I wore: Sandro jacket & shirt, Warehouse skirt, Anya Hindmarch bag & Joanna Stoker boots
Image by Holly McGlynn
First up was Anya Hindmarch, a show guaranteed to bring a smile to even the sulkiest fashion faces. The FROW was a veritable line up of people who matter in fashion. Plum Sykes, Joanna Hillman, Natalie Massenet, Cathy Horyn, Caroline Rush and Marigay McKee (newly appointed Saks 5th Avenue President) were all in attendance as well as Olivia Palermo who, let’s be honest, matters considerably less but looked wonderfully glossy and gorgeous.
Given how phenomenal Anya’s past few shows have been I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for us this season. True to form, the designer didn’t disappoint. As always we were treated the personal touch, this time by way of adorable personalised star charts giving a surprisingly accurate (at least in my case) insight into our personalities based on our ruling planet (mine was “Mercury”). The show and of course the bags were even more impressive. This season saw my favourite, the Maxi Zip reworked in neon python. Other styles got an even more dramatic makeover with the Deconstructed Bathurst and Featherweight Ebury offering a sleek, pointedly contemporary take on the arm candy we’ve grown to adore.
Anya Hindmarch SS14
Oil slick ponytailed models styled in neoprene Lisa Marie Fernandez bodycon and Nicholas Kirkwood heels added to the overall feeling of modernity. As for the element of spectacle, where to begin! The lights went down revealing twinkling star lights on the walls and ceiling from which hung enormous illuminated planets. As the models strutted, bags began to descend on invisible wires and I caught my first glimpse of the holographic clutches I know I’m going to be craving until Spring. For the grand finale two cat suit & harness clad models were lifted from the ground for a zero gravity moment up among the bags and planets. Staging a sartorial extravaganza on this scale without totally upstaging the designs you’re actually showing is a tricky task. If said designs are accessories you can times this by ten. It was a true testament to just how bloody good Anya Hindmarch is at what she does that despite the levitating models, illuminated planets and general wonder of the whole performance I still left day dreaming of handbags.
Anya Hindmarch SS14
After spending the next hour skulking around Somerset House feeling very cold, very tired and very annoyed with myself for having worn shoes two sizes too small just because they were sparkly it was time for my second show of the day, Simone Rocha. I definitely do not need to tell you that young Miss Rocha is seriously hot fashion property right now. She’s been “designer of the moment” for a lot more than a moment and if her SS14 show proved anything it’s that Simone is more than worthy of the industry adoration she receives and that things are only going to get more awesome (moresome?) as her reign of young, covetable coolness continues. This season the Simone looked to her Irish heritage for inspiration and, in that inimitable way talented designers can do and the rest of us cannot fathom, transformed the sheep, gorse, moss and rock of her childhood in Connemara into an array of mesmerizing creations realised in painstakingly concocted fabrics ranging from patent and hand crochet cotton, heavy silk and thick tulle to embroidered plastic and wet lace. Super low drop waisted skirts came voluminous and seductive thanks to cut out detailing and peek-a-boo sheer textures. If you’ve read Style.com, Vogue.co.uk or any other commentary on the show you’ll know that everyone lost their minds over the pearl rimmed knee high stockings but, at the risk of repeating my fellow attendees, they truly were inspired.
Simone Rocha SS14
Simone Rocha delivered a textural mash up in high shine fabrics, monochrome, burnished gold, granite grey and mossy hues that was held together by the precise, other worldly, almost regal beauty of its execution and topped off by a succession of models veiled in nude gauze. I think it’s time to stop calling Simone the “designer of the moment”, this girl’s here to stay.
No matter how much your feet are screaming in agony, it’s hard to stay sullen after two shows like those I witnessed on the morning of LFW day 5. With, not quite a spring, but a definite sense of purpose to my step I hobbled at speed to The Apartment (an AMAZING blogger refuge filled with fabulous food, clothes, beauty products, professional pamperers and friends organised by the terrifyingly impressive Abi Marvel) to get my chill on for a couple of hours before show number three, Emilio De La Morena. This season the designer drew his inspiration from his own wardrobe, namely a well worn, sleeveless waxed jacket. How does this translate into catwalk frocks? Raw, organic feel fabrics masterfully manipulated, knotted, draped and contorted to create neatly crafted dresses in neutral, putty hues. These hessian-esque looks were contrasted with sleeker silks – sometimes even on the same dress – finally transitioning into burgundy on black prints applied to two piece looks and loosely tailored dresses. Grown up and neatly executed, Emilio’s latest designs undoubtedly have life beyond the runway.
Emilio De La Morena SS14 (Images via Style.com)
Last but certainly not least, came Meadham Kirchoff and I couldn’t have thought of a more inspiring note on which to round off LFW SS14. It’s been a few seasons since I last had the pleasure of watching one of the design duo’s collections on the catwalk and given the epicness of seeing that particular Courtney Love inspired extravaganza unfold, I was pretty excited. Well, our beloved fashion renegade’s delivered a show and a half this season. From the set to the styling to the “oh good God this is GENIUS” clothes themselves, it was a joy to behold. Admittedly, it was a faintly disturbing joy but that inherent offness is precisely what makes the design duo’s work so utterly compelling. With a runway bedecked in dying roses and eerily beautiful, haunted manor set up by the entrance, it was clear from the get go that things were about to get fashion freaky up in the Topshop venue. And indeed they did, in the most mesmerising way imaginable. What ensued was a delightful mash up of Elizabethan, punkish, Victoriana, boudoir subversion that manifested itself in a collection that felt rather like some sort of gloriously fucked up fairytale. The show opened with an array of classic double breasted black jackets and matching skirt, gradually deconstructed almost beyond recognition and modelled by saucy school girls with corkscrew locks and lace pleats. Boudoir lace was combined with little girl gingham, resulting in ensembles that toed the fine line between compelling and disturbing, mercifully ending up feeling fun, playful and deliciously debauched.
Meadham Kirchoff SS14 (Images via Style.com)
Olde world embroidery and lace cutwork came mixed with gold lurex and super luxe python to create looks that felt halfway between medieval maiden and Dalston dancehall diva. But belying the provocative playfulness of it all was Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchoff’s supreme, undeniable talent. Their catwalk creations may be fantastical and fun to behold but any designer who can pearl a bodice and then have the bravery to layer it with a hand embroidered Hansel and Gretel esque number like they do deserves far more than a round of applause. Gentlemen, I take my bow detailed beret off to your supreme skill and thank you for bringing my London Fashion Week to the best possible close.
Meadham Kirchoff SS14
I hope you’ve enjoyed my fashion week diaries so far! They are most certainly not over yet though, we’ve still got my LFW party round up and Paris to come…
Love Ella. X