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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week: Chapeau Claudette Hat Party

Soho Revue Bar, Monday 15th September

Written by Sarah Barnes

Now I know the term fashionable late was termed in fashion circles, more about here but I really didn’t think fashion could be this late. Fifty minutes late to be exact. Even best friends would not be excused an unapologetic wait like that. So while waiting, I played spot the style editor, Alexandra Schulman sat a few rows in front of me and opposite her on the other side of the catwalk sat Hilary Alexandra who was joined by Alexa Chung (I know not a style editor). Popping of flashes alerted me to Louise Roe of Vogue TV. It all felt so fashion, darhling!

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Then the moment had arrived, the lights went out and the music started up. I felt a swirl of excitement as the models marched down the catwalk. This was designer Avsh Alom Gur’s first proper catwalk season as creative director for Ossie Clark and he gave us a taste of what we are all hoping for next summer, louche poolside cocktail drinking in a tropical paradise.

Silk flowed to form sleeveless jumpsuits and swirling floor length dresses. High waisted knee length shorts were paired with draped translucent blouses. Boldly printed dresses evocked exotic summer holidays which added a more youthful element to the grown up stylings. Colour-wise, every shade from nude to coral was shown, with flashes of fuchsia, emerald green and indigo to add a vibrant summer look. But, my favourite use of colour was coral teamed with lavender, such a fresh use of colour is always welcome.

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But fashion lovers of the iconic Ossie Clark, would have been disappointed in the lack of Celia Birtwell style prints (only two looks borrowed from that strong heritage) and seventies glam, Clark was originally famed for. Sure the collection was glam, but it lack a real distinctive look, the draped flowing forms were not instantly recognisable as Ossie Clark or anything else for that matter. Re-inventing a former great brand is always a difficult task and this was only Gur’s second season at Ossie Clark. Whilst channelling sexy subtle feminine styling, the collection lacked an all important cohesive look.

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Nikki Shaill is the brains and baker behind the Great Cake Escape; a guerilla
art project ‘on a mission to liberate cakes from the confines of the
kitchen.’ She and Lorraine Williams have been baking cakes and leaving them
to be found on the streets of Shoreditch since November last year. Their aim is
to sweeten the days of those lucky enough to find the sugary treats, case which often
bear naughty messages provoking response from the public.

Combining her passions for cake and art, here Nikki Shaill curated and hosted the Great Cake Escape at Kemistry Gallery for The Shoreditch Shuffle. The festival wristband gained you entry to the exhibition as well as access to as much cake as you could fit in your face. Between mouthfuls, check I had a chance to look at some of the
contributors’ artwork.

Staying in tune with the teatime theme was work by Reiko Kaneko and Tina
Tsang
. Reiko’s tableware winks its eye at elegance with a cheeky grin,
decorating plates with gold cracks and teacup rims with gilded lipstick stains.
Tina’s ‘Undergrowth Design’ project features the Blau Blume range
where tea cups have legs for handles and cake stands are adorned with dolls’
heads.

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Ruby Assatourian examines femininity and all thats associated with it.
Materials she uses range from icing sugar to the less appetizing pages of porn
magazines. She steers clear of revealing any explicit imagery though, choosing
instead to create subtle pieces that provoke thought and conversation about
women in the sex-industry.

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On a lighter note, Tinsel Edwards‘s series,the ‘Graffiti Paintings’
consists of paintings Tinsel has found at fleamarkets and endorsed with her
trademark slogans, cheekily poking fun at the conventional art world. With
both Saatchi and Banksy amongst those buying her art, Tinsel is my bet for the next big thing; have a look at her work on website stelladore.com.

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Illustrator Zarina Liew shows ‘The Hunter Series’ in its entirety for the
first time. Inspired by vintage fashion, Japanese printmaking and conceptual
psychology, Zarina’s work follows a fairytale- like narrative, combined with
a deeper look at lust and self-ruin.

