Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Tim Soar

I only made it to one menswear show and that was Tim Soar.
Tim, who stocks on the likes of is an excellent tailor and this was show here through some beautifully executed tuxedo jackets. For SS11, Soar has done away with buttons, more traditionally used for suiting and opted for slight wrap over style jackets, with fabric waist belts. Perhaps a play on the more traditional satin dinner belts favoured by men for black tie, Soar chose to create his belts in fabrics from else where in the collection and black wrap dinner jackets were fastened with denim and khaki belts.
The collection was clean cut and silhouettes were neat. Male models were join by androgynous girls, also suited and booted in neatly cut, sleeveless, tuxedo jackets, some paired with loose shorts, while my favourite was an excellently cut, wrap style tuxedo dress.
Aside from the suiting element (all black) Tim used washed denim for jeans and waistcoats and there was even a 'life vest' style denim piece with printed darker denim pockets.
While black was the main base, cream, grey, stone, khaki, mint and forest green all accented the looks. I loved the sporty start the collection, with shorts and jackets made from coated, water proof fabrics. There were white zip through varsity jackets, wide striped trousers with matching jackets that almost had a 'jail uniform' effect.
Trousers and shorts were mainly casual, borrowing from the cargo, patch pocket style.
I loved the idea of fastenless jackets, the belt idea was interesting, although I think I'd drop mine with a leather one, to ensure that the jackets that did really look expensive, kept their style.
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So its about 5 to 5pm and fashpack are thinking we ought to start queueing for Ashish. The queue runs suprisingly smoothly and were in the showspace in less than ten minutes. We bag our favourite location to take the best pictures and have the best view and then.. CHAOS. Soon the seats fill up.. And then the standing.. And then the aisles. They was letting in so many people that the aisles were doubled up. We had to get a little authoritive and ask people to sit on the steps because we couldn't see anything anymore.. Literally, the world went dark. Finally the room is hushed and the chaos is calmed, the plastic is pulled back off the runway and the show begins!
The first model walks out with seriously straight hair, cowboy hat, tan cowboy boots and a leapord print halterneck dress and red bandanna. Of course its made all out sequins. This is then followed by. Another halterneck dress however this girl is rocking hers with a feathered head dress. So from straight off the cuff I'm thinking Wild wild west. However, there were some other features that made me think that were some other references that inspired this collection. Following the halterneck dresses were cowboy shirts with tan trousers with fringing on the seam confirming the Wild Wild West inspiration. Then a contrasting fabric was introduced to compare to the sequin textures. This was jersey cotton sweatshirts with track bottoms in grey with bandanna print. Models wore this with base ball caps and I couldn't help think of american football. Reinforcing the wild wild west feel were micro denim shorts with check shirts in orange, blue and complete sequins of course followed with dark denim jackets with chain fringing rocking up this specific look. Patchwork style jumpsuits and dresses were seen with prints of spots, leapord, check with fringed seams and necklines. Both looks were work with either feathers in hair or base ball caps. A nice collection of draped low back dresses hit the runway looking the most easiest and wearable of all the looks. These came in a variety of prints including the patchwork look. A contrasting array of oversized sequined rugby shirts were worn with casual trousers of the bandana print. This was a really interesting look as most people consider a complete sequined outfit to be a more dressy look, slightly evening however Ashish toned this down and took sequins from night to day. I have to say that I loved the music for the collection. Probably a lot more 'ghetto' compared to all the other genres we've heard so far with its hard hitting drums, bass and bashment beats but it got the crowd going. The finale pieces were long evening style no sleeved dresses with tan fringing running vertically along the back of the dress to the floor. An excellent way to make an evening dress something different than just a dress for evening.
A masterclass of how to wear sequins. Thankyou Ashish!
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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Amanda Wakeley

I was pretty much on a fashion high by the time we sat down for Wakeley. She is one of my favourite collections, as quite frankly, my alter ego is always head to toe in Amanda.
Beautiful grecian style maxis and short slip style dresses in hues of white, dove grey, silver, tan, chocolate and khaki.
There were several white slip dresses, one with a draped back the formed a distorted bow. Models strutted in bronze and silver long cuffs and neck plates.
A butter soft, milk chocolate flight jacket with matching pencil skirt was simply, to die for!
Skirts sported pencil styles but with side drapes that created rippled pocket effects.
Dresses in silk jersey were wrapped, draped and pulled in with wide cage like leather belts, that mirrored a sort of rib cage structure. It was impossible to decipher the exact cuts as the dresses were asymmetrical and draped and balanced to perfection.
There was a wrap tulip style, draped at the sides, with a pencil jersey skirt peeking through.
The collection moved into navy, silver and fuchia/coral. There were peasant drape tops and printed chiffon kaftans and maxis. Light blue appeared again at Wakeley in full on evening. Bandage style silk bodices with floor sweeping maxis.
I loved the silk jersey and leather pieces that were ruched into spine panelled leather. Stunning!
The final phase of the collection combined chains and silk jersey, with jewellery pieces draped over the top.
The structures were built with beaded neck and shoulder pieces with a centre front and spine pieces, chains draped off them inter linking all together. The final jersey dress had. A chain structure built all over it, practically impossible for the model to walk in!
A beautifully crafted collection, that combined the style, expected of Wakeley, with futurist and modernity that came as a welcomed surprise, I'm off to get some chains and wire cutters!
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Adam Entwisle

