Pandora Sykes is a journalist and consultant from London who writes about fashion, pop culture and celebrities, and co-hosts The High Low, a news and pop-culture podcast. She has worked with brands including Chanel, Cartier and Topshop and has interviewed Jennifer Connelly, Chloe Sevigny and Amber Valletta. We caught up with the fashion insider for an exclusive chat about British designers, her obsession with Liberty print and top tips on where to go and shop in London.
With LFW fast approaching, how do you prepare for such a busy time in the fashion calendar?
I don’t really prepare, as such, but I tend to make sure I’ve dunked myself in some fresh highlights at Hershesons salon and had a manicure. I also love using Elemis bath oil, during the shows, for an aching lower back!
Which emerging British designers are you most excited about?
I always enjoy Shrimps – it is such a pleasure to watch young designer Hannah Weiland develop. She has such a strong aesthetic. They don’t show at fashion week, but I also love Rixo. The girls are doing so well, there’s such a gap in the market for their bright, affordable dresses.
Which fashion show or event are you most looking forward to this season?
I always enjoy Burberry for the drama and performance of its beautifully executed shows, and I love seeing what Christopher Kane and JW Anderson come up with as they are visionaries.
What do you think makes British fashion so unique?
It gets said a lot, so it could seem trite, but really it’s true – there’s an individualism to British fashion, a boldness that can’t be dimmed.
How do you think the London fashion scene has evolved over the past decade?
It changes even from season to season. The biggest change is that there is a new guard: Emilia Wickstead and JW Anderson weren't even around 10 years ago, but now they are some of the most anticipated shows.
Where are your favourite places to shop in London?
I love Liberty for the sheer experience: it’s like you’re enveloped in a fragrant cosiness when you step in there. I also love Céline (for obvious reasons), any vintage shop at all (Found and Vision, Beyond Retro, Rokit – all the ones down Portobello Road) and the basement of Topshop in Oxford Circus.
Which are your favourite restaurants and coffee shops?
I live in Notting Hill and there are so many lovely ones round there: The Laslett, The Shed, Granger & Co, Lowry & Baker, Golborne Deli. They’re all really beautifully decorated and unassuming. In the centre of town, I love L’Escargot and Gymkhana.
What’s your recommended London souvenir?
Anything with Liberty print!
What are your plans for after LFW?
Hopefully moving house: fingers crossed! I’m dying to get stuck into all the interiors works. I adore interiors; I spend my money on furniture and spend hours cruising second-hand, vintage and antique websites such as Pamono and 1st Dibs.
What’s next for you?
I never know from month to month – but I can certainly say a lot more writing for lots of different publications (I write for the Sunday Times, the Telegraph, Vogue Australia, Man Repeller, Red magazine and Net-a-Porter, among others) and building my podcast, The High Low, with my co-host, the writer and journalist Dolly Alderton.