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I was only at the gallery on Saturday, but on the Sunday shuffle, the gallery-turned-tea-room was scheduled to host burlesque bombshell Cherri Shakewell, who I’m sure shook her stuff for an audience, happy to put down their fondant fancies for a show from ‘The lady of the Cake‘!

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look at all those yummy cakes!

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oh what a pretty dress!

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Monday 15th September

Gig of the week

Born Ruffians – Dingwalls, viagra London

Born Ruffians return to the UK for a run of shows – and a very lucky few would have actually seen them twice in one day.

Bon Iver – Exeter University
Metallica – O2 Arena, healing London
O Children and Snax – Durr at The End, London
The Wave Pictures – Manchester Academy, Manchester
The Cocknbullkid and Dels – Elgar Room at The Royal Albert Hall, London
The Streets – HMV, Oxford Circus, London

Tuesday 16th September

Black Lips, King Khan and BBQ Show, London
Born Ruffians – Night and Day Cafe, Manchester
Echo And The Bunnymen – Royal Albert Hall, London
The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Orange Box, Yeovil
Herman Dune and Lawrence Arabia – Old Blue Last, London
Peter Bjorn and John – Koko, London

Wednesday 17th September

Finley Quaye – Jazz Café, London
The Rascals – The Picket, Liverpool
Shearwater and The Constantines – Bush Hall, London
Shane Gilliver, Beans On Toast, Paul Mosley and James Edge – Edinburgh
Glasvegas – Academy, Manchester

Thursday 18th September

A Human and Flykkiller – Red Banana Club at Under The Westway, London
Black Affair and Proxy – Fabric, London
Slow Club – Barfly, Glasgow
Crystal Castles and Metronomy – Electric Ballroom, London
Morton Valence and Barth – The Enterprise, London
Naive New Beaters, No Picasso, Silhouette and Great Eskimo Hoax – Proud Galleries, London
Collapsing Cities – Orange Rooms, Southampton
Dead Kids and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man – London Airwaves at Macbeth
Jeffrey Lewis and The Wave Pictures – The Scala, London

Friday 19th October

Digitalism, David E Sugar and Cazals – Astoria, London
London Airwaves Festival – Young Knives, The Whip, Florence and The Machine, These New Puritans, Wild Beasts and more – Several Shoreditch Venues, London
Pete and The Pirates and Alvarez Kings, London
Ipso Facto – Cockpit, Leeds
Unkle, Late Of The Pier and Iglu and Hartley – Matter, London
Little Man Tate – Roadmenders, Northampton
Man Like Me, Swanton Bombs, Nat Jenkins and Alice Grant and The Cool Dudes – Macbeth, London
Andrew WK – Madame Jo Jo’s, London
No Bra and My Tiger Timing – 333, London

Saturday 20th September

Afrikan Boy – Cargo, London
Crystal Fighters, Granville Sessions and Stoltz – Rhythm Factory, London
Graffiti Island, Miss Something and Marmaduke Dando
Andrew WK – Astoria 2, London
Heartsrevolution, The Ruling Class and ddd – The Monarch, London
Ipso Facto and Bearsuit – Proud Galleries, London
Ponytail, Gentle Friendly and Hands On Heads – Amersham Arms, London

Sunday 21st September

The Ghost Frequency, Ocelot, Kids Love Lies and Chew Lips – Proud Galleries, London
Thomas Tantrum – Bar Academy, Oxford
White Lies – Club Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Johnny Foreigner – Lamp, Hull

music-listings.gif

Monday 15th September

Gig of the week

Born Ruffians – Dingwalls, store London

Born Ruffians return to the UK for a run of shows – and a very lucky few would have actually seen them twice in one day.

