La Petite Fashion Week Diaries: London SS12, Day 4 (part one)

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Fashion is a fairly brutal business, but not in the way you might think. Foget about bitchy bloggers and evil Editors, the thing most hazardous to your health has to be the footwear. Unless you’re lucky enough to be a) on the Vogue editorial team b) very famous or c) very spoilt, the best part of fashion week is spent sprinting from around the city wearing ankle-breakingly high heels. Add to that the parties, 9am shows and and endless supply of alcohol and you’ve got yourself a real test of physical and mental endurance. Suffice to say, by the time Day 4 arrived even the most committed among us were flagging a little. But after a quick glance at my schedule my throbbing temples and tender toes and I set off for what was undoubtedly my most exciting show line up yet.

I Wore… Dress: Sessun, Socks: Cos, Bag: Marc Jacobs
Shoes: Tods & Necklace: Anne Bowes Jewellery

First up was Michael Van Der Hamin the incredible Topshop show space. Housed in the old Eurostar Terminal in Waterloo Station, the venue provided unlimited bubbly and culinary treats so delicious that even the fash pack couldn’t resist. Since Michael burst on to the scene mere seasons ago his extraordinary talent with textiles marked him out as one to watch and since then the designers star has only risen. His FROW was packed with industry insiders including Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy, Harpers Bazaar Editor Kim Hersov and the one and only, Anna Dello Russo.

fashion week
Anna Dello Russo at
Michael Van Der Ham

Expectations were high for Michael Van Der Ham’s latest offerings and the Dutch designer certainly did not disappoint. The collection was an incredible mixture of contrasting textures, bold colours and vintage prints. Silk satins, sheer chiffon and open weave cottons were combined with embossed brocade in metallic shades of turquoise and coral. But whilst the patchworked style for which he first made his name was still present, Michael’s latest collection was sleeker, chicer and all together more elegant than what we’ve seen before. As well as layered, vibrant coloured day dresses, Michael gave us striking full length numbers, structured tweed jackets and tailored two-tone cigarette pants. The overall look was fashion forward with a laid back edge. Every bit as detailed as last season’s collection but with a newfound subtlety that I, for one, adored.

fashion week
Michael Van Der Ham SS12
fashion week
Michael Van Der Ham SS12

After that it was time to head back to Somerset House for show number two, Mark Fast. Mark is yet another hotter-than-hot, young Brit designer and famous fashion including Portia Freeman, Hilary Alexander and Sasha Wilkins (AKA Liberty London Girl) pitched up to grace his FROW. Not a fan of midi skirts and pussy-bow blouses? Well then Mark Fast’s latest collection should be just the thing to get your sartorial pulse racing. Other designers may be coming over all demure but London’s own “King of cling” certainly isn’t afraid to flash some flesh. Mark’s signature knits were as body conscious as ever, leaving little to the imagination with cut-away details and semi-sheer styles. Dresses were adorned with intricate beading and boho fringing in exquisitely woven textures accessorized with chunky bangles and statement necklaces. The looks progressed through a spectrum of summer hues starting with soft nudes and progressing through yellow, orange, pink and red before culminating in a dramatic, black finale. In search of summery sex appeal and beach goddess gorgeousness? Then Mark Fast might just be the man for you.

fashion week
Mark Fast SS12
fashion week
Mark Fast SS12

Anyone who has ever so much as glanced at my blog will be well aware of my obsession with Burberry. From the checked scarf I wore with pride aged 13 to the collections I covet today, my love affair with the quintessetial British brand has been going strong for as long as I can remember. So as you can probably imagine, when a courier bearing a Burberry Prosum show ticket arrived on my doorstep I very nearly wept with joy. Paranoid that I would miss the show, I pegged it out of Somerset House, leapt into my waiting taxi (thank God for addison lee!) and begged the driver to run every red light between Charin Cross and Kensington. The foolish man clearly didn’t understand that this wasn’t just any old show and refused to risk losing his licence over it. Once again, fashion’s disregard for time keeping worked in my favour and I arrived at Hyde Park just in time to make my way through the hoards of paparazzi (not interested in snapping me, sadly) and in to the breathtaking, glass roofed venue. The Burberry show is undeniably the LFW’s most in-demand invite and unsurprisingly had the most star-studded FROW in town. Everyone from Rachel Zoe to Alexa Chung was in attendance and when Anna Wintour herself took her seat I very nearly fainted from excitement. The show was opened by Burberry’s model-of-the-moment, Cara Delevigne and it’s model line-up was every bit as A-list as the attendees with Jourdan Dunn, Arizona Muse and Abby Lee Kershaw all taking to the catwalk.

fashion week
Burberry Prorsum SS12
fashion week
Burberry Prorsum SS12

The collection was a true testament to the sheer creative genius of the man behind them. Forget about Madonna, no one does reinvention quite like Christopher Bailey. Gone were last season’s skintight trousers, bright 60’s shifts and luxe belted coats and the futuristic biker chic of the season before was little more than a distant memory. In place of these past inspirations came a collection that combined a 70’s palette and 50’s silhouette with an earthy vibe. The organic feel was further enhance by Christopher’s perfect choice of fabrics which replaced previous season’s cashmere and metallics with well-worn leather, woven wicker, wool and crisp cotton. An eclectic array of clashing patterns ranging from zig zag stripes to abstract shapes flooded the runway in rich shades of olive, plum, burgudy and brown with hints of citrus and royal blue. The look was somewhere between ladylike and navajo featuring A line skirts, cinched waists and neat sweaters combined with aztec inspired detailing and ethnic style accesories. Burberry’s trademark trench coats had been taken back to the drawing board once again and reincarnated in a myriad of never-before-seen styles including striped, printed, cropped, embellished and re-worked with an almost sporty twist. As the models took their final walk the ceiling erupted with an explosion of gold embossed leaves and even the most hard faced FROWers couldn’t help but crack a smile.

fashion week
Burberry Prorsum SS12
fashion week
Burberry Prorsum SS12

Day 4 certainlydidn’t end there but I have outfits to choose and shows to attend so the rest will be coming soon!

Love Ella. x

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