They say never work with children or animals but, in our bid to bring you the very best London Fashion Week coverage, we're breaking the latter part of that rule - and thrilled to introduce you to Lenny, our London Fashion Week dog! As the newest addition to our team, Lenny will be out and about with Stylist at this season's shows, bringing you news, views and interviews direct from London Fashion Week, so log-on daily for his latest updates.
Read all of Lenny's London Fashion Week dog blog posts below.
5.29pm, Tuesday 20 September
I've just been to my final London Fashion Week show, readers! I sped across Waterloo Bridge to see the David Koma show at the Topshop venue (in the magnificent Old Eurostar Terminal) with Stylist's fashion director, Alexandra Fullerton. Even though I had a front-row seat, I’m only a little lapdog and stand shin-high to you humans, so couldn’t see much from down on the floor. To get a better view, I hopped onto Alexandra's lap. I then gave my verdict on each ensemble with an approving tail wag or quiet growl. Alex seemed to be taking note of my opinions, too. Hopefully my pug punditry will influence what appears in the pages of Stylist over the coming season.
But I have got one juicy bone to pick, readers. Why is it called a catwalk? That’s just pet-ist. Sure, cats have a more slinky reputation but look at me – four-legged proof that dogs can be totes fashion-forward too. It’s time this was acknowledged by renaming the runway. The campaign to call it the “dogwalk” starts here.
But that will have to wait until next season, as my London Fashion Week adventures finish here! I do hope you've enjoyed reading all about my LFW adventures - I've had an absolute ball and met so many fabulous people (and a few pooches, too). Until next season, it's a big old woof and lots of air licks from me!
12.49pm, Tuesday 20 September
Hi, fashion hounds! Lenny here, your tongue-lolling canine correspondent on the front rows of London Fashion Week.
Last night was all about Cumbrian genius Giles Deacon – not just a design darling but a big dog lover who has featured us four-legged types on his T-shirts. His spectacular show at the Royal Courts Of Justice had swans as the recurring motif, with Dannii Minogue and Jessie J, sporting a new purple wig, among those applauding on the front row.
Following the magical finale, I hopped in the Stylist Range Rover and headed for the aftershow party at chic gallery Elms Lester Painting Rooms, co- hosted by Giles and Mercedes-Benz. I got papped on the red carpet (it seems to happen everywhere I go now – I’m looking forward to the privacy of my basket and local park next week!), before heading inside and lapping at a cocktail whilst I waited for the man himself. The cocktail was a Singa-paw Sling, obviously. Hic.
The lovely Kelly Brook was eyeing me up across the room and eventually tottered over in her cream crochet dress and leopardprint heels to ask if she could have a picture taken with me. Naturally, I obliged. I’d hate to disappoint my famous fans.
Then I interviewed Giles himself, still on a high after his triumphant show. He was a total darling, giving me lots of ear rubs and coat strokes, as well as the inside track on his feathery collection, fabulous life and future plans.
We then, of course, partied stylishly into the small hours, before this tired pug had to hop back in the Range Rover and take himself home for his beauty sleep. Not that I need it, natch. Air-licks!
10.15am, Tuesday 20 September
Today I'm Wearing: I've saved the best for last! My customised Stylist sweater, by Hamish McBeth at Harrods. Woof!
10.04am, Tuesday 20 September
Five days of scampering around from show to show has left my paws aching. Lord knows how the human fashionistas’ feet feel, squeezed into killer boots, sculptural wedges and vertiginous heels.
Hurty tootsies seem to be one of the fash pack’s main moans, along with being made to wait around by prima donna-ish designers. I don’t find this a problem myself. I simply curl up under a front-row seat and have a little snooze until the show starts. Bet the humans wish they could too. It’d look weird if they dreamt about chasing rabbits and barked in their sleep like me, though.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, aching paws. Joanna McGarry, the Stylist beauty director, recommended one of these new-fangled garra rufa fish sessions to rejuvenate my poor paws. I made a Scooby Doo noise in shock. Plunge my paw into tank of fish> I'm not a cat! No, I think I’ll stick to my old Clairol Canine Footspa at home, thank you muchly, while watching re-runs of Crufts, Dog Borstal and The Dog Whisperer. Bliss.
