All posts by NoéMie

Co-Cari! – Cari Marsden’s Graduate Collection

Cari Marsden's Graduate Collection 2011

‘The designer role is changing,’ says LCF graduate Cari Marsden, ’the consumer is increasingly participating in the design process’. This statement proves true, since Nike ID there has been an increased demand for a development in product uniqueness and customisation as well as memorable shopping experiences. Co-design operations, however, are still seen as a niche and as difficult to develop into brands. “The concept is innovative and consumers are intrigued, but the fashion industry so far has been rather reluctant of utilising it as real objects of consumerism. As a designer, you need courage to be open with your consumers and let them translate your products. I’m very interested in the outcomes co-design can achieve”.

Co-Lab, The Rarotonga 0

Therefore, for her MA project in Digital Fashion, Cari Marsden hopped on the train to re-create the design process. Taking traditional knotting and threading techniques into the future, Cari founded Co-Lab, where designer and consumer merge and co-design as one brand. Inspired by body modification and surgery, Cari researched tribal biomedical interpretations and with her skills in garment construction and digital processes came up with surprising silhouettes. The traditional shapes are contrasted with sterile looking materials and a clinical colour palette of whites and blues as taken from the hospital, yet creating a fresh look. Her research allowed her to analyse and interpret historical forms of interaction in tribal history to modern day situations, where consumers are communicating online. In her MA paper it reads: “Digital consumers are beginning to customise apparel, using the internet as an efficient interaction tool and becoming personalised product creators.”

Co-Lab, The Bateke 000 worn with Co-Lab Perspex Collar

Cari developed her idea from a previous project of laser cutting holes in fabric and threading through cords by morphing ideas from contrasting areas of research, such as medical tubing, tribal jewellery, face decoration, body manipulation, pill packet patterns and surgical operations. Furthermore, when studying the work of the Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri, who stitches coloured threads over his drawings, the designer became increasingly interested in the manipulation of the face. She took inspiration from tribal masks of healing and biomedical statuesque interpretations and explored the influence illness has on a body’s silhouette and how she could portray this by manipulating and creating an illusion around the body’s shape. Cari was also inspired by the way human interaction is encouraged through illness when carrying out operations or remedies and used this as inspiration for the tactility needed in the collection.

Co-Lab, The Rarotonga 0

“My realisation of the toiles was affected by my fabric sourcing and selection”, the graduate recalls, “instead of selecting fabric first then working with the properties, I decided to make shapes first and then create an infrastructure to hold this. This is not a typical process to follow and upon reflection I feel it cost me time and effort. However it did force me to source innovatively, for example I used a flexible yet rigid medical tube inserted into heat sealing tape which acted as a strong structure for the garments to mould around. I also had to be creative with my finishes. I used the thick binding with concealed zips on open seams as finishing, but also as hidden thickness and added structure in the seams”. Creating those strong shapes, Cari recalls, she had difficulties when toiling in different fabrics to production, which caused her finishing and time management to suffer a little, but through smart prioritising she managed to achieve her aims as set initially. The thorough toiling she produced allowed her to work on gaining a balance in the garments of structure to hold shape, as well as volume and flexibility for laser cutting and cords to be put through.

Co-Lab, The Bateke 000 worn with Co-Lab Perspex Collar

Cari talks me through her sketchbook, of which she thinks it records old and present research, a process she needs in order to explore her design identity further in terms of layout, imagery, typography and the process of design development. She aims to now commit time to producing a digital presence such as a blog. “I feel this would enrich the design process through interacting with other people”. A blog could also create a Co-Lab experience before production as well as being a selling point through her website. “The Co-Lab digital interface creates an environment where the Co-Lab community can experiment, design, select and facilitate’ Cari explains. By splitting the brand into sub brands (Co-Collection, Co-Select and Co-String), it became an open brand, interacting with consumers whilst managing the brand identity.

Co-Lab, The Bateke 000 worn with Co-Lab Perspex Belt

“I am proud of the digital skills I have developed” Cari tells me, and she has definitely raised her profile to start her digital fashion career. Throughout the project she considered whether to put her name within the brand, however, as the label would not feel personal to the consumers she wants the label to connect with, she decided not to in the end. Now she seems pleased with Co-lab as the brand name as it relates to many other terms related to the brand such as collaboration, co-label, co-operation, laboratory, community, co-design, communicate. Co-Cari! ns

Co-Lab, The Co-Lab String

Take a journey on Cari’s website to understand the co-design element and label aesthetic.


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Designing Women Post-War British Textiles – Fashion And Textile Museum, London

Mauve by Marian Mahler

Yesterday, a forthcoming exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum opening to the public. Britain was at the forefront of international textile design in the 1950s and 1960s. Three women – Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler – led this movement. Designing Women explores their pioneering role in combining art and manufacturing to change the direction of the modern design industry.

White Cottage Garden With Pink Trees

The art of textile design radically changed after the Second World War and the drab days of the War were transformed by the fresh, progressive designs of those three women artists working in England in the 1950s, pivotal in this artistic revolution.

Miscellany

Designing Women: Post-war British textiles showcases their work beginning with Lucienne Day’s ‘Calyx’ pattern of 1951, featured at the Festival of Britain, and moving through textile commissions of the 1960s and 70s featuring more than 100 works altogether.

Chevron by Lucienne Day

Original artist designs with bold abstract pattern, as well as the use of saturated colour, marked a dramatic departure from conventional furnishing fabrics. This new wave of bold textile designs, helped to bring the influences of the art world, in its most recent, refreshing, and largely abstract forms, into the contemporary home.

Mobiles Grey by Marian Mahler

Progressive textile manufacturers and wholesale firms like Heal & Sons and David Whitehead Ltd were central in maintaining Britain’s preeminent position in textile design. The introduction of new technologies and the work of inventive and creative young designers like Day, Groag and Mahler helped these companies transform the market by inspiring new product lines that were elegant and artistic, yet affordable.

Nautilus Yellow by M. Warren

The mid-century pursuit of fresh and provocative designs is reflected in the work of other women designers who produced popular textiles of the period. The work of Paule Vézelay, Mary Warren and Mary White is also included in the exhibition. Together they present a uniquely British brand of modernism whose broad appeal is still relevant to contemporary domestic interiors today.

Traffic Lights by Jacqueline Groag

Celia Joicey, Head of Fashion and Textile Museum, says ‘We are very excited to be showing the work of Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler and Jacqueline Groag at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Their outstanding designs highlight the important contribution these women have made to introducing art and modernity into British lives and homes.’

Pebbles Red by Jacqueline Groag

Dennis Nothdruft, Curator, says ‘The mid-century textiles collection of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown is one of the most comprehensive in the world. This exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to see these works and compare key developments in pattern, colour and form from this period.’

Olive Cayl by Lucienne Day

Open from 16th March – 16th June 2012


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Designing Women Post-War British Textiles – Fashion And Textile Museum, London

Mauve by Marian Mahler

Yesterday, a forthcoming exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum opening to the public. Britain was at the forefront of international textile design in the 1950s and 1960s. Three women – Lucienne Day, Jacqueline Groag and Marian Mahler – led this movement. Designing Women explores their pioneering role in combining art and manufacturing to change the direction of the modern design industry.

White Cottage Garden With Pink Trees

The art of textile design radically changed after the Second World War and the drab days of the War were transformed by the fresh, progressive designs of those three women artists working in England in the 1950s, pivotal in this artistic revolution.

Miscellany

Designing Women: Post-war British textiles showcases their work beginning with Lucienne Day’s ‘Calyx’ pattern of 1951, featured at the Festival of Britain, and moving through textile commissions of the 1960s and 70s featuring more than 100 works altogether.

Chevron by Lucienne Day

Original artist designs with bold abstract pattern, as well as the use of saturated colour, marked a dramatic departure from conventional furnishing fabrics. This new wave of bold textile designs, helped to bring the influences of the art world, in its most recent, refreshing, and largely abstract forms, into the contemporary home.

Mobiles Grey by Marian Mahler

Progressive textile manufacturers and wholesale firms like Heal & Sons and David Whitehead Ltd were central in maintaining Britain’s preeminent position in textile design. The introduction of new technologies and the work of inventive and creative young designers like Day, Groag and Mahler helped these companies transform the market by inspiring new product lines that were elegant and artistic, yet affordable.

Nautilus Yellow by M. Warren

The mid-century pursuit of fresh and provocative designs is reflected in the work of other women designers who produced popular textiles of the period. The work of Paule Vézelay, Mary Warren and Mary White is also included in the exhibition. Together they present a uniquely British brand of modernism whose broad appeal is still relevant to contemporary domestic interiors today.

