Visiting London Fashion Weekend is like going to a huge sample sale. Although spending money to go shopping may seem like an alien concept to a lot of students, the savings you make on one garment can easily eclipse the price of the entrance ticket.
The Luxe Lounge houses two areas which I would highly recommend as your first stop: the LFW Pop-up and Shop the Catwalk. This is where you may will find rails from the designers who actually show at London Fashion Week. Although prices may be a little higher in this area, with some deep discounts it brings designer clothing within a student budget. The quality of the garments in this area was noticeably higher as well, meaning that if you look at cost per wear over the lifetime of the garment, rather than overall cost, you will undoubtedly be saving money.
The LFW Pop-up area included a rail of Christopher Raeburn’s clothing, although I think I’ll wait for SS15 collection to appear at London Fashion Weekend as loved the deep olive parachute silk which he used this season. A new discovery was J. JS LEE – great cut and I loved the checked wool dresses with the lower part being brushed to blur up the checks. So cosy for winter and would be a wardrobe staple for many years. And best of all, everything was made in England.
In the Shop the Catwalk section, most of the Pringle outlet in Morning Lane seems to have moved down to Somerset House. A large stand with some beautiful knitwear, of course, and gorgeous dresses.
Although attracted by the popping tangerine top at Osman, my eye was caught by a rich, black velvet skirt at Markus Lupfer. Despite telling myself I don’t need any more black in my wardrobe, this was a classic I couldn’t resist. At just £70, the quality feels amazing, thick and heavy velvet with a great sheen which feels more like pony skin, and the classic flared shape just skimming the knee means that this is an item of clothing which could stay in my wardrobe for decades to come. Best of all, the label says Made in England. Apparently most of the dresses at Markus Lupfer, and obviously some skirts, are made in a studio in Hoxton.
Amid several stands selling vintage and faux fur, a new discovery for me was Karl Donoghue. Their luxury jackets and accessories are all handcrafted in combinations of shearling, leather and fur, finished with touches of buffalo horn trim. But this is no ordinary ‘fur’ and certainly shouldn’t send a shiver down the sustainable shopper’s spine. Karl Donaghue pride themselves on providing a cruelty-free option. Every item is crafted and hand-finished in the UK and the brand prides themselves on a cruelty-free production process, as well as recycling offcuts. Lambskin earmuffs came in some great pastel shades such as lemon and coral, as well as a range of natural tones and textures.
Upstairs, don’t miss Finchittida Finch, a London-based jewellery label by twin sisters: Lisa & Tida Finch. This amazing company vows that every purchase from them helps fund Mines Advisory Group bomb disposal in Laos. Their new Empress Collection embodies cultural diversity and courageous women, you’ll be sure to make a statement wearing these incredible pieces.