Got some time to kill between shows? Steer clear of West End tourist spots, save some phone battery and head for WGSN’s favourite Instagram-friendly locales.
The sweltering heat of New York is over and you’ve sat on the red eye flight to the cooler weather (and, let’s face it, light rain) of London. Whether you’re Ubering between exclusive postcodes; riding the tube in platforms heels, late for your next show; or you’re milling around Brewer Street Car Park to soak up the atmosphere and get papped, we’ve got the lowdown on London’s most stylish fashion week hotspots.
Wake up at…
40 Trinity Square EC3N 3DJ / 44 (0)20 3519 4830
Neighbourhood: Bank/St Pauls
The affordable luxury chain, which has already conquered the capital with its Bankside and Shoreditch locations, is the stay of choice for creative travellers due to its rejection of hotel clichés and welcoming of cool design credentials. The iMacs and books in the “living room” lobby – not to mention the spectacular views from the CloudM bar – make this Dutch chain a force to be reckoned with.
Have breakfast at…
Grand Buildings, 1-3 Strand WC2N 5EJ / 44 (0)20 7930 8855
Neighbourhood: Trafalgar Square
With a photogenic colour palette of forest green and pastel pink, the Tom Dixon-designed Bronte is London’s newest spot for lovers of good design and (reasonably) healthy food. The menu draws from international influences but is primarily Antipodean, featuring a range of intricate salads and flavours that you crave in those pre or post-show mornings: such as hot smoked salmon with scrambled duck eggs, served on sweet brioche.
133 Sloane Street SW1X 9AX / 44 (0)74 6970 4629
Neighbourhood: Knightsbridge/Sloane Street
India Mahdavi – the architect behind Sketch’s very pink, much-photographed The Gallery – has designed REDValentino’s kitsch new store on Sloane Street. As one might expect, the colour of choice is overwhelming baby pink; with clever touches of white and gold, resulting in a romanticised wonderland of ethereal clothing and accessories. For wow-factor visual merchandising inspiration and an envy-inducing Instagram opportunity, don’t miss this flagship store.
Old Spitalfields Market, Brushfield Street E1 6AA
Neighbourhood: Brick Lane/Spitalfields
This pop-up debuts globally on the 18th September for one day only. In the spirit of the London landmark of Old Spitalfields Market, which is the setting of choice for Topshop Unique’s SS17 show, a market stall will sell the exclusive Topshop Unique collection just minutes after the catwalk’s finale. In addition, the coveted collection will go live on Topshop.com and in various stores. This is the first time the high street retailer has introduced a runway-to-retail concept for shoppers, so save the date and – if you can’t make it to Spitalfields – get ready to crazily refresh the e-com site from your phone.
18-22 Haymarket SW1Y 4DG / 44 (0)20 7518 0680
Neighbourhood: Bond Street/Mayfair
This new home for the renowned concept store conceived by Rei Kawakubo is located on Haymarket, just a few streets away from its original location. Kawakubo showcases an inspiring range of adventurous designers over 35,000 sq ft of space, including Vetements, JW Anderson and Simone Rocha. While the building’s original façade and grand staircase have been retained, Kawakubo has taken the opportunity to show off her quirky design aesthetic on a vast scale. Elaborate new features include the Rose Bakery, a perfume tower and “hidden” fitting rooms.
Have lunch at…
31 Windmill Street W1T 2JN
In response to the lengthy queues at its Soho branch, Bao has opened a two-storey eatery in Fitzrovia; home to many of the capital’s most interesting food spots such as Honey & Co and Roka. Matching its minimalist menu to its interiors, the Bao aesthetic is based around simplicity: steamed buns filled with lamb shoulder, confit pork belly or fried chicken. This central spot ticks all the boxes for your fashion week food fix: simple, delicious and visually stunning.
Go and see…
Somerset House, Strand WC2R 1LA / 44 (0)20 7845 4600
Neighbourhood: Covent Garden
Take an hour out of your show schedule and literally step into the beguiling world of Björk. Somerset House hosts the VR-heavy extravaganza, which includes films Black Lake and Stonemilker, one-to-one theatrical experiences where the viewer is surrounded by the spectacular highlands of Iceland. This ground-breaking exhibition is the first of its kind, combining advances in technology, art and music to create a unique connection between artist and audience.
Have dinner at…
31 Great Windmill Street W1D 7LP / 44 (0)20 3327 9464
Neighbourhood: Carnaby Street/Soho
Restaurateur Martin Morales has almost single-handedly introduced Peruvian cuisine to London with his successful ventures Ceviche and Andina. Sample his newest opening, Casita Andina – just across the road from the fashion week frenzy of Brewer Street Car Park – and dine in the colourful interiors of a traditional Peruvian home. For those who are gluten free or vegan, Castita Andina offers a dream-like menu of various options: avocado fritters, chilli-marinated cauliflower with sweet potato, tomato ceviche and mango and chia pots, alongside Morales’ renowned fish ceviche.
Grab a nightcap at…
129 City Road EC1V 1JB / 44 (0)20 7253 4101
The hard-to-find Nightjar is a speakeasy worth the search, with a historically-influenced cocktail menu divided into four distinct eras: Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Post-War and Nightjar Signatures. All concoctions are created with top shelf liquors and Nightjar’s own house-infused spirits and bitters. If you’re journeying east for an after party, be sure to book a table at Nightjar to end your night with live jazz and obligatory dim lighting.
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