Christopher Bailey

London Fashion Week SS13: Day 4, part 2

As I mentioned earlier, London Fashion Week day 4 was so jam packed with must-attend shows that attempting to cram all of them into one post just wasn’t going to happen. So picking up from where we left off this morning, after David Koma at Somerset House my fellow bloggers Ella Gregory of Coco’s Tea Party, Abi Marvel of AbiMarvel.com, Natalia Kanj of FiveFiveFabulous and I piled into a taxi to make for show number five, Christopher Kane. The combination of an extremely late start at David Koma and Central London traffic made for an extremely high stress journey across town. After all, Christopher Kane is undeniably one of THE most in-demand designers around right now so we’d all rather have risked life and limb making the journey on foot rather than miss his show.

London Fashion Week

In between debating whether or not it would be better to get out and run (it wouldn’t have been) and berating Christopher’s choice of venue (Marble Arch, really?) we somehow managed to make it just in the nick of time. A few minutes later all previous angst vanished on account of the vast, minimalist space in which we found ourselves, a skyline oasis boasting spectacular views of the city and instantly made the designer’s choice of location make perfect sense. Of course, we didn’t have long to marvel at our surroundings as they were soon overshadowed by what was on the catwalk.

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Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 1 Comment

Burberry Launches All White Capsule Collection

First Acne, now Burberry, it seems that this season white is the new black. Generally speaking, I avoid white like the plague thanks to my extreme pastiness and tendency to spill Starbucks lattes all over myself. Well now that not one, but TWO of my favourite brands have endorsed this most unwearable of colours, it looks as though I’m going to have to get on board… After going for a spray tan, of course. What I love most about the fact that Burberry and Acne have both released all white capsule collections within mere days of each other is the different take each label offers on the look. If you saw my post on Acne’s offerings you’ll remember it was all directional shirting and sleek, modern minimalism. Burberry have taken a more classic approach, re-working their legendary trench in a paler hue and teaming it with elegant basics and luxe leather accessories.

Burberry

Burberry

Burberry

British brilliance or Scandinavian cool, which all white collection would YOU choose?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

Vogue Festival 2012: Day 1

As anyone who has been reading my tweets will be painfully aware, this weekend I was lucky enough to attend the first EVER Vogue fashion festival as a guest of British Vogue. When the world foremost sartorial bible hosts a 2 day bonanza featuring some of the biggest names in the industry you expect it to be good but boy, they really did deliver. After what can only be described as a truly awful week (weather wise), day one of #VogueFest 2012 dawned sunny and bright. Frankly it could have been snowing for all I cared as I’d borrowed a DIVINE lace dress from Temperley’s Pre Fall 2012 collection and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to wear it!

Ella Catliff at Vogue Festival 2012
I wore… Dress: Alice by Temperley, Shoes: Topshop,
Necklace: Anne Bowes Jewellery
Vogue Festival 2012
The Royal Geographical society, Kensington

My journey to the Royal Geographical Society, Vogue Fest’s location, was less than stylish. Not only did my 6 inch platforms and slinky cocktail number attract some seriously scathing stares on the tube (in fairness, it wasn’t even 9am yet) but I also managed to spill my - venti, skinny, extra hot, triple shot - Starbucks latte all over my trench coat.  However all stain-related anxiety vanished the second I arrived as first talk of the day featured none other than the wonderful, Christopher Bailey. Now you’ve all heard me wax lyrical about Burberry on many occasions. Chances are, I wouldn’t be quite so barmy about the brand if Bailey hadn’t taken over back in 2008 and orchestrated it’s now legendary revival. I could quite happily bang on about the loveable Yorkshireman all day but this was only talk number one and we’ve still got a fair bit to get through. Instead here are a few of my favourite quotes from the nicest man in fashion…

“It was this incredibly beautiful diamond that had been ground into the dust” – on Burberry before he took over

“I’ve tried to understand the philosophy of what the company’s built on and then insert my own nuances” – on his work at Burberry

“There’s something very romantic about rain… It’s the core of our business” – on the inspiring qualities of British weather

“It’s important to stay connected… we even have an internal social media site called “Burberry chat” – on running a business with over 9000 employees worldwide

I think it’s safe to say that we all left wishing Christopher could be our best friend. Not that there was a great deal of time to dwell on this as one speedy cigarette later we were back inside the theatre for talk number two, “My Fashion Life”. The second Vogue’s Fashion Director, Lucinda Chambers uttered the words “whoever said that shopping can’t make you happy was just plain wrong“, I knew this was going to be a good one. We were treated to the tales of how Lucinda herself, Matthew Williamson, Chief Merchant for Harrods, Marigay McKee and Casting Director, Russel Marsh came to cultivate their enviable careers. This talk was an absolute gem for anyone hoping to break into the industry, offering invaluable insight into how some of the most respected figures in fashion made their mark.

