Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week: Margaret Howell

The Event: With the opening of the first Swarovski Crystallized cosmos and lounge inevitably came a lavish party, help more about and it came on the first day of London Fashion Week. A vast cosmos opposite Liberty’s, more about on Great Marlborough Street, Swarovski Crystallized is an impressively slick space with a ground floor showing off brightly lit cases of crystals and an open planned lounge on the second floor- the hub of the event. There were scattered mannequins modelling Swarovski’s collaborations with designers such as Emma Cook, Giles Deacon and Gareth Pugh, a trio of girl DJs accompanied by an extremely glum looking rollerblader doing circles and a projected catwalk show. The lounge effect was created by leather sofas and glass box tables containing crystals that, due to the light below sparkled like John Travolta‘s eyes. Extravagant Lily arrangements stood upon wonderful glass tables filled with accessible plastic crystals that common folk were taking sly pocketfuls of.


The guests: The event was busier than a guest appearance of a Big Brother contestant at your local nightclub (just to lower the tone). It was an effort to mingle, but mingle we did, and interesting people we met. First there was the Russian (below). He was a magician with a hat infested with badges, mind-boggling card tricks and a Japanese Jewellery designer assistant. Then there was the Irish web journalist (oh a connection), who thought I was Irish (second guess American)- good chat up line mate- imagine fat bastard from Austin Powers, but not fat. And then there was the hat lady who I think may have got tonight’s invite mixed up for lady’s day at Ascot. Despite the quirky mentionable selection, the general crowd were actually quite a hip bunch, and killer heels were widespread.


The refreshments: Male models from London Fashion Week may well have been doing a bit of overtime at Swarovski’s bar. Lychee Martinis, something elderflower and never ending flutes of Moet were the main tipples of the evening. And to line our stomachs were many nibbles from heaven- notably the hot buttery scallops in a seashell and on a rustic stick with a shell tip, all presented on a flora tray.

The Freebies: A delightful goody bag enclosing a £5 voucher (that will go far), a crystal transfer and a necklace that will stay in its preferred packaging.

The conclusion:
A warm and welcoming reception with no pretentiousness. Decent music, good shoes, great drinks, even better food, hot waiters and oh yeah- a great place with some stunning crystal drenched dresses and dozens of real crystals that would put Travolta’s eyes and fortune to shame!

An anti-landfill accessories label founded by Kirsty Kirkpatrick was personally discovered at Up-Market on Sunday via Brick Lane. I just fell in love with her stuff right there and then! She creates jewellery from broken jewellery and generally gathering bits and bobs together. She also uses random recycled materials, approved such as wood from old furniture, second hand fabrics, wine boxes, biscuit boxes, clock components and vinyl from suitcases. Plus, she prints organic nature designs on these very objects, which make them contemporary as well as edgy. All these materials are cleverly put together and thus, her pieces are very unique and different from others. Her Jewellery is thoughtfully constructed, but yet shows femininity and had an urban, cool feel to it. All the jewelleries were one-offs made by her personally; no one else would have the same jewellery as you!

I love the whole concept of this brand, that you can look quirky and fashionable and at the same time there is no exploitation of workers and limited damage to nature – I found her jewellery very fascinating. She has just finished a new collection, which is still in the same style but more romantic and pretty, using lots of ribbons and attention-grabbing shapes of objects. Kirsty’s jewellery ranges from necklaces and earrings to broach pins. Also at a very reasonable price I would say, think about the satisfaction you could get out of Kirsty Kirkpatrick jewellery. Every time I wear her creations someone always compliments me; and this can only be a good thing.




East London label Junky Styling is one of the original ethical fashion labels, viagra buy and I have worked with them for a long time. Yet, sickness they have just executed another fantastic fashion show during London Fashion Week. The show was called ‘Junky Show Off’. And yes! It did exactly what it said on the tin. They showed us how skilful they are and offered endless possibilities of what recycled fashion can do; it was full to the brim of fascinating clothes.

The venue was at The Brick House on Brick Lane. In side it was all white, white stage, white floor, and there was a film running on an enormous white wall. And here comes the significant couture dresses on parade! It started with military inspired garments, which yet remained very sexy. Red ribbons and red lips created a seductive image. The show was based on Femme Fatal so there was a prevalence of women power. I loved the dress made out of a shirt, which had very long tail of frills on the back of the dress, and I also liked the scary, prosecution couples’ garment! The eye accessories added a mysterious beauty to the overall style of the garments. Also, I must say that music there was very good – it was performed by My Toys Like Me, and the lead female vocalist was very cute in her Junky clothes too! I had a very good time there and the audience were all seen to be happy and smiling. And the goodie-bag, like always, gave me an even bigger smile.




