For Natalie Kingham, fashion week is serious business. She heads the buying team at Matchesfashion.com, which means she’s the one who decides whether that incredible bag or blazer will find their way from the runway to your online cart. Here she gives us a fly-on-the-wall glimpse into her day at London Fashion Week ’16, where she flits between shows, interviews and buying appointments, and all the while spotting the trends we’ll be wearing next season.
I start my day with lots of coffee, a good breakfast and a green juice. It’s important to fuel up during fashion week as we do so much dashing around during the day you often lose track of time and forget to eat!
The weather in London this season has made it tricky to decide what to wear each morning – we seem to be experiencing all four seasons in 24 hours.! Today, however, the sun is shining so I chose to wear my Jonathan Saunders shirt and Vetements jeans with some Valentino wedge sandals.
I make sure I have all my essentials before my driver arrives for the day ahead – Thierry Lasry sunglasses, my iPhone and blackberry, lip balm, mints and of course show tickets.
We start the day at the runway show for contemporary ready to wear label Mother of Pearl. Held at the Café Royal hotel, the theme is ‘pretty pioneer’ and they showcase pinafore dresses, pie crust collar shirts and trouser suits in a pastel colour palette with ruffles, gingham and their own botanical prints. It’s a lovely start to fashion week!
All the team share a car during fashion week. It’s the best way to get around when you’re in a hurry as the shows are always at different venues around town and timings are tight so we have to be quick!
Natasha Zinko is Matches Fashion new designer for resort SS16 who we love. Her SS16 static presentation offered a feminine sport luxe aesthetic using bold primary colours. We are very excited to start working with her.
We have a quick break from the shows to go to a lunch meeting at The Delauney with Anum from Middle Eastern blog Desert Mannequin. She is super chic and we love her style. We are loaning pieces for a shoot that will feature on her blog and she is also interviewing me during London Fashion Week for a piece on Style.com/Arabia.
The afternoon brings back-to-back shows. Next up is the Emilia Wickstead show, which we are super excited about this season. Her feminine and romantic collection takes inspiration from the 1950’s – think high-waisted pants and voluminous skirts, soft pastel hues and just the right amount of bright floral mismatched prints.
I jump in the car and try to get through a few emails before I get to J.W Anderson who is a real trail blazer. We always look forward to Jonathan’s shows as they are always thought-provoking and engaging and this time is no different. For me it so interesting to go into the showroom after we have seen the show to buy the collection and look through everything in more detail.
The driver speeds over to the 1205 show in Covent Garden giving me another 5 minutes to check through more emails. I love this elegant collection – it is simplicity at its best.
The last show of the day for me is House of Holland, a riotous mix of stripes, floral and animal prints, bug embroidery and safari khaki. He also has rap star Lady Leshurr performing which is lots of fun (although I have to ask my daughter who she is!) and a great way to end the Saturday schedule of shows.
My final stop is to a dinner we are hosting with Hillier Bartley to celebrate the launch of their collection on MATCHESFASHION.COM.
I change into a Saint Laurent tux on the way to the dinner in the back of my car… such a glamourous life! The dinner is at St Johns restaurant in Smithfield’s – the food is delicious and guests include international editors and VIPs such as Alexa Chung, Dree Hemingway, Paula Goldstein, David Sims, Katie Grand and Miraslava Duma. The best part is the goody bags – everyone gets to take home one of their famous Eccles cake and a loaf of bread which means my breakfast for the next morning is sorted!