Vogue Festival 2012
From left: Russel Marsh, Marigay McKee, Matthew Williamson & Lucinda Chambers

Here are a few little known facts and snippets of advice from session…

Remember Emma Watson‘s first UK Vogue cover back in 2010? Well, the actress was meant to be wearing priceless couture but disaster struck when all the frocks got pinched on the Eurostar. Instead Lucinda Chambers had to improvise borrowing bits and pieces from her staff!

Growing up in industrial Manchester in the 70′s, Matthew Williamson was inspired by how his mother dressed. Aged seven, he asked for a sewing machine for Christmas.

As Chief Merchant for Harrods, Marigay McKeeis not only blonde, beautiful and sickeningly well dressed but she’s also one the the most influential figures in the luxury market. Apparently the glamazon was something of a late bloomer who was neither fashionable nor clever at school. By the end of the talk I had a major girl crush on Marigay who was not only impressive but seriously amusing. My favourite quote from the formidable fashionista had to be…

“Everybody in this business has a grounding act, for Christopher (Bailey) it’s Yorkshire, for Matthew (Williamson) it’s his mum, for me it’s my two teenagers… The other day I was off out to a party and my son turned to me and said, “Mummy, do you really think those boots are age appropriate?”

Next up was Nigella Lawson but by this point I was so hungry myself, the idea of listening to someone talk about food whilst my stomache rumbled was more than I could bear. Instead I braved the rain (an unwelcome but inevitable development) and hot footed it to the nearest itsu. One Omega 3 Salmon Supreme later I was back in the theatre awaiting the first talk of the afternoon: Alexandra Shulman in coversation with Dolce and Gabbanna. Their English may not have been exactly perfect but with the help of 3 beautiful videos, countless emphatic gestures and one interpreter, Stefano and Domenico melted every heart in the audience with their Italian charm. In between all the gesticulating and sharp suiting the boys gave us an inspiring insight into their life, work and relationship.

“We know we are rich, we know we are famous, but this is not why we do it… We do this because we love it.”  - on being fashion designers

“We are still in love, but now in love in a different way… We have a level of understanding and tolerance” – on their relationship

“We believe in the younger generation, we need them” – on the future of Italian fashion

Dolce & Gabbana at Vogue Festival 2012
Dolce & Gabbana in conversation with Alexandra Shulman

The inimitable Italian design duo exited the stage to rapturous applause, leaving me just enough time to leg it to the nearest Starbucks before my final talk of the afternoon: “Does fashion have an age limit?” With a panel comprised of Mary “Queen of shops” Portas, Laura Bailey, Edie Campbell, Pixie Geldof and Anne Robinson, I suspected (and hoped) this session might be a lively one… Well, I certainly wasn’t disappointed. What ensued was a spirited discussion of age, media, gender politics and fashion, covering everything from mother/daughter style dynamics to the great size zero debate. In my opinion, Anne Robinson was the real star of the show, offering up honest, intelligent and often hilarious insights throughout. My favourite “Anne” moments included:

“A Parisian can go to a point-to-point in a dress and heels and we’d all feel that we’d dressed innappropriately”- Anne on French style

“The issue isn’t age, it’s size… I wouldn’t be presenting Watchdog if I was huge, I have to go hungry” – Anne on the trials of being a female TV presenter

“I think sticking needles in your face is just not the way forward… No offense Anne” – A very rude member of the audience

Vogue Festival 2012
From left: Pixie Geldof, Anne Robinson, Edie Campbell, Laura Bailey, Mary Portas & Lisa Armstrong

Having been studiously ignoring a nasty cold all week – “start of term flu” perhaps? – I had to skip the next session and head out in search of painkillers and a hot drink instead. With an invitation only evening discussion and cocktail party still to attend, my day was far from over yet!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 6 Comments