England’s King Henry VIII appeared at Betty Jackson‘s A/W 2008 show, malady emblazoned on a pair of black hotpants. With a catwalk strewn with brightly patterned rugs, models took on the feminine collection. Colours were confidently thrown together in an unconventional manner, although not enough to offend. Navy, brown, and grey were contrasted with bold coloured knits in magenta, red, yellow and orange.

A bottle green coat with short, bell sleeves contrasted with an orange knitted jumper.
Red and silver sequins sparkled on bodices, necklines and headbands, and also dusted across the model’s cheekbones and tights. Red ribbons tied in a bow fell down the back of necks, and high waists were accentuated with thin patent belts. A mustard knitted polo neck was paired with wide, grey stirrup trousers with tights. A see-through pink mac was put over a silk, beige dress with circular panels, and light grey transparent dresses and tops revealed the structure of the seams.

Woollen tights in brown, cream and burgundy fitted into brown chunky heels, while orange and pink gauntlets sprouted from sleeves. Yellow and pink sunflowers bloomed onto skirts and coats only briefly. A wool beige dress was worn over cropped trousers. Coats either had cropped, or rolled up sleeves and often layered over knee-length skirts and jumpers, or dresses. Jackson, who has been showing at London Fashion Week for 25 years, didn’t seem be phased by her new, more youthful competitors like Marios Schwab or Christopher Kane, and revealed a stunning and successful collection.

It was 10.45am and London was shrouded in fog. It was an unsettling backdrop for the super-hyped Marios Schwab show. Once we had been shepherded in (after a long wait outside courtesy of stupid standing tickets) the show was quick to start.
I never thought I’d pity models, page but the girls looked miserable (although it’s easy to confuse misery with their ‘catwalk look’) as they slithered along, their legs tightly bound up by Schwab’s head-to-toe dresses and their feet clad in unfeasibly huge platforms.
Some of the prints looked like they were lifted from a Jackson Pollock art-piece, but once viewed closer it turned out to be pornographic images overlaid with William Morris prints. It was nice for Fashion Week to get a little subversive before my breakfast’s digested.
There were coats, of course, but these could have been found in a high street sale section. Schwab showed a cropped double-breasted jacket, and two feathery jackets (one cream, one navy) all of which I saw in Topshop last October.
The inspiration for this collection was from a Charlotte Perkins Gilman novella, The Yellow Wallpaper, in which a woman goes mad after being confined by her husband in their attic with only the eponymous wallpaper to look at. The combination of this literary reference, spooky fog, bondage dresses and macabre music made for a show that was darker than Gareth Pugh‘s nightmares.


Photography courtesy of Sanam Peshimam
People say fashionably late. Is this because all the fashion shows get delayed? Well… it seems like it. We arrived on time and waited in a queue for at least half an hour with still no sign of entry. I generally hate waiting and this was the longest wait I had to do this year…

Anyway, approved we finally got in and a lovely lady in white fairy dress welcomed us. We were seated on black benches where a ring sized chocolate box wrapped in a ribbon lay. Good thing is that berube show started short after we were seated. The collection was called Audrey’s Dance and showed at On/Off. Socking pink lips and incredibly wedged fur shoes attracted my initial attention. The whole style of the collection was purely white, see grey, decease black and hot pink. Although the dresses were simply one tone colours, they were played around with different kinds of folding skills, draping and pleating. Also every now again, I saw shiny and glossy jackets and skirts, which made the style exciting. Soft and light chiffon was used a lot within the collection to create sagging pockets and smock dresses. It went well with romantic jazz music that sounded like the night with its occasional owl sounds. But I felt the show finished very quickly. I did not feel satisfied to be honest. I feel it could be more and the show was cut off in the middle of something…




Probably THE most illegal album ever, sildenafil Pittsburgh-based cut and paste mash-up DJ Gregg Gillis puts the oo in booty shaker.

Sampling from the likes of big guns P Diddy, stuff Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Ludacris, Missy Misdemeanour and 50 ‘I would f* myself if I could’ cent, to name but a few, Gillis throws together every genre under the sun to create a truly pulsating head-banger of a record.

Night Ripper essentially favours old-skool hip-hop beats and lyrics, which are remixed with the most unlikely of partners. In homage to Jay Z‘s unusual, but highly praised collaboration with Linkin Park some years back, this album blurs the division between very separate genres on our musically charged planet. The suspects which threw me most were a sudden appearance of emo-led Phantom Planet, a bit of Britney pop we all know and love, and believe it or not, some Spandau Ballet, as well as a little sing-along Oasis. Punjabi MC relives a few seconds of fame and lucky us, we also get to see the return of the Mack somewhere amongst the intelligent mess. A little birdie has told me that all in all 164 artists are included in just forty minutes of sampledellic heaven. The catch is that you now have to find these little gems – good luck.

