Presenter and east Londoner Laura Jackson talks this year’s London Fashion Weekend, ethical shopping and why she loves the British fashion scene. With her sights already set on her favourite looks from the AW16 collections, she praises the ex-London fashion students who have made it big
Words: Rachel Mantock
Fashion connoisseur, TV presenter and one half of the quirky Jackson & Levine lifestyle and food brand, Laura Jackson is a modern day It Girl, with beauty and style in one hand, and brains and business savvy creativeness in the other.
As a host for this year’s London Fashion Weekend at the Saatchi Gallery, the east Londoner is excited to see the Sibling and Preen shows, as well as to instantly shop the looks from the trend show, something she feels adds to the weekend’s ultra modern climate.
‘London Fashion Weekend is a great place to spend the afternoon with your friends and have a glass of bubbles,’ she enthuses. ‘The talks are always really exciting with some great speakers from the world of fashion, giving great insight into the business!’
Jackson names Mansur Gavriel as her favourite handbag designer of the moment, Maryam Nassir Zadeh as her current favourite shoe designer, and the Gül Hürgel brand as her go to for beautiful summer dresses. She likes to ‘keep things simple’ when it comes to her own style, without brash big accessories, and a preference for navy and grey, as well as pink. ‘I’m not so into prints, but I do love a stripe,’ she says. ‘I think as I get older I’ll love more tailored pieces, items that create a nice silhouette.’
All the alumni from the best schools choose to stay and work in London after graduation, like Christopher Kane, Erdem, and Mary Katrantzou, which makes our fashion extremely forward thinking and fresh
Speaking of her summer style this year, which has had a carefree yet elegant vibe about it, she says: ‘I have really loved the bare shoulder trend all summer. You can be sexy but without too much skin, it’s subtle and effective. I’m hoping to see some off the shoulder pieces for sale in the fashion emporium at London Fashion Weekend, so I can make a couple of on-trend purchases.’
Looking ahead at the fashion calendar, Jackson is most likely to be clad in heavy velvet, corduroy and clean muted tones once autumn and winter come around. The former Freshly Squeezed presenter says she ‘loves getting back into autumn/winter’ despite the fact that ‘we are pretty much wearing jumpers all summer in England anyway’.
Getting older has allowed Jackson to make more ethical fashion decisions, consciously deciding not to have such a disposable mindset when it comes to clothes, with less impulse buying, making fewer purchases as a result. ‘As you become older, you are much more aware of your own moral compass. The world is much more aware of how and where clothes are being manufactured; therefore we can make more intelligent choices in terms of where we choose to spend.’
Molly Goddard is one to watch, her tulle dresses are beautiful, so delicate and pretty
Considering the extreme vitality of the London fashion scene, Jackson dubs it as ‘honestly the best place in the world for fashion’, putting this down to its prestigious fashion schools, which are arguably the best in the world, the support from industry bodies such as the British Fashion Council, and fashion students giving back to the city once they make it big in the cut throat industry.
‘All the alumni from the best schools choose to stay and work in London after graduation, like Christopher Kane, Erdem, and Mary Katrantzou, which makes our fashion extremely forward thinking and fresh,’ she says. ‘I’d say that Molly Goddard is one to watch, her tulle dresses are beautiful, so delicate and pretty.’
Pointing out London’s multiculturalism as another factor in its success as a fashion capital, she says: ‘London is so vibrant and honest. We are free to express ourselves any way that we please; there are no boundaries in fashion here. In that sense, I love London and its eclectic mix.’
And it’s not only the fashion that keeps Jackson in love with the capital. The east London local loves to lunch at Rochelle Canteen in Arnold Circus, stocking up on vegetables from the farmer’s market in Stoke Newington, before ‘popping over to the Italian deli for my burrata’.
A proud east London resident, Jackson’s coffee loyal to Curio Cabal and her favourite place to dine is Morito in Exmouth Market
‘I know all my neighbours, all the lovely people in the coffee shop and my local supermarket, my boyfriend has even been drinking in the local pub for 15 years! I walk my dog by Haggerston Park every morning and have conversations with people walking past about what’s going on in the world. There is always something fun to do, like attending the hot tub rooftop cinema, if that’s your sort of thing.’
With a Jackson & Levine cookbook in the works, supper clubs taking place and a new TV project in the pipeline with her business partner, Alice Levine, Jackson’s schedule will be packed far beyond London Fashion Weekend. She probably handles the frazzled, haven’t-slept-in-days writer look better than most, putting a trend setting, chic spin on it. We’ll all be donning the writer-in-session look by next season.