So hiatus over, let’s get on to London Fashion Week. In case you’re wondering why I’m starting from day 2, on Friday I sadly had to attend a very dear friend’s funeral. Disappointed though I was to miss the shows, some things are just more important. After an emotionally draining day, not helped by my extreme jet lag, I passed out at approximately 8pm that evening. Thankfully by the next morning I felt distinctly more human and ready to get back in my heels and hit Somerset House.
I wore… Dress, Jumper, Jacket & Handbag: Carven, Shoes: Kurt Geiger.
My first show was Antipodium held at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden. I really rate the brand and have been particularly coveting the cartoony embroidered skirts in their SS13 collection so couldn’t wait to see what they had in store for autumn. There are few things I enjoy more than seeing a show where I fall head over heels for every single look and this was certainly the case with Antipodium. The show promised “Sex, Lies and CCTV” which initially had me apprehensive but in fact translated into a perfect fusion of girlish gorgeousness and bad girl subversion. Feminine styles such a skater dresses, A line midi skirts and cropped angora cardigans were given a bad girl twist by way of high shine PVC, acid brights and zip detailing. Combining everything from tweeds and velvets and shimmering metallic leathers with a kalaidescopic palette of eye-popping brights is a bold move but one that definitely paid off on this occasion. My personal favourites included a fur collared mini dress in pleated chiffon and those spectacular PVC numbers but to be honest, I’d very happily take any (or all) of it.
Given how completely and utterly arctic New York had been, I thought I’d be fine wearing Carven’s pretty much distinctly non insulating resort collection. I was very, very wrong and hastily shivered my way to the nearest Starbucks to grab an extra hot latte and thaw myself out. My caffeine cravings sated and hands a bit less blue, I tottered down the Covent Garden cobblestones in the direction of Somerset House. Much as I adored every manic millisecond of NYFW, it is lovely to be back on my home turf where I can scarcely move an inch without bumping into someone I know. After almost an hour’s mingling and catching up with various friendly faces it was time to head over to the BFC tent for the Jasper Conran show. Having been in the business for over donkey’s years, Jasper Conran is a long term LFW fixture and his FROWS are always packed with industry pals and a famous face or five. This time around I spied Jodie Kidd, Virginia Bates and the ever wonderful (and tireless) Hillary Alexander.
Jasper Conran AW13
I don’t know if you’ll remember but I wasn’t overly enamoured with Jasper’s collection last season. I sincerely hoped that he wasn’t going to continue in the same (barefoot, flesh flashing) vain this time and thankfully my wishes were granted. After a seriously prompt start, just 10 minutes behind schedule, the show opened with a succession of simple, immaculately cut skirt suits and shift dresses in subtle neutrals and lustrous autumnal hues. Texture was key and Jasper treated us to everything from glossy brushed velvet, softest suede and chunky cable knits to delicate plum chiffon and sumptuous satin. Lovely though the collection was in its understatedly elegant way, I began to think that it was perhaps slightly at odds with the neon orange catwalk that matched our invitations. No sooner had that flicker of entirely unjustified doubt crossed my mind than Mr Coran swiftly dispelled it with a succession of looks so luminous they almost sizzled my sockets. If they hasn’t been so chic, I may even have looked away! The pared down skirt suits and 60’s shifts that had initially captured my attention (and had Alexa Chung’s name all over them) came re-imagined in day glo orange, magenta, coral and ultra violet shade. Finishing up with a party dress parade adorned with pailette sequins and ruffled organza, Jasper Conran’s latest collection was a testament to his talent and proved that after more than three decades as a designer, he still has the power to surprise.
I really hope that by the time I move there (it’s happening!) New York has sorted out their itsu situation, I was craving an Omega 3 Salmon Supreme all week! With over an hour to go until my next engagement I hot footed it down the strand to satisfy my cravings. After a restorative sushi eating and Grazia reading session I headed back into the fray for the John Rocha show. Having attended John’s shows for the past four or five seasons and interviewed him just the other week (click here to read it), I was excited to see what his latest collection would bring. For SS13 he embraced colour and while many of Rocha’s latest offerings came in dark and mysterious tones I was pleased to see a healthy amount of pink. In fact, the whole show felt like a change for the designer. Many looks were as exquisitely, extravagantly sculptural as expected (and, I hasten to add, admired) but others were perhaps rather more wearable. Rocha supplied sleek knitwear, draped mannish tailoring and jersey pieces enhanced with panels of semi sheer organza. There was also some truly excellent outerwear, my personal pick being a pea green cape/coat creation complete with pie crust collar. John Rocha’s masterful fabric manipulation and sheer imagination always wows but I suspect this collection will appeal to a wider customer base, never a bad thing I’m sure you’ll agree.
John Rocha AW13
As this post is now threatening to turn into an essay (like every single NY one did… Sorry) and day 1 was no where near drawing to a close after my third show, I’ve decided to split it in to two. The second installment will be coming soon!
Love Ella. X