7.22pm, Monday 19 September
As regular readers of my blog will already know, yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Stanley, Mulberry's dog of the season and star of their spring/summer 2012 show, backstage for a fashion pow-wow. Here's the results of our Q&A session...
What’s a dog’s life like at Mulberry HQ?
It’s great being a dog at Mulberry as I get so much attention from the Mulberry family! Pootling around the spacious new offices on Kensington Church Street, I get to try on all the latest doggie coats and jumpers as well as drooling over the Spring/Summer 2012 collection!
What tastes better to chew, an Alexa or a Tillie?
I do like to chew on an Alexa, but the new Spring/Summer 2012 Harriet Satchel in Candy Pink looks even more delicious! I can see that’s going to be a favourite of mine…
What are the key trends for us pooches this season?
It’s set to be a hot Spring/Summer 2012 so I’m putting away my gorgeous Peace and Love woolly sweater and pulling out the Lemon Sherbet Doggy Rain Mac. It’s nice and light but it will keep me toasty warm and dry during those inevitable April showers.
If you weren’t at Mulberry, which designer would you most like to be your owner?
I simply can’t imagine being owned by anyone else, as I’m a Mulberry dog through and through!
Who in the doggie world do you most aspire to?
The Queen’s corgis are my ultimate British doggy idols. I’d love to spend a day with them walking around the gardens of Buckingham Palace, lapping up tea with the Queen and falling asleep on their huge four poster dog beds!
How do you stave off the dreaded Fashion Week fatigue?
Fashion Week takes its toll on everyone, four-legged friends included. It’s very important to keep hydrated, so I keep a doggy bowl and a bottle of water on me at all times. I eat smallish treats throughout the day to keep my energy levels up, and I like the odd snooze inside an oversized Alexa!
I’m starting a campaign for the catwalk to be renamed the dog walk – what are your thoughts on this issue?
I’ve always preferred to call it the dog walk. Why should cats get the title when dogs are the leaders of the fashion pack? We write blogs, we tweet, we’re on the front row and we get to wear all the latest trends. In fact, I’m even on the dogwalk at the Mulberry show!
4.52pm, Monday 19 September
Phew! All this fashion can be quite exhausting for a small chap like me but today I discovered the perfect pick-me-up: the Toni & Guy pop-up hair salon.
I had a pre-LFW pampering session at the Harrods Pet Spa only a few days ago, of course, but I decided to take some time out a little touch-up. Glad I did! After a coat-wash, fluffy blow-dry, tummy rub and some R&R wrapped in warm towels, I feel like a new pug and good to go again.
I got all the gossip from my stylist too. Apparently Kate Moss even smokes while she’s having her hair washed, socialite types try to drink the shampoo and Anna Wintour’s hair is actually a helmet that she has hydraulically lifted onto her head each morning, then buffed to a high shine with Brasso. Who knew?
10.02am, Monday 19 September
I’m too small to hail a taxi – they rarely spot me waving my paw from the pavement – but thankfully this week I don’t need to. Me and the fashion team are whizzing between shows in the special Stylist Range Rover, donated to us for Fashion Week.
This beast is almost as handsome as yours truly, attracting admiring glances as it glides through the streets of London. It’s well-stocked with drinks, snacks, beauty products and magazines to browse. I’m even allowed up on the leather seats. Quite a way to travel. If I’m a bit hot and bothered, the Stylist girls pour me a drink to lap at on the back seat. Fiji water at room temperature, natch, served in a crystal bowl – after enjoying this treatment at the Maria Grachvogel show, I now won’t get out of my basket for anything less.
Just to mix things up, I also hitched a ride today in an official LFW Mercedes Benz, which was just as cool. Especially because the boot was filled with goodie bags and a hamper full of treats.
Whichever vehicle I’m in, though, I love to stick my head out the side window. We dogs just love the wind in our whiskers – not to mention the chance to bark at any passing cats. You don’t get that opportunity on the Tube. LFW? London Fashion Woof!
