Fashion Week

LCM SS15: day 3

LCM SS15

I wore… Tory Burch jacket (available on SALE here) and shorts (available on SALE here) and top, Kate Spade NY sunglasses (available here), Sophia Webster shoes (similar here) & Roger Vivier bag (available here)

Image c/o The Urban Spotter

LCM SS15 night two was officially “the big one” with Diesel and Moschino both hosting pretty major festivities. Subsequently day three was not the most sprightly of starts but I had projects to wrangle and a distressing amount of wilfully ignored emails to tackle so when my alarm went off like a bomb at 7am hitting snooze was sadly not an option. Several hours of frantic typing later I was suited and booted in one of my current favourite outfits. As you can see, it involved a co-ord and copious amounts of pink and shiny things, enough to put a spring in even the weariest of steps!

Joseph LCM SS15

Joseph SS15

My first port of call was itsu, obviously, then it was on to Brook Street for the Joseph presentation. Having missed their return to the womenswear schedule I was excited to see what treats the iconic brand had in store for the fellas and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. It was, quite simply, some of the chicest menswear I’ve ever laid eyes on. “Simply” being the key word here as simplicity, along with quality and functionality, lies at the core of Joseph’s brand DNA. Drawing inspiration from the book “Brooklyn Gangs” by photographer Bruce Davidson, Joseph delivered an array of staples that felt both youthful and grown up all at once. Glove leather tees, light summer knits, crisp cotton tailoring in boxy silhouettes, picnic tablecloth checks and striped waffle knit polos in a palette of earthy neutrals, navy, khaki, olive and monochrome with touches of pink, salmon and peach. Stand out looks had to be those involving the signature print of the collection, an urban floral motif developed from elements of Davidson’s images. I’ve got my eye on the bomber jacket in particular.

Joseph LCM SS15 2

Joseph SS15

Feeling reinvigorated by the Joseph presentation and peaceful ambiance of the showroom I headed out into the glorious sunshine for a leisurely totter through soho to The Hospital Club. On the day like that, London really does feel like the best place on the planet, but anyway I digress. After an hour or so’s satisfactory loitering in the press lounge under the guise of doing work it was time to head to Victoria House for the Katie Eary show. Katie has had a brilliant few seasons garnering stockists, press and a cult following not to mention her much coveted collection for River Island; when a high street giant wants to capitalize on your cool that’s a sure a sign as any for a designer that you’ve “arrived”. The collection was entitled “Dallas Rodeo”, which I certainly liked the sound of and as the Wild Wild West sound track stuck up I could almost imagine saloon doors swinging open in a desert breeze.

Katie Eary LCM SS15

Katie Eary SS15

Choosing such a distinct theme runs the risk of veering into tired, overly retro territory but Katie Eary’s psychedelic cowboys were distinctly 2015. Dizzying graphic prints adorned neon hued silk shirts, paired with fringed suede biker jackets, scarves and moccasin ankle boots. Obviously you can’t have cowboys without denim but Eary elevated the trusty basic by way of treatments and heavy leather patching, resulting in trompe l’oeil confections ready to strut their stuff from Texas to Rodeo Drive. Complete with bullhead belt buckles, bird skull rings and lashings of glitter it was a bold, brash and unashamedly fun collection, this season Katie Eary certainly came to play.

I left the show daydreaming of glitter and desert shoot outs (more the former) and made the very short totter through Bloomsbury to the most gorgeous church where Baartmans and Siegal were hosting their presentation. Run by Dutch/English duo, Wouter Baartmans and Amber Siegel (who, FYI, own’s world’s most adorable Daschund… called Noodle!), this label is a serious one to watch. Actually, more of a one you should already have been watching. In the short few seasons since the label launched for SS11, through Harrods no less, Baartmans and Siegal’s covetable brand of accessible, wearable luxury has garnered Baartmans and Siegal rave reviews, prestigious stockists and it’s founder’s named on Esquire’s “7 Brilliant Brits List”. Combining luxe fabrics and imaginative detailing to create unique yet wearable collections has become the company’s calling card and this season they delivered just that. Think utility tailoring, uncontrived layering, subtly incorporated sportswear influences and detailing that fell somewhere between playful and useful in a palette of oil slick blacks, khakis, olive, navy and slate grey. Waterproof outerwear sat alongside crispest cotton and mesh pieces came luxed up with suede patches. All in all, I couldn’t fault it. Slick delivery, magnificent venue and stellar collection. There are big things coming for Baartmans and Siegal in the not-so-distant future I feel.

