Louise Gray

London Fashion Week AW13: Day 4 Continued

With every show I attended on day 4, my love for London Fashion Week grew that little bit stronger. Few designers exemplify the creatively liberated, Central Saint Martins taught, magpie style for which British fashion is celebrated more than Louise Gray. She can always be relied on to put two fingers up at good taste and this season was no different. The collection was a cacophany of riotous colours, wildly clashing prints and assorted textures thrown together with reckless aplomb in a way that so shouldn’t work but somehow aways does. Hats may have come courtesy of Stephen Jones but they were still made out of bin bags. Commercially orientated Gray most certainly isn’t but break down the looks, lose the madcap make up and many of these pieces will no doubt find their way into fashion forward wardrobes come September.

London Fashion Week

Louise Gray AW13

By this point I was in dire need of sustainence and frankly, a bit of a breather, so I headed to The Apartment (an ingenious bloggers sanctuary where we can hang out, eat, work and meet all manner of brands, arranged by the ever impressive Abi Marvel) to regroup before my final show. After all, it wouldn’t do to be feeling (and looking) anything less than my best for Burberry.

Since attending my first Burberry show a few back in 2011, it’s always been a major London Fashion Week highlight. Every season I get a familiar butterflies in my tummy sensation as I approach the vast Hyde Park venue and see the crowds of people lined up outside. Once I’d taken my seat in between fellow bloggers Ella of Coco’s Tea Party and Emily of Fashion Foie Gras I set about people watching as Burberry always attracts an A list crowd. This time around was no different and I spied everyone from Anna Wintour and Emmanuelle Alt to Freida Pinto, Kate Beckinsale, Rita Ora, Rosie Huntington-Whitley and Tinie Tempah on the FROW.

London Fashion Week

From left: Michelle Dockerty, Rosie Huntington-Whitley, Freida Pinto, Rita Ora & Kate Beckinsale

After much milling and mingling the show began and what a show it was! Burberry Prorsum SS13 was one of those collections that I liked at the time but since seeing again in September, I’ve really fallen for. As for AW13, well, it was love at first sight and appropriately so because it became clear early on that Christopher Bailey was in a romantic mood this season. Surprised though many of us were when the Yorkshire born designer cited saucy sixties showgirl, Christine Keeler as his inspiration, re-imagining the brand’s trademark trench in latex was a stroke of genius and looked oh-so-right on the runway. Then again, it’s Bailey’s knack for infusing the Burberry heritage with just the right amount of provocation that has made him such a successful Creative Director. As well as trenches, pencil skirts, shift dresses and other style staples were given a hint of kink by way of latext, leather and high shine PVC in shades of soft nude and rich oxblood. Another key and highly covetable component of the collection was print, namely cute heart motifs and naughty leopard spots. Silhouettes were kept classic and waists cinched allowing for everything from leather fringing to snakeskin and cowprint calf hair to be incorporated into the collection while shimmering stripes and luxurious knitwear provided yet more sell-out separates.

London Fashion Week

Burberry Prorsum AW13

One of my favourite things about attending the Burberry show is the inevitable element of spectacle. Who could forget Bailey quite literally making it rain for AW12? Or the kaleidescopic parade of metallic trenches for SS13? This time around he went above and beyond with a surprise that had half the guests standing up in their seats. About half way through the walls at the end of the runway parted revealing musician Tom Odell and his band who proceeded to serenade Cara, Karlie, and Jourdan strutting their stuff for the remainder of the show… As Mondays go, day 4 of London Fashion Week AW13 was certainly a good one!

Burberry Prorsum Womenswear Autumn-Winter 2013 Show Finale

Burberry Prorsum AW13 finale

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 3 Comments

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.

Read more

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week 1 Comment

BREAKING NEWS!!! British Fashion Council Announces Fashion Forward Recipients for 2012…

With less than ONE MONTH to go until London Fashion Week things are really hotting up in the British style capital. All over town fashionistas are prepping their wardrobes, charging their cameras and generally preparing themselves for 5 days (and nights) of non-stop shows, parties and photo opp’s galore. Whilst to the untrained eye London Fashion Week may just seem like an excuse to splash out on a new wardrobe and guzzle champagne from morning ’til night, really it’s so much more. Thanks to the tireless and might I add, non-profit, work of the British Fashion Council, LFW provides talented young designers with a platform to showcase their collections to the top press and buyers in the business. Over the past few weeks I’ve posted about not one, not two, but THREE of the British Fashion Council’s ingenius initiative’s for helping emerging fashion stars share their work with the world. Well, now it’s time to share a fourth. This very morning the BFC announced this year’s recipients for their ultra prestigious Fashion Forward Award. I could wax lyrical all day about the brilliance of this scheme but in the interest of not boring anyone to death, I’ll try to be concise. Every year Fashion Forward provides a handful of up-and-coming designers with sponsorship to show their collections at London Fashion Week for two consecutive seasons. Previous winners include Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, Giles and Richard Nicoll so suffice to say, it’s one of the most coveted awards in the industry and marks our anyone who nabs it as a serious fashion player.

