UPDATE (6:10pm) Corrie Nielsen and Kilian KernerAway from the circus at Somerset House you can find some really interesting stuff going on at London Fashion Week's off schedule shows and presentations. For example, Kilian Kerner (fun fact: he was Nena '99 Balloons' costume designer!) showed his SS14 collection of ballgowns and red carpet frocks in the elegant splendour of the Waldorf Astoria's Palm Court - how fabulous is that?
With a pianist tinkling away soothingly on a baby grand, it felt like we were at a debutantes' ball in the '40s, or an episode of the House of Eliott i.e. heaven for me. Oh and there was ice cream. A combination of live models and mannequins adopted various poses around the space - leaning on banisters like drooping debs, posing imposingly at the top of a sweeping staircase - and we could move around them to photograph the clothes from every angle. What a great idea - infinitely preferable to trying to snap a blurry figure as it wooshes past you on a catwalk.
These were my kind of fantasy frocks - that New Look silhouette with a tight bodice and dramatic full skirt in stiff duchesse satin and richly embroidered silk and taffeta.
Meanwhile Corrie Nielsen showed her SS14 collection at the May Fair Hotel to an intimate audience. She does seriously over the top 'modern couture' so you just have to sit back, relax and enjoy the fantasy - in this case Duchesse satin dresses, both slinky sheaths and full-skirted statement gowns - with intricate origami-style folds, puffs and pleats (her signature) and padded details.
There were flamboyant chiffon shirts with billowing puffed sleeves (and a rather daring pair of totally transparant chiffon trousers) and ladylike skirt suits that finished below the knee.
The colour palette was subtly opulent - chartreuse, mint, cream and black - and the models had a sleek line of colour running down the backs of their heads, adding a curiously futuristic vibe. I just loved it for the glorious spectacle - you can imagine wearing one of these glorious creations to an ambassador's reception or something.
Wot I wore...
It's the first day of London Fashion Week and I'll be heading off in a minute to see a couple of shows. I'm not doing too much this season, but I still like to go down to the courtyard at Somerset House to watch the fashion circus in full swing. It's amazing to see everyone dressed up in their finery, joyfully adopting a 'more is more' approach to their outfits and strutting about, checking each other out.
This season the British Fashion Council has worked with a new panel of top style bloggers to develop a new, stricter policy for blogger accreditation. I will be curious to see if this means fewer of the eccentric characters we've seen in recent seasons - in a way it'll be a shame if they are put off, as their presence marks London out from the other fashion capitals as the home of truly democratic style.
Even though the crowds can be a bit overwhelming, I like the fact that at London Fashion Week everyone's welcome, it doesn't matter if you're an important editor emerging from your Mercedes and strutting to your front row seat or a fashion student who doesn't have a ticket to the show at all, you can still feel part of the excitement. And I've seen for myself how much that means to teenagers who live far away from the capital and feel 'different' in their suburban towns - finding like-minded souls at LFW means a huge amount to them, so I hope that spirit continues.
Outfit-wise, I'm keeping it plain and simple. While I love observing the excitable young fashion whippersnappers in their flatforms (terribly painful on the ankles if you ask me), chiffon 'mullet' skirts (long at the back, short at the front - come on, keep up!) and tiny dresses with no tights, I'm too old to play that game. I want to be warm and comfortable while I'm travelling from show to show, thankyouverymuch.
I didn't actually realise until I'd laid it all out on the bed that everything I'm planning on wearing is navy or cream, but I quite like its stark simplicity. I've got Gap jeans, an Equipment shirt, trusty, comfy Massimo Dutti flats (I think they're calling them 'monk shoes' this season?), a J.Crew jumper and two fancy-schmancy additions to my wardrobe - an APC coat and a 3.1 Phillip Lim bag. These were major purchases and fashion week will be their maiden voyage.
I'll be Instagramming (find me @pamfletzine) and adding updates throughout the day here so check back to see what I've been up to!