Baartmans and Siegal LCM SS15

Baartmans and Siegal SS15

There was only was place I was going next and that place was Starbucks. The heat of the day was rather exacerbating my *ahem* headache in a way that nothing but a venti skinny iced latte could hope to cure. And cure it did. Within the blink of an eye I had answered emails, written a review or two (!) and was ready to hit up the final show on my LCM SS15 calendar, A.Sauvage. This was, hands down, one of the best shows I saw throughout. I did a little social media stuff for A.Sauvage a while back and, after just about getting over my lust for their buffersoft suede bombers, this first thing I thought was this guy and this brand are seriously, seriously smart. On an already overcrowded schedule – testament to the power and popularity of LCM - A.Sauvage’s collection stood out as the very epitome of sleek, contemporary cool for the urban gent who wants to look on trend without veering into try hard territory. Although I say “on trend” these pieces have a timelessness, albeit a very modern one, to them that elevates them straight to “investment” status. The show opened with one of the aforementioned bomber jackets articulated into luscious deep khaki leather. What followed was a tightly edited collection that combined highlighter bright colour pop tailoring with more classic takes modernised with leather trimmed lapels and paired with t-shirts printed with African masks and African dictators and the most mesmerising jungle print. Oh that print. Adorning jersey trimmed tops, cotton shirts, bombers and one particularly incredible suit, it came in forest green, grey and vivid neon blue. I want to be wearing it myself come SS15.

A.Sauvage LCM SS15

A.Sauvage SS15 (Images via Style.com)

The show drew to a close with Adrien taking a bow – I saw taking a bow, I mean doing a spinning, twirling run onto the catwalk that could have gone SO wrong but of course didn’t – wearing his masterful leather articulation of the classic crombie coat. All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better end to my LCM. Or at least to the shows, there were parties a’ plenty to follow.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week Leave a comment

LCM SS15: Day 2

LCM SS15 Day2

I wore… Jacket by Club Monaco, Shirt by Hobbs NW3 (available on SALE here), Skirt by J.Crew, Clutch by Hobbs (available on SALE here), Sandals by Next (available here) & Sunglasses by Kite

Image c/o The Urban Spotter

So finally we’re on to LCM SS15 day two! It won’t be as long as day one, I promise. Having left the DKNY x Esquire party at the saintly hour of half 11 (clearly I’m getting boring in my old age) I was up bright and early. This was largely because I had to work on my Diesel collaboration and attempt to make a dent in my overflowing inbox but despite leaving myself a good hour to do so, and pre planning my outfit, I still found myself sprinting to the tube in a blind panic. The Piccadilly line then decided not to play ball so it was a very tense journey, hovering by the doors and constantly checking my phone. I don’t know why I always get so stressed out about these things seeing as no fashion show in the history of ever has started on time but still I did, arriving at J.W. Anderson an anxiety stricken mess and nearly breaking both ankles in the process. J.W. Anderson is one of the hottest tickets on the London Collections Men schedule and the fact there were a handful of empty seats in the house hinted that perhaps not everyone had been quite so sensible the night before. I wasn’t complaining though as the fact that the venue wasn’t an uncivilised level of packed afforded us a fantastic view of Anderson’s boundary pushing creations.

LCM SS15 JW Anderson

J.W. Anderson SS15 (images via Style.com)

The show opened with an array of tabard like woven tops adorned with dreamy abstract landscapes by renowned textile artist, and fellow Royal College alum, John Allen. From there, the collection journeyed through contorted pinstriped tailoring – warping the ordinarily conservative stripes across jumpsuit esque one pieces with low slung bow tied belts – raw hemmed blazers, off the shoulder tops, and knitwear of the highest quality cropped into vests and pulled tight by zips. It was a clever deconstruction of typical menswear pieces with a definite femininity to it, gender bending is a fine art in the hands of J.W. Anderson. But while SS15 saw the Irish designer challenge and perhaps even provoke, Anderson cleverly delivered more commercially viable pieces there than previous seasons (hello louchely tailored trews) without compromising the unique vision that made his name.

