I wore… Jumper, skirt & shoes by Coach, Blouse by Whistles, Coat by Sandro & Bag by Lulu Guinness
Oh I do love fashion week, whether it’s men’s or women’s the whole thing always feels like a very stylish school reunion. As much fun as it is though, you inevitably feel a little pulverised by the end, even when the whole thing only lasts three days. But it’s fashion dahhhling, so you suck it up, wilfully ignore your throbbing toes and head on to the next party. On the subject of parties, every season I vow to start the shows feeling fresh from eight hours sleep and a pint of water (as opposed to wine). This has never happened thanks to the likes of GQ Magazine and Dolce & Gabbanna who think throwing a fabulous bash on night 0 is a great idea. Instead of waking at 6am as planned and ploughing through my to do list I lounged in bed until eight, realised the time and panicked. Luckily I managed to get suited and booted (and even apply lipstick!!) post my Candezza shoot, submit my thesis at uni and still make the Topman show with enough time to catch up with some of my favourite fashion friends before being herded to our seats.
The topshop, or in this case topman venue always lays on a good spread so it was with a restorative lemonade in hand, I people-watched David Gandy, Tini Tempah, Nick Grimshaw and Jack Guinness causing a pap frenzy on the FROW. Somewhat unusually, the catwalk had puddles on it and I assumed (correctly) that this wasn’t some oversight by the production team. Indeed the weather we Brits so love to hate played a central role in what was to be a Stella show. To the tune of a booming base and a John Cooper Clarke poem, damp haired, pallid skinned models stomped out bedecked in gloriously gloomy hues adorned with oil slick leather and PVC panelling. There was something quintessentially British about the collection which permeated further than the sodden scenery. Classic English tailoring came reworked, raw edged and fresh by way of cropped, sculpted duffel coats, elongated peacoats and glass beaded knits.
Topman also introduced a new and contrasting menswear silhouettes; second skin, short jackets paired with voluminous pleat front wide leg woolen trousers versus oversized outerwear over super svelte PVC pants with an ever so slight flare. At the time, my mind immediately thought subcultures, punk PVC and tartan, modish Duffels etc. In retrospect (and having read the show notes) the inspiration is obvious, maritime. Oversized crochet knits inspired by fishing nets, heavy wool suits resembling rusting metal and all that weather proof gear. Know you know I love a bit of spectacle and topman delivered just that as the models took their final lap they quite literally “made it rain”. Cracking start to LCM AW14 and a collection that looks likely to strike the balance between commercial viability and critical acclaim.
Topman AW14 Finale
Next up was a menswear designer I absolutely adore, Orlebar Brown. Much as I enjoy a catwalk show, sometimes it makes more sense for a brand to showcase their wares in a presentation format. This was one such occasion, partially because it meant we could get a really close up look at Adam Brown’s delectable designs. For AW14 Brown embarked on an exploration of the jungle. And not just the tropical jungle, although the rainforest installation and the prints displayed within were undeniably impressive.
Besides abstract hot house prints in mouthwateringly bright hues, we were treated to illustrative, graphic motifs; the fruits of a new collaboration with contemporary Greek artist, Konstantin Kakanias. More new additions for AW14 included an array of truly excellent accessories including printed rubber deck shoes and sunglasses so nonchalantly chic it was all I could do not to pocket a pair for myself. An indoor replica of downtown NYC in which achingly gorgeous male models posed wearing even more gorgeous ensembles only served to confirm my adoration for this collection.
In the interest of keeping things short and sweet, the rest of LCM AW14 day 1 will be coming your way another day!
Love Ella. X