My London Fashion Week

This isn’t the kind of round-up where I break down each collection and give you a full on background to every designer and their portfolio of work. I see no point when there are countless more qualified people than myself who have already written reports on the matter, so I’m not about to add my tuppence worth. And besides, this isn’t a fashion article, it’s a blog post so I’ll try to keep it light and lean.

‘My London Fashion Week’ is exactly that – a round-up of how I experienced the shows and everything else that goes with it, and try to make sense of what can truly be an overwhelming week. I think the important thing to remember before all else, is that LFW and indeed all fashion weeks are an industry event that helps keep that retail chain churning and is crucial to what is now a huge part of our ecomony. We’re talking hundreds of millions here and that’s just the UK.

I try to keep this in mind whilst being easily distracted by the side shows that can interfere but also sometimes enhance (we all love a bit of people watching) with what fashion week is really about. As you can tell I’m in two minds about the plethora of fashionistas who mill around outside the shows waiting to be snapped by the increasing amount of would be street style photographers who seem to be multiplying a the rate of knots – probably not helped by blogs like mine or the ones I feverously read every evening but it’s still a mad thing to witness.

When it comes down to the nitty gritty of the fashion itself, I’m again in two minds. I know what I like and I certainly know what I don’t. However, working in fashion means I must to try to have an open mind – trust me, this is something I actively have to work on. Whilst I can appreciate the fashion I wouldn’t necessarily wear or use in my work I can get ridiculously excited about collections that I would. Of the shows I witnessed throughout the week, without a doubt Margaret Howell came top. Her sheer brilliance is in the simplicity of her clothing – always consistent, never boring and eternally wearable.

At the other end of the scale I would put Haizhen Wang, who is a designer I know next to nothing about. There was certainly a lot about his collection I admired and it was visually striking yet the collection was pretty much the antithesis of what I’m about…..although I am a sucker for a cape and his was a pretty awesome one.

House of Holland had heaps that I wanted to grab off the catwalk and wear there and then but the spectacle of the whole thing mildly bothered me. I inadvertently took a picture of the front row, which pretty much sums up the the show, i.e. bright young things lending support to their designer friend and getting a bit of publicity in the process. Nought wrong with that really but ’tis quite strange too, no?

Then we had the incredible surroundings at the Julien McDonald show. The air was filled with the scent of about a hundred candles and the whole ambience was decadent, over the top and dare I say fabulous (I secretly loved it). Pop stars on the front row and a proud Mum and Dad also were there to lend support……um, adorable! The glitzy dresses were a bit more edgy than his usual fare and the whole thing was just fun – all I managed to get a photo of was the outrageous chandalier filled with Lord knows how many lighted candles, and that was only one of four in the room. I don’t envy the guy who had to light them.

Daks is always perfection, in my humble opinion. So classically British and more to the point they are clothes made for Women, not girls – isn’t that so refreshing? Aren’t we bored of super girly clothes yet? Layers, lengths and a great classic colour palette. Now tell me, what in heck is wrong with that?

The surprise of the week for me was Todd Lynn. Again, not a designer I am well versed in and I enjoyed the unusual pleated peplums that wafted down the runway. Plus, I do have a penchant for great tailoring (Lynn’s specialty) so it makes sense I should like it. I did read he uses a ‘ considerable amount of fur and leather for good measure’ which made my heart sink but I think we can leave that topic alone for the purposes of this post.

Jasper Conran‘s bold retro offerings were filled with juicy hues of orange, pink and yellow. Every outfit the ultimate ensemble, some of which were topped with ridiculously cute hats made by Stephen Jones, all of which finished off with what I could most accurately describe as the only mid heel shoe worth owning next season.

Oh, John Rocha. Those tulip shaped dresses and the supersize swing coats very nearly had me drooling on the runway. Slightly off beat, distinct and almost a bit too mad to wear in day to day life – none of which stops me from wanting to own more than half the collection just so I can admire it on a daily basis.

And yes, I can confirm that Cara Delevingne is just as beautiful is real life, if not more so. I can’t imagine anyone else looking quite as good as she did in that terrific Peter Pilotto dress. It also transpires I have a thing for Richard Nicoll (who knew?!) – clean, modern, beautiful, I was quite taken with his aw13 collection and now I’m educating myself on his past work.