So its the last show at the on/off space at Victoria House..(Tear) but luckily we was sent out in style. A small pre drinks party was layed on with platters of fake pigs heads, chickens and cider of various flavours. Don't worry, the cider was real. So as the we all sip vigourously on our drinks hoping that by the time we are finished we won't feel the blisters we've gained from the last 3 days at Fashion Week, we had the chance to watch and listen to Marner Brown play live their debut single 'Dirty Weekend'. After rocking it out for a while, we are all escorted to our seats. Fashpacker team had best seats in the house quite frankly but its too difficult to explain where, just trust us on this one. Graced by a schwarzkopf goody bag filled with an apron, recipe book and some cadbury's nibbles, despite the fact the fashion hadn't even been seen yet, the crowd seemed to be pretty happy. Catwalk protective film is pulled back by on/staff in socks so that they don't ruin it themselves and revealed is a shiny silver reflective catwalk. Now we are well chuffed. The music starts and the first thing I noticed on the models was their amazing beehives. A beehive tends to be to an extent round, however these beehives came to a point and put the high in hives! Panning my eyes further down I see asymetric cotton dresses in white and camel with red interior. Dresses fell away from the body allowing movement and making the red interior make sense. There were some jumpsuits that were straight and loose in fit hanging from the shoulders yet belted at the waist giving a bit of curve so the verticle lines. Cap sleeves were nice feminine touches. There were some flowing dresses of lilac and cream bubble print with asymmetric detail, as well as long chiffon dresses appropriate for evening. Unfortunately, despite the build up, once I had seen the first few outfits of the collection, I felt I had seen it all. There was something typically uniform about the collection that unfortunately made me loose interest. Some really wearable pieces but the best thing for me was the shiny catwalk.
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Todd Lynn

Sitting right by where the models emerged was a perfect location. Great view and snapping angle!
The collection was based on a muted palette of black, watery grey, silver and a light foiled bronze.

Todd's collection is always fierce and the models, like fashion warriors didn't disappoint. Tailoring was sharp and androgynous with suiting cut so close to perfection it outlined the models form perfectly. Shoulders were strong, although not over exaggerated and trouser legs slim to the point of skinny.
Leather, stitch detailed panels were used to create structure and emphasised waists and shoulder blades. It almost outlined the human muscle structure.
Jackets featured funnel necks, while fronts were wrap over, biker styles.
Trousers had two sets of fabric, with fronts and backs juxtaposing leather and tailoring fabrics.
Double zip details on pockets and straps across the body securing leather panels and half capes to jackets were super cool and a look I definitely want to sport next spring.
There were a few dresses, mainly one shouldered, tailored pieces sporting structural ideas.
One had the most amazing mirrored, helter skelter structure down one side, while others used piping/wire to create several front curves that twisted and hung away from the body.

Menswear featured and again, the same palette and tailored, structural styled were used. The half tailored jacket / half cape was by far our teams favourite piece. But we want a Todd Lynn bad boy to sweep us off our feet!

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The show was divided in several sections according to palette and style. While the 9am start had obviously put off some people, with only Pixie Lott and Calum Best flying the celebrity flag.

It started with a real 60's mod vibe. Sleeveless, asymmetric (skinny) collared tux jackets, slim leg trousers, ribbon crochet knits and squared shoulder coats. Monochrome, camel and khaki were order of the day and tabbard style tunics and dresses with curved hems (like a single scallop) ran in different colours and prints throughout all sections of the collection.
Shirting and jackets had a safari feel in sheer khakis, with turn back sleeves.
Sharp cream trapeze coats and front belted, loose back pieces felt relaxed yet smart and I particularly liked the leather panelled pieces. Mixing fabrics within one garments, showing a cross over with a trend showcased last season. Suede backed dresses with perforated silk fronts were well executed.

Post 60's wonderment was mixed into an 80's rebellion of royal blue showcased on sweet heart neck line dresses, slim trousers and strong shouldered jackets, the power shoulder is going no where. I loved the peekaboo surface decoration, as shown at Conran. A mixture of clear and fabric stripes, this time asymmetrical.
Monochrome accented the collection with full shorts, asymmetrical ruffled hem dresses and wrap backed frocks. Flat shoes suggested an easy, daytime glamour.

Next came the fashion forward bit. Emerald green, shiny navy and ochre worked incredibly well as a palette. The ruched, pulley, parka in ochre is top of my spring must haves. Wide leg trousers and square cropped jackets in silk gazar and organza gave a very structural feel.

