Deborah Henning 

As an outsider, international Fashion Weeks appear uber-glam, the people look fabulous and the parties, well, they just seem hedonistically glorious. However, what’s it like for an insider? What’s the real behind the scenes? Dubai-based British designer Deborah Henning of Shoreditch Muse and Sunday Showroom, reveals all in her London Fashion Week dairy…


My arrival to London (via Manchester) from Dubai was one of true drama. Imagine spending weeks planning your perfect outfits for fashion week only for your airline to lose your luggage. Nightmare, right? Well that’s exactly what happened to me.

Yet, not one to dwell on problems as soon as I hit the English capital my first port of call was some fabric shopping, not only to see what London had to offer but to get inspiration from new textures and different finishes available in the city.

deobrah henning, london fashion week

Fabric shopping in London

I visited Goldhawk Road and Soho in search of a new season colour palette. London has a great range of technical fabrics, which are not as readily available in Dubai, as well as the British made weaves.

I spent my afternoon touching textures and taking snippets of fabric to begin putting together a colour story for my new season. This was followed by some much-needed clothes shopping to replace my luggage, which I was told ended up in Channai, naturally!



The day started bright and early at Somerset House, the home of London Fashion Week. On approach I got goose bumps as I saw the array of designers, stylists, buyers, press, bloggers and fashion enthusiasts gathered around the entrances, sipping coffee, looking at show schedules and being captured by fashion paparazzi – it doesn’t get better than this.

1 London Fashion Week SS15 at Somerset House

Somerset House, home to London Fashion Week

With the sun shining and surrounded by so much talent, I spent time immersing myself in the exhibition spaces, looking at the designer stands and getting to know the new faces. It was great to see a diverse range of nationalities exhibiting, including the Middle East’s very own Ayah Tabari from All Things Mochi. It was lovely to see a Middle Eastern designer doing so well in Europe. The All Things Mochi stand was packed with colour and her fashionable team were head-to-toe in her heavily embroidered garments.

 Ayah Tabari from All Things Mochi.

Ayah Tabari at her All Things Mochi stall

After a quick chat with Ayah I worked my way around the stands, visited an awesome little bookshop and ended up in the Fashion Week shop where I discovered Giles Deacon’s accessory range – Wool and the Gang.

Giles Deacon's accessory range – Wool and the Gang.

Giles Deacon’s accessory range – Wool and the Gang

Next stop was Christopher Kane’s show, to see his beautifully balanced satin and tulle separates in claret hues mixed with sky blue mini dresses.


I spent the reminder of my day walking through the memserising streets of London, collecting images and trinkets along the way. I passed by Persephone Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street, a place where you can browse through re-prints of neglected fiction by 20th century writers. This was followed by a much needed visit to the Espresso Room, just around the corner on Great Ormond Street.

Persephone Books Store, london fashion week

Persephone Books Store



The morning began with meetings with online stores based in London. After a treacherous 90 minutes trying to locate an Apple Mac charger (mine was in my luggage, which I was told was in Masala) I finally reached Dover Street.

I love this part of London, just situated just around the corner from Green Park, in Mayfair, it is lined with beautiful coffee shops and designer stores.

Meetings completed and breakfast served at Aubaine (a delicious French bakery across the road). I was ready for Paris.


Rustic architecture, cute cars and quaint streets – I love Paris

A mere two hours and one Eurostar journey later and I was dragging my very small bag on to the French metro. On arrival to my hotel I found out my luggage had arrived in London – typical!



Fully recovered from London and ready to focus on my own fashion label, Deborah Henning, myself and my team headed to Paris to Parc de Expositions, the location of Premier Vision – the world’s largest fabric exhibition. It’s here that designers, stylists and trend predictors gather to predict the new season colours as well as the fabrics produced by the mills. It’s where myself and other designers work to create our colour palettes and create a fabric story to begin building a new collection.

Getting inspiration at Premier Vision

Getting inspiration at Premier Vision

There are thousands of vendors from all countries all over the world and everything from fabric to buttons to packaging is available to order. It’s a three-day event that industry insiders don’t miss.

From my label to Sunday Showroom, where I help bring international designers to the UAE, the rest of my day included a meeting with a fabulous new designer who I want to bring back to Dubai.

We discussed her fabrics and her designs and got her on track for her days to follow at Premier Vision. With the meeting wrapping up at 6pm I spent the evening enjoying Paris, and what better way to do it than by cycling through the City Of Lights and past the Eiffel Tower – simply beautiful.

paris eiffel tower

Paris by night and on a bike

By the time you read this I will have visited more designer stores and independent boutiques, added more inspirational ideas to my ongoing mood boards and hopefully, just maybe, my luggage will have caught up with me!

Happy Fashion Weeks.