So without further ado, this year’s recipients are… Louise Gray, Henry Holland, Mary Katrantzou and James Long, the first menswear designer ever to be awarded the prize.

British Fashion Council
From left: Louise Gray, House of Holland, Mary Katrantzou & James Long (all SS12)

As a long-standing Mary Katrantzou obsessive I’m thrilled to hear that she’s scooped up the award. If those digital print delights of hers dont just scream fashion forward then frankly, I don’t know what does.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 2 Comments

La Petite Party Diaries: Louise Gray for Brora Launch Party

What do you get when you cross one of London’s hottest young design talents with Britain’s best loved cashmere brand? Knitted deliciousness and a damn good party to toast it’s arrival, that’s what!

Last Thursday evening I was a very busy girl indeed and after a couple of hours of mincing with Notting Hill’s best dressed at Nanette Lepore’s party it was time to hot foot it over to Chelsea to celebrate the launch of Louise Gray’s collection for Brora. As you can see from these campaign snaps (above) Louise’s collaboration with the knitwear creator extraordinaire are every bit as scrumptious as you’d expect. Think Brora’s trademark luxuriousness with a quirky twist in colourful shades, surely the perfect way to ward off winter blues.

Moi
Louise Gray (right)
Henry Holland (centre) & friends

Louise looked eccentrically chic as ever in her own designs and guests including Henry Holland got stuck into canapes and cocktails (yes more) whilst indulging in a spot of dressing up, courtesy of Brora’s fab AW11 collection. It was so lovely in fact that I couldn’t resist treating myself to a pair of cashmere glovlets (or two). Probably not the wisest way to spend my student loan but when the temperatures are dropping and the champagne flowing, what else is a girl to do?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Parties 6 Comments

La Petite Fashion Week Diaries: London SS12, Day 4 (part 2)

When the sartorial spectacle that was the Burberry Prorsum show drew to a close we piled out of the venue to be greeted by an army of uniformed waiters offering freshly poured glasses of champagne. Like most 20 year old’s, to me the idea of turning down a free drink is almost unthinkable but I was still feeling the after effects of the previous evening’s antics so headed instead to Starbucks. One triple shot latte later and I was ready join my fellow bloggers and journalists aboard the Fashion Week ‘press bus’ (a coach with the sole purpose of transporting us from venue to venue, thus limiting high heel induced injuries) and head to my next show, Louise Gray. Since erupting on to the fashion scene back in 2009 Louise Gray has had the fashion world in raptures with her unique brand of kooky cool. For SS12 Louise stuck to her signature madcap style and wowed us with a riot of colours and textures perfectly styled with frill-trimmed pop socks, theatrical headpieces and wildly crimped hair. Patchwork, sequins, weaves, knits, chiffon and flouro brights were all piled together and somehow pulled off with aplomb. If you like to mix your prints then Louise is your go-to girl. Her latest creations combined every sort of print imaginable from animal to abstract to vintage florals in a myriad of vibrant, clashing hues. Girlish, carefree and stylishly unhinged, Louise Gray is never afraid to break all the rules. With yet another endearingly eccentric and beautifully crafted collection, I think it’s safe to say that this talented lady won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

fashion week
Louise Gray SS12
fashion week
Louise Gray SS12

By this point I had lost virtually all sensation in my toes and decided that it was high time for something a little stronger than coffee. A couple of glasses of Pinot later I felt considerably better and hopped in a cab to Bloomsbury for my final show of the day, Temperley London… And what a show it was! The magnificent British Museum provided a perfect venue for the beloved British brand. Unsurprisingly the FROW was strictly A-List with Rosario Dawson, Laura Bailey, Peaches Geldof, Poppy Delevigne and Juliana Reston Roitfeld all present and dressed in Temperley’s finest. But it wasn’t just fashion royalty in attendance that evening. A flurry of activity heralded the arrival of Pippa Middleton surrounded by a team of minders attempting (in vain) to keep the paparazzi at bay.

fashion week
From left: Laura Bailey, Peaches Geldof & Rosario Dawson
at Temperley London

The show that followed was hands down one probably the most mesmerizing I have seen during my fashion career so far. Alice truly outdid herself this season with an array of deliciously decadent ensembles, each one more breathtaking than the one before. Think St Tropez, Studio 54 and Cannes Film Festival all rolled into one and accesorized with sleek ponytails, oversized sunglasses and Greta Garbo esque headscarfs.

fashion week
Temperley London SS12
fashion week
Temperley London SS12

The collection skillfully avoided crossing the line into tackiness, instead exuding a louche, jet-set elegance. Silk jumpsuits in tropical prints and bedazzled gowns with plunging necklines, thigh high slits and flowing trains made for looks that that simply oozed red carpet glamour. From beaded French lace to embroidered organza, everything about Alice’s SS12 collection was utterly exquisite and unapologetically luxurious, an absolute treat to behold.

fashion week
Temperley London SS12
fashion week
Temperley London SS12

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion Week Leave a comment