Friday, 18 September 2009

London Fashion Week: Outfits At The Ready!

If you are reading this blog, the likelihood is that you have some interest in and awareness of fashion. Therefore I feel I can adopt a somewhat ‘knowing’ tone with you. You will be aware that London Fashion Week kicks off today with all the hype, hysteria and general hoopla that entails. I have to confess that after 10 years in business and a degree in Fashwani from the University of life it no longer fills me with the same levels of excitement as it did in the days when I would throw myself over a fence, under a train and snog a bouncer just to stand on tippee-toe at the back of the hottest, newest, I-buried-my-collection-in elephant-shit-and-am-now-selling –it-exclusively–to-one-shop-who-wont-pay designer of the moment.

That said it does still excite me in other ways. I love the outfits, the energy and the passion LFW whips up. I love the way that LFW gives the perfect excuse to unleash the fashion beast within. Clearly this enthusiastic approach generates a few odd looks in my direction on the school run-even if I do take the precaution of removing my white plastic star glasses (Alexa –I was following your ‘cool rules’) but on the whole I feel it is appreciated. One should always make the effort and if one can’t, then one needs to buy a very big and fabulous coat and cover up whatever hasn’t been appropriately styled. To within an inch of one’s life.

Obviously LFW is a very important time for us. It involves multiple outfit changes daily as we meet with the buyers, taste-makers and fashion mavens who buy our collections. It is incredibly hard work as I need to plan each outfit with meticulous care at least 3 days in advance…And the weather is just so unpredictable at this time of year…. I start off channeling a Belle de Jour meets Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights not the Ginger cat) vibe in a Harris Tweed Lou Trench and end up somewhere near Xanadu in a neon pink Alicia bubble dress due to a change in atmospheric conditions. All valid looks but incredibly difficult to pull off in terms of accessories all in the same day. I deserve an OBE.

Actually The Oracle and I will be off to New York bang in the middle of LFW. Sara’s Sister will fly the flag in the UK for LFW whilst The Oracle and I sashay around NYC in our fabulous outfits and hair by Fredrik Fekkai. It will be an exhausting round of meetings, dinners, drinks, parties and shopping. I don’t know how we will cope.

To be fair, it is fortunate that I only have to keep up this fa├žade for a very limited time as it is frankly exhausting, all-consuming and irritating for anyone being forced to watch. But for the 4 weeks that are the Fashion Week season (only in Fashwani could people take so long and be so late that a week becomes 4) it is great fun and I shall fully partake-outfits at the ready.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

'The Season'

We are now fully in the swing of what is known in Fashwani as 'The Season'. Contrary to indication this is not weather related, in fact the opposite- ‘The Season’ is all about the clothes we are going to be wearing in a totally different time of year to the one we are currently in and refers to the period of time allocated to the selling of next year’s fashion wonders.

This entails the channeling of next year’s summer looks on a chilly autumnal day. Importantly 'The Season' is totally different to 'This season' or 'Last Season' and should not be confused with either of them. To wear ‘This Season’ during ‘The Season’ is a Fashwani Faux Pas of gargantuan proportions as ‘The Season’ is the time to show the world (all watching with bated breath as missile defence shields in Eastern Europe fade into insignificance in the face of what we will be wearing for Spring Summer 2010) that we are so ahead of the pack that we are actually wearing next summer’s trends this winter. Believe me – every outfit counts.

However it is also when the Real Business of Fashion kicks in to play and the buyers use all their nous and talent to select the best pieces from the designer’s collections and puts them together in their own vision for their stores. And so it is that we find ourselves sitting in the lovely Palladio showroom taking appointments with buyers. It is actually quite unusual for the designers to take such a hands on approach to selling as we do-especially with the support of as agency as recognized as Palladio behind them. However it is a part of the business that we-and particularly Sara’s Sister enjoy. It gives us a fantastic insight in to an area of the business that as designers we don’t see firsthand. Buying really is an art and to watch a good buyer at work is inspirational and can teach a designer who is willing to listen and learn a great deal.

