Despite the weather being – for want of a better word – completely crap, LFW day 3 was an excellent one. In fact they all were to be honest, but anyway, I digress. My morning kicked off bright and early with the Smythson presentation at their Bond Street store.
I Wore: Club Monaco jacket & shirt, Tibi shorts, Whistles sandles & Mulberry bag
Image by Holly McGlynn
I’ve often thought that fashion would be the ultimate career for an alcoholic as regardless of whether its 9am or 9pm, champagne is served. I was rather tempted by the bellinis on offer at Smythson but with a will of steel, stuck to freshly squeezed juice instead. A good call as aside from anything else, I needed my wits about me to fully appreciate the gorgeousness of their latest accessories. Whether it’s a notepad or a briefcase, everything Smythson does is flawless and just about the ultimate in tasteful luxury. The latest edition to their handbag family, the x, is a perfectly formed top handle tote with contrast colour side panels, definitely a future classic. Their Panama range was truly a joy to behold with camera bags, clutches, iPad sleeves and basically everything else your heart could desire in the highest quality leather imaginable and a range of eye popping colours. It remains my lifelong dream to own a full set of, preferably monogrammed, Smythson gear… One day! I was delighted to run into Naomi in the store but then, as we were munching granola pots and shouting at each other we had the out-of-body experience of running literally smack into Anna Wintour clad in ice blue leather and enormous sunglasses. In that situation it’s hard to know what to do. We opted for averting our eyes and flattening against the wall while employing every modicum of self control not to whip out our iPhones and take a picture.
Having just about recovered from our literal run in with La Wintour, we trotted across the road to the Halycon Gallery where Emilia Wickstead was showing. This was definitely one of my favourite shows on LFW SS14, if not ever. Opening with an exquisitely elegant full skirted look in palest blush textured cotton, Wickstead’s latest offerings were the very epitome of timeless elegance. Edible candy colours ranging from tangerine and turquoise to mint green, chocolate brown and ruby red.
Emilia Wickstead SS14
Swing coats and crisp pleats exuded a demure, old world feel styled to perfection by Mark Cross box bags and Manolo Blahnik heels. Sculpted, couture worthy silhouettes complete with cinched waists, wide hems and voluminous, ankle grazing skirts were given a contemporary edge by way of bold horizontal stripes, piano prints and the surprising use of fabrics such as white denim. Emilia Wickstead’s SS14 collection was so mouthwateringly beautiful a challenge anyone not to go weak at the knees just looking at it, irrefutable proof of just why she’s being hailed as one of the hottest names in fashion right now.
Emilia Wickstead SS14
Whereas on day two the scheduling of shows had provided something of an obstacle, the day three line up worked in everyone’s favour. After recovering from my Emilia Wickstead induced awe stricken reverie I joined my fellow fashion week-ers for the five minute trot up the road to Claridges. This venue can only mean one thing, Mulberry. As per always, the street was lined with photographers, some doing street style, others waiting to pap the guaranteed A List attendees. Mulberry is a brand that’s not afraid to reference it’s English heritage and on this occasion, Claridges had been transformed into a country manor complete with flower daubed wrought iron gates at the entrance, daisies on the grass carpeted stairs and a full afternoon tea spread once inside. Given that our invitations had been adorable miniature Wedgewood tea cups, I probably should have guessed this would be the case. The FROW featured a bevvy of celebs including Alexa Chung, Brit Marling, Douglas Booth, Juno Temple, Lea Seydoux, Rebecca Hall and Tallulah Harlech plus Anna Wintour, Alexandra Shulman and every other important fashion figure this side of Antarctica.
From left: Brit Marling, Lea Seydoux, Rebecca Hall, Alexa Chung & Douglas Booth
As this would be Emma Hill’s swansong collection for the brand, I was both excited and a little nervous to see the collection. What if, after God knows how many stunning seasons Emma got it wrong this time? But of course, she didn’t. In a delightful homage to all that is English, Mulberry’s SS14 offerings were a delightful fusion of countryside inspired chic and swinging sixties cool in shimmering grey floral jacquards, pop art prints, modish leathers, fiery red silk twill and embroidered cream cotton. Cara Delevigne, who had been noticeably absent up until this point, made one of her rare SS14 catwalk appearances to open the show and a wayward bulldog tugging his poor model minder down the runway bought a smile to everyones lips.
