London Fashion Week AW13: Day 2 Continued

London Fashion Week

So picking up where we left off yesterday… It’s taken me six seasons to appreciate the London Fashion Week press bus, not to mention work out where and when it leaves. I’ve now decided that its pretty much the best thing ever and seriously wish New York would consider supplying their own. We all piled out of Somerset House and onto the waiting coach (those of us without our own drivers anyway) and headed East for the Julien Macdonald show.

Julien Macdonald’s Show Venue

Few do unadulterated glamour quite like Julien and this season he really treated us to one hell of an extravaganza. An unbelievably ornate venue complete with chandeliers containing god knows how many real candles perfectly set the scene for a show that was every bit as opulent, if not more so. You can always expect a high celeb quotient at Julien Macdonald and last weekend he had The Saturdays, Pixie Lott, Mary Charteris and Jamie Winstone on his FROW.  The show notes were headed “Viva Las Vegas” and I certainly couldn’t have thought of a better summary. The collection was basically a succession of spangled, sparkly showgirl numbers with body conscious silhouettes and sheer panelling. There were no wearable separates to be found here but personally I respect Julien for that, he does decadence like no other designer and embraces it shamelessly. Morning after hair and make up added to the in-your-face sexiness of it all but felt fresher than if he’d gone for immaculate grooming.

London Fashion Week

Julien Macdonald AW13

Julien Macdonald’s dresses may have been barely there but the intricate beading on display reflect remarkable amounts of time and skill. So perhaps this collection won’t be featuring on my personal wish list but it was nonetheless pretty incredible. A finale involving glittery gold confetti erupting from the ceiling drove the point home, Julien Macdonald is London’s king of spectacle.

It pays to be on your toes at the end of that kind of show because the second it’s over, the hoards of snap hungry paps descend. Eventually I managed to wrestle my was out and promptly made for the nearest Starbucks to reboot, charge my phone and write the sentance you’re reading now. Two hours and several lattes later it was time to head back to Somerset House once again for the Issa London show. My plan to calmly glide back to the Strand failed miserably when I realised, three quarters of the way there, that I didn’t have my phone. Luckily a very kind stranger had found it in the Starbucks loos so after a panic striken dash across London, I managed to get it back. After yet another high speed, high stress tube journey I made it to the Issa show seconds before the doors closed. Issa designer Daniella Hellayel has built a solid business by delivering luxe looks for stylish but not necessarily fashion forward females however this time around she decided to branch out. Admittedly, every look still exuded glamour, but in a way that was both bolder and subtler that what we’ve seen before. Drawing inspiration from the Navajo Indians, Hellayel experimented with bold geometric prints and diverse fabrics including woven cottons, shearling, cashmere and feather jacquards in a myriad of earthy and eye-popping hues. That’s not to say the the brand’s signature, figure skimming jersey dresses didn’t make an appearence but this time they came layered over skinny ribbed poloneck jumpers for a fresh twist on the staple now synonymous with Issa.

London Fashion Week

Issa London AW13

With five shows down and two yet to go we headed towards Soho at breakneck pace (literally, those shoes!) for House of Holland. This sounds silly to say, but I cannot actually believe how much I loved this collection. After reading the show notes I was fairly dubious. I mean, “1989, acid house” doesn’t exactly sound like my cup of tea. Even when the first look came out I still had my doubts but it wasn’t long before I was completely and utterly smitten. Yes it was loud, proud and unashamedly in-your-face but do you know what? Sometimes subtlety is overrated. This was definitely one of those occasions. Henry Holland delivered a myriad of bold and often downright bizarre prints in acid bright hues, my favourite being a trouser suit covered in Martini glasses. The collection was deliciously kitsch in the best possible way with fluffy pink trims adorning denim jackets, leopard print PVC, luminous orange shearling and metallic puffball skirts. All in all I was totally bowled over by the sheer visual spectacle of House of Holland’s AW13 collection and as for fashioning a catwalk out of endearingly naff 80s carpet… genius.

London Fashion Week

House of Holland AW13

By this point I was in dire, dire need of a glass of Pinot Grigio. Luckily this was a sentiment shared by my fellow bloggers (Alex, Zahrya, Emily, Reem, Natalya and Ella) felt too so we went in search of the nearest free table for seven and to indulge in an hour of wine, cake and gossip. Our appetites sated and thirst quenched, we hit the road once again, heading in the direction of Holborn for a rather special evening engagement. Unless you’re one of those strange individuals who don’t use social media, you’ll probably know that this London Fashion Week heralded the launch of none other than Rhianna’s debut collection for River Island. Unsurprisingly by the time we arrived (fifteen minutes early I might add) the queue was around the block! Eventually we got inside and were welcomed with an oh-so-welcome glass of champagne while we waited for the show to start. I have to say, in terms of lateness Rhi Rhi put even New York designers to shame and things didn’t get going for almost an hour. Not that I was complaining though as the delay afforded us prime people watching opportunities given that everyone from x to Derek Blasberg (who I later made a right tit of myself in front of) was in attendance. Eventually the lights went up and we were treated to a complete and utter spectacle as a bevvy of the most drop-dead-freaking-hot models I’ve ever laid eyes on proceeded to move up and down a vast, scaffolding esque stage set. As for the clothes themself, I was pleasantly surprised as celeb/high street brand collabs can sometimes be a bit of a let down. It was sports luxe meets hip hop with a super sexed up edge but a lot more fashion forward than I anticipated. After Rhianna herself appeared to take her final bow it was well and truly time to party which we did, rather a lot. Several Moscow Mules in I spied Derek Blasberg and decided to go and introduce myself. Naturally this turned into a pathetic, stalkerish “ohmigod I love you” situation but given his sheer fabulousness I think I can be forgiven on this occasion.

London Fashion Week

My night in RHIAN-STAGRAMS!

Any party hosted for or by Rhianna is going to be a good one and this bash did not disappoint in the slightest. Will a will of steel I forced myself to leave at midnight (don’t I deserve a medal!?) and felt positively sprightly the next morning… Result!

Love Ella. X

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