London Fashion Week SS16

Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Another season is over - for me, London Fashion Week has become my biannual week of patterns, layers, often uncomfortable shoes, lots of walking, photograph-taking and meeting a whole host of interesting, creative people, and even after 2 years (4 seasons) I'm still not sick of it. Once you get caught up in the hype of getting dressed each day, getting into shows and making the most of the free popcorn, you can't stop - faces become familiar, and before you know it you're part of a little fashion week community, using the event as a place to network and meet up with like-minded people you are often to busy to see at any other time in the year. I adore it, and end up feeling so validated and inspired from the buzz of it for months afterwards. 
This time last year was my second season, and I completely wore myself out by going every single day, attending shows and hovering around Somerset House. It was such an amazing experience - I saw Orla Kiely, and Mother of Pearl, stood a few rows behind Sir Philip Green and Anna Wintour at the Topshop Unique show, and was invited backstage and second row at Holly Fulton with Maddy simply by being in the right place at the right time! I was completely hooked after that - unfortunately I couldn't attend every day this time, but I know next season I will - it really is so addictive.

This season, the location changed from Somerset House to Brewer Street in Soho - a place I do love, but had never expected to be well-suited to an event like Fashion Week. It was weird, being so exposed and just milling around a street, but in a way I liked it...there was more to see, more places to go and more photographs to take I guess, but a part of me will always miss the little bubble that was the old showspace.

As usual, there were so many different and amazing styles and outfits to photograph. I found it hard spotting a particular theme or trend this season on the day I was there; it seemed very much that individuality is 'in' again. I liked that as I think style is only interesting when it's unique - trends become boring if they're widespread. Not that we don't all copy styles sometimes, but it's nice that fashion can appreciate individual's self-expression rather than judging their look by how much it relates to what's "in fashion" at the time.

Every fashion week I end up panicking last minute and throwing together something I've never worn before - I work well under pressure, so I end up making something just before I leave. This year, I wore a skirt I made a few years ago but have never worn out, with a Beyond Retro vintage Joseph shirt. The corset/bralet situation was part of a dress (also Beyond Retro) that I cut down for the occasion. The tights and shoes are Primark, and my jewellery is from Hirst Antiques (except the earrings which are from Barcelona!)

I was finally accredited this year (snazzy press pass lanyard, at last), which gave me access to the Designer Showrooms. It was lovely to be able to see the collections up close, emphasising the detail and workmanship that goes into pieces such as Holly Fulton's work, pictured above.
I hope you all had a good week - sorry for the shortish post, I will try and round up this season a little better soon! I'm working on lots of projects for my extended project (a zine, Bloom) so hopefully I can share some of that soon too!

just so I could walk past your door

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Hello!!! I am actually back, in London, at college - no more holidays (for the moment) or long absences...I aim to actually be a bit more organised this year and keep this page up to date as much as I can. Going back to school has really made me realise how much I need routine - without it, I am terrible at keeping up with work, emails, responsibilities etc etc. Hopefully I'll be back on top of it all soon. It's really getting to me that it's my last year - my seventh year at the same school with the same people, having changed and grown up so much each year and going through it all with the same friends and in the same places. Also, sixth form has been the best two years for me in terms of solid friendship groups (lower school was so clique-y at times), going out, general and mental health and doing subjects I like. I'm not quite ready for it to end, as I feel like it's only really just begun. I'm looking forward to the end of A Levels celebrations and travelling next summer though.
In light of the lovely autumnal weather we are enjoying at the moment (I've literally just had to run home in the rain after being drenched multiple times already this week) I have been lucky enough to get the opportunity to try out some of Dr Marten's new Autumn / Winter collection, and put together a sort of 'back to college' post, which is really what I need as I've found it very hard to break out of the summer holiday mindset this last week.

