Last weekend (against my better judgement as we have a wedding to save for) I decided to head to one of the most fashionable parts of town – the London Fashion Weekend event at the Saatchi Gallery in South Ken. It’s not the first time I’ve been to a London Fashion Weekend. In my late teens and early 20s, it was the event in my calendar. I’d save up the very little money I had and would wait to splurge it at what to me was a creative space of London’s finest designers.
But over the past few years, it lost its once glossy surface and had transformed into a shopping event which was a bit haphazard, hot and not all that enjoyable. So when my mum invited me along to help her pick out an outfit for my big fat Italian wedding next year, I said yes with slight hesitation. Of course, I love fashion and I’ll always appreciate creativity and sheer hard work that goes behind every show at London Fashion Week but my experience of London Fashion Weekend in the past few years did little to reflect this. On the other hand, the Saatchi Gallery was a brand new venue for the event (like the show London Fashion Weekend changed locations from Somerset House to the Saatchi Gallery). And I have to say the move gave this shopping experience a brand new lease of life.
What do I mean by that? Well, it felt smarter, better edited and easier to navigate around. You knew where to go to find contemporary labels, key London Fashion Week designers’ creations, accessories and jewellery. There was a bit of a queue for the catwalk show and the coffee shop only sold coffee (not good for us who find it too bitter) but overall, it felt fresher and better.
As for brands represented, well there were some old favourites including Helene Berman (great for tweed and blazers), Jane Carr, Issa, French Sole, Antipodium and newer outlets who were there for the first time. The Scavi & Ray Prosecco bar was buzzing and Maybelline and Toni & Guy were offering hair cuts and makeovers, so everything you need for a fun day out. We even managed to sneak onto the front row of the Christopher Raeburn catwalk show.
London Fashion Weekend offered the opportunity for Mum to find something original to wear for my upcoming nuptials next year. We picked out an Emma Cook dress which was at a fraction of the price from London Fashion Weekend newbie Brand Outlet and a pair of Kat Maconie shoes. I also bagged a pair of Victoria Beckham jeans again from Brand Outlet and a pretty dress from Antipodium.
It really is amazing what a shift in location can do for an event. I went home happy with my purchases, this month’s Elle magazine, the first issue of London Fashion Weekend’s magazine The Weekender and the exciting feeling I experience when around creativity and fashion.
Bring on February when London Fashion Weekend hits town again.