London Fashion Weekend takes place straight after London Fashion Week at Somerset House and what a setting it is for an event. Overlooking the Thames, it was a perfectly sunny day when I attended and the building looked magnificent in the winter sun.
|Somerset House makes the perfect venue for London Fashion Weekend|
We arrived quite late on into Friday morning’s session which meant no queues by the time we turned up but a general lack of common sense by the event staff meant we missed the start of the Elle beauty presentation we were looking forward to.
An event ‘helper’ told us we couldn’t enter via what I know as the main entrance (the one that faces the Thames) and so we were directed to walk round the building to the other side so we could collect our pre-booked tickets. Why there was an issue entering via this door I have no clue. It seemed to me like it was closest to the ticket collection area but maybe that’s just me…
The silver spaceship-esque trailers you can see in my photo above were where we collected the tickets, with some difficulty. Bearing in mind that no one else was around, we walked up to one of the windows and were told that window was for ‘silver and gold tickets only. The bronze window was the one beside him. In the same cabin. Where his friend was stood. So we had to make the ridiculous side shuffle to the left and wait for his friend opening said window…
There may be a need for that level of ‘organisation’ (or more like segregation) if there was a hint of a queue but really, there was no need for the robotic response we got from the event staff.
Anyway, enough complaining about the rules and regs, once we were finally inside the event it was fashion overload.
|The Vodafone Lounge at London Fashion Weekend|
The Vodafone Lounge appeared to be where all the action was happening so we headed inside and fought our way (really, we did) to the front of the queue to see the Elle magazine beauty presentation. ELLE’s beauty director Sophie Beresiner and fashion TV presenter Antonia O’Brien talked us through the must-have makeup and hair looks for SS14, even the ones we’re never likely to attempt – I’ll only ever be rocking the wet-look, slicked back hair trend for five minutes after my morning shower, thanks.
|ELLE’s beauty director Sophie Beresiner explains why the sidesweep is a hot hair trend for SS14|
Inspired by our beauty masterclass we headed back into the main part of the Vodafone Lounge where Maybelline had set up a stall packed full of SS14 colours. My only disappointment was that other cosmetics brands hadn’t done the same – it was all very nice and looked appealing but there was no real incentive to buy the products on offer, no free samples and no makeovers on offer. Yes I’m living up to my blogger/blagger tag here but you do expect to get something for your entry fee (and a bit more than the cheap Julien Macdonald-designed tote we got).
|The Maybelline stall had stacks of lipsticks in SS14 shades|
In truth the Vodafone Lounge was way too small for the amount of designer stalls setup inside and it was an endless stream of people bumping into us so we ventured into the main building to see what was on offer there.
I got most excited by the Prosecco bar but swiftly disappointed when there wasn’t even one free drink to be had. As great as it was to have a nosey at all the designer goods on offer (with some brands claiming to have discounts on the items) nothing caught my eye. Lots of designers were showing off their wares – Lulu Guinness, Radley, Muubaa, Amanda Wakeley, French Sole, Kat Maconie – but the price tags were still mighty high for an exclusive shopping event.
|My look for London Fashion Weekend – Topshop Selma sunglasses// Topshop lipstick in Rio Rio// Warehouse Leopard Print Dress|
I’ll be back in September but I don’t think I can say it will be for the shopping – the best part of the event was the Elle beauty presentation as that’s the sort of thing that makes you remember why you love the fashion industry and all its glamour. And it will be silver or gold tickets next time – our bronze tickets got us an empty tote bag and no admittance to any of the designer/trend shows, which I think would’ve made the day all the more exciting.
Overall it was an enjoyable experience but organisers take note – more access to exclusive shows, more samples included for our ticket price and a bit more common sense would make it an event to remember for the right reasons.
For more information visit http://www.londonfashionweekend.co.uk