Traffic Lights by Jacqueline Groag

Celia Joicey, Head of Fashion and Textile Museum, says ‘We are very excited to be showing the work of Lucienne Day, Marian Mahler and Jacqueline Groag at the Fashion and Textile Museum. Their outstanding designs highlight the important contribution these women have made to introducing art and modernity into British lives and homes.’

Pebbles Red by Jacqueline Groag

Dennis Nothdruft, Curator, says ‘The mid-century textiles collection of Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown is one of the most comprehensive in the world. This exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to see these works and compare key developments in pattern, colour and form from this period.’

Olive Cayl by Lucienne Day

Open from 16th March – 16th June 2012


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Paris Fashion Week Street Style Part I

Frank wears Coat: Red Franklin (Frank’s own creation), Shoes: If Fenestrier, Scarf: Flipperie Parisienne, Brooch: Les Puces de Clignancourt. All images: Alejandra Gomez Vasquez

Hulda wears Blouse: Urban Outfitters, Coat: H&M, Bag: H&M, Shoes: Spanish

You know him, don't you?


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London Fashion Week Looks – Part Two

Abigail wears: All vintage, shoes Topshop

Lloyd wears: Jacket and bag vintage, Jumper and Shirt Beyond Retro, Trousers Topshop, Shoes DcMartens

Britanny wears: Scarf and jacket Vintage, Trousers and bag Topshop, Shoes Asos, Shirt Urban Outfitters

Hanna wears: All vintage, Trousers Gap

Carole wears: Vintage Cape

Poppy wears: Jacket Josyks, hoody Richard Chai, Blouse and skirt Club Monaco, Belt Burberry, Shoes DSquared, bag, Tommy Ton for Club Monaco

All pictures by Ellie Tsatsou


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High Class Robbery – Howitz Weissbach SS2012 at Capsule Paris

I met Eva Howitz and Frieder Weissbach from howitzweissbach at Capsule in Paris. Fresh noblesse is what they do and for their look book shoot they simply collected some random wood – how easy does that sound. But that’s their attitude which goes hand in hand with what they think: “There is too much pretending in the fashion world, everything is made more important than it actually is. Just look at our shoulders

Inspired by fairy tales, howitzweissbach’s Spring / Summer 2012 collection High Class Robbery, featuring a lot of volume and transparency, shows vulnerability through silk organza-shrouded backs and and strength through voluminous fronts. “The feminine back is the most beautiful part of a body, it’s so elegant,” they explain.

Using little but high-quality textiles such as light silk-cotton weave, silk organza as well as air-treated cotton batiste, they produce unique designs locally and under socially responsible conditions and “always work with strong primary colours, but at the moment we believe in green,” Eva smiles.  In addition to the collections, howitzweissbach also produce a line of shoes and accessories including socks, bags and scarves.


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Introducing: DASH Magazine

DASH Magazine Issue One – Cover

We are excited to introduce the brandnew and beautiful, high-end but arty DASH Magazine. DASH Magazine is devoted to the fabrication of images, concepts and articles with a high level of depth and aesthetics and winner of the Best Fashion Journalism Award.

Spring / Summer 2012 Mood by Vita Yang and Chapter Illustration by Meriç Canatan

Intended at opinion formers, DASH Magazine is a London-based high fashion editorial, lifestyle, illustration and art print. The bi-annual title combines cutting-edge fashion editorial with traditional fashion illustration, bridging the gap between the hand rendered and digital.

Editorial by Adrian Wilson

Interview with Kate Moss illustrated by Marcela Gutierrez

The team, consisting of Editor in Chief NoéMie Schwaller, Graphic Designer Anouk Rehorek and Features Editor Harald Weiler is as international as the contributors they feature in the magazine. They say they’re already planning DASH Issue Two, coming out in September, covering Autumn / Winter 2012.

Interview with François Berthoud

Editorial by Elizaveta Porodina

With an initial print run of 10’000 copies, DASH will be available for £6 from selected newsagents and booksellers worldwide or directly on the distributor’s website. Go buy and enjoy beauty!


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Functional Minimalism – Cornel Bolt SS 2012

Cornel Bolt is one of London’s up and coming fashion designers whom I met at the ‘Rendez-Vous Femme’ showroom in Paris. Inspired by film stills, his designs move from a controlled aesthetic to something decidedly more deconstructed – the blowing up and shattering apart of an image in slow motion.

I creased the stretch denim and spray painted it by hand with acrylic paint in two different tones. This took much more time than I had expected. It works well now, though, and all pieces can be hand washed,Cornel recalls about the development of the print that looks just like burnt cloth. We love the effect it has – you just want to touch it. It’s the hidden details that make all the difference – the sheen of the fabric, the underarm panelling, the beauty of a well-designed zip. The Fashion Fringe finalist is one we want to see more of.


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Noir AW 2012 – Berlin FW

The closing show of Berlin Fashion Week was wonderfully elegant and sophisticated Noir Autumn / Winter 2012.

Noir established its style and profile with this timeless, graceful and accessible collection, inspired by the story of an old suitcase which has been used for generations and travalled the world.

Noir originates from the elegance of a bygone era infused with modern innovation, individuality and edge. We have an ambitious desire to let the Noir brand contributes to meaningful consumption and to appeal to the conscious and quality-minded woman,” explains Sysser Philipsson, CEO.


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Out Of Place – Craig Lawrence SS 2012

Craig Lawrence Spring Summer 2012

A Central Saint Martins graduate who’s been producing knitwear for fashion designer Gareth Pugh for six seasons and is backed by The British Fashion Council‘s NewGen can only be a talent to watch. Craig Lawrence‘s knitted womenswear collections are of a certain fascination since they seem, alienesque and sexy as they are, to be a bit out of place and that’s what makes them just right.

Alienesque and sexy

“Knitting with unconventional materials to create voluminous, fluffy and shiny knits,” the designer describes his signature.

He is now collaborating with the London boutique The Village Bicycle and collaborating with Dazed & Confused Fashion Editor Katie Shillingford, who also works closely with Gareth Pugh.

Knitwear of today

It’s been six season’s now since Craig Lawrence has been showing fascinating fashion films in the context of his collections. The next one will be screened on 19th February 2012 from 11am – 12pm at Somerset House at London Fashion Week AW12.

Craig Lawrence's designs are just right.


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Postmodernism exhibition at the V&A

Maternity dress for Grace Jones by Jean-Paul Goude and Antonio Lopez

Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990: Oh it was a time of exploding production and exploration in all fields creative. The V&A’s major autumn exhibition is the first in-depth survey of art, design and architecture of the 1970s and 1980s, examining this contentious phenomena in recent art and design history. It shows how postmodernism evolved from a provocative architectural movement in the early 1970s and rapidly went on to influence all areas of popular culture including art, film, music, graphics and fashion.

Wet: The Magazine of Gourmet Bathing no.20. Design by April Greiman in collaboration with Jayme Odgers

'Supremely Black' by Haim Steinback

As it is with most exhibitions at the V&A, aimed at a major tourist-based visitor’s demographic, they are very well laid out and set up but depth is missing. It’s a very enjoyable exhibition though, exploring the radical ideas that challenged the orthodoxies of Modernism; overthrowing purity and simplicity in favour of exuberant colour, bold patterns, artificial looking surfaces, historical quotation, parody and wit, and above all, a newfound freedom in design. Many modernists considered style to be a mere sideshow to their utopian visions; but for the postmodernists, style was everything.

Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown in the Las Vegas desert with the strip in the background. By Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates

Consumer's Rest Chair by Frank Schreiner (for Stiletto Studios)

By the late 1980s, many had started to declare the death of postmodernism – without being quite sure what would take its place. The exhibition concludes with art and design from this uncertain moment, encouraging visitors to consider what relevance the postmodern episode might have for the present day. But as we are not sure yet if postmodernism is over, after the last exhibition room you kind of expect another one to come – but there is none.

Power, Corruption & Liews album cover for New Order by Peter Saville

Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970-1990


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Damien Blottière with Pierre Hardy

Damien Blottiere and Pierre Hardy for Les Echos magazine

Photographer and illustrator Damien Blottière teamed up with designer of Hermes haute bijouterie Pierre Hardy. The French magazine Les Echos published the resulted editorial Manifeste Joaillier which features many beautiful Hermes’ jewellery pieces such as the Centaur ring or the 104 carats Aventurine ring.

“I’ve switched pens and pencils for scissors and started to cut out images from magazines first, then my own. I need to be alone and let my hands start to do their work taking care of what all the others talents (stylist, hair and make up artists, models…) gave me during the shoot,” the artist explains his way of creating.


