Filing LFW Daily copy and celebrating Britishness on LFW AW11 day three

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English pastoral scene, according to Mulberry AW11

Meeting a personal icon certainly kickstarts your day with a zing. Today I found myself sharing a ride to Margaret Howell with uber-talented artist Julie Verhoeven, where we swung our heels from the slightly-too high benches as we watched – and she sketched – Howell’s consummate AW11 collection parade the length of her gallery-like store. Writing in The LFW Daily, Linda Grant put it so much more eloquently than me, but there is something about the reliability of Howell’s aesthetic, and the continuity and clarity of her vision which does make one feel that if they could fill their wardrobe with her garb, life would be simplified and straightfoward (though possibly a little too organised!)

But I’m not just here to gawp at the vetements, non – I’m tasked with tracking down The Times’s fashion ed, Lisa Armstrong, to grab a quote on Twitter etiquette for the article that I have to file by midday. While last season the designers were in a tiz due to tweets of their designs hitting the Twittersphere before they hit the catwalk, it seems now the fashion press are being shoulder surfed – with innocuous or private conversations paraphrased in 140 characters. While I embrace the creative potential of the digital landscape, writing this article provides a much-needed ‘pause for thought’ moment; I realise that if I am going to write well, and really sop up fashion week, having too many facets of interest becomes detrimental and I resolve to focus on one task at a time (cue blog posts becoming non-existent for the duration of LFW – oops).

From Margaret Howell, to another perspective of Englishness from Mulberry, where more taxidermy (what did I tell ya?! Trend!) adorned a hyperreal take on the rural idyll, moss and ivy creeping up the walls as foxes curled up asleep, still birds
among bracken and bare branches, and technicolour toadstools bursting forth. And once quotes are gathered (thanks also to The Sunday Times’s Style’s Richard Gray) and copy filed, I am back out again – hitting Topshop Unique, Osman Yousefzada and Richard Nicoll in quick succession. In conversations between shows I am commissioned to interview up-and-coming hat maestro Nazir Mazhar at his AW11 presentation, which is installed in a nightclub-like space adjacent and immediately after Nicoll’s sport luxe stunners. His provocative, visceral presentation was the antithesis of the pastiche of the morning – in the course of the day I travelled from one end of the British spectrum to the very other. Thought-provoking. A 250-word article (with a picture and everything) to be completed by lunchtime tomorrow, I decide to get a head start by writing it out, long-hand in my school notebook (a great way to work without distraction!)

Go to The LFW Daily for official London Fashion Week reports, features and generally the lighter side to the capital’s fashion!

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