I wore: ANTIPODIUM skirt suit (sample), Chinti and Parker jumper, Gap shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim handbag (c/o) & Sophia Webster heels
Image by Holly McGlynn
LFW day 2 got off to a rather less leisurely start than the previous. While I’d exercised uncharacteristic levels of self control and skipped the inevitably debauched New York, New York party (give the girl a medal) I had been to a party and a dinner before that… And three the night before, so I didn’t exactly jump for joy when my alarm went off like a bomb at 7am. But by the time I’d scoffed a bowl of porridge, showered and slipped into my ANTIPODIUM suit I was ready and raring to go. Or at least, fully committed to pretending I was.
On the subject of said suit, this was an outfit I’d been looking forward to wearing an almost pathetic amount. No one does tongue-in-cheek chic like ANTIPODIUM and I cannot get enough of it. Taking things to the next level of OTT with the addition a heart motif sweater, oversized neon pink Pashli and Sophia Webster disco heels I hereby dub this look “Clueless on crack” and recommend everyone gives it a go. Admittedly I did attract some serious stares at Hammersmith tube station, not surprising really since it was 9am on a Saturday morning and I was dashing around like a madwoman head to toe in luminous pink. My first port of call was in fact not a show, but an event I was working on with Aspinal of London and Glamour Magazine. Some of you may have even been there, I hope so! After wrapping things up at The Mayfair Hotel, my fellow hostesses Angela Scanlon and Claudia Mahoney all leapt into our cars and tore across town at a rate of knots to make the Emilia Wickstead show.
Emilia Wickstead is one of the hottest designers to watch right now and a personal favourite of mine. I’m certainly not the only person to feel this way, she’s a fash pack favourite. Her magnificent show venue, the Royal Institute of British Architects on Portland Place, was packed out with pretty much everyone who’s anyone. Think Yasmin Sewell, Caroline rush, Imran Ahmed, Lorraine Candy, Samantha Barks, Poppy Delevingne, Laura Bailey, Caroline Sieber, Natalie Massenet, Caroline Issa and Hamish Bowles. On the subject of Mr Bowles, it transpired that the “fashion plane” (AKA the flight from New York to London after the Marc Jacobs show) carrying him, Anna Wintour, Georgia May Jagger and a coterie of major editors and supermodels had its landing diverted from London to Manchester. I don’t know about you but I find the idea of Anna et al expecting to arrive in Heathrow and whisk straight off to Claridges or wherever they stay only to find themselves up north is pretty hilarious. There were even rumours of Hamish Bowles being spotted in Greggs… Oh to have been a fly on the wall… Anyway, I digress.
Emilia Wickstead AW14 (images via Style.com)
Since setting up shop as a made-to-measure atelier in 2008, Emilia’s made a name for herself delivering deliciously feminine, sophisticated garments, all delicate hues and aristocratic elegance, to describe Wickstead’s work as “ladylike” wouldn’t do it justice but I suppose that is what her designs are. This season Emilia decided to do things a little differently. The show notes promised a ”fresh androgynous focus” leaving me very intrigued as to how on earth a designer adored for and adept at creating contemporary Lady of the Manor clothes would convey this. My question was answered by the first look, a oil slick black, Swarovski trimmed leather coat, noirish femme fatal fabulousness epitomised the combination of elegance and strength Emilia Wickstead is offering for AW14. The show that followed wasn’t just impressive, it was utterly breathtaking.
Emilia Wickstead AW14 (images via Style.com)
The classic, grown up silhouettes Emilia Wickstead is so renowned for were as impeccable as ever but last season’s bubblegum pink and citrus silks had given was to luxurious dark leathers, python prints, rich wools and intricate lace in moody palette lifted with hits of mustard, cream and powder blue. Sharply sculpted silhouettes combined with exquisite pearl and crystal embellishment and motifs of winter blooms made for a collection that retained the flawlessly tailored femininity with which Wickstead’s made her name while exuding an air of “don’t mess with me” ferocity that I, for one, can’t resist.
I left Emilia Wickstead’s show with a spring in my stiletto clad step, daydreaming of wearing one of that python coat and tottered off to Itsu for a magazine-email-and-sushi break. Salmon stuffed and having just about recovered from the sheer beauty of Emilia’s AW14 collection I headed across town to be wowed yet again by ANTIPODIUM.
ANTIPODIUM is one of my most beloved brands and I was devastated to miss their presentation last season. Sitting on the (delayed, as per usual) tube seeing people’s tweets and Instagram snaps of the SS14 collection all the while knowing I wouldn’t get to see it in person left me apoplectic with rage so I was extra excited on this occasion. And I most certainly wasn’t disappointed with genius Geoffrey J. Finch’s latest concoctions. AW14 saw synthetic fabrics and neon brights married with roman statue prints that matched those emblazoned all over the catwalk. It was, of course, a shining example of just what’s so awesome about the label; that playful, covetable fusion of creative flair, commercial savvy and wit with a hint of subversion that has borne so many devoted ANTIPODIUM followers.
Back to the collection itself, Geoffrey offered up shift dresses, neatly tailored coats and mini skirts in day glo thermofleece, high shine quilted metallics, ribbed knits and old man cardigans styled with lurex necks and socks paired with hairy toed sandals. Just the right amount of kitsch and a little “off” in the best possible way, to put it bluntly, ANTIPODIUM AW14 is basically a collection of imaginative yet wearable garms I want/need in my life. And for those who might knock said “wearability”, take a closer look at the incredible melt effect velvets, that my friends is impressive.
Two great shows down and LFW day 2 was just getting started! After a much needed Starbucks stop it was time to head north for J.W. Anderson. It cannot be denied that J.W. Anderson, or “J Dubs” as he is sometimes affectionately known by those in the know, is a talented fellow on a roaringly upward career trajectory. The LVMH investment, the appointment as Loewe’s Creative Director, the many many high profile fashion fans, it’s long seemed that Anderson can do no wrong but opinions have been rather divided over his AW14 collection. While watching the show I gaped open mouthed at the incredible feats of fabric manipulation I saw on the catwalk. Corduroy contorted into sculptural shapes, origami folds and asymmetric dresses that seemed to exist almost independently of the wearer.
J.W. Anderson AW14 (images via Style.com)
It was fearless, masterful and unlike anything else we’d see all week but, as Maya Singer pointed out in her Style.com review, rather “tortured”. This got me thinking, while the J.W. Anderson aesthetic is a million miles from my own, I’m always awed by his work. But Singer raised a good point, his AW14 offerings didn’t seem to convey a particular story, source of inspiration or consider the physicality of the woman who’d wear them. On one level, what we saw was a display of the designer’s sheer, indisputable skill and therein lies the conundrum. Should we expect collections to have the author’s reference points written all over them? One wouldn’t expect an artist to make their audiences lives easy so why should it be any different for a designer? I remember reading an interview with Anderson a while ago where he explained that he wanted his work to provoke a response, be it good or bad. This collection certainly did just that.
I’m going to leave day two here for now as we’ve passed the 1200 word mark but more show reviews coming your way soon!
Love Ella. X