Behind the Scenes at London Fashion Weekend – September 2016

Last Thursday marked the start of London Fashion Weekend, bringing the best of London Fashion Week and British fashion under one roof at the iconic Saatchi gallery in Chelsea. London Fashion Weekend is the only consumer event in the world which offers the true and ultimate fashion week experience to its visitors, bringing you closer to the designers and brands you know and love.

With galleries filled with rails of beautiful clothes from 150 men’s and women’s British and international brands at exclusive industry insider prices, every taste and budget was catered for. Along with accessory and jewellery lines out in force for buyers to top up their winter wardrobe with, visitors were guaranteed an unforgettable shopping experience at the event.

I travelled to London for London Fashion Weekend (LFW) with Siobhan Young, a personal stylist at Well Styled Stylist and Sue Mee Maudsley, a personal stylist, interior and fashion designer (whose designs you’ll likely see in high street stores such as Top Shop). We arrived in time for opening and to collect our exclusive tote bags designed especially for LFW by British shoe and handbag designer Sophia Webster and packed full of goodies, before heading into the Saatchi Gallery to explore, shop, sip cappuccinos, enjoy a catwalk show before ending the day in the VIP Luxe Lounge indulging in champagne and canapés whilst watching industry insiders talk fashion. Not a bad way to spend a Thursday and certainly a refreshing change from the school run!

Gorgeous accessories by British interior designer and illustrator Jessica Russell Flint

ROSIE FORTESCUE JEWELLERY

Having entered the jewellery gallery, I rather embarrassingly made an enthusiastic approach to the familiar face of Rosie Fortescue standing behind her jewellery display to warmly greet her, convinced she was an acquaintance I recognised from Tunbridge Wells.

It was only as I arrived at her counter and stood firmly in front of her did I feel myself flush as Siobhan quietly told me that she wasn’t in fact from Tunbridge Wells but a cast member from ‘structured reality’ TV series Made in Chelsea! So that’s where I knew her from. Cue awkward moment from me…

However, after clearing up the misunderstanding, I turned my attention instead to Rosie’s gorgeous range of fun and playful jewellery, positioned as a luxury jewellery brand but accessible to all through its pricing. Mixing colourful stones and metals, Rosie has enjoyed a successful launch of her new brand Rosie Fortescue Jewellery which has gained much press attention since its inception.

Sue Mee bought a silver heartbeat ring with white stones while I particularly loved the Gold Triple Band Ring with White and Black Stones (Santa take note!). According to Rosie her ‘hand cuff’ bracelets have also been hugely popular. An accessory brand therefore to watch!

CATWALK SHOWS

This season presented a number of special treats for the true fashion lover, including a catwalk show by Thornton Bregazzi showing their fabulous Preen AW16 collection – the images of which you can see below. Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi met as students in their early twenties and have gone on to build one of the most successful fashion businesses in the UK today.

Celebrating 20 years in the business their chic designs are loved by women such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé and actresses such as Cate Blanchett, Carey Mulligan and Diane Kruger have all appeared on Best Dressed lists wearing their cutting edge styles.

We took our place in the large room packed full of spectators eager to see the Preen collection and watched as models glided gracefully down the catwalk wearing a number of sumptuous velvet, shimmering sequins and floaty chiffon designs contrasted with heavy black lace up boots for an edgy look. Velvet it seems is proving a very popular fabric for designers in Autumn 2016.

Thornton Bregazzi were also joined this season by emerging London based designer Edeline Lee, as well as duo SIBLING who showed both men and womenswear on the catwalk and J. JS LEE, known for her androgynous tailoring.

Having picked up a gorgeous suede mini shift dress by Muubaa and having shopped till we dropped in every conceivable corner of the Saatchi Gallery, it was time to kick back and relax in the Luxe Lounge with a glass (or three) of bubbly while enjoying a style talk from Jenny Kennedy, Fashion Editor at the Evening Standard Magazine and a brief chat by me with celebrity fashion stylist Martha Ward and founder of the style blog Martha Magpie.

It was the perfect end to a great day and I am already looking forward to the next London Fashion Weekend in February 2017!

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