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.

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…

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…

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…

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.

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…

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…

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/Winter 2015-16 Loewe

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In just one season, JW Anderson managed to transform Loewe – the label at which he was appointed creative director at the end of 2013 following the departure of Stuart Vevers. His trophy T-shirts from his spring/summer 2015 debut were spotted at London Fashion Week and his leather trousers today sat happily on the front row. Already he’d managed to create “it” appeal – and such is the stamp that he’s put on the brand (injecting his own cult of personality), it can be hard to remember Loewe pre-J Dubs.

This collection, he continued in that vein, this second collection an extended drilling down of his woman, who she is, what she wears, when and how. And even if she herself doesn’t know, Anderson is going to tell her.

“We were trying to find the woman in winter. A bit laboratory, something future but in the reality,” the designer configured of his starting point this season. There were whiffs of his eponymous line and its Eighties stance  to be found here. “I do both brands. I want them to be different but want them to communicate what I feel. She [the Loewe woman] is older, harder. It’s about playing,” he said.

His toys of choice obviously began with leather – the remit of the luxury heritage house. He gave us mint and lilac trouser and mac combinations; blouson panelled jackets that were beautifully crafted and executed; a continuation of last season’s wide-leg trouser – spotted here mostly beneath dresses in graphic green, grey or red prints. He added to that with glossy red, sophisticated navy, glistening green and pleated lamé skirts and dresses, lemon yellow funnel-neck jumpers that inflated into shape, tie details at the neck of capes and at the waist of silver pleated swaying skirts or more wide-leg trousers. It was that touch of the hand, a nod to craft.

Of course accessories played a part – an original core of the brand. “We went tougher on accessories. It’s winter so you want something more robust. We were thinking about bags that fit into different periods of the day,” said Anderson. They ran from handheld pochettes like little historical coin purses, to neat and compact handbags with turquoise chevron handles. Their lines continued onto the bags themselves and onto the toe caps of beautiful navy boots.

“The shoes and bags either need to contradict or work together with everything,” he said of his train of thought, though quick to note that neither the clothes or accessories are more important than the other.

“There’s a tension in the collection,” he summed up. And no doubt, with the press raving already as they queued up to chat to the designer backstage, there’ll be a tension as to who gets to wear this season first. Anderson’s Loewe chapter continues with great success.

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