So finally we come to the last leg of my 12 day sartorial extravaganza. I’m not even going to attempt to count the numbers of shows I attended, glasses of champagne I guzzled, Starbucks lattes I drank or blisters I accumulated. Suffice to say, this time last week I was feeling achey, exhausted and ever-so-slightly pickled but of course, I’d happily do it all again tomorrow. Well maybe not tomorrow… Anyway, I digress. Enough reminiscing and back to the matter at hand, London Fashion Week day 5.
Skirt & Jumper: Boutique by Jaeger
Hat: American Apparel
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
First up was a show I had been looking forward to a LOT… Mulberry. As you may have gathered by now, I’m more than a little obsessed with the purveyor of gorgeous bags and just about everything else, so any chance to ogle Emma Hill’s delectable designs is an absolute treat. One of the many things I love about Mulberry is how each season they pick a theme and bedeck their venue, goodie bags and later showroom accordingly. For AW12 Hill looked to “Where the Wild Things Are” for inspiration and Claridges was transformed into a fairytale forest, complete with giant gold monsters. This time around the venue looked more like a fantasy, country garden than one of London’s smartest hotels thanks to grassy floors, luscious foliage and gnomes everywhere from the lobby to the ballroom and even the loos!
The Mulberry show always hauls in a truly A List FROW and this season was no exception. Alexa Chung, Olivia Palermo, Romola Garai, Kate Moss and Lana Del Rey were all in attendence, as was Jessica Ennis and Anna Wintour. On this occasion I was rather distracted from my usual Anna stalking due to the fact that guests were allowed to bring their four legged friends to the show. Just imagine, adorable pooches everywhere… all dressed in Mulberry dog coats! But if I thought the pups were cute, they were nothing compared to what appeared on the catwalk.
There are some collections where I can’t help but feel the designer had me in mind. Case in point: Mulberry SS13. Opening with an array of scrumptious ensembles in delicious honey hues, pale gold brocade and buttersoft summer leather with adorable floral button detailing, Emme Hill combined seventies silhouettes with a heady dose of flora and fauna to create an array of ensembles that exuded carefree, summer chic. Exqusite blooms, pleated chiffon skirts, pie crust collars and ruffle detailing were kept cool by way of biker jackets and relaxed silhouettes while a palette of ice cream shades (including my favourite colour EVER, pastel green) and shimmering metallics through to midnight navy looked, for want of a better phrase, good enough to eat. From the coat-clad poodle on the runway, to the matchy-matchy floral bags and trouser suit combos, Mulberry’s latest collection was wearable, covetable and simply delectable. The models took their final walk to “always look on the bright side of life”, surely the perfect finale for a truly joyful show.
After that I made a mad high-heel dash to The Strand for the Roksanda Ilincic show. Given that the designer is renowned for her evening attire, the ballroom at The Savoy seemed a perfect setting for what we’d soon discover was to be one of Roksanda’s strongest ever shows. I use the term “soon” pretty loosely as we were in our seats for at least half an hour before things got going due to various editors getting stuck in traffic on their way over after Mulberry (that’s when you know you’ve made it). But I wasn’t too bothered by the wait thanks to the excellent people watching opportunities it afforded me. Laura Bailey, Lara Bohinc, Lulu Kennedy, Natalie Massinet, Jade Parfitt and Alexandra Shulman were all in attendance and I’d hazard a guess they weren’t disappointed. This season the Queen of modern cocktail dressing did it again with an array of elegant ensembles boasting clean lines, graphic colour blocking and masterful drapery. Bows, contrast colour cuffs, ruffled collars and a Poirot palette gave grown up looks a playful twist but most impressive was the risks Roksanda took compared to previous seasons. Silhouettes were looser than those we’ve seen before, still sophisticated but with an attitude that felt relaxed rather than overly pulled-together or ladylike. Sporty touches such as silk bomber jackets, slouchy knits and jersey fabric further enhanced the collection’s laid back luxe feel while suprising fabric choices such as laminated tweeds, plastics and PVCs drummed the point home that Roksanda is capable of a whole lot more than silk dresses.
Given that day 5 was rather less intense than the previous one, I took a break after Roksanda for a spot of sushi and Grazia reading. Half an hour, one extra large Salmon Supreme itsu box and “a day in the life of Choupette” (if you haven’t read it I recommend you stop whatever you’re doing and do so now) later I was back on my bruised, swollen and generally disgusting feet and off to show number three, Anya Hindmarch. From the second my invitation arrived – an illustration of a pompadour complete with strategically placed hole which you could poke your fingers through to make a cheeky bum – I was dying to see how the theme “Pomp and Pleasure” would translate into handbags. Well, in short, it translated beautifully. First and foremost thank to the fact that Anya sure as hell knows how to put on a show. We took our seats, or rather “poufs” around a two storey, illustrated cardbourd carousel, designed to resemble a 14th century palace. As the lights went up the carousel began to rotate, revealing room after room of sartorial treats.
The designer’s latest creation, an elegant boxy style named “The Bathhurst” was displayed in various shades and leathers on ornate chairs in what I assume was the drawing room. In a second chambre, illustrated weight-lifters complete with moustaches and breeches lifted different styles on their cardboard “iron” bars while in another, exquisite silk pear and apple shaped clutches were unveiled from beneath “antique silver” serving platters. Once I recovered from my over excitement at the sheer spectacle before me, I realised that the collection itself was utterly gorgeous. Then again, this is Anya Hindmarch we’re talking about, so I wouldn’t expect anything less.
Now I may not particularly appreciate sports luxe, sweat pants or really anything particularly casual but cover it in sequins (or Liberty print) and I’ll most likely rethink my previous snap judgement. This was very much the case with my final show of London Fashion Week SS13, Ashish. Starting with an image of the archetypal math geek, the designer delivered a collection bursting with athletic looks featuring slouchy shapes and comfortable (read: not my style) footwear… But then, he bedazzled it. All at once those easy, breezy sweatshirts, low slung tracksuit bottoms and slogan tees seemed exciting, playful and 90’s (in a good way) proving for the umpteenth time this season that a little sparkle goes a long way.
Love Ella. X