Monday, 25 February 2013


You could say that the event that I'm featuring in the third and final instalment in the #ESPspotlight London Fashion Week Series was my own personal equivalent of the Olympics Closing Ceremony. Who needs fireworks when you've got a million flashbulbs going off around you?!

Ok fine. A 'million' may be a slight exaggeration - the memory does tend to magnify when it replays in the Hollywood-esque 'movie' in your mind; but when Chinese-British designer Lulu Liu débuted her AW13 Collection at the jawdroppingly magnificent Freemasons Hall this Tuesday; please believe me when I tell you that it was a one of a kind experience. Let the recount begin...

Starting at the very beginning in a Maria Von Trappe type of way, I joined forces with the one and only Rebecca Need-Menear, who was just as excited as Yours Truly to shoot her first catwalk show at London Fashion Week. Now because she doubles as a Rock Star chick with Indie band Anavae, I won't pretend she didn't maintain way more self-contained composure than me. You're reading the hyperactivity on this page, can you imagine what the poor thing had to endure in person?

Making our way to the opulent Freemasons Hall, I was once again taken aback by the friendliness of the Felicities PR team, who immediately remembered me and the gorgeous headpiece I was sporting in my Brand Ambassador role at last Sunday's show. The personal touch is always a stone winner with me, and set a welcome tone for the rest of the show.

The venue itself was a marble testament to the true beauty of structural architecture - something I would soon learn was connected to the type of design construct that we were about to see - more about that shortly...As we reached the open gallery area of the catwalk space, we only had a few seconds to take in the beauty of our surroundings before it was time to get set up and ready. Taking our places alongside other invited press, Caryn Franklin's advice in Part One of this series flitted through my mind as I looked at the rows of seats. Though fully aware that not a one had my name on it, the newbie in me was stuck for a moment as I tried to figure out if I was supposed to sit well, anywhere...or  join Rebecca with the photog line at the front? My green outline felt practically neon...

The Catwalk Space, Freemasons Hall...

Opting for the less embarrassing latter, I parked myself down and took a millisecond to just STOP and drink in my surroundings. Your first catwalk show is not a moment that you will ever get to repeat, so I wanted to make sure that after the blur of trying to capture everything that I saw, in 50 years from now, more than the memories would be golden... The soft lights bathing the entire room in a rich glow, the hushed tones of those in attendance, over midtempo, but still throbbing music that - as Ms Franklin forewarned - had it's own heartbeat that ruled the moment...The sheer electricity in the air that made you hold your breath in anticipation of what was about to come - that is something that I will never forget.

The lights dimmed and a hush fell, my sentimental millisecond was over and 'The Blur' began...As the first model entered, my breath was immediately stolen by the caramel swirl sauntering toward us. As variations mixing cream and chocolate in unusual shapes, topped off by large ruffles and subtle pleats followed, it slowly dawned that we were being taken on a visual journey with just as many twists. The introduction of reds, then blacks, then prints, was done in such a subtle way that you would be completely forgiven for losing track of the speed with which the show was swiftly moving.

For the first time, I truly understood the meaning of the term 'fluid' when applied to a solid thing, with this collection. The smoothness of the transitions weren't just restricted to colours; suedes, satins and leathers made for a striking segue into furs. The continuity of the original foundation palette through the stronger colour blocks and material changes kept a thread of precision from start to finish, that tied a ruffled bow around this entire body of work.

The final parade was like a stream of drama that you could not help but be swept away by. What in theory, may have seemed safe from the restricted number of colours, was actually quite the opposite; so much was done with a select number of colours and different cuts of one printed pattern. Absolutely mesmerising.

One of my favourite moments of the show had to be the shyest designer I've ever seen, nipping out for the quickest praise imaginable - Lulu Liu was a literal mirage, who vanished before we had the chance to see, or salute her for her amazing works, so I will take this opportunity to say:

Congratulations, Ms Liu, on an awe-inspiring collection!

It was probably just as well the show was over so quickly, since it wasn't until the lights went up that I realised I was still holding that same breath since they went down! Just a quick moment to thank Alison Lowe for the invitations to both shows, and say Hello to the lovely Alison Lewy of fashion industry mentoring, networking and business funding organisation Fashion Angel; before it was time to head out and continue riding that potent catwalk energy right to the very words I'm sharing with you five days later...

That, my friends, is what I call 'One Hell of a Show'...

To see Lulu Liu's AW13 collection in full, visit the stunning photo album by Rebecca Need-Menear on the EricaSharlette Promotions Ltd. Facebook Page...

Then connect with Lulu Liu via her Social Media Catalogue:

Connect with Felicities PR via their Social Media Catalogue:

And absolutely do not forget to connect with Rebecca Need-Menear via hers!

I'm off to watch The Oscars now and continue the fashion buzz for as long as it will intoxicate me; but leave your thoughts and comments on this round up and the entire series in the box below - I want to hear your feedback!

Until next time - enjoy the show!
ES ;)