Basso and Brooke, Ann-Sofie Back, Peter Jensen

London Fashion Week, Saturday 21st January

Written by Prudence Ivey

Basso and Brooke was, without a doubt, THE worst organised show of the week. We arrived a bit late, and squeezing our way into the surging throng, rougher than any mosh pit despite the far greater average of lipstick and high heels, it transpired that they’d reached capacity in the Bloomsbury Ballroom where the show was being held and the 200-strong throng of ticket-holders outside weren’t getting in. All that practice at gigs must’ve come in handy as I proved to be a far more effective pusher and shover than our in-house fashion bitch Jenny. I managed to be the last person admitted to the show and was rushed down the stairs by the totally harassed PR going “I told him to get a bigger venue”. Forget about freebies at this one, I didn’t even get a chair.

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That said, I ended up with a pretty good view of the catwalk meaning I could fully take in the Rococo ambience of the show with its sumptuous, brocaded Jackie O suits and dress and distressed hairdos, somewhere between seventeenth century wigs and sixties helmet heads. This was all sound-tracked by string versions of heavy metal songs, a tongue-in-cheek touch that raised a smile on many a frazzled fashion face. The opening notes of Sweet Child O’ Mine had an appropriately frantic urgency to it when played on a violin.

However, the music at Basso and Brooke was as nothing compared with the brilliant horror soundtrack of Ann-Sofie Back that we went to that evening. Her collection was heavily inspired by horror movies such as Carrie, and models wafted down the catwalk wearing white contact lenses, pale face makeup and wild frizz-bomb hair. Ripped denim, dream-catcher feathers and slogan sweatshirts were the order of the day although my most coveted item was a pair of red tinted aviators that turned into little blood drops at the bottom.

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She was in a double bill with Peter Jensen at the Topshop showspace although I only have vague memories of his show, overshadowed as it was by the gothic offering it preceded. I’ve got a general memory of folksy, ethnic embroidery on over-the-knee white boots and boys in puffy waistcoats. Topshop also laid on a good spread of sausage rolls and champagne, although as my Topshop employee cohort pointed out, perhaps Philip Green could have directed some of those funds towards not firing some of his floor staff. Just an idea. Still, I enjoyed the posh pub spread and the ensuing shows and one thing I am definitely going to try and get hold of for this summer is a reduced-rate pair of bloody sunnies.

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