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London Fashion Week interview: The Planner – Estella Thomas

Posted at 11:00 am, September 18, 2011 in Shopping & Style

Estella Thomas © Rob Greig / Time OutWhen Estella Thomas was a teen, she’d flick through Vogue and dream of wearing the creations of Matthew Williamson. Fast- forward to 2011 and Thomas not only sports the label regularly but also works with Williamson as his events and projects co-ordinator. Starting as PA to both Williamson and chief exec Joseph Velosa 5 years ago, Thomas, 31, knows the company. ‘I do the shows, manage lookbook shoots, organise parties and celebrity dressing,’ she says calmly. In fact, Thomas’s job is pretty non-stop – planning for each show starts practically the day after the previous one. ‘Once Matthew and the team have worked out their inspirations, we go to work on the venue, hair and make-up and liaise with sponsors,’ she says. This season’s show – on a Sunday evening – takes place in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. Currently working with DJ Jerry Bouthier to ensure the music ‘contrasts with the vast, industrial space’, this is only one job on Thomas’s to-do list. ‘It’s all late nights and early mornings in the run up to the show,’ she says. ‘It’s worth it because it’s so exciting.’ A particularly memorable moment came in spring/summer 2008 – when Williamson’s shows moved back to LFW to coincide with the event’s 25th anniversary. ‘Prince’s representatives called us 2 days before asking if he could perform his new single,’ remembers Thomas. ‘Fashion editors were standing on chairs trying to take pictures with their phones – it was amazing.’ While she can’t promise the presence of pop royalty this time around, Thomas’s passion remains as strong as ever. ‘It’s a big thing to pull off,’ she says. ‘I love to see everything come together.’

For info, see our guide to London Fashion Week.

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