Bon Iver – Exeter University
Metallica – O2 Arena, page London
O Children and Snax – Durr at The End, and London
The Wave Pictures – Manchester Academy, Manchester
The Cocknbullkid and Dels – Elgar Room at The Royal Albert Hall, London
The Streets – HMV, Oxford Circus, London

Tuesday 16th September

Black Lips, King Khan and BBQ Show, London
Born Ruffians – Night and Day Cafe, Manchester

Echo And The Bunnymen – Royal Albert Hall, London

I dont know whether they have reached legendary status yet, my guess is that they have. They’re certainly well worth seeing live.

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster – Orange Box, Yeovil
Herman Dune and Lawrence Arabia – Old Blue Last, London
Peter Bjorn and John – Koko, London

Wednesday 17th September

Finley Quaye – Jazz Café, London
The Rascals – The Picket, Liverpool
Shearwater and The Constantines – Bush Hall, London
Shane Gilliver, Beans On Toast, Paul Mosley and James Edge – Edinburgh
Glasvegas – Academy, Manchester

Thursday 18th September

A Human and Flykkiller – Red Banana Club at Under The Westway, London
Black Affair and Proxy – Fabric, London
Slow Club – Barfly, Glasgow
Crystal Castles and Metronomy – Electric Ballroom, London
Morton Valence and Barth – The Enterprise, London
Naive New Beaters, No Picasso, Silhouette and Great Eskimo Hoax – Proud Galleries, London
Collapsing Cities – Orange Rooms, Southampton
Dead Kids and Ox.Eagle.Lion.Man – London Airwaves at Macbeth
Jeffrey Lewis and The Wave Pictures – The Scala, London

Friday 19th October

Digitalism, David E Sugar and Cazals – Astoria, London

London Airwaves Festival – Young Knives, The Whip, Florence and The Machine, These New Puritans, Wild Beasts and more – Several Shoreditch Venues, London

It’s the smaller version of Iceland’s Airwaves Festival, based in London. All with the bar crawl mentality of the Camden Crawl, which is set to fill the fanciest of venues around Shoreditch. In other words, it is going to be loads of fun.

Pete and The Pirates and Alvarez Kings, London
Ipso Facto – Cockpit, Leeds
Unkle, Late Of The Pier and Iglu and Hartley – Matter, London
Little Man Tate – Roadmenders, Northampton
Man Like Me, Swanton Bombs, Nat Jenkins and Alice Grant and The Cool Dudes – Macbeth, London
Andrew WK – Madame Jo Jo’s, London
No Bra and My Tiger Timing – 333, London

Saturday 20th September

Afrikan Boy – Cargo, London
Crystal Fighters, Granville Sessions and Stoltz – Rhythm Factory, London

Crystal Fighters are interesting and should not be viewed with the opinion that they will be like a mixture between Crystal Castles and Foo Fighter, because they’re not.

Graffiti Island, Miss Something and Marmaduke Dando
Andrew WK – Astoria 2, London
Heartsrevolution, The Ruling Class and ddd – The Monarch, London
Ipso Facto and Bearsuit – Proud Galleries, London
Ponytail, Gentle Friendly and Hands On Heads – Amersham Arms, London

Sunday 21st September

The Ghost Frequency, Ocelot, Kids Love Lies and Chew Lips – Proud Galleries, London
Thomas Tantrum – Bar Academy, Oxford
White Lies – Club Ifor Bach, Cardiff
Johnny Foreigner – Lamp, Hull

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“There’s glitter everywhere, treatment it’s like an eleven year old girl’s party” says the opening artist – a dead ringer for a really bad Keane – to no one in particular. Well this is a Seabear show. What do you expect? Slam dancing and beer throwing? Cup cakes and cardigans abound. Prior the anticipated onslaught of twee we’re treated to Kopek. Shelsmusic’s finest exponents of pastoral un-rock eschew their usual Loop station aided live show for a stripped down acoustic offering. It works a treat. This bare bones set up shows Kopek to have that special quality that makes a band truly affecting. For while hushed/scuffed and flute-assisted acoustic laments are two a penny, Kopek’s are suffused with such melody, soul and charm you’re left weeping into your beer.