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Exhibition 20 Years of Dazed & Confused

Pages 316-317 – Tie-Dye Hair. December 2009, Photography by Mark Pillai, styling by Katie Shillingford

The Terrace Rooms and Courtyard Rooms at Somerset House are always up for a surprise. Whether for a good or a not so good one is anyone’s guess, but this time it’s definitely for the good, hosting the free exhibition 20 Years of Dazed & Confused Magazine: Making It Up As We Go Along.

The magazine has been my companion nearly since its launch in London in 1991 by Jefferson Hack and photographer Rankin, who has just launched his new magazine The Hunger last week, featuring photographs exclusively of his own. Dazed & Confused has embodied a guide on upcoming designers as well as artists and filmmakers, style and culture above all, and has represented a new wave in lifestyle journalism, bringing together figures from an assortment of fields and eras to produce extraordinary interviews and original artwork exclusively for the magazine.

Pages 310-311 - Yohji Yamamoto Feature. February 2011, Photography by Serge Leblon, styling by Karen Langley

Work featured includes ground-breaking photography by Rankin, Nick Knight, David Sims and Terry Richardson, specially commissioned projects by artists Jake & Dinos Chapman, Damien Hirst and Sam Taylor-Wood, cutting edge fashion pages by stylists Katie Grand, Katy England, Alister Mackie and Nicola Formichetti, and specially selected designs by fashion giants Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood and Gareth Pugh. It’s no surprise that the exhibition is to coincide with the release of the book of the same name published by Rizzoli, charting the visual history of Dazed & Confused magazine. Curated by Jefferson Hack and Emma Reeves, this multi-layered exhibition immortalises the magazine’s most infamous visual stories and is on until 29 January 2012. Go see.


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Interview with Delada

Fawn Onyx Dress by Delada

Delada, how are you today?

Very inspired and excited, I am in the process of creating my A/W 2012 women’s collection inspired by one of my favourite artists Louise Bourgeois, and already finished looks just like I envisioned them – elegant and exquisite.

How do you experience beauty?

Full on, with all my five senses. I find and appreciate beauty in so many things, from a delicious beautifully presented meal to a well made unusual design detail on a piece of clothing.

Tell me about your design background.

My background is in business and in contemporary art and this is the greatest influence in my designs. Since my youth I have been mesmerised by modern and contemporary art. I have always tried to find garments which translate this quality into fashion while also being aesthetically beautiful and flattering. I have always had my own sense of style and I often used to create original outfits for myself even before I decided to launch my own collection.

You have just launched your first collection – what is it called and why?

I wanted to create a collection of the unusual sensibility inspired by artistic innovations of the early 20th century and therefore called it ‘Sense and Sensibility‘.

Onyx Isabelline Dress

What has inspired you for this collection?

My main inspiration has been the surrealistic artwork of artists such as Salvatore Dali or Magritte. I took their artistic ideas and re-interpreted them to deliver a modern, feminine collection. Another inspiration is my signature butterfly logo which appears as either laser cuts or as a raised work of art throughout this collection, sometimes in very surprising ways.

What materials did you use in your collection? 

I tried to create a fine balance between tough and delicate, using the finest paper silk mounted on crepe de chine to indicate laser-cut, the most sumptuous leathers, luxurious silks, silk organza and richest silk and wool and of course our own in house designed graphic patterns which were printed onto paper silk. I am very proud of and delighted with the way they turned out.

What is your design signature?

At the heart of the brand is the symbol of the butterfly which symbolises feminism, playfulness and flattering lightness. However, I have taken the symmetry and familiarity away and created a surreal asymmetrical and slightly ‘deranged’ graphic form. It is a modern symbol, in bold black and white, to represent my surreal view of the world and femininity in fashion.

What’s your origin? 

I am a citizen of the world, originally from Russia I lived in America and now just outside London.

What should the wearer feel like in your clothes? 

Sensual, elegant, unique, feminine and confident. Delada flatters the woman’s body and femininity and embellishes with artistic flair and artisan craftsmanship.

Silk Royal Lilly Dress

How would you describe the Delada woman?

She is someone who, like me, appreciates wearing well-made, one of a kind, high quality clothes that flatter her figure and make her stand out in a crowd. My designs are perfect for a woman who likes a touch of luxury with a discreet, elegant feel.

What is your favourite piece of the collection and why?

Please don’t make me choose, all my designs are like my children, I love them all the same.

If the collection would be a country – what land would that be?

A new land which rises from the sea to the surprise and delight of everyone.

What have you had for breakfast?

Home-made muesli with organic low fat yoghurt.

How old are you and since how long have you been working in the industry?

Shame on you, one never asks a lady her age. This is my first collection and I am very proud of how it turned out.

What has been your career highlight so far?

Seeing the clothes from my collection being worn in town by real women.

What music were you playing in your studio this season?

A very eclectic mix, anything from classics to hip hop, it all depends on the mood that day.

What’s your relation with your subject matter?

I am a woman who adores design in all forms, and right now I am expressing myself creatively through my clothing collection. In the future I plan to expand this into other areas such as home ware, accessories and children’s clothing.

Name three things that are inspiring you for Spring / Summer 2012.

Surrealistic art, delicate flowers and abstract butterflies.

What’s next for your brand?

To continue delivering luxurious, unique, high quality, beautiful clothes to women who are looking for that something special to wear.

Thank you for your time, Delada.


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Vibskov’s Handicraft

Exclusive laptop cases for YMC by Henrik Vibskov

Handicraft is still big for AW 2011 and we love Henrik Vibskov‘s laptop and Ipad cases featuring his signature Napal knitwear pattern and the wooden beaded – cases for extra safe carriage reminiscent of drivers’ seats. They are are exclusive to YMC in the UK and available online with prices ranging between £75-£125.

About the designer: The name Henrik Vibskov is most commonly associated not only with a fashion label, but a multitude of twisted yet tantalising universes created in relation to each collection. As a fashion designer Henrik Vibskov has produced nineteen collections since he graduated from Central St. Martin’s in 2001, and he is currently the only Scandinavian designer on the official show schedule of the Paris Men’s Fashion Week, which he has been since January 2003.


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Cristina Sabaiduc SS2012

Cristina Sabaiduc showed her Spring / Summer 2012 debut collection in London. Blurring the boundaries between fashion and art Cristina uses unconventional materials and quality workmanship to produce functional, flowing clothing. Sabaiduc presented a collection that seeks to challenge conventional attitudes towards fashion by fusing post-industrial and romantic influences to designs that are both wearable and feminine.

Influenced by in her interest in the artistic cultural progressions of the Far East, particularly from Tibet and Ancient China, the collection strongly features texture and pattern, with the designer employing digital prints on key pieces such as the silk print cocktail dress and jersey print hooded bodysuit.

Cristina Sabaiduc makes a strong statement with he organic colour palette being combined with products of industrial waste and overproduction. The show was an artistic experience where film, art and fashion merged.

The collection, produced in the UK, evolved from a flat, 2-D gallery exhibition into a full catwalk show, presenting the spatial element involved in creating the shape and form of the collection.


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Crystal Christmas – Swarovski at Harrods

Set to dazzle and delight London shoppers, Swarovski and Harrods have teamed up to create a world of enchantment throughout the store.

A spectacular window display at Harrods portrays a crystal forest sparkling with millions of Swarovski Elements of all shapes and sizes, a unique winter wonderland with a backdrop of delicate crystal tipped branches indeed, showcasing the exclusive and limited edition A Crystal Christmas inspired by Swarovski products.

Throughout Harrods, each of the seven floors will have its own individual Crystal Christmas area, especially designed to highlight the exclusive collection of unique pieces. The range of products made with Swarovski Elements is hugely diverse, from clothing to decorations to bed linen, all produced by internationally acclaimed brands such as Azzaro, Frette, Ladurée, Barbour, Givenchy and Missoni, who have all utilised Swarovski Elements in their exclusive offers.

“We are delighted to be able to celebrate the Swarovski and Harrods A Crystal Christmas collaboration, a culmination of great creativity and vision that has resulted in an enchanting backdrop for the world famous Harrods windows this holiday season. It’s a sparkling showcase for some of the most exquisite pieces, and for the first time ever, includes a Swarovski pop up store with exclusive Swarovski gifts for all the family, including the Atelier Swarovski collection by Rodrigo Otazu” says Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Executive Board, Swarovski Crystal Business.

A unique couture gown by Ralph & Russo, which features an exquisite hand embroidered ‘Winter Floral’ design with over 152,000 Swarovski Elements that cover the whole of the dress, takes centre stage in the Christmas windows. But there are, too, archive pieces from Swarovski Runway Rocks, a collection of catwalk jewels, including the headpiece, Bird’s Nest Headdress, by Shaun Leane, Philip Treacy and Alexander McQueen, which featured in Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York earlier this year, and a crown, Goddess, by Farah Khan which was worn by Beyonce in the artwork for her latest album ‘4’.