Sara's Sister is an amazing people person and loves a good chit chat with all the buyers whilst I am less of a ‘communicator’ and find the art of social interaction with anyone I haven’t known for at least ten years a bit of a mine field and have ‘issues’ with remembering who is who (unless their shoes are particularly fabulous-Hen you know who you are). Usually this isn’t really a problem and I simply bob around behind Amiee’s back looking (hopefully) welcoming and engaged. However this has all been thrown entirely out of whack by our new matchy-matchy hair cuts.

The story goes as follows..... Sara's Sister (not content with 2 weeks in her luxury villa complete with hammock, day bed and private yoga area) returned to Ibiza for a final dance-off with her friend Candice the Loud and Luke the Snippy. One drunken thing led to another and Luke The Snippy shaved Sara's Sister’s hair off. On her return I fell in love with her new lesbo-chic image (so SS10) and succumbed to the clippers (grade 3) in Sara's Sister’s kitchen. The result is that Amiee and I are now utterly indistinguishable from each other and have now officially morphed into one person with an exceedingly cool haircut and a passable sense of style. This is all well and good but has led to all manner of confusion, not least that the buyers need clarification as to which one of us is which. The problem we have is that I still have no clue who anyone is...

Thursday, 10 September 2009

In The Press

We've had some great coverage for the Autumn/Winter '09 collection so far - here are my favourites:

'10 Best: Fabulous Fuchsia', Glamour, October

Marlow Slouch Satchel
'Show And Tell',, September

'Beautiful Bags To Buy NOW',, September

Easy Living, September

Glamour, August

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Welcome To Sara's World

So it is with some trepidation that I put fingers to keyboard and start the Sara Berman blog. I do realize how important it is to  ‘communicate our brand message’, to engage you all in the World of Sara Berman. However I am also aware that it is a slippery slope from here on in. It is only a matter of time before I get over familiar and over exposed.

I have learned the hard way that any publicity carries its downside. A bit like the time I did a shoot with Living Etc ‘at home’…. I am sure you can imagine it… Amiee and I laying on a leopard print divan, laying on a cream sofa, laying on each other and rubbing cupcakes from the Primrose Hill Bakery on to our thighs... Obviously they cut all of that (including Sara’s Sister) from the shoot itself leaving us with a very chic piece which I was proud to show Granny G. However all the glory was blown to bits when a reader wrote in to the magazine the following month to kindly let me know that my bedroom wallpaper is upside down. Clearly I was previously blissfully unaware of my huge interiors faux pas and now lay in bed at night staring at said wallpaper and nervously trying to broach the subject with Handsome D. It goes without saying that Handsome is not interested but did offer the helpful solution that I might feel better about it if I stand on my head.

But all that blatant self promotion aside, it is time I started  ‘communicating our brand message’. It is essential that I raise our Google Rankings, Engage our Customer and create an Online Community. From here on in I will be letting you know about all our new collections, our inspirations and creative musings. You will be duly informed as to who I am sleeping with (last night my daughter provided animated company at 4am), who I fancy (Handsome-you know who you are) and where I am going on holiday (generally wherever Sara’s Sister goes her little lamb will follow). Clearly this will be fascinating for you all and our Google Rankings will go through the roof.

So in anticipation of more blogs to come I want to provide you with a glossary of terms to help you navigate the World of Sara Berman.


  • Sara’s Sister - Amiee. Frankly she says being my sister is truly a full time occupation and she is challenged and fulfilled on a daily basis.
  • The Oracle (Mrs B to you Ads)– Our mum Helene. Famous for her hats. An enigma wrapped in a mystery, wearing Moschino.
  • Handsome D – My ridiculously good looking husband who in more prosperous times won the Best Dressed Banker award. Twice.
  • Dog-Sara’s Sister’s husband. Needs long walks, regular feeding and the odd pat on the head. Enthusiastic licker.
  • The Boss-Danielle our production manager. We know where our bread is buttered.
  • Grandfather - Super Stylist and photographer extraordinaire
  • Milly - Joint CEO of Sara Berman. Milly would also like it known that her Great Aunt won Best of Breed at Crufts. Pedigree never dies.

*Sara Berman reserves the right to amend, update and strike off according to the social standing of the people concerned at any time. You have been warned.