London Calling: Gearing Up For Fashion Week Across the Pond

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While New York is mired in its Fashion Week activities, the Brits still have a couple days to prepare. Our London correspondent Ria Tesia gives us a taste of what the English are looking forward to in clothes and culture.

London is a hot-bed of activity in the fall. With a thriving music scene and uber cool fashion landscape to boot, London is one of my favorite places to be. London Fashion Week is five days away (OK, I’m counting). In the run-up to this hotly anticipated annual event that has been in the diary of any self-respecting fashion aficionado since last year, London will be highlighting a plethora of sartorially focused design talent. The eyes of all and sundry, from buyers, to journalists, to individuals with a passion for fashion will be glued to the fabulous affair from Friday. I love watching these fashion shows, where models sashay down the catwalk and flit from one hip after-party to another in a range of delectable designs. For three whole days, myself, along with the fashion populace forget the words ‘recession’ and ‘austerity measures.'

From newbie designers Eudon Choi and Felicity Brown, to veterans such as Vivienne Westwood and Maria Grachvogel, London Fashion Week is pure sartorial pleasure. I am in particular, looking forward to seeing Victoria Beckham’s show. Her Autumn/Winter 2010 was slick, striking and extremely wearable. Acknowledging a sculptor extraordinaire (the brilliant Brancusi) for her last collection, her inspiration is definitely interesting and unique. Her designs are flattering and enormously covetable; her halter-neck dress in the blush tone has shot up to number one on my wish-list (boyfriend, take note for potential Christmas present).

Another hotspot in the Londoner’s diary is The Mercury Prize. A keen acolyte of new music, I follow this event with a passion and watched last week, the coolest party in town unfold with bated breath. This is the music event that all industry insiders earmark and attend in their droves. This remarkable award veritably champions new music whilst single-handedly flying the flag for upcoming groups. Twelve bands from diverse genres made the enviable shortlist, with nominations being announced way back in July. The music gurus that be, had us on tenterhooks for a whole two months before announcing the super cool ‘The XX’ as winners of The Mercury Prize Album of The Year. Expect to hear more from this accomplished and highly talented outfit, as they continue to charm their way to your ears (I especially love the soulful melody of ‘Crystalised’).

I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for music and fashion royalty in a few of my top London haunts (Claridges and The Landmark). I may well see bona fide royalty if I’m lucky, as it is the birthday on Wednesday of Prince Harry. I doubt I’ll see him partying; the reformed royal redhead prefers a quieter life these days. The transformation, of the third in line to the throne, has been nothing short of miraculous. Leaving his firebrand days behind, a grounded, thoroughly likable, mature individual has emerged. He’s even founded Sentebale, a charity which helps vulnerable children in Lesotho, South Africa. So, happy birthday Prince Harry. It’s going to be a fabulous week, I can just feel it…