Hello, hello! I'm back from Paris and have had interviews all week; is there anything worse than a group interview? But last week the day before my flight (woo, no ash!), I went to the Arcadia AW10 press day in London! I don't really have the time or the funds to travel all the way and get around London for each press day but Arcadia houses Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Wallis, Burton and Topman, so that really is value for money! Haha well it is such an honour to go to an Arcadia event, especially as I study retail and all that jazz, so an opportunity to mingle with the pros is amazing. And of course I love checking out press day posts (often the Topshop one on Style Bubble) to spot things I might nab and to get a bit organised for the future. When you go shopping you can really think, 'hmmm I'm totally not going to be wearing this in four months, it's not worth the impulse.' If you plan your wardrobe direction, you'll be sorted when the time comes and can eeease into Autumn Winter.
I didn't know of any other bloggers going as there was a postal invite so I went round myself the whole time and it was beyond what I expected! I'd been to some shows during London Fashion Week at Victoria House (well, two out of three shows haha), so I hopped on and off the tube and sauntered in past the posh security guards and into the basements down the marble stairs. When you walk in it's just like walking into a huge Primark; you don't really know where to look first! I was going to make one huge post on all the stores but realised I've got a million pics and it would be insanely long. So I'll split up each brand as they really deserve their own blurb.
I felt a bit sorry for the other stores as Topshop got their own room whereas the other women's shops were in one big room. This wasn't a problem though as each corner was transformed and as you wandered around you were totally into each store. In the end I didn't sample any of the champagne or food that was being constantly offered; they even has mini muffins and little bowls of pasta! As I was alone I felt a bit weird tucking into a plate in a room full of clothes so I always politely declined, and will try find another blogger to go with next time and tuck right in!
First I've got to note that these aren't the best photos as it was quite hard to snap and browse. It wasn't busy but there was always people browsing around you and in most places there were spotlights, so some things were harder to capture. I went around 1pm so I assumed most people were on lunch breaks. At each brand they had a visitors book and I had a little nose at where others were from and previous messages were from TV shows and magazines! As with fashion week, I had no idea who the other attendees were but always wondered who they could be and assumed everyone was very important!
As you walked in you turned the corner and were faced with Dorothy Perkins first. I didn't understand the layout and thought it was a circle but in the end you had to go back on yourself after Topshop so I ended up admiring the DP models a LOT.
Each brand had a different way of customising their section of the room and Dotty Ps put their efforts in these amazing mannequins with huge crimped/afro hair and burnt orange lashes! I really want a crimper. Seriously.
In the beginning I felt a bit weird browsing as it's not like you're shopping and not everyone is taking photos. There were many people schmoozing with drinks around the DJ in the centre of the room and people milling around each section. Turns out not only the press team were there but the actual collection designers were at each stand. In fact I'd assume all members of the Arcadia team were there. After all, it would be a key event in the calender and most were dressed very well with false lashes and all! It was a real privilege to talk to the designers of the clothes that thousands of people wear, and for most, what appears in the stores is what sets fashion trends. I wasn't asking too many details and didn't write anything down but I asked what were the key things for each store and what themes they were channeling. If you can't be bothered reading the future posts, there will be a LOT of fur, tonnes of leather, all things gothic, and new directions for military; less marching band and more pilot jackets and army prints. Yep, army print! Hello 1996.
I got into the swing of it and started flicking rails and getting distracted by all the new clothes here, there and everywhere. First thing you will want and need is a shearling jacket. If you followed the AW10 runways you will already know this (see Burberry Prorsum), but if not, here's the memo: SHEARLING WILL BE HUGE! It's all about aviator chic. Isn't it funny how you can add chic on the end of everything and it becomes a fashion term?
The DP shearling coat was my first encounter, with a lot of cowboy flavour. I wouldn't fully take on this trend with a coat as it wouldn't withstand time enough, but I'll be wearing beige and tan definitely, and will try to get a shearling scarf or some soft fur on a jacket. It's about huge collars.
In about 2002 I had a coat just like this with shaggy fur all around the hems, when jeans were flared and embellished, and coloured feather jewellery were cool. I'm not 13 anymore though and don't quite know if I can wear this again! The coat on the left might not be my Winter coat either as it's part of a gothic collection, basically due to all the Twilight/vampire stuff invading the whole world. Not for me! Other shops are inspired by this too as you'll see later.
I'm thinking if clogs would be a good investment right now as they will go right through to winter, but by then they will be all furry or woolly. I really liked these but still don't understand how you walk in them? Especially with the platform? I don't know about other girls but there are cobbles, hills, stairs, and public transport in my life, and sometimes I feel the high street doesn't quite understand this...
Casing point! Fantastic shoes but who can wear these?
I do have a furry bag from River Island a few months ago but the chain is realllly long and you can just about squeeze a tic tac in there. There's lots of furry bag offerings and this one is quite sweet but too classic for me. I try not to buy a Chanel shaped bag until I can afford the real thing (in the far, far future)!
All the 'gothic' stuff isn't exactly too scary but it's not too ground breaking. I'd expect lots of lace and ruffle details on everything black.
These shoes were an outside brand but I was glad there were some sparkles and bling somewhere! And an onslaught of furry coats. Now they are all shaggy and full and eveeerywhere.
Lots of knitwear of course but it's very thick and light coloured, so it could almost be a bit twee or little house on the prairie-ish. As a wedge boot convert, I was eyeing these peep toes too, although I might enforce a black ban. It's all about tan!
Unlike most, DP did have some cute details. I liked this extra fuzzy jumper and the blouse below with a cat print. Not many others will be producing retro prints anymore, be warned!
Also get ready for the leather tshirt in a big way. If you get one this season you'll be all set. I really want some leather shorts but haven't spotted any cheap enough on the high street. I've just been googling around and Oasis have a cool pair but they're £60. They would carry you right through winter but guaranteed somewhere else will come up with a cheaper pair.