London Fashion Week highlights and a trip back to the Emerald City
Following on from my last post, this week I’ve got more highlights from London Fashion Week including the Jasper Conran and Julien Macdonald shows, LFW inspired beauty and fashion buys and finally a trip back to the Emerald City.
Firstly, as I mentioned in my last post, fashion week was incredibly hectic and day 2 was just as busy as day 1. I began the day very early at the Jasper Conran show which I was really looking forward to. I really love Jasper’s tailoring and his nod to various fashion eras. I felt his autumn/winter collection had a really 60’s feel with its geometric prints and block heeled boots, however spring/summer had an air of 1950’s riviera chic about it encapsulating beautiful full skirts in delicate organza with exquisite embroidery. It was incredibly romantic.
The show opened however with slightly darker tones for Spring/Summer of khaki, navy and forest brown and had an altogether more utilitarian feel. Shirt dresses featured eyelet fastenings, D ring belts, and sleek waist purses and cross body bags. The lines were simple and sophisticated and ‘formed for summer streets’ as highlighted in the editors notes. Keeping the tailored silhouettes the collection moved into fresher tones incorportating white, tomato and lime combined with graphic checks and deckchair stripes.
As each model walked the runway the progression of the collection was extremely effective as you could see how patterns had been combined to create a new version of Jasper’s theme, making for a very coherent showcase. Pencil skirts became full, whilst bodices remained the same, then full skirts eventually became dreamy organza dresses in soft hues of powder blue and peach adorned with beautiful embroidered leaves, birds and flowers. It really was a beautiful, sophisticated collection that oozed experience and master craftsmanship. I loved it!
Following the Jasper Conran show I made my way across to the Seymour Leisure Centre in Marylebone to watch the Julien Macdonald presentation which was a strikingly different venue to the gothic architecture of No 1 Mayfair where his previous collection had been showcased. From the frenzy of paparazzi flash bulbs outside to the pumping soundtrack echoing around the vast space inside, the anticipation of the show was palpable as guests, bloggers, photographers and camera crews all jostled for position to get the best view of Julien’s collection. The champagne flowed and the beats became more thunderous and then the lights went up, transforming an ordinary sports hall into a super cool, modern runway, perfect for the juxtaposition of high glamour meets reptilian muse.
Opening the show was Hailey Baldwin who looked unbelievably stunning in a heavily embellished jacket which was part Barbarella part Prince twinned with tiny sequinned hotpants. Her bronzed muscular body made its way down the runway with complete confidence and a touch of sass, her look completed with smokey eyes and grungy wet look hair. The presentation seemed to be a continuation of his decadent autumn/winter collection (which I adored) as signature knitwear dresses were reimagined in new tones of luxurious gold and silver using Haute Couture techniques, teamed with ombre metallic fringing creating an animalistic second skin.
Inspired by the solitary landscapes of the African plains and tribes of the Masai Mara, this collection encapsulated an almost earthy feel as Snakeskin created an Afro-Chic aesthetic through the use of three dimensional Swarovski embroidery on dusky pink tones. As with previous collections Julien’s attention to detail and incredible skill produced beautifully intricate pieces that were still highly wearable. One of my favourite looks was a fringed metallic midi dress with cut out sections at the waist that created movement as his model sashayed down the runway. Yet again I loved this collection partly due to the theatrical nature of the presentation. The actress in me completely appreciates Julien’s desire to ‘put on a show’ for his audience and guests and this was another that certainly didn’t disappoint! I can’t wait to see his designs making their way onto their rightful place of the red carpet over the next few months.
After catching a couple of other shows at the Freemasons Hall as part of the Fashion Scout, my final show of the day took me to the beautiful setting of the Houses of Parliament which was an incredible place to be at night as all of the wonderful historical buildings were bathed in light. I was there to watch the Zeynap Kartal show. Turkish born Zeynap has been emerging as an evening wear designer for a couple of years now having dressed the like of Maisie Willams, Rochelle Hulmes, Rebecca Adlington and Lady GaGa and so I was exited to see her latest collection.