The windows themselves also showcase an exclusive Swarovski Jewellery Pop-Up Shop. The Autumn / Winter 11/12 Swarovski Collection will be available along several limited edition pieces created exclusively for Harrods alongside the Atelier Swarovski collection by Rodrigo Otazu. Designers Erdem and Marios Schwab have recreated the iconic Harrods green tote bag in their own individual style for Macmillan Cancer Support. These unique bags are displayed in Harrods on the designer floor throughout the Christmas period. You can bid for the bags from a starting price of £500, with the lucky highest bidder revealed on 24th December. Good luck!


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Kenzo SS 2012

Kenzo Spring / Summer 2012

Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, pleasantly surprisingly creative directors of LVMH’s Kenzo since last July, the duo presented their first collection for the house in a few small shows at the house’s Rue Vivienne headquarters just a few steps away from Kenzo’s first Jungle Jap store, opened up by Kenzo Takada in 1970. The duo did their job well, as they did their curating, retailing, merchandising, creative collaborating and designing in their past.

Colour blocking par excellence

Their close friend Chloe Sevigny closed the show in a blue button-up jumpsuit.

Big K, E, N, Z, O letters were laying around, giving away their sense for graphics. Inspired by American painter Ellsworth Kelly, the collection is bold in primary in colours, texture and blocked prints. Motifs evoking a coastal landscape of seashells, birds and fisherman’s nets are translated throughout the collection in prints, embroideries, and accessories.

"A collision of our love of American style and street wear with an effortless Parisian spirit is brought forth in this collection." the designers state.

The collection shows playful patterned fabrics and an overall ease and youthful sophistication.

Functionality and reversibility is what Leon and Lim considered most; every brightly hued taffeta piece in the last group is reversible. It seems as if they will bring something new to the brand, a little more Americanism, rather than just follow up Kenzo’s heritage. Keep tuned.

The prints are inspired by say sea shell art that you find people doing in small seaside towns.

"Our women’s collection for Spring-Summer 2012 is a plunge into the next phase of Kenzo’s story."

"We wanted to bring back the fun of the brand, in a way that feels really luxurious but also accessible." - Carol Lim

The music was provided by Jason Schwartzman; a recording of the Talking Heads’ 'Wild Wild Life' and Cyndi Lauper’s 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun'

 


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Snowgear by Ashish for Topshop

Chalet Grey Jumper

If there was one thing I miss about my home country it would be snowboarding and the mountains. Yes, I know there is an indoor slope somewhere near London but no, that’s nothing compared to what I’m used to ride and jib. Think big and stylish. Ashish heard my prayers and makes a welcome return to Topshop on November 16th 2011, this time bringing his sense of fun to the slopes, yes, you heard me. His latest hit is a capsule collection of ski and snowboarding clothes including matching accessories.

Snow Bored Hoody

Leopard Print Rucksack

A leopard print ski jacket, with matching sweatshirt and salopettes will ensure you cut a dash in the snow whilst offering you full protection from the elements. Inspired by technical skiwear, mixed with the designer’s trademark comic twist, the range is both stylish and functional: Made from wind/waterproof fabric and with a cosy fleece interior, they offer warmth and comfort, and zipped interior pockets will keep all your essential skiing equipment safe. A waterproof rucksack and bumbag in the same leopard print can be mix-matched or worn together for the ultimate playful outfit. Not quite sure if the rucksack is as practical and thought-trough as my old one, but it’s definitely an eye-catcher. And since on the slopes you are well aware that the people up in the gondolas have all their time to check you out, you’ll be happy to impress not only with your riding skills, but with your amazing statement pieces too. With the selection of over-sized tees and sweatshirts with tongue-in-cheek slogans referencing snow-sports such as ‘Piste Off’ or ‘Snow bored’ this is on or off the piste.

Leopard Print Jacket

Leopard Print Jumper

 

Leopard Print Trousers

Affectionately known by fashionistas as the ‘King of Sequins’, Topshop and Ashish Gupta first crossed paths in 2004 when he won New Generation sponsorship. His collections exuberantly mix sportswear and high octane glamour, often using bright colours, sequins and prints. About the new collabotration he comments: “I love leopard print, and I thought it would be really fun to do matchy-matchy leopard print ski pants and puffer jackets and backpacks. I wanted it to be fun but also functional.”

Piste Off Jumper

 

Leopard Print Bumbag

Au Secours! T-shirt


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Mimi by Sara Vidas SS 2012

Sara Vidas Spring / Summer 2012. Pictures: Oliver Rust

O how positively surprised I was when Swiss womenswear designer Sara Vidas told me her Spring / Summer 2012 collection was to be called ‘Mimi’ which has been my nickname ever since I was able to speak but couldn’t pronounce my very own name. I simply took the last syllable and repeated it, that’s how my byname strategically was constructed and decided til doomsday. MiMi has just shared a secret with you.

Sara Vida's collection 'Mimi' is inspired from the suburban bakeries and coffee shops in Switzerland.

The spring / summer 2012 collection is made for women of all ages.

Enough of me now, let’s see what Sara Vidas‘ Mimi is like: ‘Mimi likes sweets, but she is not too sweet. She loves to pick a lovely cake from a colourful display. Mimi knows what she likes, when ordering patisserie as well as when choosing her look for the occasion. She knows to mix her styles and takes well care of her favourite pieces. She does not take herself too serious, but still appears very sophisticated. Mimi spends her spare time on cruise ships on the various Swiss lakes, where she enjoys observing other tourists through her sunglasses. She loves the irony and is very young at heart.‘ I see no difference.

Caramel pudding, marshmallows, icing in various pastel tones, stracciatella, whipped cream and the cherry on top.

Fine jersey gets combined with laces and bead embroidery.

Chiffon and plissé meet velvet applications.

Sommery hats and sporty head bands are combined with tennis skirts and 1960s velvet appliactions, chic boleros and white caps, brogues in patent leather and seemingly random vintage sandals. Peter pan collars come in small and big, white and black versions while contrasting bright red heart-shaped applications cheekily accentuate chest and nipples. Contemporary polka dots accompany denim in 1980s cuts, frilled socks belittle the slightly circus-esque look and beeded clutch bags add glamour to it.

Young and fresh, yet chic.

Sporty and playful.

It's older ladies that get Sara Vidas' full attention with their fresh and spirited looks.

At her second catwalk show at Paris Fashion Week, the models walked slowly to soft jazz music, just like a little girl imagining being a movie star. It felt like relegated into a begone time when fashion was a much slower industry and the shows were such that one found time to actually look at the clothes rather than just being overwhelmed by an impressive event.

Sweet and cheeky.

"I wish I could live from my work one day." - Sara Vidas 2011

Like in her previous collections, Sara Vidas liked to hang all sorts of things around the models’ necks, such as clutch bags with red hearts or mini plastic bags on oversized lether and metal straps. This season, statement pieces go with statement pieces. MiMi will do.

"People on this world's streets are my biggest inspiration" - Sara Vidas 2011

Photography by Oliver Rust


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Death Would be Cheated – Úna Burke SS 2012

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Pictures by Andreas Waldschuetz

Let’s recall Úna Burke‘s AW 2011 installation, where she showed a sinister short film called ‘META.MORPH’ featuring her collection with a grotesque ending, in which a model freed herself from a dark cellar or tower room (see images below). Since then, Úna has gone places, including spiritual, symbolic and superstitious ones and eventually found her inspiration in burial and mummification rituals of the Ancient Egyptians. The decoration of the sarcophagus and the tomb with protective symbols set the starting point for her Spring Summer 2012 ‘Bastet’ collection. It was believed that through these processes the soul was protected and aided in the passing through to the afterlife where it would be reborn and in effect ‘death would be cheated’.

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Art Direction: Adia Trischler

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Styling: Adia Trischler and Lauren Cooke

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Make Up: Stefanie Lamm

The Irish-born luxury leather accessories designer has therefore, with her distinct construction technique using leather panels and brass fittings, created bodice pieces that protect the heart through forms relating to that of the heart scarab and a human heart shaped hollow vessel to be used as a handbag. In researching this topic Úna Burke also uncovered stories of an Egyptian Goddess called ‘Bastet’ who was worshipped by many, often depicted as a lioness or a cat. Bastet was regarded as the protector of Lower Egypt so, inspired by this, these armour-like pieces have been photographed with flowing, draped chiffons, creating a strong warrior-like, yet very feminine and sensual character.

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Hair: Patrick Glatthaar

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook 1st Photo Assistant: Marlena Koenig

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Styling Assistant: Verena Weiss

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Videography: Volkmar Geiblinger

This season Úna also collaborated for the first time with catwalk designer Philip Stephens for his brand ‘Unconditional’ and she will now start work on an exclusive collection for the e- store of Joyce Hong Kong, which will launch in April 2012.

