Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another day, another fashion week

So I made it in one piece to London Fashion Week. I must admit I was slightly concerned that the Kelly Cutrone circle of influence might extend to customs authorities at JFK. I was however relieved to spot no posters at all. Similarly, I arrived in London with no problems.

Waiting for me at my hotel was even, surprise surprise, an entire in-tray full of show invitations. There was also something called a "priority press pass" designed to wave you through when all else fails. Of course it could all be rescinded at the drop of a politically incorrect comment.

I opened up an invitation from the shoe designer Georgina Goodman to find a folded poster illustrated with a heart symbol made out of photographs of shoes. In the middle of the heart, as it happens, the following three words were written:

"The whole truth."

"Presumably it's not a People's Revolution event" I think.

Am really loving this event so far. I've not covered it before and am in fact quite impressed, certainly with the organisation. And although champagne and fashion weeks go hand in hand, I have to say I have never seen quite so much of the stuff being on tap all day as here. They seem to start with a breakfast at 9am - at which champagne is served - and then they just keep serving it, at various venues throughout the day.

I saw a great show this morning from the hot new name Roksanda Ilincic. It was staged inside an old building called the English-Speaking Union. Like an old French salon, the walls were painted eau de Nil, with ornate white plasterwork all over the ceiling, parquetry floorboards and chandeliers. The two rooms immediately in front of me were filled with small tables, at which buyers and media were seated on gilt chairs. They ate fruit platters and petits fours and many were drinking, you guessed it, champagne.

The music started. Nina Hagen. It really does feel like being back in the '80s at this event. A PR in a meringue-like black RI puffball dress discreetly moved from one room to the next ahead of the model, her dress so voluminous it overwhelmed her.

Like a series of big birds, the models glided past one by one in increasingly exaggerated organza puffball dresses, many of them with large bustles. Yes bustles - on the back, hemline and side. Quite a few were sporting tulle headpieces. It occurred to me that perhaps Toni Maticevski showed at the wrong event.

As we walked out I found myself directly behind a woman holding a miniature pug. Two Japanese women asked if they could pat it.

"Oh yes that's fine as long as you're not wearing any hats - he has a thing about hats," said the owner.

"Had a traumatic hat experience at some point?" I asked of her canine charge.

"Yes I think so," she replied. "When the models came out in the hats I had to throw him under the table and start feeding him grapes."

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