Morr Music’s Seabear, contrast starkly to such intimacy. They can’t help that of course because there’s about six of them precariously positioned around the stage, hitting various bits of kooky percussion. With this in mind, their fondness for granny clothes, their name and the fact that they hail from Reykjavik, one would be forgiven for dismissing Seabear as yet more twee twaddle. You’d be mistaken. Seabear specialise, rather disarmingly, in a kind of hipster approved, jaunty, country rock. Like if Sweet Heart of the Rodeo era Byrds had rocked American Apparel skinny fits instead of kaftans. Well sort of. It’s not quite as rich and as deep as that but it’s certainly not what one would expect and it renders the Seabear live experience even more enjoyable. Playing vast chunks of their delectably delicate Ghost That Carried Us Away album, singer, Sindri Már Sigfússon, stares through the audience with a bug eyed intensity as his band whip up a quiet storm of frazzled, fuzzy, folk-rock behind him. They play “I Sing I Swim” which does it for me mainly because it sounds like an exotica take on “Another Girl, Another Planet” The Only Ones.

Indeed, there’s nothing quite like having one’s smug preconceptions smashed on a drab Monday night. This Seabear do with aplomb.

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The sky really couldn’t have been greyer when we rolled up to the gates of Offset festival, medicine but I was defiant that this summer’s appalling weather wasn’t going to dampen my mood, even if it was to dampen my jacket, for another festival this year. As soon as we were in we headed straight for Slow Club, who’s set was to bring rays of hope to our day. They’re a duo that really couldn’t appear much happier on stage, and with a fantastic set like they unleashed that day; they really deserve to be there.

After that we decided to take a whirlwind tour of the festival sight, which all seemed to be very relaxed – which at the time I believed to be because of the picturesque settings. Afterwards I came to realise that this was probably due to the lack of a police presence. The taxi driver we had to get to the station just in time to catch the last tube home later informed us that the organisers had not informed the police, or the bus services about the event. I don’t know how true this is, but it did appear that if you missed the last tube, you were destined to spend a night at the festival – and there was not a police man in sight at the festival.

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So So Modern were probably my favourites of the day

So So Modern however far better at getting themselves organised. Their set was a mesmerising half hour of intertwining electronic pop fantastic-ness. We even endured a fairly heavy downpour to catch the whole of their set.

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Black Devil Disco

I was left quite chuffed in the aftermath of their set, and decided some time in the bar was needed. The amenities at Offset were top notch for such a small festival, apart from the staple festival drinks prices which always get me riled. I also couldn’t find the rare breeds farm that was apparently running alongside the festival, but perhaps Black Devil Disco are a rare breed spectacle in themselves. Seeing them was a real treat mainly because one of the guys just kept laughing at everything, and when he wasn’t doing this he was leaning back and making peace signs with his hands. The whole show was hilarious, but in the nicest possible way – it just helped to get everybody moving on what was in all fairness, a muggy Sunday afternoon.

Metronomy were next to don the stage, even though it took them an age to appear. I thought they may have dropped the whole lights on chests dance routine, due to the fact they are perceived as being quite successful now and no longer require such gimmicks. But the Ikea light t-shirts were out in force, and their whole set reminded me of the first time I saw them.

After a brief spell watching Blood Red Shoes (who I’ve just never really been able to get into), we headed into the Girlcore tent to enjoy the worldwide influenced Radioclit. When we arrived, the tent was empty, even though the music was fantastic. They seemed to realise this themselves though, and only really played tracks to entertain themselves. As soon as the tent began to fill though, the tunes began to become more and more energetic. The atmosphere in there was fantastic, with people of literally all ages dancing on tables and laughing at the Radioclit guys dressed up in drag. We literally had to tear ourselves away come the time for Gang Of Four on the main stage.

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Girlcore!

