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London Fashion Week SS14, Fashion Weekend Somerset House

Jo has been an ITU nurse at the London North West NHS Trust for 14 years. She obtained her RN at University College London Hospital.

Designer Dress by Maria Grachvogel worn by Kelly Rowland

Maria Grachvogel fabulous fashion collection will be shown at the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend in February, from the 20th to the 23rd.

Maria Grachvogel fabulous fashion collection will be shown at the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend in February, from the 20th to the 23rd.

A time when London Fashion Week was eagerly awaited

A time when London Fashion Week was eagerly awaited

Sunshine After the rain, a Promise of Spring

Vodafone London Fashion Weekend

"Don't be into trends, don't make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live."

(Gianni Versace)

I woke up this morning, with the distinct feeling of nostalgia, my mind was firmly planted in another time, a time long ago when I lived and breathed fashion.

As we swing into February, it's time to start looking forward to the Vodafone London Fashion weekend. I have to admit, I haven't made much of an effort in the last few years, but for some reason, I find myself going back to the late 60s to early 80s, a time when fashion took up a large part of my life.

As I walked to the window and drew back the curtain, I expected to see more of the depressing deluge we've been having so much of over the winter months, this January was the wettest month ever recorded in the UK. However; to my great surprise, there were no pitter-pattering of raindrops against the glass.

The sun was shining, and except for a few fluffy white clouds, above me was the bluest of blue skies. In the garden, little yellow and blue crocuses and virgin white snowdrops are bursting their way through the damp soil, as nature smartens up for the biggest spring collection of them all. The first spring flowers reminded me that spring is just around the corner, and it may well be time to invest in some new togs. The Vodafone London Fashion Weekend takes place this month at Somerset House, an event not to be missed.

They say, if you remember the sixties, you weren't there. Well.. mind-bending hallucinogens aside, the late sixties and seventies were my era, this was the time I left my childhood behind and made the transition from girl to woman. There was nothing bland about this period; it was dramatic and controversial. There were wars, the threat of nuclear annihilation, revolutions, both in music and politics. The hippie movement wanted to make love, not war, and then there was fashion! Big hair, big attitude and big earrings, who could forget those big silk and velvet bell-bottoms.

Men's fashion pre-1960s were dull and conservative compared to women's, the 60s saw the emergence of what was coined, the 'peacock revolution,' by the media, men's clothing became extravagantly flamboyant, as they moved out of the shadows.

As fashion trends changed, designers became bolder in their tailoring for men, they added embroidery and ruffles to garments, conservatism gave way to flower power, wide kipper ties became fashionable as men began to exercise their self-expression through fashion. The trend changed to colorfully styled suits, and ethnic inspired separates made glamorous by movie stars and trendy aristocrats like Patrick Lichfield, cousin to the Queen and one of Britain's best-known photographer.

Much of the radical changes in fashion, began in the streets of London. Names like Mary Quant, Biba, and Carnaby Street made London one of the coolest places for funky young fashion. Before the 60s, Paris was the fashion center of the universe. However, fashion had changed, there would no longer be a single prevailing fashion trend but a great plethora of influences creating endless possibilities.

The 60s was truly a decade of change, and the world of fashion was no exception, clothing from this era still continues to generate ideas and inspiration for young designers today. The period between the 70s and 80s was when I began to experiment and flirt with the world of fashion, and I must say it was fun.

Patrick Lichfield was influential in the 'Peacock Revolution' a fashion style for men 1963 to 1973

Patrick Lichfield was influential in the 'Peacock Revolution' a fashion style for men 1963 to 1973

Mary Quant 1966

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Hayley Atwell in a Julian MacDonald Design

Fashion Weekend at Somerset House

For four days in February, the impressive Somerset-house in the Strand will be the place to be for every style-savvy fashionista worth his/her salt. The weekend 20-23 will see this magnificent house play host to Britain's largest biannual consumer fashion showcase.

The Vodafone London Fashion Weekend will showcase some of London fashion week's most famous British brands. There will be designer shopping, catwalk shows, pop-up shops, hair & beauty and educational panels from leading industry experts.

The weekend event will see Somerset House transformed into Britain's most exclusive fashion and designer shopping experience, Fashion lovers will be able to choose their autumn/winter wardrobe from over 100 of the country's best-loved designer brand including.

  • Issa London
  • French Sole
  • Linda Farrow

The designer catwalk shows will feature four renowned designers who will be showcasing highlights from their SS14 collection. Each show will feature one designer and last for around 30 minutes, the designers are:

  • Julien Macdonald OBE: This Welsh fashion designer received his MA at the Royal College of Art London, after his successful RCA graduation show in 1996, the designer was chosen by Karl Lagerfeld, as head designer of knitwear for Chanel and the Lagerfeld label from 1996 to 1998.

    In 1997, Macdonald launched his Mermaid label, followed by his first London fashion week show for spring/summer 1998. He was named British fashion designer of the year, in 2001, and took over as creative director of the French fashion house, Givenchy. The designer was awarded the OBE for his services to the fashion industry in November 2006.

    The Julien Macdonald label is manufactured in Britain and available worldwide.

