I wore: Kate Spade New York dress, Karen Walker sunglasses, Kurt Geiger sandals & Michael Kors bag
I arrived just in the nick of time and Som’s latest offerings certainly made neglecting my overflowing inbox worth it. I’m not sure how best to describe a collection that combined everything from graphic prints and androgynous tailoring to sheer chiffon and pastel blooms yet somehow felt utterly cohesive. Eclectic yet measured, fashion forward yet wearable, Peter Som struck the perfect balance between picture pretty and directional with messy chignons and lace up brogues adding an air of effortless nonchalance. Print and pattern came in plentiful supply including eye boggling graphic swirls, wide stripes and florals. How Som managed to dream up all this and not neglect texture – matte, silk, neoprene, glitter infused tweed to name but a few – is beyond me. What can I say, the man covered all bases to create a collection that will appeal to many while still exuding an air of niche, fash pack chic.
Peter Som SS14
We piled out of MILK Studios to be greeted by hoards of photographers and after navigating my way through the fray I made a beeline for Starbucks. Caffeine becomes less of an indulgence and more of a necessity during fashion month! One venti triple shot skinny latte later I felt I’d actually woken up and trotted through the streets of Chelsea excited for show number two. To be honest awakening from my zombie state was probably less to do with the three shots of espresso in my coffee and more to do with the fact I was headed to the Kate Spade New York Presentation. As you all know all too well, I have a bit (hello extreme understatement) of a penchant for the Manhattan bred harbinger of all things preppy and playful. I completely and utterly adored last season’s homage to the Big Apple so was intrigued to see what Creative Director, Deborah Lloyd concocted for SS14. After all, “Taxi” clutches and New York skyline prints aren’t exactly something you can do time and again without running the risk of things getting more than a little repetitive. Well, I’m happy to say that Kate Spade’s latest array of sartorial delights retain the air of tongue-in-cheek chic we all know and love while offering something new thanks to this season’s inspiration, European travel. This wasn’t an oblique reference though, the collection charted the Kate Spade girl’s journey through Capri and Paris then on to Monaco via the kind of just-the-right-side-of-kitsch detailing I’m always delighted to see. The Chelsea loft space had been transformed into a luscious garden complete with vivid green, immaculately groomed hedges, wrought iron cafe tables and lemon trees, a motif echoed in the prints, palette and accessories of the first ensembles.
From eye-popping yellow and Limoncello motifs it was on to Parisian inspired looks which were very much in keeping with my own (inaccurate) idea of what natives of the French fashion capital wear, delicate lace numbers, creamy A-line minis, shimmering rose gold jacquard and dainty dresses, each more adorable than the one before. Finally the collection looked to Monaco with wide stripes, full skirts and chequerboard clutches. I left the presentation craving a holiday, preferably kitted out head-to-toe in Kate Spade.
One of the things I always find fascinating during fashion week is how you can go from one show or presentation to the next and be smitten by such utterly opposing aesthetics. This would really reach its pique during day five (coming soon, well soon-ish) but I had a taster on my second morning with the transition from Kate Spade to Jenni Kayne. As you might remember from my interview with Jenni, the Californian designer is all about ease. No trussed up, cinched waisted stiletto clad fuss and muss just simple garments you can run around town in. While this is true of her designs, I fear it doesn’t do justice to Jenni Kayne’s design prowess. Her pieces may be straightforward and utterly wearable but they are also precise and beautifully crafted with hits of pattern and luxe fabrics adding just the right dose of intrigue. I was particularly enamoured by the tweed skort suit and coffee colour crocodile midi skirt, easy elegance if ever I saw it.
After Jenni Kayne it was back to Soho for my first BIG show of the week, Jason Wu. Jason Wu’s shows are never anything less than fabulous. The venue, the FROW and of course the collection are guaranteed to be the stuff of fashion dreams. This time around it was held in Soho and the A List attendee quotient included Jessica Pare (AKA Mad Men’s Megan Draper), the Courtin Clarins sisters and Anna Wintour to name but a few. Thanks to a more intimate venue than last season, the people watching opportunities were par excellence and I spent a happy half hour ogling Wu frocks until the show began.
Jason Wu SS14
Accurately titled, “A Dialogue Between Construction And Ease”, Jason Wu’s latest collection was a masterclass in mixing evening with daywear and structure with (haute) slouch to create looks that really felt like a departure from the last few seasons’, admittedly stunning, va va voom power dresses. Karen Elson opened the show in a shimmering bias cut number which smoothly ran into an array of looks combining iridescent paillettes with pared back safari style tailoring in soft, neutral hues. The prevailing aesthetic was soft, sensual and tastefully luxurious with rich textures ranging from buttersoft leather and sumptuous silks to sheer chiffon and gossamer fine knits. While there were a more than a few truly show stopping, floor sweepers, Wu also offered his women an array of separates, jumpsuits and luscious crocodile accessories. The show closed with monochrome gowns that managed to be dramatic in the most understated possible way and a deafening round of applause from the attendees.
Day 2 part 2 coming soon!
Love Ella. X