Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

London Fashion Week: Jaeger

London Fashion Week started on Sunday and I have been a bit out of the loop because of the previous week's excitement but I wouldn't miss Jaeger's second catwalk show in its 125 year history, particularly as my Autumn/Winter wardrobe is dominated by what I saw at the February show.

LFW shows take place in a marquee in front of the Natural History Museum in Kensington. There's a champagne bar while you're waiting to go in and what struck me was how many women in the crowd were wearing Jaeger. Now it's only polite to wear the designer to the show, but the crowd were fashion journalists who dash from one collection to the next and it's hard to see how they could change between shows. I was wearing this top, and I must have seen it on seven or eight other women.

Most gratifying of all was sighting Mary Portas, the woman who masterminded the transformation of Harvey Nicks, wearing a coat-dress I have waiting in the wardrobe to be worn. She wore hers as a mini dress, with bare legs. I'll be wearing mine over a skinny rib sweater and wide leg trousers, as soon as it gets cold enough.

One Jaeger wearer is Sarah Brown, the Prime Minister's wife, who wore Jaeger at a party she hosted last night at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the launch of fashion week.

I had ten minutes or so with Alexandra Shulman to discuss my Booker Prize dress, and we agreed that the sleeves issue is a total nightmare. You might think that being editor of Vogue you would no longer have such problems. You would be wrong. I was stunned by one of the disasters she recounted to me.

Took my seat on the second row and immediately about twenty snappers came and started shoving their lenses into my face, and how nice, I thought that the fashion world recognises literary excellence, until I realised I was sitting behind Erin O'Connor and two of the Jagger girls. O'Connor was wearing this coat, which I had nearly bought but finally went for the Armani instead, and seeing it on her, I am very glad I didn't. It would have destroyed it for me. I am not quite the same shape or size or height as Erin O'Connor.

The key to the show was colour - dragee shades, which I love, stronger than pastels- and sleeves - floaty, handkerchief sleeves on maxi dresses and tops, Incredibly clever of the Jaeger people to work out that we will wear maxi-dresses, but not if they're halter neck.

You can see the whole show here, but first on my list to buy next summer is this top

I'm incredibly pleased that in Britain we have a range which is priced at the low end of designer with such strong quirky style. I wonder if the fact that Jaeger is producing such beautiful wearable clothes is down to the fact that its designer, Karen Boyd, looks like this:

I have that scarf
and yes, that's my neck to the left of Erin's head.


adele said...

I reckon something like the beautiful dragee colours long dress would be perfection for the Booker Dinner....can you not get it a bit early??
And as for no evening dresses with sleeves, I find that ridiculous. Where do Lady Mayoresses go for their outfits?

Deja Pseu said...

Wow, wish the Jaeger line was available here. I love that first dress!

Linda Grant said...

They wear the sort of evening dresses I don't want to wear.

miss cavendish said...

I've loved Jaeger since I (improbably) bought my first pieces when I was around 19 at Holt Renfrew. I also like the long skirt worn with the blouse you are going to purchase.

Toby Wollin said...

All I can say is, "Wow - love every single thing. Must keep tight hold on the wallet..."

greying pixie said...

I think Shirley Bassey was wearing the same coat as Erin at the Jaeger show. I think you made a wise choice with the Armani - just think how last year the Jaeger coat will be next year!

Linda Grant said...

I didn't see Dame Shirley, which was a shame. Agree about the coat, which was my chief reservation about not buying it.

karenP said...

Oh dear ! I'm never off that Jaeger website since you brought it to my attention... Am quite excited about some of these pieces. Must start saving NOW !

lagatta à montréal said...

I kept the pic of Dame Shirley in a smashing red frock, from an M&S promo, on my last computer's screen. Should find it again. Made me feel a bit less fearful of what the future holds!

angelabdc said...

Wow the clothes are gorgeous and Karen Boyd; was she a designer with a profile in the 1980s for Bodymap or some similar label? I will definitely check out their collection based on this post.

Oh and congratulations. I'm sure I've seen Vivienne Westwood dresses with sleeves that would be perfect for the dinner.

Anonymous said...

I really like the long dress with poppies - dreamy.

Anonymous said...

I know Nigella Lawson and Helen Bonham-Carter have worn Vivienne Westwood evening dress (with Sleeves)with great aplomb. Any luck there?

Have you considered Betty Jackson? Donna Karan?

I can't believe how much I'm thinking about this. You must have the best dress for potentially one of the best nights of your life!

I'm going to be very forward and ask you for your size soon. ;)

Fay said...

Yes, I too am spending an awful lot of time thinking about this awards outfit. I even Googled images of Helen Mirren and wondered where she found all those beautiful gowns with sleeves that cover her upper arms. If she is seen in a sleeveless dress, she is never without a bolero, shawl or something soft to drape over her.

Anyway,I have a feeling that Linda will manage to surprise us and come up with something really stunning.

Linda Grant said...

Those dresses are couture, they are made for her and cost thousands

Gabrielle said...

Did any of you read Sarah Mower's Jaeger review on I was a bit offended by it--apparently Jaeger and Jaeger's clientele do not belong in London's fashion week lineup. On the other hand, she writes a glowing review of Stella McCartney's Adidas collection. It's fun stuff, but why is it more worthy?

greying pixie said...

I have not read Sarah Mower's article and I do not know what 'LFW's line up' is, but I can tell you that LFW is not the be all and end all of the British fashion industry. I freelance for several very successful niche market designers who have actually pulled out of LFW because they no longer need the exposure, ie. the buyers come to them anyway, so why bother with the huge expense of showing at LFW.

I know LFW is great fun, etc, but it is really just the veneer of the industry, behind which there is a huge amount of very very hard and not at all glamourous work.