Experiencing London Fashion Weekend 2014

London Fashion Weekend - Outside Somerset House London Fashion Weekend - Rack of clothes

To say that I know fashion is a lie, a big ostentatious lie. It’s a world, an industry that often intersects my social circle but it’s an area that I  know very little about. To say that I have my own style is maybe a bit splashy and attention-seeking. But I guess I have my own preference, a way that I like to pair my tops and bottoms, a way I like to accessorize.

So far, in AlexandraLuella, the only time I ever came close to talking about “Fashion” was during the day out at Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, which no doubt was a series of silly and playful shots wrapped up and sugar-coated as a (faux) photoshoot.

This time, thanks to H, I got a ticket to this year’s London Fashion Weekend. Contrary to the exclusive by-invite-only Fashion Week that happens twice a year in 4 major cities (or maybe 5?) – New York City, London, Milan and Paris (+ Berlin) – LFWend is a four-day event where the fashion insiders open their sartorial doors to the outsiders… like me.

Therefore, here’s a disclaimer – that I would write today’s post in all honesty, about what I see, how I feel…all in all, observations and opinions of an outsider studying and scrutinising the fashion cosmos.

In other words, do be more forgiving.

So, like any other year, LFWend this year was set in London’s Somerset House. Beyond the kaleidoscope of colours and textures (mind you, expensive textures), LFWend was all about marketing and business.

A highly successful marketing and business event that could make anyone feel like they were, for a day, part of the fashion world. 

All four wings of the Somerset House were nicely sectioned, filled with racks and racks of clothes and accessories from many emerging talents and established labels, all selling at “an insider’s price” i.e. a discount.

Their use of catchword was so clever that I could immediately feel a heightened sense of consumerism simply by being there, in a space festooned with leather, faux fur, knit and cashmere… Bag a piece and you are promised to be special, exclusive, different, respected and accepted into our trendy community, the glamorous fashion world…

London Fashion Weekend - Somerset House London Fashion Weekend - Designer

I browsed around wanting to rummage up something fun. Most of the things that caught my eyes were pieces with an extra element, like quirky patterns, textured weaves etc. 

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I loved the heavy prints and bright colours on soft, airy, feather-light fabrics. And I love the tartan  Céline dress, which was feminine but made strong and androgynous with its straight-cut structure and leather-like lining at the neckline and armholes.

Then came the rack with embellished tops, stripes, jacquard jackets, cream-coloured lace and silver biker with quilted details at the back. I think all of these illustrated my versatile temperament perfectly. 

At half-past noon, I made my way to the courtyard for the Trend Catwalk Show, styled by the Outnet.com, which showcased the season’s top trends from various designers. Pieces ranging from new Irish talent Simone Rocha to the much celebrated English fashion powerhouse Viviene Westwood glazed and glittered the runway.

The show was divided into four parts, each with a theme – One and Only, Jungle Fever, Candy Crush and Fairy Tale Ending. Due to the gargantuan amount of photos, I have no choice but to separate them into two posts. Today I’ll be covering Fairy Tale Ending which included pieces from Giambattista Valli, Charlotte Olympia, Badgley Mischka. 

The pieces didn’t contain much wow-factor as expected. Beneath the rather chimerical name was very wearable designs that embodied simplified versions of fairytale costumes. For instance, there were more neat and trimmed dresses than floaty ones with puffy bottoms and bodice-like tops. Nevertheless, the overall display didn’t feel entirely out of sync with its (supposedly) fairytale concept, still sighting cloak-y coat, lots of lace and mesh, all finished with a touch of intricate details.

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I thought the hairstyle was a bit of a let-down. Instead of a sleek ponytail, I was expecting something slightly quaint and whimsical. But some pieces did pique my interest- the black and white colour-block coat, for its grainy texture on the upper part and feathered wrists; the two black gowns, one for its layering of black chequered mesh with Gothic lace, another for its contrastive blending of body-hugging dress with tutu projecting stiffly and horizontally from the waist.

My favourite was, without a doubt, the white ruffle top with gold trim. And I wished the clothes could be a tad more dramatic.  

Will come back with the other parts of the show tomorrow! Till then, I hope my fledgling observations and opinions didn’t throw you off the runway!

With love x

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