Photographic florals in pink on cream and black on white represented the final phase of this visually stunning journey and featured blown up graphic, strategically placed on tunic style dresses, again featuring asymmetrical ruffles on hems.

There was a definite sporty edge to the collection, with lots of bright parkas to juxtapose the prettier dresses. The mixtures of silk and leathers ensured that collection felt both youthful and grown up all at the same time and showed that Jaeger's ability to re-invent itself as the place for strong fashion forward design is as apparent as ever.
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Monday, 20 September 2010

Meadham Kirchoff

OMG the Topshop space is amazing! I know I'm the last with the news, as I've avoided going there all week and have opted to send my team of fashpackers instead. Shame on me!!
The huge platform has been turned into a bar/cafe - with lots of drinkies and a fantastic runway.
We grabbed a drink then tried to find the optimum seat. Being the first to dash to the pews we thought we'd cracked it til, the tallest and biggest of the fashion crowd opted to sit in front of us! Queue seat hoping several times!
We settled just before the start and though it seemed only giants came to Kirchoff we managed to find a few cracks to peer out at the runway.
True to form the collection was eclectic. Chiffons and lace were teamed with leather and heavy duty cottons. All the pieces had a real punk princess vibe with clashing tones of yellow, pink, lavender, khaki, red, royal blue.
We loved the cropped boxy biker jackets in dip dyed, colour run prints and the yellow and black prints.
Dresses were chiffon maxis that had a victoriana feel to them, with tiered ruffles and voluminous sleeves. There was lots of drama. Styling was excellent. Multicoloured wigs added to the rebellious stance and contrasted well with the chiffon. Sparkly shoes and vintage-esque lace collars sealed the deal. An 80's rebellious, princess collection, with coveted biker jackets and all the right tones to welcome us into a wild spring/summer 11
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Romeo Pires

Back to Vauxhall fashion scout for Romeo Pires shoot which had an interesting start. Footsteps... I'm thinking this pays reference to the dance movements that were around in the 20's with collection that clearly was inspired or themed with mime. Both male and female models had faces painted white (typical mime make up) with brushed back frizzy hair. I'm not sure if Romeo was experimenting with gender because minus the odd few tunics and couple of dresses, everything else in the collection could be worn by either man or woman. Footsteps had stopped now and we was listening to proper music when models in pairs graced the catwalk. A very neutral palette with a lot of white, creams, blacks and splashes of colour from prints with olive, rose pink and terracotta. Nice easy styles were seen at first with loosely fitted pantaloons held up by braces matched with ivory brogues and oversized linen shirts. This progressed into an even more less gender constructed collection with draping throughout shirts and trousers. Cuts were sharp and angular forming sculptural like pieces with draping adding softer lines. There were some contrasting textures with shirts looking like they were made out of what only I can describe as: paper mache. This calm palette progressed into prints of paint brushes forming stars on tunics and shirts to skulls arranged in a bowl like fruit all over dresses and shirts for men. Skulls were olive and digitalised onto black silk where's as the paintsbrushes were terracotta and were on pebble coloured shirts and tunics. Towards the end of the collection we graced with swing music where pleating now became a staple. Pleated seams along trousers and shorts for men and throughout shirts for women replaced the drapery return to a once again sharp and hard look. I'm not quite sure what to make of this collection but I do know that the brogues the models wore were my favourite piece... Ooops.
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Ada Zanditon

Ada is one of many designers to bill her 'show' as a presentation. This pretty much means a smaller venue, with a show run several times and most importantly, no seating.
We arrived early to secure the best standing positions, its all war at these events.
The silhouettes were heavily influenced by pyramids and origami.
Triangle inserts in the top and bottom of shift dresses allowed for two fabrics to be worked in together.
Body con tops, full skater skirts and a-line shifts were the shapes du jour, as well as printed maxis and some slim leg, faux leather, light blue trousers.
The origami influence became more apparent as the clothes became more 3D. A black dress with a shovel shaped front, dresses with raised pyramids standing to attention down the front, were contrasted by body con backs.
Triangle shapes appeared at shoulders of chiffon shirts and a multi pyramid, structured bolero in gold was my piece of the collection. Hair was sculptured into cones and pyramids, it was extremely intricate and suited the delicate yet bold collection. Quilting details were used to create the triangle forms. In contrast there were several more 'easy to wear' pieces. A full back trench/cape and skater skirt in stones was gorgeous and Ada's perspex accessories were strong again this season.
The print (predominantly in red, mixed with cream and blue hues) reminded me of looking into a kaleidoscope and was used both on panels of dresses and for full on maxi frocks.
Other tones included cream, gold, black, light blue and stone. A strong collection with a good mix of wearable and editorial pieces.
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David Koma

