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An Insider's Guide to London Fashion Week AW12

London Fashion Week is held at Somerset House and this is where the cool kids hang out. Even if you don’t have a ticket for a show, it’s worth a visit, as fashionistas will parade around in fantastic and eccentric attire. Bloggers and street style hunters are scouting for the craziest or most stylish outfit.

London Fashion Week is especially exciting this season as we see international designers such as McQ, Stella McCartney and Moschino Cheap & Chic showing in London. The shows consist of catwalks, presentations and even installations, just to shake it up a bit.

Bora Aksu
Bora Aksu © The Style PA — http://tiny.cc/viaFlickrCC

Friday kicked off Fashion Week with a hectic schedule and I was lucky enough to be backstage to see the prepping first hand at Bora Aksu. Models generally arrive a couple of hours before a show starts (unless they’re running straight from another show!) and begin preparing their hair and makeup. Teams of makeup artists and hairdressers paint and brush the models until the last possible second.  The term ‘fashionably late’ is no joke, as I don’t think I have ever been to one show that has actually started on time! Bora Aksu was a really colorful show, with amazing silks and brocade fabrics.

LFW
It's not easy getting a place in a LFW show. © jaimelondonboy - http://tiny.cc/viaFlickrCC

I managed to grab a quick chat with the British Fashion Council where I learnt that the British fashion industry generates a whopping £20 billion per year to the British economy and employs 800,000 people in the UK, which I think is pretty impressive!

The shows kept coming, with plenty to take in. Felder Felder, German sisters who live in London, exhibited metallics, knits and impressive Aztec prints. Next up was design duo PPQ, a favorite of mine, who had a star-studded front row and a packed show space! The opening had an impressive collection, rich with tweeds, studded gold, velvets, silks and woollens, and included a bit of show with models strolling with bicycles. So a little something for everyone! This was followed by the PPQ party, which is renowned for ‘kicking off’ London Fashion Week.

DAKS
DAKS on the catwalk

Saturday began with a front row ticket at DAKS, which was a very elegant collection!  Here we saw stunning silks in bright coral reds that would brighten up any Autumn or Winter wardrobe — a Pips essential! After this I couldn’t help but make a quick pit stop at MAC to get an AW12-inspired makeover that included brown eyes and of course lovely berry lips.

Sunday was a big day as the iconic British brand Mulberry showcased their AW12 collection inspired by the playful and fun theme ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’ The new “it” bag this season is the Del Rey bag, named after new pop sensation Lana Del Rey.  The front row was brimming with A-listers and the famous Claridge’s Hotel had been made over a la Mulberry, filled with charm balloons and giant monsters.

Makeup at London Fashion Week
© Swamibu - http://tiny.cc/viaFlickrCC

I was filming in-house for Mulberry, so I managed to grab a few words with the stunning actress Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), who was very excited to be in London for the first time at Fashion Week.

Next up was the Richard Nicoll show, which was a truly innovative experience. Gone was the traditional catwalk and it had been replaced with a new concept — a presentation where the backstage was the front stage. The clothes were hanging on rails for the audience to see and you were even permitted to touch them!  Richard was also shooting his AW12 ‘LOOKBOOK’ throughout the five-hour event. The atmosphere was very intimate, almost with more of a party feel for family and friends. It had playful insight into the possibilities of a photo shoot and a catwalk, and a quite unique approach to fashion in general.

Richard Nicholl
Richard Nicholl 'LOOKBOOK' Shoot

After such a busy but fantastic weekend at London Fashion Week, I can’t wait to be in Milan with MINI next week to see what new textile discoveries may come. Until then, this is Pips signing off.

Related Links:

London Fashion Week
Somerset House
McQ
Stella McCartney
Moschino Cheap & Chic
British Fashion Council
Felder Felder
PPQ
DAKS
MAC
Mulberry
Claridge’s Hotel
My Week with Marilyn
Richard Nicoll
LOOKBOOK

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