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Eilidh MacAskill

The editor of InStyle magazine tells Caroline Nodder why she’s surprised she ended up working in fashion journalism.

What’s your view on the current UK fashion retail scene?

More than ever, product is king, and the retailers who’ve focused on product rather than buzz or status are benefiting themselves and their consumers. When a brand is doing well and offering up a service or item that you actually want to purchase, as a consumer you feel a genuine connection with them, a kind of retail gratitude. Having lived in the US, I can say honestly that the diversity and accessibility of the UK high street is incredible.

We’re delighted to have teamed up with InStyle for the Drapers Fashion Awards – why did you get involved?

It makes so much sense to team up with Drapers. We have such opinionated readers at InStyle so it’s great to be able to let them have their say on who and what is working for them. I am fascinated to see who will win [the Consumer Choice Retailer of the Year Award].

You have one of the most prominent roles in fashion journalism – was that always your career ambition?

My career has been a real surprise – fashion never crossed my mind. Although I did want to be a journalist, at one point I was also very much considering doing maths at university. To this day, I look back and think: “Oh, this is a bit of a surprise”.

Do you think London Fashion Week is now a serious contender on the global stage?

There’s no question that London has come of age, thank God. As a fashion editor on a newspaper, I (and many of my peers) spent what felt like years complaining that LFW was more amateurish and less commercial and polished than the other cities. In reality, LFW probably had to go through that stage to become a fertile ground for creativity rather than commercialism.

It means that even though we are more professional we’ve lost absolutely none of the energy and surprise that makes LFW so special and important to the international buyers. If a buyer doesn’t do London now, it’s hard to take them seriously.

What are the emerging spring 13 trends you’re particularly looking forward to?

It will be a spectacular season for footwear. Being piece specific I have my eye on the midi tube/pencil skirt – great length and very easy to wear. Trend-wise I’m loving the return of stripes, the oversized silhouette, the incredibly narrow trouser suit and metallics.

I like the idea of transparency but I know I will never wear it.

Who would you say is a name to watch in fashion at the moment?

Simone Rocha is incredibly talented. And I’m loving the recent collection from Lucas Nascimento.

Click here for more details about the Drapers Fashion Awards and InStyle’s involvement

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