There was more, of course, but we’ll be here all night if I go on any longer so I think i’ll leave it there for all our sakes. I’ve pretty much just scratched the surface but bed beckons and soon another day in the world of fashion will begin. I’m currently in the midst of organising tickets for Paris and hoping that maybe one day I might get to go in person. My money’s on Rochas and Miu Miu hitting the nail on the proverbial fashionistas (there’s that word again!) head, what do you reckon?

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Cliff Notes

I spend a lot of time fantasizing about our life in Cornwall. There was very little I didn’t love about living in that glorious part of the world and even though London is special too I can’t help but think the lifestyle I now crave isn’t a city one. I own a surfboard goddmammit and I want to use the damn thing!

It’s true to say you can get lost in a city, especially London. I know I’ve had many moments when I don’t have a second to catch my breath nevermind focus on what it is I want out of life – because surely there’s more to it than climbing the career ladder?

Luckily my Husband feels the same way and we have a sort of loose plan to make sure we’re out of the big smoke and back down to Cornish lands as soon as we possibly can. That is, when we’ve done a little of what we came back here to achieve, made a bit of money (chance would be a fine thing) and purged all those city vices out of our system – we’re getting there, very slowly and not always surely but we’re definitely trying.

So when Seasalt sent me a delightfully nautical and oh so Cornish parcel a few weekends ago it got me thinking again about everything we’re missing by being here. It was like a little taste of home (I might be Irish but Cornwall is my spiritual home) and the perfect antedote to my current situation, which mostly involves high fashion, not much of which is attainable to me or even terribly appealing.

Because as much as I love fashion, and there are many designers and brands I admire and, yes, even obsess about (I’m looking at you Margaret Howell), the clothing I feel most comfortable in is well designed casual clobber. Give me jeans over a fancy schmancy dress any day of the week. Pea green jeans with just the right amount of stretch and high enough so that not even a peep of panty is on show? Even better.

Seriously though, what is with the low slung style that is so popular nowadays?! I’m sure those girls spend half the day hoicking their jeans up lest they end up round their ankles. Let it be known that knick knicks are a no no. These jeans, on the other hand, are just the right side of fashionable without being on the wrong side of trendy. Already they have become my ‘go-to’ trousers because they go with just about anything (blouses, sweaters, t-shirts) and are smart enough even for the office.

I couldn’t resist pairing them with a breton style t-shirt for this semi-impromptu shoot, just to make the whole thing uber Cornish….um, whilst standing in one of Charlton House‘s many grand rooms. The bag was sheer coincidence. I had used it to pack my costumes for the short film we are currently shooting, so thought I’d throw it in for good measure. And the scarf? Well, it’s just perfect, how could I not?!

This is exactly the kind of outfit I would wear when I lived in Penzance but is a super City look too. I think stripes and jeans are just a classic ensemble wherever you are. I am so delighted with these trousers, I can’t thank Seasalt enough for kindly sending me a pair – as they say in Liverpool, ‘i’m made up’.

what i’m wearing….pea green ‘cliff’ trousers c/o Seasalt….bag/scarf also Seasalt….breton top/h&m….red sweater/gap….brogues/m&co….headscarf/tabio….leopard print socks/primark          

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London Fashion Week/Day Five

Well, that’s it folks, another season done and dusted, and to be perfectly frank I’m exhausted. Call me a light weight but I really can’t handle the pace and I’m rather looking forward to getting back to my usual routine….what a bore, eh?

Today was a strange mix of work, dashing to a show nearby (Nasir Mazhar….it was, erm, interesting), a little more work and then onto Somerset House for the final two shows of the day and indeed week.

With that in mind, I thought it only too appropriate and wise to don a pair of jeans – it really was one of those days. This whole week has been a great exercise in dressing with work in mind when you’re not actually working, if you get my drift. It’s a fine balance you see. I have to look professional, fashionable (but not too ‘trendy’), not overly or under done. Not as easy as it sounds let me tell you.

I think this might have been my favourite look of the last five days for no other reason than I felt good in it. It was a nice way to finish the week and enjoy the last of the shows including a tidy monochrome selection from Aminka Wilmont and some striking architectural offerings from Haizhen Wang. Like I mentioned previously, I will be doing a little round up after I get a chance to sort through my photos and make sense of everything.

So that’s it for another season here in London but it’s onto Milan Fashion Week tomorrow, which I’m certain will be just as thrilling – that fashion wheel just keeps on turning!

what i wore…jeans and polo neck/primark….waistcoat/vintage jaeger….coat and boots/h&m..