So another rammed venue at the BFC showspace today but somewhat understandably as David Koma and Holly Fulton ran back to back. His last collection I really loved and fell in love with this collection all over again. I didn't care that it wasn't overtly amazing in but respected his use for geometric shapes, panelling and the return of the skater skirt which I was quite frankly.. Bored of. The shows began with Tchaikovsky's ballet music from lake which quickly developed into a rock beat! We was soon then graced with a skater skirt dress in pastel pinks with panels of mint green. More followed of the same genre with contrasting fabrics to edge up the ballerina look. Black leather was introduced layered skater skirts turning ballerina into warrior princess. The skirts were full and the waist were small with caps sleeves on dresses or cut out fronts and backs to add sexy femininity to the look.
Stripes of colour injected a some excitement into the soft palette yet all came to a point emphasising again on the model's silhouette. The same applied to sharp blazers that were belted at the middle. Less and less fabric was seen as David experimented with geometric shapes and racer backs and cut outs making the collection a lot more fierce and interesting. Short dresses had chiffon tails and fronts as well as side panels replaced with mesh making this female warrior ready for battle. What's left, some armour of course! So David Koma gave gold panels to dresses accompanied with huge gold and black cuffs along with leather bands around middles. Some embellishing was applied to fronts of dresses through flat square gems as well as the leather extending through to the tulle skater skirts giving us contrasting textures. I wonder if we'll see another appearance of David Koma on Cheryl on this years X factor. So yes I know there are similarities to ss10.. But I don't care, I loved it all, would wear it all. I just need a leather whip..
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Holly Fulton

Running back to back with Koma, it seems that London's new fashion generation have what it takes to fill the BFC tent.
True to form Fulton showed some incredible graphic prints. It started with a graphic, hexagon print, reminding me of shattered glass. This came in a mix of monochrome, accented by orange and decorated wide leg trousers and mini shifts.
The silhouettes were clean, favouring a-line shifts, pencil skirts, wide leg printed trousers and some gorgeous, full skater skirts and skater skirted dresses.
Aside from her usual perspex, mirror and sparkly trimmings, Fulton used an almost shag-pile, carpet like trim (a bit like the fake green grass you see at the greengrocers).
This was used a tiered trim on skirts, to create a full on cropped bomber, in black and later on it bounced down the catwalk in a bright aqua!
The prints moved on to a distorted New York sky line (repeated along and down a towering maxi) as well as a mixed up and multi coloured Empire State building. Several of the prints (aqua bases with peach accents) reminded me of circuit boards and the whole collection was a riot of colour and excitement, I didn't want to blink for fear of missing something!
Moving away from traditional fabrics, Fulton experimented with laminated fabrics like a pvc with a perforated laser cut style design. This was done in skater skirt forms and the laminated fabric draped and flowed surprisingly well.
Calming yet bright tones of aqua, peach, yellow, blush, cream and pistachio ruled the roost at this show, but the embellishment ensured these pieces were no wallflowers!
It normally takes a designer years to cultivate a cult accessories following but Fulton is as popular for her 60's style frocks as she is her incredible perspex and shiny jewellery. The fringed/embellished clutches and the printed box bags were the best accessories of the week and I'm now saving up til SS11 just so I can own something Fulton!
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Sunday, 19 September 2010

Pam Hogg

The room was packed, we queued for what seemed like hours and the celebs were out in force.
The lead of the Noisettes, Pete Burns, Jodie Harsh, Janice Dickinson, Amber Rose and Nicky Hamilton Jones.
After hiding in the loos, I was joined by Random's (unticketed) intern 'Ella'.
The show began and I was surprised to find that I actually wanted to buy things! Normally Hogg is way to out-there for me, but it seems the legend that is Pam is catering to a wider crowd too. The looks started albeit with gimp-fetish accessories, a great wood print on silk jerseys that formed several draped dresses and tops.
The usual Pam Hogg returned with body con jumpsuits, panelled to fit and mix in cream with gold and silver lame pieces. However also on show were some cute flirty, skater skirted dresses that were perfect to party in.
Although referencing asylums through straps and straight jacket-esque trench coats, the cream coat with brown straps was actually beautiful! Trousers featured ankle straps, as did sleeves and cuffs. Next came the cream 'straight jacket' jumpsuits but the tailored pockets and square shoulders referenced a fairly 70's silhouette and actually made the crowd burst into applause, it was like my Paris Couture experience, except this time in a basement.
Skater dresses developed back bustles and models had tulle, camel toned pompoms attached to their head, but this added to the fun spirit that is Pam Hogg. While execution is meticulous the approach is forward thinking and fun. The overtones of sex were obvious, but somehow would translate well to the modern wardrobe. I loved the gold sparkly no. modelled by Daisy Lowe and the tulle pom pom knickers shown on Alice Dellal. Probably the best Pam Hogg collection I've seen. While remaining true to her ever so loyal fans she has brought Hogg to a whole new crowd of fashionistas.
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Julien J Smith