  • Amanda Wakeley: Dresses the world most stylish women, since opening her Chelsea boutique in the heart of London in 1990. Wakeley's glamorous evening dresses, cocktail dresses and accessories, have adorned stars like Beyonce, Kate Winslet and Angelina Jolie as they strut their stuff on the red carpet.
  • Nicole Farhi: Farhi by Nichole Farhi is an influential and lifestyle brand that was founded in 1982. The show will feature wearable designs from the creative Director, Joanna Sykes. Nicole Farhi, French-born to Turkish parents, now heads one of Britain's best-loved fashion and lifestyle brands consisting of womenswear, menswear, accessories, diffusion lines and home-wares. Farhi's designer clothes are understated and easy to wear, but they are also chic, elegant, luxurious and accessible.
  • Maria Grachvogel: This is said to be the label of choice for many of the world's most stylish women. The label is worn by Emma Thompson, Yasmin Le Bon and Jessie J. The brand is known for its effortless glamour. The basis for Maria's designs can be found in her cutting technique that sculpts and work in harmony with the woman's body, redefining the female silhouette. Maria Grachvogel brand is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

    Most famous trademark piece, quoted the designer, is "The most fabulously cut trousers, jumpsuit and my artwork prints."

    Somerset House is where it's all happening; it is worth the trip if only to see this magnificent historic building.

Designer Catwalk Show Timetable

Visitors to the Vodafone London fashion weekend, at Somerset House, will be able to watch catwalk shows featuring the four designers as above.


Amanda Wakeley

Thursday 20th February 2014


Farhi by Nicole Farhi

Friday 21st February 2014


Julien Macdonald

Saturday 22nd February 2014


Maria Grachvogel

Sunday 23rd February 2014


Somerset House Plays Host to London Fashion Weekend February 2014

Somerset house is described as a spectacular neo-classical building set in the heart of London between the Strand and the Victoria Embankment, overlooking the River Thames. It is one of Britain's finest and largest 18th century building, this beautiful architectural landmark was built on the site of an old Tudor palace.

The old Tudor palace was completely demolished in 1775, making way for the current building designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776. The house was further extended with Victorian wings to the north and south, the east wing forms part of King's College London.

The house was used as a residence by queen consort in the reign of King James l, it became the London residence of his wife, Ann of Denmark, and was renamed Denmark House.

Somerset house has a long and checkered history, it has been home to many societies and institutions, including The Royal Academy of Arts, The Royal Society, The Society of Antiquaries, The Navy Board, The Inland Revenue and many more.

It is where Oliver Cromwell's body lay in state after his death. There were program of rebuilding by Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles l, who created the river front feature to designs of the late Inigo Jones who had died at Somerset house in 1652. For more detailed historical facts about Somerset house use this link.

The Great Exhibition Room is said to be the most important part of the building, situated at the top of the steep winding staircase, it was described by Joseph Baretti, 18th century writer and secretary to the Royal Academy of Arts, as, "undoubtedly at that date the finest gallery for displaying pictures so far built.

The Somerset House Trust was established in 1997 to conserve and develop Somerset house and the surrounding space for public use. It is a major arts and cultural center in the heart of the capital. In the summer, the large courtyard comes alive with 55 fountains, in the winter it becomes London's favorite ice rink. Somerset House exhibits contemporary art and design, free displays, family workshops and guided tours, it is also home to London Fashion Week.

By J Alexis-Hagues © 07/02/2014

Are you a devoted follower of fashion?


Location of Somerset House


Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on December 03, 2014:

poetryman6969, I can see you're a connoisseur of style and beauty. :)

Appreciate you stopping by. My best to you

poetryman6969 on December 03, 2014:

Attractive women in beautiful clothes. What's not to love!

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 09, 2014:

Hi Genna, I know that feeling well. For me right now, it's all about comfort, but I still get a buzz when I see a fabulous frock or a smashing pair of heels. Some of those designs are so beautifully done, you're right, they are works of art. Thank you so much for taking a look, have a lovely day and my best to you.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on February 09, 2014:

I must admit that I love fashion even though my usual at-home attire is jeans, sneakers and a comfy sweatshirt on these cold days. I don’t buy the fashions but I am always interested the creativity and beauty involved in creating them. If done well, it truly is an art form of expression. You stroll back through memory lane in very interesting. Excellent hub. :-)

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 08, 2014:

Hi Flourish, jeans with high heels can be pretty spectacular, I'm sure you look great in yours. Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated. Take care and my best to you as always.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 08, 2014:

I'm a jeans kind of girl with a love of heels, but you did a fine job covering this topic. I enjoyed seeing those fashion throw-backs.

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 08, 2014:

Eddy, lovely to see you! Appreciate you stopping by, so glad you enjoyed the hub. I hope you and Dai are having a great weekend. My best as always.

Eiddwen from Wales on February 08, 2014:

What a great hub tobu and your obvious hard work has certainly paid off here.

Brilliant and voted up for sure.

Enjoy your weekend.


Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 08, 2014:

Hi Frank, lovely to see you! Actually I had you down as a 1940s/50s inspired film noir kinda guy. I could just see you in a black fedora set at a rakish angle and belted trench coat. I'm I right, or I'm I right? :)

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on February 07, 2014:

I dont give a flying fig about fashion, but if I did you covered it so well and I love beyonce..:) great hub... tobusiness

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Hi Ruby, those were the day my friend, as Mary Hopkins used to sing. It's good to reminisce, but like you, I need my comfy clothes, and jeans are so practical and forgiving :) Beyonce is some incredible woman, isn't she just! I appreciate you taking a look at this, hope you're having a great weekend and my best to you.

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Hi joelle, these days I live in jeans and wellies, although I still look at the fashion magazines, I haven't been to a large fashion show in a long time, it was easy when I lived in London, but I'm hoping to go to this one, I'd like to see at least one show and do some window shopping, If I can get the time off work.

I may not be able to slip into those gorgeous frocks anymore, but a girl can look can't she? :)

Thank you for taking a look, it's always a pleasure to see you. Take care and have a great weekend.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 07, 2014:

Jo your time line is the same as mine, those days were the greatest. I was into fashion BIG time, not so much anymore. Jeans are my favorite. Interesting topic. I still enjoy watching fashion shows. Beyonce is one sexy lady, thank's for the vdeo....

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on February 07, 2014:

I don't really follow fashion too close; for myself, I like neutral clothes (usually) that will not chock anyone at any time ;-) But the rare times I watch the news and they show a runway with models, I can appreciate beautiful clothes. For special evenings, I love those long and romantic dresses!

Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures of you ready for the runway! I can see why you were a model at one point of your life! I was not tall enough to be one :-)

The fashion show must bring you back to your past I suppose! I can understand that you feel a little bit nostalgic. It must have been exiting at times to live that life for a while. The sad part of that job is that it's so ephemeral. May be now it's longer than before. But it means, especially for women that your have to have a second carrier for later in life like you have done beautifuly yourself. Have no regrets :-)

Do you still follow fashion yourself (I mean, do you go see some shows)?

Enjoy your weekend!

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Faith, I wouldn't give it another thought, we all make a few, you should see some of mine .:) Have a great weekend,

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Hi faith, I remember seeing your glamorous fashion shots, and very beautiful they were to. I guess most of us flirted with the fashion world at that age, I was also doing my nurse training at that time so it was off and on for a few years.

I know what you meant about the business, for me it was one extreme to another. When the nursing job got too tough, I welcomed the superficiality of modelling clothes, it gave me the opportunity to see and do things I wouldn't have had the chance to otherwise, I enjoyed it but that was another time and another place. I'm enjoying the quiet life.

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, thank you for stopping by, it's always a pleasure. My best to you always.

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 07, 2014:

Sorry for the typo on guests ...meant guess. I am on my phone. Have missed you around : )

Faith Reaper from southern USA on February 07, 2014:

Love these fashion styles you have showcased here, but I especially love the photos of you, dear Jo, so chic! I, too, had a brief modeling career, but it was just not for me I came across one too many who had their noses stuck way up in the air lol...quests, I am too down to earth for the fashion world. When I was young, I cared about fashion and really wanted to be a buyer, but now I love my comfortable clothes! I, too, have allowed far too many chocolates to pass my lips. Up and more and sharing. Have a great weekend, Faith Reaper

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Devika, so glad you've enjoyed it, I appreciate the visit and comment. Have a wonderful weekend and my very best to you.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 07, 2014:

Gorgeous photos and fashion is beautiful no matter what kind. voted up and useful

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Bill, I must say, I left the world of fashion behind a long time ago. However, every now and then I do get a little nostalgic for the old days. Most of my photos from back then are languishing in my mum's house in the Caribbean, but I was able to find a couple, so yes it is yours truly back in the late 70s or early 80s. I'm afraid a lot of chocolates have passed under that particular bridge since them. :) Hope you're getting ready for a great weekend, my best as always.

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Hi Jodah, like you, I like watching but my priority these days is first and foremost, comfort. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub, have a great weekend and my best to you.

Jo Alexis-Hagues (author) from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 07, 2014:

Hi Jackie, good choice! I love the sixties fashion, my brother used to play in band back then, they wore some pretty outrageous flared satin trousers on stage. He certainly blew his top when he found that I had persuaded my mum to convert his favorite into a fabulous pair of girlie pants. :) Great memories.

Always a pleasure to see, I hope you're having a wonderful day, my best to you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 07, 2014:

Well Jo, if you could see me now you would realize just how far removed I am from fashion. LOL

Were those two pictures of you??? Very nice indeed if they were.

Well-written article as always; that's about all I can say on this topic. :)

Have a wonderful weekend.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 07, 2014:

Quite an interesting hub Jo, even though fashion isn't really my thing. I don't mind watching fashion awards shows and things like that. I enjoyed the video of Beyonce's I remember the fashion of the 70s well. I had purple trousers and paisley body shirts, flared jeans etc....pretty wild. Anyway a good hub, voted up.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on February 07, 2014:

Wow taking us back some. I love to see the sixties fashion, couldn't show enough of it for me! The first and last (center) shots here are my favorite. Thanks so much for sharing! ^

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