We all filed out of the show onto the streets of Bloomsbury and I made a beeline for Starbucks to grab a vat of something hot and caffeinated. Did I mention day 2 was freezing? And, as you can see, I was not attired for the weather but it was June for Christ’s sake and I certainly wasn’t going to be sheltering in some form of coat! Giant pint of sweetened latte – or as my Dad not entirely inaccurately calls it “sock juice” – in hand, I headed to Covent Garden where Orlebar Brown was staging a presentation in his Floral Street store. Outside the cobbled pavement was packed with jauntily attired fashion boys sporting carefully styled facial hair, multiple prints and mankle flashing trews, and a few bemused builders probably wondering what fresh hell they’d stumbled into. After skipping the artisan coffee stall positioned outside in the interest of not actually over-caffeinating myself to the point of exploding, I made to venture in. The first thing that caught my eye, ok the second after the beautiful semi naked models holding their leashes, were an array of dogs sitting in the window. What a stroke of utter genius; hot, unclothed boys and adorable pooches, how better to instantly win over a crowd consisting almost entirely of gay men and women!? Then of course there were the garments themselves which were, as always with Orlebar, delectable. Brown may not be providing anything overly challenging but what he is providing is so unbelievably on the money. This brand is all about stylishly tailored swimwear, that is “not a swim short, but a short you can swim in.” And indeed, each pair of shorts – or polo, t-shirt, jacket, pair of cargo pants… Brown does way more than just beach gear - is a slice of immaculately crafted eye candy in glorious highlighter hues and an array of playful prints that operate from beach to bar and beyond. In short, it’s exactly what I’d want my boyfriend to wear… Y’know, if I wasn’t terminally single. Actually it’s exactly what I want to be rocking on holiday too, which is handy since Orlebar Brown now does womenswear.

LCM SS15 Orlebar Brown

Orlebar Brown SS15 (images via Style.com)

LCM SS15

I left the Orlebar presentation feeling considerably perky and found myself with a couple of hours to kill before my next show. I didn’t have to think hard about where to loiter, it was straight to Whistles followed by a very leisurely lunch at Itsu reading GQ Magazine which, BTW, I absolutely love. Appetite sated, phone charged and a half arsed attempt to work given up on, suddenly it was time to head to the City for the Hackett show. I can’t help but feel that LCM must pose something of a conundrum for heritage brands like Hackett. Classic, good quality, British staples are their stock in trade but when on the same schedule as the conceptual likes of J.W. Anderson and the modern minimalism of Richard Nicoll could sway even the most stalwart Creative Director to push the boat out a little too much. Of course, you’ve got to move things on season to season however alienating their loyal, and perhaps not catwalk savvy, customer is a real risk for a brand like Hackett. Well, I have to say they navigated this particular minefield masterfully by doing what they do best – timeless tailoring and elegant casual wear – but adding a contemporary edge. Not too much mind, while there were a few sculptural leathers and shimmery shirts the majority of what we saw on the catwalk was time tested. Exquisitely cut double breasted suits, perfectly tailored trousers, gold buttoned blazers, cricket sweaters and the crispest of shirting. In a colour palette that spanned from ice whites to rich navy and light tweed via salmon, olive, orange, cobalt and pillarbox red it was a lovely show to behold and an unmistakably Hackett collection.

LCM SS15 Hackett

Hackett London SS15 (images via Style.com)

Once we finally all managed to pile out of the venue I decided to “pop” home and cram a couple of hours work and a sneaky outfit change in. Why, oh why do I never learn this is foolish? It inevitably ends in flogging halfway across London, managing to answer about two emails and then suddenly realising I’m hideously late and making a mad dash to whatever I’m meant to be at next. Obviously, that is precisely what happened. Having decided to order an Uber to the Moschino show I was forced to abandon my car thanks to the standstill traffic. Then, having endured a commuter tube (for non Londoners, this is basically an hell full of passively aggressive angry people) I was legging it to the venue when *drumroll please* the entire heel snapped off my Diesel gladiator sandals. After a very unsuccessful attempt to patch it up with some sellotape I borrowed from a Chinese restaurant nearby, I gave up and decided to style it out on one heel. Missing Moschino was just not an option.

LCM SS15 Moschino

Moschino SS15

Much like everyone else, this was a show I’d seriously been looking forward to. Since Jeremy Scott joined the brand Moschino’s “it” status had skyrocketed thanks to his highly instagrammable catwalk debut and the fast food inspired accessories that swiftly replaced Kenzo sweatshirts in the must-have (and then share extensively on social media) stakes. That sounds like I’m being disparaging, I’m not. I thought Scott’s first collection for the innately irreverent Italian house was inspired, especially at a time when so many people are craving a tongue-in-cheek take on fashion. And I also want quite a lot of it. Forgetting about my personal imaginary shopping list for the time being, Jeremy Scott’s Moschino menswear SS15 show was everything you’d want and expect from it, and then some. With the likes of Lindsay Lohan poised on the FROW, the show opened with a suit (no shirt underneath, natch) emblazoned with retro soda labels, setting the tone for a mash up of iconic symbols, street, pop and rave culture plus lashings of 80′s maximalism. Cameo’s from female supers’ including Lindsay Wixen, Charlotte Free and Lily Mcmenamy added to the buzz about proceedings.