Mulberry always put on a beautiful show and the collection felt like a celebration of Emma Hill’s revival of a beloved British brand, offering something fresh for the new season while reminding us all of the designer’s signature playful style we’ve all fallen so hard for. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we’ll be on tenterhooks to see both what Emma does next and whether her replacement can continue Mulberry’s reign of excellence.
After an Itsu pitstop (they don’t have them in NY so naturally I’ve been having an Omega 3 Salmon Supreme bonanza since arriving home) I headed to The Savoy for my fourth show of day three, Temperley London. The hotel ballroom provided a fittingly regal setting for a collection fit for a princess. If recent high profile fans of the brand (AKA the Duchess of Cambridge) are anything to go by, adorning royal frames is probably where a fair few of these dreamy dresses will end up. For there really is no other way to describe the unbelievable beauty of what Alice Temperley served up this season. The designer treated us to an array of duchesse satin creations in a rainbow of delectable shades ranging from rich purples, pinks and mauves through to soft blush, ladylike lilac and peachy hues, midnight black, cream, ice white and palest mint green.
Temperley London SS14
It was every girly girl’s fantasy realised in organza and brocade with floral embroidery, appliqué blooms and intricate lace cutwork. Combining delicate cherry blossom print with leopard while keeping things classy is no mean feat but Alice pulled it off with aplomb. Overlay skirts featuring hundreds of tiny ribbon bows had my jaw hitting the floor and wasp waisted creations were taken to the next level of red carpet glamour with shimmering crystal embellishment. I don’t know how else to describe Temperley London SS14 other than stunning for that is exactly what it was.
Temperley London SS14
I wandered out of The Savoy fantasising about swanning around town in one of those Temperley gowns and was unceremoniously jolted from my daydream but the fact that it was raining and I had precisely 5 minutes to get across town for my Gap event. Luckily I made it just in the nick of time for a few hours of official “hosting” duties before re-entering the fray for my final show of the day, Mary Katrantzou. I’m a die hard Katrantzou fan (who isn’t!?) and have never before seen her work on the catwalk so excited doesn’t even begin to cover my pre show emotional state. Fearful that the appalling traffic and multiple road closures might make me miss the show I badgered my poor driver incessantly about his route. So desperate was he to get me out of his car, we made it with enough time for me to take my seat and enjoy the excellent people watching opportunities. As expected at such a hot ticket show, the FROW was strictly A* List with Olivia Palermo, Natalie Massenet, Ruth Chapman, Mira Duma, Elena Perminova, Anna Wintour (in a new and even chicer ensemble than the morning’s), Suzy Menkes, and Cathy Horyn gracing it to name but a few. Those who had been allocated standing spots were left virtually wrestling one another for space, proving just how much the world wants Mary. Having spent that trip to Doha in her charming company I can attest that such adoration couldn’t happen to a nicer and more deserving person.
Mary Katrantzou SS14
A peek at the show notes informed me that this seasons inspiration was footwear and I was very intrigued to see Mary work her magic and spin it into something extraordinary. “Shoes” is a fairly expansive field so Mary cleverly narrowed down her collection to three sections based on three distinct styles. First up was the humble brogue inflated and distorted to form voluminous, digital printed concoctions complete with punched leather detailing, lacing serrations and pleats in moody shades chestnut, deep blue and olive green.
Mary Katrantzou SS14
The second footwear style du jour was sports shoe, fitting really considering fashions ongoing fixation with trainers. But this, my friends, was like no other manifestation of athletic inspiration (thank God). The oh-so-talented Miss Katrantzou took the idea of gym kicks and transformed them into cropped and extended bikers, form fitting bandeau dresses and mini skirts crafted from neoprene, rubberised leather and mesh in neon bright shades complete with velcro straps and rubberised detailing recalling shoe soles.
Mary Katrantzou SS14
Last but certainly not least came the evening heel, but not as you, I or anyone else have ever seen it before. For the second consecutive season Katrantzou worked with legendary French embroidery house, Maison Lesage, resulting super size gobstoppers of embellishment decorating the final array of architectural, rococo coloured creations. If I ever have the cash to splash on a Katrantzou frock I would consider it an investment on par with a priceless work of art because in all honesty, that is precisely what each and every one of them are.
Love Ella. X