styleisle file – LFW!

I write this piece for blog Red Radar following London Fashion Week! Check it out below!

There is something about London Fashion Week that makes me think that, while I immerse myself in this stylish world, the rest of the world stops. Not once have I checked the news, read about the election or heard about job losses. It’s my escape from reality.

You could listen to every fashion critic, blogger or journalist to hear about what’s hot and what’s not on the catwalk but ultimately the buck stops with just one individual. The good old consumer. So I went to fashion week with the view to looking for ideas for my readers and not just for my own benefit.

The difference from being at LFW this season as opposed to last season is now I am an accredited broadcaster. Sounds fancy doesn’t it. I present an online fashion show called stylenation; and along with cameraman Billy, I had the pleasure of being able to see almost every show over the last few days.

Not for the faint hearted
Fashion week is not for the fainthearted, it’s a cut throat world of rude photographers who will shout at the models if they don’t pause for long enough at the end of the catwalk, the occasional rude PR who can and will refuse you entry to their client’s show or even worse, ask you to vacate your seat for someone far more significant than yours truly.

But with that, comes the new friends you make in the world of journalism, the creativity and talent on display, and the fact that if you are anything like me, you can get drunk on fashion.

So what have I learned from LFW A/W 2011? Ah the trends bit.

Heavy fabrics
As we are talking next season here, fabrics become heavier. Paul Costello set the tone for this I think by using wools, sourced from Nenagh in Co Tipperary, he told me when we had a post-show chat. Beautifully crafted a-line coats, in soft shades of green and pink underpinned the femininity of Paul’s collection. A tailor by trade, each piece was form fitting and not figure hugging creating a lovely silhouette on the body.

Given that Mr Costello likes the short skirt, my key trend number one is short hemlines. Designers like PPQ, Aminaka Wilmot and Saloni, favoured the mini. The thing to remember though is that the skirts are kept away from the body and have movement. The body con is gone.

Trend number two is colour, in particularly red. Betty Jackson opened her collection with a series of red pieces. The hue is cherry, a rich shade which manifested itself in coats, pants and prints. And as always, black dominates.
John Rocha, using black as a signature colour in many ways, built in leather, faux fur and fringing as a way to make the colour more inspiring. Whilst Jasper Conran and Temperley made the look more monochromatic, as did David Koma. Koma, known for using shapes in his pieces, toned it down this season and made the collection a lot more wearable.

But if you are not a fan of black, then grey is the colour for you. Bora Aksu, who is my designer crush, opened with silver tones broken up with a glimpse of turquoise. The look is more contemporary by using layering and panelling. One piece almost looks like armour made out of leather!

Wide legged trousers
Trend number three. Trousers are wide legged. Now this is a trend we have seen very recently for S/S. Holly Fulton channelled the 1970s in billowing silk printed pants whilst Jaeger and JW Anderson went for more tailored sophisticated looks. Nevertheless, the shapes of the pants are flattering to all shapes and coupled with a fitted top, they will create a great look for the office during the cold months.

So look, A/W is not only about looking good but keeping warm. Leather and wool are the key fabrics and some designers mixed the two.


Oh and the celebs. Jamie Winstone (who gave me her best impression of an Irish accent), Laura Whitmore (my new BFF!), Roisin Murphy who is busy recording her new album, Jameela Jamill (she said her goal for the year is not to get fired from Channel 4!) and Olivia Palermo, with whom I talked to after Jaeger although she wouldn’t tell me what her favourite piece, despite me using my best journalist secrets to get her to divulge.

I’m at home in this world. Although it’s fickle, I have to remind myself that I am a messenger after all, and all of the LFW peeps sitting around me in the press room are the key to communicating and sharing the talent of the designers across the globe.

I take away with me a deeper love for fashion and an appreciation that these designers built their careers on talent and TLC from their patrons and the British Fashion Council. If Ireland is to move on as a fashion destination, we need to nurture our indigenous talent, invest money and expertise to help them develop and one day sit and watch them host an on schedule show at one of the major fashion weeks. Or maybe we could just come up with our own?


1 Comment

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