somerset house
Somerset House, for some, will always bring to mind birth certificates. But to younger Londoners, this imposing 18th Century neo-classical building is a superior, atmospheric urban outdoor venue known for quality, cutting-edge music, cinema, and – obvs – London Fashion Week.

Between the Strand and the Thames, Somerset House was originally built for the Duke of Somerset and first became a government building following the civil war. Its importance at the time is noted by the fact that Oliver Cromwell actually lay in state following his death in 1658. Rebuilt later as a public building, it would house many learned societies including the prestigious Royal Academy.

The Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths was based here from the 1850s to the 1970s, but the historic palace and grounds which inspired paintings by Canaletto is now managed by a trust, keen to revive its rich heritage and inspire a more cultured future.

In July, the 55 dancing fountains in its cobbled Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, an award-winning public space, are turned off to create a 3,000 capacity venue for the annual Summer Series at Somerset House, sponsored by American Express. Over the last 13 years, the prestigious festival has presented inspiring, innovative artists like Grace Jones, Elbow, Robert Plant, Adele, Blondie, Sigur Ros and Bert Jansch. Glaswegian post-rock outfit Mogwai’s swirling surround-sound 2007 series opener is still fondly remembered from the back catalogue. 2007 also saw Amy Winehouse play an accomplished, moving set that year, not long before her tragic passing.

Underworld fans still reminisce about dancing deliriously in 2003 to ‘Two Months Off’ as the sun set over the spectacular architecture. Goldfrapp’s set from that same year was filmed for release on their 2004 Wonderful Electric DVD, and the band also made another Somerset House appearance as part of the eleven date 2013 programme, which also included second appearances by Band of Horses and Basement Jaxx. Richard Hawley, who also featured this year, said: “Somerset House is the venue along with Greenwich Observatory I’ve always hoped I might get a chance of playing as they are both connected deeply with our country’s history.”
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samsung galaxy s4 zoom lfw
Brace yourself, superbabes. These photos were taken with a smartphone.

Knowing of my major obsession with my Galaxy S4, Samsung very kindly invited me to play with the brand spankin’ new Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom over London Fashion Week.

Though it has a lot of the same features as my beloved S4 – Group Play, Sound & Shot, Drama Shot, etc – the Zoom has entered a league of its own. It has the most powerful zoom lens of any smartphone (we’re talking 10x optical zoom!), a 16 MP CMOS sensor, OIS and Xenon flash. It felt like carrying a spy-friendly mini SLR over Fashion Week and, as you can see from the photos I took at Holly Fulton (below), delivered insane results.

I may not end up with a SLR-broken back in my twenties, after all. The Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom is, at the very least, a blogger’s best friend.

samsung galaxy s4 zoom lfw
samsung galaxy s4 zoom lfw
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lfw street style
As much as I fell head over heels for the look of this cape and shift dress combo, its real hero factor is how comfortable both pieces were when worn from 9 to 5…am. With structure and warmth, this may have been my favourite outfit of London Fashion Week.

What I Wore:
‘Hazel’ cape and ‘Harmony’ dress from Jarlo London
Bracelet from Dower and Hall
Rose gold watch from Nixon
Handbag from Gianni Chiarini
Wedged boots from Even & Odd

lfw street style

met bar lfw
Like every good fashion journalist, I spent last night preparing for London Fashion Week by ordering multiple cocktails at The Metropolitan’s infamous Met Bar.

Over London Fashion Week, Kate Moss’ old haunt will be offering five limited edition cocktails inspired and co-created with some of the hautest designers of the moment.

Varying between £12-14.50, these cocktails are a ride and a half. From concept to consumption, each drink is a work of art.

The Cinnamon Spice & All Things Nice (inspired by Matthew Williamson) kicked things off with orange rum, caramelised citrus fruits, cinnamon and passion fruit, mirroring the designer’s frequent Caribbean and Indian influences.

The Velvet Underground, inspired by Tom Ford and his signature colour palette, is a blend of Tanqueray with blueberries, raspberries, sugar and lime juice. The taste antithesis of Burberry-inspired ‘The Bailey’; creamy hazelnut liquor with butterscotch and vodka.

Personal favourites were, of course, champagne based; The Rebel Without A Cause – a delicious concoction of Hendrick’s, Chambord, Rose champagne, lemonade, rosebud ice cubes and Vivienne Westwood femininity – and The Quintessential Rock Star – Paul Smith‘s signature stripes replicated in a flute of Blue Curaçao, passion fruit syrup and champagne.

If you’re lucky enough to have a show invitation on hand, you will even receive a 20% discount. Time you get your drink on, fashionistas.

met bar lfw
met bar lfw
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neon winter outfit
It was a “give me comfort or give me death” kind of day come Day Four of London Fashion Week. Though I was one missed espresso away from heading to Somerset House in a onesie, a few super-bright pieces saved my style.

What I Wore:
Green faux fur coat, Antoni & Alison (AW12). Red beret, handmade (similar here). Neon orange jumper, Superdry. Red dress, vintage (similar here). Thigh-high boots, Boohoo. iPad case, Lodis (similar here).

neon winter outfit