21 September 2012

Leave the Biker Jacket

At work sometimes--usually when I'm trying to write a press release about a really complex piece of physics--I wish I worked in fashion or beauty PR. Something frothy where I could focus all of my energy on being creative rather than trying to make something difficult intelligible to people without a PhD. After an evening at London Fashion Weekend, I've decided I probably couldn't hack such a career change. There was a lot of red lipstick and fake tan, a lot of sharp elbows and a lot of entitlement tonight, and I only went to the shopping part, not any of the shows.

Coming into fashion at London Fashion Weekend 2012 (not me in red)

I've been wanting to go to LFW since this time last year, but this is the first one I could go to. They take place just after London Fashion Week and the idea is to try to democractize Fashion Week and make it more accessible to civilians. LFW takes over Somerset House for a few days, puts on a few catwalk shows, organises talks (not all of them are along the lines of "how your blog can make you rich, even in this incredibly saturated market," but you get the idea) and, most importantly--for me, at least--bring together a lot of high-end and independent brands who will flog you their wares, often with a big discount. There are various tiers of tickets--my basic one was £20 including two booking fees, but I wish I'd paid a little more to get the LFW tote, designed by Mulberry and containing 10 beauty and lifestyle samples.

Muubaa's Patara jacket in blush

When I arrived, just after 6 pm, the pop-up boutiques were rammed. It's possible that a show had just let out; when I was browsing in the accessories section later on, a huge mob of Champagne-flute-holding fashionistas came rushing in, en masse. I made a beeline for the Muubaa stand. Muubaa are the reason I went because I have been wanting a well-fitting, black leather biker jacket for about six or seven years now. Whenever I find one that fits me well, I don't have enough money, and whenever I have the funds, I can't find a jacket I like. I've had my eye on this black leather Muubaa jacket for over a year, but it's £349, which is a lot of money. I had heard you could get Muubaa jackets at LFW for £100-150, so I decided to give it a shot.

Sadly, most of the jackets were in non-neutral colours, such as purple, a reddish brown and a burnt orange. I hesitated for a long time over the blush version of the jacket I wanted. They had a size eight, which fitted perfectly; it was nice and warm; and the leather was beautifully soft. The colour was also pretty neutral: a sort of pinkish, greyish taupe, which would have been easy to wear. In the end, though, I had to be tough with myself, because it's a black leather jacket that I want and I know I would keep looking until I found one. Now I know I love the jacket, though, there is a possibility that I will just buy it at full price. A few London department stores do stock Muubaa and I have a £30 voucher for Liberty, so I'll probably check them out before I hit the order button.

Accessories (inc. French Sole and Lola Rose) and LFW balloons

All of this meant that I didn't really want to buy anything else that evening. I was tempted by some lace print French Sole ballet pumps for only £60, a cool geometric black stone ring and some Levi's skinny jeans at 20% off, among other things, but people who are even contemplating buying expensive leather jackets definitely don't deserve other treats. I spent a couple of hours browsing nonetheless. The accessories hall I mentioned earlier was my favourite part. There was more room to browse and they had some really interesting designers in there.

I'm sure LFW is much more fun if you don't go looking for one specific item. I don't know if you there is better stuff on the first day or earlier in the day, which would probably also be a little quieter, and that would be my plan in future. I would also order the LFW tote bag so that I don't come away empty-handed again. It's also unfortunate that it was raining tonight, so no one wanted to loiter in the Somerset House's beautiful courtyards and balconies.

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