Handbag 6: 1 x Turquoise / Elephant / Nude Combi

 

Heart Bag: 1 x Viola with adjustable strap

Wing Shoulders: 1 x Prune in One Size

Barrel Clutch: 1 x Nude / Elephant Combi

Bodice 2: 1 x Elephant in One Size

Hi-Waist Pants: 1 x Nude on One Size

Here some images of Úna Burke‘s Autumn / Winter 2011 installation

Film Meta.Morph by Úna Burke AW 2011

Úna Burke AW 2011

Úna Burke AW 2011


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Death Would be Cheated – Úna Burke SS 2012

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Pictures by Andreas Waldschuetz

Let’s recall Úna Burke‘s AW 2011 installation, where she showed a sinister short film called ‘META.MORPH’ featuring her collection with a grotesque ending, in which a model freed herself from a dark cellar or tower room (see images below). Since then, Úna has gone places, including spiritual, symbolic and superstitious ones and eventually found her inspiration in burial and mummification rituals of the Ancient Egyptians. The decoration of the sarcophagus and the tomb with protective symbols set the starting point for her Spring Summer 2012 ‘Bastet’ collection. It was believed that through these processes the soul was protected and aided in the passing through to the afterlife where it would be reborn and in effect ‘death would be cheated’.

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Art Direction: Adia Trischler

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Styling: Adia Trischler and Lauren Cooke

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Make Up: Stefanie Lamm

The Irish-born luxury leather accessories designer has therefore, with her distinct construction technique using leather panels and brass fittings, created bodice pieces that protect the heart through forms relating to that of the heart scarab and a human heart shaped hollow vessel to be used as a handbag. In researching this topic Úna Burke also uncovered stories of an Egyptian Goddess called ‘Bastet’ who was worshipped by many, often depicted as a lioness or a cat. Bastet was regarded as the protector of Lower Egypt so, inspired by this, these armour-like pieces have been photographed with flowing, draped chiffons, creating a strong warrior-like, yet very feminine and sensual character.

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Hair: Patrick Glatthaar

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook 1st Photo Assistant: Marlena Koenig

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Styling Assistant: Verena Weiss

‘Bastet’ by Úna Burke Spring Summer 2012. Lookbook Videography: Volkmar Geiblinger

This season Úna also collaborated for the first time with catwalk designer Philip Stephens for his brand ‘Unconditional’ and she will now start work on an exclusive collection for the e- store of Joyce Hong Kong, which will launch in April 2012.

Handbag 6: 1 x Turquoise / Elephant / Nude Combi

 

Heart Bag: 1 x Viola with adjustable strap

Wing Shoulders: 1 x Prune in One Size

Barrel Clutch: 1 x Nude / Elephant Combi

Bodice 2: 1 x Elephant in One Size

Hi-Waist Pants: 1 x Nude on One Size

Here some images of Úna Burke‘s Autumn / Winter 2011 installation

Film Meta.Morph by Úna Burke AW 2011

Úna Burke AW 2011

Úna Burke AW 2011


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Fatale – Jena.Theo SS 2012

Fatale – Jena.Theo SS 2012. Pictures: Brian O'Sullivan

I love my denims. And I love effortless chic easy to wear. I love voluminous dressing. If this doesn’t sound sexy enough for me, I just take off my bra. It will work just fine. I love the colouring too. I am Jena.Theo. In love. Just without the big, soft, curled hair.

Having turned to the darker side of Hollywood, the design duo referred to strong female characters of film noir as seen in David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ or Robert Aldrych’s ‘Kiss Me Deadly’. Continuing on focusing on their design signature of volume and geometry, British Jenny Holmes and Greek Dimitris Theocharidis brought about powerful billowing silhouettes and a lot of Hollywodd glam.

Having turned to the darker side of Hollywood, the design duo referred to strong female characters of film noir as seen in David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ or Robert Aldrych’s ‘Kiss Me Deadly’. Continuing on focusing on their design signature of volume and geometry, British Jenny Holmes and Greek Dimitris Theocharidis brought about powerful billowing silhouettes and a lot of Hollywodd glam.

Since their first collection, Jena.Theo have worked closely with the London based artist O.Two on hand-painting techniques for their fabric. Working initially with aerosol on walls and vertical surfaces, he has built a working process that, when applied to canvas and fabric, lures the viewer into mists of dark, ambient colour illuminated by bold, abstract gestures.

Stylist Rebekah Roy combined geometric prints and hand painted colour gradients on voluminous blouses and loosely draped, flowing fabrics such as silk satins, silk jersey, silk cottons and twills; the models catwalking under a sky of lightbulbs.

Jena.Theo was announced by Donatella Versace as the Winners of Fashion Fringe in 2009 and have not disappointed the fashion crowd since. We are much looking forward to their upcoming denim collection.


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Muscat Vielma Spring Summer 2012

Muscat Vielma's Fashion Installation at the W Hotel, London

Kevin Muscat and Gabriel Vielma invited to the presentation of their first ever collection at the trendy W Hotel in London during fashion week.

Muscat Vielma Spring / Summer 2012. All pictures below by Manuel Bischof

With pencil skirts, elegant evening wear as well as tops and jackets, the luxury womenswear label Muscat Vielma‘s debut features gentle fabrics such as soft, heavy silks, sheer tulle, satin organza and punched leather in cream and blue, black and white, ivory and marine.

Muscat Vielma Spring / Summer 2012

The designers discovered the similarity between body armour and the armadillo skeleton and experimented in how clothes can create a shell, literally or emotionally, with the use of natural crystal formations as inspiration for colour and structure.

Muscat Vielma Spring / Summer 2012

Interestingly, the founders’ backgrounds are classical ballet dancing and product design – a promising combination that seems to work out perfectly. We are eagerly awaiting to see more by Muscat Vielma.

Muscat Vielma Spring / Summer 2012

Muscat Vielma Spring / Summer 2012


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Heritage colours with a modern twist – J Shoes AW 2011

For AW 2011, J Shoes has produced a footwear collection that combines traditional styles and heritage colours with a modern twist.

J Shoe 'Andrew' AW 2011

The mixture of quality leather and suede uppers creates a range that is full of character with a strong signature style. Representing the J Shoes ethos, the collection is both hardwearing and stylish. Zips, buckles and laces emphasise the practical and utilitarian influence while a cushioned leather footbed provides comfort.

Buzz

Key themes for Fall / Winter 2011 include a woodland inspired range with key styles such as the ‘Overlord‘, a leather, lace up, military boot that features a secondary layer around the ankle that is also removable. ‘Overlord‘ is available in black/olive, dark brown/black, truffle/dark brown.

Overlord

Troop

The era theme delves into the annals of history to merge various aesthetics with the ‘Operator‘ being one of the strongest styles. The two tone finish and lace hooks on the ankle take on a more casual approach with softer shapes and a handcrafted feel. Further styles include a classic range of brogues, moccasins’ and an array of boots for the modern man that take inspiration of the Nouvelle Vague movement of the 1950’s and 60’s.

Operator

With competitive price points from £60-£140, all shoes are hand finished with strong attention to detail, synonymous with traditional footwear craftsmanship. Staying true to its values, the brand announces that there will be no price increase on its core lines for AW 2011. The collection will be previewed at the following shows: Pure – London / Broga – Co Kildare / GDS – Düsseldorf.

Highgate


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Gothic Arabian Nights – ‘Venom’ SS 2012 by MFP

Maria Francesca Pepe‘s dark romantic jewellery presentations have a fascinating creepy feel to it; every season to the new.

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

 

 

“That’s the greatest achievement: when you can make your passion your job,” says Maria Francesca Pepe, who was nominated in 2009 as Emerging Talent in Accessories at the British Fashion Awards. Her jewellery has been featured by amazing photographers such as Nick Knight and Steven Klein, styled by Patti Wilson, Marie Chaix, Nicola Formichetti and Sophia Neophitou amongst many others.

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

 

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

She describes her design signatures as follows: “The concept of Jewellery-Wear. This is when jewellery becomes the primary focus of the outfit – featuring in ranges including bags, jackets and dresses. Most significantly though, MFP Tubulars have become iconic; I constantly update them in new colours, textures, features and materials for the forthcoming seasons.”

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

“I sell objects of desire, made in Italy, using the oldest techniques. My aesthetic constantly evolves and is far from obvious.” – Maria Francesca Pepe

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

This season’s ‘Venom’ collection features cuffs, black rope belts, rings with turquoise and gold, love spells quartz necklaces, carved letter press and large studs decorated trinkets, rose gold gunmetal tubular bracelets and necklaces as well as chunky double pleated brass chain chokers. With the lookbook’s symbolic snake I felt like being seduced by an ancient goddess in a church. Fabulous Gothic Arabian Nights.

