Sunday, 12 January 2014

My week in London during London Collections: Men AW14

So last weekend I took the train down to London with the view to meeting up with some friends, catching a show during London Collections: Men AW14, visiting a couple of model agencies, and discussing some upcoming projects with a photographer - there may have also been quite a few puppy cuddles to look forward to.

I was lucky, or perhaps unfortunate enough, to spend most of the week in Hampstead.  As I now know, Hampstead is where I need to live when I move to London which means I need to get advertising on my blog immediately and start selling my friends here in Scotland on eBay in the hope that I can make some serious bank before I move down.  The house in which I stayed was just a short distance from Russell Crowe's and there is an awesome coffee shop just five minutes down the road called Gail's which does these wonderful gourmet sausage rolls which I trust will give me all the energy I need each morning in the big smoke to beat all those other Buffy's down and take my blog to the next level.

Did I mention all the puppy cuddles I was treated to?

On Monday I was invited by Nik Thakkar to attend his Ada + Nik AW14 show at the Me Hotel on the Strand.  Earlier in the day my friend and host for the week Nik Pate took me to the Serpentine Gallery to see some art.  The Gallery was closed.*  Thankfully, the doors of the Me Hotel were open when I arrived and after meeting up with Barbie and Darren Black, we sashayed downstairs to a room filled with some familiar faces and a lot of flashbulbs.  Before the show started I managed to step backstage to say hello to Jonathan Guijarro who was walking in the show, as well as quickly air kiss stylist Alexis Knox who I guess was helping to style the show.  This is how the show started:

Moments later special guest and bff of Nik Thakkar, Natalia Kills was seated and the show began.  The clothes looked great - view all the looks in full here - and as well as Jonathan, red hot model Jake Hold also walked in the show, accessorising his look with an NJOY e-cigarette as he walked down the runway.  Both boys did a grand job.  After the show, I finally got to meet Munroe Bergdorf and stylist Oliver Vaughn, as well as two lovely people from Vice.  One of them - the Business Manager - asked if I was making bank as I am actually part of the Vice Network - and we then had a slightly awkward conversation where I proceeded to tell them I didn't quite understand how that all works and no I wasn't making any money from the little white Vice box located on the right sidebar of my blog.  Hopefully the very pleasant chap sisn't throw away my business card, as I have lots of questions about the little white Vice box located on the right sidebar of my blog, whenever he has a spare half hour.  Loving this beyond amazing illustration of model Jake Hold - who walked in the show - wearing one of Ada + Nik's pieces:

On Tuesday I visited Unsigned's offices just off of Brick Lane, and I have to tell you, meeting Chimere and Cesar was the highlight of my week in London.  These two very good looking humans were absolutely lovely in person, and the Unsigned offices are ridiculous.  If Hampstead doesn't work out for me I might have to ask if I can kip in their cosy looking showroom at the end of their beyond amazing English garden amongst Helena's Triumph bra collection and the plentiful Hom underwear racks.  Let's take a moment to appreciate Helena's new cover for The Edit magazine.

I can't tell you what I was discussing during my meeting with Unsigned, but I really hope we get to work together on some projects over the course of this year.  Not only that, but my impeccable timing meant that I also got to meet one of their models that I've been harping on about on my blog over the last month - Ross Hindmarch.  A genuinely lovely guy, who no word of a lie, looks much better in person than he does in photos.  And we all know Ross looks really great in photos.  Here are a couple snaps of Ross walking as an "exclusive" in Versace's prestigious Milan show yesterday.

Later that day I killed quite a few birds with one stone when I headed over to Bermondsey to meet designer Philip Normal, John Bruce at PRM, and Darren Black at his studio.  Once again I won't say too much about my meeting with John except to say that it was great once again to meet up with someone I had interviewed for my blog and if all goes to plan we will be working on some content together featuring some of his models - which I'm sure you'll all go gaga for.  Philip Normal was a delight.  I got to visit his super colourful studio, and was treated to a playful mauling by his adorable looking French bulldog slash critter-faced puppy, Noah.  For the record, Noah loved my friend Nik but hated me.  Hopefully he'll change his tune when I interview him for my blog.  I love his style!

