I'm still in catch up mode - I have at least three Dedicated Traveler posts, London Fashion Week coverage, L.A Fashion Week coverage...and more to come...boy oh boy...but I'm getting there and I can't wait to share it all.
I thought I'd drop a little outfit post your way in the meantime. This is what I wore to the British Fashion Council opening party. I fell in love with this dress. Hard. But in another case of "should I really be wearing this?" I wasn't 100% sure. The back, which I neglected to photograph (my bad), drops really low, and combined with the super skinny straps results in not being able to wear a bra. At all. Not even a stick on one. I tried.
Now I'm not one to be ashamed of my nipples, back in the day I was a braless wonder on a regular basis, but since my boobs have gotten humongous...not wearing a bra is a little, well, awkward.
But nonetheless I forged ahead, and despite having to avoid chilly areas all night, felt quite fabulous.
I paired the dress with these amazing wedges that Seychelles sent over, which compliment the dress perfectly (and are beyond comfortable - it was like I wasn't even wearing heels - the following day I wore them for ten hours straight...) and this fantastic purse courtesy of Lulu*s.
Make up wise, with my ombre hair (which people on YouTube continually try to tell me is not Ombre...it totally is, shut up YouTube users) and the neon colours and spaghetti straps, there was a nineties vibe going on which I intensified with a super dark lip.
The Margin Tradeshow is a lot smaller than your average tradeshow, with a focus on smaller, indie, niche brands. There were some really fantastic discoveries to be made and I was particularly enamoured with Karlinka, an Austrian line.
The fabrics are traditional folk fabrics in super saturated colours and fashioned into vintage inspired dresses, creating this saccharine feast for the eyeballs. I'd wear every piece. The work was impeccably done and felt fresh.
My other favourite of the day had to be the Me and Zena jewelry line. Completely whimsical and fun but chunky and substantive. The pencil and sharpener inspired line is ingenious and I want every piece, particularly the pencil bangle and sharpener ring.
I feel like fashion is having a love affair with pencils right now (hello - Mary Katrantzou!) and I'm totally on board.
Whilst, seemingly, everyone else in the US fashion industry was headed to either Magic or New York Fashion Week mid February, I was headed to enjoy some fashion a little further afield, in my home country.
Pure Tradeshow is one of the biggest fashion tradeshow's in the UK and features a vast array of apparel, accessories, and shoes cleverly broken down by demographic. Heading to Pure was actually the impetus for my entire trip to London (which obviously resulted in a lot more than a tradeshow visit - hello Los Angeles Fashion Council!) - as Stylesmith, as an agency, expands, I really want to focus on not only Los Angeles brands, but British brands too. Merging my two homes.
I have plans to open a show room in the next few months and I attended as both a journalist and to seek out potential new clients.
The following labels were some of my absolute favourites from our excursion!
Here's the thing. Put me in a room full of British fashion and it's then that you realise how very inspired I am by the aesthetic that is so inherently British. A little bit vintage, a little bit of whimsy and a lot colour and romance. This describes the Mina brand to a T.
The prints and the delicate collars were absolutely gorgeous, and the price points, delicious...they come in around or under $100. Nice!
Beyond Skin is a pretty darn awesome idea....beautiful shoes made entirely of non leather fabrics. For this vegetarian, who fails miserably when it comes to leather goods, it's an excessively appropriate company. Great quality shoes, on trend and classic styles, but no dead animals - yayness.
Louche is another one of those gorgeous vintage inspired brands, filled with whimsy and character. Their tea dresses and blouses feature the quaintest prints, bold colours and vintage cuts.
Dahlia was already one of my favourite UK brands going into the Pure Tradeshow, so it was exciting to see what they had on show. The line is the ultimate in girly goodness - florals, eyelet cotton and sunshine-y colours - vintage styling and über feminine. I literally wanted everything.
We also got to stop by some of my other favourite brands, Darling being one of them (I literally have no idea why I have no pics - I could have sworn I took some!) and meeting with their husband and wife team was a privilege, they were simply lovely, it's bee great watching their success here in the Los Angeles market and I know the brands above can do just as well :)
There was a reason I was jetsetting across Europe last month, and it wasn't just to feel like an international fashion maven. In Febraury (on Valentine's Day to be precise) The Los Angeles Fashion Council kicked off London Fashion Week in the first leg of our two year program promoting Los Angeles design on a worldwide platform at the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London.
“Having the opportunity to be an L.A. designer showing in London has been a once in a lifetime experience - meeting with London based press and buyers has put L.A back on a global fashion platform” - Jen Awad, Designer.
Alana Hale with Harrods Buyer, Imogen Richardson
Alana Hale and Singer, Josie Florence (incidentally...my little sister ;)
Jen Awad being interviewed by some fabulous bloggers.
The crowd outside ;)
Our designers met with international press and buyers throughout the week including major department stores such as Harrods, pre-eminent online retailers, ASOS and retail icons such as Koh Samui.
Designer Victor Wilde with ID Mag stylist Aaron Francis Walker
British girl band Little Mix on the Brit Awards Red Carpet. Perry, far left, is wearing Curyl V.
Prominent stylists were also in attendance, leading to red carpet placement for one of our designer’s, Curly V, at this years Brit Awards. Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, this years UK X Factor winners, wore his “bodyguard” body con dress, with a neckline encrusted with hand sewn buttons, causing quite the stir on the red carpet.
The show also resulted in a British Vogue feature, as part of twelve exhibitions they featured in their "Off Catwalk Round Up" - you can see the piece here.
I was so touched at the sheer amount of support my home town of London has offered my new home, Los Angeles, on our visit - we cannot wait to return and share more of the bright, young talent Los Angeles has to offer next year.