London Fashion Week is in full swing today, and we thought who better to give us the inside scoop on all that goes on there than the people from My-Wardrobe.com, an e-commerce site that's become our go-to for the coolest emerging British designers taking LFW by storm, getting investments from huge luxury conglomerates, etc.
We got to chat with My-Wardrobe's Editor in Chief Nicola Copping and Fashion Director Carmen Borgonovo. While we're there covering from a writer's point of view, they're there looking at collections from the point of view of a retailer. Here, they both told us about how they prepare, what shows they'll be attending, what trends they'll be looking for, and why London Fashion Week is so cool. Read on for our interviews.
First up, Fashion Director Carmen Borgonovo:
Fashionista: What shows are you going to? Whose are you most excited for? Carmen Borgonovo: Top of the list has to be Meadham Kirchhoff, JW Anderson, Lucas Nascimento, Marios Schwab, Palmer//Harding and Burberry. What do you like about London Fashion Week, compared to the other cities? There's such a wide spectrum of different design styles--you never quite know what to expect in London, which builds up a real sense of anticipation and excitement around the shows. A lot of people say it's more fun--is that true? The London shows feel a bit more relaxed than some of the other cities but there is still a great sense of energy and excitement. What are you looking for when you watch a new collection come down the runway? Do you take notes about specific pieces you want to buy, etc.? As a buyer, I’m looking for pieces that strike the right balance between creativity and commercial awareness. When you're an editor you're looking for those stand-out show stopping pieces, but buyers need to pick up on styles that will inspire the imagination whilst also holding a practical place in your wardrobe. Is there something specific you'll be looking out for this season? Trends or types of items? Monochrome and sugar almond shades came through as key trends from New York, so I'll be interested to see if London continues this focus. Also, this season has been all about separates so I'll be looking to see if that trend follows through for spring 2014. How to prepare for fashion week? Do you both go to the same shows or split it up? How do you decide what shows to go to? We both tend to go to the brands we stock and other key brands on the schedule. How to you keep from going crazy/dying of exhaustion? If I have time, I like to squeeze a run before my day starts to help keep me energized. I also try to get an early night whenever possible. What are some things you're excited to wear during London Fashion Week? I recently purchased a JW Anderson full skirt and checked jumper from My-Wardrobe, so I’m looking forward to wearing them. Do you make it a point to check out new talent during fashion week? How do you go about finding cool, new designers? It’s quite a natural process really, I like to keep an eye on the new talent graduating from colleges such as Central St Martin and watch their progress in the first couple of seasons. It’s also quite a collaborative process within the buying team as we're all naturally looking for new and exciting design talent to share with each other. I’m excited to check out Isa Arfen this season. What are you doing during fashion week aside from going to shows, work-wise? I have a lot of buying appointments I need to attend in London, so I'll be squeezing them in between the shows. Do you go to parties? I like to stop for a couple of drinks but my early starts means I rarely stay out late during the buying season. What are some of your favorite places to shop/eat around London? I love shopping in the smaller independent boutiques such as Bluebird and Dover Street Market; favorite places to eat would have to be Little House and Lucio’s.
Turn the page for EIC Nicola Copping.
Fashionista: What shows are you going to? Whose are you most excited for? Nicola Copping: All the brands we stock on the site--so Lucas Nascimento, palmer//harding, J.W.Anderson, Meadham Kirchoff, Marios Schwab, Richard Nicoll.
What do you like about London Fashion Week, compared to the other cities? I find London the most inspiring, just because there is a real energy, a subversiveness somehow, and it doesn't take itself too seriously.
A lot of people say it's more fun--is that true? I guess so--it's more laid back than some of the other capitals, and I think you're more likely to find a surprise at London (remember those Gareth Pugh days?), and that makes each show ripe with anticipation.
What are you looking for when you watch a new collection come down the runway? Rarely about what I want to buy: I tend to look at them from an editorial eye, and now also a commercial eye. What will our customers like? What taps into the key trends we're likely to cover at my-wardrobe? How does the collection fit together? etc.
Is there something specific you'll be looking out for this season? Trends or types of items? I'm naturally more of an Autumn/Winter person, and I love the current masculine trend, so perhaps I'm hoping that will stick around for Spring/Summer 2014.
How to you keep from going crazy/dying of exhaustion? Ha! Flat shoes in my bag are a must--and I have promised myself that the heels can go at the first sign of a sore foot this season. And you have to work hard to give your body enough fuel to get through the day--I plan to spend as much time as I can between shows in the Somerset House cafes. Yum.
Do you make it a point to check out new talent during fashion week? How do you go about finding cool, new designers? I wish time permitted me to do more but I always spend time in the exhibition part of Somerset House checking out new things.
Do you go to parties? I wish I had the energy...I always say I'll go, and then all I want by the end of a day of shows is my sofa and Mad Men box set.
What are some of your favorite places to shop/eat around London? I actually do a lot of online shopping (no surprises there!) but I like Topshop for jeans and I love the atmosphere and decor in Liberty. As for eating, where do I start? London has so much to offer, but for me the finest burritos (and margaritas) are found at Benito's Hat. The original restaurant on Goodge Street is my favourite and my top tip is go for the braised pork tacos.
Full disclosure: My-Wardrobe.com graciously covered our trip and accommodations for London Fashion Week.