The chance to see such legends is perhaps quite an honor, but of the bands from that era Gang of Four are not fully to my taste. Saying that though a band revered as much as them are surely worth seeing, and I was a little more won round to the idea after spotting a microwave on stage. I don’t really know why, it just intrigued me. They were late on stage, which really wasn’t much of a shock, and they did put on a decent show. The lead singer jumping around acting like a gorilla was my favourite bit though, as the microwave wasn’t really put to much use in the end. It was a show purely for their biggest fans to enjoy though, and seeing as I would hardly class myself as one, there was a limit to how much it could delight me.

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Gang of Four’s epic, yet quite budget, light show

‘Expect the unexpected’. Photographic maestro David Bailey‘s quote is scrawled touchingly across one of Tim Walker‘s early sketchbooks, for sale prominently displayed at the start of this survey of the last decade of Walker’s work. And, indeed, the unexpected pops out at every corner as dyed animals, exquisite couture, crumbling country houses and oversized props collide.

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What you notice as you walk round is that Walker’s shoots and his vision gradually becomes more complicated and ambitious. We go from models lounging on giant versions of Vogue in a studio to a shoot in a crumbling maharajah’s palace. But his simpler works can hold their own against their showier relations; indeed some of the most powerful works in the whole show are the starkly absurd Ice cream Chandelier (2007) or subtle Gert (1998).

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Our age of digital smoke and mirrors, where mundane scenes are manipulated into extraordinariness, can tame the eye into being complacent to the kind of fantasia on display here. But seeing a huge white kid glove coupled with the photograph reinforces how much the pictures are indebted to Walker’s collaborators. The notebooks and Polaroids displayed alongside the main pictures highlight the continuity of Walker’s body of work, with a visual language that coalesces and grows.

Walker is a great fashion photographer and like other greats, such as Beaton or Bailey, his work is about more than just selling clothes. The England evoked in many of the photos such as Otis Ferry in full riding regalia coupled with his hounds or shambolically glamorous fading country houses- is described in the blurb as a ‘romantic vision of an England now lost’.

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He captures an England that never existed in any one place or time, an eccentric myth peddled around the world like a brand. (It is interesting that a big share of the work here is for Italian and Japanese Vogue, not just British Vogue). The loadedness of the idealised ‘England’ is exposed in the uncomfortable otherness of the shoot with tribesmen in Papua New Guinea and a neo-colonial vibe in Lily Cole’s India shoot.

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This show does not have the backward glancing feel of a retrospective because potential zings from so much of the work. The last room has some great recent portraits for Vanity Fair (including a wonderful compliant Bill Nighy in top hat, tails and bunny feet), a very Beaton-esque route for Walker. The least successful pictures in the show are those of cinema screens in unexpected places, on a lake at sunset, on a hillside- they land this side of mawkish. However, they seem to ask what Walker could do if he were unleashed onto a film or theatre set.

One photo, in the last room, tantalises that thought. A tableau vivant crossed with a momento mori, the backdrop is an old hunting lodge; prima ballerinas twitter and stretch beneath a ceiling jam-packed with deer skulls and antlers that have begun to rain down. It is poetic, full of promise and as good a reason as any to see this show before it disappear in a puff of glittery dust.

Get ready to see the Friendly Fires album on that little group of shelves you see every time you enter your local record shop, buy usually baring a title of ‘Highly Recommended’ (which translates to the actual meaning of, viagra “The people who work here are so damn cool they just have to make sure you purchase these albums so you can be cool like them, medical and also they really want to reach their sales targets this month, because all the employees want to win the regional shop of the year and go on that holiday to Disneyland Paris.” I suppose the length of this sign might however be quite a major health and safety hazard.

I can totally understand why it would be on such a shelf of the stated meaning though. By all means, it really is a great album. At first I coudn’t help but think the only tracks I really enjoyed were those I had heard before, and although I love these tracks – it’s always nice to buy an album and be delighted by something new from a band. As with many great albums though, the answer was persistence. There is something fantastic about albums where songs seem to grow on you, slowly becoming your favorites, rewarding you for coming back to them again and again.