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London Fashion Week/Day Four

Penultimate day folks! And as much as I love London Fashion Week, I honestly can’t wait for things to return to normal. I had a stupidly early wake up call this morning because I wanted to get a few things sorted at work before heading over to Peter Pilotto at the Topshop Showspace in Tate Modern, which luckily for me is about a five minute walk, if not shorter. Smug mode.

I particularly loved the cropped puffas but wondered if they were filled with down – that’s always a bummer….there were a few striking dresses worn very well by the lovely Miss Cara Delevingne too. Then it was onto Louise Gray. Crazy? Of course. Wearable? Mostly. Oh so very London? I should say so. Well, as long as you live East and hang out with all the cool kids; the models wore plastic bags as hair accessories, what more can one say.

Then it was the turn of Fashion East (Claire Barrow, Ryan LO and Ashley Williams – google them), again in Tate Modern, and this was a little unexpected show stopper for me. I have to admit to not being very familiar with any of the designers. Ashley Williams was perhaps my favourite of the three and to be honest, it was the Elvis printed dresses that sealed the deal.

As far as my own style went, it was a workday (not that that means anything really) so I went for another pair of staple trousers that I quite honestly could not live without. As soon as I have a bit more (read ‘any’) disposable cash I am investing in another pair of these because they are simply amazing – high waisted, perfect leg length and very flattering. American Apparel is the tops.

Unusually for me I wasn’t wearing any vintage! It just happened by accident I guess. The blue boxy top is one of my bargain finds from Zara. I found it on a sale rail for three quid in Belfast and I wear it way too often. It’s great over shirts, polos and long sleeved tops, plus the length is super with high waisters – skirts and trousers alike.

So, tomorrow is the last day and right now I haven’t given my outfit a second thought. Sometimes it’s better that way. Over-thinking outfits can often spell disaster. Generally speaking I’m a go with the flow girl and usually just see how the mood takes me. One more day of fashion show fun before the circus moves on to Milan – God love those journalists that have to do all four, more power to ya!

what i wore….polo/uniqlo….top/zara….trousers/american apparel….coat/urban outfitters….socks/tabio….shoes/m&s

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London Fashion Week/Day Three

Third day in and I am feeling the burn! Tomorrow will be doubly difficult because I’ll have to combine work and shows but it’s certainly worth it.

This then is today’s outfit offering – again, everything vintage ‘cept the trews which are very old mango and were actually the result of a swap I did with my Sister. I was having a bit of an ‘arrrrgggh, what the heck am I going to wear!’ kind of day, so went with some tried and trusted favourites like these flat brogues and coat/cardi. It was a wee but nippy out there so I threw a beret and scarf in my bag, which came in handy later on.

Show wise, I started with Margaret Howell. I’ve been wanting to see a Margaret Howell show forEVER and it did not disappoint – lots of cool clean staples in fabulously flattering shapes and lengths, all of which I want but will most likely never own, such is life.

Matthew Williamson was a surprising one for me because the pastel printed bohemian vibe clothing he is famed for isn’t really my style but boy did his recent A/W13 collection float my boat. Bold block colours in wonderful shades and for someone who likes to design floaty garments, his contemporary structured offerings are right up my street. Lot’s of polo neck were present too, which is another major tick from me.

In between shows I managed to get around a few of the exhibitions and stumbled upon a wonderful brand called Beautiful Soul that sells the most gorgeous dresses. Everything is ‘Made in England’ (we likey) and they are soon to be experimenting with a material made entirely from plastic bottles (we likey even more). Apparently Kristen Davies is a fan, and they also have the seal of approval from the lovely Ms. Livia Firth, Queen of the eco-fashion movement amongst the A Listers.

Now though, I must get some shut eye before having to do it all again tomorrow. Whoever said fashion was easy, eh?!

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London Fashion Week/Day Two

And we have lift off! After yesterday’s slow start, today proved to be a great day in all respects…plenty of shows were attended including Daks, Clements Ribeiro, Jasper Conran, John Rocha and Henry Holland. If you’re wondering where all the catwalk pictures are, I will definitely be doing a mini ‘from a humble spectators point of view’ round up at the end of fashion week although I have put a few on my instagram should you wish to take a peek.

In the meantime you’ll have to make do with more daily outfit pics. I’m actually quite impressed we managed to quickly snap these before I headed out this morning because it was early – too early for taking photos that’s for sure!

