Tom Ford, Thomas Tait, Ready to Wear Collection, Fall Winter 2013, London Fashion Week

by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

Having worked behind the scenes for almost 10 years during Fashion Weeks in New York City, I got a birds-eye view to not only some of the most talented designers of the decade and a backstage pass to the shows but the bonus of having to arrive at some of the more interesting locations in the city.   The Armory of The Sixty-Ninth Regiment at Lexington and 26th Street which regularly showcased influential designers like, Marc Jacobs, was not just fun, it’s rich history and architecture was a super bonus and brilliant background for his new brand of minimalist chic.

This year for London Fashion Week iconic designer Tom Ford and style star Thomas Tait’ took to the magnificent St James’s, London and a transformed industrial car park (sans any Monarch remains).

Ford hosted his debut London Fashion Week catwalk to the backdrop of St James’s stunning Lancaster House, named by The Independent as London Fashion Week’s venue of the week. This was Ford’s first  show since 2004 and had a multi-ethnic embroidery theme, exploring the use of lively patterns, sequins and bright colours.

The autumn/winter show of Thomas Tait, Central Saint Martins graduate, took place on Saturday February 16th, at the unique Carlton House Terrace Garages which had been transformed for the show by St James’s.  Tait featured slick masculine tailored coats and daring blocks of colour.

St. JamessSt James’s is a world renowned shopping and lifestyle destination,  which, over the next 10 years, it’s holder, The Crown Estates, intends to focus on developing.  From Piccadilly Circus to Jermyn Street what we can expect will be  a distinctive, stimulating and eclectic display of public art, retail shops, leisure accommodations, and residential and office use spaces.

What is most enthralling is that the entire project will enhance, refurbish and preserve historic facades and landmarks and create inspired streetscapes keeping in line with the grand spectacle of Haute Couture for years to come.

Pedestrians, residents and tourists alike, can rest assured at finding inspiration everywhere from stylish bars, cafés and restaurants, such as the new Italian restaurant, Cicchetti. Shops in the area will continue to specialise in producing bespoke (i.e. very high quality) collections.

World famous heritage retailers in St James’s include: Turnbull & Asser, shirt makers by Royal Appointment; London’s leading cheesemongers, Paxton & Whitfield; Floris, perfumers since 1730; and the “Queen’s Grocer” Fortnum & Mason, all holders of Royal Warrants.

For more information on St James’s visit: