Jasper Conran

London Fashion Week AW13: Day 2

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.

London Fashion Week

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.

London Fashion Week

Antipodium AW13

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.

London Fashion Week

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.

London Fashion Week

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

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 5 Comments

London Fashion Week SS13: Day 2

Every season I attempt to be all work and no play for the duration of fashion week. Every season, this attempt fails. What can I say, I’m young, foolish and extremely partial to free cocktails and fabulous company, things that are offered up in abundence during this magical bi-annual event. After Matches’ celebratory fashion week soiree, my friends and I somehow found ourselves ‘pursuaded’ to continue on to another two parties. This, combined with post-New York exhaustion and jet lag unsurprisingly resulted in my feeling a little fragile when my alarm went off at 7am the next day. One quick glance at my schedule (plus a triple shot latte and several max strength painkillers) soon sorted this out and soon I was back in my heels and ready to hit the road.

London Fashion Week

I wore…
Sweater: Boutique by Jaeger
Skirt & Shoes: Topshop
Hat: Uniqlo
Tights: Accessorize
Bag: Anya Hindmarch

My first port of call was the Julian Macdonald showroom in Mayfair where I had a private appointment to see his SS13 collection. Julian is a designer who knows how to do glamour and his latest offerings, ‘Island Life’, delivered it in spades.
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La Petite Fashion Week Diaries: London AW12, Day 2 (part I)

fashion week

I wore… Jacket: Whistles, Sweater: Mango, Shirt: Gap, Skirt: Topshop, Bag: Mulberry, Boots: Hobbs

Day 2 got off to a horrifically early start with Daks showing at an eye-watering 9am! Despite the unGodly hour Somerset House was packed, although many a bleary eye alluded to one-too-many cocktails the previous night. For AW12 Daks stuck to its’ signature style offering up lustrous heritage tweeds and checks in a predominantly muted palette with the odd burst of tomato red. Regal, rural and inherently British, this collection’s possibly not one for East London hipsters but it was nonetheless lovely in it’s trademark conservative way.

Daks London Fashion Week

After that we made for the nearest taxis (way too early to attempt public transport) and headed across the city for Clements Ribiero. Held in the majestic surroundings of Goldsmiths Hall and with Matches’ Ruth Chapman, Grazia Editor-at-Large Melanie Rickey and Liberty London Girl on the FROW, it promised to be a trip worth taking and Clements Ribiero certainly did not disappoint.

Fashion Week
Fashion Week

The show was a visual feast of bold colours, clashing prints and rich baroque detailing. Model du jour Freja Behja Erickson walked but even her striking looks couldn’t distract from the clothes. Clean lines, cinched waists and barely there makeup combined with leather detailing and Clements Ribiero’s eye-popping palette made for a collection that was sleek, chic and oh-so-covetable… I think I may have found myself a new love.

Clements Ribiero London Fashion Week

By this point I was in grave need of a caffeine fix so tottered off in hunt of the nearest Starbucks to replenish my energy levels with a (triple shot, non fat, extra hot) latte. After a not-so-brief encounter with a couple of my favourite street style snappers I found myself running extremely for the Jasper Conran show and was forced to head back to Somerset House at a highly unglamourous jog. Why I still live in fear that a fashion show might actually start on time I don’t know but luckily for me, Jasper’s did not so I took my seat and indulged in a satisfying spot of people watching. The FROW was packed with major industry players including everyone from Hilary Alexander and Grace Woodward (who must actually think I’m stalking them) to Hamish Bowles, Suzy Menkes, Harold Tillman and Virginia Bates.

Grace Woodward Fashion Week

Simple but effective is what Jasper does best and this season he truly outdid himself with a collection that was the epitome of effortless elegance. Classic silhouettes and immaculate tailoring was the name of the game in a delicious array of nudes, metallics and delicious autumnal hues. A stunning ivory ensemble complete with pleated skirt and lace collar stole my heart but with the exquisite embellishment served up this season, frankly there was a lot to choose from.

