How to do London Fashion Week in a day

26 February 2011

London Fashion Week

There's just something about the Fashion Week hustle and bustle at Somerset House that happens twice a year. I love how the location is completely transformed and overrun by press, models, stylists, photographers, photographees, spectators and various others from behind the scenes.  Anything goes within the parameters of the cobbles and stars are made then forgotten within a five minute timespan. I was convinced that I was going to miss the AW11 season completely, but after deadlines changing and train prices staying reasonable, I decided to head down for the day to make the most of my press pass.

leather jacket trilby pleated skirt peter pan

next pleated skirt

Jacket - Topshop
Shirt - American Apparel
Cardigan - Kensie
Skirt - c/o Next
Belt - Battersea Boot Fair
Tights - Missoni layered over Topshop
Socks - c/o of Tabio
Satchel - Tom Brown
Hat - H&M 
Necklaces - Brooklyn and Gogo Phillip
Shoes - Nine West Vintage America
Photos - c/o Katie and Jill

For fashion week dressing, I think it's important to remain true to your style but also to exaggerate it a little bit.  Since I had to plan it in advance I had to know I'd feel comfortable in it on the day and not change my mind, so I had a little dress rehearsal of this new combination featuring the Next midi skirt.  The hat was a last minute choice and somewhat silly as I'd recently had my hair done, but thought it completed the look nonetheless.  The major obstacle about Fashion Week in February is the weather; you might be wearing something fabulous but there's no point if your coat covers it and doesn't complement the look.  I braved my leather jacket (with my Heattech underneath) so that most of the outfit could still be seen but I will definitely need to look at revamping my coat collection for next time.  I was also interviewed in the press tent so if you want to see rapid eye movement and hear a South London drawl, then this is for you!

press lounge

jena theo

I managed to go and see Jena Theo, but this is the only semi-decent photo I managed to get.  I think I was far too stressed about capturing the show rather than just enjoying it so ultimately I didn't fully appreciate the creations on show.  After managing to look back at catwalk images, I love the oversized yet wearable nature of the pieces and the cascading, dramatic layers; I quite want to wear it all now!

backstage london fashion week

carolinecharles fairisle

caroline charles hats

With the help of Abi (who I didn't end up having to impersonate, much to my dismay) I managed to see the Caroline Charles show and go backstage afterwards.  Although it's steered towards an older customer, I loved  the somewhat prim 1940s vibe but after reading the press release, I can now see it's inspired by the suffragette movement.  What might have seemed prim to me, could be seen as liberating to another with the slim shapes on complete with bowler hats that mean business.  Seeing as I'm named after one, I thought it was a fitting tribute.

zoe street style

Another thing I love about fashion week is meeting up with all the bloggers and friends there.  As each season unfolds more get accredited, faces become instantly familiar and greetings incredibly frequent; it's liked constantly being reunited with old friends.  Zoe is actually a friend from work but is always getting papped at these sorts of things, so I decided to capture her first wearing the Topshop sale buy of the year plus a gorgeous furry collar.

winnie's instant camera

Winnie was my companion for much of the day, a nice calming influence in a bright red dress and polka dot tights.  I love this take on the camera-obscuring-face shot; instead of a scary looking DSLR you have this cute white Fuji instax camera.  I'm tempted to get one too as I never did manage to buy a Polaroid before they disappeared into thin air.

shini park and cube sweater

I seemed to take the most rubbish photos of the lovely Shini, but had to share this one of her amazingly patterned cardigan.  I think I'd like to live in her wardrobe, can this be arranged please?

jill and marin shooting

marins shoes

I wish I had more of a photographer's brain sometimes; I love how Jill will see something and want to capture it instantly and Marin was a great subject, posing quickly before making her way to a casting.

mathew zorpas

Matthew is a pretty snazzy dresser and planned all his oufits ages in advance with military precision.  I need some of his skills as well as his accessories!

kit style slicker

Kit seems to have another wardrobe I would love to take root in; I loved this effortless combination of checked skirt, chunky scarf and trench coat and other elements I could barely describe.

until next time

And so my London Fashion Week fun was over for another season, as fleeting as it was I loved being around for the AW11 shows and braving the cobbles in the cold.  I still have more to share from the exhibition and hopefully some sort of guest post from my Mum who managed to cover a show for me.  Did any of you manage to experience London Fashion Week in some way, whether it was by watching the livestream, attending one of the many events or seeing some shows for yourself?

vapiano menu

I'd also organised an impromptu Blogger's Fashion Week Dinner which seemed like a great idea at the time, but what with shows running late and early trains, it was hard to get everyone there.  This in no way dampened the evening though, I had a great time chatting with Lucy and Kylie about all things blog and life related plus eating some fabulous pasta.  It was a shame that Reena, Harriet, Jen, Gem, Lily, Michelle and Victoria couldn't come, but it was great to see them briefly earlier on nonetheless.  I definitely want to organise another meet-up at a less stressful time of the year!

