LFW AW14: Day 4

Ella Catliff LFW AW14 Whistles by Holly McGlynn_001

Wearing Whistles Jacket, Skirt & Jumper, Sophia Webster shoes, Marc by Marc Jacobs bag, Anne Bowes Jewellery Necklace & AllSaints Scarf
Image by Holly McGlynn

Here we have LFW AW14 Day 4, and only a casual fortnight late, result! Let’s ignore my tardiness and crack on with the matter at hand… the shows. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that LFW day 4 is “the big one”. We’re talking big shows, back to back, non stop from 9am. This season it was also the day that I had to submit my thesis 2nd draft (always during bloody fashion week, I swear they do it on purpose!) and I may have spent the previous night dancing until the wee hours at Matthew Williamson and Jonathan Saunders’ after parties, which made the 7am thesis editing particularly unpleasant. My spirits were soon lifted though as, triple shot (caffeine was much needed) Starbucks skinny latte in hand I leapt on the Piccadilly Line and headed to my first show of the day, Roksanda Ilincic.

Roksanda’s collections have been stellar since her LFW debut back in 2005 yet somehow, she manages to outdo herself time and again. AW14 proved this. The past couple of years have seen the designer moving away from the covetable, easy-to-wear cocktail dresses with which she first made her name. Don’t get me wrong, Roksanda Ilincic still does dresses and seriously great ones at that but she’s not afraid to challenge both herself and her customer. The fact she manages to do so while still creating pieces compelling enough to entice everyone from the Duchess of Cambridge to Lily Allen is a true testament to her talent.

Roksanda Ilincic AW14 LFW 1

Roksanda Ilincic AW14 (Images via Style.com)

AW14 saw Roksanda building on the artistic inspiration which underpinned her also awesome SS14 collection, offering up sculpted felted wool confections with abstract patterns in wrong-yet-right contrasting colour combinations. Making pointedly uneven hemlines appear the height of sophistication is no mean feat by any account yet in Ilincic’s capable hands, lopsided skirting smoothly bypassed bizarre and simply felt elegantly unusual. The same goes for her colour palette; neutrals, burgundy, plum, orange, cobalt and ice blue all thrown together amid , surely that should be a disaster? Yet, it works, brilliantly. As for the textures, Roksanda really pulled the stops out here. Having begun her experiment with off kilter fabrics some time around AW13, the designer’s latest concoctions involved intricate PVC woven with tartan and 3D plastic embellishment, perfectly counterbalanced by luscious furs, shearlings and lambswools.

Roksanda LFW AW14 2

Roksanda Ilincic AW14 (Images via Style.com)

Buoyed up by Roksanda’s show I trotted off up Tottenham Court Road for a presentation I was very, very excited. You’ve guessed it, Whistles. Holding a presentation in a stunningly elegant townhouse on Fitzroy Square is to some degree a risky move, especially for what is technically speaking a high street (albeit very high end high street) brand. Didn’t Jane Shepardson worry that the understated expensiveness of the surroundings might detract from collection itself? Not a bit of it, and with good reason. For AW14 Whistles delivered an array of ensembles so exquisitely perfect in their simple chicness one would have been forgiven for assuming they were the wincingly pricey produce of a bonafide luxury label. This is not to say, of course, that the pieces on show were flash. In fact they were the antithesis of bling and that was what made them so incredibly impressive. It’s easy to distract from non-designer-brand fabrics and imperfect cuts with oodles of colour and prints, but Whistles AW14 was a masterclass in polish. Delectably enveloping overcoats in tactile wools, soft shades and oversized checks tempted you to snuggle stylishly inside them. Whistles always gives good knits and this seasons jumpers came roll necked and ribbed, tucked into simple black midi skirts, worn loose over wide leg tailored trousers, and with lashings of nonchalant slouch.

LFW Whistles

LFW Whistles

After marvelling at the precision with which they had cut their pleats (seriously, it was mind boggling) I found my way into the eveningwear room and that, my friends, was the moment I knew I was done for. Thick pelted faux furs, delicately embellished tunics and peek-a-boo jumpsuits all in the most delectable shade of lilac! As for the off the shoulder, almost Dior esque sculpted co-ords and glossy navy satins… I fell hard and mentally kissed goodbye to financial solvency come August. This season Whistles had the exact same effect on me as every Phillip Lim show I attend inevitably does; it made me want a whole new wardrobe.

LFW Whistles

LFW Wistles

After the joy of seeing two excellent collections all thoughts of “headaches” were long forgotten as I loitered in itsu, munching on salmon sushi while hating myself for wishing next Autumn would just hurry up and get here until it was time to head West for Burberry. I will be forever grateful to the generous folk at Burbs for giving me the benefit of the doubt back in 2011 and inviting me to their shows ever since. It’s always one of my major fashion month highlights and I suspect that will remain the case for as long as I’m in the biz. This season was no different and from my usual seat next to Reem Kanj of Five Five Fabulous and Emily Johnstone of Fashion Foie Gras I witnessed a whole lotta spectacle. First up, there was the thoroughly enjoyable experience of watching Anna Wintour and Bradley Cooper lolling on the FROW. Far from seeming traumatised her unplanned trip to Newcastle, La Wintour was positively beaming every time I saw her! The mind boggles… But anyway, let’s talk clothes.

