Find out who, and what, to look out for at London Fashion Week

Poppy DinseyAs part of Vodafone VIP, we give Vodafone customers a chance to mingle with designers, celebrities and fashion journalists with exclusive access to London Fashion Week – a fantastic, money-can’t-buy experience for any dedicated follower of fashion. Right now, we’re running an exclusive Facebook competition to give you a chance to win tickets to a London Fashion Week show for you and four friends, with champagne on arrival and an official Mulberry show bag to take home. Head over to our Facebook page for more info and to get involved.

With the September event just around the corner, we caught up with our official blogger, fashion expert and founder of the excellent, Poppy Dinsey, to find out what she’s expecting from the show, which designers she’ll be following and how she uses mobile to bring her readers the best insights from the fashion world

Lovely to meet you Poppy. So, we have to start by asking, what are you wearing today?

Just gym gear I’m afraid. I’m not really dressed for the outside world yet. But nice  gym clothes nonetheless.

Ahead of London Fashion Week what are the trends that you are predicting we might see?

It’s difficult to predict what we are going to see trend-wise before the shows start, but the fact that it is Spring/Summer means it’s more exciting for me than the Autumn / Winter shows in February. You have lots of swimwear and bikinis, plus everything is generally a lot more colourful. Colourful brights have been prevalent for a few seasons now and I hope it will continue as shoppers have really embraced brights over the past few years – it’s not all about black in high fashion any more! Prints will no doubt continue to be big news as, again, the high street have really got behind this trend. We’ve seen fabulous prints on the catwalks of some of the greatest designers in the world over the past few seasons, but Mary Katrantzou has to be the queen of all things digital print!

It’s so exciting that Vodafone are working with her this season and it’s one of the shows I’m most looking forward to – as are the rest of the fashion press. If you’ve bought a show stopping printed dress this year on the high street, it’s not unfair to say the store probably took more than just a little bit of inspiration from Mary! And of course her own collaboration with Topshop was a huge success, it was nearly impossible to get your hands on any of it!

It’s also especially fun to watch after having such an awful summer. It’s nice to see a new summer collection, rather than moving on immediately to furs and big coats. For SS12 though, the London designers were still sending quite a few autumnal and wintery clothes down the catwalks. I think most designers have twigged we don’t seem to have a high Summer season as such and have tailored their collections accordingly..

Is it possible to predict one particular colour that will dominate London Fashion Week?

It’s impossible to be honest. It’s not until you see over 100 shows that you can start drawing comparisons, and make a judgement on whether you have seen a running theme throughout the week.

I suspect we will see a lot more prints again this season and I expect designers will really embrace lots of colours and clashing. There is no reason for designers to shy away from the prints with bright colours as they’ve proved their commercial success, and I dare say you might see a bit of neon this year as well.

What does London Fashion Week mean to you? Talk us through your week.

It’s 20 hour days, plus I will be in New York the week before. It’s just a really intense period. For me there isn’t really a period like it. It’s completely non-stop. The problem is that all the shows can sort of begin to blur into one. To be honest normally it isn’t until afterwards that you can properly reflect and take everything in. There are always standout moments and everyone has their personal designers that they are looking forward to seeing. Running from one show to the next show makes it increasingly difficult to digest it all. It’s not until you are back in the hotel room looking through all the photos that you can really take stock. It’s just crazy busy. But brilliant!

Do you have time for the famous London Fashion Week parties?

I don’t really. To be honest if you are working it you don’t have time for the parties, you are just working far too hard. The parties are for the celebrities, anybody who has to file copy or file pictures will be working too hard to be able take in all the parties. I wish I did but I am way too busy.

Are there any designers that you are particularly looking forward to seeing?

I am really looking forward to seeing Holly Fulton and Christopher Kane. Chris is a favourite for lots of people but Holly I really love. She does the most amazing art deco prints, they are her signature and I absolutely adore them. And speaking of amazing prints I am SO excited about seeing Mary Katrantzou’s show this season, it will be my first time so I feel very lucky indeed. I’m hoping there’ll be time to interview her backstage after the madness settles down. David Koma is also another designer that I am always really excited to see. Ashish I am a huge fan of because of all the sequins. It’s often quite fun, punky and brilliantly creative, plus there are always lots of people in the audience wearing garmz from his archive collectivion, so you find yourself looking all around the room and respecting everything he’s ever done! It always feels like some sort of crazy rave as well at that show, so it’s always great fun and a major highlight.

And then of course people always look to Burberry for trend-setting, it is often deemed the most important show for London in terms of the rest of the world.. It’s always one that you are excited about seeing the reports from – it can define the overall week.

Have you ever had ambitions to go into fashion yourself? Or even collaborate with a designer?

Firstly, I’m afraid I can’t draw. Which is a problem for high fashion. So I wouldn’t technically be able to do it. But I do think I have a good eye for design. The problem is I couldn’t sketch ideas so I would probably just have to spell it out. I have done small things before like shoes and jewelry, but to start with a dress from scratch would be pretty difficult. I think you do need a good level of proper technical drawing.

It’s something I would be very interested in pursuing in the future, but it would probably only work if someone else was doing most of the work and I was just shouting ideas! We have some plans for clothing at WIWT though, so watch this space! (But don’t expect couture gowns!)

Is there one particular designer you would like to collaborate with? Even it was just shouting ideas.

Style-wise I like fierce and feisty kind of things. Ashish would probably be the one I would love to work with. There is a thing with London Fashion Week that  is a bit more edgy. A little more urban then your more classic fashion from Paris and Milan, so I would probably prefer to work with a London designer then a more quintessentially classic designer.

Onto your mobile life. How does your mobile affect your life as a fashion journalist?

I am currently using an iPhone 4. I have a core of applications that I use, but I don’t really get into the routine of downloading lots of apps. I use the classic Instagram and Twitter, and Shazam as my core. And obviously I use the WIWT app religiously to be able to upload my own outfits on the go and see what everyone else is wearing!

To be honest Instagram has become a really important application for the fashion world, particularly if you follow the right people. All the major designers are on there now, and all the models – so you get a real insight into every aspect of the day-to-day life of the fashion world from photo-shoots, to the back stage at catwalks. The whole framework. Plus the photos just come out beautifully polished. If you follow the right people it really is the best magazine that you could possibly ever read. During Fashion Week especially it is absolutely brilliant. For me, it is the only place to go for a steady stream of user generated content.

Shazam is also one of my most used. Plus at Fashion Week you get everybody using it as it is really interesting what soundtracks the designers are using for their shows – although the designers don’t like to admit it, the music is a massive part of the show. It has become something people really want to reference now, and it has become a massive part of the week in London particularly culturally.

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