London Fashion Week 2015: Guide To Soho

When the British Fashion Council announced London Fashion Week would be moving to Brewer Street, I have to confess I was secretly excited.

Although Somerset House is iconic – far more attractive than an old, converted car park – it never provided the most palatable offering of eateries, brew houses and late night restaurants to keep everyone entertained.

Soho, on the other hand, is a veritable feast of palette teasing, tastebud tingling concoctions alongside a cultural mix of galleries, tranquil escapes and pampering havens to help make those 120 hours of madness a little bit easier. Need some guidance on where to find the best hangouts? We’ve got you covered…

COFFEE: Because sleep is rare during LFW…soho-coffee-shops

Soho Grind
19 Beak Street
An all day espresso bar with a late-night, cocktail-offering basement space. Get your caffeine fix from morning to night.

Milkbar
3 Bateman Street
Brewed simplicity from a friendly crew in a secluded destination. Coffee comes with a side of food, art and music – the perfect place for those who would never even think of the word Starbucks.

Tap & Co.
193 Wardour Street
Work, play, relax and chat with a pot of proper – and delicious – coffee. These finest ingredients are mixed with a debonair edge. Also, staff at the brewing station are ridiculously charming.

BREAKFAST: Because it genuinely is the most important meal of the day…
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The Breakfast Club
33 DArblay Street
A Soho institution, this intimate bolthole is nearly always chockers, but if you’re lucky enough to snag a table order the All American Breakfast – goes down a treat, keeps you full up til tea time.

Dean Street Townhouse
69-71 Dean Street
Start the day in style in this old Georgian-era institution, where breakfast fodder ranges from muesli to kedgeree with everything in between. Attentive table service ensures a quick departure for the first show of the day.

Fernandez & Wells
73 Beak Street
With their own blend of single origin beans, the coffee here goes perfectly with a side of buttered toast and jam. Simple yet quintessentially English.

HEALTH SHOT: Because fashion week flu sucks…
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The Juice Well
4 Peter Street
Bottled, natural fuel designed to rejuvenate, cleanse, hydrate and uplift. The trendiest thing on the menu? The Hunger Buster juice – its activated charcoal is the ingredient of the moment when it comes to all things wellness.

Savage Salads
20-24 Broadwick Street
Technically street food, these gourmet, healthy salads with a tasty twist attract a daily queue around the block. Apple and Spotify are said to be fans FYI.

Ethos Recharge Tote
48 Eastcastle Street
This vegetarian haven off Oxford Street is offering a special LFW survival tote featuring vegetable pots, salads and your choice of birch or maple water. Warning: It’s brilliant but at £16.50, decidedly not budget friendly.

LUNCH: Because everyone needs a mid-day refuel…
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Jane Tira
26 Brewer Street
Thai street food at the luxury of a table. Choose Son-in-Law Balls to start, and follow with any of the ample choices of rice or noodles. Trust me on the balls.

Rose Bakery
17-18 Dover Street
A slice of Paris in central London for a light lunch including quiche, roasted vegetables, sumptuous salads and sweets to finish – all set within the city’s coolest store.

Spuntino
61 Rupert Street
Bare brick walls, popcorn appetizers and distressed metal fixings make this American-meets-Italian diner a haven for hipsters and locals alike. Their classy take on the classic peanut and jelly sandwich is a must-try.

DINNER: Because a daily debrief is best done over supper…
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Yauatcha
15-17 Broadwick Street
A personal favourite. Sample trays of dim sum perfection (like their duck and pumpkin morsels) with copious amounts of colourful cocktails.

Duck & Rice
90 Berwick Street
East meets west in this classic pub style setting that serves up cask ales alongside Chinese bar snacks and quintessential Asian food.

Social Eating House
58 Poland Street
Warm, hearty and just what the doctor ordered after hours sat on hard benches and walking the streets of London in heels. Food fills the belly and ensnares the senses – the macaroni & cheese with black truffle is really the standout dish. Meanwhile The Blind Pig speakeasy bar downstairs provides the perfect post-gorging sanctuary.

DRINKS: Because all of these incredible shows deserve a little celebration…
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La Bodega Negra
9 Old Compton Street
For an insight into Soho’s seedier side, step inside this sex-shop fronted cocktail den for a taste of Mexico. Warning: the tequila-infused potions are completely intoxicating so be sure to order some tacos, tostaditas or Jacob Ladder Ribs.

Old Tom and English
187B Wardour Street
This speakeasy style, Tom Dixon-designed basement bar is hidden behind an unassuming grey fronted door. Step inside, sip on a Sloe Gin Fizz and instantly be whisked away from the fashion week hubbub.

Basement Sate
8 Broadwick Street
Cocktails and cake make the perfect combination at this late-night underground bar. The Jessica Rabbit tipple (gin, carrot juice, golden syrup and elderflower) sits perfectly alongside the Peanut Butter Jelly Time dessert – decadence at its most inventive.

As seen on: WGSN Guide To Soho

Shop the London look:


Autumn Trench Coat

This week there really is only one item that our attention turns to – the trenchcoat. Synonymous with wet weather dressing and looking especially chic on Audrey Hepburn in her Breakfast at Tiffany’s days, it hails from the 19th Century originally as a military style, which later became incarnated as a day-to-day version following World War One.

It’s since become the staple of a smart working wardrobe but has particular pertinence this week as the forecast is especially gloomy – the rain just keeps on coming and getting dressed and remaining vaguely put together becomes harder and harder.

So step forward the trenchcoat.

A classic, it really is its own wonder garment – it almost doesn’t matter what you have on underneath because the trench does all the talking and makes that first great impression. Flat brogues keep it youthful and plays up to its tomboy charms while boots that climb the length of the leg have sass appeal. Wellingtoon boots, even, will work. And that’s it, the outfit is essentially complete. Can it really be that easy?

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It can – but then where is the fun in that? The autumn/winter 2015 catwalks made us rethink what we thought of the humble trench: it was spliced up and cut short at 3.1 Phillip Lim, transformed into a ballgown hybrid at Dries Van Noten and rendered in a poetic paisley at Burberry – for whom the trench really is its calling card.

Essentially, when it comes to wearing it this week, it is all about belting it and keeping the rain out. You’ll need a serious and substantial umbrella to go with it – not one that will blow inside out when the wind gets a bit too enthusiastic – and we suggest wearing in those autumn boots you should be buying just about now with it too.

When there are those odd moments to wear it undone or tied artistically so as to make a splaying blouse construction at the top, a pleated skirt just peeking out from the trench hem below will look seasonally studious. Lengths can be tricky but stick to this styling trick and you will be fine. And remember you still want to let the trench be the focus. Even when Lim and Van Noten contorted it into their hybrids you knew it was a trench beneath it all.

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Spring Trench

There’s a reason trenchcoats have been a wardrobe staple for years. Originally designed for British soldiers during the First World War, their flattering silhouettes and water-resistant khaki make them a no-brainer during the cooler months. A classic doesn’t have to feel vanilla, though. This season, we saw lots of playful variations on the tried-and-true spring trench, like J.W. Anderson’s cross-over collar or one in supple suede. See my favourite ways to wear them and shop the looks below:

Natasha Goldenberg wore a J.W. Anderson wrap-front spring trench with cuffed jeans at the Fall ’15 shows.

A classic spring trench looked fresh with sleek black accessories.