LCM SS15 Moschino

Moschino SS15

It may have been all ghetto gold, highlighter hues and logomania but Scott’s re-appropriation of luxury symbolism – think logos with more than a passing resemblance to Chanels’ created from interlocking smiley faces and Hermès orange ribbon applied to orange denim – provided a witty take on the phenomenon which you can read into as much as you wish. Similarly the gold dollar sign covered suit which caused people to practically fall off their seats as they leapt for a (square framed) picture, those could almost be seen as playing on the idea of expensiveness in a Warhol0esque manner. As for emblazoning “Fauxschino” across hoodies, that was just bloody brilliant. Brash, branded and fabulous, the whole thing was a riotous, rambunctious coming together of bad taste and great design with plenty of commercial pieces that, sans styling, cool kids will wear dawn ’till dusk the second they can get their hands on them.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 1 Comment

LCM SS15: Day 1 Pt.2

Christopher Raeburn LCM SS15

Christopher Raeburn SS15

Picking up where we left off yesterday, after a lovely hour or so spent drinking rosé and having a catch up with Naomi, it was time to head back to Victoria House for the Christopher Raeburn show. Raeburn is a very interesting and admirable designer. He made his name concocting garments from military parachutes and the REMADE ethos continues to guide his work today. Brand Raeburn is one of equal parts integrity and innovation and I’m always intrigued to see how he moves his work on each season while remaining true to this ethos, not to mention flabbergasted by his ability to transform waste fabrics into covetable clothing. SS15 saw Christopher look to The Desert Boneyard in Arizona, a spectacle of up to 4000 military aircraft awaiting reappropriation and just about the most fitting source of inspiration for him you could possibly imagine. This saw Christopher’s signature REMADE parachute fabric used extensively alongside MIG fighter pilot flightsuits transformed into contemporary garments and aeroplane motifs adorning casual cool tailoring, t-shirts and mesh separates in a palette of classic military aviation colours. Certainly not your average utility dressing and the wearability of Raeburn’s pieces belie the labour intensive process behind them. All in all it was a concise, coherent collection of the highest quality and a stellar show from Christopher Raeburn.

MAN LCM SS15 1

Nicomede Talavera SS15

Up next was the MAN show, the menswear counterpart of Lulu Kennedy’s pioneering Fashion East programme which launched the careers of Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Roksanda Ilincic to name but a few. With London rapidly establishing itself as a hotbed for innovative modern male fashion, there’s always a real atmosphere of excitement and anticipation around the MAN show. This season’s line up kicked off with Nicomede Talavera (fantastic name!) a Central Saint Martins graduate who made his LCM debut just last season but has already gathered an impressive selection of stockists including LN-CC, Joyce and Comme des Garcons Trading Museum. SS15 saw Talavera experimenting with fabrics and silhouettes layering leather tabards over patchwork sheaths over trousers and finely pleated asymmetric skirts skirts with artfully frayed edges. Gingham, cotton and silk came combined with neoprene, mesh and glossy calf hair for a spliced mash up of references and pieces that felt at once both chaotic and perfectly pulled together. With more than a passing whiff of JW Anderson about it, Nicomede Talavera delivered the kind of conceptual collection that you’d expect from a MAN show but is not for the faint of heart.

MAN LCM SS15 2

Liam Hodges SS15

Up next came Liam Hodges, a kent born Royal College of Art alum introducing his wares to the catwalk for the very first time this season. Drawing inspiration from Kibbo Kift, a peaceful scout-like movement from the first half of the 20th century Hodges offered up khaki shorts and sweatshirts adorned with badges and pillarbox red patches paired with chunky caterpillar boots. It wasn’t all boy scouts though, as the press release explained, Liam Hodges work is a “big butterfly net full of whatever Liam’s been slobbering over online.” In this case that incorporated Wild Wild West flavour by way of feathers confections, leather chaps and rangers hats alongside seriously touch leathers and stomping biker boots. 

LCM SS15 MAN 3

Bobby Abley SS15

Last but certainly not least, was Bobby Abley with a collection that sent instagram into overload. Opening with distressed denim tracksuits in slate grey, Abley at first appeared to be making a stark move away from the cartoonish prints, candy hues and extreme accessories – aggressive mouth pieces for for AW14 and crowns the previous season – that made his name. But while the colour palette may have been somewhat subdued in comparison to previous seasons and a definite grungey, skater vibe about the clothes, disney faces soon appeared sending the fashion fellows on the FROW into paroxysms of sweatshirt induced joy. Telling the tale of Ariel through reworked sportswear in shades of deep sea green, purple and black interspersed with bursts of red and lilac was a smart move for Bobby Abley, moving his aesthetic and narrative forward while retaining the element of playfulness we’ve come to know and love.

