An obligatory tourist shot in the guard station outside St. James Palace following Tom Ford’s show in the Palace’s Stables

London fashion week wore me out. Literally. In fact, I’m whipping up this text whilst wearing a full body of thermal clothing and two scarves tightly wound around my neck. Somehow, between my aggressive New York fashion week and then the festivities you’ll see here, my immune system was beat up and I’ve succumbed to the evil germs of strep throat. Not that a little thing like painful swallowing (feels like glass shards, guys) will keep me from reporting from the highlights of this year’s collections.

Perhaps I should start with what was undoubtedly the biggest highlight for me and my St. Louis sister Karlie Kloss, which was a little photo op with Mick Jagger at the small dinner the rocker threw at the recently opened Café Royal Grill Room for his girlfriend L’Wren Scott after her show. Can you imagine, us two little ladies from some small town in Missouri eating grilled chicken with a Rolling Stone? Rita Ora was a big part of this season too. I had met her a while ago when she performed at a swanky Cartier party, but the Yugoslavian-born, London-based singer has absolutely blown up since then, showing up at shows like Henry Holland and Burberry. (She’s so lovely I’ll even forgive her for calling me Dave on Twitter.) Henry’s show was on the first day of the collections, and his afterparty was perhaps what set the pace for my immune system’s destruction in London. Can I blame it on jet lag? Or should I just blame Nick Grimshaw and Alexa Chung, who are the real culprits here?

Let’s talk about the fashion’s now. The best analogy of the London fashion spectrum was seen on the second to last day of the collections, with a 7pm Tom Ford show at St. James’ Palace followed by an 8pm JW Anderson show in the basement of the Tate Modern. For the record, both shows were memorable and sensational, from men with points of view. But how different were they? Tom’s was decadent, beaded, drenched in furs and beads and exotic everything in an actual palace with gilded chairs and spotlights featuring suited male models at the entrance and a runway full of supermodels. Jonathan’s was sharp, short and minimal, held in the basement of one of the most important modern art museums in the world. See, London has something for everyone! Erdem and Christopher Kane reminded why they’re at the top of their game in this town, and I loved Giles’ gilded girls. Burberry’s show too was one of my favorites, with their heart patterns (which I’m convinced were taken from the Instagram ‘like’), rubber trenches and sharp tailoring.

And finally, I have to give major props to Net A Porte’s Natalie Massenet, the recently elected president of the British Fashion Council. She didn’t mess around this season, making sure visiting journalists were well taken care of and that the schedule was running smoothly. (I won’t say which show it was, but there was one that was starting too late and I watched her march backstage and crack the whip, much to everyone’s gratitude.) I have spent a large part of my life in London, so I’ve always been a big proponent of the creativity and the people who work in this town. So it’s been exciting to see the city regain its position on the international fashion scene. Cheers!

 

Captions, from top: Rihanna’s stylist Mel Ottenberg (woop woop, big boy!), Henry, Nick Grimshaw, Miss Rita and me at the House of Holland after party at the Graucho club; Alexa at the Another Magazine party at Café Royal; Two Guinnesses and Glenda: Daphne, Glenda Bailey and Lulu; Two of the best Brits, Erden and Chris Kane; A Rolling Stone with me and Karlie Kloss; the charming and well choreographed lunch service at L’Wren Scott’s show; Carine and Olivier; Hanne Gaby at the Giles show; Kristina showing off her beloved Balenciaga rings; a beloved phone booth in Primrose Hill; me and one of my first bosses, Vogue’s Andre Leon Talley; Natalie and Rita flanking Will.I.Am at the Café Royal; Miss Aimee Phillips, who may be my favorite person alive; Harley and Leigh in bright colors at Burberry; Anja on the Tom Ford runway; Tom’s bow; Eugenie and Noor at the club LouLou’s, which is pretty fabulous and fabulously pretty; my drinking partners at Jonathan Saunders’ afterpaty, Jack and Alice Eve, and the Oscar-winning film director Tom Hooper; Cesar, Lily, Charlotte and me at the Another Magazine party; Annabelle Neilson and Sophia Hesketh in similar but not the same Alexander McQueen dress, narrowly avoiding a fashion disaster; Atlanta and Daisy at Giles; Yasmine Le Bon, who looks just as heavenly as she did when she ruled the runway in the 1990s, and Alice Temperley; the last supper of London fashion week, when Jonathan and Panos and I started dozing off at a dinner at Café Royal