Burberry Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2014 - Front Row & Show

Anna Wintour & Bradley Cooper

Burberry Womenswear Autumn/Winter 2014 - Front Row & Show

From left: Felicity Jones, Naomi Harris, Tini Tempah, Harry Styles, Alison Mossheart & Mario Testino

As Ed Sheeran’s melodious tones filled the venue (live, no soundtracks here, obvs) the first tousle haired, fair skinned model took to the catwalk adorned in a captivating abstraction. How many variations can one man conjure up based on the classic trench? In the case of Christopher Bailey, it appears the answer to that is infinite. Deconstructed, loosely flung over shoulders and adorned with painterly florals I’m not even sure you could call the latest coverups “trench coats”, they were almost too bohemian for that.

Burberry LFW 1

Burberry AW14

Flowing, barely-there silk and chiffon ensembles evoked images of carefree yet cultivated beauties, just as Bailey’s show notes citing the “Bloomsbury Girls” as his latest inspiration suggested. Silhouettes came far softer than recent seasons (remember last Autumn’s foxy homage to Christine Keeler?!) with teddy bear textures and slouchy shearling adding a sense of warmth to flimsy slips and delicately ruched evening dresses.

Burberry LFW 2

Burberry AW14

Admittedly, it was less up my sartorial street than Spring/Summer’s cinched waists and sweet pastels but that didn’t stop the show, the collection and the entire experience being anything less than magical. The ever impressive final saw Paloma Faith serenade the cast of supermodels all clad in personalised blanket coats drumming home the message that Christopher Bailey had in one full swoop delivered both his most daring, and his softest collection for Burberry yet. No one marries creativity and commercial viability quite like he does.



More from day 4 coming your way soon! For now, I’d love to hear what you think of these collections?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 2 Comments

Burberry With Love

Burberry With Love - Campaign Imag_002

Given the number of gobsmackingly gorgeous ad campaigns our favourite fashion brands treat us to each season, I don’t usually post them on here because once I started I’d never stop! However I do make the occasional exception and can’t resist sharing the Burberry With Love holiday shots. I absolutely adore the pre Christmas period. Ice skating at Somerset House, mulled wine, department store window displays, re-watching Love Actually for the 500th time… These little traditions never get old.

Burberry With Love - Campaign Imag_001

As soon as I clapped eyes on Burberry’s latest array of exquisite images I knew they’d be just the thing to get us all in the festive mood. There’s just something so charmingly British about them, don’t you think?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

Weekly Wish List: 27/07/2013

wish list

1) Boutique by Jaeger Racer Back Pleat Dress, £199, click here to buy
2) Charlotte Olympia Hollywood Platform Sandals, £795, click here to buy
3) Burberry Little Crush Heart Print Bag, £875, click here to buy
4) Markus Lupfer Key To My Heart Sequin Sweater, £290, click here to buy
5) Karen Walker Super Duper Sunglasses, £180, click here to buy
6) Valentino The Rockstud Patent Leather Clutch, £995, click here to buy
7) Diane Von Furstenberg Pink Shadow Print iPhone 5 case, £29, click here to buy
8) Nicholas Kirkwood Suede, Grosgrain & Elaphe Pumps, £490, click here to buy
9) Reiss Paris Slim Trousers, £89, click here to buy
10) Erdem Amanie Floral Print Fish Scale Sequin Blouse, £1000, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 1 Comment

Kaiser Chiefs Live at Burberry

Burberry Kaiser Chiefs

I’m the first to admit that my music knowledge is poor at best but even I’ve heard of the Kaiser Chiefs. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I like them and may even have a few of their tunes on my largely abandoned iPod. Anyway let’s be honest, when Burberry invites you to a champagne fuelled gig at their A-MAZING Regents Street emporium you RSVP “oui” regardless of who’s playing.

Burberry Kaiser Chiefs

Christopher Bailey and his talented team have taught me a fair few things this Spring. Firstly there was the London Fashion Week revelation that head to toe latext could be elegant. Don’t believe me? Well then check out Burberry’s oxblood trench coat and playful, peek-a-boo pencil skirts. And last week my beloved Brit brand rekindled a long-forgotten love of live music. Of course it helped that the Kaiser Chiefs are fantastic (and the lead singer had more than a hint of Ryan Gosling about him) but most of all it was just so much fun dancing around watching a band give it their’ all on stage.

burberry 'live at 121 regent street' launches with kaiser chiefs copy

My party pal, Millie and I managed to wangle a great spot on the balcony that not only afforded us a great view but also placed us in prime position for champagne refills. The real genius, or rather luck, of our choice only came to light when lead singer x (or as I prefer to think of him, the English Ryan Gosling) came charging upstairs during I Predict a Riot and performed most of the song standing right next to us! We danced, we drank, we sang along and we didn’t have to make any conversation whatsoever… All in all it was a lot of fun and after weeks of press days, meetings and mingling and cocktail parties, it was exactly what I needed. Some say a picture is worth a thousand words but we all know a video’s that bit better so here you go…

