Blink Events: London Fashion Week, why don’t you…?

Its the run up to London Fashion Week. The excitement is building, as are my wardrobe choices for the event…

I was just reading about Diana Vreeland in the recent US edition of Harpers Bazaar and it inspired me to give you all a bit of a ‘Why Don’t You…?’ list of things you could do in London during LFW. It won’t perhaps be as extravagant as some of Vreeland’s suggestions would have been, but we’ll give it our best shot!

Why don’t you…

have high tea, cocktails or dinner at the stunningly renovated St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

head to Harrods to enjoy the celebration of Chanel, including ‘Une Promenade’ on the 3rd floor- a collection of room sets which all represent different aspects of the brand, its founder and its current creative tour de force, Karl Largerfeld.

Chanel's 'Une Promenade' at Harrods

if you’re attending one of the shows being held at Waterloo’s old Eurostar terminal, why not take a moment to take a walk along the Southbank afterwards, to enjoy some of the best views of London alongside the Thames.

experience the newest retail space in London and head East to the enormous and amazing Westfield Stratford City. You’ll not only be shopping the newest shop fits and retail concepts, you’ll also be within glancing distance of the Olympic Village.

if you don’t have any shows planned for Friday morning, then why not take a step away from London Fashion Week, but also a step towards London Fashion by getting an early shot of inspiration at Portobello Market. Still a key location for vintage, and this is the best day to see it. When you’ve done the market, you can always walk up to Westbourne Grove and Ledbury Road to enjoy a more sedate retail experience in the world class boutiques lining these streets.

fill your boots in Topshop‘s flagship store at Oxford Circus. I know its gone global, but I do believe that there are still some lines that are produced for this store alone, so you can still find something fabulously unique that’s guaranteed not to break the bank either.

have a truly wonderful tea break. You know you deserve one. Yumchaa is our recommendation for tea that is an experience. From choosing from the diverse and eclectic flavours, to which cake you’ll have, to the moment you take your first sip- its all a delight.

have flowers delivered to you at home, your office or your hotel room. Scarlet and Violet is the only name that you need to know. Well, if this florist is good enough for Lily Allen and Kate Moss’s nuptials…

Scarlet and Violet

Colour Palette- Neutral meets Bright

I was passing by the lovely Hanina Gallery on Westbourne Grove a little while back when I spotted this painting. I just loved its energy and the combination of texture and colour. I’ve been stashing it on the back burner awaiting an opportune moment to share it with you. Its been a while since we featured an inspirational colour palette, so I decided now was the time to get this post out there.

I think its a great colour, pattern and mood inspiration for Autumn 2011. As we’re working on that season for clients this month, this has been front of mind for us. I think its the way that the artist has combined such rich neurals with those eye popping brights. But it doesn’t jar at all. It shows how you can be bold and brave, even while embracing the all important neutrals.

We have started with saturated black, followed with carbon (pantone 18-3905 TPX), noisette (18-1612 TPX), plaster (14-1310 TPX) and ivory (11-0104 TPX) to cover off the neutrals and soft tinted shades. Then add in rust (18-1250 TPX), tomato (17-1558 TPX), dark turquoise (16-4834 TPX) and cobalt (18-4148 TPX) to cater to those flashes of saturated colour.

a beautiful painting spotted in the window of the Hanina Gallery

Click here for more inspirational colour palettes.

Shop Talk- The Saints come marching in

Well, we were saddened when we heard that another multiple retail name was taking space on Westbourne Grove, particularly as this store move was displacing a unique collection of traders in an arcade that served as a key part of the posher end of Portobello Market. Our quirky and historical patch of London is swiftly coming to resemble Oxford Street and its making us feel blue. I guess it’s progress of a sort, but it does make me wish for the old days when it was all a bit shabbier and a bit shadier in W11…

As of December 2009 a huge section of Westbourne Grove, up to the corner of Portobello Road, is now an All Saints store. It’s a behemoth of a retail space across two levels, containing womenswear, menswear, kids, undies and a smattering of homewares across 10.000 sq ft. I had never realized that they had so much product in their collections, but barely any styles are multiply displayed.

The interior mood certainly builds on their dark and slightly gothic signature shop fit, but there is an interesting additional feature. In what seems like small homage to the history of the area (one of London’s best markets for ‘antiques’), the windows don’t feature mannequins sporting the latest look. Instead there are rows upon rows of beautiful old fashion Singer sewing machines. These continue instore, covering much of the back wall and surrounding the staircase. So, we have to give credit where credit is due. They have slightly tailored their retail statement to make it feel appropriate and empathetic to the surroundings. It is a very cool shopping experience, just not the experience I’m looking for when I wander down Portobello Road.

All Saints, Westbourne Grove