Even though I do have plenty of images of myself on this blog, you may be surprised to hear I’m not 100% at ease in front of the lens…the photographic lens that is, I have no qualms about being filmed as long as I’m playing a part. I guess that’s the attitude I take when posing (and let’s be honest, it is posing!) for blog pics. If I didn’t take on some sort of role I’d never be able to do it.

It also helps that my Husband is the photographer and there is no one else hanging around to witness the ridiculousness. At Somerset House (the scene of London Fashion Week) there are a silly amount of people taking photos of all the street style – it’s a little disconcerting and a recipe for making you feel reasonably self conscious. I think the best way to describe it is excruciating. I suppose I should be happy someone would like a photo but I find it awkward to say the least. Oh how I wish I could turn it on for the camera at those moments but no, I become a grimmacing moron and thus delightful photographs end up on the interweb of me looking dreadful (that rabbit in the headlights has nuthin’ on me!).

So, my aim for tomorrow is this. Should someone be kind enough to request a photo (it is a compliment after all) I will do simply this…..smile. We’ll soon put that rabbit to bed.

what i’m wearing……everything second hand/vintage 

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London Fashion Week/Day One

Today marked the first day of London Fashion Week. After only two seasons I’m hardly a pro but I’m becoming more au fait with the whole thing and feel slightly less uncomfortable in the high fashion surroundings of Somerset House.

What I have realised in my short time going to shows is that comfort and warmth should take priority over everything else….well, perhaps not everything else but you get my drift. What with it being February, London is still pretty chilly so I opted for a mega fluffy hat (which you’ve seen before, yawn!) and a quilted lumberjack style jacket that’ll help keep (and did keep) me cosy when queuing for shows.

My theory was proved correct when I had to wait an hour for the PPQ show before being turned away along with half the people waiting. Luckily I managed to get inside the venue to watch the show in the small cinema room next to the runway – small consolation for not being able to see my first show of the season!

Tomorrow should be a better day – I’m particularly looking forward to Henry Holland and I’ll be sure to get to the venue early this time because I am not missing my first ever House of Holland show, no siree.

So, simple was the order of the day. Pared down (minus the hat) and pretty casual with a touch of lumberjack – tomorrow I may feel the need to don a skirt. Y’know, just to balance things out a little.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram for more Fashion Week updates!

what i wore….navy shirt/vintage….indigo flared jeans/gap….jacket/vintage….hat/vintage….boots/vintage bally (pregan)

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Vegan Valentines

Valentines Day doesn’t have to be a totally commercial ‘hallmark’ holiday. You can make it special in a few small ways throughout the day, and show the person you love how much they mean to you in the best possible way – through food! Without a doubt, food is an incredibly powerful, emotive way to display your affection.  We’re not going out for a three course restaurant meal this year but I will sprinkle my vegan love throughout the day. Here are five ways you can make your Valentines Day deliciously vegan and wonderfully romantic…..

Let’s begin with breakfast. This peanut butter, banana and chocolate baked oatmeal recipe is the perfect start to Valentines Day – and that’s not just my opinion. Topped with a fresh strawberry, it’s a cheeky opener to this special day.

Valentine’s is the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast (check), lunch and dinner, and if it contains avocado….well then, it’s practically an order! This chocolate avocado pudding is a nutritious little stunner that will have him/her guessing what the crucial ingredient is. Topped with another strawberry? Oh, go on!

A mid afternoon sweet treat is a super cute Valentine’s gesture. These gluten free fig and rose cupcakes are a favourite of mine. Delicately flavoured and really simple to make, you could easily whip up a small batch in time for the 14th!

There’s no better way to end this sweet filled day than with a slice of raw vegan cherry bakewell cheesecake. I know Hubbie wouldn’t say no to a serving or two of this creamy layered beauty – good thing it errs on the right of healthy too! Now that’s how I show my love on Valentines,  how about you?

 

 

 

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The hat’s the thing

Here’s something I discovered today. People look at you differently when you wear an eye catching hat. Seriously. This floppy green vintage hat turned quite a few heads this afternoon and in all honesty it was quite disconcerting. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many smiles,  nods, quiet complimentary whispers, ‘pardon me’s’ and general courtesy – and this is London!