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

'Venom' SS 2012 by Maria Francesca Pepe

Remember her last season’s gloomy ‘Fortuna’ collection presentation that featured filmstills and, static as well, three models on sockets with cosmic music.

'Fortuna' AW 2011 by Maria Francesca Pepe

 

'Fortuna' AW 2011 by Maria Francesca Pepe

 

'Fortuna' AW 2011 by Maria Francesca Pepe

What’s next for her brand? “A limited edition collection in collaboration with Topshop; new pieces made from gorgeous semi-precious stones which I am using for the first time in my collections; much more developed commercial distribution worldwide, including MFP e-commerce” she sais.

'Fortuna' AW 2011 by Maria Francesca Pepe

Elements of tribal cultures and remote ceremonials become avant-garde. Horns of ancient idols become alien cyber-punk presence.

 

The three headpieces -Idolo, Fauno, Toro- have been forged by hand in resin and carbon steel, then varnished in opalescent acrylics and hand studded with brass and Swarovski hexagonal studs, in the style of Medieval shields and helmets.

 

'Fortuna' AW 2011 by Maria Francesca Pepe


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Leutton Postle SS 2012

By guest writer Melanie Pierucci Bolliger from Artists in Wonderland: The Leutton Postle knitwear collection at the Fashion Scout show at Freemasons Hall on was like a breath of fresh air. The collection by Central Saint Martin graduates Sam Leutton and Jenny Postle delivered knitwear in a completely new spectrum.

Colourful without being exhausting on the eye, the patchwork was a personal favourite. The collection was organic without bordering on hippie and whimsical without being kitsch. Reminiscent of Native-American costumes it was presented in a modern and relaxed manner.

Colours were earthly and soft including pastel blues, greens and yellows complimented beige and white canvases.

The pieces were loose and easy, with a somewhat ethereal quality, which broke away from the usual association of knits too cozy. Instead, Leutton Postle‘s collection felt fresh and light.

The fact that the pieces were handmade and the complex details elevated the knits to a couture status. The collection proved itself a happy marriage between technique and creativity and was very well received.


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Towards the Flame – Jordan Askill SS 2012

Jordan Askill Spring Summer 2012

Australian-Born Jordan Askill presented his third collection of jewellery and sculptures at London Fashion Week called ‘Towards The Flame – The Force of Navigation’.

Interested in collaborations with artists and creatives from different fields, this is another collaboration with ethical coloured gemstone producer Gemfields. Reflecting the strength and purity of the amethyst stone and exploring the process of raw crystal carving, each piece is a marriage of hand crafted craftsmanship and digital technological advances.

Jordan Askill SS 2012

Jordan Askill SS 2012

The honed sculptural artworks are modern and wearable yet show a refreshing exaggeration. Inspired by serene idealism of the Emerald Buddha, the pieces are to be worn as natural armour, a physical interpretation of calm and well being. “I designed these pieces to reflect the strength and purity of the stone, working with Gemfields allows my process and final product to protect the environment and stay true to nature,” Jordan Askill explains his approach to design that we much appreciate.

Jordan Askill SS 2012

Adding to the original motifs of heart and stars are flames, intertwined hearts and broken hearts, the silhouette of the moon and letter rings spelling ‘FLAME’. The collection also features a re-interpreted version of his ‘Horse Wave’ jewellery box in amethyst coloured resin.

Intercepted Swallow With Amethyst Brooch

Opening Swallow Corcage

Jordan Askill developed his own RTW label whilst working as fashion designer at Ksubi back in Sydney, his hometown, and has won the first Prize Grand Marnier Design Award for Fashion Excellence. Jordan then moved to Paris for three years to work at Dior Homme.

Pouncing Panther Cuff

 

Swallow Heart – Hand Carved Amethyst With Diamonds

His Autumn / Winter 2011 ‘Migration; A Sense of Larger Purpose’ collection manifested first as a sculpture, created from resin to mimic white ceramic. Her wings differ in shape and size, frozen in time, and following the silhouette of a waterfall.

Headdress from the AW 2011 collection ‘Migration; A Sense of Larger Purpose’

 

Jordan Askill AW 2011


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Patrick Morgan Private View – London

Invitation for Patrick Morgan's Private View on 2nd December 2011

For his first solo show in ten years, hugely talented Patrick Morgan will present works on canvas and a series of ink editions. These paintings and drawings are a series of work he has been developing over the past decade and will also mark the launch of his new editions website. Go and see!

rvsp to: rsvp@patrickmorgan.co.uk


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Burberry Prorsum Spring Summer 2012

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Burberry Prorsum surprised with a rather wintery Spring / Summer 2012 collection shown in Hyde Park at London Fashion Week. It was beautiful nevertheless.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Handcrafted was the topic and it showed throughout the collection on items such as the Whipstichbags, large tote bags, oversize clutch bags, small clutch bags, metal framed sling bags. Croco appeared next to raffia and crepe de coco to create an elaborated tension.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Designer Christopher Bailey introduced a new, high-waisted silhouette, playful, feminine and romantic at the same time. It seems as if he was thinking about beauty and holidays, continuing the feel of the Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer Menswear collection. No should ever say Burberry can only do trench.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Handcrafted beaded and knitted crotchet collars, artisan raffia collars, wooden geometric applications, hand draped gathered silk organza and woven nappa leather strings showed attention to detail and some couture elements.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

In terms of accessories, apart from the bags, it was mostly about sandals: There were woven wedge sandals, woven platform sandals, beaded platform sandals, woven wedge peep toe boots, crochet wedge peep toe pumps, pompom raffia caps, corset belts, waist belts and beautiful and fun hand stitched leather cord sunglasses.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

It was given a retro feel through the colouring with shades in orange ocre, beetroot, chrome yellow, sapphire blue, chocolate, and turmenic underlined with music such as ‘I Put a Spell On You’ by Jeff Beck featuring Joss Stone, ‘My sweet Lord’ by George Harrison and ‘Everlasting Love’ by U2.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show

The finale this time didn’t feature snowflakes but an explosion of bright, colourful, shiny paper chips while Kill it Kid sung ‘Taste The Rain’. An exotic burberryesque dream.

Burberry Prorsum Spring / Summer 2012 womenswear show finale

Here some front row pictures for all you VIP lovers.

Kanye West and Sienna Miller

Sienna Miller, Gemma Arterton and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Mario Testino


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Ready to Board – Liz Black SS 2012, London FW

While sauntering through the designer’s exhibition at London Fashion Week, I came across a small but pretty collection, featuring mostly dresses in aquarelle colours and structural shapes.

Liz Black Spring Summer 2012. Picture: Manuel Bischof

It was Liz Black‘s second ready-to-wear collection, a more grown-up version and the logical followup of her Autumn / Winter ‘Concentric Thoughts‘ one that was inspired by artist Sonia Delaunay, known for her paintings featuring geometric shapes in bright colours.

Pale lilac, white and greys make the reduced colour scheme. Picture: Manuel Bischof

Innovative and daring yet elegant designs. Picture: Manuel Bischof

This season isn’t that far away: Architect Zaha Hadid‘s metal and glass buildings and designs by Markus Benesch have catered major references for the elegant, conceptual work as well as ‘luxurious leather goods, angular design and interiors along with many ideas associated with the concepts of movement, power, travel and speed.’ Crêpe de Chine, double silk, lamb nappa leather, eel skin and duchess satin are the high quality key materials used for these minimalistic statement pieces that come in a reduced colour palette including pale lilac, white and greys.

'The Liz Black woman is sophisticated and cosmopolitan.' All pictures below: Curtis Gibson. Stylist: Sarah-Adiana Butler. Hair Stylist: Haruhide Ishizaki. MUA: Lina Dahibeck

Oh and you have to know that within this white dresses lie about two hundred working hours. Although the built in pyramids embellishing the front sides – called ‘the art pieces’ by the team – are neither big nor small but something undecided in between and it all looks a bit too laboured, I much respect the skills behind this constructed, clean collection. Targeted at the 25- to 45-year-old cosmopolitan woman, the timeless dresses, jackets and trousers are all about the lines, texture and detailing and remain wearable throughout the collection. Venezuela-born Liz Black graduated in Fashion Design (Print) from London’s Central Saint Martins and has worked as print assistant for Diane von Furstenberg in New York and Emilio de la Morena in London. Since launching her own label in 2010 she is undoubtedly one to watch and has won the AKDK’s e-Creative ‘Best Emerging Fashion Designer’ Award amongst others. Hey, even walking fashion doll Lady Gaga got spotted wearing Liz’s ‘Bow Circle Dress’. This I don’t know from her personally, but I had the change to speak to one of her pattern cutters, Alexis Cawley.