A monochrome palette as well as mustard from Julien J Smith to begin with. Straight cuts created shift and t-shirt dresses yet puff sleeves were added to give a more feminine touch to a collection that felt slightly military. Dresses were asymmetric with cut out backs as well the use of contrasting fabrics. This then developed into more dresses and long shorts with pebbled prints in bright turquoise or warm terracotta along with more military cuts.
Now I don't know if this is possible but somehow Julien J Smith managed to fuse both 80's glam and futuristic together giving us metallics on blouson jackets and plenty of zips. Silver discs were another added feature glamourising this militant silhouette. The models kept in tune with the theme and hair was swept back into ponytails with added streaks of turquoise and pink. Some models even wore woven visors. Nice!
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Mary Kantrantzou

Back to the Topshop space at Waterloo for Mary Katranzou. The same set up for Topshop Unique was for Mary and we were happy as the view is excellant pretty much for everyone. The models make up as really pale with pastel eyes of pink and blue. Hair was kept swept back into a half bun leaving the focus to the clothes. I presumed the collection was going to have oriental inspirations with the music which did later show through, yet what stood out for me was a person's living room. Katrantzou's print for her collection were living room suites of all types. She displayed this on plenty of dresses. To be honest the whole collection consisted of dresses plus two pair of shorts. The lines were really straight and predominantly vertical as well as cuts being sharp and quite square. Setting the scene were contrasting fabrics all in pastel colours. Femininising the silhouette frills and tassels took place on shoulders and hips adding curves as well as pleated chiffon extended sides to allow movement to the hard structure. Jewellery were statement pieces such candle stick holders completing the scenery print. Spicing up the pastel palette were touches of silver. Moving on from a structured look, dresses took the shape of lampshade and were embellished with crystals and tassels as well as beading. This really injected even more creativity to this already innovative collection. On the whole I was really impressed with this really interesting collection that incorporated so much yet where trends were still easy to identify.
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Fashion Fringe

So finally, what everyone has been waiting for, Fashion Fringe along with John Galliano arrived at Covent Garden. A very sleek and efficient entrance was granted to everyone with a reception of champagne until the show started. Finally at about quarter to 8, were allowed downstairs to take our seats. Less people than I expected but I wasn't complaining as I held on to my front row seat for dear life. They finally announced that they were starting. As Keisha, ex sugababe and Nicola from girls aloud were taken to their seats. Up first was Alice Palmer with a fantastic collection of knitwear in a palette of khakis, stone, indigo and greys along with haphazard pleating. A complete collection of both long and short dresses but all looking just as stunning as one another. Alice did an excellent job of having a dress where its upper clang to the body yet the bottom stood away without compromising on the pleated detail. I personally wanted her to win as I'm sure you guessed. Following Alice was Jacob Allen who went for a lighter palette of pastels pinks, oranges, butterscotches and sky blue. Chiffon was his top material and draping was his top detail, admittedly he created some stunning pieces with evidence of slight grecian inspirations. His collection also consisted of mostly dresses in both tall and short form. Models looked like pretty princesses. Lastly was Corrie Nielson who had the most couture collection of them all. She displayed really innovative designs that were almost fairy tale like. Her palette was very versatile but the tones remained muted. She experimented with shapes of the female silhouette with forming huge shoulders and very, very pronounced rear ends. I couldn't help but looking at the model and be reminded of Little Miss Muffet who sat on her tuffet or other characters from my childhood. Understandably and very well deserved John Galliano announced Corrie Nielson the winner. As winner she recieves something like £100 000 pounds and is on main schedule for next time. I love that after they announce the winner, they hand out boxes of wagamamas for you to nibble on and have pre made alcoholic drinks for you to down. Fashion fringe just knew how to please us to a T.
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Jasper Conran

The tent was packed, no one had filled a show that week in the same way.
There were editors and Sugababes dotted about and the show started as the last few were squishing their way in.
I've seen Jasper's show twice before and in this third sitting I was again treated to a completely different look! While some designers have an obvious signature, I'm yet to work out what Jaspers is.
The collection started with sharp suiting and pencil skirts in navy and black accented with white. It all felt very calm and grown up. There were tiered white dresses, front vertical pleating on blouses. Trousers switched between skinny legs that stopped on the ankle and wider, slouchy varieties. Cardigans cut short at the waist, or were draped over the models shoulders. There was a distinct 'Pringle' 1950's feel.
The dresses ranged from square 60's shifts in a host of checks, both on solid fabric and also on sheer fabric, reminding us that Conran really is a master of surface decoration technique.
There were full skirts and full skirted dresses that hung well below the knee and were so lady like. They had an almost aw10 Prada feel to them.
The collection got more summery and we were treated to a selection box of colours. Lavender teamed with yellow, toffee with white and a host of terracotta to orange in both plain and floral prints.
Chiffon, satin and manipulated, surface decorated (almost like a broderie anglais) pieces danced down the runway as the models were free from troublesome heels and instead scooted down in white canvas pumps!
There were lots of shorts and tunics, I loved the striped tunics that worked the 'peekaboo' trend as they went from sheer to ribbon in horizontal stripes.
One of the final skirts, a super skinny knife pleat, I three tiers was definitely my favourite. Yes it was all quite classic and reserved but it was oh so beautiful and wearable for a host of ages and sizes.
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Louise Amstrup