Strolling through Greenwich, I felt like a million dollars. This might just be my accidental equivalent of power dressing…..seventies style. I found myself walking with confidence, holding my head a little higher and feeling more glamorous than usual. The last one was new one on me because I rarely (if ever) feel glamorous. And all because of a hat I found in a bargain bucket for two pounds.

The hilarious thing is I was only dressing like this for a *project we’re working on and had it been a normal Saturday I wouldn’t have dreamed of donning such mammoth headwear.

*Hubby and I are currently making a little film – it’s a sort of ‘through the ages’ type affair, which requires me to dress in various styles (yes, I am in my element!). Today was, of course, seventies shoot day, so that is the real reason for my full on attire.

Obviously I always knew clothes had the power to change how you feel about yourself, this outfit just merely reminded me. But I think I needed reminding because I’ve been going through one of those ‘blah’ periods. Look, I know it’s only a hat – and not an outrageous one at that – but it’s a departure from my usual style, which made it seem more daring.

After we finished with our little shoot we took ourselves to a recent discovery that is quickly becoming an obsession…..our local pie and mash shop. The pie and mash is served with a sauce called liquor (we were assured it’s vegan), which sounds vile but is actually heavenly, and lucky for us our local shop offers a vegan pie option. Music to my ears yo! It’s pretty old school in there so I blended right in – my hat even matched the tiles, hehe.

So. Now I know exactly what to do when I’m feeling a bit crappy – simply pop on a floppy seventies hat, hit the streets of Greenwich and proudly stroll through the market after feeding on pie and mash. Forget therapy; it seems what you put on your head has a positive affect on what goes on in it. Innit?!

what i’m wearing….trench coat/vintage dannimac….rust cord flares/anthropologie….scarf/vintage….hat and bag/both vintage from clocktower market….boots/vintage bally (pregan) from ebay

 

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Instagram Moments

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts so I felt like one was definitely due. I’m still stir crazy about instagram so here’s a weeks worth of my filtertastic pics….. I have a thing for all things nautical so when this parcel came in the post I was just a wee bit ecstatic to find the gorgeously tissue wrapped gift adorned with these super cute anchor stickers. Seasalt sure do know how to make a girl happy! The lift at work has become the perfect place for me to take full length outfit shots without having to trouble my poor Hubbie. I was definitely channelling my inner Land Girl that day. Love a good headscarf, me.New York Fashion week is underway and London Fashion Week is scarily close. I think I have things just about under control at work (crosses fingers and toes) and I’m really excited about this season – my third fashion week, yikes! In particular,  I am chomping at the bit to witness this incredible retrospective catwalk show featuring the designs of Mary Quant, Ossie Clark and Vivienne Westwood to name but a few. Stellar stuff!

If you were curious as to what was in the pretty anchor clad parcel above, it was these gorgeous turn up pea green jeans. Seasalt is one of my favourite brands and these fit like a dream.  I’ll be doing a more in depth fashion post dedicated to these lovely trews over the weekend.

There I go again, taking pictures of myself in the FT lifts! It was a leopard print kind of day  – any excuse to wear this jumper, it is the comfiest thing I own. I wish Zara made them in other colours/prints, I would stock up for sure. Sadly I have never seen another one exactly like this style. The skirt is vintage and I paired the whole outfit with ma black sparkly brogues. Ta da!

Oh my, this dinner was go-od. Vegan shrimp and grits isn’t exactly a staple round here but I have made it a few times. It’s such a satisfying dish with plenty of spice. I think a few more tweaks and we’ll have a monster vegan hit on our hands.

I couldn’t believe how many people stopped to compliment on my shirt today, it went down an absolute treat. This is one of my go to outfits – what you can’t see are my indigo flares, which keep it just the right side of casual. It’s practical, comfortable and smart, so perfect for the office.

I am addicted to this tea right now. Licorice and peppermint are a match made in herbal tea heaven. Just the right amount of sweetness that really hits the spot mid afternoon. I also like it after dinner. And mid morning. Okay, so it’s good anytime of the day. Pukka are my favourite tea brand, the flavours are quite intense but super delicious. Plus the boxes are pretty – ah, such a sucker for packaging!

This is actually what I wore last Friday and granted it’s bright with a captial B. Most people tend to dress down on Friday – it seems to be a thing in offices. I find it a little odd but that’s just me. It also makes me want to ramp it up a bit just to go against the grain….maybe I went too far this time?!

….and that was my week. Hello weekend, I’m ready for ya!

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