Jonathan Saunders LCM

Jonathan Saunders SS15 (and women’s Resort 2015)

After a resounding round of applause we filed out of the Topman venue, but not far, as Jonathan Saunders was presenting his men’s SS15 and women’s Resort 2015 collections at the other end of that same building. Saunders’ shows have become some of the hottest tickets in town and his pieces the most coveted, featuring on the backs of some of the world’s most stylish women and the editorials of every publication worth its salt. The merest of glances at his work will demonstrate why this is so. We took more than the merest of glances at his presentation this LCM as the clothes, oh those clothes, were quite a sight to behold. In a mouthwatering palette ranging from rich mustards through soft, dusty pastels to burnished silvers and midnight navy shades it was a masterclass in contemporary, cool elegance and how to cater to a stylish so-and-so’s entire wardrobe needs with just one collection. My bank account quivers at the thought of making pre orders but, then again, Saunders’ designs are the very epitome of investment pieces.

Richard  Nicoll LCM SS15

Richard Nicoll SS15

From there, it was time to make the blissfully short stroll to Victoria House (God I wish the women’s shows were so conveniently located) for another homegrown designer whose clothes are making waves across the globe. Richard Nicoll isn’t about the glamour and the glitz, the conceptual and the unwearable by any lesser dresser than Daphne Guinness. His are pieces that sit comfortably within the everyday wardrobe of a sartorially clued up urbanite. They come without bells and whistles but are in fact all the more compelling for their reality and just so immaculately, intelligently executed. For SS15 Nicoll served up a collection that communicated exactly what his brand is all about. Organic washed cottons, softest jersey, gingham and chambray were combined with shimmering silver pieces, highlighter bright tailoring and plasticized fabrics making for an ingenious juxtaposition between the handmade and the high tech. It was an exquisitely modern and well thought out take on simple summer basics; short sleeved cotton shirts and matching tailored trousers dip died yellow for an ombre effect, utility pocketed boiler suits concocted in gingham, patchworked shirts and deconstructed macs. All commercially viable and utterly wearable looks but beautifully and imaginatively articulated in a way that felt unmistakably Nicoll. The press release had promised “urban classics” and I couldn’t have put it better myself.

ADA x NIK LCM

Ada + Nik SS15

As you may have gathered, LCM day 1 was a long one and it was by no means over yet! After things wrapped up at Richard Nicoll we wandered along to the St Martins Lane hotel for my penultimate show of the day Ada + Nik. This was one I was particularly looking forward to, not only because Ada and Nik are both dear friends but also because theirs’ is one of the most exciting up and coming menswear labels around. Despite it only being their second season showing, the hotel was packed with eager attendees including some pretty major names in fashion. But if their last collection was impressive, it was nothing on SS15′s Carpe Noctem. Weighing in at over 60 pieces, this was badass luxe at its very best. Think urban streetwear staples – the bomber, the tracksuit, the tank top – reimagined in high spec fabrics ranging from hydrophobic cotton to antibacterial sneaker-net alongside structural outerwear and stand out pieces such as high gloss waistcoats and a pair of buttersoft leather dungarees. From the casting to the soundtrack to the art house film released alongside it, no detail had been overlooked in the production of Carpe Diem and I think it’s safe to say that the future looks very bright for Ada + Nik.

My final port of call was One Embankment for the DKNY presentation and party. The collection was cracking, as was the night that ensued, but I’ll be telling you more about that another day.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 1 Comment

LCM SS15: Day 1

LCM SS15

I wore… Co-ord by Matthew Williamson, Shoes by Next, Bag by Paul & Joe Sister and Sunglasses by Salvatore Ferragamo

Image by The Nyanzi Report

I swear to God fashion weeks are coming around faster and faster by the season! It seems like just yesterday I was battling the elements for the AW14 shows. Not that I’m complaining, it’s no secret that I adore fashion week. Spending a few days prancing around in fancy attire watching gorgeous people wear even more gorgeous clothes, what’s not to love? In other exciting news, this season I achieved the impossible, waking up on day 1 sans hangover having made the totally out of character decision to skip the opening parties and tackle my obscene to do list instead. Suffice to say, I was the smuggest person on the planet. With only 3 days on its calendar, LCM is a walk in the park to outfit plan for. I’d pinched the most incredible printed co-ord from Matthew Williamson (sharing the shoot pics soon!) and couldn’t resist wearing it straight away. Choosing which sunglasses to wear proved less easy. I so wanted to go for my oversized pink shades from Matthew but a glance in the mirror proved that I did look like a cartoon character so I opted for a more sober (well, ish) pair of tortoiseshell Ferragamos instead. The weather forecast had clearly been having a laugh at my expense and it was cold, windy and grey outside, a far cry from the sunny 20 degrees promised. I resolved to be chilly all day and get on with it, especially considering the permanent through draft that came of not actually being able to put my arms through the sleeves of my jacket thanks to the bold shoulders of the top underneath. In this instance I was genuinely shoulder robing out of necessity, not (just) because I’m a fashion wanker, and paid the price.

