Our new thing for 2017? Alphabet dating!
A is for Arcades and Afternoon Tea at the Argyll Arms, London 🎰🍰
A lovely way to spend a rainy Sunday
Temptation comes in many forms at London Fashion Weekend, which bills itself as London’s biggest designer shopping event. From Maybelline to Moschino, there is something for everyone. Don’t expect much at the lower end of that pay scale.. but there are certainly bargains to be had if you look! I’d definitely recommend booking tickets for the last day, like I did. Lots of designers/vendors were offering discounts and I even heard some brave souls attempting to haggle, so you may well get an even better deal.
Cambridge Satchel Company were worth a look, with decent discounts and free embossing. I popped in to see what they had, as I’m a big fan of the quality of their work (we have recently purchased a gorgeous steamer trunk from them which is just beautifully made). Unfortunately they didn’t have the colour of their large satchel that I was looking for (pink.. obviously). They did have their new ‘Peanuts’ collection, which was nice to see in the flesh. Some fun choices for younger fashionista but I think their prices may still put off that target market.
Somerset House (the LFW venue) has a fabulous book shop at the best of times, so I had to pop in to indulge my guilty habit of collecting fashion books. I picked up Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat which I have been wanting to get my hands on for a while (self confessed cat lady here!) and the first of my two bargains of the day- Valentino- Master of Couture (hardback) for the princely sum of £2.50! With an RRP of £30 I just had to take it home!
Last purchase of the day is a beauty, and I’m almost sad that spring is just around the corner because I won’t be able to wear it as much! Luckily, there’s always the grim Scottish weather to rely on in trips home, where my winter wardrobe can sometimes be needed in July! I bought this Pretty White Lies black faux fur bunny jacket. As you can see it’s sold out online in the black, but it is available in the grey if you love it as much as I do. I went back and forth on buying this but in the end went for it when I saw they had only one size small left on the rail! I paid £40 for it and went away delighted. Later, when googling for it for a picture to send my mum, I discovered the original price of £220 and sale price of £110 and I’m even more glad I bought it now! It even passed approval with my husband (who knows nothing about fashion and insists on making jokes about pirates and asking me where my parrot is whenever I wear my Alexander McQueen skull scarf… bless him) I’m off out for afternoon tea next weekend and I’m finding myself hoping it isn’t too warm to wear it, so I know that I am going to get a lot of use out of this gorgeous faux fur.
It’s not even payday until Monday but it didn’t stop me… I’ve just ordered a ticket to Cosmopoltian Fash Fest (Okay, not such a fan of the name but I’ll let it go!)
I’ll be going along to the Tuesday the 16th of September session: In Conversation with Cosmopolitan- The Truth About Celebrity Fashion. Their website states that hosted by Cosmo’s Editor-in-Chief Louise Court, this is a chance to get behind the scenes and discover trade secrets. The panel are certainly well connected in the industry:
Victoria Adcock – Celebrity stylist to clients including Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham. If you read my wee interview over at secretsofatwentysomething.com you’ll know that Victoria Beckham can do not wrong in my eyes so I’m interested to hear any tips from her stylist!
Lisa Valencia – Celebrity Make-up artist
Jess Moloney – Designer Fashion PR for Vivienne Westwood
Ben Cooke – Celebrity hairdresser to clients including Nicole Scherzinger- who always has beautiful luscious locks!
I can’t make LFW A/W this year due to work commitments, so I’m excited that I have this to look forward to instead. Of course I’ll do a full review post afterwards!
Yesterday was a gorgeous sunny warm day, when I made my way towards the Southbank Centre, near Waterloo station on London.
All the action at the Southbank Centre kicked off at about 10.30 that morning but as my tickets were for the 4.30 talk, I had foyer access from 4.00-6.30.
Once inside there were lots of different activities laid out on the first floor, including a Kerastase styling area- offering complimentary hairstyling (you got to choose between five classic french styles) and make up consultations with Burberry’s beauty stylists. They also had a fabulous ‘show and tell’ opportunity, where you could bring your own designs to the festival and meet with Vogue editors to receive personal advice about your product. I had a quick look around the various activities before queuing to go in to the talk. I booked my ticket quite late, and it was a sold out talk, so my seat was pretty far back- but it was still amazing! I’ll definitely be more prepared next year and book earlier.
First up was Tory Burch, someone who I confess I didn’t know much about before yesterday. Tory worked in marketing for years, before launching her own brand and opened her first boutique in New York in 2004. She set out to create a ‘lifestyle brand’ and I have to say she came across as a engaging and inspiration woman. She talked about juggling her home life (3 sons and 3 step daughters!) with her business. She said that she takes them to school in the morning, and is home by 7 most days. I love that. Something I debate with myself quite frequently is whether it is possible to ‘have it all’- in my eyes that is both a fulfilling career and a child. I also love that she started out working in marketing (I work in this area) and still managed to achieve her dreams. Inspirational. The first Tory Burch store opened in London in 2011 and it’s definitely on my radar to pay them a visit soon.
Next up we had Angela Missoni, daughter of one of Italy’s most famous fashion dynasties. She talked about her upbringing, the wonderful home life in contrast to the glamour of the industry (she met Manolo when she was 10!) Angela Missoni came across as down to earth and committed to her family and their brand. I loved that she brought her mum with her (she was in the audience!). Her own daughters are now involved in the business and she was passionate about developing the company further. Her runway debut in 1997 signified a rejuvenation of the brand and their iconic print.
