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Insider Access: Katie Shillingford – London Day Three

We chat to our Senior Fashion Editor about Burberry puffa jackets, Marques’ Almeida's bad ass attitude and being served drinks by Kristen McMenamy at the McQ show

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: Today started early, at Peter Pilotto. How was the show? What stayed in your mind from it?
Katie Shillingford:
I was very anxious as I was late but I made the show in time. Thank god I can keep track of show schedules via Twitter! I managed to have a chat with art director Jonny Lu before the show who’d been up all night rendering the amazing print videos that played on stacks of cubes at the entrance to the catwalk. They were very impressive- I hope everyone appreciated them at much as me! The sophistication of the elegant dresses was juxtaposed with tough, structured puffa jackets for A/W12 at Peter Pilotto.

DD: Did you enjoy Pringle?
Katie Shillingford:
Pringle of Scotland was a strong show. The venue was lovely - a huge great big loft space with giant rip-stock fabric balls of light that softly lit the airy space. I had a quick catch up with our Dazed casting director Noah Shelley who cast the show... he said I’d like the hair! Which I did… the dip dyed ends in muted tones of pink, purple, red were very cool but I thought a little bit late… but maybe only in my world! The collection was really beautiful, it was Alistair Carr’s second main collection and I think his strongest to date.

There were so many pieces that I’d want to wear myself but at the same time as being fashion forward, the collections remained true to the brand, with streamlined polo neck twinsets and a lovely pink waffle knit worn by the incredible Alana Zimmer. The camel coat worn by bleach haired Alyona S that had an ice blue collar was a striking use of colour too. I think that was my favourite element of the collection- the distinctive mixing of colours, pinks with oranges, burgundy with ice blue, camel with teal, all complemented with a deep matt red lip. I was surprised that Alison Nix opened the show but she’s looking great.

DD: Christopher Kane is someone we covered in the magazine recently. How did this collection contrast to S/S 12? What did you like about it?
Katie Shillingford:
I loved S/S12 but I think overall A/W is my preferred season as it’s something you can really get your teeth into! I think there were mixed reactions about the purple in Christopher’s collection but I really liked it. When we walked into the modern office block floor of the venue the vast catwalk was covered in purple carpet and I thought smelt of lavender but maybe that was my imagination running away with itself... it may have been floor cleaner but the visual of the carpet conjured up Penhaligons to me! The new girls on the block Kolfinna Kristofersdottir opened the show - she’s my new favourite brand new face of the season.

The collection consisted of leather and velvet chunky pin stripes, hard purple/leather bondage-esque dresses, vivid purple chunky knits, purple leopard-print and then ended with an array of blood red. I think the highlight for me was the sweatshirts that looked like some kind of electrical wiring- I couldn’t quite work it out but it made me want to find out more and see it up close. I cant wait to shoot the collection and find out! Whereas last season was sickly sweet and very pretty, this season Christopher Kane was dark and twisted, everything had a sinister undertone - which is always something I like!

DD: Did it rain at Burberry? They know how to put on a production! How was the experience?
Katie Shillingford:
Yes, it rained for the finale at Burberry. It was very intriguing - I’m perplexed- Would they have done that had it been raining, would it have been something else? I mean- it rains a lot in London! The collection was very cool - lots of cropped, structured puffa jackets that reminded me a little of Junior Gaultier. Puffas are definitely a thing this season! And out of the one’s I’ve seen so far, Burberry Prorsum would be my pick. I loved the way it was all put together and worn with hard, studded gloves and leather tie belts. There was lots of velvet too which is something I had thought was due comeback soon and it has for A/W12!

DD: You then dashed back to the opposite side of London for Fashion East. Did you make it in time? What were the highlights of Fashion East for you?
Katie Shillingford:
We just about made it to Fashion East. My favourite collection was Marques’Almeida. I really loved those bad ass girls with attitude, the bassy music was great. It was very similar to what they’ve done before but they do it very well and I loved the yellow and black combo.

DD: How was McQ? What did you think of the show?
Katie Shillingford:
McQ was incredible. It felt so exciting to see a McQueen show in London again… And it felt like McQueen, not McQ. I understand the price point is changing slightly and it will have to because this collection looked so gorgeous... I hope I can afford it! The hair by Guido was AMAZING for the girl's hair hats as well as the boy's shiny slicked and shaved dos. Our very own Robbie Spencer styled the menswear and we’re so very proud. We went backstage after the show and tore Selma Hayek away from Sarah Burton to say a quick hello and congratulate her.

Sarah is such a wonderfully warm, gorgeous person and we are her biggest fans at Dazed. I was lucky enough to be working with Nicola Formichetti when he worked on the launch on McQ six years ago and street cast a group of kids for their first campaign. It’s come a long way... now McQ to can sit happily next to McQueen and it feels right.

We caught up with one of our favourite girls Marte Mei Van Haaster and had a giggle with her as Karen made her laugh during the Giles finale! We then explored the magical McQ forest where we found Kristen McMenamy serving drinks in her disco shack. This is where, for the finale, she ended up after pulling herself on a rope up to the entrance of the catwalk, though a woodland setting, leaves crunching beneath her feet. It was a magical McQueen fashion moment...