It is impossible to identify the amount of thieving this album has consummated as every track delivers about five seconds – if you’re lucky – of one snip-it, and then flips over to something utterly different before you’ve even comprehended what the track sounded like those few seconds ago. Each second, no, millisecond, offers something fresh and so clean, clean, and jerks around like the bum which WILL automatically bounce up and down once you put this album on, even if you would rather it not. Remix albums are not uncommon in this day and age, but Gregg has perfected the art of piecing together a thumpin’ great, illegitimate compilation every shindig needs. I for one am addicted; it’s every ravenous music fan’s dream. So what if it’s not legit? It’s always more exciting that way. POW!


Half an hour before the appointed time, dosage Lauren, this Charlotte and I strolled up to the doors of H&M‘s new flagship store, viagra buy anticipating a monstrous queue for the overbooked launch party.
“Excuse me, can we go in now or should we wait ’til seven?” I politely enquired to one of the suited doormen – “the store isn’t open to the public ’til tomorrow” was his aloof reply, followed by an embarrassed ‘wuh-oh’ face when I told him we had tickets. Not a good start, but I was still convinced it was going to be a fantastic night. Once joined by Miss Jade Mortimer, we filed in along the red carpet and were greeted by a neat line of young men in black bowler hats and braces serving flutes of champagne from nifty perspex trays, and the store was revealed to us; a shiny cave of wonders with two enormous escalators as a dramatic criss-crossing backdrop to the rear of the cavernous ground floor. We swanned around, trying to avoid getting carried away with the twenty-five per cent discount and graciously accepting the frequent offers of a champagne refill.
Downstairs we discovered a banquet fit for Marie Antoinette that consisted entirely of confectionary: red and gold sweets on silver platters, stacks of brownies sprinkled with silver glitter, pastel-coloured cupcakes and bouquets of strawberries dipped in chocolate, not to mention the towers of pink layer-cake and caramelized custard. Oh, how we indulged. It must’ve cost as much as Queen Antoinette earned in a year too, hinting at a healthy flow of cash which somehow gets hidden away when it comes to advertising. The invitation itself was also a little on the over-the-top and un-environmentally friendly side, in the form of plastic slides which slot into a large plastic viewmaster, never to be used again! Anita Roddick will be turning in her grave.
Lauren and Jade became distracted by a sighting of some rather delectable spotty socks, so Charlotte and I trotted over to visit the nice lady with a tray of oysters, which added a mature, savoury element to our dinner which hitherto consisted of champagne and sweeties.


Sophie Ellis Bextor was perusing the kids’ section which we were standing in for about forty minutes, along with Kelly Osbourne, whilst waiting for one of the two toilets to become available. By now, the endless flow of champagne was starting to take effect, so I thought it was about time I made a fool of myself in front of some people from Hollyoaks (hi, Max). Determined to track down Guy Burnet – the lovely Craig Dean of the aforementioned soap – who I had spotted a few moments earlier, I grabbed a reluctant Charlotte to join me on a Craig-hunt through the sea of guests, which was sadly unfruitful. Blinkered by my adoration for Guy’s fictional character, I managed to miss most of Mark Ronson‘s performance, but it sounded pretty awesome as I wove my way between fashionably-dressed bodies – now alone as Charlotte had given up on the quest.
Three and a half hours later the party was ending, the champagne and cocktails had run dry, and once we’d spotted the free heart-shaped boxes filled with further sugar-coated goodness (I thought I was being naughty taking three until Lauren showed me the five she had discreetly wedged into her bag) we felt content enough to leave. The cold air smacked our rosy cheeks and we scurried off to the tube station where we drunkenly decided it would be an ace idea to lie on the floor with our heart-shaped boxes and take photos. H&M, welcome to Regent Street.



At last, ask a collection that is entirely wearable and that would be flattering to a wide spectrum of women. This description shouldn’t be interpreted as dull and uncreative because it certainly wasn’t- Margaret Howell‘s A/W 08 collection just wasn’t as out of reach and eccentric as a lot of things that have been making their way down the catwalks this week.


Thick knits, sick tweed, cashmere, corduroy and riding boots created an air of country chic and represented classic English style. Wide leg and high-wasted tailored trousers and dresses in earthy winter colours of sage greens, browns and blacks were the base of the collection. Heavy belted coats and casual t-shirts accompanied this skilful tailoring. Beautifully tailored and with detailed pleating, Howell’s clothes were wonderfully designed and would be key pieces to any woman’s imminent winter wardrobe.

Hints of hot pink checks, subtle red coat linings and blue denim and silk shirts spiced up the mild winter colours. Occasional evening glam items cropped up in the otherwise casual, yet smart and elegant collection. Rural windswept waves and plenty of mossy eyeshadow completed this sophisticated and wearable every day fashion.

Categories ,Fashion London Fashion Week Margaret Howell Eccentric Knit Tweed Cashmere

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