Last weekend (Saturday 27th April) I went to the Vogue Festival at London's Southbank Centre with my friend Acadia. The night before I was frantically trying to decide what to wear and finally settled on this: a New Look white shirt, H&M black cardigan, New Look leather jacket, Topshop cigarette trousers, and Primark pumps. I went with this because it was a smart look but still fashionable, and I chose pumps for the comfort factor as after the Vogue Festival I was going to spending the rest of the day (and night) in London for Acadia's 18th birthday celebrations. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ACADIA!)
|Acadia, left, and I posing in front of the "Vogue Wall"|
The structure of the festival was a series of talks and discussions with a stellar line-up of speakers, a Cover Shoot set-up where attendees posed for a faux-Vogue cover a £10 a pop, hair braiding and make-up stations, a Vogue Café, a Vogue Shop with plenty of merch including coffee cup holders, Versace tees, Coach clutches, and books. I bought a t-shirt for £20.
|Photo by Anna Burrows|
There was even the opportunity for one-to-one time with Vogue staffers and industry figures on topics of styling, writing and modelling. We spoke to Vogue contributing editor Lisa Armstrong - possibly the best few minutes of my life.
Vogue's editorial images of Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne and others wrapping around the foyer windows contrasted beautifully with the architecture of Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Photo by Anna Burrows
Now, the talk. Paul Smith and Alexa Chung: Fashion and Personality, aka the quickest hour ever. Admittedly, prior to this talk I didn't really know that much about Paul Smith. In fact only last week did I buy his book Paul Smith: A to Z. However, Alexa on the other hand, I know plenty about. Who doesn't? She's a STLYE ICON.
|Attendees finding their seats|
Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman introducing Paul and Alexa
Photos by Anna Burrows
Starting with the words "You can find inspiration in everything. If you can't then you're not looking properly." Paul and Alexa themselves delivered a inspirational talk. Paul spoke of five key things he uses as inspiration when designing his clothes: art, music, architecture, travel and humour. On the topic of travel flowers in the Chelsea Flower show became stripes in his socks and a Chinese security guards uniform became a men's coat, whilst on the topic of architecture, he claimed he could make a sweater from the wall of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
|Could you make a sweater out of this wall? I couldn't!|
Photo by Anna Burrows
12 facts revealed about Paul:
1) His motivation is not money, but rather his love of life
2) He swims very early in the morning (when asked by Alexa, he stated this was in speedos)
3) His music interests are Val Morrison, Neill Young, Jake Bugg and Fleet Foxes.
4) He replies to fan letters by hand
5) Fashion shows are his highlight and says to models "Walk down the street, don't be a model."
6) His wife is his style icon
7) He finds it hard to design women's clothes because of the "sticky out bits."
8) Paul Smith is the 5th biggest brand in Japan
9) He wears his own clothes
10) He never reads reviews of his shows because he's always onto the next thing - he's already finished his SS14 collection, "so if it's rubbish it's too late."
11) He takes the photos himself for all the campaigns.
12) He regrets that dinosaur coat
Alexa acted as more of a interviewer, asking Paul question after question however due to their charismatic ways, it felt more like a conversation between friends, with Paul posing the occasional question to Alexa - Paul: "Do you ever feel like kicking a puppy in the face?" Alexa: "I might try that when I get home."
|Alexa holding the programme, wearing a Paul Smith Dress|
Photo by Morgan O'Donovan
|Photos by Darren Gerrish|
Both speakers being experts on fashion and having personality a plenty, the title for this talk was perfect. Thoroughly entertaining and full of humour, Paul and Alexa make for a formidable team.
Paul Smith quotes of the day:
"Everyday is a new beginning"
"We all start equal. When we're born we're equal."
"Be interested and be interesting."
"If you know your body and personality, you can dress accordingly."
"Don't dress for fashion, dress for you."
"Nobody cares how good you used to be"
"100% or pack it in."
Alexa Chung quote of the day:
"The only opinions that matter are that of my friends and family because they know me."
Lots of love,