Well I made it through fashion week in one piece. I attribute this entirely to my wardrobe of jeans, t-shirt and comfy shoes. I shall never do LFW in anything else ever again. I’m going to keep this short because I have very few adjectives left for you and I only had the stomach left for two shows today.
Holly Fulton has produced what I’d call a ‘cruise collection’. That’s a collection for those among us who use ‘winter’ as a verb. I say ‘us’, I should say ‘you’ because I’m not one of you. Shocking pink and turquoise will keep us all cheerful through the dark days next season. Did you know that turquoise is meant to be the happiest colour? Psychologists say so you know. I’m not sure which ones though, so don’t ask. Her prints, as always, are elegant (told you I was running out of adjectives); architectural Art Deco in all its symmetry. Lady Chatterley’s Lover was the inspiration according to the press releases on our seats, but as usual with Fulton, I was taken straight to Noel Coward’s Riviera. I couldn’t have liked it more.
'One of the shows I didn't get to which I was sorry to miss was Jasper Garvida. I did however pin down the photographer of his latest campaign for a quick coffee in Somerset House before Ashish. Jenny Brough (www.jennybrough.co.uk) is a bright young thing who already boast clients like Dove and was recently picked out by Rankin as one of four up and coming photographers of the moment. She showed me a few of the images she'd done for Jasper and, as we wandered round the exhibition she spotted her work in several of the portfolios. I'm quite excited by this photographer who said, "I'll have a nervous breakdown if I don't get to photograph McQueen by the end of my career." We bonded over Tim Walker and being girls of the Home Counties (turns out we went to the same prep school) and then I had to ditch her for Ashish, but it was nice to find another gentle and slightly shy fashion soul amid the throng.'
Ashish was my highlight last season and remains in pole position this season as far as I’m concerned. I know everyone’s on about Stella because of the Olympics (yawn), but I don’t care, Ashish and his wicked sense of humour had me grinning as I limped out of my last show, and that is impressive work. But how could I not be when Acid House meets Hare Krishna? I mean, it’s just such a bizarre yet perfect combo and I love his brain for sticking the two together. Now, I have a Hare Krishna phobia. They absolutely terrify me. I saw them coming down the street outside Soho House on Saturday night and I had to run round the corner til they’d gone. But as always Ashish’s wonderful grasp of comedy and fun meant that I was able to stomach the happy bastards.
As you may or may not recall, my heart and soul is fully stuck in the 90s and the layered grunge, tie-dye, heavy knits and slogans took me right down the woods at my boarding school where all the cool kids (of which I was not one) were smoking and sniffing poppers and board markers. Face-wear is a big story this season for the more adventurous designers and classic Indian nose rings were dripping with the symbols of organised anarchy. The models had attitude with heart, reminding us to ‘be happy’ and ‘relax’ in large, mucky knit stretched across breasts and bottoms. All I could see was those 90s kids who were too cool for me, on their drug infused trips to enlightenment, now fat and unhappy in the suburbs having nothing but a wasted youth to show for it. I’ve seen them on Facebook. But their ghosts, brought to life here, still fill me with that tortuous, unobtainable essence of cool. So that’s where I’m going to leave them, on a coach somewhere in South East Asia, or a runway at LFW A/W ‘12, but not spreading and sad in the suburbs of my cyberspace.
This is Vanessa Austin Locke, signing off for 125 with a very large G&T.