WHO: Michael Van Der Ham, master of texture and hands down the nicest man in fashion.
WHAT: His SS15 catwalk show, dedicated to the late Professor Louise Wilson OBE, who taught him at CSM.
WHERE: The Topshop Show Space in King’s Cross.
THE GUESTS: We chatted to singer Jess Glynne over mini breakfast baps in the café, crushed on Susie Bubble’s pink fluffy jumper and spied Net-a-Porter President Alison Loehnis on the front row.
COLLECTION IN 5 WORDS: Ladylike, appliqué, sequins, overlay, sunnies.
INSPIRED BY: His starting point was fabric. “There were no specific references as such, more a process of investigating new materials,” he explained backstage. “I work with two embroidery studios in Surrey and it was a long process of trying out different techniques until we were happy.”
WHAT WE LOVED: The incredible textures – mixing macramé lace, floral appliques, and overlayed silk georgette (to name a few). Also the Strictly-style sequins and round sunglasses with Clockwork Orange ‘lashes’.
HERO PIECE: The shoes! Michael created platform loafers in patent leather, powder blue suede and denim-like jacquard. We’ll take one of each.
HAIR & BEAUTY: A team of MAC artists kept make-up fresh faced, adding a single gold sequin on each eye-lid. Hershesons stylist Luke took care of the hair, saying “Michael’s clothes are so detailed, you just want to throw the hair up in a messy bun” – get the look with our step-by-step tutorial on Facebook.
WHAT THE SHOW NOTES SAID: “The SS15 collection focuses on custom designed fabrics and georgette with multi-layered textiles.”
WHAT THE EDITORS SAID:
@womensweardaily: “Chic, romantic girls at Michael van der Ham.”
@BazaarUK: “Layer-up in @m_van_der_ham’s collection made for modern romantics”
Trains. Trains. Trains. These might be the three things that come to mind when thinking of London’s King’s Cross but not for long. After a huge renovation across the area and as this season’s spot for Topshop’s Showspace, it’s about time we got opened minded about King’s Cross and shared our London love outside of Hackney and Soho!
Fashion Week Pick
It wasn’t just us who choose the area for fashion week but our fellow high-streeters, Whistles, too! The gorgeous palm print and texture-heavy show took place in LED-lit tunnels of King’s Cross underground station – who knew commuting was so chic?!
The New CSM Space
Central Saint Martin‘s college is one of the most established fashion schools out there. With alumni including Phoebe Philo, Christopher Kane and J.W.Anderson, there’s really no better place to hone your skills in central London. Previously in a rundown building in Holborn, Saint Martin’s has moved to the very high-tech building north of the station next to the uber cool cafe Caravan and surrounded by mesmerising light-up water features. How fashion!
Drink Shop Do
If there’s one place where you’ll get a rare and rowdy night – generally themed to perfection – it’s Drink Shop Do. Housed on Caledonian road, this two-story space has nightly events that range from Thriller-inspired dance classes to “Play-Doh Ghetto Blasters” . Our favourite? The Night of a Thousand Bushes where you’re encouraged to dress like your favourite version of Kate Bush with prizes for the most lols costume.
Instagrams clockwise from @ticketybooevents, @sarahphelpscreative, @scrapbi and @heartzeena
When London’s fashionable bunch aren’t eating out at Chiltern Firehouse they’re dining at Shrimpy’s. The hip and happening canal side resto serves up the most delicious soft shell crab burgers and insane lobster salads. Seafood not your thing? Stick to the deep fried pickles, guacamole and prosecco on tap.
The House of Illustration
Loved Roald Dahl as a child? We did! So what better way to embrace your inner kid than with a trip to the House of Illustration which is currently showing an exhibition dedicated to Dahl’s right hand man and illustrator, Quentin Blake.
Kerb Food Festival
Everything you could ever want in one food festival, Kerb happens every single week day from 12-2. Our favourite? Batch Bakery. Order the chocolate brownie with salted caramel in the middle and choose between a little scoop of cookie dough or oreo fudge with hot chocolate sauce on top. I MEAN. COME ON!
WHO: Freshly graduated from Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East fold, Ashley Williams showed her first NEWGEN sponsored show straight after Topshop Unique.
WHERE: The Topshop Show Space in King’s Cross.
FRONT ROW: Fashion’s favourite buyer Yasmin Sewell, The Sunday Time’s new wardrobe mistress Pandora Sykes and Lulu Kennedy with her baby girl Rainbow.
COLLECTION IN 5 WORDS: Fun, graphics, layers, sparkles, Coca-Cola.
INSPIRED BY: Ashley took inspiration from Asia in the ’60s, when Western branding created a whole new aesthetic culture.
WHAT WE LOVED: Her sense of fun – coming through in ‘Kick Ass’ slogans, plus quirky layering like glitter bralets worn over dresses and long-sleeved tops under everything.
HERO PIECE: The Coca-Cola sweater. This season Ashley partnered with Coca-Cola to create LOLs graphics of coke cans wearing sunglasses.
