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:

Couture Accessories

We’d all love to wear couture, of course, but in reality, it’s a little more complicated than that. While not every piece is an extravagant ballgown creation, those are the ones that set wardrobes apart and infer hierarchy (and no doubt a bit of jealousy too). But that doesn’t mean we can’t dream and that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything we can’t take away from the collections that took to the catwalks in Paris. They are, after all, a walking inspiration board of their own.

And this was a season in which accessories came to the fore. They were there to be noticed. First there were those headdresses that riffed on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which became quite the trend in fact – spotted first at Versace, then Elie Saab as well as Valentino, Alberta Ferretti and Dolce & Gabbana. Summer brides should take note – these were the epitome of ethereal elegance and brought romance to every look.  Flowers and feathers were added for height and exuberance at Dolce, while shimmering ribbon entwined in braids made for a headdress effect at Ferretti.

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce & Gabbana 2

Then there were the huge weighty chains around necks at Dior, a style note we began to see among the label’s pre-spring/summer 2016 collection – there on the handles of bags. Anchor-like, they were a clever take on the ball and chain. Start to think about going XL with your jewellery as we come into the new season, it looks fresh and new. These will be desirable hits.

Christian Dior Christian Dior 2

Giambattista Valli, too, flew the flag for serious accessories. Shades were of bulbous bug-eye proportions (as he so often does) teamed with fan-like earrings to match. Dainty just didn’t cut it. But overall the shape was simple, focus on ornamentation for embroidered flowers and incandescent sequin shards.

Giambattista Valli 2 Giambattista Valli

And where once you might have been told not to combine a neck piece and a headpiece together, Valentino showed how to make it work. Gold pendants or sculpted pieces were matched to golden wreaths worn like crowns in the hair. A more day-to-day version of this would be a sizable hairclip or slide worn with a chunky necklace.

Valentino Valentino 2

But this isn’t about more is more and piling it on. This is about carefully considered choice pieces – that just so happen to be bigger in shape or size for note-worthy effect.