Hayley Bloomingdale on London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week arrived with the city’s signature drizzle—just as the New York contingent was flying in. As the saying goes, there’s nowhere like home… But since decamping here I’ve had to find a way to look on the bright side (clearly not literally), and so I jumped at the chance to get a head start on my beloved tweedy-suits-and-pointy-boots combination.

Clad in my Fall best, I started the week off with J.W. Anderson and Isa Arfen—both of whom made a case for going casual with slouchy sweatpants, layered knits and cozy tees. Isa Arfen even provided a mattress situation for her models to indulge in a little luxe lounging during the presentation. It all made me feel a little too “put together” in a fitted Burberry dress, which I donned later that evening for a LFW kick off dinner at Isabel in Mayfair.

After a late night, I was very pleased with myself for making it to Mary Katrantzou’s show the next morning. I was even more pleased to discover a chic coffee cart on arrival (there to reward those unfazed by the 9am-on-a-Sunday call time). Yet an espresso was barely necessary after taking in a lineup of colorful beaded lace, gingham checks, polka dots and balloon skirts. By the way, Mary’s bringing jellies back. You heard it here first.

Before I had a chance to decide where I stood on the jellies debate, I was off to the #TemperleyRiviera (AKA the Temperley show). There I found a parade of glamorous cocktail dresses ideal for tipple time in the South of France. Ignoring my very intense craving for an Aperol Spritz I rushed to the Peter Pilotto show, immediately adding floaty handkerchief dresses and kimono styles to my pre-o list. I ended the evening at their townhouse takeover at the Brompton Design District for a celebratory dinner and a cocktail—well-deserved after a long day of fashion show-ing.

The next morning I awoke to an unfamiliar sight: is that…sunshine?! A glorious sunny day! Or a sunny few hours at least. Weather aside, Emilia Wickstead’s floaty floral beauties and graceful gowns were enough to perk anyone up. I popped backstage for a congratulatory hug and got to see some of the pearl beading up close. Simply stunning.

Stomach rumbling (one can really work up an appetite tottering around in 90mm heels, and thus far I had subsisted on two salmon blinis and a “quinoa cup”—whatever that is), I headed to an intimate dinner for Mary Katrantzou x Flowerbx at Mark’s Club.

Exiting in the wee hours (during fashion week, it’s impolite not to stay past midnight) I was confronted by…UGH…a deluge of rain. I didn’t care how late (early) it was, I certainly wasn’t going to subject my bejeweled Hangisi pumps to that. Thankfully, the doorman sensed my apprehension and came to the rescue by hailing me a taxi. I guessed he’d been shuffling well-shoed ladies safely to their cars all week long.


Until next time…cheerio from London!

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