The insider’s guide to London Fashion Week


What to wear, what to drink, what invitations to blag and who to pretend you know at the fashion event of the year.

1. On your feet
When not reaching for a pair of metallic Nike Air Maxes or adidas Stan Smiths, you (and a gazillion other fashion eds) will be ditching the heels in favour of Birkenstocks. Floral Givenchy ones if you’re feeling flush or otherwise those with patent uppers to give you a smattering of waterproofing and a bit of gloss. It’s those thick-ribbed fisherman’s socks however that will bestow Scandi cool and ultimately keep your toes warm.

2. Arm candy
Should you be wearing a rucksack? Pah! So last season. To stay ahead of the curve you will carry the aforementioned Birkenstocks in a drawstring bucket bag — Jérôme Dreyfuss’s animal print or Alexander Wang’s metallic version if you want to splash out. Otherwise head to Topshop. It’s capacious enough to fit your stash of Apple products, a Mophie (the niftiest portable phone-charger out there) and a couple of green juices to power you through the day.

3. Fashion SOS
What’s going to get you through 17-hour days? Ditch the chia bar (again, so last season) and try a juice. How else to get the glow of a 22-year-old intern? Radiance’s power smoothies or those from Roots and Bulbs pack a punch. When it comes to beauty, the weapons in every fashion editor’s arsenal are products by make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury. Her Magic Cream (£70 for 50ml) transforms sleep-starved and dehydrated skin in seconds, while her Wonder Glow (£38.50 for 40ml) aims to give you just that.

4. Parties to blag your way into
Gobbling canapés made to resemble miniature handbags is all part of the job for veteran FROW-ers. The choicest invitations are the überglam (and very select) dinners such as those hosted by Mulberry and Anya Hindmarch or otherwise Saturday night’s shindig at Café Royal to celebrate the new label, Grace. Monday [February 17] looks set to be a busy night with the Bafta and BFC cocktail reception at Spencer House as well as Katie Grand, Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley’s party at George on Mount Street to celebrate a new launch of LOVE magazine.

5. Where to hang?
Want to rub shoulders with Erdem? Then head to the Ace Hotel’s Hoi Polloi restaurant — the new Shoreditch House but without the membership. For serious cocktails and even better people-watching try the Scotch, Edition hotel, the Fable Bar and Oslo Hackney. Le Baron is still the venue for fashion parties aplenty westside.

6. The new faces
Move over Cara. The name on every casting director’s lips is US-born Devon Windsor, while Newcastle native Sarah “Doug” Douglas’s bowl cut has become an internet phenomenon. Models to pretend to know are Holly Rose Emery, a 17-year-old from New Zealand who has already fronted a Prada catwalk, and Tennessee tomboy Binx.

7. The newcomers
Fashion aficionado that you are, you will already know that Christopher Kane kicked off the current craze for pool sliders two years ago, but who are the next big names? Ones to trip off your tongue and display your fashion nous are Husihan Zhang, the Chinese-born, London-based designer whose clothes successfully marry East-West influences, creating outfits acclaimed for their precise tailoring and couture-like finishing.

Louise Alsop is new to the Fashion East line-up, her grungy take on minimalism and her monochrome graduate collection has already been praised by Vogue. She is the undisputed queen of the layered denim, chiffon tunic, frayed hems and graphic print mash-up. Thomas T ait displays a nifty way with tailoring and is very admired for his precise and sculptural clothes, especially his outerwear, while J JS Lee champions “cleanism” and is currently in the vanguard of London’s new wave of soft, feminine minimalism and is already sold at the hip concept store, Dover Street Market.