Insider Access: Katie Shillingford – London Day Two

Dazed's Senior Fashion Editor on Topshop Unique, Jonathan Saunders' sunset view and Louise Gray's Pollini boots

Fashion Insider
Louise Gray Womenswear A/W12

Katie Shillingford is Dazed & Confused's Senior Fashion Editor. A born and bred Londoner, she is a longtime collaborator and stylist of her friend Gareth Pugh. Shillingford works on catwalks, campaigns and editorials internationally.

Dazed Digital: Have you seen any of our March cover girls walking in the London shows?
Katie Shillingford:
Our cover girls have done so well – we knew they would! Lara Mullen opened Topshop Unique today. She was always going to have an incredible London show season as she's British. Erjona and Kati had a great New York season. Frida – our cover girl shot with the monkey – is so young which is why I think she's not been doing everything. People forget that these girls are teenagers, busy taking exams...

DD: How was Louise Gray? Those Pollini boots looked amazing...
Katie Shillingford: Louise is such a fun, incredible person. Whenever I see her she makes me smile and laugh. And that's what her clothes did today. She really lifted the mood. It's fun, young, it's individual and brave and very London! We love Louise! The Pollini shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood were super. I think knee-high boots are having a comeback and he did very cool, printed, graphic styles.

DD: What about Jonathan Saunders' show?
Katie Shillingford: The venue was incredible, a sunset view of east London over the catwalk. What more could you want?! It was a really beautiful show in every way possible, I really loved Jonathan's last collection and I feel like this is very much a continuation of but with richer, more Autumn/Winter colours. Deeper, more vivid but with a tiny hint of pastels still – I loved the pastel lilac. The casting was super strong, of course, but with a few characters in there this time so there were the Anais Poulets and Meghan Collisons as well as our March cover star, Brit Lara Mullen.

There is a modern timeless feeling to what Jonathan is doing and that continues to the beauty too. Whereas last season was about the eyes with an emphasised 50's flick, this season is about a luscious matt red lip and slicked back pony. It's a very clean and sophisticated aesthetic – it means the colours and prints can be very bold.

DD: Yourself and Nell worked on Craig Lawrence...
Katie Shillingford: Nell, my long time assistant, styled the show but I was on hand as Craig is a good friend. We met when he was doing the knits for Gareth Pugh. His collection bridged the worlds of luxury travel and public transport. He was really inspired by the ladylike dressing of the Pan Am stewardesses and the golden age of air travel when it was super new, exciting and very luxe. When Craig and I talked months ago about colour palette, he mentioned the various weird and wonderful colour schemes of tube and bus seat Upholstery.

It's so funny how they design the patterns and colours for the most effective way to not see dirt and stains. Craig was really intrigued by marrying these worlds. The collection is based one of the classic colour schemes; brown, black and orange (people my age probably remember from growing up) it's kind of really sick but I love that it's so twisted. Mixing those colours with a gorgeous deep bronze, Swarovski yarn and manipulating into chic and sophisticated shapes created his collection. I really loved it – I'd love to own one of those twin set dresses. It's really incredible when you see the pieces up close and realise they're made by hand.

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