I wore… Coat & Jumper: Whistles, Dress & Beret: Topshop, Bag: Mulberry, Boots: Hobbs
After a not-so-early night at the Ponystep Magazine party I was incredibly thankful for my leisurely 1pm start on Day 4. Not only did it give me time to catch up with my column for Velour Magazine online but I even managed to fit in an episode or two of Gossip Girl! By midday I was ready and raring to go and headed East for the Michael Van Der Ham show. This was my first visit to the Topshop show space this season and I’d forgotten quite what a spread they lay on. We were welcomed with champagne and ushered over to the Topshop Cafe which served everything from freshly squeezed apple juice to micro sized Shepard’s pie and lightly poached salmon delicacies.
After making the most of the treats on offer we were ushered over to our seats to wait for the show to begin. We needn’t have rushed as it was still a good half hour before things actually kicked off but when they finally did the ensuing show was so stunning that I would have happily have waited all day. The collection was somewhat more grown up since last season but retained the quirky playfulness we’ve come to know and love. Michael’s signature patchwork detailing had been given a glam-over with rich hues, sumptuous silks and lashings of sparkle. Nudes, pastels, brights, chiffons, knits, florals… You name it, Michael used it. How the Dutch designer manages to merge quite such an enormous array of colours, fabrics and prints without creating a sartorial disaster is beyond me but the effect was nothing short of mesmerising.
After that we all piled back into the LFW Press Bus (think school trip but chicer) and headed across town to Somerset House for Mark Fast. The kintwear extraordinaire chose a more muted palette for AW12, serving up subtle putty shades, dove greys, delicate nudes and the odd splash of cobalt. Whilst his trademark bodycon aesthetic still held centre stage, not everything was “barely-there” and Mark proved that he can do drapery and layering too.
By this point my levels of over-excitement had reached an all time high because next on the schedule was Burberry. Held in an enormous, glass structure Hyde Park and attended by the international fashion elite, the Burberry show is never anything short of spectacular and this season was certainly no exception. Paparazzi and street style snappers spanned almost to South Kensington, jostling to get a shot of the A-list attendees. Once inside, the FROW read like a “who’s who” of important industry insiders and famous fashion faces. One one side sat Alexa Chung, Clemence Poesy, Eddie Redmayne, Rosie Huntington-Whitley (annoyingly even hotter in person) and Kate Bosworth. On the other, Anna Wintout, Emmanuelle Alt, Franca Sozzani and basically every other Editor or every other major fash mag on the planet. If, God forbid, a bomb went off at the Burberry show, I think it’s safe to say that the fashion industry would completely collapse.
Just a couple of hours earlier I had declared Michael Van der Ham’s to be my favourite show this season but after seeing Christopher Bailey’s latest creations I’m not so sure. After toying with tribal for SS12, Bailey looked for inspiration a little closer to home and the collection was bursting with British influences. Tweeds, checks, and fine, tailored wools harked back to the brand’s roots but classic styles were brilliantly blended with sporty touches, keeping things modern and fresh. Think country casuals meets haute couture with utility details and studded accessories. Sculpted, peplum pencil skirts were pared with cropped puffa jackets for ladylike elegance with a tomboy twist. Traditional pieces such as barbour jackets, skirt suits and of course, the trusty trench were re-worked in earthy hues and luxurious fabrics.
All in all, the Burberry collection was nothing short of perfection and almost made me long for next Autumn to arrive. But even after the last quilted, plum velvet ensemble had stormed the runway (modelled by Burberry poster girl, Cara Delevigne), the show wasn’t finished just yet. Suddenly the music was replaced by the sound of a storm brewing and despite clear skies outside, the venues glass walls appeared to be being pelted with rain. Out came the models, each with an umbrella in hand and even Anna Wintour herself failed to surpress a smile.
Love Ella. X