9.20pm, Sunday 18 September
I was lucky enough to catch up with British design legend Sir Paul Smith prior to his show at the swish Royal Horticultural Hall earlier today. What a lovely chap Sir Paul is - he warmly greeted me in the backstatge area, before sweeping me up for a snap together. The backstage paps went wild, as did the nice Paul Smith PR ladies.
We chatted about his spring/summer collection, which Sir Paul said sadly featured no dogs (he should take a lead out of Mulberry's book) and stayed true to his trademark aesthetic (lots of lovely, simply tailoring) with a feminine touch. I asked him what he'd dress me in given the chance, to which he said I was perfect as I am and complimented me on my shiny coat. What good taste that man has! Although he did say my skin was a size to large, refering to my doggie rolls. Perhaps all this running around at fashion week has helped me shift a few pounds!?
6.45pm, Sunday 18 September
Evening, haute couture hounds!
It’s been another frantic 24 hours at the frontline of fashion. Last night got underway with the Vivienne Westwood Red Label show, held at former meat market Smithfield. Not only did the venue smell delicious, but I got patted on the head by a certain pedigree blonde named Pamela Anderson!
I then trotted down to opulent venue 8 Northumberland for the Fashion Fringe 2011 final. Before the three up-and-coming designer finalists showcased their collections on the runway, I nipped into the Samsung Galaxy SII lounge to interview the judging panel of fashion A-listers, which included dapper French designer Roland Mouret and supermodel Claudia Schiffer, no less, as well as Bel Jacobs from Metro, Anne Pritcher from Selfridges and Roy Peach from London College of Fashion.
Roland absolutely adored me – a man of style and taste, clearly – picking me up for cuddles and giving me lots of tickly belly scratches. He said I should get a sister, as he has a boy and a girl Jack Russell and they love each other. I’ll have a word with my human. I also posed for a snap with supermodel Claudia. She knows a thing or two about posing for pics but hey, so does this pouting pug.
The judges were excited about the collections of the three finalists, design duo Fyodor Golan, Heidi Leung and Nabil Nayal, and once I took my place on the front row (natch) and the show started, I could see why. The clothes were impressive, and I let out a little bark of appreciation for each. I was happy to see Fyodor Golan win though - their flower-embellished dresses looked good enough to roll around in!
After a much-needed night’s sleep (a cucumber slice over each eye, as always), today started with the amazing Mulberry show. The nostalgic collection was on a British seaside theme, featuring balloons, rubber rings and lots of ice cream pastels. It made me long to lick a 99 with a hankie atop my head.
Unbelievably, I’m not the only dog here at London Fashion Week – although I am the cutest, obv. So to embrace us poochanistas, they had all manner of doggies in the front row at their show today. A long overdue development and good to see the luxury Brit label taking, ahem, the lead. Check out some of my new four-legged friends below...
Sitting proudly on it were yours truly, obviously – attracting much of the puparazzi attention – plus Butters, the teacup Pomeranian belonging to Kristin Knox of The Clothes Whisperer, and Mulberry's dog of the season (when will it be my turn, I wonder?) Stanley walked the dogwalk in a rather dashing rain mac.
On the human-front, I met the darling Sunday Girl and Gemma Cairney post-show, who did a sixty second interview with me for Radio 1 - listen to it online here!
I was hoping Paris Hilton might rock up, because I’m dying to get my own back on her stuck-up chihuahua Tinkerbell. I ran into her once at a, like, totally hot VIP party and the snooty little squirt blanked me because I wasn’t wearing a diamante collar and was standing on my own four paws, rather than being carried around in a handbag. Literally, what a bitch.
Anyhoo, after the show I popped back stage to speak to Stanley. We had a jolly old time, chowing down on extra-special treats and drinking water from a special silver bowl. There were some very cool blow-up white sofas too - I clambered up on one to rest my paws, only to be shoo-ed off for fear my nails would pop it. Don't they know who I am!? Anyway, stay tuned for my Q & A with Stanley coming soon!
9.13am, Sunday 18 September
Hello my pedigree chums. It’s been another day to make me pant with sheer prêt-a-porter excitement, so here’s an update. OK, a pupdate!
