My London Diary with Karen Millen
If you follow me on social media, you must have seen I was recently in London for a short trip with Karen Millen. I was joined by several bloggers from around the world (from Egypt, Qatar, Indonesia, Taiwan and Hong Kong to name a few) and during the visit, I got the chance to really understand the brand, get a deeper insight about its heritage and values, as well as get a first look at next season’s collection.
After arriving to London and checking in, I had a bit of free time (I have a deep love for London, especially due to the fact that I lived in the city for four years when I was studying there), before we met with the Karen Millen PR team, so I enjoyed a lovely dinner at a nearby restaurant off King’s Road called The Thomas Cubitt restaurant.
On our main day in London, we started the day with the Karen Millen Fall/Winter ’16 press day. A press day is one day where press (magazines, online and newspapers) are shown the collection first-hand and get a feel of the looks coming for next season, this provides a feel of the trends while getting to see and touch the actual pieces too. To be very honest, I was very impressed with the upcoming collection because of the fact that I felt like there was really something for everyone. I usually look to Karen Millen for structured dresses and great workwear pieces, so I really did love that there was a lot more casual wear, with some bohemian twists to key pieces. The brand describes their upcoming season as ‘fresh playfulness, eclecticism and refinement to the most beautifully crafted clothes.’, which I agree with — the brand has something for everyone, whilst being fun — in the familiar style they create everything, at the highest quality possible. Key trends included chunky knitwear, skinny rib, patterns, plaid and velvet – with the culottes and suede boots staying put for next season. It’s always exciting to see a brand move directions, but there’s nothing worse than losing the key things you loved in their ranges, so I’m glad to say the beautifully crafted dress and workwear pieces were still there.
Once we finished, we visited the flagship store at Covent Garden that has very recently been revamped (it’s a gorgeous two-floor space very close to the Covent Garden underground station) where we got to do a bit of shopping and discover the new beauty direction of Covent Garden.
We were then in for a treat with tea-time at Balthazar (I used to work very close to Balthazar when I lived in NYC!) for their limited edition Bobbi Brown tea time – I love a pretty tea time! The evening ended with drinks at Social Eating House, a great way to enjoy the last night of the trip.
My favorite day out of the three, we started early with a visit to the Karen Millen Headquarters based in Shoreditch, East London, and got to meet the brand’s Chief Creative Officer and Creative Director, Gemma Metheringham, and were taken on a lovely tour, and then shown the next collection. We also got to view their High Summer 2016 collection, a key collection for the Middle East (as it’s the Eid collection) which included lots of structured shapes and gorgeous large floral and bird prints. The HQ visit was not only very educational, but also helped me appreciate the brand a lot more after seeing that they manage the process from A-Z, starting with the sketches, to designers creating prototypes at the Atelier. It was great to see that they source the best fabrics at the best price they can get.
Enjoy my photo diary from the trip, and make sure to check out the new revamped Karen Millen store at Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.