Thursday, 23 April 2009

London is my Fashion Playground...

The shot used in the Matthew Williamson for H&M ad campaign

It's not very often that temperatures soar in London, especially in April, but believe it or not, right not we're experiencing a HEATWAVE. Yes, waking up this morning the weather is glorious, again! I simply cannot stay in my Hoxton flat glued to my laptop today. Temptation is all around to go outside and the weather is not the only attraction...

Today is St. Georges Day and a celebration of all things English, but it is also the day that the eagerly anticipated Matthew Williamson for H&M line launches in selected stores nationwide. With this in mind there's only one destination on my radar, the flagship H&M store on Regent Street.

I set off early and head to the West End. On the way I check Twitter, where I learn that there has been some fashion-mad people queuing outside of the store since 6:30 this morning! Hmm, they must be devoted fans, there maybe nothing left!

I arrive to find the queue has disappeared and, thankfully, there's still plenty of vividly printed, floaty dresses left to satisfy me. The collection is impressive, with a combination of tough studded, leather waistcoats, silk blouses in shades of fuchsia and lime, a silk khaki coloured jumpsuit, a shiny blue tuxedo and vibrant printed dresses.

Some of the items from the first Matthew Williamson for H&M collection
Nicky Hilton wearing a shift dress and clutch bag both from the collection
Unfortunately, I'm too late for the bright pink tulip dress, zip leather jacket and Williamson's signature printed maxi dress (the most expensive item at £199.99). It seems the early crowd has completely consumed every last one of these delicious garments. They still hang in the window, though, and I gaze there for a while, before I leave with my purchase of a vivid blue, aqua and turquoise, leather patchwork clutch.

My purchase: the blue metallic, leather clutch with Matthew Williamson clasp

After my Matthew Williamson fix, I'm off to Carnaby Street to visit the 'White Dress Project' exhibition at the London College of Fashion space.

While I'm in the area, I cross to Hanover Street and wander past Vogue House. I get butterflies in my stomach as I remember that it was only last week that I submitted my 2009 Vogue Talent Contest entry. Fingers crossed!

I walk through Hanover Square gardens before I head on to Oxford Street. Stopping at Uniqlo, I'm impressed by the collection of around 300 statement tees on offer. I walk further up the street and I'm drawn into River Island by a Union Jack, oversized, leather handbag. Priced at £180, this delightful piece of British arm candy is now on my 'wish' list.

Distractions, distractions, where I'm really heading is to the top of Oxford Street to the flagship New Look store. Today the seventh Gold by Giles Deacon collection is launched in store, bravely choosing to go head-to-head with Matthew Williamson's H&M debut so I'm eager to check out the competition.

The collection is more affordable and the shades of coral, white and royal blue are attractive. It's made up of lots of casual pieces with the odd piece of statement party/evening wear. Embellishment and sequin is a feature that Giles Deacon has carried through from his earlier Gold collections, making this range sparkly and saleable.

I head to Starbucks to gather my thoughts whilst one of my favourite songs plays: The Sea by Morcheeba. 'I left my soul there... down by the sea...' Bliss!

As much as I've enjoyed my day of high street shopping whilst soaking up the sun, I'm aware that I must get back and work on the magazine I have in the pipeline. But, firstly, I make time for a trip to the new Dolce & Gabbana cosmetics counter in Selfridges... Happy days!

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