England V France: Style Showdown on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

If I learnt anything during the two months I spent working in the Paris it is this; everything you’ve heard about the French is true. They devour red wine and cheese like there’s no tomorrow (how French women stay so svelte is still a mystery to me). They’re capable of making you feel hideously gauche with little more than a meaningful look. They smoke like chimneys. But most of all they are impossibly and effortlessly chic. Since the dawn of time there’s always been a healthy rivalry between us Brits and our French contemporaries. But with The Hundred Years War well behind us, said rivalry is now of the sartorial persuasion. So it stands to reason that when London’s fashion elite headed to Paris in celebration of the new Burberry flagship store, a full on English V French fashion showdown ensued. Well, having not been able to attend the event myself (damn full time education) I can only assume that this was the case. And even if (more likely) it wasn’t, adding bit of drama into the mix just makes everything more entertaining.

Burberry

Paris may be the home of Haute Couture but having spawned the likes of Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders and of course, Burberry’s own Christopher Bailey, London can certainly hold it’s own in the style stakes. And who better to fly our fashion flag abroad than Alexa Chung, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Cara Delevigne who descended on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré adorned in Burberry’s new season finest.

Team GB

Burberry
From left: Rosie Huntington-Whitley, Cara Delevigne and Alexa Chung all wearing Burberry

In any other company, these Brit beauties would have sent the competition running for the hills but unsurprisingly French fashionista’s don’t scare so easily. Lou Lesage, Ludivine Sagnier, Lou Doillon and Audrey Marney gave their Burberry ensembles an elegant, Parisian twist and made for a fash-off to remember.

Les Parisiennes…

Burberry
From left: Melanie Laurent, Audrey Marney and Lou Lesage also all wearing Burberry

You’ve heard the news, you’ve seen the snaps and only one question remains. Who wore it better, the English or the French? This time YOU decide…

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 5 Comments

La Petite Party Diaries… Burberry Brit Store Launch

Part two of last Thursday night’s fashion party extravaganza took me to the heart of Covent Garden where I had been invited along to celebrate the launch of the new & improved Burberry Brit store. Now any soiree thrown by Burberry was going to attract some pretty high profile guests and I was beyond thrilled to be included amongst the hoards of famous fashion faces parading their stylish selves through the state-of-the-art store.

I arrived at the store to be greeted with freshly poured champagne and the sound of thumping music. Despite my being only an un-fashionable half-hour late, the place was packed. One thing I have always loved about Burberry is the classic, fresh faced loveliness of their models and sure enough all former and current faces of the brand had turned out in force to indulge in an evening of drinking, dancing and multiple photo opp’s.The Burberry Brit launch party was doubtlessly one of the hottest tickets in town with international fashion royalty including Juliana Restoin-Roitfeld in attendance. As far as the eye could see, the enormous and unbelievably stylish store was teeming with beautiful people and industry insiders dressed in Burberry’s new season finest and ready to let their hair down.

Burberry
Christopher Bailey, wearing Burberry
Burberry
Juliana Restoin-Roitfeld, wearing Burberry
Burberry

All in all, it was a thoroughly British affair with miniscule versions of classic English dishes being served by a bevvy of rather gorgeous waiters. Homegrown beauties and Burberry models Poppy and Cara Delevigne, Lily Donaldson, Edie Campbell and Tali Lennox mingled with stylish singer Ellie Goulding and the man-of-the-moment himself, Christopher Bailey. We were treated to a breathtaking performance by British acoustic band, “Life in Film” and as darkness fell model/DJ Tom Guinness took to the decks and really got us in the party mood.

Burberry
Cara Delevigne, Poppy Delevigne & Lily Donaldson all wearing Burberry
Burberry
Tali Lennox, wearing Burberry
Burberry
Burberry

After getting over the the initial self-consciousness caused by wearing bright pink to an event where everyone else seemed to have gone for effortless understatement, I knocked back multiple glasses of champagne, caught up with familiar faces and generally enjoyed the evening. As we Brits say, a bloody good time was had by all and despite my stiletto induced agony I could happily have continued until the wee hours. Luckily enough this was not an option as whilst Thursday may be THE fashionable night to party, this sadly doesn’t excuse most of us from work the next day.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 3 Comments