Jasper Conran London Fashion Week

Despite the fact I’d been uncharacteristically sensible the previous night and resisted even the slightest drop of Pinot Grigio, I was fairly fatigued by this point. With at least 4 more shows left on my schedule I decided it was time for a breather and headed to itsu (who, FYI, need to start operating a loyalty card system!) for a much needed sushi-and-magazine session.

Love Ella. X

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La Petite Fashion Week Diaries: London SS12, Day 2

fashion week
I wore… Jacket: All Saints, shirt: H&M, skirt: American Apparel
socks: Cos, shoes: Tods, bag: Marc Jacobs, hat: Topshop

The lovely Maria Grachvogel was celebrating the launch of her fantastic new Flagship store yesterday evening so after finishing up at Somerset House I decided to stop by for a drink on my way home. The plan was to say a quick hello, congratulate Maria on a stunning collection and be tucked up in bed by 11. Inevitably after a glass of bubbly all good intentions went straight out the window and I found myself hobbling home in the early hours. Suffice to say I wasn’t exactly at my best this morning and found myself sprinting, Starbucks in hand to Somerset House cursing my total lack of self control. But it seemed that luck was on my side and for once fashion’s lack of timekeeping worked in my favour. I arrived at the Ashish show just in time to spot a bejewelled Paloma Faith taking her seat on the FROW.

fashion week
Paloma Faith at Ashish

Ashish is always a London Fashion Week ‘must-see’ and this season was certainly no exception. The show begun with the sound of church bells before exploding into a riot of super brights and sequins. Florals are always big news come Springtime but this was a garden unlike any we’ve seen before. For SS12, nature will be going glam, or at least if Ashish has anything to do with it. Daisys, sunflowers and hot house blooms were all given the sequin treatment and the designer styled his high fashion farm girls with loose side plaits, straw hats and flower cuttings. Bedazzled animal prints and clashing colours were combined with slouchy shapes, bomber jackets and Doc Martens for a collection that should have been a crime against fashion but somehow left us all wanting more.

fashion week
Ashish SS12
fashion week
Ashish SS12

After a brief visit to my favourite lunch spot (twice daily itsu trips are a non-negotiable part of my fashion week schedule) it was time to head back to Somerset House for my second show of the day, Jasper Conran. The FROW was packed with industry legends including Suzie Mekes, Hamish Bowles, Jasmine Guinness and Hilary Alexander. A beautiful, melodious soundtrack provided the perfect accompaniement to a collection that was the very epitome of contemporary elegance. Jasper may have been designing since 1979 but his SS12 offerings were proof that this is a man who is not prepared to rest on his laurels. The aesthetic was low key luxe at it’s best featuring clean lines, minimal detailing and immaculate cuts. It appears a new wave of minimalism is approaching but if you think that sounds boring, think again. Jasper kept things fresh with thigh-high slits, mesh detailing and navel-grazing necklines whilst matching headbands and racer backs gave the collection a sleek, sporty feel. A predominantly neutral palette gave way to eye-watering shades of crimson and hot pink confirming that just when we thought we had Jasper all figured out he can take us by surprise once more.

fashion week
Jasper Conran SS12
fashion week
Jasper Conran SS12

From my experiences in New York I have deducted that the more famous fashion faces there are on the FROW, the later a show will start. With that in mind it came as no surprise that Jaeger London ran more than a little behind schedule. This was clearly one of the hottest tickets in town and Olivia Palermo, Jade Williams (AKA Sunday Girl), Laura Bailey and Donna Air pitched up causing a mass exodus of paparrazi to the venue.

fashion week
Jade Williams & Zara Martin
fashion week
Oliva Palermo

If city chic summer staples sound like your cup of tea then look no further than Jaeger London who’s 70′s inspired collection could not have been more deserving of it’s A-list attendees. Think chiffon pleats, cropped jackets, delicate detailing and super cute collars galore. Retro print blouses, demure lace dresses and trim tailored shorts suits were all on the menu in a delectable palette pastel shades, rich browns and bold, summer-ready hues. Ok, so it wasn’t pushing any boundaries but when the clothes are this covetable who gives a damn about making a statement?

fashion week
Jaeger London SS12
fashion week
Jaeger London SS12

By this point what had started out a glorious Autumn morning turned into a very grey afternoon. Jet lag (and maybe a hint of hangover) had well and truly kicked so I made yet another Starbucks stop to replenish my caffeine levels before heading over to my last show of the day, John Rocha.

