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A ringside seat: The Moodie Report had the pleasure of seeing the Matthew Williamson AW14 collection first-hand
In over a decade of experience as a technology, beauty and travel retail writer, I’ve come across (and respected) many an embargo, writes Brands Editor Sarah Lysecki. But I’d never heard of the ‘fourth runway model embargo’ until I attended a London Fashion Week event last weekend, courtesy of Unilever International brand Toni & Guy.
The embargo states that no pictures or articles of designers’ collections can be published until the fourth model graces the catwalk. I still have no idea why, but nonetheless complied with what shall henceforth be known as the ‘Star Wars’ embargo (‘May The Fourth Be With You’), despite the temptations of real-time publishing across multiple social media platforms, including our Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as The Moodie Report’s new Instagram profile.
I was lucky enough to be backstage at Somerset House ahead of the Vivienne Westwood Red Label Autumn/Winter 2014-2015 show. And while I was photographing Toni & Guy Global Hair Ambassador Mark Hampton creating the “Marilyn Monroe meets Indiana Jones” look (hmm, first Star Wars, now Indy; this Blog has an unexpected Harrison Ford vibe), who should appear next to me but none other than the Dame herself, La Westwood in all her outré glory.
Dame Vivienne Westwood speaks to press ahead of her Red Label AW14 show at Somerset House during London Fashion Week
After surveying the hordes of hair stylists and make-up artists primping and preening each model in time for the show walk-through, she sat down to ‘meet the press’ ahead of the show. I wasted no time in getting a quick snap of her.
Despite any preconceptions I might have had about behind-the-scenes madness at a fashion show, the overall vibe was surprisingly calm and unpretentious. Another surprise was that runway models actually do eat – although I didn’t see much more than a few salad leaves and some hummus on their plates. That said, it was better than the myth of the model’s breakfast (split a coffee and smoke a cigarette). And while I may not have the frame for haute couture clothing, I have one thing in common with the models – I like hummus! Let me at that runway…
I’ll be using this Toni & Guy hair care travel retail kit on my next business trip
I certainly had model-like hair. Earlier in the day, I was invited to the Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe Style Hub event at The Larrik pub in Marylebone where, over brunch, The Style Collective team presented the AW14 hair and fashion trends before they hit the catwalks of Vivienne Westwood and Matthew Williamson later in the day.
Models showcased the season’s looks from Toni & Guy’s Classic, Casual, Glamour and Creative collections from the Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe – a concept that Unilever is looking to bring to its growing list of travel retail locations. The looks for AW14 are North Escape (Classic), Less & More (Casual), La Bourgeoisie (Glamour) and Collapse (Creative).
Sarah Lysecki sporting the Toni & Guy Hair Meet Wardrobe ‘Collapse’ look from the Creative collection at the Style Hub event
Armed with Dutch courage from a raspberry breakfast Bellini, I asked one of the Toni & Guy stylists to re-create the ‘Collapse’ look with my tresses. Pleased with the result – and feeling considerably more glam than when I arrived – I felt ready to sit in the audience of the Matthew Williamson AW1415 show, which took place that evening at the grand Institution of the Civil Engineers building near the Houses of Parliament at Westminster.
It was a privilege to sit front of house, having witnessed the flurry of activity behind the scenes only hours before, and very impressive to see the show come together, at the close of an unforgettable day and event.
Many thanks to the Unilever team for its hospitality – and a truly great hair day.