Influencer, stylista and Citizen Femme guest contributor, Isabella Charlotta Poppius, goes behind the scenes and gives us an insight into a typical day at London Fashion Week. Get an inside look into what preparations, presentations and parties keep her busy.
The day before…
For many in the industry, fashion week preparations start weeks before. They prepare their outfits by either ticking pieces off their wish lists or by arranging to borrow looks from showrooms, undertaking various grooming and healthy detox or fitness routines, as well pouring over their scheduling and research.
In contrast, the only things that I really try to get done ahead of the craziness is paying a visit to my amazing colourist and hair technician and catching up on any research for what I will be seeing at the shows, as well as any general industry news. The rest falls into place organically – often I tend choose outfits the night before. Unless I am being dressed by a brand, I like to dress according to how I feel and for me it is important to also be weather appropriate. This season I am feeling prints in feminine patterns and this stunning skirt from Johanna Ortiz is a good place to start building an outfit. I find that having the right underpinnings can make you feel more confident and a gorgeous lace bra from Anine Bing is a comfortable way to feel sexy – I won’t feel self conscious if a little bra peeks out from underneath a slightly undone blouse! Finishing touches include an evergreen blazer by Gabriela Hearst and velvet mules that match the skirt.
As I have chosen my outfit the night before – the most time consuming part of my morning is my skin routine – I place a lot of emphasis on skin hydration and I achieve this layering serums such as NIOD’s Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex with 111Skin’s Space Antioxidant Booster. I then seal it all in with a protective moisturiser that has an SPF. All those fashion week tipples can really dehydrate your skin!
Choosing the right handbag or clutch for the day is hard enough, however, I try not to carry too much with me. At all times I need to have mattifying blotting paper, a lip balm or gloss, a bottle of water and some chewing gum or mints. Bag permitting, I usually like to carry more makeup with me as I apply it on-the-go to save time – I think that there’s no shame in touch-ups in the taxi or tube!
LFW BEAUTY ESSENTIALS
This season I am thrilled to be involved with the British Fashion Council in supporting younger up-and-coming brands, so I first head to 180 Strand which is the official Main Hub for London Fashion Week. There I attend a presentation for Clio Peppiatt which is a fun London-based brand known for its young and playful aesthetic. This collection is no exception with plenty of sequins and frilly details, presented in shades of chartreuse, hot pink and forest green.
I also pay a visit to the Italian costume jewellery brand Rosantica’s space in the Designer Showrooms – they have the most stunning jewellery collection which is versatile enough for both day and night, and this season’s must see items are their collection of jewel-like bags.
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Just an amazing collab!! 😍 Rosantica bags for @peterpilotto RTW SS 19 fashion show in London. To die for! ✨ #amazing #catwalk #fashionshow #peterpilotto #ss19 #collaboration #perfect #match #rosantica #jewelry #jewels #bags #gold #handmade #precious #treasure #rosanticamoments #rosanticadna #joytotheworld
After my visit to 180 Strand, I have to grab a cab to the Alexa Chung show which marks the label’s first time on the official London Fashion Week calendar. It is a very wearable collection and the crystal embellished slides and hair clips, as well as a caramel coloured suede trench, get anyone excited for the next season.
It’s time to grab lunch at chic new boutique hotel L’Oscar – just a 10 minute walk away from the Fashion Hub at 180 Strand. My friend and I decide to dine on ceviche, BBQ onion raviolis and smoked salmon bagels – needless to say we are both satisfied. We have to grab a bathroom selfie as the decor is far too pretty to ignore. We also decide to drop by the relocated Shop at Bluebird for a little pick-me-up as they are hosting ‘Fashion Pharmacy’ with Biocol Labs – here they are happy to ‘prescribe’ you a remedy for Fashion Week fatigue.
Back to work! I’ve got a front row seat at the glamorous Jiri Kalfar show – the collection is inspired by my favourite aesthetic – 1970’s Studio 54! Also, the zero-waste and cruelty-free collection uses muskin (mushroom leather), corn and wood to replace leather for its clothing and shoes. I really admire when luxury brands come up with innovative new ways to tackle sustainability.
Next up is the Sadie Williams presentation – this is another 70’s-tinged collection with abstract vintage-inspired prints mixed in with shimmery lurex, however, the overall look comes across as very current. Japanese motocross racing was a source of inspiration for the designer as various iterations of the checkered-flag pattern appeared in the collection. I was also very impressed with the diverse casting of models in the Williams show – I find that London always struggles with this more so than, say, New York Fashion Week.
The last front row of the day awaits at yet another glamorous show, the Zeynep Kartal catwalk show at Goldsmith’s Hall. The venue is impressive and suits the red carpet ready pieces which no doubt will be worn on many a celebrity during the upcoming Awards Season. The label is known for its elegant and feminine silhouettes and I am already planning where I would wear the dusty pink, tiered tulle gown that closed the show…
I would usually head to Brett Redman and my friend Margaret Crow’s instagrammable seafood haunt, Neptune, however, I have friends that are over at Mortimer House Kitchen, a restaurant that is accessible to the public in an otherwise private member’s club Mortimer House.
The relaxed restaurant has a delectable Mediterranean menu with some Middle Eastern influences. My favourite items off the menu were the grilled octopus and charcoal cauliflower, although my friend’s shakshuka was enough to give me food envy. Before dessert arrives, I try and fit in some time to quickly look over the images or videos I captured throughout the day and ‘favourite’ the best ones to post as content.
Some Fashion Week attendees do multiple outfit changes per day and I just do not understand how they have the time! For me, one change is enough (although never say never!) and for the evening parties I like to slip into something that is a bit more comfortable and slightly less ‘delicate’, as drinks may be spilled and feet may get trampled on. Also, sticking to a darker colour palette helps to keep my mind at ease. The last stop for the night is the Alexa Chung afterparty at the American Express Platinum house; my go-to party look for the event is a flared leather skirt from Vanessa Bruno, a Paul & Joe cashmere tee – as the evenings in September can be a bit chilly in London, a statement jacket from the host brand itself and a pair of on-trend ankle boots from the one and only Alaïa.
LFW AT NIGHT
Fashion Week parties can be daunting and laced with unnecessary attitude, but spot some friends, some down-to-earth folks, who you can just let loose with. The rest of the night is spent singing along to 80’s Madonna, taking part in a dance catwalk with hostess Alexa herself, nibbling on rum chouxnuts (a cross between a choux bun and donut, what else?), and downing fresh mint and whiskey cocktails. The goal is to get home before 2am so that I can catch some sleep, before I have to do it all over again…
(Main photo credit: Abdiwali Samatar)