First on my agenda was Lou Dalton at the BFC showspace in Bloomsbury. There was a distinct back to school mood in the venue. The air was buzzing with a combination of excited “so nice to see everyone”‘s and “shit I feel deathly”‘s from those who’d overdone it the night before. Aside from the clothes and shows that’s one of my favourite things about fashion weeks, the reunion esque feeling of catch ups and adrenaline and “we’re all in this together”, especially when it comes to the second leg of the women’s shows. Having taken my seat, my attention turned to the press release. SS15 was promised to be “all about control, defining who we are as a brand”. This was a pretty exciting proposition as Lou’s been hot property for a fair few seasons now and there’s a certain point where a talented young designer transitions to become a real brand to be reckoned with, think Christopher Kane or Jonathan Saunders a couple of years back. So, I wondered, could SS15 be Lou’s big move? The opening looks confirmed that yes, this certainly might be it.

Lou Dalton LCM SS15

Lou Dalton SS15

Opening with immaculately tailored cotton jacquard the collection was a formidable feat of contemporary, casual tailoring with hint of athleticism. Modernising classic staples is a recurrent theme in menswear, and womenswear for that matter, but Lou’s take on the blazer, the bomber, the man, the army field jacket felt fresh without becoming reworked out of recognition or wearability. Details held true to the garments earlier incarnations, with keepers pockets adorning trench coats and snug hooded parkas striking a savvy balance between technical fabrics you as sculpted mesh and hear sealed patches, and a feeling of organic crispness articulated in crisp cottons, dry wool and lightweight checks. Indeed, texture played an understated bit powerful role in the show, combined with a palette that encompassed crisp ice whites, salmon pinks, pastel hues and earthy neutrals through to bold pops and rich burgundys, lending a transeasonal air to proceedings. Hooded grosgrain bombers paired with tailored shorts offered a sporty take on tailoring that didn’t feel terrifying adding to my overall impression that while this was a “fashion” collection, and a strong one at that, they were also clothes that could translate into reality for the non fashion man.

After that excellent start I was off to a presentation I was particularly looking forward to, Nicholas Kirkwood. As London’s kind of sculptural high heeled creations, one might wonder how easily Nicholas could turn his hand to men’s footwear. The answer, very. The split second I entered Mercer Street studios I fell hard for a pair of shiny metallic blue brogues. I then learned Kirkwood will be making an identical women’s version and mentally subtracted a substantial amount from my bank account, those babies will be mine. Combining artisanal techniques with a very modern aesthetic, Nicholas Kirkwood’s SS15 collection is quite simply sublime. By reinvigorating men’s classic shoe styles with technical sports fabrics, rubberised and foiled laminated leathers and treated micro soles in an array of unexpected hues he delivers an utterly original take on luxury footwear.

140615-kirkwood-mens-ss15-8477

Nicholas Kirkwood SS15

140615-kirkwood-mens-ss15-8635

Next up was Topman so I headed back towards Holborn – I’m making out like this was a long journey, in fact the men’s shows are all practically next door to one another which is awesome – where throngs we already gathering outside the Old Sorting Office. The Topshop, or in this case Topman, venue is always a good place for a bit of a mince and I ran into a few of my nearest and dearest within seconds. Said nearest and dearest persuaded me to join them in a vodka cocktail which turned out to be lethally strong and perhaps a bit of a mistake in retrospect. But, as I’ve said before, fashion week is a bit like Christmas or your birthday AKA one of those occasions when a stiff drink 11.30am is not only acceptable but practically mandatory. Eventually we took our seats and I took a look at the show notes. Topman’s SS15 collection was entitles “Seventies Nineties” which filled me with equal amounts of anticipation and trepidation. That kind of thing could be brilliant, or could go hideously wrong. Luckily the mash up of influences, colours, textures and decades that ensured fell largely into the latter category and the soundtrack that accompanied it was par excellence.

topman LCM SS15

Topman SS15

Resisting the temptation to day dream of Ashton Kutcher in That 70s Show and miss the actual fashion show I focused on the graphic knits, spread collars, patchworking and other retro-reloaded fare on the catwalk. Initially I was dubious about the extreme flares (very interested to see what brave boys adopt them next Spring!) and some of the seventies references did feel a bit literal but the throwback aviators, corduroy, psychedelia patterns and cropped silk kimonos were balanced out by modern layering, genius matching suitcases and print lined, shaggy fur trimmed parkas which had “sell out in seconds” written all over them. As for the glittery green disco tailoring that finished things off, that I want in my own wardrobe.

