Chutzpah’s Weekly Barometer – LFW edition

by Katie on February 24, 2013

We’ve survived yet another season of queuing in Arctic conditions for hours, forced starvation, and the sea of self-publicising non-entities in the Somerset House courtyard, to bring you all the news from the London catwalks:


Cara – She loves to eat, and party with “wifey” Rita Ora, but we fell in love with Cara Delevigne after seeing this video of her, Jourdan Dunn, and Rosie Tapner doing the Harlem Shake backstage at Topshop Unique.

Cold Shoulder – It’s all about the bare shoulder this Winter, as seen as Christopher Kane, Fyodor Golan, and Marios Schwab (pictured left).

Richard Nicoll – Nicoll’s cool, refined Autumn/Winter 2013 proposal is the collection that Victoria Beckham wishes she could “design”.

Ethereality Bites – At Mary Katrantzou and Maria Grachvogel. Moody, barely-there prints of landscapes and woodland.

The Walking Dead – There was something of the night about Erdem, Giles, and Roksanda Ilincic’s models.

Hitchcock Blondes – Courtesy of Temperley London’s acutely conceived and realised collection.

Sex Sells – Fifties pin-ups at Jonathan Saunders. Aminaka Wilmont’s kick-ass action heroines. This was the season that London brought sexy back.

Peter Pilotto – Inspired by Spanish Renaissance art, Peter Pilotto showed one of their strongest and most convincing collections to date.

P’trique! C’est Chic! – The hirsute social media star photobombed up-and-comers Ostwald Helgason and literally stole the show clean away from Kinder Aggugini.

Winter Pastels – Jackie J.S. Lee and Simone Rocha’s muted palette was a welcome relief from the monochrome and splashes of rich colour which dominated London.

‘Morning After’ style Hair & Make-Up – Slightly wet clingy hair and lightly bruised coloured lips or eyes. Yup! We can do that. We have enough practice.

ME Hotel – It’s not yet open for business (properly) and already Me Hotel is wowing the fash pack, yet the staff seem somewhat unprepared for the hoo-haa. It may have been the first time there for most of us but not the last with that entrance and that rooftop bar. UGG took over penthouse to show their latest collection and dispense gorgeous comfy slippers to aching feet. Inspired.

Frowbacks – Tom Ford and L’Wren Scott may have attracted some big names but most London designers had to content themselves with the cast of ‘Made In Chelsea’ and The Saturdays.

Clompy Thick Heels – They may be sensible but THEY’RE SO NOT SEXY.

Spitting Feathers – We would argue the practicality of feathers in Winter, as seen at Christopher Kane, Mark Fast, and Pringle, but when was fashion ever practical?

Ri-Ri-Wind – Scores of editors wish that they could have the hour plus of their lives back that Rihanna and River Island wasted to go and watch Thomas Tait’s catwalk show instead. We applaude River Island’s astute marketing link with Rihanna. But not during London Fashion Week. Attention should be focused on proper designers, PLEASE.

Animal House – Leopard. Amazingly, still everywhere. It’s time for London to change its spots.

Flash Mob – Tom Ford’s brash, maximal Versace moment (pictured right) was a surprising departure from his usual tastefully-executed collections. We may forgive him as we adore the sequin pants.

Waiting In Vain – Yes, we know that fashion runs to its own schedule (usually an hour behind everyone else’s) but we froze for 90 minutes outside a venue last Saturday, and then waited another 30 minutes inside.

Not So Smiley – Thank you Fyodor Golan and Smiley London for reminding us that this year is the 25th anniversary of Acid House, and that we were there the first time around.

Live and Direct – The trend for invitations to live-streamed shows/parties continues. Because everyone cares about a show or a party they weren’t invited to, don’t they?

Austerity Measures – Is it us or was London low on fun this season? Even the desperados in the courtyard of Somerset House looked bored.

Kane and Unable – Despite that investment by PPR, and a sprawling Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, we still don’t get the whole Christopher Kane thing (pictured left). Congratulations on the quickest camouflage revival in history Chris.

Much has been written about the circus surrounding London Fashion Week, with barbed comments thrown backwards and forwards between established fashion journalists and the fashion bloggers (like us) who they feel have encroached on their patch. “Blogger” became a dirty word a few seasons back, forcing those more established to find new phrases to define themselves. The main problem is that the organisers of London Fashion Week haven’t moved on, and Blogger has become a sweeping generalisation to describe anyone working in New Media, regardless of following, status or influence.

The inference is that ‘Bloggers’ have no experience, except many have already worked, or are working, in creative industries, including fashion and textiles. Brands have created a separatist culture where “proper” journalists are invited to one event (even by alleged self-proclaimed pro social media/digital brands), and Bloggers another. This is not helping that us-and-them mindset. At all.

There are some great and not-so-great fashion writers in the blogosphere, as there are in traditional print journalism, and we share their passion and commitment to British fashion. It’s time for the British Fashion Council to create a new set of criteria to sort out the wheat from the chaff, to ensure that the message reaches the best possible audience.

The one big difference London Fashion Week could make to this debate is to close the gates of Somerset House to everyone bar those with accreditation. If someone is having their picture taken outside a fashion show or, as we witnessed this season, sat inside, then they’re missing the point completely. London Fashion Week is about promoting others’ design talent, not you.

Barometer compiled by Lee Clatworthy (@TeamChutzpah) and Katie Chutzpah. Please feel free to leave a comment.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cherie City February 25, 2013 at 11:40 am

Blogger has become a dirty word, but finding alternative names to describe what we actually are isn’t going to change perceptions. In fact, it makes bloggers look pretty weak and self-hating. If you attend LFW and your sole coverage is on your blog, the BFC rightly views you as a blogger, not a PR/Stylist/Writer with a Camera. Bloggers need to realise this and reclaim the word in a positive way.


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