London Fashion Week: Heartland Models Show and Street Style Spotting
I was lucky enough to attend London Fashion Week this year, after being invited to the Heartland Models show at Hoxton Arches in Shoreditch by the designer Chanel Joan Elkyam. Chanel is a huge inspiration to aspiring young designers; still only 19 herself, she is still in her first year at Central St. Martin's and designed her first collection aged just 16. 16! So impressive.
Chanel's clothing collection La Sola Rosa was inspired by the British writer and poet Vera Brittain, and her experiences of love and loss in World War 1. This was evident in the romanticism and classic sophistication of every piece, and every model carried a single red rose in a beautiful continuation of the theme. This was in honour of Vera's fiance having given her a rose on the last day they ever saw each other. A very touching back story indeed which just added to the emotive energy of the show. Chanel also launched her first collection of equally elegant bags and belts, which was named Saftah Gamila after her grandmother.
The supremely talented dancer Seira opened the show and drew us in right from the start with her moving performance.
A stunning vintage-style suit with pretty central button detailing.
It was clear that Chanel had channelled the empowerment of women throughout this collection, which she later reiterated in stating that she just wants women to feel powerful wearing her clothes. It was truly impressive how she managed to bring out the romanticism of her inspirations with striking looks which simultaneously created consistently strong statements.
The press were all jostling to capture every look from Chanel's collection.
Classic met modern in this so-now waist-corseted look.
Loved this corset bandeau with the nod to the rose in the asymmetric red piping detail.
A beautiful cropped boxy jacket looked so chic with high-waisted tailored trousers and peep-toe platforms.
The sensuality of forbidden love was evoked in these feminine yet alluring lace-up floral shorts with pretty cape-sleeved crop top.
Another elegant tailored look with the perfect combination of powerful and feminine accents.
The vintage fur brings life to the modern and versatile jumpsuit and beautifully blends old and new.
The flattering draped LBD is given a dramatic sheen with the snow-white trench coat.
More variations on the LBD...
...made wearable for any occasion.
The chiffon layering of this all-black look makes for a seductive silhouette.
The sheer pieces hint at the subtle intimacy of the collection's story.
This hook-and-eye waisted skirt brings added interest to a formal look.
Chloe from Britain's Next Top Model wore this oriental-inspired bardot neckline wonderfully.
This beautiful red cold-shoulder dress was a standout with its Grecian draping; the sole block-colour piece from the collection represented the original romantic inspiration most overtly.
These glamorous white gowns made a striking contrast to the darker looks and hint at longed-for matrimony and the sorrow of what could have been.
A fantastic show all round; it's clear to see why Chanel won Young Designer of the Year at the 2016 New York Fashion Awards.
The lovely Chanel herself.
My good self on the frow.
Chanel answering questions from the press.
Meeting the supremely talented hostess.
I bumped into fellow Mancunian writer L'Oreal Blackett of Body Confidential, which made the day even more enjoyable spending it together.
Gotta love that Insta-worthy shabby-chic white background!
After the first interval was Canada's Helen Oro, with an array of striking designs on her stunning Amazonian models, sporting tribal accessories to add to the feeling of empowerment.
Next up was Tishynah Buffalo, also of Canada, with elegant evening gowns and smart-casual menswear set off by eye-catching Aztec patterns and directional structured shapes.
Another striking red evening gown with halter neckline.
Bright and cheerful patterns with the mini hemline make for a more youthful and easily accessible look.
These hoodies could be huge around festival season or with lovers of travel and culture.
The blue and red variation makes for a bold contrast to the flattering black section on this fun maxi dress.
This sweetheart neckline and floral bodice trim made for a beautiful occasion look with the subtle train.
Last but certainly not least was Brooklyn's Mondo Guerra, with fantastically bold 70s-inspired looks. These eclectic retro ensembles, with modern updates in zingy palettes, would make any wearer feel the epitomy of cool.
Love the fur sliders, bringing added eccentricity to the geometric print combinations and bold sleeves.
Adored this cow-print fur trilby!
The marriage of burnt orange, pastel pink and green is inspired with the hat's statement print.
The yellow socks with barely-there sandals and bold multi-coloured trench made for another extremely trendy look.
The glamour of this kimono-style piece was given added panache with the perfectly-measured varying stripes and the mix of summer-perfect colours with monochrome.
The perfect head-to-toe pink look which is so 2017.
The yellow socks-and-sandals combination is given more life with this printed oversized overcoat balanced out by the lighter panels.
The inspired layering of this bright pink shirt and oversized floral pinafore dress is perfect for workwear with added personality.
Loved the print clashing and 70s colour palette of this smartly on-trend look, so fly!
Another excellent animal-print hat, which looks like it was born to complement this very au-courant pyjama-like suit.
The Heartland Models show was a fantastic day discovering new designers and being inspired by a range of inspirations from all over the world.
While I was in London, I also made sure to head over to the main venue at Store Studios, The Strand, to do some style spotting and get talking to some of the other guests.
Fashion's current pink obsession shows no signs of abating and this stylist lady pulls off the double-whammy perfectly.
Obsessed with this triple-threat of standout jacket, conversation-starting backpack and perfect cornrows! What a pair...
This lady was having a great time!
I was a little gutted when I realised I forgot to wear my fishnet tights; they would've looked much more exciting than boring old opaques. Ah well!
Love this prairie-style look with on-trend gingham and sheer sleeves layered under.
This guy's got his colour-blocking on point!
The lovely Trishna Goklani (@TrishnaRawr) of the must-read style blog Accents of Gold. I was admiring her outstanding outfit from afar and then she came over to ask if she could photograph my own, which was very flattering indeed.
It was also a pleasure to talk to and photograph the fabulous Marta Roldan, who interviewed me for a fashion video herself and Trishna were producing. I discussed statement coats (like the navy fur one I was wearing) and over-the-knee boots (which I also love, luckily!) and can't wait to see the finished piece which I will post on here.
Love to know which designer these were being unloaded for...
Purple hair, purple baseball jacket. A no-brainer!
Lusting over the vinyl coat, spot skirt, Doc Martens and pink fur collar on the right; and the floral sheer tights, block-heel boots, black bomber and bright blue hair on the left (like you could miss it!).
Another attention-grabbing style spot; the pink hair, leopard print, military trouser buttoning and captain's cap; an unlikely but so-right ensemble!
A great end to a great weekend. Did you attend London Fashion Week? Which shows did you go to?