Last, but by no means least, the legend that is Manolo Blahnik. Manolo was fabulous, so witty! He talked about growing up on the Canary Islands, where he used to make shoes for the lizards (luckiest lizards ever!). He studied law but decided he didn’t want to be a lawyer but instead a set designer. It was while doing this that he was told not to bother- and to concentrate on shoes instead! He talked about how he prefers to work alone than with a team (something I can totally relate to!) and how he himself has a part in all areas on the design and production of his shoes (“except for the sizing… I don’t like numbers”) Manolo was one of the first men ever to appear on the cover of UK Vogue, and was awarded a CBE in 2007. He won the British Fashion Council Outstanding Achievement Award in 2012 and in his 40 year career is widely considered to be one of if not the most successful and influential designers. Yet he was so down to earth and talked about his home in Bath and his latest addiction- Netflix! I love that. They always say that you should never meet your heroes, that they might disappoint, but I have to say- I was so impressed, and inspired by Manolo, and I’m so glad I went to see him.
After the talk I headed out to to the foyer, and went to pick up a souvenir at the Vogue Shop. More about that, and the rest of my day, in the next post!
For most of us, couture Prada is something we can only dream of. But now a new service, announced by Prada this weekend, allows fashionistas to design their own shoes. On March 26th and 27th the Sloane Street store will be opening it’s doors to customised orders based on it’s Made to Order Décolleté collection.
Aspiring designers will be able to choose from 9 different styles which they can then customise with their choices of heel height, colour and material. My favourite little details- there is an option to add your initials under the Prada logo, in their signature amber metal- amazing!
The orders take about a month to be made. There is no official word on pricing but it’s safe to say I won’t be popping along to Sloane Street for this, as much as I wish I could!
What do you think of this new service from Prada? Are you a designer shoe lover?
So after a long day of shopping and a lot of time on our feet, we were ready for some dinner, a few drinks, and a comfy seat!
We headed off to the Strand for dinner, after checking with the guys at the door what time they thought we should be back to start queuing for the 6.30 Julien MacDonald Catwalk. They said to be back at 6 to queue so off we headed for dinner!
We got back to Somerset house at 5.45 to find the queue already about 100 people long- damn it! So we joined and remarkably the next 30 minutes or so went pretty quickly and they started to let us in around 6.15. All in all, we didn’t get too bad seats, and we were excited for the show to begin!
I won’t go in to too much detail, but let’s just say 1)Hilary Alexander is fabulous, she came out before the show & was hilarious and 2)the gowns were sensational! I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves and hope they give a flavour of the event!
On Saturday I was lucky enough to get to go to London Fashion Weekend, with my lovely friend who agreed to fly 400 miles from our hometown of Edinburgh to go with me and indulge my fashion addiction.
Our tickets were from 1.30-7.00, with designer catwalk tickets for the 6.30 Julien MacDonald show. The venue was the beautiful Somerset House, home of LFW, just a short walk from Temple underground station. It was a beautiful day on Saturday, blue skies and even warm- we were so lucky with the weather!
We arrived at Somerset House just after 1.30 and joined the queue to pick up our tote bags. We had booked silver level tickets, which included a tote bag with goodies. We didn’t have to wait long to pick these up, as the queue moved pretty quickly and the staff were organised, which was great! We then picked up our lanyard passes and that was it… We were in!
First order was then of course to have a good look at our tote bags and goodies, and to grab some lunch before we got down to shopping!
We made our way to the little cafe in Somerset house, waited in the humongous queue for food, paid £8.50 for a sandwich & lemonade (!) and sat down to have a good look at our goodies!
The tote bags this year were designed by Julien Macdonald, a black tote with a white dragonesque design. Inside we had an Essie nail polish in ‘naughty nautical’ (a nice turquoise), babylips lip balm, some lavazza coffee (they were a sponsor) and various other bits and pieces- like a beauty bar. There wasn’t much in it, but I was pretty happy to see the nail polish and lip balm!
Our next point of call was the Vodafone Lounge, where some brand were there to ‘shop the catwalk’. We also went in to the VIP Vodafone area, and thanks to being a Vodafone customer I picked up my free limited edition nail polish out of the very cool nail polish vending machine – I need one in my house!!! You could also book in to get a manicure & there was a recharging station, which was a nice addition.
I won’t go in to my purchases in detail but lets just say… I didn’t spend much! I did fall in love with a Roberto cavalli clutch bag but for £49 and the fact that it was so tiny that I wouldn’t have even been able to fit a bank card or my iPhone in it, I couldn’t justify the expense! I did buy a book to add to my fashion book collection, a tongue in cheek reference to my upcoming wedding ‘the art to a well dressed wife’ and some maybeline nail polishes and lip sticks. Coming out at just under £20 for all of these purchases- I was patting myself on the back for being so well behaved! The truth is the choice was really.. Spend HUNDREDS, or spend very little, so again the upcoming wedding kept me on the straight and narrow.
I did really enjoy having a good look around the shopping areas, and we happily whiled away a good few hours doing so. There were also some stands amongst the shopping areas, such as the ‘Bueno lounge’ where you could book in for a massage and pick up free kinder Buenos- yum!
This post is getting far too long so I’ll talk about the catwalk show in my next post!