How the hell do you tackle your first day of fashion week? Not in heels that’s for sure. Betty and I were all set for London. Our wardrobe less so. There’s a switch in my brain and whenever I go anywhere south of Newcastle it clicks into “TAPS AFF” (or more appropriately, light cardi, nae tights.) You’d think I didn’t watch the news or something, but I had definitely blocked out things like “gale force winds” and “flooding.” It’s okay though, we weren’t going to let a little thing like weather rain on our fashion day parade. Day 1 was all about Freemasons House, hitting up Fashion Scout for a host of fine, fresh, fierce new designers. Jamie Wei Haung’s collection was a killer start to the day; the collection was minimalistic both with his simple round silhouette and colour palette (red, black and white dominate this collection.) The over all feel is fashion as survival with thick leather harnesses, gorgeous cobalt blue tweeds and scarlet shearing. NapSugar’s presentation is a delightful injection of fun retro pop art with popcorn and strawberry splits. The clothes? Buttery leather shorts (NEED), laser cut leather jackets and blue wool biker jackets were all firm favourites. What I really went gaga for was the make up. Gold glittery eyebrows is something I need in my life immediately. The New Talent show was a mixed bag for me (yes to gorgeous use of colour on beautiful wool, no to looking like a motel.) The stand out show of the day was Pam Hogg and her tribute to Pussy Riot. The models were super fun, the clothes were everything you expect from Hogg (metallics, pastels colour all impossible to wear unless your 70s David Bowie or Hogg herself) and beautiful neon and pastel knits. By this point I’ve completely destroyed my feet, bought 3 pairs of shoes and I’m strarving. It’s Valentine’s Day and we end up at a small restraunt next to Freemasons Hall at a sharing table with 3 other couples. We get the sharing steak which apparently feeds two but could easily do a family of four. My swollen feet are in trainers, and I’m not sure if it’s cause I’m riding some kind of ridiculous fashion high or if this is just the best steak I’ve ever eaten (Betty clarifies later that it is) but I’m pretty sure this day can’t be beat.
Highlights: Fashion head says Pam Hogg. Tummy says steak. Brain says discovering City Mapper.
Lowlights: Crawling along Oxford Street in brand new courts. A valiant 8 hour effort on my part.
Cape & Dress – Obscure Couture, Shoes – Call It Spring at Debenhams, Coat – Lanvin for H&M, Bag – Topshop, Glasses -Miu Miu for Pretavoir
Today’s the day for Somerset House. First up is Edinburgh born Holly Fulton. Not every one gets in, leaving some unhappy fashionitas littering the courtyard. Thank god for the live screen then, yes? It’s all of Fulton’s motifs, the 1920’s art deco inspired digital prints set against a predominantly pastel palettes. Cacoon coats, full skirts. This is Fulton all grown up and it’s ticking a lot of boxes. Betty and I check out the exhibitions including Topshop’s NewGen and all sorts of delicious accessories. Cleo Ferin Mercury (scarf designer) is here and I’m all about her new circus collection; before the afternoon is through I’m sure I’ve committed to buying a hat from Glasgow’s own William Chambers. It has feathers. I have weddings coming up. I must have it. I find myself looping around the exhibition, always coming back to the hat. Just to say hello really.
I never quite realised how mental street style is at LFW (I had an inkling) and there is still something a bit odd about someone asking to take your picture (or more odd, not asking and snapping away.) The Scottish designers are going down a right treat. Betty gets scolded for smiling by a photographer “No. Serious face.” I consider showing him my serious face. I love my Betty best when she’s full on smiling. But it’s fashion week and it’s all a bit weird and kind of wonderful and the people are polite, funny and passionate. Belle Sauvage is the final show on the roaster for Betty and I and what a show to go out on. Parisian femme fatale with a military slant serving echoes of 90s Moschino and shades of Versace. Quilted bombers, chiffon capes and silk gowns with a gold, black and red palette. The chain and lipstick motif throughout is a firm favourite and it’s all I can do not to be clapping up and down in my seat. What can I say? Fashion gets me going.
