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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The new exhibition at BMW Museum shows 30 fascinating original vehicles and many exciting background stories about MINI. Take a tour with Andreas Braun, who curated this treasure trove of MINI moments.
More than 9,000 kilometres over perilously soft sand dunes, through fields of treacherous boulders, across the gargantuan heights of the Andes, and through the relentless desert heat of one of the driest regions on earth: anyone with victory in mind must be prepared to suffer. That much is certain, as MINI looks to successfully defend its title at the 2015 Rally Dakar.
Dune hopping is no hobby, and the X-raid Team in their MINI ALL4 Racing have had their work cut out for them on the Dakar 2015 route. Scroll down for an exclusive look at their sand-spraying antics.
Imagine taking a 6,000km cruise across India through 14 cities in 17 days as your test drive of the New MINI. That's what MINI India did. Tour the incredible subcontinent now.
Take it from the guys who go the extra mile to top the podium. This is what they say it takes to win.
MINI has competed in the gruelling Dakar Rally since 2011, winning 3 of the 4 it's entered. Recap one of the greatest winning streaks for MINI since its legendary days of the 1960s here.