Impeccably tailored pieces that complement the feminine silhouette for the modern fashionable women.

Alexis, how was it to work for Liz Black those weeks before London Fashion Week?

It was pretty hectic as you can imagine, but fun. We’ve been working seven days a week for the last month or so but it has been very rewarding.

Which piece of the collection is your favourite and why?

I like the long duchess satin dresses, it is such a beautiful fabric to work with and it holds the geometrical shape really well.

What have you had for breakfast?

Coffee


A minimalistic and elegant aesthetic with an emphasis on structural shapes.

As pattern cutter, how much influence do you have on the design?

As a pattern cutter I’m there to realise the designer’s vision. Having said this, there will inevitably be some influence with regard to shape and proportion as every cutter has their own particular handwriting.

Thank you for your time.

'I think my Latin spirit and my optimism have never let me stop fighting.' - Liz Black

Angularity as a key element.

Sensual and sensible in every way - detachable shoulder piece.

'I was inspired by geometric shapes to develop my collection' - Liz Black

Eel skin trench, the collection's deerest piece.

Retail price ranges from around 300 (shirts) to 1200 (jackets).

Over 200 hours of hours worked on.

Liz Black Spring Summer 2012

See more of Liz Black on her website or on her blog.


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‘You can sell beauty in many different ways, not only through the average Gucci woman.’ – Interview With Illustrator Spiros Halaris

We met at a so-called Vogue experience, where we experienced the joy of standing in a queue for an hour and a half just to talk to Lisa Armstrong for five minutes and to shake hands with Manolo Blahnik. Illustrator Spiros Halaris, patiently queuing in front of me and politely declining the regularly offered macaroons, gave me the opportunity to have a glimpse at his striking portfolio. That day, I fell in love. With drawings that are one of a kind in their nonchalant attitude, their subtle sadness and tender beauty.

Spiros Halaris's Prada à la Coco

Exactly two weeks later I meet 22-year-old Spiros in Soho – where East and West meet. Unpredictable London weather had poured down on us and forced a little garment change, but garments are what connect us after all. In the dark of a non-lit downstairs café, we sit to escape the noise and enjoy afternoon tea.

One of his oldest illustrations is as the same time his favourite one.

Spiros, you have red tea and lemon cake for tea. What do you eat for breakfast?

In a very good mood and when I have the time, I have an English breakfast with bacon and eggs. Else I just have cereal. Interestingly, in Greece, where I come from, they don’t have breakfast traditionally. But I have to wake up and eat something proper to start my day nicely.

Is there a time of the day or a day of the week you prefer to work?

I am not the kind of person who works till late because at some point I just doze off. I am definitely a morning person. As it is, on quite a few occasions I have to work at night since deadlines are tight. I am working at home at the moment, but if things go well, I’ll have my more established studio in central London soon. Freelancing is ideal and not ideal at the same time. You are more relaxed but you also get distracted, sitting a minute away from your bed or fridge. (laughs)

Your work is a mixture of traditional techniques and new ones: pen, ink, Photoshop. Does one work without the other? Is there one you enjoy more?

I am totally addicted to Photoshop. I love it because you can work with a pen and later change it in Photoshop without losing the character you had on paper. Illustrator, on the other hand, is more digital and doesn’t have this kind of texture. I find that they work hand-in-hand as well as on their own.

His muse model Maria Carla had inspired him for this illustration.

What music are you playing in your studio?

Music is very important to me. I want to create a nice environment through a soundtrack that would be with me all day. I also love listening to the radio because it’s like having company. Whether it is a certain soundtrack or a certain type of music, when working on a piece, I would always connect it to sounds that inspire me or something external that just blends into my mind.

‘Fashion made you hardcore’ – how can we understand this statement?

This is the name of a calendar I did when I was inspired by extreme figures. Unlike catwalk pictures, the ladies were more bold, had more make up on and I drew them in black and white which resulted in strong images. This was down to the pictures that I was looking at at the time; hardcore illustration and extreme couture outside the boundaries of the usual norm.

Personal work for Yves Saint Laurent

What is an illustration able to do that a photograph can’t?

Illustration has regained popularity because there has been too much photography that lost the quality it used to have when it was a rare thing. Illustration portrays something further than a photograph does; in a multi-dimensional way. But neither photography nor illustration will ever be out of fashion, it’s a balance between the two.

To come back to your portfolio: Do you ever work with the ‘magic of the mistake’? Can you explain what this is?

You can’t believe how many times I’ve done this! I did something by accident and was like: ‘Wow, this is what I wanted to do without knowing how to!’ That’s the magic moment. You never know when it’s going to happen.

That’s the good thing about Photoshop, right?

…cause you can make as many mistakes as you like while being just a click away from putting it back to your original image. I quite often work with this sense of serendipity.

Illustrated Street Style by Spiros Halaris

Fashion is something already beautiful, but how would you cope having to do something unaesthetic, something mundane?

When working with advertising companies, it’s the pretty girls, the flowers and suchlike. At the end of the day, fashion has the pictures with the biggest stereotypes. That’s how it works and that’s how it sells. Although I’m using it too I love… let’s say… the ugly and I’m keen on drawing fashion that’s not so pretty, I like that non-catalogue beauty. You can sell beauty in many different ways, not only through the average Gucci woman.

Your work is emotive and about seduction. What are you seducing your viewers into?

I think the keyword – you said it – is emotion. I am an emotional person, I get attached to things. It is about the reaction you have when looking at an illustration. I want the viewer to be like: ‘Oh I can get something out of this.’ Emotion is the key in general. When you look at personal pieces of mine, you can tell whether I was going through a moody mood, a happy, sad or in-love mood.

Read the full interview in Dash Magazine that will be released in February 2012.

'To have a freelance career that is actually successful enough to be able to make a living from is great if you can achieve it. I'd love to see that.' - Spiros Halaris

More from Spiros Halaris here.


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The 1950s In Mind – Bernard Chandran SS 2012, London Fashion Week

By guest writer Gabriel Weil: Bernard Chandran had the 1950s in mind. In a tribute to his mother, he revisited a time in which people “took every effort to be fashionable.”

Bernard Chandran Spring Summer 2012

Bernard Chandran Spring Summer 2012

The collection showed structured curvy cocktail dresses that were skillful interpretations of the dresses from the era. The designer managed to dust off retro feelings by constructing the dresses from innovative patterns, at time with shrunken proportions, other times with cutouts and peekaboo detailing.

Bernard Chandran Spring Summer 2012

Bernard Chandran Spring Summer 2012

Matching giant bags were paired with some of the pieces, and although they were slightly odd, they kept the styling away from the obvious choice of clutches.

Bernard Chandran Spring Summer 2012

The palette was of muted metallics (gold, champagne and silver), grey and touches of green, turquoise and apple green. Some pieces were embroidered, but nothing that deviated from cut, the main attraction of this show by Chandran.

Bernard Chandran Spring Summer 2012


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Meaningfully Cubed – Georgia Hardinge SS 2012, London FW

This was to be my last womenswear SS 2012 show at London Fashion Week and the most astonishing I’ve seen all week. Georgia Hardinge‘s ‘Cubed’ collection made sense in every aspect and this fell into place in an astonishing catwalk presentation. I’m ravished to have finished my day off in such a heart-warming way.

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Clearly referring to the cubist movement, the collection features a predominant grey tonal palette broken by cyan and orange shown on ankle-length dresses with over-exaggerated waists or white, squared leather minis combined with sheer orange blouses. Largely influenced by the sculptural vision of raymond Duchamp-Villon, Georgia Hardinge also got inspired by the dark nature of cubo-futurism and created architectural pieces flattering the female body presented on plateau ankle boots with wooden heels. Love, love, love this non-minimalistic minimalsm.

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

If Gucci has justifiably been accused to steal LFW models I don’t know. But these models here, styled by Aldene Johnson and wearing their hair in square buns, were perfectly casted with the collection in mind: Whether it was redheaded beauties mirroring the print’s colours or dark-skinned ones giving the shades moore depth, they all seemed to melt in with the clothes as if naturally grown together.

If you scroll down all the way you’ll see where Georgia Hardinge had been last season – and be amazed by what she has grown into in just half a year’s time.

