London calling: Fashion week highlights

With Fashion Week kicking off in the capital on Friday, Harriet Walker rounds up the best venues, the hottest parties and discovers how the fashion pack survive
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The book: Classy by Derek Blasberg

New York fashion journalist Derek Blasberg's sparkling new fashion etiquette guide is a must for anyone braving Fashion Week. With help on all matters, from how to get ahead to how to avoid the worst dressed lists, don't leave home without it.


Charles Anastase, designer

The music for my show is Serge Gainsbourg's Gainsbourg percussion. After the show I'm dining with my investors at Scott's restaurant in Mayfair, which I love. And I will probably end up going with designer Louise Gray to the Ponystep party and to Claridge's with my American friends, from the band The Like, who are in town.

Heikki Salonen, designer

For fashion week I am preparing for the spring/summer 2011 Fashion East show that will take place in the Old Eurostar Terminal Building at Waterloo station. I hope to be eating out in the new HEL YES! restaurant, which I'm excited about, because for me it's something I can really relate to – to see and eat some Finnish food in London is going to be incredible for me!

The music: Burberry acoustic

Burberry's Christopher Bailey has teamed up with the British Fashion Council to create the first in a collection of albums that celebrate fashion's relationship with the music industry. Featuring tracks from David Bowie, Good Shoes and The Boomtown Rats, it's a lively selection of classics and cool kids that sum up the label's modern take on British heritage chic. Released on 20 September.

Hannah Marshall, designer

My show is on the first day of Fashion Week, so I will get to enjoy the rest. During the day, I'll be doing sales appointments with buyers and seeing press. It's nice to put faces to names since so much is done over email. There are always some great parties in London too – at Bungalow 8 and Shoreditch House, and the Mulberry party is guaranteed fun.

The restaurant: HEL YES!

Super-cute pop-up restaurant HEL YES! offers the finest in Finnish cuisine and design, within a lofty warehouse. With staff uniforms created exclusively by ex-pat Heikki Salonen (above), who will show his collection as part of Fashion East on 21 September, it's definitely the coolest seat in town. And all that fish oil will be a perfect restorative for a weary fashion pack. Open until 3 October, see for details.

The editor's picks: The love machine

Fashion from a vending machine? Not just any vending machine, one of the most luxe ones around. The Morgans' Semi-Automatic vending machine can be found in glamorous hotels around the world and Fashion Week sees it based at St Martins Lane in London. Katie Grand, editor of LOVE magazine, has collected her favourite pieces from Selfridges for you to choose from. It doesn't take small change, though.

The auction: The car boot-ique

If you're looking for a piece of fashion memorabilia, log on to the Car Boot-ique. The online auction will raise money for Fashion East and Laureus Sport for Good Foundation by selling designer pieces ranging from Christopher Kane to a six-foot apple that decorated the Mulberry catwalk last season. Look out too for the limited-edition finger puppets of fashion editors: Suzy Menkes in miniature!

The wheels: London cycle chic

Who says cycling is for nerds? Designer Jean-Pierre Braganza has created a limited-edition version of the London hire bike, rendered in the same bird and rose print used in his spring/summer 2011 collection – which he'll show on the catwalk this Friday. The bikes will also launch that day, so look out for them whizzing around the capital, bringing a bit of glamour to the daily commute. Go to for more details.

The venue: Waterloo station

Fashion Week's main marquees are set up at Somerset House on the Embankment, but the Topshop venue is where the younger NEWGEN designers show, and this season sees the reincarnation of Waterloo station's old Eurostar terminal, with a catwalk along the tracks. For those who want in on the action, Topshop will screen the shows live and in 3D at their Oxford Circus store. With a view like that, who needs a front row seat?

Kinder Aggugini, designer

You always see people in amazing looks at Fashion Week and I wonder where they all come from and where they go when the week is over. I love the music for my show – a mix of eerie sounds with rocking beats and some new electro tracks. I'll mainly be hanging out in my basement while we prepare the show – but there's hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling mirrors and Itsu for lunch, so I have no complaints.

Sarah Harris, fashion writer, Vogue

Days will be spent hotfooting it between Somerset House and Waterloo, so I've bought some Jimmy Choo biker boots which are fur-lined and flat for comfort. I'm most excited to see Christopher Kane and Meadham Kirchoff's shows. We always start off with good intentions, snacking on seeds and fruit, but by the end of the week it's Haribo and Cadbury's Whole Nut.

The young blood: Daisy Craver

Craver, a recent graduate from the University of Westminster, is the latest winner of the Warehouse Design Competition, which plucks out talented young designers and gives them the chance to design for a major high-street label. Her leather jackets (above, £350) and goth-chic skirts (£40) are just a couple of highlights and the capsule collection arrives in store on 16 September.

The wardrobe: Shop 24

Dressing for the shows is notoriously difficult – balancing comfort with cool is no easy task. Thanks, then, to Browns, whose new Shop 24 concept brings together staples and basics from some of the coolest labels around, such as Alexander Wang, Vince and Surface to Air. The one-stop shop for wardrobe essentials includes this camel coat by Carven, £630, and look out too for jewellery by the ultra-hip Pamela Love.