London Fashion Week AW14 highlights day 1 and 2


Two days into London Fashion Week and, as with New York, the arctic temperatures are having a definite impact. Not just in what the guests have been wearing at Somerset House (rain ponchos and fur trims outstrip open toes), but on the runway itself.

Outerwear is a key focus, with lots of variety. I like the gale-proof approach shown at Christopher Raeburn and Eudon Choi, with super-heavyweight textural coats to defy the harshest chills. Belstaff did even better, a strong line-up of tough, utilitarian pieces, beautifully styled that reek of luxury. Belstaff is really growing on me. It knows what it is and doesn’t try to be all things. I’m glad it hasn’t gone down the high heels and handbags route.
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Another brand that rarely strays from its aesthetic is Orla Kiely, who gave us a sweetly choreographed presentation to the sound of sheeting rain, showing half-mast pants, candy-coloured knits, sensible pleated skirts and nostalgic schoolgirl coats. Nothing cutting edge to see here but hugely appealing all the same. The big-ass platform T-bars were a big hit (as was the pup-in-arms).

John Rocha is another stalwart who stuck to his tried and tested romantic vision. Giant, petal-like ruffles contrasted with a more toxic oil-slick black lace, but the styling saved the show from sliding down a Gigli-Galliano slippery slope. Rocha always shows a good shoe and I loved the chunky heels and ankle socks.
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I didn’t see Emilia Wickstead but I did catch an intriguing tweet from beauty sponsor Max Factor. Following its Google Hangout last season (in which I hosted a hangout demonstrating next season’s make-up look straight from the show), Max Factor gave its make-up artist Mel Arter a Google Glass headset, to broadcast her Emilia Wickstead makeup looks. I’m going to find out more about this and report back…

I’m kind of everywhere this season. Along with Susie Bubble, La Petite Anglaise and 5 Inches and Up, I’ve collaborated with H&M and LFW newspaper, The Daily on an in-store product edit and a window display. Check it out if you’re passing the H&M flagship in Oxford Circus, and look out for distributors handing out copies of The Daily in central London…

I’m also filming and reporting for Swatch so have been sporting its colourful candy-themed ‘Pastry Chef’ watches for the last two days. Here’s my ‘Waffel’ watch (I love the double strap) complementing my Byron milkshake rather nicely…


Joseph caused a bit of an ‘ooh’ reaction in its return to London Fashion Week. The show was a tribute to founder Joseph Ettedgui and showed Joseph’s cult chunky jumpers and leather wear styled in a modern minimalist way that was well suited to its Serpentine Gallery setting….


Finally, how good was Friday’s Central St Martin’s show?! Not one dud in eleven collections. And each one wholly different to the last. My standouts were Drew Henry’s fur-spliced boxy tailoring (top) and Anita Hirlekar’s multi-coloured tufted patchwork. I was also drawn to Jessica Mort’s deconstructed rugby shirts and wouldn’t be in the least surprised to see her scouted by Lulu Kennedy and the Fashion East team…

Anita Hirlekar
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Jessica Mort
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