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Give My Love to London

Publisher's Note: Food & Fashion Issue 2015

Dance by the Light of the Moon

by Lisa Burwell

My first experience of London was during a trip to cover London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015 this past February—a trip that had been in the making for nearly two years. Since VIE has covered Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NYC for the past eight years, and more recently Berlin in January 2014, I had a strong desire to visit London to explore its culture and fashion for VIE. It was love at first sight—its beauty, history, creativity, and civility were exhilarating! And, the British sense of humor—so dry, it’s refreshing! I experienced all this even before attending the first fashion shows.

Being able to see the obvious attractions such as Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, the carnival-like London Eye, the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and the locale of the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street was magical. Curious highpoints to our trip in particular included having cupcakes and tea at the exquisite Hotel Café Royal on Regent Street, strolling through the ultrachic Burberry boutique on New Bond Street followed by lunch at the charmingly eccentric Sketch restaurant nearby, and seeing an inspiring playhouse performance of the long-running Billy Elliot the Musical. Of course, no one should leave London without a visit to world-famous Harrods, where the vast opulence can be somewhat overwhelming. Though most of the wares found within this retail oasis that occupies an entire city block are quite pricey, just about anyone can afford an indulgence at the whimsically old-fashioned candy store, where glass displays are crammed with designer chocolates and exotic treats.

Model at London fashion week

Setting the pace for the week, our first runway event was the Jasper Conran presentation at Somerset House—the hub for London Fashion Week, where fashion bloggers, industry press, and the paparazzi congregate. As the show was about to commence, I sat quietly under the dim lighting of the grand hall, mesmerized by the scene before my eyes—a catwalk blanketed with delicate autumn leaves placed with perfection. Without any fanfare, the spotlights were cued up with a heart-palpitating music selection to raise the audience’s senses. One by one, models sashayed down the runway in exquisite cashmere and silk in rich hues of plum, moss, navy, ginger, and forest green. Midway into the show, “Give My Love to London” by famed London rock and roller Marianne Faithfull filled the room. Vintage vibe all the way. What an exhilarating start to set the tone for our visit across the pond!

The Jasper Conran 2015 Autumn/Winter collection was wearable art cut to drape the woman who wants to feel elegant yet comfortable—a vintage elegance of timeless tradition and craftsmanship. Simply put, his designs epitomized the essence of London. Conran, who studied at the Parsons School of Art and Design, is a UK native and a fashion icon in London and beyond. He was appointed chairman and creative director of the Conran Shop—a well-known retail experience founded in 1974 by his father, Sir Terence Conran, with stores in London, Paris, and several cities in Japan—so, he’s the real deal in fashion.

Fashion show invitation

Read on! As you delve through the pages of our annual Food and Fashion Issue, “Style Is for Everyone” by our assistant editor, Jordan Staggs, and other deliciously interesting stories await your discovery. Stay tuned for other articles and a showcase of the London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2015 collections in an upcoming issue of VIE later this year.

To Life!

—Lisa Marie

— V —

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