Building on the success of her previous designs, Kartal presented yet again another coherent and intricate collection incorporating victorian silhouettes in delicate lace adorned with ruffles alongside beautiful feminine tailoring in soft tones of violet, aubergine and khaki. The pieces had a distinct fluidity about them as the ruffles and swathes of material floated in and amongst the movements of the models which created a very romantic feel. I really admire Zeynaps designs and am very much looking forward to seeing how her collections and style develop in the future.
As with day 1 I made a couple of outfit changes during day 2 with the majority of pieces being from Asos. I love shopping online as I find trying things on at home is so much easier than in a shop fitting room. Firstly you have all of your own accessories, underwear solutions and hairstyling tools around you. Secondly you can take all night trying on the same outfit if you want to without feeling stressed that your hogging a cubicle whilst other impatient shoppers huff and puff awaiting their turn and thirdly if you’re having an icky body day you can have a diva strop and throw yourself on your bed without anyone else witnessing except perhaps your disapproving child or partner!
One of my favourite looks from the day was this cold shoulder ankle length dress with ruffle detail along the neckline and hem that I wore to the Zeynap Kartal show. Ruffles are a huge trend this season and again I loved how romantic this dress felt given that they were formed using delicate chiffon. I also loved the fact that this dress fell just to the ankle as opposed to being floor length which I feel would’ve been perhaps more well suited to a red carpet event. I wore the dress with a thin choker, simple black sandals my hair in a top knot and my make up soft to keep the look clean and not overly fussy given that the dress had so much detail. This dress is still available now and with its dark floral print and pretty ruffles, I think it’s perfect for winter events and parties.
Shoes: Asos www.asos.com
As always it was a very chaotic few days and so by the end of the weekend I was really glad to get back home and relax with my family which was just blissful. As we often do on a weekend we got our cosy clothes on and had a pizza picnic whilst watching films and catch up TV. It was also the perfect opportunity to indulge in a bit of chill time once Freddie was in bed, which I did with these gorgeous products from Clarins. I’ve used this collection for a number of years now and although I love to try other products I always find myself coming back to this combination as the scents in all three of the products are just so beautiful and relaxing and when used in conjunction with each other also give a fabulous finish to the skin. The oil softens the skin when placed in the bath and the scrub exfoliates and stimulates blood circulation. Finally the balm tones and keeps the skin beautifully soft whilst creating a calming atmosphere due its combination of essential oils. Perfect for bed time!
Top Left clockwise:
Body Treatment oil £40
Tonic Body Balm £23.50
Tonic Body Exfoliator £33
Finally before I go I was very proud to have been invited to the 10th anniversary birthday performance of the London production of Wicked this week. Having appeared in the show from 2009-2010 as Nessarose it was an amazing feeling to be back in the theatre with many of my old cast mates and other cast members who’d appeared in the show throughout its 10 year run. The current cast including the phenomenal Rachel Tucker and Suzie Mathers put on an incredible show which was quite simply electrifying in parts, causing the audience to delay certain scenes due to outbreaks of rapptuous applause. Then at the end of the show previous cast members were then introduced onto the stage one by one which was such an amazing and emotional experience as it brought back so many incredible memories of being on that huge stage at the Apollo Victoria every night and reminded me of the wonderful friends I made during my time there.
Many of us agreed it was like a strange sort of university reunion where some of us didn’t know each other and yet we were all part of the same club, the lucky few who’d had the opportunity of working on this wonderful show and so we all had a sense of camaraderie. It was also amazing to see the audience reaction as part of Wicked’s success is down to its phenomenal fanbase. The audience seemed overjoyed to see the likes of Kerry Ellis, Adam Garcia, Louise Dearman and Rachel Tucker on stage together all at the same time. It was a beautiful evening that I felt incredibly lucky to be a part of!
To attend the event I wore this striped jacquard dress from Monsoon twinned with my new fave New Look shoes and trusty Oasis clutch to create a classic, polished look.
Dress: £109 Monsoon On Sale £49!!
Anyway I’m going to say goodbye for now but please let me know if you’d like any other info on any of the products or style ideas from any of my blog posts and ill be sure to get back to you.
Love Natalie Xx