Upon arrival at Somerset House, there is that moment of trepidation as the swarms of fashion students juggle to take over the entrance. Everyone is looking and everyone is judging, vying to see who you are, what you are wearing and what importance you have in the fashion world. They look at everyone with contrived disdain, as they aren’t actually invited to any of the shows – they are just there simply to soak up the atmosphere and are desperate for you to take their picture and ask them for their take on this season, whilst they stream it through their iPhones. There is a great buzz and it’s a great place to people-watch, from the “everyone look at me” to the “I’m so in” to my personal favourite: “I don’t care about trends – I just care about great style!” I finally get through, having had a couple of pictures taken of my own outfit (hopefully I fall into the latter category). I grab my pass and make my way in to discover the delights of the showrooms upstairs.
The showrooms were such an exciting start to my London Fashion Week experience. Not only did I get to see and touch the fantastic fabrics, but I also asked for a sneaky try-on of my favourites! First up was All Things Mochi, with a brightly-coloured tribal chic that was so eye-catching, I was straight over to have a look! All the garments are hand-crafted by local artisans, giving an ethical edge to a dynamic brand. I also loved the clothes from Yui Atelier. The pink and floral themes blew me away, and I loved how such beautifully-made, delicate clothes were juxtaposed with the use of fun, shiny plastics and bow embellishments. Definitely one to watch!
My favourite showroom had to be Heavy London, and special mention must go to the designers Cheekldn, Monochrome, Tzuji and Vinti Andrews. With their fresh and exciting designs, I wanted to turn my tote into a Mary Poppins bag and take it all home with me when no-one was looking!
I got so carried away trying on all the clothes in the showrooms that I realized I had only 15 minutes to get to Vivienne Westwood’s Red Label collection show on Southampton Row. After managing to mistakenly hijack a Tanqueray Gin rickshaw, I joined the fashionistas hustling and bustling in their six inch heels trying to get wind of which queue they were meant to be in. Had a fab chat with the Liverpool and Glasgow buying representatives head to toe in Viv! The show itself was quite simply amazing, with the Dame’s signature eclectic style showcased to full effect, watched by her very eclectic (and often very eccentric) followers!
The biggest trends for the next summer (and the ones I’m most excited for!) would have to be the bright, floral 70s theme seen at House of Holland. In fact, bright colours were seen across the board, with Peter Pilotto, Ryan Lo, Temperley London and Fyodor Golan all going for multicolour. Shades of orange, blue and even pink were also heavily present in the shows, along with nudes and sequins. Ryan Lo’s pastel frills and beach set-up, and Ashish’s sensational sequins (again in fun colours) had a real mermaid vibe, while Mary Katrantzou’s legendary embellishment had an ethereal, under-the-sea feel. Sibling’s giant hair bows and froufrou skirts are also worth a mention!
If I had to pick, my favourite shows were Fyodor Golan (who really encompassed all the trends emerging through the shows, from holographic and mesh to multicolours and striped prints), and also Lulu & Co. Both incorporated an element of fun, but were still wearable (a point so often overlooked in fashion). But then, not following the rules is what fashion in London is all about!