Louise decided to go for sexy bee keeper chic, with a touch of safari glamour. The colour palette started with refreshing tones of camel and cream that moved into several shades of blue from cold and icy to damn right stormy!
Prints were strong, true to Amstrup form and made me think of stormy weather, blown up, swirly and strong in tones of orange, red and yellow on grey, blue and cream bases. The collection showed a host of asymmetric dresses, that borrowed the shift form but draped beautifully at the front creating ripples.
While there were plenty of loose over coat style shirts, there were also some voluminous trench coats, cinched at the waist with a belt.
I loved the body con dresses and skirts that were exaggerated in their fit through seam details and fabric panelling choices. Asymmetric skirts showed off one sided, mini, structured peplums that caged out and added detail. The cropped leather/suede bomber in ice and light navy blue was definitely a fav piece.
The fabric choice of leather, suede and silk chiffon combined hard and soft perfectly.
Louise has a strong design signature that came through in this grown up and chic collection. Put us down for a chiffon scarfed bee keeper hat!
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Bryce Aime

Bryce Aime showed some definite Oriental influences. A pastel palette to begin with in jersey cottons. Leggings were worn with almost everything but there was a big focus on hair fascinatas and obscure shaped wedges. A lot of asymmetric lines with detail on one shoulder. Bias cuts were used on dresses. The collection became more feminine with frilled hems and ruffles for detail on dresses. Tweed was introduced creating more texture to the simple cotton jerseys before. Lastly, more dresses appeared in colours like avocado green and yellow ocre with sparkles.
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Spijkers en Spijkers

Interesting show from Spijkers. The main palette of the show was black, white and camel with print and fuschia for touches of colour. Plenty of straight lines and a more masculine look but touches of lace gave a feminine edge. Models hair were loose with defined waves and make up was nude with a pretty pink lip. After plenty of high waisted shorts and high waisted pilattsos in camel, the show got interesting as Spijkers displayed black jewelled buttons on camel frock coats and a-line tunics. Following this, the collection became really feminine with plenty of pinafores and daisy print dresses. Contrasting textures were used creating a slightly patchwork look. The palette took a turn from the nude one it was before to a brighter crisp white, yellow and fuschia. The prints on dresses appeared to be cut fruits but easily looked floral from a distance. Lace bustiers were teamed with pilattsos again and also featured on dresses incorporating the whole underwear to outerwear into this very prim and proper collection on the whole. Key points from Spijkers: lace and daisy print!
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Charlie Le Mindu

That is pretty much the feel at Le Mindu.
Known for his hairy creations he didn't disappoint.
There were several play suits and 'swimsuit styles' in black pony hair and leopard print skins, as well as traditional leopard colouring there were those that were treated to a pink based rinse.
Short shift dresses with long haired capes and a powder blush pink, tiered hair dress were the piece de resistant. It felt quite 70's at times, especially with a pink leopard pink coat!
Big pink and yellow wigs were accessories ed with metallic pink wine bottles and a mirrored hollywood sign, it was definitely fetish inspired with several models strutting in the buff showing off hair pieces and bags.
The bags were fab and were actually a collaboration between Le Mindu and Danielle Foster.
My favourite was the leather pale pink heart bag with streams of trashy pink hair flowing off it!
Red and black leopard print was the show closer and the whole room was left aghast. Even if hairy clothing creeps you out, you can't deny that this guy is a incredible.
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Topshop Unique

Topshop unique certainly kept things 'unique' with their choice of location at Waterloo's old eurostar terminal. After a 3minute walk after many ramps, we finally arrived at the platform transformed into the runway. Eagerly waiting for it to start I couldn't help notice the bar behind us and the many trays of champagne that were being served as well nibbles. Topshop had certainly pulled out the stops. Finally, it starts to a groovy funk beat. The models were olive in skin and were rocking the most amount of hair I have seen with yellows, pinks and greens dyed through the ends, the bigger the better I'm guessing, however tying in with a 70's feel, it made sense! Strutting to funk beats models were wearing tribal print cat suits where the cut of trousers were bootleg. Being even more hippie, models were wearing the flares with chiffon blouson blouses. Silk kaftans were another choice with the print botttoms accessorized with over sized sunglasses and high sandals with tassled straps. A very warm palette by Topshop including dusky pinks in prints, flame reds and corals taking shape in more kaftans and floaty dresses. Also if you thought batwings were banned, then topshop have revived them so either save yours before its too late or get the orders in! Camel was introduced through some more high rise bootleg cotton trousers with a contrasting texture of knit wear up top.
Topshop used a lot of embellishing in this collection taking the 70's free and hippie feel to giving it more edge. Frock coats were used over slim leg trousers but both the colours and the embellishing kept the look retro. The oversized sunnies worked really well here too. Topshop even introduced a little swimwear in metallic blues and zest greens keeping it funky. Last texture on the catwalk was seriously, and I mean seriously distressed denim with a lot of whole and the same applied to dusky pink leather. Once again both looks used heavy embellishing, tassled camel sandals and big hair to go.
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Basso and Brooke

