During a recent stay at home home in Sussex (home = London; home home = Sussex), we headed through the rolling hills of the South Downs over to the annual literary festival at Charleston, which was once upon a time home to Virginia Woolf. Here we listened to a starry panel of the fashion world’s powerhouses – three designers with contrasting creative visions – in conversation with editor of Harper's Bazaar Justine Picardie. An overwhelming number of tips and tales were shared... here are a few.
Fashion powerhouse 1 Roksanda Illincic – immaculately presented in a sharply tailored dress from her eponymous line – shed light on her love of clean geometric lines and signature colour-blocking, with a heavy architectural influence in her designs (Kate Middleton is a wearer). And she came with her equally beautifully-dressed four-year-old daughter in tow.
A world away in the style stakes Bella Freud divulged her frustration at not being able to express herself properly via catwalk shows and so began to present her collections through film. She also touched on her well-documented interest in toying with androgony. She used to wear her father Lucian’s shirts in a bid to make men’s clothes more feminine and as a tool to enhance her femininity – something Coco Chanel did with her lover the Duke of Westminster and his cardigans.
Completing the trio was Erdem, who revealed his cure for designers block is wandering around Blythe House, the V&A’s storage house. His etherial collections ooze old-school romance and are his heavily influenced by his mother and twin sister. His latest spring/summer offering is specifically inspired by botanist Marianne North. And, happily, he was available for post-lecture chats. Better still, he's indescribably charming. Hashtag starstruck.