THE MAGIC OF PORT ELIOT…

As a lot of you will already know, we spent the weekend at Port Eliot festival on the breathtaking St German estate down in Cornwall. After all the fun we had last year, we could hardly contain our excitement come the middle of the week! Now us Topshop girls have been to a fair few festivals but there’s something truly special about roaming through the sweeping grounds of Port Eliot and finding inspiration every which way you turn. From wand making to splashing out on fresh Dorset crab, you find yourself getting excited by the most random of things and it’s precisely that which makes Port Eliot such a magical experience.

While we had a lot of fun doing everything from dancing by the river with the One Minute Disco truck to baking up a Victoria Sponge storm with hair stylist Sam McKnight, it was The Fashion Department that got us most excited. No surprise there then you’re probably thinking!

Curated by renowned fashion journalist Sarah Mower (if you don’t read her catwalk reviews already, make sure you start to) it was always going to be where we spent most of our time! As the Ambassador for Emerging Talent at The British Fashion Council, there were some incredible up-and-coming talents on board. From London’s Queen of print Mary Katrantzou, who charmed the crowd as she chatted about her dresses inspired by the Port Eliot estate with Love Magazine’s Fashion Editor Alexander Fury to accessory designer Fred Butler who was making majestic fresh flower headdresses, this year’s fashion programme was just brilliant!

We loved that there were fashion stalwarts at Port Eliot too!

Biba’s ever-cool Barbara Hulanicki was within the Fashion Department’s walled garden creating couture outfits out of paper while legendary milliner Stephen Jones was drawing up hairstyles for festival-goers that were then made a reality by Bumble & Bumble which was a really lovely idea.

We may be a bit biased but we know everyone had a lot of fun hanging out with Louise Gray in the Topshop tipi while she gave them rainbow-hued glitter makeovers and charmed everyone with her equally vibrant persona! Lucky for us, her first Topshop make-up collaboration lands on August 26th so you’ll be able to create her glittery, poptastic looks for yourself.

As well as seeing Topshop head office favourite Stornoway play on Saturday night, the real highlight for us had to be The Fashion Doll’ Tea Party which took place over in the estate’s grand dining room and was a truly brilliant idea of Sarah Mower. With the playthings of fashion heavyweights laid out by legendary set designer Michael Howells – think Lulu Kennedy’s old bunnies to Erdem’s Barbie doll wearing a gown he made at 6 – we really did feel like we’d been given a glimpse into some of our favourite designers’ childhoods!

It was the chess set donated by Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz (a replica of one he used to dress up when he was younger as his parents couldn’t afford to buy him toys) that really made us realise that the real magic of Port Eliot lies in the way it encourages you to find your inner child! It’s all those playful things – from poetry classes down by the river to hand knitted trees – that give you the sense of real adventure. If you’ve not been to Port Eliot then make sure you visit the summer after next when it’ll be back – we promise it will be an experience you’ll remember forever. After all, where else would you find yourself taking part in collective knitting?