I wasn't at Darren's studio for too long but did get to meet a new model face whilst I was there.  Chris Perceval is an uber handsome gent who hails from Australia and owns a magnificent beard, plenty of tattoos and a cheeky grin.  Which kind of makes him a given for featuring on my blog in the near future.  Right?

What follows is my non-business related highlight of the week.

From Bermondsey we headed back into the centre and after much cajoling Nik finally let me take him to Bounce!  We played a little table tennis.  We drank some beer.  I think he had fun?  Or at least I hope he had fun?  Actually, it doesn't even matter if he did or didn't.  It was an epic moment, and I am really pleased he gave it a go.  I know I'm making this sound like I was asking him to jump out of a plane or climb Mount Kilimanjaro, but you don't know how many times I've had to get on my knees and beg for him to let me take him to Bounce!  Like, are any of my readers out there as allergic to fun like my friend Nik is?  Answers on a slutty postcard, please.

On Wednesday I said goodbye to Hampstead and puppy cuddles and Russell Crowe and headed into central London.  I think Wednesday was probably the most fun I had in London this week.  I won't lie, I was a little bit stressed before the KTZ show at Victoria House which my friends at Unsigned had given me an invite to.

After being delayed in the underground and then walking in the opposite direction of Bloomsbury Square to then find the show was about to start in ten minutes, I had to engage in quite a bit of awkward running in my brogues.  This meant when I arrived in time that I was slightly on the wrong side of sunny and no I do not want anyone to send me any photographs they find of me standing outside of Victoria House.  Whilst I was polite when asked if I didn't mind getting my picture taken by three or four street style photographers outside of the venue, I wasn't really in the mood for it.  But back to the main event:

Beyond amazing.  Loved all the models painted in silver, the accessories, and the vibe of the show was really cool.  I also had a wee chat with John Jarrett who works at Individualism and was sitting beside me during the show.  Nice bloke, great style.

Not that I knew it going into the show but my new besties at Unsigned were in attendance also so after catching up post-show I accepted their invitation to attend Christopher Shannon's show at the Old Sorting Office which was only walking distance from Victoria House.  A quick brush past the queuing norms outside the show and a cheeky glass of champs later we took our seats in the all black arena which was lit super sexy and showcased a fun and colourful collection which contained one or two items I just might have to pull for some new shoots I have planned for February.

After the show I said goodbye to Chimere and Cesar and made my way to Soho to meet up with Barbie for some cocktails, and nibbles, before heading back to hers in Leyton for the night - which has a wonderful 'urban' feel to it in comparison to the opulent surroundings I had become accustomed to in Hampstead.  Not that I'm complaining, I really love the Tesco Express they have on the High Street.  One of my favourites in London in fact.

Another highlight was giggling far too much over Lindsay's recent laptop scandal and this:

Definitely something both of us need to add to our bucket lists.  

Before I knew it Thursday had rolled around and after saying bye to Barbz and catching up with my friend Charles and his friend whose name I can't remember for a juice,  I boarded the train that would take me back to my very small village in the middle of nowhere in Scotland with dreams of returning to London very soon to work on all the sick projects I have planned for this year.  Which I will of course - in February.  Let's leave this post on a great note with the always well turned out David Gandy.  We so need to do drinks next time David, I was just totes too busy for you this time, sir.

* Don't worry Nik, even though I felt terribly disappointed when we found out that the Serpentine was closed I still really enjoyed your quaint little tour of London and the location which featured in a Bridget Jones movie.  Not really.  But I don't want you to feel bad.

Credit: KTZ and Christopher Shannon imagery via, Ada + Nik illustration by Dom & Ink, David Gandy image via.


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