The morning after the oh-so-fabulous God Save The Queen party at The Room, I woke up excited and ready to go. Why excited, you might ask? Well, not only did The Bay fly the fab Brits into Toronto for a party, the designers were also on hand to showcase their Spring 2011 collections, which were open to the public the next day. Unable to pass up such an incredible opportunity, my schedule was planned around the The Next British Invasion.
Having apparently missed Charlotte Olympia’s trunk show, I was a bit bummed, but was really looking forward to the panel discussion with the designers and Bronwyn Cosgrave at the helm. And it was well-worth the wait!
Having prepared for the day by reading some of the designers’ previous interviews, it was still fascinating to hear the Q&A straight from the artists’ mouths in an intimate environment. Designers were asked about their personal journeys and how they came to be who they are today. Best response of the day definitely went to Charlotte Olympia Dellal, who, when asked why she chose to design shoes of all things, replied with “What girl wouldn’t want to make her own shoes?”. A response that drew many ladies in attendance to nod (and whoop) in agreement.
Jonathan Saunders offered some insight into collaborating with Topshop, while Nicholas Kirkwood shared stories about the upcoming opening of his first standalone store and the late Isabella Blow – style icon credited with much of Alexander McQueen’s success. Giles Deacon provided some comic relief for the day, by addressing Cosgrave’s “Lindsay Lohan” question by saying that he had to get rid of “loads of needles” at Ungaro…”sewing needles that is”. Mark Fast let us in on reasons why he chooses to make his clothes by hand and Erdem Moralioglu told us that his secret for dealing with bad reviews is to “move on quickly”.
I know that I’ve said this before, but it felt almost surreal to be listening to these incredibly talented designers lined up in front of us, gathered in the same room. And judging by their interaction, one could definitely tell that they genuinely enjoyed each other’s company too. Erdem confirmed this by offering that they “have a wonderful sense of community where we all know each other and we’re all friends”. They certainly seemed friendly enough – no claws in sight.
The panel discussion was followed by a string of trunk shows, featuring beautiful Spring 2011 clothes from London, which even Jeanne Beker couldn’t resist attending.
By the end of the day, one could clearly see that both events were hugely successful – an incredible opportunity for Canadians to get a glimpse behind the curtain of the fascinating world of British Fashion Royalty, courtesy of The Room and its creative director Nicholas Melamphy. And judging by the direction The Bay has taken as of late, and by the willingness of the new and established designers to be seen and for their brands to be carried at the venerable Canadian retailer, this might be one of the first events of such scale in Toronto, but it certainly isn’t the last. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next!
Marios Schwab, Leith Clark, Erdem Moralioglu, Jonathan Saunders, Giles Deacon, Nicholas Kirkwood, Olympia Dellal
Nicholas Kirkwood and I. He shared that he was going on a quick trip to Niagara Falls right after the trunk shows – a place we all take for granted, yet it’s fascinating for the Brits. Who would’ve thought?
My fave Kirkwood for Rodarte wax heels…drool…swoon…le sigh.