Fashion week might look like it’s all beautiful people chit-chatting in the front row, models in gorgeous gowns and cocktails a-go-go – a lot of the time, it is – but it is also proper Hard Work, I’m here to tell you. You dash from one venue to the next, only to find yourself standing in another long line, watching the black-clad clipboard ladies try to explain the very concept of queuing to oh-so-fabulous fashion hangers-on in Big Bird coats as you wait for them to unhook the rope so you can get out of the bitter cold.
After a few days, you feel a bit like crawling into somewhere dark and warm filled with lovely people and lovely things. So it was like someone had read my mind when I popped into the Belstaff presentation in the Lindley Hall during London Fashion Week. This being a presentation, the venue was smaller and more personal than a lot of the shows, which require by their very nature a big ol’ room for the models to trot up and down and the editors and buyers to pack into. The lighting at Belstaff was low, there was grass on the floor and dotted around the room were big box-like frames that lit up to flatter the pieces of the luxury heritage brand’s new Autumn/Winter collection inside. Of course, a mannequin can’t ever fully do justice to what it is wearing, so there were professional beautiful people lined up six at a time down a small runway in the centre of the room to showcase the clothes.
And oh, those clothes. And those bags. I wanted everything and am preparing to re-mortgage for a grey biker jacket in what looked like some exotic – and probably hugely expensive – skin. There were trench coats, overcoats, scarves and beautiful leather bags that were perfectly sized for the gym or a weekend away. Everything was dark and earthy – there wasn’t a single piece that wasn’t luxurious, everything looked of the highest quality.
The brand is having a bit of a return to its British roots – a flagship store will open on New Bond Street in the autumn. I’ll be the one waiting outside, clutching eight different credit cards.
All images © 2012 Nick Barron. All rights reserved.