Would YOU sit next to Anna Wintour in an M&S jumper One Prada addict rips up the Fashion Week rule book wearing only high street clobber…and survives!
17:42 GMT, 19 September 2012
ELLE's Stacey Duguid, who attended London Fashion Week in head-to-toe high street clobber
London Fashion Week. The five days of the year when the UK's best designers descend on the capital to showcase what we'll all be wearing next season.
But when, like me, you work at ELLE – the world's biggest selling fashion magazine – LFW isn't just about reporting on the trends…it's about looking the part too.
It would be against fashion law if I
turned up looking anything less than immaculate and in head to toe
designer; in fact it's probably in my job description.
The first few days of the September
shows are all about one thing; who's been shopping and where.
only the clothes that are on show during Fashion Week, it's the editors.
Recently, our fashion challenge has
been heightened by the explosion of bloggers standing outside the shows.
They scrutinise our outfits and photograph our daily sartorial successes
and blunders, instantly uploading them to Twitter and Instagram for
interested onlookers to judge.
Heaven forbid we try and sneak into a show wearing the same jacket twice!
But then, two months ago, I had a revelation. I was asked to appear in the October issue of ELLE wearing solely high street.
Days one (left) and two (right), see Stacey sporting jackets from M&S and Topshop, and hiding her high street face behind big shades
My brief was to find an outfit for each day of the week, the kind of outfits I would normally wear to work meetings, dinners or to walk the dog on a Sunday.
Seven entirely different high street outfits – had I read this right My Prada quivered, my Celine shook, my colleagues laughed!
So I took to the streets and set about
hunting my clothes down.
The quality and fit were excellent; the range
of prints exciting and the attention to detail was astonishing. I looked
good and felt great in the clothes and they were inexpensive.
Day three (left) and four (right), and a sunglasses-free Stacey is proudly flaunting floral trousers from French Connection and a patterned blue pair by Topshop
This got me thinking, why not go to fashion week wearing my pick of clothes available to buy now on the high street – surely fashion should available to everyone – styled in a way I would usually wear designer pieces
DAY FIVE: Stacey picks a Zara jacket and top, Debenhams skirt, Kurt Geiger boots and Reiss bag
Firstly, I knew my bank manager would thank me and, well, I love a challenge.
Fashion Week has just ended. And readers, I will have you know, I didn't cheat.
I didn't pull a pair of Prada shoes out of my Aldo bag as soon as I'd had my picture taken.
I wore my high street wardrobe for fifteen hours a day and walked miles in shoes I would never normally buy.
It took longer to put the outfits together because pulling on an expensive dress is a no brainer – you will almost always look good, and if you add a designer handbag to the mix you're good to go to the Valentino show.
But I loved each and every outfit.
Fellow editors and street style photographers stopped me in the street and I was proud to say I was sporting Next, not Celine, River Island, not Stella.
The great thing about the high street, as well as the range and the price, is that they cater for all sizes and shapes.
Looking good really doesn't get easier than this.
If you want to buy any of the looks
Stacey is wearing, click here
HOW STACEY DUGUID CONQUERED LONDON FASHION WEEK IN A SOLELY HIGH STREET WARDROBE…
DAY ONE: I leave the office and a
colleague tells me I look all business.
I may be taking small, feminine
steps in my ultra-tight Reiss pencil skirt but I feel empowered.
heels are at least two inches higher than I'd normally wear.
asks whether my shoes are from Stella.
Marks & Spencer Per Una jacket, 79
Whistles jumper, 85
Reiss skirt, 110
Reiss heels. 149
Marks & Spencer Autograph clutch, 79
Aldo ring, 8
DAY TWO: It's a warm
September day so that can only mean one thing; bare legs.
tells me he thinks my jacket is 'weird'. That's men speak for 'too
Makes me like it even more.
Nobody believes me when I tell
them it's by TopShop.
Topshop Unique jacket, 250
Whistles dress, 175
Topshop shoes, 90
Topshop bag, 36
DAY THREE: I look so colourful today with
my printed French Connection trousers and orange shirt by Reiss.
like a parrot that's accidentally ended up in Raven's nest.
takes my picture and asks what I'm wearing.
They blink quite fast as I
reel off the high street names.
French Connection trousers, 77
Reiss shirt, 110
Next jacket, 45
Russell & Bromley shoes and bag
DAY FOUR: With almost no sleep
(because the last show finished late and my little boy woke me up at
5am), I feel chic and pulled together on the outside, tired on the
My extra-large necklace becomes a talking point at the shows;
someone tells me it looks like it cost 250 not 25.
The buying director of Net-A-Porter (the high-end, designer-only website) asks where
my jumper is from.
She thinks I say Margiela, a famous Belgian design
house. I repeat slowly: 'It's M&S!'
Marks & Spencer jumper, 99
Topshop trousers, 40
River Island shoes, 50
Aldo bag, 45
Aldo necklace, 25
DAY FIVE: There are biker
jackets and pencil skirts all over the catwalk, which inspired this
These killer boots are killing me – but, damn, they look hot.
photographer presumes they're Isabel Marant – mais non, they're Kurt
Zara jacket, 89.99
Zara top, 19.99
Jonathan Saunders for Debenhams skirt, 55
Kurt Geiger boots, 160
Reiss bag, 245
STACEY'S TOP TIPS FOR SHOPPING ON THE HIGH STREET
1. Utilise the personal shopping
services offered by department stores such as Topshop and House of
They're usually free and if you give the personal shoppers a
good brief in advance they can pull things in your size and have a
selection of things ready for you to try on as soon as you get there.
2. Have somewhere at home where you can
hang your new purchases but keep the labels on until you've tried
everything on, then work out how many different ways you can wear things.
Work to a colour theme and silhouette and return the things that you
aren't totally sold on.