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Alice Naylor-Leyland’s London Fashion Week Diary

London. The city I grew up in. And, my resting place over the next four days for the ever-unique, ever-sparkling, and ever-cool London Fashion Week. With a calmer, less political (to a degree, anyway) feeling in the air than New York, and a whole lot warmer, our precious city was once again swarming with fashion glitterati from all over. It’s a funny thing, but there is a feel that surrounds the city, which unquestionably means . . . it’s Fashion Week. Buzzy editors dash to and fro, street style sirens strut their stuff on nearby pavements, and pretty models seem to emerge from every café or restaurant in town. We were happy to welcome all, and London certainly felt more alive than ever.

My Saturday was a quiet one. After getting over jet lag and waking in the countryside with the kids, I headed to the Big Smoke to see Emilia Wickstead’s show. I graduation dresses in an Emilia Wickstead floral matching two-piece to watch her display, which was, unsurprisingly, magnificent. There were jeans, yellow ruffles, sequined dresses, and her trademark big sleeves. A quick pit stop to East London to see the Globe-Trotter presentation and an early night was in order. Tomorrow was going to be a big day.

And action packed it was. Anya Hindmarch’s ski-bunny, Scandi show kicked off the morning with Nordic knits and furry backpacks. Topshop Unique felt fresh and young with all the cool faces in fashion walking the catwalk. From Lily to Adwoa, Lottie Moss to Sistine Stallone, it felt current and British. Peter Pilottoheld his show at the Waldorf, which was my favorite venue—colorful and cultured and the perfect backdrop for their new collection.

It was to be an evening of inspiring women for me on Sunday. Alice Temperley, Mary Katrantzou, and Charlotte Dellal all showed within three hours of each other. Mary’s Fantasia-inspired gowns made my heart skip a beat, as did Alice’s high-necked Victorian two-pieces. As always, Charlotte’s imagination and individuality shown as we settled into her fusion of fashion and film noir at the Curzon.

Monday in the city was a great mix of shows and presentations alike. With a salute to Richard Nicoll, Michael Nyman’s light-fingered piano accompaniment allowed for a moving moment at Roksanda. Arizona Muse closed for Erdem in purple sequins and there was time for original and innovative presentations from Shrimps, Hill & Friends, and Sophia Webster.

With probably too much going on in the evenings, I dared to venture out on Monday (with fashion husband in tow) to Katie Grand’s Love party with Brit-favorite Burberry at Annabel’s. It was crazy cool, fun, and completely bonkers. Cocktails with Daisy Lowe, a peck on the cheek with Adwoa, and it was time to call it a night.

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