Although it’s not necessarily an album that will surprise many, there is very little not to like about it. Also, when they make a great pop sing; they make an absolutely amazing pop song. The likes of ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Paris’ are such instant delights I can’t quite get my head around it – never mind the fact that they have 3 or 4 other songs of such a similar caliber.

To sum up the album, it’s better than whatever is above, below, to the left or to the right of it on the ‘Highly Recommended’ shelf.
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I mourn the loss of hats from women’s daily wardrobes. I mean, approved it’s great that we no longer have to fuss about matching gloves to hand bags or making sure the seams in our stockings are straight – but there no longer seems to even be occassions to wear hats. Hats are becoming thin on the ground too, dosage only ever popping into shops during wedding season. Thank god, pharm then, for Claudette Outland and her ‘Chapeau Claudette’ range. Thank god, also, for the Chapeau Claudette Fashion Week Hat Party at the Soho Review Bar.

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We were greeted by Hat Hostesses who provided us with complimentary veils and little diamante versions of the Claudette Outland logo so that we might go on to customise hats of our own. Emma was quick to don her veil because, although she can be seen any day of the week sporting one of her many lovely hats, that day (of all days!) she had left home hatless!

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Securing ourselves in a snug little red leather booth, we surveyed the scene. We had arrived a little early (fashion week dictates that half an hour late is actually half an hour too early, dahling!) which meant the bar was a little sparsely populated. Still, we soaked in the sounds of Grace Jones (the hat loving diva would adore Claudette’s creations, I’m sure) and wondered whether the bar’s fitted poles would play any role in our entertainment later.

Grace Jone’s lengthy disco rendition of La Vie En Rose
was cut short as the Dusty Stars took to the stage.

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The band immediately apologised that they were actually only 3/5ths present and hoped that we would enjoy the acoustic version of their usual set. Unfortunately, we didn’t. It didn’t help matters that the poor depleted loves kept telling us what the songs would usually sound like. To paraphrase the Dusty Stars; “We sometimes have a dancer with us and this is her song”, “This one is usually quite rocky” & “This is normally our big number where we all dance with top hats” were all lines that made us feel let down before they had even played a note of each song. The trio (and sometimes duo) jangled along quite un-eventfully, singing songs of an idealised England called ‘Everville’ (hmmm, now where has that concept cropped up before?).

Still, there was plenty more merriment to be had and, as Grace Jones filled our ears once more we were visited by the wonderful magician Lee Hathaway.

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Charming Lee entertained us with a few card tricks – which are always pretty astounding when done so up close and personal. You expect to be able to catch the magician out, but alas… the sober magic man is always faster than the drunken party guests.

Songstress Lail Arad was next to play us some tunes…

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Emma and I promptly fell for Lail and her theatrical delivery of her witty lyrics. She took to the piano and sang funny songs about how she wished she was more ‘Fashion’, and then strapped on a guitar to dedicate a song to an extrovert named Joe. With there being no Joe in the audience, she promptly christened one accordingly and sang to them. It was all very Regina Spektor, but this is no bad thing, and I’m sure Emma would agree that we’d happily don our best hats in the future and go and see her again.

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With places to go and people to see (Fashion Week is a bit of a whirwind) we unfortunately had to miss headliners Sweet Tooth. Spat back out into neon lit Soho, we had a night of try-hard fashionistas wearing not-very-much ahead of us. I couldn’t help but feel sad to leave a world of well put together ladies, looking elegant from head to toe. I hope it’s not too long before I can don my chapeau again!

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One Response to “London Fashion Week: Chapeau Claudette Hat Party”

  1. Chanelbags says:

    hey are you the one of the two in the third photo? pretty..wow…

    hat is for special occasion, the celebrity needing, I think.

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