The giveaway closes on Monday, so make sure you enter if you haven't already!

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  1. Great photos! I recognise Zoe from my University!

  2. This is a great coverage Kristabel. i have been reading all LFW week posts religiously and I' m so sad I wasn't there, but it inspired me to go on the next one (maybe.:P haha) so here's to hoping!

  3. LOVE your skirt! Shini is great isn't she - that cardigan is amazing.

  4. Looking great, and I'm glad you made it in the end!

  5. Great post, love your interview!
    Loving those Nine West's, i need to get myself a pair!
    Following your blog now :)

    Lizz [] xxx

  6. Loving what your wearing, the blouse, the skirt, the leather jacket, I love...x

  7. Great shots! I love what everyone was wearing, it's so good to see a more intimate/personal sort of coverage of the week. I'm already incredibly jealous of everyone who's writing about it, haha!


  8. I always enjoy reading recaps of LFW, it always seems like its one big gathering. Its nice to see solidarity in the blogsphere.
    really digging your skirt, I saw a long one like it on asos a few days ago but sadly that sold out.

  9. this sounds like such an amazing opportunity! how did you manage to get a press pass? xx

  10. Your outfit is AMAZING! I really love the pleats on that skirt! One of these days, I'm actually going to be organised and try and get to LFW, I bet it's amazing! :)

    Maria xxx

  11. Looks like you had an amazing time! I'm gutted I didn't get to go this year. My own fault, I thought I'd be out of the country already so I didn't apply for a press pass. Next season for definite though.

    Although there is one thing I dislike about fashion week, and that's all the very slow moving fashion people tottering along in high heels and street style photographers clogging up the pavement outside Somerset House, and consequently outside my uni which is the building right next door. Makes for a bit of a fashion obstacle course when you're running late for a lecture!

  12. I was so sorry I never made it to the dinner! But I am so impressed with how much you managed to fit into that one day!

  13. You are fantastic, lovely and OMG I love all of you brit girls !!!

    See U and thanks again !

  14. oh! how amazing pics! so inspiring!
    thanks girl!

  15. Great post & lovely outfit - hats and pleats = winner! x

  16. The Jeno Theo show was soooo amazing, I loved the makeup in it. Love your outfit too, such good pleats and Zoe is on my course, was probably in this spot taking her photo about ten minutes after this one was taken.

  17. Great pics. Hopefully see you there in September xx

  18. excellent summing up of the LFW experience :) I went for 2 days and found it exhausting but exciting :)

  19. You and Winnie looked wicked, I really wish I could have meet you two :( Aww your photos are always lush !
    Ohh backstage darling love it, I never use to be in to hats, now I want a collection. I love these it's nice to have some hat inspiration. Great post hun and glad you both had a great time xxx

  20. Great post, I particularly enjoyed all of the tights featured here! I am so obsessed with tights!

  21. fabulous post, gonna have to get myself to LFW next year somehow?!

    also, I NEED marins shoes with the gold detailing on the heel...any ideas where they are from?!


  22. Oh I love this post Kristabel! Fashion week in a day indeed. Love the photo of you pulling out your skirt revealing the sheer-ness. I still need to spend more of my next giftcard. Teehee, me? A calming influence? If you say so. Oh and you know you want a instant cam, I really want a mini diana after I spoke to Jasmine about it (finally met her at the weekend). So much love for this post- Jill, Marin, Shini and Kit! They're all pretty awesome.

  23. hi darling. what a nice post. did i meet you briefly at lfw? with winnie?
    Anyways, thanks for sharing your shots, hope you're having a good monday dear


  24. Looks like you had a great Fashion Week experience! I caught shows throughout the week, but attended mainly Day 4 shows, though none as a blogger (mainly as a guest just to watch). I love that pleated skirt you're wearing and... ohhh... those bowler hats!

    P.S. Don't you just love the food at Vapiano? I'm glad it's finally available in the UK.