Imogen Edwards-Jones dons her wedges and steps backstage at London Fashion Week to hang out with the fashion pack
Obviously I came dressed in black. A few years ago now when I wrote Fashion Babylon, it was the fash pack colour of choice and thankfully, it appeared as I squeezed my way into the courtyard of a surprisingly sunny Somerset House for the last day of London Fashion Week, it seemed that everyone was still working the old noir. Black with a high heel ‘n’ shades for those holding tickets and ready to rest their weary VIP derrieres on the front row of fashion. And black with a boot or golden, wedged trainer for those hard at work tweaking, buffing and glossing the girls backstage for the shows.
I, naturally, as a Glossette, was backstage with the action and the wedges. Firstly I got to poke my nose in to the Ashish show. Not a label I am familiar with, but then I am a crone who hasn’t been shopping since 1987. This show had a ‘high viz’ theme, so the fash scribblers in bobble hats and bold brows were told. “Think space farmer, builder on a building site,” explained some affable soul. The hats and brows duly jotted away. “It is supposed to be ironic,” she continued. A row of knitted eyebrows looked very confused.
To the right, there was a lot of jostling and photographing and clouds of hair spray. The wan girls on their iPhones were extremely patient as their barnets were teased to stratospheric heights and covered with L’Oreal’s Super Dust , £12.60, to keep the whole shebang in place. The effect was ‘wind tunnel,’ or indeed Bridget Jones as she stepped out of Hugh Grant’s open-topped car after three hours of intense buffeting on the M40. Make-up was nude, nude, nude, or as the nice artiste in charge, Sharon Dowsett put it while wielding her brush: “Does no one want red lips anymore?”
Apparently not, I thought, making a mental note to chuck all my scarlet lipsticks; I had no idea quite how behind the curve I was.
In fact the look for the models at Ashish was ‘beautifully tired.’ No mascara, no blusher, no lipstick, just a dusting of powder here and some fabulous Maybelline Colour Tattoo 24 Hour in Eternal Silver, £4.99, on the eyes, which I was sorely tempted to pocket. Once on, so they said, it doesn’t budge. Perfect for a night out on a podium in Ibiza or indeed a matinee of Les Mis.
Catching sight of myself in one of the many mirrors as I moved on to Maria Grachvogel, I could confirm that I was happily ‘feeling’ some of the Ashish look. I had the bedhead and the tired thing down to a tee, although sadly none of it done quite so ‘beautifully.’
Backstage at Grachvogel as a man called James was putting the finishing touches to the look, the brows and bobbles closed in, iPad at the ready to record his every bon mot. Here it was all about the ‘80s cover girl’ and ‘cats’ eyes.’ He’d used a Black C by Mac, which is apparently a kind of lipgloss for the eyes. Everything else was tan, tan, tan. Tan lips, tan cheeks, all tan. “Did he,” asked one Cara Delevingne looky-likey, “use the pencil all over the lip?” “I did,” he confirmed, nodding very slowly. “I did.” With that cleared up, I moved on to hair which was apparently higher than next door, but more coiffed; it was all looking a bit Hillbilly Punk by the time I sneaked out the back for a suck of a fash pack essential – a fag.
As I wandered back through the crowd of bloggers and fashionistas all posing for each other on Instagram, I tried to decode what I should take away from LFW. Hair is most definitely big. Lips are almost certainly nude, nude, nude or tan, tan, tan which is, let's face it, nearly nude. And black is still absolutely, completely and utterly cool. Three out of three then, I smiled, popping in to Greggs. There’s life in this old fash bag yet.