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties Leave a comment

SS13 Handbag Hot List: Designer Edit

Now this post has been a while in the making, three months to be exact. I thought it might be slightly premature to start thinking about new season styles when they first started arriving back in January but by late February/early March – AKA the official start of Spring/Summer – fashion week madness had taken over and spending an hour or so writing about handbags just wasn’t on the cards. While SS13 doesn’t look like it’s planning on making an appearence in London anytime soon (bitter, moi?) if there’s one area of our wardrobe we can keep in time with the fashion calendar without risking hypothermia it’s our accessories. So, without further ado, here’s my pick of this season’s hottest handbags…

SS13 handbag

Mulberry Willow Tote in Mint Classic Calf, £1500, click here to buy

It’s mint green, it’s Mulberry, how could I NOT be in love with this bag!? To be honest I’m more than mildly obsessed with their entire SS13 collection thanks to Emma Hill’s plentiful application of mint green, broderie anglaise and some particularly inspired gecko print. This bag ticks every box for me. So delectable I want to swallow it whole and it’s roomy enough to fit camera, iPad, magazines and various British summer essentials (i.e umbrella, suncream, sunglasses and a scarf).

SS13 handbag

3.1 Phillip Lim Blush Snakeskin Mini Pashli Satchel, £755, click here to buy

I don’t need to tell you my feelings about the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli satchel. In a recent interview I may have admitted that one of my life ambitions is to own one in every colour. Despite that statement making me sound like an idiot, I stand by it. This understatedly luxe blush snakeskin mini version has sole out practically everywhere, ergo I now want it even more.

SS13 handbag

Marni Polkdot Bags. Left £725, Right £660 click here to buy

Marni is one of the few brands that simultaneously manages to do tongue-in-cheek quirk and pared down elegance. I’m not sure quite how this is even possible but Consuela Castiglioni manages it with a canny combination of cleaner than clean lines and playful polkadots… I’m sold.

SS13 handbag

Louis Vuitton Alma BB Monogram Bag, £900, click here to buy

Generally speaking, I’m a big bag kinda girl. Or at least I thought I was until Louis Vuitton released their “mini” collection. It’s pink, it’s shiny, it’s adorable beyond belief and I want it a LOT.

SS13 Handbag

Burberry Blaze Bag in Metallic Snakeskin & Vinyl, £1795, click here to buy

One of Burberry’s most fantastic and no doubt highly profitable qualities is the inherent practicality of their products. Then again, it’s also a high fashion brand and fashion folk have a well known weakness for things that are deeply impractical and unashamedly in-your-face. This bag is both and that’s precisely why I love it. Possibly not as useful as a trusy trench coat but my, isn’t it shiny?

SS13 handbags

Sophie Hulme Black Leather Satchel, £500, click here to buy

As those of you who haven’t spent the past few seasons living under a rock (or somewhere without deparment stores on a internet connection) will definitely know, Sophe Hulme is one of the hottest young design talents in London right now. Sophie scooped up the Accessory Designer of the Year prize at the British Fashion Awards last autumn and her latest array of utilitarian yet playful bags are surely proof that the best is yet to come.

SS13 Handbag

Anya Hindmarch Maxi Zip Satchel in Bluebell, £795, click here to buy

Rarely do I not crave pretty much everything Anya Hindmarch designs and this seasons Pomp and Pleasure collection was no exception. I absolutely adored suing their Maxi Zip satchel in bluebell during Fashion Week last month and very nearly cried when I had to return it to its rightful owners. Friends and family if you’re reading, my birthday is June 19th…

SS13 handbag

Smythson Eliot Large Tote, £1395, click here to buy

Oh Smythson, you do know how to tempt me. Not only does the Brit brand deliver most exquisite (and unfeasibly expensive) stationary, over the past couple of seasons they’ve seriously upped their handbag offering. Case in point, the elegant Eliot tote which currently features highly on my wish list.

SS13 handbag

Marc by Marc Jacobs Burg Boxer Medium Zipped Bag, £375, click here to buy

My first EVER designer handbag was from Marc by Marc Jacobs and I’ve used it pretty consitently since I got it for my 19th birthday almost 3 years ago now. I think it’s safe to say that Marc is a genius and everything he touches, including the latest accessories for his mainline’s super sweet little sister brand, turn to sartorial gold.

SS13 handbag

Miu Miu Craquele Tote, £870, click here to buy

Given my current state of largely entirely self inflicted brokeness the likelihood of me ever owning a Miu Miu handbag (or any of the bags on this list for that matter) grows slimmer by the day. Obviously that doesn’t stop me coveting their girlishly playful yet exquisitely chic styles.

Personally I can’t play favourites with these beautiful bags. I want, no I NEED them all! Which one would you pick?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 4 Comments