MONDAY: It had all started on Friday night with an idea of Tony Blair's - a show that brought together the best of European young designers to mark Britain's presidency of the EU. So we had 27 designers from 14 countries in the special tent we had built at the Natural History Museum. Chris Smith came along, as well as John Prescott and his wife Pauline. It sure helps to have the Government recognise the importance of the fashion industry. After a champagne reception we were given dinner by Douglas Henderson, the minister from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which had helped us host the event.
Saturday was non-stop. There was quite a ruckus at the Cafe de Paris during the evening when we had one lot of people leaving the first Vivienne Westwood show and another lot arriving for the second. Plus tourists who were trying to get in too. I like the excitement of this world, but I'm not exactly thrilled to be trampled on and punched.
Things were calmer yesterday. David Bailey was shooting pictures for Vogue of people in fashion, so I went along to have my picture taken in a special studio he had set up in the museum. He's an appealing character. I can see how he gets good pictures out of people.
This morning I had to be up at 5am to be collected in time for an interview at GMTV. Then I was on a series of dashes across London for various shows: to a church in Notting Hill for Sonja Nuttall, Covent Garden for Lainey Keogh, back to the Natural History Museum for Ben de Lisi, to a warehouse in King's Cross for Owen Gaster. I've got a driver, and she's a genius. Tonight I was a victim of our own London Fashion Week security when I forgot my invitation to Bella Freud at the Cafe Royal and they couldn't find my seat. Went off to Camden for Andrew Grove's Off-Piste Show instead. On the way back we stopped at Lola's restaurant in Islington. We said we needed to eat quickly, and they were very good about it. Then when the food was about to arrive, we got a call saying the next show was starting in 10 minutes. So we bolted down the meal and raced round the corner - where the show didn't begin for another hour.
TUESDAY: Spent the morning doing my day job as chief executive of the Arcadia Group. John Battle from the DTI joined me ahead of the Julien Macdonald show, and then it was off to Brick Lane in the East End for Hussein Chalayan. Dinner at the Ivy with my friends Camilla Astor, Annalisa Barbieri and Linda Suffolk.
WEDNESDAY: Debbie, my personal trainer, came at 6.45 and made me run around and exercise for 90 minutes. I felt terrible. This morning we threw a birthday party for Vidal Sassoon; then it was off to the Maria Grachvogel show at the Atlantic Bar and Grill. The next show was in Leicester Square, a 10-minute walk away, and I found I was like a pied piper leading this great stream of people through London. Wearing another hat, I had a strategy meeting at BAA in Victoria, before I collected Pauline Prescott and Janet Boateng - wife of Paul - and took them to the Week's closing show, Alexander McQueen. It was terrific, the best he's done. I guessed something was up when I saw the catwalk covered in coaldust. The flames were spectacular.
THURSDAY: Recovering. I'm pretty pleased with the way the Week went. We had a few problems with shows being delayed, partly the result of the same models being used over and over by too many designers. I think it's a bit silly, really. But certain models are suddenly in demand, and some do 12 to 15 shows a day. Each one requires new hair and make-up.
FRIDAY: Back to real life at Arcadia. It's like stepping from one world into another. The next London Fashion Week is in September. Will it be even better? I hope so.Reuse content