Today’s highlight was the House of Holland show. It showcased the new uniform for London’s hip young things – all pastel tartans, bold prints, snakeskin and 80s detailing, set to a punky ska soundtrack. I noticed lots of New York editors were there and predict big things for Ramsbottom boy Henry. I trotted backstage afterwards to congratulate him and he scooped me up for hugs as we chatted, bless his heart.
It was a star-studded backstage area. I got a thorough fuss made of me by Henry’s muse Nicola Roberts, formerly of Girls Aloud and now a supercool solo artist. She showed me pictures of her own two pugs, Ronnie and Reggie (named after the Kray twins but big softies apparently), and also remarked upon my little pink tongue lolling out. So did Percy from PPQ last night - it's becoming something of a fash pack talking point. Getting tongues wagging, if you will.
I met model Jade Parfitt, who fell for my canine charms. Hey, she’s only human. Pixie Geldof also came rushing over, knelt down and started ruffling my neck, telling me I was adorable. She told be that it was her 21st birthday today, so I gave her a special lick.
Finally, I ran into my new BFF, BSS (Brix Smith Start obv!). She popped over to say hello and rub my velveteen ears. Brix asked if I could smell Pixie and I thought she was being rude about Ms Geldof for a moment, until I remembered that one of her pugs is called Pixie too. Phew! I’d hate to referee a fight between my new fashiony friends.
More as I have it, my favourite humans. Air licks!
12.44pm, Saturday 17 September
Hello again, my fashion friends! It's been a busy old morning - so much so that I've barely had time to dog blog! Anyway, I am online once more and ready to update you on my latest London Fashion Week adventures.
But first, I must tell you about my new friends, Percy and Amy, the darling duo behind label PPQ. I caught up with them before their show yesterday (that's me with them below - Percy's a rather tall chap, so one of the Stylist girls helpfully hoisted me up to their height) for a quick fashion pow-wow. They told me that their spring/summer 2012 collection is all about inheritance pieces - apparently they dipped into the PPQ archives to bring back some of their old classics, including their legendary drainpipe jeans. Not sure I'll be able to squeeze my paws into them, but exciting anyway! Our chat ended with Percy telling me I could take on the woman who was in the news this week for having the longest tongue in the world. The cheek! Although, looking at the picture above, I guess it is quite impressive.
Stay tuned for more reports from the ground (quite literally) at London Fashion Week!
8.52pm, Friday 16 September
So my first day at London Fashion Week is over! The show that had my tail wagging most today was definitely Brit designer Maria Grachvogel's – best known for her seamless, pocketless, smooth-sihouetted trousers (or “magic pants”, so called for their posterior -minimising qualities - I wish she'd make a pair in my size), and also for a certain Victoria Beckham modelling in her shows.
It was held at The Savoy hotel, which is pleasingly pug-friendly. I was stopped and snapped by my growing legion of fans several times as I trotted in via the riverside entrance. I sashayed past the queue, tail proudly in the air, and was whisked backstage to interview Maria about her spring/summer 2012 collection (“lots of colours, and I went a bit mad with print as a texture,” she told me). She was also very waggy about her flagship store opening tonight. She told me to expect deco decadance and glamour – right up my Sloane Street! Maria even planted a farewell mwah on my little snout.
The second I trotted out into the magnificent ballroom, the paparazzi (or should I say puparazzi?) pounced and snapped away like I was a real star – say, Lassie, Scooby Doo or Eddie from Frasier. Imagine! Famed fashionista Brix Smith Start rushed over and scooped me up, telling me all about her two girl dogs, Pixie and Gladys. She said she'd see me on the doggie front row at Mulberry this weekend. It’s a designer play date!
I took my seat on the second row (I know, how very dare they?), only to be upgraded to the front row immediately. Rightly so! As we waited for showtime, I chatted to milliner Pip Hackett about whether she should design a range of dog hats (yes, obv!) and sat opposite Brix, who kept waving at me, bless her human socks. One of the Savoy butlers brought me over a crystal bowl of water, too. I could definitely get used to this Very Important Pug treatment.
