I’d never been to London Fashion Week before, I had no idea what to expect (and if I’d gone on what I’d seen on so many blogs I would have thought it just meant getting the train into London and standing around looking hopeful in massive shoes) so I was pleased to be able to join Park and James for their LFW debut, and get some backstage and front row action.
In my research (late night blog surfing from under the duvet) I’d seen many posts on ‘What I Wore to London Fashion Week’ and, although tempted to bore you with the details of my vintage Nike’s and my big pocketed coat, I know this is not the time to talk about me and my bag-lady finesse – so we’ll save the ‘What I Wore’ post for British Pie Week.
Backstage I was assistant dresser, cape holder, and champagne hustler. I also accidentally closed the lift door on a model, and once two men had prised him free, I, for some reason of honesty or stupidity, turned to him and said, straight faced and stern, ‘I did that to you.’
I didn’t get to walk the runway, I didn’t get a goody bag, I did have a model ask me if I had a bandaid though. I must look like a mum, or like I’m packing a load of utility belts under my dress.
I tried to send my pal Zoe a message to say I’d been a total fashion show gangster, but auto-correct changed it to hamster. It was probably right.
Park and James’ slogan is ‘The Flat Shoe Revolution’ and I’m all for that (especially since that hip-hop dance injury of mine). They showcased six pairs of shoes from their new collection, all handmade in Italy from a mixture of unusual, luxury leathers.
Backstage I spoke to Dusica, the designer behind PRiK, the unusually named but beautifully presented label. Beautiful, beautiful tailoring, and really elegant lines, so chic and timeless, I loved everything. In contrast I also came across a pair of fantastic Schmiley Mo slide-ons with knitted chicken drumstick detail which I will now covet and talk about regularly. (Later I discovered the concept was based around a chicken called Henry… sold!)
Earlier in the day I’d popped along to meet some of the designers at the London Designers Collective Pop Up. Jac from Park and James was there showcasing their full range, and I was introduced to several new brands.
I attended the Rein presentation – not really my thing, the situation was just a bit weird for me and I was more intrigued by the building outside, the dilapidated paintwork and quirks.
If you ever invite me along to see your handmade Italian shoes on display, don’t look away for a moment, I will sneak off with your shoe and balance it precariously over an inaccessible drop whilst delighting at the aesthetic of it all.
I bombarded the designers with questions, I swooned over Tramp in Disguise’s quilted culottes and had in-depth conversations with Veronica from Petriiski who was wearing a coat from her own collection. I stroked all the sleeves of les 100 ciels cashmere jumpers, and gasped with delight as Valentina from Storytailors showed me their wonderful collection, their multi-way items, their structured jackets made from cork. But, my absolute favourite of all was Conflict of Ego. I adored the mixture of thoughtful and fun, luxury fabrics and contemporary prints, and the coolest blouse I have ever seen, really. The print, kind of reminiscent of a Gustav Klimt life sketch (if you’ve seen them, you’ll know what I mean!) layered on sophisticated cream silk – perfection in distinction.
I’ve not suddenly become uber chic or fashionable, but I am looking forward to bringing you more stories of my work with Park and James. They even got a mention on Vogue, so I’m thinking this might not be the last you hear of them!