Sunday, 25 September 2011

LFW: Frontline Style Inspiration

[All photographs my own. Please ask before reproducing].
Here are just a few of the people that caught my eye during LFW. Some of them are exhibitionists but others just genuinely seem to love expressing themselves through clothing and accessories. Firstly, I love this man's bag - it's practical, hard-wearing and very vintage-looking with its boxy shape.

The subtle gold heel on these knee-high boots is smart and eye-catching without being too trend-led. There's a lot of block heel detail coming in for this season and it's also a really clever way of making old footwear look like new. You can buy coloured coverings for your heels or soles on the internet (usually about £15 for a set) and do a bit of upcycling on some shoes you no longer wear.

Three style spots here: her bag, their bags and his suit. The woman's choice is quite rustic-looking and worn, with the shoulder straps being chunkier than fashion-led rucksacks. The leather should wear over time to create a really well-loved bag. As for the men? Their shoppers, in black and pink, are symptomatic of the wider trend for men to carry simple bags out of choice rather than necessity. Shoppers for men are going to be gradually introduced on the high street this season - I'm not sure how well they'll be received, but then cardigans were slow to be worn at first and now they're everywhere. The burgundy suit that our middle figure is showing off has also got a lot of style mileage; it's clean-cut, a nice retro shade, and it's slim. Good choice.

For a more outlandish take on fashion, this man has really established his own identity through clothes and styling. Even his beard is artistic and not a traditional cut for someone of his age. Picking flowing, loose pieces to wear alongside it, he clearly has an eye for shape, but he might take himself a little too seriously.

All-out darkness and tailored perfection in this ensemble. I do get the feeling that it might not work as well if you were popping to the shops for a pint of milk, but for a creative industry this is a great example of good dressing.

Simple deep red desert boots with grey suit trousers: this colour combination is really well thought out and it's so much nicer to see casual shoes mixed with formal wear, rather than the typical fashion-boy loafers (usually mock-croc).

The Japanese always seem to have an impeccable sense of style and these boys are no exception. In particular, the sea green mac is enough of a statement to stand out by itself.

Here's an example of the typical London IT-girl look, probably fresh from Hoxton or Shoreditch. I'm pretty tired of the 'I just woke up looking like this' vibe and the skinny schoolgirl figures, usually clutching a cigarette and an iPhone, but they were pretty hard to avoid at Fashion Week. I do like her hair, as I had my own pretty similar do last year and five years previously, but this all feels a bit too cleverly orchestrated to be real.

This is a much more natural look - clashing colours and fabrics, topped off with gorgeous blue velvet boots. The 7/8 length of the mustard trousers is going to be continuing as a trend for AW/11-12, so we'd better get used to those ankle-bashers.

In the courtyard of Somerset House, this girl was rocking her Yoko Ono glasses. I don't think she could actually see out of them, as she was peering over the top of the lenses, so we can safely put this in the 'fashion over function' category.

For a woman wearing such decadent shoes, she stopped at one of the exhibitions more conservative stands, which was a bit surprising. The heels on these sparklers have got to be 5 inches and upwards. I like how she paired them with cream knitted socks and she isn't afraid to let you see them. Maybe the key to wearing heels all day is a decent piece of hosiery?

There's always a photographer with a massive camera lurking nearby (I don't count, as mine is digital and therefore quite compact). This bloke took the biscuit as he clearly wasn't phased by fashion himself, but had an eye for spotting it on other people. Maybe we should call him a conscientious objector?

At this point I nearly started hyperventilating. Donna Wallace, Accessories Editor of Elle UK, was visiting the exhibition stands at Fashion Week (where I was interning with my boss). I recognised her immediately as she's always dressed innovatively whenever Elle does a feature on what its team likes to wear. This time she had what looked like Prada shoes, with a neon green Cambridge Satchel Company bag (just out of shot). I spoke to her later on and she was lovely. It was amazing to meet one of my fashion idols.

Lastly, what did I wear? Here's one of my outfits from my time at LFW. The dress is vintage, from the YMCA in Canterbury a few years ago (they had a brilliant vintage section but are sadly no longer running). The bag is a vintage vanity case, the buckle boots are River Island and the hat is Urban Outfitters USA. As you can see, I was quite shattered as this was taken when I got home on the last day, but I had a brilliant time meeting people, working hard to generate buyer and journalist interest, and absorbing the atmosphere.

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