The show was great. Exquisite tailoring, tasteful music and flashing lights (no fireworks though, thankfully – they make me hide under the nearest bed). At the end when everyone applauded, I couldn’t help woofing along. No-one seemed to mind and legendary fashion pundit Hilary Alexander from the Telegraph came over to give me a chin rub.
What a day! And to think there's four more to go. But goodnight for now, dear readers!
4.26pm, Friday 16 September
Today I'm wearing: Jeeves and Woofter tartan jacket, matching Hartman lead and collar (selected exclusively to suit my fur-tone by my personal shopper at Harrods) and my Stylist 'S' dog tag.
12.07pm, Friday 16 September
Hello, Lenny the pug pundit here.
Well, I’m now officially a four-legged fashionista! I trotted on down to Somerset House on The Strand first thing this morning to pick up my London Fashion Week accreditation. A nice lady zapped me in and checked my credentials (she couldn’t resist giving my cheeks a little tweak too, naturellement) and then gave me my official press pass. Darlings, I’ve arrived!
I then headed over to the posh press area. As well as rows of computers, where editors and bloggers tap-tap away, there were sofas to chill out on, magazines to browse (including Stylist, I was waggy to see) plus coffee, Vitamin Water, pastries and fruit for you peckish humans. It was very crowded mind, with humans fighting for space, so I've headed out into the lovely September sunshine to write this blog post.
Pop back later for my hot-off-the-paws verdict on the latest goings on at Fashion Week, darlings!
2.07pm, Thursday 15 September
Air licks, readers!
So, yesterday (as those of you following me on Twitter will already know) I paid a visit to the Pet Spa at Harrods in swish Knightsbridge – it’s a luxury retreat for VIPs (that's Very Important Pets, natch) - for some pre-London Fashion Week pampering. The experience was certainly a cut above my usual short-back-legs-and-sides at my regular barbers (Hair Of The Dog, since you ask).
I was greeted by the head of the spa, a sweetheart named Stephanie, and then met my stylist, a lovely lady who giggled when I licked her hand (it's just my way of saying 'hello'). I started with a blueberry facial to cleanse my face of impurities (you wouldn't believe what you come across when rummaging through the bushes at the park). Then I had a wash and fluff, followed by a pawdicure. A spritz of sparkle spray and I felt like a new pooch! Take a look at my makeover below...
Then it was off to the fashion department for a session with my Harrods personal shopper to plan my London Fashion Week outfits. After much trying on and inspecting myself from every angle (I fear the team tired of me asking 'does my tail look big in this?'), I opted for pieces of canine couture from Mulberry, Hamish McBeth, Puppy Angel and Jeeves & Woofter. Check out my haul below!
All that trying on and pampering left my little tummy rumbling, so I popped by The Canine Cookie Company for a tasty cupcake before padding off home.
So I’m now groomed, styled and ready for whatever London Fashion Week throws at me (even if that’s a stick or ball). I'll be documenting my London Fashion Week outfits right here on my blog, so check back daily! If I ever decide what to wear first...
10.34am, Thursday 15 September
Waggy greetings, all you fans of dogs, blogs and designer togs.
Let me introduce myself. I’m Lenny the pedigree pug and I’m the latest addition to the Stylist magazine team. I’ll be joining the staff exclusively for London Fashion Week – less of a roving reporter, more of a rover reporter, you could say!
From Friday to Tuesday, I’ll be running around on all fours between shows, presentations, launch parties and hot hangouts. And, because I simply hate to be seen with a hair out of place, I’ll be dressed up to the K-nines in this season's hottest looks (many thanks to Mulberry, Mungo & Maud, yoox.com and my personal shopper at Harrods for all of the dapper doggie clothes and accessories - you guys are barking marvellous), and I've even gone and got myself a special Stylist collar tag. So, if you're out and about at the shows too and you spy me, do pop over and shake my paw/air lick me.
I’ll be keeping a diary of my ready-to-wear adventures right here on stylist.co.uk. You can also follow me on Twitter - I'm @Stylist_Dog (do excuse any typos, the iPad isn't made for paws - perhaps they should invent the iPawd?). So please join me for hot news, backstage gossip and a pug’s eye view of all things fashion.
Love and licks,