I wore: Alice + Olivia dress (available at THEOUTNET here), Sandro jacket (c/o), Mulberry Willow tote (sample), Gap jumper & Kurt Geiger shoes (c/0)
Image by Holly McGlynn
As I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, it’s that time of year again people! Fashion week time. This season I was gutted not to be able to hit the stateside shows and spent the duration of NYFW in a state of chronic FOMO as I sat in the library, sulkily scrolling through my Instagram feed while pretending to be working on the dreaded thesis. My sulk came to an end last week when the fash pack swapped the New York snow for London rain and the second leg of the AW14 shows began. Having been ill to the point of wanting to curl up in a ball and cry for most of the week, I started LFW day 1 at the leisurely hour of 1pm. I’m not going to lie, the torrential downpour raging outside played a part in deterring me from leaving the house but I was also painfully aware of quite how bat shit cray my schedule was going to be over the days to come so figured easing into it might not be such a terrible idea. My first port of call was the ME Hotel for a quick shoot in Ada Zanditon’s latest haute couture creations. I literally cannot wait to share the pictures with you but can’t just yet, watch this space.
After an enjoyable hour or so posing in an incredible leather petal dress and larking about with Ada, Nik and Alexis it was time to brave the grim outdoors and head to Somerset House. Through sheer luck I managed not to slip over in my ridiculously impractical shoes (can you IMAGINE how embarrassing that would have been?!) teetering through the Somerset House courtyard and made it to Eudon Choi. One of my favourite things about fashion week is it’s slightly school reunion esque quality and sure enough, I found myself happily ensconced in a row with Naomi, Millie, Simbarashe (AKA Lord Ashbury), Style Traveller founder Bonnie Rakhit and Notion Mag fash ed Seb Law. The inevitable 20 minute pre show wait is so much more fun when you’re not sitting solo twiddling your thumbs and pretending to be busy on your iPhone. Said wait is also made less tedious when you know the show you’re about to see it going to be seriously excellent. In the case of Eudon Choi, excellence is basically guaranteed.
Eudon Choi AW14 (images via Style.com)
Choi is undeniably a designer on the rise and his show was so jam packed that unfortunate latecomers were forced to crowd the stairs, straining to get a peek of the collection. Any neck injuries induced by the strain were definitely worth it. For AW14 Eudon Choi was playing to win. Entitled “Hysteria”, Choi’s latest offerings were an homage to 1960s Britpop but unlike many who’ve tapped this source of inspiration, there was nothing contrived or “retro” (yuck) about what appeared on the runway. We were treated to oversized yet sculpted tartan outerwear, dizzying houndstooth checks, slouchy pinstriped tailoring and playful patterned knitwear accessorised with luxe, slightly Phillip Lim esque bags and some of the jazziest footwear I’ve seen in a while.
Eudon Choi AW14 (images via Style.com)
Choi reworked classic mannish staples; the duffel, the cigarette pant, the crisp white shirt; in a delectable autumn palette of navy, olive, royal blue, mustard, grey and rich neutral hues. The androgynous, dandyish vibe was counterbalanced by girlish fluted skirts and sleeves topped off by roll necks and mussed locks for added insouciance. Just at Eudon had truly captured the essence of swinging 60s London in a way that felt utterly modern he switched tack, offering up a palette cleansing finale of sleek, paired back ensembles reminding is of his minimalist prowess and versatility. Purist, beatnik, tomboy, ingenue… with the precision of his cuts and flawless attention to detail Eudon Choi can do everything and do it par excellence. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, expect big things from this man!
Next on my unusually gentle afternoon schedule was the Amanda Wakeley presentation in her swanky new Mayfair boutique. As much as I adore a great big whopper of catwalk, sometimes salon show intimacy is just the thing to get a really good look at the clothes. Especially when you’re treated to pink champagne and chocolate truffles at your seat, well, it was Valentines Day after all.
Amanda Wakeley may be most renowned for her gowns but, as decisively proved by AW14, she does so much more than that. Wakeley’s latest collection is, for want of a better phrase, rather saucy. But of course this is high fashion sauce and far more editrix than dominatrix. The masterclass in luxe seduction encompassed obi belt cinched waists, glossy furs, exotic skins and lashings of leather applied to everything from trousers to pencil skirts to cocktail frocks. Abstract monochrome prints had a noirish feel, styled with low pony tails, bold brows and killer mesh stiletto ankle booties. Bold moves but ones that paid off for Amanda Wakeley.
Amanda Wakeley AW14
After leaving the calm ambiance of Wakeley’s salon it was time for a high speed dash through abominable traffic (the first of many) back to Somerset House for Christopher Raeburn. While I vehemently oppose the idea that fashion week “peacockers” (i.e. anyone who dresses up in attention seeking clothes for the street style photographers… this probably includes me to some extent) are detracting from the coverage of the actual shows, the vast crowds in the courtyard do make navigating one’s way into certain venues a little difficult. But of course, we all made it, even if a bit of pushing and shoving was involved and Raeburn’s latest offerings certainly warranted the scrambling. Admittedly, utility isn’t exactly my cup of tea but the Brit born designer almost tempts me to swap my blouses and boucle jackets for upcycled anoraks. This season saw faux fur gilets concocted from former Siberian military coats and weather ready wool jumpers married with neon hued quilted bombers and iridescent parkas in high spec tech fabrics. For anyone who wants to be neither cold, wet and uncomfortable nor compromise on style, Christopher Raeburn is your ultimate go-to.
Christopher Raeburn AW14 (images via Style.com)
With three shows down and one to go, I took the opportunity for food, warmth and respite at The Apartment. FYI, The Apartment is a fashion week space (located in, yes, an apartment) where bloggers can go to refuel, work and hang out between shows. But it’s also so much more than that. Each day sees different brands and restaurants sharing their wares, professional hair styling and makeup as well as on demand branded taxis and endless assorted treats. The whole thing’s organised by a fellow blogger, Abi Marvel, whose entrepreneurial, not to mention organisational, skills never fail to astound me. Sadly I couldn’t lounge for too long as I had a couple more engagements yet on my schedule. First, I would be presenting for Claire’s Accessories backstage at the PPQ show at The Sanderson Hotel. There are few situations more manic that fashion show preparations and, unsurprisingly, the backstage area was packed with make up artists, models, photorgaphers and journos moving at such a frenetic pace they appeared almost in fast forward. Being the absolute babe that she is, designer Amy Molyneux made time for a quick chat with me and you can check out the video below.
As for the show itself, it was a whole lot of fun. Not to everyone’s taste for sure but a wonderful, unapologetic celebration of the brand and clear example of PPQ doing what PPQ do, not to mention a perfect way to kick off the evening to come.
Love Ella. X