I remember the first fashion show I ever went to. It wasn’t good. In fact, it was terrible. It was in the main British Fashion Council tent, I stood at the back on my tip-toes straining to see. But I was so excited to be there and by the end of it I was fighting back tears. Despite the fact that it was horrible, I thought the whole thing was absolutely beautiful. That hectic rush before the lights are dimmed. The plastic being peeling from the catwalk. The general hushing noise of people trying to get quiet. That moment when the music starts and everyone anxiously awaits the first look.
Going to a fashion show is an experience. If you’re willing, it will move you, change you.
That night, it didn’t matter what the clothes looked like. I was being introduced to a world that would suck me in. Over the past few years my zeal has ebbed and flowed. It started with sheer enthusiasm. After each show, when asked what I thought, I’d gush that I loved it. But I was never quite sure what I loved or why. Did I want to wear the clothes? Would they look good in an editorial? Would the clothes sell well in a boutique? Were they changing the direction of fashion? Pushing the boundaries? Revolutionizing the industry? I didn’t know.
All I knew was that I felt something, experienced something.
You can appreciate a show for different reasons. There’s the art, the craft, the details, the structure. There’s the development of a designer, the way their collections change over time, the way they relate to their customer, the relevance of their brand. There’s the editorial side, the trends, the influence, the sales.
There isn’t just one way to decide when a designer has been successful.
Regardless of that, there’s one thing I know and that’s when I like something – I mean really like something. It’s not because I’m an editor looking to put together a high fashion shoot for a magazine. I don’t own a boutique, I’m not a buyer. I’m not a writer covering the shows for any major publication. I’m really just a girl with a somewhat sick fascination with fashion, observing it from the outside. I’m wondering what to wear and how to wear it. For this reason – the J JS Lee Spring 2014 show really spoke to me.
It blew my mind a little and it’s not because it’s anything revolutionary. Quite the contrary, it’ssimple and uncomplicated. It looks good. It’s wearable. Oh baby, is it wearable. The trousers are the perfect shape (slight kick at the bottom) and hit at just the right spot on the leg. The colours are (wait for it…) a mix of black and white (yeah! yeah! yeah!), slightly faded aqua blue and pale pink. THAT pink. I know, okay, I know. It’s EVERYWHERE. I’m actually kind of sick of it already but somehow Jackie’s version doesn’t piss me off. Maybe because, let’s face it, pale pink isn’t the most practical colour fora cocoon coat. It makes much more sense in separates and a little basic dress. The geometric print, the contrasting collar on that white shirt, the curved hem, the sleeve that hits just above the elbow – it’s these little details that make the collection so strong. They aren’t in your face. They don’t scream ‘look at me!’ They’re just there. It’s their subtlety that lends them strength. Plus, these pieces are classic. They’re staples. Yet despite that, they aren’t boring and they feel totally fresh. That, ladies and gentleman, is what fashion is all about. I can honestly say, I love it.
p.s. I want every pair of sandals… in every colour.
Photos via Vogue.