Ah, London

I'm a bit of a nut, to be honest. I like work, but I'd be the first to admit that if someone offered me a job scrubbing the floors at a magazine office (provided, of course, that the magazine in question is one along the lines of Vogue UK or i-D, Nylon, Purple, Another, so on), I'd chuck law school down its drain and head straight for the mops. And I would actually love to have an internship- even a law internship- that places my feet firmly on the pavements of London for this particular week of the year, simply because it means that I'll be breathing the air in which Fashion Week is happening. It's an odd thing, London Fashion Week. While New York and Milan, for the most part, put out pretty, easy, highly-wearable clothes that I tend to covet on sight, London, to be honest, is a bit of a hotch-potch. A hotch-potch that I'd throw myself headfirst at, given the chance, but still really crazy. It isn't always instant likeability, but I love the way the shows get balanced between designers like Paul Smith and Margaret Howell (whose work, to be honest, is ninety percent of the reason I'll always feel my prettiest in a boy's shirt), who are all old-school and not into being revolutionary but who still have their design fundas and stick to them, and the madcaps from Central St Martin's who are out showing for the very first time and who can be amazing if I'm not going "Bleargh, fluorescent yellow!" (prime example of the latter: Christopher Kane (above, right). Neon and lace. Together. Who'd have thought?), and mad-as- hatters looking stuff from people like Gareth Pugh (above, left). It's all a little strange sometimes, but in some ways the place is actually prime stomping ground for genius. Genius that almost inevitably tends to move to other, less random, more commercially oriented fashion weeks or shuts shop in a season or two for lack of financial backing, but mark my words, ye few who read them, pure brilliance nonetheless. Some of the best ones of the last twenty years- including Vivienne Westwood (though she goes back a lot more than twenty years, and I swear I will post about her sometime- if I wore hats more often, I would take off mine in deference to this woman), John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Hussein Chalayan and Stella McCartney got their start in London, either as students or because they opened their first shops there. And even though none of them show in London any more, it isn't a tragedy because there is always new talent to watch. And I would dearly love to see some of that, firsthand. Just one of those 'I was there' things, I guess. And I really do want to get a look at Biba's collection for the season. Never mind that it's so grotesquely overpriced now that Barbara Hulanicki all but disowned it, I still liked some of the looks they had for Spring/Summer '07 and I really fancy the outfit down on the right (or could it be that I fancy Irina Lazareanu's fringe and general air of doll-faced, fascinating coolness? My own fringe is a pale wannabe of that, I just end up looking a bit sheepdog-like but it's too much of a pain growing it out- I like to keep my eyebrows hidden)

I just figured out while typing, why I like the idea of the place so much. London Fashion Week is the fashion week of angle. Hardcore fashion angle, no less, and unlike India Fashion Week, where people know jack shit about cutting or fitting clothes and think the best way to get around that is by piling embroidery on the garments and saying it's a homage to the country's textile crafts, the faff is a lot more fun and I'd willingly wear even the crazier clothes, leg shape and hip width be damned. I have a feeling college would have liked them. And I'm watching for the pictures, A/W 07-08 is only a day and a bit in after all and even the trusty old Vogue UK site doesn't have any yet. And that cleaning job? Make it scrubbing the runways.


Resplendato said...

London breaks all the rules and gets away with it.

Yohan said...

Wow. You should do a Fashion 101 post for people who don't know where to start!

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