John Rocha SS12
fashion week
John Rocha SS12

One word, wow. The show opened with a succession of incredible gothic creations before moving into equally breathtaking nude hues and stark whites. John’s trademark texture play reached new levels this season combining weaved cotton, leather, sheer chiffon, crochet, feathers, shearling and just about every other material you can think of. Voluminous, sculpted shapes were interspersed with slender draped silhouettes, asymmetrical pleats and sleek tailoring whilst dramatic headpieces gave the collection an almost primal feel. Experimental, artstic and always inspiring John Rocha’s collections never fail to amaze and this seasons’ show brought the house down.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 3 Comments

La Petite Fashion Week Diaries: London, Day 3

Day 3 started at a slightly more reasonable hour than the previous and having skipped the Belle Sauvage fashion week after-party on Saturday night in favour of watching 90210 in my pyjamas, I felt bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to hit the shows. Today I decided to debut my new season Topshop kick-flares and teamed them with an adorable Marc Jacobs sweater, nude heels by Aldo and my ultra impractical Sandro bag. A few seconds after this picture was taken I decided that blue-with-cold is not a good look and sprinted back inside to put on my sheepskin lined ankle boots and as many extra layers as I could fit under my All Saints leather jacket.

Fashion Week

I kicked off my Sunday with Brit designer, Jayne Pierson. This was my first trip to On/Off’s new Mercer Street venue and I loved it. Tucked down a side street just seconds from the heart of Covent Garden with an intimate feel and small but perfectly formed show space. Jayne’s exhibition caught my eye last season and since then Jayne has been featured in Vogue Italia, Vogue.co.uk, Another Magazine and Grazia. Not bad considering she only launched her eponymous brand in September 2009.

Fashion Week
Jayne Pierson AW 2011

Jayne’s aptly named AW 2011 collection, “Kingdom Of Shadows” had a very glam goth feel to it. The looks consisted of largely black-on-black ensembles with the focus on silhouette and cleverly contrasted corsetry and tailoring with glorious drapery. Models sashayed down the catwalk (as much it is possible to “sashay” wearing PVC leggings anyway) with pale faces, dark lips and artfully backcombed hair. The collection was powerfully sexual and would have bordered on bondage had Jayne’s masterful manipulation of fabric and cut not kept things strictly fashion orientated. Lashings of leather, PVC, super sheer knits and velvet mixed with sculptural shapes, statement jewellery and intricate detailing made for a powerful yet feminine collection, well worth braving the weekend tube closures to get a look at.

Fashion Week
Jayne Pierson AW 2011

By this point my legs were throbbing from wearing heels day and night so I made a much-needed pitstop at Starbucks to replenish my caffeine labels, send multiple emails and shelter from the cold. The BFC tent is officially my favourite LFW venue, mainly due to it’s convenience and covered waiting area which is just perfect for sneaking between-show-cigarettes without getting drizzled on, so I was thrilled to be back at Somerset House for my second show of the day, Jasper Conran.

Fashion Week
Jasper Conran AW 2011

With Vogue UK’s Sarah Harris and Fashion Director, Lucinda Chambers on the FROW, expectations were high for Jasper Conran and the London Fashion Week veteran did not disappoint. From my 2nd row seat I was treated to a fantastic view of the collection which was a delicious homage to retro chic chanelling the 60′s and 70′s to bring us belted jumpsuits and super cute shift dresses. Minimal detailing and clean lines highlighted Jasper’s sleek silhouettes and clever fabric contrasts between wool-jersey, butter-soft leather and luxurious suede. The pieces were perfectly complimented by the fabulous Stephen Jones hats atop the models flowing locks. Embellishment was kept to a bare minimum with just the right amount of chiffon, fur and super subtle sequins and the palette of monochrome tones and soft autumnal hues of chocolate, burgudy and plum made for a fuss-free collection that looked good enough to eat.