Its 9am on a sunday morning and I've been up since 6am, not because I needed to be but more because today was the Basso and Brooke show and ever since my student days I've idolised this design duo. Through bleary eyes I checked my ticket on the tube only to realise I was actually front row! Alongside the likes of Amber Rose, fancy!
It's interesting to watch how designers change, not only as they progress but also how the economic climate effects their season
This was the most wearable season of Basso and Brooke I have ever seen and though they have bowed to commercialism, they have in no way compromised their designs.
Tones were more pastel and calm, starting with pistachio and moving into beige, cream and taupe tones. The prints felt very 'vintage' and almost distressed, comprising of antique florals, book pages, lettering and maps. They felt quite distressed at times, like they had been found in long forgotten treasure chests. Combining digital print with vintage stylings rather than the 'futuristic' look the technique has become famed for.
Dresses and skirts were short and flirty, favouring skater and shift a-line styles that have been popular everywhere this week. Shift dresses had postbox cut outs at the neck and printed chiffon shirts were tucked in and buttoned to the neck. There some great printed trenches, in ochre and black and like Grachvogel, Basso and Brooke played with a pleated/draped sleeve head.
Trousers held darker and more subdued prints, an almost distorted, wide, monochrome stripe and I loved the wrap and pleated front styles, Chic and modern.
The collection felt eclectic, yet well put together and the calming and muted based tones were popped with electric blue, orange, red and yellow.
I loved the chiffon jumpsuits and the just above the knee skater skirts. Commercially viable but by no means boring, it feels like Basso and Brooke will attract a host of new fans with this look.
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Saturday, 18 September 2010

Betty Jackson

Now I know everyone's eyes should be on the fashion but I just couldn't help noticing the model who stumbled in her wedges, the strap comes loose and she tries to fix it, her leg gets caught in the handbag strap. To make matters worse, she doesn't realise and as she ditches her loose wedge, she continues down the catwalk.. One shoe on, one off and the handbag strap still wrapped around her thighs. EEEKKK. However, she did continue walking very well and returned in a more sensible pair of wedges and NO handbag.
Back to the fashion, the show started with really bright lighting, probably a bit too bright but with a starting palette of mushroom and khaki it worked. There were many textures with fine knits, gabardine, cottons and Betty Jackson worked them well by teaming them together e.g woven knits with satin skirts and merino knits with silks. The clothes began easy and free flowing with fluid trousers with soft pleated detail, a-line skirts and dresses with little cap sleeve and loosely fitting blazers that were belted at the waist but keeping in tune with the army feel. Fringing was all over everything from trousers to cropped jackets and looked hot! Drawstring details were added to jackets and tops to create a more feminine silhouette. Moving on from an army feel, colour was injected into the collection. Acid greens, turquoise and rose pinks were displayed through digitalised prints. One particular one was of birds, I think seagulls to be precise and gave a tropical hawaian look. Toning it down again and taking it a tad more classy in contrast to the sportish look, there were frock coats, layered with feathers creating a more softer look contrary to the fringing. This also took shape in a pair of trousers taking feathers to the extreme but looking oh so hot!
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A very prompt start by Daks so an impressive way to start the day. From all the collections we've seen so far, Daks gave us a collection of no fuss no frills but just simple, easy relaxed chic. Pick a summers day out of India and that's where Daks will be, sporting a palette of stone, grey, white and mustard similar to a few indian spices. Daks seemed to play on the androgynous look a little with equal masculinity between the genders. Oversized shorts and boxy blazers enforced this look. However there were added touches of femininity with free flowing dresses creating pretty silhouettes and a black head band to finish off the look. Rather than shifts and straight cuts, dresses and skirts were A line. A 1930's feel with plenty of shorts, medium length skirts and high waisted trousers where pleating was the main feature. There was a lot of brogues between both the men and the women to completing this relaxed look where up above was linen trousers and fine merino knit sweaters of the same palette. Crisp white cotton shirts for the men where there was soft cotton blouses for the women. Lastly everyone grab a tote as this was another key piece from the collection.
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It will come of no surprise to hear that Osman cracked out some pretty amazing dresses. With minimal hair and make-up, all was left for the clothes to do the talking. With truly beautiful tailoring and slightly asymmetric hemlines, the label once again came up trumps. However, I never thought I'd see the day where dresses over leggings were de rigeur, but there you go. The use of black features very heavily, with sand, flamingo pink, lemon and lime providing some much needed colour respite. Trapeze shapes and tiered soft fabrics created some breathing looks that I'm sure will become red carpet classics.

