It came and went in the blink of an eye and one month following, Zoe London takes us through her Fashion Week journey with L’Oréal Professionnel.
I adore Fashion Week. The atmosphere, excitement and pre-runway wonder gets me every time. What will be different this season? How will the hair complement the clothes? It’s a crucial turning point in the fashion calendar, and I can never resist the temptation of the art that struts in straight lines.
That is why I was super excited when L’Oréal Professionnel invited me to join them on their Fashion Week journey. The brand heritage is steeped fashion and I couldn’t wait to see what this season entailed for the hair teams and the designers they were partnering with.
Friday 16th September.
At 10am, our car takes us to Brewer St. car park for the first time this season and I’m joined by Helen Anderson and Roxi, which makes the pre-fashion week, jitters a little less intense. At this time of year, Brewer St. car park is a spectacle in itself. Cameras flash, roads are blocked and photographers literally shove each other out of the way to get the perfect street style snaps.
Our first show is Teatum Jones. This is their first runway show and it began with a film, showcasing a story on real people in Scotland. The collection played heavily on fabrics and textiles, and was complimented perfectly by a ‘masculine but beautiful’ low ponytail, reminiscent of a ‘post-rave’ party, and finished with a high shine using Tecni.ART Glue. I loved it.
The hair at Teatum Jones (left)
Following lunch we headed in for Eudon Choi. I have been going to Eudon’s shows since the very start of my Fashion Week visits - so I’m starting to feel like I know the brand signatures well. Eudon loves to take inspiration from artists, painters, creators. This season was no different - inspired by Francesca Goodman’s black and white portraits of women, the show was a much simpler, calmer and softer affair than the last.
Stephen Low of Neville Salon was heading up the hair team for the show and was inspired by the whimsical nature of Goodman’s career. Youthful naivety was revealed in the hair. A loose wave with a medium tong and a light misting of Tecni.ART Fresh Dust at the roots created a natural, understated look.
Hopping into the car again, we headed over to one of the most anticipated shows of the day - DAKS. Before the show we were allowed backstage, and I personally spoke to Filippo Scuffi, the creative designer of DAKS, about this collection. He told me it was inspired by British heritage fused beautifully with Indian culture. “Like an English couple inspired by the beautiful and mystic culture.” He spoke softly and effortlessly about how oranges, burgundy and an offset of white were part of the colour palette for this year, and I just couldn’t wait to see the final thing come together.
Stephen Low imagined a girl who had ‘done her own hair.’ He added a mid-height ponytail twisted and flipped at the ends and finished with a tiny amount of Tecni.ART Liss Control, et voila, a simple - almost carefree nonchalant look appeared. I felt inspired to try this myself.
Daks SS17 (right)
One of the things I love to do during Fashion Week is head out into hidden venues, to discover upcoming designers. The ON/OFF space is almost like a mini Fashion Week within itself, and the highlight for me is the Presents catwalk which took place at 8pm on Friday evening. The event had a live band and four emerging designers: Jayne Pierson, Luke Rooney, Timothy Boulez-Forge and Laura Thiess. All had very different styles; it’s a whirlwind of fun and in a far more casual setting.
ON/OFF Presents (left)
I left Friday feeling overwhelmed with inspiration from such a variety of sources, and even though this was my busiest day of my schedule, I felt excited for the next days ahead.
Saturday 17th September.
I headed across town to Keaton House for the next show on my list, J.W. Anderson. Jonathan Anderson cited Henry VIII as inspiration for the cuts on show, with narrow, long soft shapes that juxtaposed the ideologies of the time - women taking on the masculine fashion of a bygone era, and empowering their bodies with this historic look. The venue aesthetic was very ‘Tudor’, with thin catwalks zig-zagging around the room meaning everyone was FROW, no elitism here.
Anthony Turner for L’Oréal Professionnel offset this collection with his inspiration: ‘little rich girls with skateboards.’ It may seem like a world away from the Tudor style and shapes on show, but with beautiful finger-dried and textured hair with a low side parting sashaying down the very narrow catwalk - I got it. It was a complementary version, with gorgeous shine a result of the Mythic Oil that he was using.
J.W. Anderson was just stunning. I left wondering if I could work these cuts into my wardrobe, and how beautifully they’d look for a delicate look for an evening out.
Sunday 18th September.
Oh my. Sunday is revered in the fashion calendar as having some of the most memorable and notable shows of each season. The day started bright and early backstage for Anya Hindmarch. Anya is always so much fun to watch, and her accessories are something I love to collect - I never fly anywhere without my flight regulation clear bag!
I popped my head through the scrum backstage to take some pictures of the final look, and heard about how Sam McKnight was inspired by bandages worn after a facelift - I know, right! A golden trio of Tecni.ART Fix Design, Infinium Hairspray and I popped my head through the scrum backstage to take some pictures of the final look, and heard about how Sam McKnight was inspired by bandages worn after a facelift - I know, right! A golden trio of Tecni.ART Fix Design, Infinium Hairspray and Wet Domination Shower Shine were used to create a hyper-smooth perfect ponytail, swept and rested in a low position before the neoprene ‘bandages’ were crossed around the head and neck. were used to create a hyper-smooth perfect ponytail, swept and rested in a low position before the neoprene ‘bandages’ were crossed around the head and neck.