Fashion Week
Jasper Conran AW 2011

By the time Jasper Conran was over, a lunchbreak was definitely on the cards but much to my dismay, itsu had a serious lack of decent sushi boxes on offer so I was forced to refuel elsewehere. It was probably a blessing in disguise as what with taxis, cigarettes, itsu’s and thrice-daily starbucks trips I could very well be bankrupt by the time Fashion Week is over. Anyway, a panini and a cup of tea later I was off back to Covent Garden for LFW’s most in-demand off-shcedule show, Charlie Le Mindu. Getting into the venue took the best part of 45 minutes but the people watching opportunities on offer were so brilliant that I didn’t even notice my hands had gone blue! Drag Queens, punks, an inflatable woman (see below) and PVC-clad glamour girls courtesy of the shows sponsor, Babestation, created a scene on the door that you just couldn’t make up.

Fashion Week
Charlie Le Mindu FROW

With style icon Daphne Guiness on the FROW, Charlie Le Mindu was without a doubt THE hottest off-schedule show and as always the outlandish designer delivered a performance well worth waiting in the rain for.

Fashion Week
Daphne Guiness at Charlie Le Mindu

After much jostling and several almost-fights over seats, or lack thereof, the show began with a blood spattered model wearing nothing but a sign on her head reading “Violence”. As expected Charlie gave us drama, brutal imagery and a whole lot of nudity with most models clad in little more than clear PVC, gas masks and the odd piece of white lace. A dark and forboding soundtrack provided the perfect accompaniement to a show that exuded brutality, violence and raw sexuality yet somehow still managed to be enjoyable.

Fashion Week
Charlie Le Mindu AW 2011

Then it was time to head back to Somerset House once again for my last show of the day, Osman. Over the past couple of years Osman Yousefzada has been one of fashion fastest rising stars. Championed by Sarah Brown and adored by Fashion Editors around the world, Osman’s designs have featured in every publication worth it’s salt and this year earnt him a place in the final shortlist for the industry’s most prestigious award, the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund.

Fashion Week
Osman AW 2011

Unsurprisingly the venue was packed and it seemed that the entire industry had turned out to get a look at Osman’s lastest designs. The pressure was really on for this talented young designer and he truly rose to the occasion, wowing us all with a collection so beautiful and fresh even the coolest characters on the FROW felt compelled to give a standing ovation.

Fashion Week
Osman AW 2011

For AW 2011 Osman gives us clean lines and looser fitting shapes in a striking palette which combined neutrals with bursts of strong colour. Leather and chiffon have both been a major theme throughout LFW so far and Osman subtly interjected next seasons must-have fabrics subtly throughout his collection in a way that felt totally fresh and unlike any other takes on these forthcoming trends. The collection features wide leg trousers, A-line skirts and dresses, longer hemlines and adorable capelets. Minimal detailing made for sleek silhouettes and kept all eyes on the fine fabrics, impecabble cuts and masterful tailoring of the pieces. The designer used careful texture play and colour blocking to great effect throughout the collection which focused largely on beautiful separates with a few exquisite evening dresses to finish. Overall Osman really outdid himself this season taking the most alluring qualities of minimalism and injected just the right amount of colour to create a collection that is modern, elegant, utterly desirable and most importantly, completely unique. A definite highlight of LFW so far.

Fashion Week
Osman AW 2011

Then at long last it was time to head home for a quick shower and an hour or so of work before heading out the the fabulous Temperley After-Party. Sadly I didn’t have time to fit in an episode of 90210, but such is the fate of a fashionista!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 2 Comments