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London Fashion Week – the highlights






So another London Fashion Week is over and I don’t know about you but I’m totally fashioned out. This season has been a good one if only for the sheer variety and numbers of different shows, exhibitions and parties on the schedule. My first big ‘wow’ moment was the Moet Mirage party at the opera house in Holland Park. Quite frankly I have never seen anything like it. This was big-scale luxury hospitality, I mean, it’s LVMH after all, so the champagne flowed faster than the Niger river. As well as the lit-up balloon release (that didn’t quite go according to plan but never mind) and the excitement of standing within whispering distance of Naomi Campbell and Gareth Pugh together, I witnessed a Gareth Pugh-outfitted model wearing a skirt made of full champagne glasses and more fashionistas than you can shake a Chloe bag at descending on the fairground carousel (yes, including you Hilary Alexander). I also managed to snap Misshapes’ Leigh Lezark and Agynes Deyn hanging around ‘DJ’ Giles Deacon, surely one for the youth culture of the noughties photo album…



Next thrill of the week was receiving a ticket to the Luella shop opening. (Sadly no show ticket but this was a good enough substitute.) The shop is lovingly decorated in signature Luella style (e.g. stickers, equestrian touches and Noki artwork) and I was given a sneak preview of the downstairs VIP room where Luella’s ‘special’ clients can shop in comfort without being gawped at by her lesser customers. Here they will be able to order bespoke handbags (which are displayed in antique cabinets – cute!) to their specifications as well as laptop cases and surfboard covers. Oh, and I managed to steal a glimpse into the stockroom where there are shelves and shelves of handbags all encased in pink Luella-logoed dustbags – how very pop art!


The Diane Von Furstenburg shop opening in Bruton Street was another can’t miss affair and it was literally dripping in high-octane glamour. Ms Furstenburg herself is the epitome of elegance – who needs Kate Moss when you can aspire to this amazing businesswoman who looks naturally stunning and manages to perfectly coordinate her dress to the furniture as if it was a happy accident? Certainly not me.


Another international fashion designer being celebrated during London Fashion Week was Karl Lagerfeld. A new film, Lagerfeld Confidential (www.lagerfeldfilm.com) attempts to lift the lid on the enigmatic designer and we were given an advance viewing at the Rex Cinema in Rupert Street. As soon as the film opened with a scene of his study piled ceiling-high with books, magazines and I-pods I knew I would love this film and I can’t wait to see it again when it’s released on 26th October.


Finally, Italian Vogue joined forces with Peroni beer to produce a pop-up exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, one of London Fashion Week’s show venues. This exhibition celebrates fifty years of Italian style as illustrated through the fashion pages of Italian Vogue. The bad news? It’s only on for one week and ends today. Ah well, that’s fashion for you, here today, gone tomorrow.



The truth about goody bags




I was asked to cover London Fashion Week for a website and one of the things they were interested in is the goody bags. A lot of people get very excited about goody bags and to them I say “calm down”. London Fashion Week is not the Oscars. You don’t get free phones, Jimmy Choos and diamonds, not even in the front row.

The most common component of most goody bags is the beauty product. This is because beauty companies have all the money while fashion companies are mostly poor. (I’ll never forget going to a Swarovski party and receiving in my goody bag a 4-inch square suedette pouch made from floor scraps with a crystal or two stuck on. I was not best pleased.)

I thought it would be interesting to spill the beans on who gave what in their goody bag at London Fashion Week.

Gavin Douglas – L’Oreal hair products, L’Oreal lipstick, L’Oreal T-shirt, L’Oreal mascara

Ben De Lisi – Bottle of water

PPQ – Shu Uemura bath product, skin purifier and eyeshadow

Diane Von Furstenburg – T-shirt, lipstick plus the carrier bag itself was a work of art

Markus Lupfer for Armand Basi – A bottle of Armand Basi fragrance

Spijkers En Spijkers – Dr Hauschka hand cream, mini lemon body moisturiser, mini lavender bath oil, sachet of foot balm

Of course, as with everything else Fashion Week-related, there is a strict goody bag hierarchy. If you’re a front row VIP you get the full works but as each row gets further back, the goody bag gets lighter. Those fairly low on the pecking order (i.e. row three) get the cheapest thing in the goody bag – hence the Ben De Lisi bottle of water I received as a lowly third-rower. Any further back than row three and you’re lucky if you get a press release.

When it comes to parties and events, the distribution of the goody bag is altogether different. There is a set number of goody bags and you need to time your departure perfectly. Leave too early and the bags won’t be ready, leave too late and they’re all gone. Never be shy about asking for your goody bag. It’s rightfully yours – it’s your bribe for supporting the brand – so either ask for one (don’t be embarrassed, we all do it – well I do) or just help yourself from the ones lined up by the door.

Whose goody bag is your favourite?



Wallpaper*




Excuse me but when did Wallpaper* get this good? I heard rumblings that Hedi Slimane was guest-editing the latest issue and those rumblings have turned out to be true. Not only that but Jeff Koons and Dieter Rams have also guest-edited so there are three different covers to collect! (Um…does anyone actually do this?)

I decided to have a browse before parting with my five-odd quid and wow, it’s pretty damn amazing. The whole magazine looks great but I especially loved the fashion shoot in various designers’ archives. Genius! Can you imagine how much fun that shoot was playing with Valentino’s old dresses and Louis Vuitton’s vintage steamer trunks?

Turns out Wallpaper* has also ramped up its fashion week coverage and features daily reports and galleries – www.wallpaper.com/fashion. Go look!

Pic: www.wallpaper.com



5 fashiony things I learn this week




Diane Von Furstenberg’s auumn/winter collection was inspired by beetroot. “I went out for lunch and I spilt some beetroot juice. I used a napkin to clear it up and it was the most extraordinary shade. I took the napkin into the office and said ‘ This is our colour’. Designers eh, they’re all bonkers.

Arthouse director-writer-actress Miranda July had a penpal who was a convicted murderer when she was fifteen.

80s designer-to-the-stars Antony Price is opening a new couture studio in Mayfair.

Barbara Hulanicki’s autobiography From A to Biba is being re-released through V&A Publications. How the hell did I miss this first time round?

The long awaited monograph, Bob Richardson edited by Terry Richardson is due for UK publication in October. Bob Richardson (father of Terry) was big in the seventies but fell on hard times and died in 2005. The hands-in-pockets-slouch was his signature model pose.

Pic: Bob Richardson by Amazon.com