Highlights: Fashion head – Belle Sauvage. Tummy – Byron Burger (the best burger I’ve ever had.)
Lowlights: Overhearing someone fretting over the sugar content in a 96 calorie bag of popcorn. Alas apparently some cliches hold true.
Today’s the day I parade about London in jammies and trainers. No one bats an eye lash. I love you fashion week you beautiful beast you. We kick off the day at Pringle of Scotland at the Saville Row Club. It is fancy. We’ve got summer fruits on heather skewers, tiny little pastries and the most prim and polished people I have ever seen. 2D graphic jumpers, beautifully textured mid length coats make this one of my favourites. It’s elegant and classic and it’s safe to say Pringle are one of those houses that put out “investment pieces.”
We’re a hop, skip and a jump from Oxford Street so shopping is a thing that happens. I buy more shoes such is my want before we head over to Debenhams. There is sandwiches (hurrah!) and hunnrs of new goodies in. There is a spectacular chunky silver sandal that both Betty and I coo over. After freshening up it’s back once more in to the breach. Or Somerset House. Potato, po-ta-toe.
Vivienne Westwood is our closing show for the day, curled up with some old faves I’ve wanted to meet for ages (HI LAURA) and slightly newer faves who’s friendships were formed on the dance floor (HI JAIME.) Westwood was as expected and truth be told I wasn’t blown away, but I did like the safety pin earrings and the heart motif throughout so there is that.
Today’s the day Betty and I move hotel and oh what a hotel it is. We’re moving to the Guoman Tower Bridge Hotel which benefits from several things. The unbelievable view of the Tower from our room is pretty spectacular and the food, oh I’ve never had eating this good in Glasgow that’s for sure (the Farm with it’s braised shoulder of lamb and duck ravioli is stupidly good) but it also benefits from being two stops from Somerset House. No more changes on the subway for us.
Highlights: Fashion head – Pringle. The Tower Bridge Hotel for everything else. No hotel has the right to be this fancy.
Lowlights: Packing. Oh the packing.
Trousers – Topshop, Shirt – Zara, Bra – Agent Provoceteur, Jacket – Aymee Charlton, Glasses – Miu Miu at Pretavoir, Bag – Biba, Shoes – Faith at Debenhams
For someone who once said she would never wear all white I’ve been loving a distinctly paler colour palette as of late. It’s also our last day at fashion week and it takes all I can not to sob whenever I look at how many clothes we’ve brought with us and how many we’re taking back. Packing is going to be fun.
It’s an early start with a meeting with the ladies of Radley at Balthazaar. We chat all things Radley – the good, the bad and the ugly. We all fawn about the Holly Fulton show. We chat garden weddings, teen illustrators and next move for team Radley all over eggs benedict. I am a city woman who does city things like talking fashion over breakfast. This is what my brain is telling me and it’s all very surreal. We hug, we kiss and we promptly make our way to our next meeting at Mulberry HQ. They’ve just launched their latest collection with Cara Delavinge. It doesn’t scratch all my fashion itches if I’m going to be completely honest but I’m into the multi functional, the quirky details and can’t help fawning over the camo finish. I know I’ve been in London too long when I’m told the price of one of the bags (much more than my rent) and find myself thinking “You know what, that’s dead reasonable.”
It’s back to Somerset House where we shoot some street style, grab some lunch with some bloggers before heading to the Isabella Blow exhibition. I cry over a hat and realise I’m home.
Highlights: The street style at Somerset House is on point today. Snap snap snap.
Lowlights: Goodbye Isabella Blow. Goodbye pals. Goodbye London.
I eat all the pastries. Narrowly avoid a bust up with a woman at Luton airport and some how manage not to eat all half dozen of my krispy crème. It’s been swell London. Abientot!