London Fashion Week is a few days away but applying for show tickets is nearly as hard work as attending the shows themselves. Put it this way, there’s a two-page schedule for the parties alone! I’m most disappointed to find out that despite all the hype, Charles Anastase isn’t showing after all but will console myself with my top five must-attends.
Gareth Pugh The hottest ticket as far as I’m concerned – if only for the sheer challenge of getting into the show. My proudest fashion moment to date was two seasons ago when I asked Hamish Bowles to take my picture in front of the catwalk with a vast sea of giant black balloons behind me (the first picture was a dud so I made him re-shoot). As if that wasn’t thrilling enough, Anna Wintour then stepped over my bag – darlings, I nearly wept with pride!
Luella You can keep Giles, Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders, I’m all about the girly, streety collections – the stuff I actually wear. Luella’s show, while nothing ground breaking, will undoubtedly have the best models, music and accessories.
Mulberry Not a show as such but a series of presentations. I like how Mulberry’s clothing lingers under the radar and I’ll be interested to see what’s on the agenda for SS08 before Katie Grand takes the reins.
Todd Lynn I missed his last show and I’m sorely regretting it. This guy’s thing is rock-n-roll rebellion and androgyny – my two all-time classic looks. As the desgner responsible for clothing the likes of The Stones, U2 and PJ Harvey he should have some interesting punters in the front row.
Matthew Williamson Purely for the home-coming spectacle and celeb count, this will be a show worth queuing for. I’m also a big fan of the Williamson colour palette – let there be brights!
To get this season’s flicked eyeliner look, follow these 4 simple steps: 1) Sit with uncrossed legs looking straight ahead into a mirror to keep your posture balanced. 2) Always use a sharp eye pencil to start and use pointed cotton buds for corrections. 3) The key is not to draw the line in one go. Do a bit on one eye, then the other and so on until you’re happy. 4) Using the pencil as a guide line, finish with liquid eyeliner on top. Pat McGrath used Cover Girl ‘s LineExact Liquid Liner at the LV show.
According to www.vogue.co.uk Preen were channelling Lauren Hutton in American Gigolo on day three of New York Fashion Week. I can’t tell you happy I was to hear this. I love Lauren Hutton and have been lusting after an oversized silk satin shirt for like, months having spied la Hutton sporting the same in Ron Galella’s book Disco Years . The collection was big on sexy utility-wear so I’m calling it…Utility Luxe. I just love how you can add ‘luxe’ to any word and create a whole new trend!
Going to Colette? Skip the shopping, head for the exhibitions. 200 Troubled Teens (from 3rd-29th September) is a collection of photographs of adolescent skateboarders by Patrick O’Dell and youthful heavy-metal fans by Angela Boatwright. From the Street to the Night (1st-27th November) is an exhibition of street fashion portraiture by Amy Arbus, Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist), Yvan Rodic (Facehunter), Mark The Cobrasnake, Misshapes and Patrick McMullan.
The much-hyped Wonder Room has finally been unveiled at Selfridges and I have been to sample its delights. Alas, my initial reaction was rather tame. You access the room via the perfume and jewellery departments on the ground floor and while the name suggests some sort of theatrical Alladin’s cave full of surrealist curios, what greeted me was a bright white room full of glass cabinets containing ultra-luxe watches and expensive Vertu phones. So far, not so impressed.
The Wonder Room is ultimately a temple to the obscenely expensive. Instead of a museum-like show of the weird and wonderful, we get wall-to-wall extravagance including a Cartier concession, a Chrome Hearts concession, an Hermes concession (nothing new in here – I checked) and a Chanel fine jewellery concession.
Its saving grace is a small area by the window of Orchard Street. If we don’t get the museum we at least get the museum shop, which consists of yet more expensive shit in glass cases (£4000 Ego handbag-shaped laptops), plus a few cheap gifty knick-knacks around the till. The collectable books are worth a look (but you can’t touch – they’re under glass) including Tracht, a rare Juergen Teller book of photos of 1999’s Miss World contestants (only £375!) but if you can’t afford those then artist Sophie Calle’s book Double Game is a good substitute. Ignore the wall of designer sunglasses and make your way along to the corner window where you can wonder at Conrad Shawcross’s specially commissioned mechanical artwork (I really don’t know how else to decribe it) therein.
What I realised, is that this is more of a luxury room than a wonder room. I’m not against luxury but it seems a waste of space to put so much focus on the ludicrously extravagant and not balance it with the stuff that’s still desirable but the rest of us can afford, but then I guess that’s what the rest of the shop is for, right?
Clearly Selfridges knows what it’s doing, with profits for the first half of this year up 33% . What the £10 million Wonder Room suggests to me is that Selfridges is moving on from aspirational and reaching out to the new high-earning, high-spending strata of society. The uber-rich is a growing new market and Selfridges would very much like a slice of that pie.