London Fashion Week is finally here! It’s back to another 5 days of madness at Somerset House with editors, stylists, bloggers and buyers running from show to show in gorgeous coats and heels (and clutching a bag, camera, show tickets – and an umbrella, especially these days!) – all while trying to stay looking fabulous and hoping not to drop anything as they and a horde of photographers crouch over to snap shots of each other as they rush by in a frenzy.
Day 1 at LFW is always chaotic and today was no exception. Suddenly, our comparingly dull routines are switched for five whole days of fashion overload – and it’s so exciting. Shiny, latex skirts are not ‘dominatrix’ but, suddenly fabulous and a walking “doll” with a baby pink frock, patent pink purse and heels and matching pastel pink curls is fascinating. Oversized, plastic headpieces in bright colours which you would never wear now may seem like a wonderful idea. It’s strange but it’s fun and everyone is creatively expressing themselves through fashion.
It’s funny because it’s all contained within a 0.5 mile radius from Somerset House to Freemason’s Hall. Outside this radius, everything is perfectly ordinary. In fact, today I was walking from Somerset House to Freemason’s to catch a show and the moment I stepped outside Somerset House, it was like a calm came over the world. Even though the weather was terrible and it was pouring down rain as the wind flew back and forth, it was as though the world had slowed down; everyone on the streets was casually walking in their Oxfords and flats with an umbrella in hand, on their way to work and what-not. Unlike the crowds at Somerset House, the streets felt strangely empty and, suddenly, I was being looked at quizzically by people who were asking themselves why on Earth I was walking around in super high heels, dressed up in leather, hugging a snakeskin clutch and grappling a massive camera as I pushed my hair out of my face.
LFW kicked off with Felder Felder at Freemason’s Hall. Amongst the bright lights, sisters Annette and Daniela Felder showcased a lot of beautiful colours and juxtaposing textures. Fluffy, angora-like dresses with cutout midriffs, and fur, leather and sheer silk textures mixed and matched; not unlike their A/W 2013-14 show where they also showcased cool and edgy designs with a mix of textures for the young customer.
Then, it was off to the 11am Jean-Pierre Braganza show at Somerset House. Just like last season, this collection was dominated by a monochromatic palette of black, white and grey. The creations also featured digital prints and sheer and silver metallic fabrics which were mimicked by silvery strands of hair twisted into beautiful, loose braids. Most interestingly, there were tops and flare over-the-knee skirts printed with portraits from the Rococo period (Marie Antoinette and her powdered ‘mouton’ hair). There were also somewhat of an oriental inspiration as we saw kimono sleeves reinvented on structured jacquard tops.
I had to then rush back to Freemason’s for Lulu Liu at 11 30 (made it in ten minutes!) and luckily, it was running late so I even had time to take off my coat and have a chat with the girl next to me while prepping my camera. I was pleasantly surprised by this show. I had never been to Lulu Liu before but really loved the vivid colours of red, orange and yellow on ruffled skirts, oversized coats and silky dresses. There was also an oriental influence at this show with Geisha-inspired, powdered make-up and vamp lips and high chignons with loose strands falling nonchalantly in the models’ eyes.
Afterwards, I had to go all the way to a venue in Farringdon for Fyodor Golan’s A/W 2014 show. Before the catwalk, Fyodor Golan showcased a skirt made entirely of Nokia phone screens, pink neon and flashing. We sipped our Proseccos as we watched the model strut up and down the catwalk and then made our way into the main venue for the runway show. The collection was very true to the Fyodor Golan aesthetic: over-the-top, excessive and awe-inspiring. It featured an amalgam of mermaid-like, shimmering metallics in green and blue hues and, mostly vivid pinks and purples with sequins and beading. The venue itself was all pink – from the flooring to the benches and columns, everything was wrapped in a sea of pink ‘grass’. The music was booming and everyone was ‘ooh’-ing and ‘ah’-ing at the sight of every glimmering outfit.
When I got back to Freemason’s, I passed by the Napsugar presentation, where supersized ‘retro’ props sat in the centre of a room around which a ballet dancer pirouetted. Then, one by one, the models started to emerge from backstage, slowly walking around and posing next to the large popcorn box or melting ice lolly. The designs were simple, with linear silhouettes and composed mainly of monochromatic blue, white and black, with touches of red.
Finally, I had some time to relax before my final show. I passed by an exhibition space of up-and-coming designers before making my way back to Somerset House to capture images of the most stylish show-goers.
I wore: Sweater, Zara. Trousers, Acne. Heels, Alexander Wang. Coat, Helene Berman. Clutch, Zara. Earcuff, ASOS. Also, I was sent a couple of pictures that David Nyanzi for ASOS shot of me today!
I wrapped up Day 1 with the ONG-OAJ PAIRAM show at Freemason’s. The collection was a mix of 50’s hair and silhouettes with cinched waists and full skirts finished with modern graphic prints and tailoring. Inspired by Disney villain, Ursula, from The Little Mermaid, the colour palette consisted of metallics and dark shades of purple and blue. There was one particular deep indigo dress in silk crêpe which clung loosely at the top and then flared out at the skirt, a long, sleek train at the back, which flowed beautifully with every step. The outfits were accessorised with glittering heels in silver and green, blue or orange. It was a fantastically bright show with gorgeous silhouettes and colours and I can’t wait to see what he does next season.
I had a magnificent time today (regardless of the dreary weather!); I saw friends, met lots of interesting people and discovered emerging designers that I will watch out for. It’s like being on a holiday break for a few days and it is just so exciting to be at Fashion Week again – it’s the most thrilling two weeks of the year!