Olivia Rubin’s show was to be held at Jalouse in Hanover Square – a place I’d hear of but never actually ventured in to. It was to be my last womenswear show (although I didn’t know it at the time, ed such is life!) and after a long, grueling day I needed a big drink. Luckily, these were on hand.
Outside, glamorous ladies and gents queued to get in, all throwing their tickets into the air, shouting the names of their publications or various relationships with Olivia. When I finally got inside, the Only Way is Essex girl group Lola were being ravished by a pack of pervy photographers screaming their names. To my left was Danielle Lloyd, an intriguing shade of orange; to my right, Jason Gardiner sat in a booth surrounded by a harem of orange honeyz. Konnie Huq was there. What the hell was going on? I was completely baffled. We’d featured Olivia in the past – I adored her artists-inspired collection, but I had no idea she had such an, erm, orange following.
Illustration by Fritha Strickland
There were no seats available – the show was to take place on a precarious plinth around the main area of the club, with guests littered around the plinth in sunken seats. I positioned myself by a wall and necked a cocktail. Whilst waiting for the show to start, I Twittered and checked my emails, slightly aware of somebody standing next to me but not looking up to notice. Hilariously, it was contributor Lauren, who had been stood there for a good ten minutes without either of us realising. This is the kind of thing that happens to your brain during fashion week. I could have been stood next to Naomi Campbell and wouldn’t have noticed (not that Lauren isn’t gorgeous herself).
Illustration by Michelle Urval Nyrén
The show began to rapturous applause, with the first model coming out from behind a make-shift backstage area right behind where I was standing. It was difficult to know where to look, and I missed the first few outfits due to glaring at the audience and being mesmerised by Jalouse’s crystal ceiling.
Olivia has quickly risen up the fashion ranks with her playful, vibrant prints using a whole load of inspiration. This time was no exception – brick patterns, speech bubbles, floral prints on silk and animal prints were all on display under the glittery lights. The shapes and cuts seemed a little more sophisticated this time around – Olivia’s staple playful dresses were still there in vibrant colours, but the addition of figure-hugging jersey tops and cropped trousers added a new, demure look. Lace details had been added to some pieces, sexing them up a little. Jersey and silks had been married for great effect. Sexy translucent shirts worn over lace underwear add even more kink to this fab collection.
Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan
Illustration by Madi Illustrates
Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou
Many of the pieces featured wrap-around details that flatter the figure – not that any of these hot models needed any flattering, but I imagine that sweeping necklines and pinched waists can be pulled off by even the most Rubenesque figure. Longer, almost floor-length numbers with vibrant graphic patterns closed the show – the final walkthrough leaving me on edge as these glamorous girls in vertiginous heels swaggered around the raised plinth.
One of the Only Way Is Essex birds, illustrated by Lisa Stannard
After the show, me and Amelia enjoyed a cocktail or two and had a bit of a gossip, keeping one eye on the attendees. We stood near the official photo point, me with my camera around my neck – one of the guests asked if I could take her picture. She didn’t ask why I was taking pictures or which publication I was from, she just wanted her photograph taken. Well, why not? Here she is – I hope she sees it (and likes it, obv).
All photography by Matt Bramford
See more of Lisa and Michelle’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Olivia Rubin (by Amelia)
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlotte Eskildsen
- An interview with fashion designer Olivia Rubin
- Olivia Rubin collaborates with OPI to create her own shatter nail lacquer set
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran (by Matt)