LFW AW18 observations – part one

Preen Beauty Vogue Runway

Sykes London

I eased into LFW on Friday with a first stop at Boden’s Future British showcase at 180 The Strand. This is the LFW base, a couple of blocks along from its former home in Somerset House. At the Future British breakfast, I got talking to Jo Sykes who is back in action with her own line, Sykes, having spend years working for other brands (Nicole Farhi, Aquascutum). I’ve always loved her pattern cutting and fabrications. If you love a silk shirt, she is your woman. What’s brilliant about what she’s offering now is that she’s pushing the envelope with positive fashion and showed the most incredible Japanese vegan leather and Italian regenerated cashmere for AW18. A lot of the pieces have a sport-luxe aesthetic but there are also plenty of timeless knits and coats. This searing colour palette is delicious…
Sykes London AW18

Into it: blankets

The first two days of LFW were bloody freezing. So I couldn’t not notice all the blanket styling going on. Johnstons of Elgin, Markus Lupfer and Ports 1961 are all encouraging us to swaddle ourselves in multi-ply cashmere, not that I need any coaxing whatsoever. Ports 1961 (below) is one of my favourite shows. It’s consistently beautiful, very wearable, just edgy enough and always perfectly styled (by Jane How – the most influential fashion person you’ve never heard of)…
Ports 1961 AW18
Ports 1961 AW18
Ports 1961 AW18

Retail safari

I like meandering around the shops when I’m at Fashion Week; it’s a good opportunity to see what’s new. London is one giant construction site at the moment, which is inconvenient but also very exciting. Covent Garden is booming and in particular I loved seeing Floral Street fragrances and Petersham Nurseries in King Street. Petersham Nurseries has two sites – a garden decor and lifstyle emporium and a delicatessen-slash-florist a few doors apart. We sampled the quiche and coffee in the deli which is very Instagram-pretty but also teeny-tiny. It’s definitely worth a visit though. Meanwhile, Floral Street is a brilliant new fragrance concept, like nothing you’ve ever seen. It’s accessible, affordable, fun and the perfumes are packaged in a compostable pulp box and rubber band to cut down on waste.

Floral street fragrance…
Floral street Covent Garden fragrance store
Floral street Covent Garden fragrance store

Petersham Nurseries…
Petersham Nurseries Covent Garden

Where are the bloggers?

Each season, I notice fewer and fewer bloggers at LFW. This season I’ve seen hardly any. The ones I speak to can’t be bothered to go to the shows and don’t think catwalk content is relevant to their sites. Brands have moved on to Instagram influencers and don’t value blogs as much as Instagram eyeballs. Plus traditional fashion editors have caught up and have their own blogs and Instagram followers; so by sticking to those, the PRs get to work with people they already know and trust. This post is an accurate insight into the reality of LFW for bloggers. It’s so true about the horrible situation with standing tickets for lower ranking shows.

Pretty glitter

So far, Preen has had the best make-up; an irridescent face created by Val Garland in which she blew glitter onto a dewy base to make it stick (top and below). Burberry was typically no-make-up-make-up and Wendy Rowe used a new base product, the Fresh Glow Gel Stick which contains oil for easy blending. Buy it here. A little contour, Fresh Glow fluid and eye gloss were used for a subtle highlight…
Preen beauty AW18
Burberry beauty February 2018

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Vogue Runway; Disneyrollergirl; Vogue Runwayx 3; Disneyrollergirl x 3; Vogue Runway; Wella/Preen
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