Just noticed that my word count has now passed the 1000 mark so I will leave the second instalment of LCM SS15 day 1 until the next post! Just as Naomi and I left the second instalment of the shows for a while and hit up the Topman pub…

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 2 Comments

LFW AW14: Day 5

Ella Catliff LFW AW14 outfit 3 by Holly McGlynn_002

Wearing Club Monaco jacket (c/o), French Connection jumper, Anne Bowes Jewellery necklace, Erdem at THE OUTNET skirt (available here), Nicholas Kirkwood for Erdem shoes (sample sale purchase) & Anya Hindmarch bag (sample)
Image by Holly McGlynn

Last season, by LFW day 5 I felt like a dead person walking. Ten plus days and nights of NYFW madness followed by four in london had, unsurprisingly, rather knocked the stuffing out of me. This time however, I felt energised to the point of being really quite irritating. The fact that the lovely folk at Birchbox had given me one of their fabulous taxis for the whole day only added to my smugness. I must say, having the use of my own car (with the bonus of world’s most charming driver and Birchbox beauty treats inside) was absolutely amazing, oh if only this could become a fashion week habit, here’s hoping. My look for the day felt very AW14 in the fact that it revolved around the colour blue which, as had definitely been established by this point, is set to be the hottest hue (or “warmest colour” one might say… Sorry) come autumn.

LFW Birchbox

My ride… 

First on the agenda was Anya Hindmarch, a show I always look forward to. How Anya creates quite such catwalk spectacle to display her handbags is a true testament to the creative flair that keeps her global brand at the top of the accessories tree. Last season saw models suspended from zip wires, floating among an outer space installation, the season before an animatronic extravaganza based around board games. Yet, despite all that awesomeness, I strongly suspected Anya Hindmarch wasn’t about to rest on her laurels. And of course, she didn’t. A glance at the show notes revealed that AW14 would be all about elevating the ordinary, something Anya is undoubtedly adept at. This is a woman who sends the notoriously hard to wow fash pack into a frenzy over coin purses and phone cases after all.

Anya Hindmarch AW14

As a smile inducing soundtrack struck up the runway, painted to resemble a bar code, began to move and out came models clad in ice white mini dresses clutching accessories which sent us into paroxysms of over excitement. Along Anya’s supermarket conveyor belt came clutches bearing all manner of would-be mundane motifs from Daz’s to Kellogs by way of Swan cigarettes. Hindmarch’s classic Bathurst bag saw the addition of Tony the Tiger and I reckon the Coco pops box clutch will be next season’s instagrammable “it” piece. With playful, pop culture references in flawlessly high quality leathers and the retro mood kept modern with clean lines and understated styling, the show exemplified Anya’s knack of fusing cuteness and craftsmanship to make luxury a whole lot of fun. As a troop of braces clad male dancers performed a choreographed finale, there wasn’t a sombre face in the house.

I left the venue with a spring in my step, regardless of the truly agonising footwear I was rocking (the old adage that expensive heels hurt less? Absolute rubbish), leapt in my waiting Birchbox car and sped across town to Somerset House for OSMAN. Through a combination of back to back scheduling and personal incompetence I’ve managed to miss OSMAN show for several seasons in unfortunately succession. Well, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have made this one. It was utterly sublime. The show notes informed me that Mr Yousefzada would be introducing a “jet-set Bohemian” for AW14 I was a little dubious, after all, you know how I usually feel about all things boho. But this, my friends, was a million miles from the peasant skirts and hempy tops that make me want to spend the rest of my days clad head-to-toe in black leather in protest.

OSMAN LFW 1

OSMAN AW14 (Images via Style.com)

The immaculately precise cuts, bold colour blocking and city chic sophistication that constitute OSMAN’s calling card were all in place but, as promised, they had been given a joyful, jet set twist inspired by the travels of Talitha Getty. Shimmering floral brocades came combined with super bright separates in cobalt blue and sunshine yellow, further enhanced by equally eye popping fur scarves, intricate beading, Ottoman tile brocades, clutch bags with pop art hand motifs and playful fringing. As the show progressed, the palette did too, into delectable blush pinks, rich grey velvets and burnished golds culminating in a Red Carpet ready finale of sleekly tailored ensembles adorned with embellished cobweb esque overlays. Razor sharp asymmetric hemlines and one shoulder tops and dresses drummed home the message, OSMAN may be feeling footloose and fancy free this season but his articulation has lost none of its covetable crispness.