HAIR & BEAUTY: Beauty went completely against the natural trend sweeping the SS15 catwalks. Hair went greasy ‘n’ grungy with wispy strands pulled over the face, while make-up offered bright fuchsia eye shades, thick eyeliner, penciled in brows AND deep purple lips – sometimes all in one look.
WHAT THE SHOW NOTES SAID: “The collection defines and defies trends with an effortless wit and charm.”
WHAT THE EDITORS SAID:
@PandoraSykes: “THE SIXTIES ARE DEFO HERE for ss15. Adorable disco mini dresses at #Ashley Williams.”
@Indyfashion: “Ashley Williams is a fresh talent who shows London is in no danger of losing its cool crown.”
All right, we know it’s important what’s ON the catwalk but we’re also pretty obsessed with who’s watching from the front row. Get the skinny on the style tribes at Topshop Unique’s SS15 show….
If there’s one it-girl to out IT them all, it’s Alexa Chung. Toting the cutest pigtails and a butter yellow Unique sweater Ms Chung squeezed alongside her gal pals, DJ Harley Viera-Newton and model-turned-cookery writer Daisy Lowe to make up the most adorable little crew. The ITs didn’t end there, with Pixie Geldof, Poppy Delevingne, Laura Bailey and Clara Paget, all tweeting, instagramming and sharing love while the photographers snapped away.
Look but don’t touch…There’s no more sought-after fashion show attendee than Anna Wintour. American Vogue’s editor in chief graced us with her presence – her bob and her sunnies in tow – to perch next to Mr Topshop himself, Sir Philip Green. Amongst the two fashion heavyweights was actress Hailee Steinfeld of True Grit and the upcoming Romeo and Juliet, wearing a Topshop Unique AW14 dress that the whole office is coveting!
THE YOUNG AND TALENTED
Although Hailee Steinfeld took up a cosy seat next to Sir Philip Green and Anna Wintour there was even more young talent sat along the white washed benches. The artist behind our album of 2013 (and Topshop Unique regular) Jessie Ware sat front row and waxed lyrical about the brand, “you guys set trends!” Whereas twin songstresses Say Lou Lou giggled to the camera in their awesome crop tops and singers Pixie Lott and Ellie Goulding took their seats moments before the lights went down. And the boys? Well, actor Jamie Campbell-Bower looked insanely handsome sat front row whilst whooping on girlfriend Matilda Lowther, who he very cutely calls his “dragon”!
THE BLOGGER BRIGADE
We’re always been bigging up the bloggers we’re loving on Topshop so there was no surprise we had an entire block dedicated to some of our favourites. This season we went all out with the big guns with a front row featuring Leandra Medine of Manrepeller, Danielle Berntein of WhoWhatWear and the wonderful Bryan Boy. WE LOVE!
Frilly knickers, stick-of-rock stripes, dance hall sparkle… Unique SS15 kicked off at 3pm today and brought the faded glamour of the British seaside to a car park in King’s Cross. And why not? From the Pier to the Pleasure Beach to the dance-all-night adventures, it was a sea-sprayed celebration of British youth culture that lives for the weekend. Bring on next summer…
THE GIRLS: It was #Generationgirl all the way with campaign girl Cara opening and closing the show, followed by her mighty girl gang of Lily Donaldson, Sam Rollinson, Jourdan Dunn, Malaika Firth and Devon Windsor. Chills. Multiplying.
THE INSPIRATION: Backstage after the show, Topshop’s Creative Director Kate Phelan said: “This season we went to the old grass roots of Britain. We went to Blackpool – from the Pleasure Beach to the ballroom. We wanted to capture that real spirit of youth in Northern England.”
THE BOY-GIRL BLEND: It was all about mixing lad’s sportswear (think old-school cycling jerseys, tracky tops and sporty skirts) but keeping it feminine with the frills, ruffles and sparkles (Strictly Come Dancing, anyone?).
THE HERO PIECES: Striped leather Harrington, colour-block cycling jerseys, sporty minis, crystal-adorned dance gowns, frilly knickers. Head of Design Emma Farrow summed it up before the show: “It’s about mixing up the sporty and the soft – great summer clothes and beautiful dresses”.
THE COLOURS: Bold primaries dashed with ice-cream pastels: pillar box red, sherbet lemon, pistachio, Rouge Noir.
‘Our Lips Are Sealed’ Fun Boy Three
‘Love Letters’ Metronomy (Soulwax Remix)
‘Time’ Jungle (Joe Goddard Remix)
‘Can’t Do Without You’ Caribou
‘Tainted Love’ Gloria Jones
WHAT DID THE FRONT ROW SAY?
Jessie Ware: “I loved the sporty mixed with the sparkles and I’ve totally got my eye on the striped leather jacket!”
Daisy Lowe: “I loved the sheer dresses – anything sparkly always floats my boat.”
Grazia’s Jane Bruton: “Sweet, sporty, saucy finale at Topshop Unique.”
Porter’s Lucy Yeomans: Unique British beauties @caradelevingne & official_lily_donaldson light up the catwalk at @topshop.”