I've never been one to dress down for college, and this year is certainly not going to be an exception. Going to a big school, and being the tiny and used-to-be quiet person I am, I think I started dressing slightly more, shall we say, 'vibrant' to stand out a little from my large peer group. David Bowie once said that he created the confident, controversial alter ego of Ziggy Stardust to force himself to come out of his shell and have to match up to the character he had created, and I think this is sort of true of my clothes - by wearing bizarre things, it was hard to pass unnoticed around school, and eventually I had to be less shy and talk to people more and not just float through the system quietly as I think I would have wanted to otherwise. I tone it down quite a lot now - I am usually running late, which plays a part in what I wear, but also I don't feel like I need to impress or prove anything to anyone any more, so I can get away with plainer outfits more often than I felt I could a few years ago.
That being said, I still like to keep it colourful and pattern-y as often as I can, as for me it really helps me feel a bit better about being in school if I'm surrounded by prints and colours. The Dr Martens floral 1461 shoes I chose were absolutely perfect for this - not even a grey and rainy day can detract from how vibrant and bright they are, meaning all I need do is look down at my feet for an instant bit of floral encouragement to carry on and get through the day. The multicolour floral pattern, although you might not think it at first, actually makes them surprisingly easy to wear, as they match pretty much everything. At least one flower will be the colour of the thing you are wearing, making them versatile and even easier to add more patterns to an outfit.

For this outfit, I chose to work with the red and green colours in the shoes and wore them with a cropped red jumper from Beyond Retro, a green bomber jacket from a vintage shop in Margate, glittery gold socks and dotted tights. The colour theme was very autumnal and even slightly christmassy, and I felt simultaneously comfy and pattern-satisfied (I'm always happier wearing multiple prints - I'm not quite sure why).

I was also lucky enough to try one of the leather satchels, something I've always wanted as I associate them with being a proper schoolgirl. The size is perfect for the big folders and books you need at college, and it still has enough small compartments to make it practical as a casual bag too.
It's really easy to forget that Dr Martens, as a brand, make more than just shoes - their products have been known for decades, and seem to have created for themselves a sort of community and collective style which unites all sorts of people from all different walks of life. It therefore seems fitting that the brand expand and branch out into accessories, clothing and stationary, allowing people to be more 'Dr Martens' in more areas of their lives. The durable quality, clever design and comfort the shoes are famous for is present in every item they make, and being so closely tied to the music and arts scene, they rarely miss a beat and manage to create pieces incredibly up to date and covetable for everyone and anyone, individual styles aside - if you like DMs, you will love their ethos, and everything else they make. It all comes under the umbrella of their united style, where everyone is accepted and anything goes.

Amongst the vast array of back-to-college themed products on offer, my favourites include the book that documents the history of Dr Martens, taking you on their journey from work-boot, to signal of rebellion, to fashion statement, to the must-have shoes they are still today. It's a fascinating read as it documents much of British culture and sub-cultures, as well as exploring the way styles have travelled across the globe. A little slice of the inspiration offered in this book is also featured in the front of the customised moleskine notebook - not only the best kind of notebook (not much can beat moleskine paper, it's just the way it is!) but a few pages to both inspire and interest you on a day to day basis, and also provide you with something to read whenever you might need it.

So far I've been using mine as a journal-meets-school-planner, noting down Marina Abramovic's manifesto, stapling in some art I'm into at the moment (Marina and Ulay's Rest Energy) and keeping tabs on homework and my out of school life all in one place. The pencil tin, drumstick pencils and badges have also come in handy, and I can imagine them being great gifts for anyone who likes DM's.

I've also been looking through all of my old journals recently to photograph for my online portfolio which I have finally set up - you can see my work here,, where I will be uploading my art projects over the coming year. The best parts of my journals and my sketches from my summer are on there too.
Anyway, thank you so much to Dr Martens and Exposure for giving me the opportunity to style some Dr Martens products - I hope this post has helped with the whole getting out of the summer mindset situation, as it's so hard transitioning into autumn sometimes. You can see the rest of the Dr Martens A/W15 collection here.