You need to be at the Port Eliot Festival next year if you a) work in fashion, b) work in costume or set design c) are an actor or writer, or, d) want to be any of the above.
Port Eliot has simply become THE fashion festival, outside of the international ready-to-wear, couture, pre-fall and pre-spring shows, that is. Why? It’s impossible not to stumble over a gaggle of magazine editors and hobnob with all your favourite fashion idols. Here’s why…
1. Inside Game of Thrones – Actor Gwendoline Christie who plays Brienne of Tarth and fashion critic Sarah Mower quizzed Thrones’ costume designer Michelle Clapton and production designer Gemma Jackson about working in Westeros and creating seven kingdoms. Favourite quote: ‘We just had to keep wrapping the giants in cloth…’
2. Medieval Mania Show – When festival-goers-turned-models paraded in incredible medieval inspired pieces from Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana to Giles and Mary Katrantzou. Who knew Thrones had wielded such influence on today’s fashion? Everyone agreed: it was a moment.
3. Not one but THREE magazine editors took to the stage at this year’s festival. ELLE’s esteemed leader, Lorraine Candy, spoke about being a Cornish local and how she got to where she’s at; Harper’s Bazaar’s Justine Picardie gave a moving talk on ghosts and Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman spoke about her book, The Parrots.
4. All hail the Wardrobe Department in Port Eliot’s walled garden. That’s where it’s at, ram-packed with happenings and fashion greats, including milliner Stephen Jones giving one-to-one hat making tutorials.
5. When Lily Allen rocked up to try on one of Molly Goddard’s tulle party dresses… Upcoming designer Molly created a happening in the Fashion Illustration tent by recreating her autumn / winter 2015 show – a life illustration class. She enlisted a cast of festival goers and friends including Phoebe Collings James and Alex Brownsell to model for all the budding illustrators.
6. The fashion world’s favourite blogger Susie Lau, aka Bubble, hosted a crochet making session with Katie Jones.
7. Hair and Make-up, darling. It was all about sitting in the Bumble and Bumble throne and having your hair plaited in a medieval fashion. And then getting MAC’s amazing artists to do your make-up. Yeh.
8. The Theatre of Fashion was the site of Michael Howell’s amazing sets to preen and pose on. Very Dark Ages.
9. Designer hot-shots Marques’ Almeida had a chat with MAC’s director of makeup Terry Barber about how to create the Marques’Almeida Girl. This was modelled by the Warren sisters, the festival’s unofficial-official models.
10. Other favourite highlights: Giles Deacon’s nature and wildlife drawing classes. Chaps choir. Barbara Hulanicki and Sandy Powell’s drawing classes. Partying in tents. Sandy Powell's Cinderella dress as worn by Lily James. Getting lost in the maze.