A DREAM WEEKEND AT LONDON FASHION WEEK

For the last few seasons, we’ve run a fashion Tweet-Off  where we ask our Twitter followers to post a review of the Topshop Unique show in just 140 characters with our favourite winning an all expenses paid trip to London, including a Personal Shopping appointment and tickets to Topshop Unique’s next show at London Fashion Week.

Last September, Sarah Murphy (a.k.a @myshoesrock) won hands down with her art inspired tweet about our SS13 collection: Superb @Topshop show showcasing futuristic monochromatic glamour with the occasional pop of colour. Art in motion #LFW #Topshop Unique.” Being such a fashion-loving girl, Sarah was kind enough to jot down her Fashion Week adventures for you. Read on and weep!

My fantasies of attending London Fashion Week were realised last September when I won Topshop’s Tweet-Off competition for two tickets to the AW13 Unique show. There was so much to pack into the weekend so here’s the tale of my fashion frolics thanks to Topshop!

Saturday: Somerset House and Valentino

First stop was Somerset House: the home of LFW. The energetic atmosphere and parade of fashion was like nothing I have experienced. Next season’s style is being dictated by the street and it was never more apparent with the vivid colours and unique looks on display. We were there also to see the Valentino: Master of Couture Exhibition. This was one exhibition I did not want to miss and it did not disappoint. Featuring Maison Valentino design sketches and fabric swatches and an array of gowns from the archive as well as personal letters from the likes of Anna Wintour and Diana Vreeland. I fell in love with the A-line shift dresses from the ’60s and Jackie Kennedy Onassis’s wedding dress (from her wedding to Aristotle Onassis) was a personal highlight.

Sunday: Topshop Unique AW13 Show

Topshop booked us into the elegant St. Martin’s Lane Hotel for our last night and who should we spot but Olivia Palermo en route from the Whistles show for a quick change before heading over to the Tanks at the Tate Modern for Topshop Unique AW13.

We arrived at the Tanks and hung out with the head office team at the pop-up Topshop café celeb-spotting and checking out who’s wearing what. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was psyched to see what Unique AW13 had in store. We ran into the gorgeous Irish TV presenter and stylist Angela Scanlon who looked resplendent in Unique SS13 duffle coat and yellow trousers and was my best dressed at the show. She was so lovely and it’s no surprise that her star is on the rise in the fashion world having been touted as the one to watch in 2013 by Vogue.

We took our seats and the show kicked off to a rocking soundtrack of Melanie Pain, Rodion, the Smiths and Suzanne Vega. The show itself was seamless despite the frenzy of earlier preparations. The Tanks was the perfect venue as the minimalist interior of the space really allowed the colours and textures of the new collection to shine through. All the hard work paid off as it was a triumph of a collection with something for everyone. Any one of the stellar pieces on show could be incorporated into any wardrobe. I adored the patent skirts, print jumpers, handbags and boots, the leather lined fur coat and the dusky pink boyfriend coat.

After the show we headed back to St. Martin’s Lane for a well-deserved cocktail or two, on a high after a truly amazing experience.

Monday: Man Ray and NOPI

Breakfast in St. Martin’s Lane for us was work time for some of our fellow guests. We spotted fashion editors from Vogue Paris reviewing video clips of the shows over breakfast at the next table. No rest during LFW it seems. After breakfast, we popped in to see the Man Ray Portraits Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. It was a surrealist trip through art and fashion in Paris, London and Hollywood from the 1920’s to 1970’s. I loved Man Ray’s stunning 1968 photo of Catherine Deneuve for the Sunday Times Magazine. In the main collection, I also spotted this fabulous Anna Wintour portrait that I wanted to take home with me.

Next stop was Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI in Soho for a leisurely lunch with friends before heading back to Dublin. The food was utterly delicious. We munched on courgette fritters, lemon chicken and peanut butter and caramel ice cream before catching the Tube back to Heathrow for our flight home.

A massive thanks to Topshop and their team for making this trip so special and something that will live with me for years to come.