Wandering the streets of London during Fashion Week, several thoughts passed through my mind: firstly, how extremely uncool I felt compared to the I-always-wear-sunglasses-even-indoors types Instagram-ing pictures of their latest Costa beverage; secondly, that I should keep my eyes peeled for celebrities to casually ‘bump into’; and thirdly that not even the ominous grey clouds hovering over the city could affect its positive vibe.

After years of watching London Fashion Week shows streamed online from the less-glamorous location of my bedroom, and trawling the blogs of those in attendance, I was finally there myself. Coffee in hand (but don’t worry, no Instagramming) I made my way to the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue at Freemasons Hall.

Coffee in hand – ready to go

The show was Nova Chiu (a new label emerging from London comprising Nova and designer boyfriend Jeff Archer), and the designs were beautiful; nothing less than what you would expect from a show at fashion week, despite being one of the lesser-known names.

Models glided by serenely, their hair pulled back into enviably well-styled buns at the nape of the neck. Loose strands of hair around the face kept it casual, which, along with fairly neutral makeup, meant no distraction from the clothes.

Not that there was any real risk of that: an abundance of jewel colours in various splattered patterns rippled as the girls walked in androgynous tailoring, flowing full-length dresses and extravagant jackets; the silken material keeping bold colours chic.

Bright and colourful

I began to feel that my own black and grey ensemble was perhaps a tad boring – I would like to resemble a glamorous, tropical bird too, please. Having gathered inspiration from their travels and “the scenic landscapes including mountains, trees and rivers”, the “simple, yet beautiful structured shapes” worked effortlessly well to make this colourful collection complete.

Nova Chiu show, photo by Katie McNicol

A short tube ride away was the ever-impressive main venue of Somerset House. Numerous bloggers could be seen snapping pictures of each other for their imminent “Outfit of the Day” post in the courtyard where several colossal screens broadcast live images of the shows for those sitting outside.

After collecting our press passes, we took a detailed wander through the exhibitions. Camera in hand, I could have spent days just marvelling at the exquisite fabrics and designs on display.

It was great to be able to talk with many of the designers about their upcoming collections. This week was the pinnacle of many careers and the hard work involved was evident – every piece was finished to the highest standard and displayed with pride and passion. And rightly so.

All that glitter

We caught the Ashish SS13 runway show in the afternoon. The venue was packed. Those on the front row looked like they did this every day, including singer Kate Nash who sat coolly in a black printed maxi dress and two-toned hair (making Cruella De Vil look dishevelled).

All eyes on the king of sequins: Ashish, photo by Katie McNicol

As the lights went down, the atmosphere electrified and all eyes were on the top of the catwalk. Ashish did not disappoint with his new collection: the ‘king of sequins’ mixed sports-chic with slouchy shapes, punchy slogan t-shirts and enough sparkle to make a Disney princess jealous.

With the addition of oversized, geek glasses and glittery scrunchies (yes, scrunchies) in messy high-buns, there was a definite 90s feel to the show. I used to look back on the 90s (scrunchies included) as a terrible time for fashion…but, as Ashish has shown us, it is actually possible to make double-denim and sequins look cool.

At the end of the day I leave feeling truly inspired. London is a city like no other, and Fashion Week has left me with a new level of sartorial obsession. See you again next time…

Beautiful gowns

The world is your oyster at LFW

Inspirational