OSMAN LFW 2

OSMAN AW14 (Images via Style.com)

For the last day of LFW, this was rather a busy one, and the second OSMAN took his bow I had to leg it if I wanted any hope of making Fashion East. Going to completely the wrong place put a spanner in the works (entirely my own fault, I was to busy Instagramming to pay any attention) but I made it just in the nick of time and was rather pleased to find myself on the FROW. This season’s all female line up kicked off with the debut collection from recent Westminster graduate, Louise Alsop. Between the grungy layering, mega frayed hems and plimsols plus shredded socks styling, this was certainly not a collection for girly girls and Kate Spade aficionados. That said, Alsop pulled off this moody, rebellious aesthetic perfectly but her punkish attitude had an underlying technical precision. Louise Alsop’s frayed edges were underpinned by sharp cuts and those minty pastel greens were as alluring as they were badass. These were thoughtfully crafted clothes for the girl who parties hard, refuses to wear heels and definitely couldn’t care less about ripped stockings.

Louise Alsop LFW

Louise Alsop AW14 (Images via Style.com)

Next up came Central Saint Martins alum and Craig Green collaborator, Helen Lawrence. Lawrence’s AW14 offerings were as avant guard as one would expect, think thick wools sculpted into extraordinary, oversized shapes and natural fabrics distressed, deconstructed and reworked almost unrecognisable from their former selves. High shine PVC, neoprene and vinyl in an urban palette were softened with shades of powder pink and jean blue, further adding to Helen Lawrence’s fascinatingly contradictory aesthetic.

LFW

Helen Lawrence AW14 (Images via Style.com)

Last but most certainly not least was Ashley Williams. An A-list fave already and, I have to admit, her work couldn’t be more up my street. Inspired by “Mississippi country girls, Calamity Jane and trouble in Prairie Land” Williams delivered an unashamedly, deliciously fun collection that bypassed bad taste by the skin of its teeth and I wish could have landed straight in my wardrobe. There were patchworked jeans, scaredy cat motifs, fabulously tongue-in-cheek horse detail leathers and fringing in neon brights and space age metallics. This was Little House on the Prairie on an acid trip, in the best way imaginable. It may have been tongue-in-cheek but there was mastery behind the mischief and an excellent array of fabric combinations including sumptuous silks juxtaposed with rawhide leathers, metallics and snakeskin.

Ashley Williams LFW

Ashley Williams AW14 (Images via Style.com)

Bright, punchy, patterned and kitcsh underpinned by remarkable technical talent, Ashley Williams deserves all the hype she gets and more. Oh those pig shaped clutches! I’d pair them with Sophia Webster pom pom heels and non-fashion folk would think I was completely unhinged!

My penultimate engagement of LFW day 5, after a much needed itsu pitstop, was Tata Naka. As a lover of all things involving lashings of print and colour, it’s probably not a shocker that I heart this label. Inspired by interior designer, the Surguladze twins’ latest offerings boasted prints and appliqué in rainbow shades paying homage to the paintings of Matisse, Persian rugs, Aubusson carpets, hand-painted wall papers, ceramic tiles and porcelain china.

Tata Naka LFW

Tata Naka AW14

Tata Naka LFW

Fabrics were a carefully crafted and wonderfully sumptuous combination of georgette, silk crepe de chine and luxurious wool crepe given an edge by the introduction bonded silk neoprene. As always, there was a lot going on visually, but the elegant modernity of Tata Naka’s silhouettes renders AW14 another beautifully wearable collection.

LFW

Meadham Kirchoff invitation

What better way to bid LFW adieu than with a show from Meadham Kirchoff? I certainly can’t think of one, so it was a treat to see off another season with another of their riotous catwalk extravaganzas. Having produced umpteen critically acclaimed collections in a row, released a sell out Topshop collection and more recently, a fragrance with Penhaligons, Edward Meadham and Ben Kirchoff are undoubtedly on something for a roll. Judging by their AW14 offerings, this roll looks set to continue for the forseeable future, if not forever. A catwalk decorated with supersized hearts and metallic streamers played host to a collection that was both wonderfully pretty and a true testament to the designer’s technical prowess. There were pinks, purples and sparkles a’plenty but those sugar sweet boucle and scarlet check skirt suits came fully hand embroidered.

Meadham Kirchoff LFW AW14

Meadham Kirchoff AW14

Frothy tiered dresses in delicate French lace and semi sheer chiffon, luxurious crystal trimmed velvets, midnight dévoré and painstaking hand-embellishment all added to the sense that things may have looked like sweetness and light but there was some formidable craftsmanship behind it. As always with Meadham Kirchoff, there remained a hint of saccharine subversion, this time around in the form of a fucked up Park Avenue Princess vibe. That said, it was a rather more wearable take than in previous seasons and I suspect those graphic patterned velvet numbers will fly off the shelves. God knows if I can get my grubby mitts on any of it, I most definitely will.

Meadham Kirchoff LFW AW14 2

Meadham Kirchoff AW14

So there we have it, another LFW over and out! I hope you’ve enjoyed my daily diaries. Until September…

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 1 Comment
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 20 21   Next »