And, just like that, another London Fashion Week is done and dusted. As usual it’s been a relentless whirl of some ten to twelve shows a day, with numerous presentations, events and appointments woven through the schedule of one show on the hour every hour from nine to nine every day.
I receive tickets to pretty much most shows, but it’s physically impossible to attend them all. Sometimes Remy attends in my stead, to Tweet and take photos when there is a clash, sometimes we get stuck in the inevitable traffic, prompting a flurry of calls to the Swatch-Timeline, begging for updated news on a possible start time, sprinting from car to venue on arrival, although often we find as we peg it through the venue’s entrance that the show is far from starting.
I was reviewing the shows on Sunday for The LFW Daily, the excellent official newspaper that is handed out each day to show attendees – they have a different critic to write the column each day – so my photos of that day are necessarily few and far between. (You can either take snaps or notes.)
These days I type my thoughts frantically into Evernote on my smartphone as the models walk, which makes writing shows up a speedier activity as one can just cut and paste any bon mots or zingers that have occurred during the show. Although I’m still not exactly sure what I meant by ‘looks like a mustard princess’ at one show. Or at least that’s what I think I typed.
It’s a pleasure to be asked to be part of the Daily team: I don’t get to exercise my reviewing muscle much these days; I get to use that enormous body of industry knowledge I’ve accumulated in well over twenty seasons of show attendance.
I started Friday with a breakfast presentation at Coach, with artist Gary Baseman talking about his ideas for his illustrations that form the backbone of the current collection in-store.
Then it was off in a Coach cab to see Jackie JS Lee’s really beautiful show at Somerset House, which opened LFW.
There was an interregnum between shows for Professor Louise Wilson’s memorial service, so Remy, Katie and I decamped to Soho House for a late breakfast. (Sadly their Not Nice At All burnt outside and bland and mushy inside sweetcorn fritters are not a patch on the crispy, corn-packed ones I spent ages perfecting for my cookbook *smug face*)
I opened The Evening Standard’s Deluxe magazine over breakfast with some trepidation, having previously given an interview to journalist Laura Craik about blogging as a business. Happily Laura, who is an excellent writer, played a blinder and, apart from a non-Laura emphasis on my single state – FFS – I was pretty happy with it.
At Felder Felder’s show at the Freemason’s Hall in Covent Garden.
At the Prada party on Friday evening to celebrate Arianne Philips’ windows at the store on Bond Street. My friends at Cellar Society make a mean Old Fashioned. Chloe and I also popped into the Very Exclusive launch on Regent Street to congratulate Sarah Curran (ex-My Wardrobe) on the launch of her new baby.
I ended the evening with a very late supper at Spring, back at Somerset House, with a group of brilliant women hosted by app MyInsiders.
I liked Timur Kim’s pared back installation at the LSE. The level of craft was outstanding and the thought that had gone into every element of the presentation was worth noting. In particular, the hair design by Paul Donovan using Bumble and Bumble. (He wrapped strips of denim to match the clothes into the hair.)
This was the first full production at LFW by ex-LLG superstar Katie Rose, who went on to work with Lulu Kennedy at Fashion East, and whose new company The Bridge Co helps advise fledgling designers. Super proud of what she is doing.
A quick pitstop at the UGG lounge at the ME hotel to admire the views, covetable knitted throws, and pretty summer shoes.
Then downstairs to the presentation by HEMYCA, who showed a tailored collection consisting of capes, high necked long sleeved outerwear, set to the backdrop of a film collaboration with Sony Music artist Judith Hill.
Lunch is very important, even if you eat it at 5pm. Cauliflower with Fontina at Polpo on Maiden Lane.
Flats on the front row at Lucas Nascimento with Anders Christian Madsen, fashion features director of iD. I’m in my Raf x Adidas Stan Smiths, he’s in his great Louboutins.
Bunnies and Linda Farrow sunspecs at Markus Lupfer.
A really lovely show from Holly. Here’s my beautiful Holly Fulton clutch (a gift from her after we went to Shanghai together), with my new ring, which I’m wearing as a thumb piece, courtesy of Thomas Sabo.)
The insane crowds at Somerset House. Most of these people aren’t actually going to the shows, which does make getting to them a chore. (You can spot the non-show attendees, as these are the ones who dress up.)
It’s all about the flats on the front row this season. Trainers pretty much everywhere. I noted Sarah Mower was in a pair of Nike running shoes. It’s pretty easy to work out who is a reality TV star – they wear heels.
I popped into the presentation from recent LCF graduates The Nineteenth, who have a capsule collection of immaculate leather jackets, with great trims, and beautiful silk linings.
I swung by Headonism at Somerset House to look at the millinery. Piers Atkinson above, William Chambers below.
Sunday started very cold and very early, with Preen showing in a new tube entrance hall in St Pancras Square in north London.
A ravishing, coherent collection full of ideas, technique and covetable pieces from Thea and Justin.
A quick dash across town to the Rambert Studio on the South Bank for Margaret Howell. I’d like to live her calm, orderly universe.
Thrilled to bump into Camilla (in Issa) and Hector at his very first fashion show – Milla and Holly, my sister, lived together at university. I love that we now inhabit the same work world – we get to catch up at the most unlikely spots.
I was reviewing Matthew, so my only shot is of the beautiful ceiling from the front row at the Criterion.
The joy of lunch – again late afternoon, this time at Busaba Eathai. I am fed up with eating on the hoof, so I have made a vow to sit down and use utensils for all meals this season. I’m wearing another lovely Thomas Sabo piece here (on loan for LFW).
This year the Topshop show space was at Tate Britain on Millbank.
Me in more (loaned) Thomas Sabo. I often forget to wear jewellery in the rush to get ready, so I’ve rather enjoyed have a bowl of excellent loaned pieces to dip into this season.
The show was late – we were apparently waiting for Cara to arrive.
Most upset to discover the driving icy rain outside after the show. No brollie 🙁
London, seen through the murk. I was off to Paul Smith back at King’s Cross for my final show of the day. As you’ve probably gathered by now, we cover some serious mileage pinging around London from show to show.
45 minutes late, and freezing cold inside the atrium of Central St Martins. Thank GOD for Heat Tech undies. I was so tired by this point that, even though there was a pounding soundtrack echoing through the space, I found myself nodding off on the hard bench as we waited.
I went backstage after to speak to Sir Paul. It is always such a pleasure: he is utterly charming with immaculate manners. *swoons*
And this is how Sunday finished: holed up in my snazzy suite at The May Fair hotel, with a room service pizza, surrounded by show notes and trying to file 800 odd words for my evening deadline.
With thanks to Thomas Sabo for the jools, and The May Fair for hosting me.