So you’ve heard about the shows I attended and large amounts of mingling that took place in between, now let’s talk about what went down when the lights went out. Well, not “out” exactly but it sounded snappy (right?) and you know what I mean. This may have only been London Collections Men’s fourth season but already it’s become synonymous with really awesome parties. AW14 kicked off with a very refined affair hosted by none other than GQ Magazine and Dolce & Gabbana with Kylie Minogue (!!!) playing guest of honour. As a child of the nineties and shameless pop music lover I completely and utterly adore Kylie. Add Italy’s most iconic design duo, a store that resembles a palazzo and some seriously fine wine into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for one spectacular evening. In honour of Miss Minogue and the general fabulousness I suspected would ensue, I donned the REDValentino number I’d been saving for a special occasion and my new Sophia Webster heart detailed shoes. Given that I rather resembled a human cupcake, I hoped others would embrace the glamour of La Dolce Vita and get their gladrags on. Luck was on my side and for once I hadn’t grossly misjudged the dress code; there were more slick Dolce suits than you could shake a stick at and Kylie looked exquisite in polka dots.
David Gandy, Kylie Minogue & Charlie Siem at the GQ Magazine x Dolce & Gabbanna party
Me & Thom Evans at the GQ Magazine x Dolce & Gabbana Party
It was a serene and splendid evening spent catching up with friends and even enjoying a violin performance by Charlie Siem (how civilized!). Later wiping out in my Sophia Websters on the slippery floor of Hammersmith tube station while, to my shame, clutching a bag of MacDonalds French fries was rather less dignified; bloody English weather.
As you might remember, London Collections Men day 1 was a cracker kicking off with Topman making it rain and ending with my dear friends Ada Zanditon and Nik Thakkar’s first catwalk show. Aside from the excellent clothes, one of the great things about the Ada + Nik show was that as soon as the models took their final bow, Sebastian Bartz hit the decks and the runway turned into the after party.
Ada Zanditon & Nik Thakkar
Alistair Guy, Me & Oz Thakkar on the FROW at Ada + Nik
Sebastian Bartz on the decks at the Ada + Nik party
Me & model Jimmy Q at the Ada + Nik party
After congratulating the designers on one hell of a performance I spotted my usual fashion week partners in crime, Serena and Millie. Having not seen either of them since early December hugging, squealing and general over excitement ensued. By the time we’d calmed down and guzzled a couple of Snow Queen vodka cocktails it was time to hit party number two.
Next up, was a cocktail ‘do held by my beloved Mulberry. Such is my love for this brand that they could frankly invite me to the opening of an envelope in Skegness and I’d be there. This, however, was a chic soiree on Bond Street packed with some of my favourite fashion faces alongside the likes of Arizona Muse, Suzy Menkes, Caroline Rush and Natalie Massenet. We got stuck into G&T’s and deliciously indulgent treats from Mark Hix “Fish n’ Hix” van parked outside (step up from the previous evening’s fries, no?).
Arizona Muse et Moi at the Mulberry party
Fish Dog anyone?
Naomi, Millie & Me at the Mulberry Party
Natalie Massenet at the Mulberry party
After a thoroughly enjoyable hour or so ogling the bags and catching up with Naomi (hadn’t seen her in all of, um, two hours), Tanya Burr and stateside pal, Eugene Tong, it was time to hit the road. Party number three was calling.
Each season, there are always a couple of parties that everyone is going to and even the most usually nonchalant are excited about. The Esquire Magazine bash at Rosewood’s new London hotel was definitely that, and then some. With DJ sets from Charlie XCX and Boy George (!!) plus limitless Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve cocktails I suspected things were about to get raucous and I was not wrong. Quite literally everyone was in attendance. From Tinie Tempah, David Dandy and Dermot O’Leary to all my regular fash pals.
Bar fully stocked with Johnnie Walker
Wearing Coach & Whistles at the Esquire Magazine party
David Gandy & Zara Martin at the Esquire party
Lilah Parsons & Wretch 32
We danced, we drank and I forced everyone back onto the dancefloor against their’ will before the night was done. Pain may have been writ large all over our faces at the J.W. Anderson show the next morning but boy, it was worth it.
For a day with just four shows, day number 2 seemed incredibly long but by the time darkness fell I magically felt sprightly again, weird how that happens isn’t it? And it was lucky I did because my first evening engagement was another homage to the creative talent of a dear friend, the private view of Alistair Guy’s latest photography exhibition, White Shirts. Alistair is one hell of a portrait photographer and the images of David Gandy, Jack Fox, Mr Phillip Start and a coterie of other notable gentleman were the perfect combination of soft and striking. Simplicity was key, both in the works and the exhibition space itself located in Soho Members spot, the Century Club. The ever dashing David Gandy was also in attendance along with most of the London fashion community. After congratulating Alistair on a truly excellent body of work it was time for me to say my goodbyes and pop across town to Libertys.
Alistair Guy at his White Shirts Private View
Alistair Guy & David Gandy
Me & Alistair (clearly I did not think through the effects of pale cream underwear + flash photography, soz)
Last season I was well and truly gutted to miss this bash, co-hosted by Men’s Health Magazine, YMC and Liberty London. Everyone had gone on and on about it afterwards, while I’d spent the evening curled up in the foetal position thanks to the agony of acute ulcerative pharyngitis. Not that I felt sorry for myself or anything. This time around nothing and no one was going to stop me attending, even the fact that ever single other LCM attendee seemed equally determined. The place was packed fit to burst but despite the crowds we managed to grab a plateful of Moscow Mules and even find space for a boogie.
Me & Tanya Burr at the Men’s Health x YMC x Liberty London party
Tinie Tempah rocking MAJOR florals at Libertys
Once I’d managed to lose the cloakroom twice, “accidentally” venture into the store itself and catch up with Courtney Blackman, we hot footed it up the road to the London EDITION. Another party!? I hear you say and I admit, three in one night seems excessive. But I hasten to add it was only about 9pm (ok, 10) by this point, and hey, it’s not London Collections Men every day. The London EDITION opened just in time for LFW SS14 and swiftly established itself as the prime location for stylish debauchery in the city. During the fashion week interlude, this reputation didn’t wane and I’ve spent many an evening sipping Sancerre there over the past months. The host for the particular soiree was Ben Sherman who were toasting their latest collection. Down in the basement things were in full swing and we got ourselves straight on the dancefloor. Among my fellow revelers were Stylenoir Editor, James Joseph, Company Magazine’s Alexxsia Elizabeth, designer-of-the-moment Charlie May and Camille of Camille Over The Rainbow.
Me arriving at the Ben Sherman party
Ben Sherman Party
Inside The London EDITION Basement
Eliza Doolittle at the Ben Sherman party
Suzy Street, James Joseph, Me & Charlotte Bell at the Ben Sherman party
Me & Alexxsia Elizabeth at The London EDITION
Many dances later a group of use decided to hit Soho House for sustenance and there we sat laughing and snacking until they booted us out into the chilly almost-dawn. All in all, a damn good couple of days! And not long until fashion month…
Love Ella. X