Our Senior Press Officer Paul reveals his colourful working week…
The weekend began with a long awaited delivery of books I had recently ordered and had been eagerly anticipating the arrival. I couldn’t wait to get stuck into Martin Gayford’s ‘Man with a Blue Scarf’ – a book which offers a unique perspective of the life and works of the late portraitist Lucian Freud from the point of view of the sitter; chronicling the experience whilst offering a little seen perspective of the artist as a man at work. Carine Roitfeld’s ‘Irreverent’ was next on the reading list. The coffee table tome contains an edit of highlights and inspirations from Carrine’s career as one of the fashion industry’s most influential stylists and editors; the final purchase was ‘Dream and Drive’, a photo journal depicting a behind the scenes look at the band ‘The Kills’ – apt that this should arrive today as I had tickets to see the duo supporting Jack White at Alexandra Palace for that evening. The show was immeasurably fun, with the inimitable Alison Mosshart putting in a characteristically evocative performance; while Jack White’s unique style of bluesy and macabre southern rock went down well with the eclectic crowd. It being the weekend before bonfire night, I was also able to take in a few firework displays framed by the London skyline courtesy of Alexandra Palace’s elevated position.
‘Dream and Drive’ book
Sunday began with a lazy lunch at The Delaunay on Aldwych, with my friend Nini, the Fashion Editor of Good Housekeeping magazine; the grand European cafe is unrivalled in its impeccable service and top notch menu, so much so it’s often cited as being one of the Capital’s best restaurants.
After dining on Stroganoff and Steak Tartare, we moseyed down to Somerset House to take in Tim Walker’s ‘Story Teller’ exhibition (where we bumped into Jo Bennett, Laura Ashley’s Senior Design Manager, who was also headed to East Wing Galleries)– renowned for his surrealist approach to fashion photography, the exhibit showcased some of Tim’s most iconic works and disturbing props from a diverse portfolio –an unmissable exhibit.
Back in the office and the final preparations were in full swing for our SS13 press day – everyone is abuzz with anticipation and excitement for tomorrow’s show. After a hectic day a friend surprised me with tickets to see Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ at the Apollo – one of the bard’s most loved comedies and the play that has seen Stephen Fry return to the stage for the first time since 1995. Truly inspiring, the show is a must see for theatre lovers.
It’s an early start today on location at the Vinyl Factory in London’s Soho for the Laura Ashley Spring Summer ’13 press show. This is the day we showcase next season’s collections to the media -defining the trends for the upcoming season and talking editors through the stories and products ultimately helping them decide what’s key for their publications. The day was busy and fast paced, thankfully the lovely ladies at The Vintage Patisserie were on hand to provide much needed sustenance. We secured record attendance from stylists, bloggers and editors from the fashion, lifestyle and interiors arenas, but the job is far from over with the show marking the beginning of a season of hard work striving to keep Laura Ashley at the forefront of the media’s minds.
After a manic post-show day in the office, it was off to the Country Living Christmas fair’s gala evening in Islington, hosted by the publications editor, Susy Smith. The fair brings together hundreds of artisanal creatives and business people each selling their unique wares – a great place to get ahead on Christmas shopping (or so I thought. Inevitably I ended up shopping for myself and succumbed to the charms of an antique cut glass wine decanter – not before sampling nearly everything that was on offer in the food hall!).
We’re getting great feedback from press following Tuesday’s show and the call-ins (where editors request their chosen products for inclusion in their publication) are coming thick and fast. After a busy day, the PR team head off to the Science Museum, the venue for the 2012 House Beautiful Awards. I hadn’t been to the Science Museum for years, so took the opportunity to have a look around and am now planning a return visit for next weekend. The awards, hosted by HB’s editor Julia Goodwin, were a triumph for Laura Ashley, with the brand being shortlisted in two categories and winning Gold in the ‘Best of British’ category for our Hudson sofa – with winners being selected by an expert panel including The Great British Bake off’s Mary Berry and designers Jeff Banks and Sophie Conran, the award is testament to our design and buying team’s hard work and passion in creating the best products for our customers.
Press Manager Shelley and myself clutching the House Beautiful award for our Hudson sofa…
After a busy week, Friday post-work was a relaxed affair; a chilled evening out with friends. We chose to dine at Polpo just off Regent Street – renowned for a milieu of contemporary, unpretentious style (you can’t reserve a table) and an anti-establishment menu of bites, the restaurant is now a firm favourite. With a buzzing atmosphere and enviable approach to venetian cooking, you can now recreate a little of this at home following the launch of the restaurant’s recipe book – take a peek at how to make some of their signature dishes here.
Is there a Laura Ashley department you would like us to share through a week in pictures? Leave us a comment below or tweet us @LauraAshleyUK