A few days ago much of the SHOWstudio team headed to Cornwall for fashion’s favourite festival, Port Eliot. The event takes place on the beautiful estate of Lord and Lady St Germans and features music, reading, style and food. A whole host of our brilliant contributors were there to participant. Critic Sarah Mower was pulling together the fashion events in the lively 'Wardrobe Department', notably interviewing Chloe’s Clare Waight Keller and chairing panel discussions with the likes of hatter Stephen Jones and journalist Alexander Fury. If you couldn’t be there but love the sound of that crowd, revisit our In Fashion interview with Mower, watch Jones at work crafting a hat, or revisit this landmark series from Fury’s time as fashion director of SHOWstudio.
Other SHOWstudio favourites in attendance included designer Charles Jeffrey and hatter Piers Atkinson. Jeffrey loves to transform, so it’s apt that he’d set up camp in the MAC tent to bring his LOVERBOY energy and make-up styles to the weekend’s procedures. He brought a similar prowess to SHOWstudio during our recent three-day, Boy Meets Wool LiveStudio - revisit the stream. Atkinson was doing a great job offering a millinery crash course to attendees. If you’re keen to learn from the master himself, revisit our LiveStudio from November 2012, during which Atkinson makes three hats live on camera.
In the gift shop, Mower had assembled some gems - Chloe sunglasses, Claire Barrow bags (watch the designer discuss her youth and influences in our North project) and a host of vintage magazines. If you’re a Print fan, revisit our lively series.
Out and about, guests marvelled at the elaborate sets and stages. Fact fans - they were made by Nick Knight's regular collaborator Andy Tomlinson who dreams up the props and backdrops for many of our SHOWstudio shoots and broadcasts.
The festival not only plays host to the fashion pack, it also inspires them. Waight Keller, Chloe’s creative director since 2011, told me that the festival had inspired her S/S 16 collection, which was perfectly modelled at this year's event by five delicious Cornish sisters, the Warrens. Waight Keller has been based near Port Eliot for the last few years, and was desperate to attend after hearing glowing reviews from friends. ‘It was the spirit of it,’ she mused, when discussing her inspirations. ‘It was a festival where you learn a lot - there are amazing writers who talk about their craft, or musicians who discuss their song writing.’ To hammer home the summery, bohemian spirit of the Chloe girl, Waight Keller had staged a small but well considered exhibition in the imposing Drawing Room of the house. Dedicated to the white dress, a Chloe staple, the exhibition featured garments dating back to the sixties, seventies and eighties as well as her own more modern work. It served to highlight the many icons who have once helmed the Parisian house - aka Phoebe Philo and Karl Lagerfeld - and the seemingly unshakable durability of whimsical femininity and festival style within fashion.