Tab Tries: London Fashion Week

Joy focuses on street style at LFW in today’s instalment. See what caught her eye!

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The Tab has managed to get its mitts on press passes for London Fashion Week. Let us guide you through this surreal world of headpieces, bloggers, and catwalks…

Day Four, 19th September

No events or shows to attend today so I decided to sit back, eat the free food and photograph a few of my favourite fashion moments of the day. I love my job. 

Off-duty model style

Draped shawl, an interesting alternative to the winter coat

A statement piece of jewellery complements an all-black outfit

Over-sized masculine tailoring, key coat for A/W ’11

Bring a vintage dress up to date with a brightly coloured blazer

Small leather back-pack, the practical and fashionable way to carry your stuff

Floral necklace complimenting the blue dress and red blazer

Fashion celebrity spot for the day: Grace Woodward, Britain’s next top model judge and X-factor stylist


Day Three, 18th September

Today we explored the ‘exhibition’ at Somerset house, a compilation of the works of hundreds of designers who haven’t quite made it to the runway. Each one displays their best work for visiting press and buyers, hoping to catch the eye of a celebrity patron or influential editor.

A glimpse into the depths of London Fashion Week’s exhibition

There was a mixture of big names and up and coming lines on display, but what they all had in common was that I wanted all of it, and yet couldn’t afford any of it. The highlights were a silk and leather mix dress from Prose studio’s collection, Stephen Jones’ artistic hat display and the delectable array of French Sole’s ballet pumps.

Delicious: like Jelly Beans in a sweet shop

In the afternoon we managed to get in on a champagne brunch for press. It was meant to be a display of ethically sourced fashion, but it was hard to tell how many of the people there were actually interested in saving the planet, rather than just scoffing the nibbles and necking the drink (guilty).

We did however chat to someone from ‘Evazingoni’ designs who explained that their clothes were made out of the cast-off fabric sourced from various fashion houses and despite being eye wateringly expensive, they actually looked pretty good.

But one designer took their recycling to a new, and unnecessary, level by making entire outfits out of yak nipples which would otherwise have been “simply discarded”, according to one PR rep. Judge for yourselves if there new fate is any better.

Yak nipple couture

As usual, I managed to get a few photos of street style inspirations. Oh and also I snapped a fashion-world celebrity, designer Zandra Rhodes who proves you can do Fushia in your ’70s.

The simplicity of the white shirt and wide leg trouser are perfect with the drama of the pink stole 

THE Christopher Kane print for 2011

Rhodes pulling off prints in her prime

Day Two, 17th September

Today I ventured away from the grandeur of Somerset house to see Zoe Jordan and Belle Sauvage’s runway shows. Both were held in the ambiguously named ‘Sorting Office’ on New Oxford Street, a venue almost invisible to the naked eye. The outside literally looked like a boarded up warehouse, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to find it considering I walked past it twice.

The sorting office… need I say more?

The interior wasn’t much better, and looked like a multi-storey car park, but with loads of light bulbs hanging over the runway. Despite the lightbulbs, it was still so dark I couldn’t work out where my seat was or what the complimentary thing on my seat was once I did manage to find it. Incidentally, it turned out to be very fancy chocolates with ridiculous flavours like ‘cardamon’ and ‘earl grey’.

Fancy flavours, to distract the fashion crowd from the calories

Zoe Jordan’s designs were wearable and luxurious, but the seating arrangement meant I only managed to get snaps of the model’s backs. Nice one Jordan.

Zoe Jordan’s show: admiring models’ backs

Belle Sauvage’s silk dresses were covered in kaleidoscope patterns, and had unusual cut-out bodices and wacky hats to top it all off. These dresses were definitely the highlight for me; they were quirky and inventively put together but still looked beautiful when worn. I particularly loved the amazing backless purple dress with the floating chiffon side panels; the design matched the contours of the model’s body perfectly.

Belle Sauvage’s vibrant textural designs

After yesterday’s excellent soundtrack, I had high hopes for today’s runway rhythms. I wasn’t disappointed, as Belle Sauvage opted for an enjoyable drum and bass remix of  the theme to Hitchcock’s Pscycho; ironically, it was also perfectly suited to one front row fashionista who donned a full plastic outfit complete with blow-up ice-cream headpiece and plastic skin – only the eyes were showing. It was genuinely terrifying. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get a picture of this plastic man/woman; he/she may have looked bizarre but moved fast. I did, however, manage to get some snaps of the best dressed in the queue. Enjoy:

Queue style: chunky jumpers and jackets balance out delicate maxi skirts 

When clashing red works – school uniform style separates

Day One, 16th September

The fashion pack were out in force for the highlight of London’s fashion calendar. As newbies, our senses were overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of Somerset House: stuffed bird headpieces, the clicking of multiple lensed cameras, a tartan-clad blogging dog (seriously, he has Twitter) and lots of tiny croissants. It got to the stage where we saw a flash of school uniform and assumed it was being worn ironically by a model. Nope, just a child. It was certainly a new experience.

Who said fashion can’t be functional?

Paul Costello, Jena Theo and The Rodnik Band were the day’s shows, and their styles varied from wearable ’60s tailoring to a fish and chip dress (obv). In each show we sat peeking excitedly between the heads in front of us, like children allowed to stay up past our bedtime, while the fashionistas lounged in their Louboutins, eyeing up the poker-faced models strutting down the runway.

Luckily, our fashion inferiority was no dampener on our first day, and each show had its own unique atmosphere – from the meticulously designed runways to the eclectic soundtracks. Paul Cosetello even opted for an mildly amusing folk remix in his show. There were other things to giggle at too – tripping models and flashing wardrobe malfunctions to name but a few.

But it was a disappointing day for celebrity spotting. We could only muster Lydia from The Only Way Is Essex and Britt from Gok’s Fashion Fix. Slow day.

Here are a few snaps from our opening day, a glimpse into the stylish, but odd, world that is London Fashion Week. Favourite fashion moment? The Rodnik Band’s fish and chips dress. In the words of Miranda Priestly: that’s all.

English heritage with a twist

DIY Style – toughen up brogues with studs

Staple a/w combo – delicate shirt and tough leather skirt

Neutral classics for Gossip Girl style, pout not included

The blogging dog wearing on-trend tartan

English country gent + mowhawk = fashion perfection

Check tomorrow to see what Day Two has in store!