t wait to see this collection in action during awards season.

London Fashion Week: Jasper Conran SS16

 For Spring/Summer 16, Jasper Conran transported us to a fresh, cool rainforest for one of his best collections for a couple of seasons. With a colour palette of ice white and every shade of green from moss and avocado to emerald, the collection was clearly inspired by nature and heavily featured leafy prints. The resulting collection was incredibly serene and zen. Stand out pieces included the layered silk printed dresses and the sequinned gowns, fit for a goddess. A beautiful, earthy collection from Conran.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

London Fashion Week: Edeline Lee SS16

Fittingly set in the Elms Lester Painting Rooms, Edeline Lee’s SS16 collection was inspired by a series of paintings bu Richard Diebenkoen. Drawing from his colour palette of cool aqua, sassy lemon and pretty lilac, the collection featured graphic lines in the form of precisely tailored cuts, folds and darts, providing an angular, modernist edge to the saccharine colour palette. Clashing floral and striped prints in bold shades added depth to her collection, which epitomises the notion of fashion being art. 

London Fashion Week: Bora Aksu SS16

Bora Aksu’s show is always one of my highlights of the season. Aksu’s references are always very personal, often drawing from his childhood in Turkey but they are deftly translated into beautiful, delicate, ethereal collections. His SS16 season is no different. Inspired by childhood summers spent in Izmir, the collection features wisps of silk tulle, lace, organza and cutwork floral designs; the heavy embroidery adding a certain toughness to the delicate fabrics. Another brilliant collection from Aksu.

London Fashion Week: Eudon Choi SS16

Taking inspiration from Victorian artist John Anster Christian Fitzgerald, Eudon Choi’s signature masculine tailoring aesthetic had a much softer, dreamier edge. Voluminous pieces in shades of pastel pink and baby blue with cool navy and white coupled with drawstring detailing and asymmetric cuts made for a striking collection, walking the delicate line between mystical and macabre with his use of light and dark. Eudon Choi is fast becoming one of my favourite designers on the London circuit.

Friday, 27 February 2015

London Fashion Week: Aspinal of London x Etre Cecile AW15

Pairing classic English luxury brand Aspinal of London with quirky fashionista favourite Etre Cecile doesn’t seem like the most obvious choice, but actually it really works. The juxtaposition of the chic, clean lines of Aspinal work so well with the bright colours, prints and textures of Etre Cecile, adding a fun, playful edge to Aspinal’s grown up bags.
The collection features bold primary shades, rubberised leather, nappa leather printed in plaid and a decidedly 90s vibe to five bag shapes including the Mayfair, mini trunk, rucksack, mini rucksack and the tote.
This is one of my favourite fashion collaborations in a LONG time



Thursday, 26 February 2015

London Fashion Week: Topshop Unique AW15

Ten years after its London Fashion Week debut, it’s hard to distinguish Britain’s beloved high street brand from the “proper” designers on the LFW roster. Inspired by the Seventies and English heritage with a rebellious streak, the collection was unkempt with a tomboy edge; rolled up sleeves, loosely belted and a little dishevelled. Pinafores layered over knits, chunky Aryan roll necks and nostalgic Seventies floral prints were the look for day while ruched leather and marabou trimmed prom dresses were the look for night.
A collection for the cool girls, Topshop Unique always leaves me coveting the entire collection. This season is no different, I’ll have one of everything please. 

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

London Fashion Week: Sophia Webster AW15

I have to say, Sophia Webster’s presentations are always a highlight of fashion week. By the time Sunday swings around, everyone’s a little weary and most definitely in need of a pick-me-up. Enter Webster’s exuberant presentations which jolt you awake like a triple espresso. This season, the “Freak Like Me” invitation denoted either the Adina Howard classic or a more American Horror Story inspired freak show.

Set in the derelict Welsh Chapel, the first spectacle in the presentation space was a pair of contortionists as the warm up act. Ascending a very rickety metal staircase, I found myself in Webster’s fun house. Blunt-bobbed space girls trampolined or swished about adorned with metallic shoes and statement clutches, emblazoned with “Miss Thang”, “Say My Name” and “Just Sayin’”.
The more eyecatching pieces were naturally a hit, but I also loved the butterfly collection; butterfly flats and heels with butterfly wings all with matching Mini Me shoes for your little one. Another fantastic collection from Sophia Webster.

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