It was my first time to do London fashion week as a guest/celebrity in the frow. I was also commissioned to write up an article by two International publications – one US and one UK – so there was no major pressure. Any other time I’ve attended this fashion frenzy I’ve been in the media area, side or end of catwalk, pressed up against a red rope with the rest of the press, vying for interviews with designers, celebrity attendees and models. This time round with no major deadlines, tape time to fill or other demands I could just sit back and enjoy the show, literally. That was until the show ended, then there was challenge of getting to the next one, through the busy streets of London to take position once again. Having opted for the underground on day one Kensington to Clerkenwell above ground at rush-hour was not an option, I learnt the hard way that although it may be a successful time-keeping exercise, heels and the tube do not go together.
Its quite normal to have the option of a handful of shows all happening at the same time, not knowing which to go for I decided to try one I had never been to. Unfortunately my choice of the London label PPQ was not a good one. I was desperately disappointed in what looked like a homemade collection of thrash fabrics and styles. Next stop was London’s palladium theatre for a pre show champagne reception. A huge crowd of onlookers and paparazzi waited outside, so I knew this one was likely to be worth the journey. Never before in LFW history has a fashion show been staged in the 107 year old theatre. Joshua Kane Bespoke was a fitting collection for the West End theatre. Joshua is quite the Chelsea boy with no shortage of support, stars from ‘Made in Chelsea’ (but as I don’t watch, that bits a bit wasted on me), IT girls Lady Victoria Harvey, Lisa Snowdon, Television personalities Prince Cassius, Jamie & Louise Rednap, musicians Sharlene Spitieri all arrived at the same time as me. Not wanting to look too ‘green’ AND (I was on the VIP list even though nobody had a butchers who I was!) I scuttled past the media fest and went on in….(ok, so a glass of bubbles awaited so there was no point hanging around). If people watching is your thing a fashion feast was to follow. Standing-out is the new blending-in in London. I was in a rather unusual child’s vintage kimono that I ‘reinterpreted’ and wore as a top with black trousers and I still felt positively plain.
The show opened with two ballet dancers and a string quartet who played live throughout the show which was just about wow enough for arguably Londons most famous theatre. Then came the models who sashayed across the stage, down a ramp into the stalls, through the seated crowd and back up a ramp on the far side. Spectacular! This definitely made up for the ‘too cool for school’ PPQ experience before!
Day Two started at the fab ME Hotel on Argyll Street for some meet and greets and interviews with press. My agent www.Felicities.co.uk took over Londons newest hotspot for the duration of the fashion festival, so it was really nice to have a base to come and go from. Malone Souliers is a brand I’ve been following for a couple of years now. Her shoes are like pieces of art and have become a feature on every true fashionista hot list! This show was more like a shoe ‘experience’. You enter through a shoe garden and are taken on a shoe journey past levels of exquisite designs in all shapes, colours and sizes. Even the champagne and coffee were served in specially designed Malone Souliers branded cups and glasses. And as the Designer herself and her shoemakers (dressed more like scientists in white coats) take to a stage to talk the A List onlookers through the making of every shoe. I leave with what can only be described as a ‘need’ to own one of these magnificent works of art. Genius!
Simone Rocha was the talk of the town again this year and probably the most coveted ticket of the season so negotiating rush hour traffic for a 6 o’clock start across town was the least of her worries, she knew it would not deter press or fashion lovelies from being there!
I arrived almost an hour late with Daisy Lowe, who had to xxx her seat in the frow. It all worked out for me as I am quite sure I was never going to be sitting in the front, and now instead got to stand side of stage with Daisy for company. She was very sweet and wearing ‘Simone’ from head to toe.
The collection was received very well and it was nice to catch up with the Irish fashion press. We were invited to say hi to the designer, who’s mum (the lovely Odette), husband and child were all back stage, after the show.
The next day Josie (Felicities) and I headed to Fashion Scout HQ, the Freemasons Hall.
Apujan is one of my favourite new labels so I was chuffed when they offered to dress me in the frow. I chose a cobalt blue print silk shirt dress which got a great reaction, worn with Zara peep-toe booties and vintage serpent necklace, earrings and ring from Rhinestones jewellers in Dublin 2. The Autumn Winter collection did not disappoint, lots of my favourite colour green, ruffled jackets, knits, silk shirt dresses and the most divine army green coat with white obi waist belt and leather trim. I love that Fashion Scout give smaller established labels and up and coming designers an opportunity to show. It’s a really cool space offering 3 or 4 levels of commitment – from the full catwalk vibe to an more intimate dressed display area where live models adopt various poses on an elevated platform to show entire collections – almost like looking in a shop window – genius!. Another favourite of mine Deborah Henning took over the elaborate space upstairs – a fitting location for her incredible Autumn/Winter 2017 collection of floaty chiffon print skirts, tailored skirts and trousers and edgy shirts and tops. The Ports1961 show was next. It was nice to be part of a very select crowd to celebrate what was a bit of a homecoming for the brand. It’s been a while since they showed at LFW.
Day four started with a meeting in the Arts Club followed by a showcase of handbags and accessories from Aspinal of London in the salubrious surroundings of Claridges Hotel. This was a who’s who of London lovelies, IT girls, TV personalities and models, all sporting their own bespoke Aspinal handbag – obviously a prerequisite to attending the show. Champagne, delicious miniature savoury bites, ice cream and the largest slices of chocolate cake I have ever seen were being handed out by impeccably dressed waiters. It was entertainment in itself seeing how these seasoned invitees managed to spoon forkfuls of cake into their mouths with one hand whilst balancing their Aspinal bag and goody bag in the other. Quite an achievement!
I chose to save my appetite (and pride) and abstained from all hours d’oeuvres to try the famous soft shell crab sliders in ME’s rooftop restaurant – the perfect end to a perfect London Fashion Week.
Thanks to Alison, Josie and all the Felicities team for making it such an enjoyable – and relatively civilised (what goes on tour stays on tour girls! 😉) experience xx