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Georgia Hardinge Spring Summer 2012

Let’s recall where Georgia Hardinge had been last season – I’m sorry about the quality of the pictures, I am a shit photographer – and be amazed by what she has grown into in just half a year’s time:

Georgia Hardinge Autumn Winter 2011

Georgia Hardinge Autumn Winter 2011

Georgia Hardinge Autumn Winter 2011

Georgia Hardinge Autumn Winter 2011

Georgia Hardinge Autumn Winter 2011

Georgia Hardinge Autumn Winter 2011


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A Celebration Of Sensual Femininity – Belle Sauvage SS 2012

By guest writer Melanie Pierucci Bolliger of Artist in Wonderland: Christian Neuman and Virginia Ferreira under their brand Belle Sauvage presented their fourth collection at the Old Sorting Office. It was a celebration of sensual femininity inspired by Hollywood silent movies of the 1920s.

Belle Sauvage Spring Summer 2012

It was difficult to connect the collection to the 1920s. One would automatically think of flapper dresses, black and white, Chaplin, and boyish haircuts –this collection was anything but boyish. Nonetheless it was a stunning ensemble of intricately made dresses.

Flowing versus structured garments combined with a bright colour palette created a sexy set of strong, curve-celebrating pieces.

Elegance did not compromise the fun factor of the collection. The bright colours and vibrant prints added a touch of noise and party to the otherwise quiet pieces. Yellow, magenta, mint green, and lilac were the protagonists this season, accentuated by the combination of solid versus print elements.

Elaborate details such as beautifully made pleats connected the ethereal to the more tailored shapes. This gave the collection a smooth line that was sophisticated and refined.

The fabric selection was another pleasant addition. A contrast of light versus heavy silks played with the strong and soft sides of the collection. Embroidered tulle was a beautiful element as well and the subtle use of leather elements accentuated the Belle Sauvage collection beautifully.


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The Polo Shirt Can Stay At Home – Tom Lipop SS 2012, London FW

LL Cool J’s ‘Something like a phenomenon’ didn’t just make a good acoustic start at their show at London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2012 menswear day but are the right words to describe the newcomers from Tom Lipop.

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Yeah, we were about to rip off those braided sandals – the model’s feet were too tiny for them anyway. Luxurious fabrics and progressive technical cutting made an all chic, classical and well styled collection with a lot of attention to details. Jil Sander-esque and inspired by historical lineage of British fashion, it is for the modern urban man adjusted to high temperatures. This summer, the polo shirt can stay at home. Just because we might not be pulling off those fur framed coats during summer doesn’t mean we won’t rock that net shirt or those laser cut jumpers with the leather backpacks. To finish off, Missy Elliot instructed: ‘Work it!’ Hell yeah, we will.

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012

Tom Lipop Spring Summer 2012


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Three Different Views Of The Season – Ashley Isham SS 2012, London FW

By guest writer Gabriel Weil: First day of London Fashion week, with an 8pm presentation at the pleasant Il Bottacio at Grosvenor Place, Ashley Isham‘s collection showed three different views of the season.

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

First came the draped jersey with artisanal embellishment. The gummy bean coloured material came gilded with foiled metallic leather, rococo-insipired swirly leather cutouts and some metallic embroideries which provided and artisanal feel to the pieces.

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

In a second segment paisley appeared in a flat, reduced print in floaty chiffon, a different weight of fabric and a different approach.

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012

White dresses in guipure lace with embroidered accents finished the presentation with another change of direction. Throughout the show’s lengths and techniques were diverse, but they all seemed to cater for tanned skin, hot weather and strong personalities. Veil headpieces that resembled Lacroix brides completed the look, making us think if maybe an exotic beach-side wedding had inspired Isham this season.

Ashley Isham Spring Summer 2012


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Sneak Peek Nudes And Landscapes – Adrian Wilson Exhibition, London

Even though Fashion Week has been insanely busy, on Sunday night I managed to pop by at the opening of a new exhibition featuring nudes and landscapes by fashion photographer Adrian Wilson I have posted about recently.

Invitation for the exhibition Nudes and Landscapes by Adrian Wilson

The exhibition is on until 15th October and takes place at the small but cool and cozy Indo Bar which is famous for its late night pizzas and that you end up being friends with everyone you meet there. The music was provided by lovely Jonathan from Studio Baron and kept the good vibes going.

Invitation for the exhibition Nudes and Landscapes by Adrian Wilson

What I liked most about the exhibition Nudes and Landscapes is Adrian Wilson‘s concept on how to display his pictures: on top of a vertical nude he placed a horizontal landscape, in order to see not only the eyes and feet of the pictured woman you were therefore to lift the landscape picture and sneak peek under it. Which of course I didn’t dare to do – at the beginning, this was. What a fabulous idea that catered for some hilarious moments. Don’t miss, go and see.

Sneak peeking at Adrian Wilson's new exhibition at Indo Bar. Photo: Adrian Wilson


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Lou Dalton SS 2012 – London Fashion Week

Last night, after having worked until 11pm we felt like unwinding and Fashion Week Closing Party seemed like a good idea.

Lou Dalton SS 2012. All images: Roger Dean at Catwalking.com

Because Mayfair felt too far to go to, we headed to the Lou Dalton after party at the Eastbloc that, honestly, was a bit on the shabby side. The so-called free drinks included one single small beer (no, I still don’t drink beer, sorry) and after the one everyone had left and the floor sweeper asked us to leave. So much to that. At least, for once this week, I got enough sleep. Nevertheless, Lou Dalton‘s collection is to be looked at and for me it incorporates the perfect mix of two cities: London and Paris. Which both are fashion metropoles after all.

Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012

Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012

As we read in the press release ‘the Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012 collection finds inspiration from two seemingly contrasting principal sources; the harshness and desperation of the 1984 Miners’ Strike, and Matthew Bourne’s menacing male ensemble in Swan Lake. Yet both are symbolic struggles, whether it be the demise of the National Union of Miners, or the rise of the swan.

Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012

Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012

The colour palette carries these influences heavily; black, navy, camel and cream combine with flashes of shot orange and emerald green stemming from the picket line melees. Conversely, other pieces are more subtle and in keeping with the Ashington Group’s portrayal of colliery life. The garments embrace their contrast in inspirations blending hard-wearing denim and Macintosh with delicate silk, cotton voile, and cotton anglais. The principal themes are also executed through bold prints drawing on the rawness of wood cut prints by the Pittman painters, to the finesse and decadence of crystal embellishments. Most dramatically heavily frayed denim has been used to emulate Bourne’s ballet.’

Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012

Lou Dalton Spring Summer 2012

Also, they are holding a special personal order evening today at The Smokehouse together with Omar Kashoura:

Lou Dalton/Omar Kashoura personal order evening

Lou Dalton/Omar Kashoura personal order evening


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Don’t Ask What The World Needs / Aquascutum SS 2012 – London Fashion Week

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive - Howard Thurman

Aquascutum presents the SS12 menswear collection at London Fashion Week on September 21st

Yesterday at London Fashion Week’s menswear day Joanna Sykes presented an uplifting sense of British optimism for Aquascutum Spring Sommer 2012. It is her second season for the house that was founded in 1851 to provide stylish protection from the unpredictable British weather. Think shower-proofing wools and rain repellent cloth.

The Design Director across menswear, womenswear and accessories focused on immaculately cut tailored pieces with a long and lean silhouette. The cotton parkas, bonded cotton duffle coats and suede and leather trench coats are casual and come in icey pale tonals: cool and muted neutrals, with accents of optic white and black.

Aquascutum (latin for water shield) uses wool, mohair and silk that have been developed exclusively with English mills in Yorkshire and Somerset to keep the Englishness real. Corresponding handkerchiefs and ties in reworked archive designs worn with shirts in cotton voiles and piquets complete the tailored ensemble. Mr. Englishman, you will be looking flash this season.


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Mr. Start SS 2012 – London Fashion Week

By guest writer Saskia Reis: The last day of London Fashion Week led us into Mr. Start´s redefinition of French girls in a masculine way.

Mr Start SS 2012. All pictures by Saskia Reis

At St. Martins Lane Hotel, Philip Start showcased his SS 2012 menswear collection in a totally felicitous real time installation. Buyers and journalists could examine lightweight cotton and linen fabrics, softly tailored cuts and the overall visual appearance of the designs in an authentic, yet surreal museum-ish approach. The designer´s colour palette includes khaki, stone, sand and indigo, as well as an updated classic collection of greys and blues. The show was acoustically accompanied by Bolivian Baroque, recognising the plight of the rainforests.

Mr Start SS 2012

With his refreshing and inspiring presentation style, Philip Start underlined his contemporary and forward looking point of view. Just as effortlessly as the look of his creations, the designer took the time for a little chat with us to characterise his work: “It is all about a fashionable elegance, which is being shown in an easy, yet sophisticated way.Start was inspired by the peachiness of French girls, also sharing that “not many people know that my main theme is architecture. I am totally into the effortless simplicity of modern buildings.”

Mr Start SS 2012


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