Following, I popped to the hotel for a quick outfit change - who am I? I headed over to this year’s Topshop Unique Showspace – in Spitalfields. Clearing the historic market for a show right in the middle of old London was such a unique and innovative idea, with the noise from the taxi’s outside and the spectacle of the bemused tourists wondering where all the flashing lights were coming from.
Taylor Hill was walking in the SS17 show, and I couldn’t wait to see what Duffy was going to do with her hair. Duffy created ‘new wave glamour’ and it was almost 80s but not quite 80s. He saturated the hair in Tecni.ART Pli, before adding Tecni.ART Full Volume Extra Mousse and blasting it dry, lifting the hairline as he went. A small tonged curling iron was used to create an almost permed look with a modern twist, and the front area was then flicked to one side with Infinium. On its own it was a sight to see, a bouffant of permed-like hair, filling the backstage area with glamour.
The show always has a great turn out of blogger supporters, and I sat amongst Tijan Serena, Lydia Elise Millen, Victoria Magrath, Tanya Burr, Suzie from Hello October and Amelia Liana. I think Topshop understand the importance of digital creators who can reach straight out to their key audience, with their catwalk collection this year being ready to buy immediately after the show finished - there was a real sense of excitement in the air.
Monday 19th September.
80’s hair at Topshop Unique (right)
There’s a show on everyone’s lips on Monday morning: Erdem Moralioglu. After studying at the Royal College of Art in London, ready-to-wear brand Erdem was born. Set on top of Selfridges, it had one of the most ornately constructed sets I’ve seen.
Anthony Turner was the lead stylist.He prepped the hair with Tecni.ART Pli and Wild Stylers Beach Waves before blasting the hair dry, to achieve a beachy, lived in, natural seaside texture. Leaving a few strands of hair free around the face, he created a strong parting, and plaited the hair into two pigtails. Then I watched in awe as he first rubbed them with his fingers to make a lived in, fallen out braid, and then intricately wrapped them around each other - pinning to the back of the head in a tousled twirled bun. To complement Erdem’s inspiration, he tied a small length of black ribbon around the head and knotted in a bow beneath the ear - just beautiful. before blasting the hair dry, to achieve a beachy, lived in, natural seaside texture. Leaving a few strands of hair free around the face, he created a strong parting, and plaited the hair into two pigtails.
So what was the inspiration? Well, fairly recently, a dress had been discovered from the 17th century in the Wadden Sea, having belonged to Jean Kerr - lady in waiting to Queen Henrietta Maria, the wife of Charles I. The set was a shipwrecked scene of planked wooden walkways, intertwined with delicate sheer fabrics hanging from the ceiling and draped around the runway. It was an absolute spectacle, a show I’ve never been able to see, and I enjoyed every single minute of it.
And then we moved on to Joseph…
Erdem catwalk (left)
Joseph is a fairly new designer to Fashion Week - despite first arriving in London in 1972 - their first catwalk was in 2013. Interestingly, this was the first season that Joseph featured menswear and womenswear together, and creative director Louise Trotter was at the helm.
The story went like this: a travelling urban explorer starts with minimal dressing and, as explained by Trotter, ‘layers collect as the journey intensifies.’ The clothes begin to overbear and the focus isn’t on the wearer, but the garment itself. It was a sight to see. I’ve never seen a catwalk show that works and moves as the show progresses.
Duffy kept the hair simple. With the addition of men, it was overall handsomely masculine; with a neat ponytail at the base of the head. Duffy wanted to keep the comb marks visible through the hair, so after prepping with Tecni.ART Pli and Tecni.ART Volume Lift, he blow-dried the front section straight to help it have more volume at the top.
Tuesday 20th September.
There’s always a different air on the Tuesday; a mix of not really knowing what day it is, combined with fatigue and a brain full of ideas and the crowd is normally quieter and more subdued. Tuesday for me however is all about Marques’Almeida.
Marques’Almeida is always one to watch. The hair by Duffy for L’Oréal Professionnel took place in 93 Feet East, and was a 90s inspired middle Mohican bun, using Marques’Almeida is always one to watch. The hair by Duffy for L’Oréal Professionnel took place in 93 Feet East, and was a 90s inspired middle Mohican bun, using Tecni.ART Beach Waves. While Duffy brought to life a rebellious rework of the scandi half up, half down top knot we see a lot of at the minute, Jack Howard and the Paul Edmonds colour team gave four of the models hair colour transformations of pink, lilac, orange and green. My favourite was the bubblegum pink - I loved it. I couldn’t wait to take my seat amongst the bright yellow runway for the show, and with a mix of agency models and real girls off the street and Instagram walking; I knew it’d be good and it was everything I hoped.. While Duffy brought to life a rebellious rework of the scandi half up, half down top knot we see a lot of at the minute, Jack Howard and the Paul Edmonds colour team gave four of the models hair colour transformations of pink, lilac, orange and green. My favourite was the bubblegum pink - I loved it. I couldn’t wait to take my seat amongst the bright yellow runway for the show, and with a mix of agency models and real girls off the street and Instagram walking; I knew it’d be good and it was everything I hoped.
Pink hair at Marques’Almeida (left)
Fashion Week for me is a circus of art, swirling around London in waves of different textures presented in individual ways. Seeing such an exciting cross section of hair and clothes with L’Oréal Professionnel was the perfect way to do it for me, and I’m so grateful they invited me along on this crazy rollercoaster of style.
The same time again next season, please? I’m already excited.