Simon Ekrelius

Sportswear + Perspex + lilac dyed hair = Simon Ekrelius' SS11 collection. Momonchrome featured heavily and was perfectly matched by identikit models with glazed expressions and robotic walks. Overall the collection was rather vertiginous, with huge millinery and pointed shoulders with impressive height. Sheer chiffons added a voyeuristic element, but things were taken to the next level with Perspex and completely sheer jumpsuits not you standard Saturday night on the tiles kind of clobber. One model only had a tiny triangle of flesh coloured fabric to hide what little modesty she had left. Now that takes guts.

Emilio de la Morena

With the team of American ELLE, fashion's blue-blooded Julia Restoin-Roifeld and front row favourite Olivia Palermo, Emilio de la Morena sure had his work cut out to impress a waiting audience. However, when the heavy bass from a remixed Editors song kicked in and the first model appeared, his collection showed a strong, coherent and rather exciting look. Sorbet leathers with punched out polka dot details looked utterly stunning (I know what's on my wish list). Huge graphic gold necklaces lifted the cut-out dresses and granite blacks. Sixties influences and skater skirts all made for a girly and playful look. Feminine, fierce and completely covetable, this collection encapsulated what summer should be all about.


So the longest of all the shows to get into which certainly wasn't fun as the last show of the day. There is just only so much your feet can take! The queue for the BFC show space was literally 200 deep before anyone of any importance was allowed in. Finally the queue moves and I'm seated. Probably the biggest of the shows all day with so many people with seated tickets yet standing as there wasn't any room. Celebs such as Amber Rose and Paloma Faith turned up again accompanied by the like of Michelle Williams former Destiny's Child Member, Reggie Yates and Jamelia. After more waiting, the plastic finally disappears from the runway and we were finally embraced by a very majestic collection from PPQ. The palette included metallic mustards, electric blues, crimsons and black. Lots of geometric print to go around look out for this. PPQ seemed to be big on tailoring with waisted tapered trousers, shift dresses and pencil skirts with frills for detail. Satin made all the colours go pop with models strutting to a funky beat to back them up. Bright and Bold = PPQ SS11
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Jacob Kimmie

What a difference to what we've been used to. Rather than a show, Jacob Kimmie gave us an exhibition of their collection with still models throughout two rooms. Despite Jacob Kimmie being a personal fave of ours, we are now in love even more with SS11. After ascending the 3 flights of stairs, we we're embraced by tranquil music, sensual lighting and a dolly mixtures of models from all walks of life and types of make up. A kaleidoscopic palette took shape in one shoulder silk dresses and 3/4 sleeve maxis. Both of which fell from the body like waterfalls. The menswear were tapered trousers in cream black matched with vests and intricate shoulder pieces. This fashion repeated itself in the form of masks on the female models. One particular model's was more of a head mask with crimson lips peeking the holes. With a long waterfall gown flowing behind her, she looked like a goddess. The collection then took a twist with two particular models dressed like ice maidens. Another intricate mask disguising one side of a model's face followed with a silk a line dress with cut out detail on the shoulders. Teamed with opaque white tights and ivory boots we had just met the ice maiden of SS11. Towards the exit acting as the final piece of the collection was a model wearing an amazing cropped trouser one piece. If you thought you had seen power shoulders, Jacob Kimmie took this one step further and took the intricate designs of the mask and applied this to the shoulders in asymmetric fashion. Accompanied by more intricate accessories the lines of this design were still kept clean and elongated. This collection on the whole had a big thumbs up!! There wasn't any desperation for it to start with models already on display, and no desire for it to finish as you were free to leave once you had absorbed enough of imaginative yet wearable Jacob Kimmie SS11.
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Hannah Marshall

Running back to back with Felder + Felder, BFC shows space was packed with plenty of celebs with the likes of Amber Rose, Erin O'connor, Paloma Faith, The Noisettes, Coco Sumner and Rankin. The show started with a seductive and provocative video by Rankin of semi nude females dancing in the night (or very low lighting). The show then began with sheer black schiffon shirts, pussycat bows and cigarette pants. There were frock coats over sheer silk flowing maxis. Models were mostly ginger with long flowing hair, porceline skin with doll like make up. From a clean and minimal collection, it then progressed into shift dresses and haphazard pleating as detail remininscent of Issey Miyake. The palette took a turn from black to matte silver and so did the textures. Suede was introduced through boyfriend blazers and killer wedges! On the whole, Hannah Marshall elongated the models and gave us beautiful empire lines through high waisted cigarette pants, waisted pencil skirts and boxy frock coats. Attitude was infused into this wearable, clean and easy collection giving it a seductive edge!!
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Bernard Chandran SS11 Show

If Cleopatra were to be in a 1920s Speakeasy that was on the moon, you'd be looking at the inspiration for Bernard Chandran's SS10 collection. Fluid silks and elongated lines looked stunning against a musical backdrop mixed by Kanye West's old chum, Mr Hudson. Muted nude colour palettes might be a strong direction for next season, but Chandran accented this with sequinned embellishment and a lot of leg. With a few accidental boob flashes, the show generally flew by without a hitch. Chandran championed both sleek long silhouettes and high hem lines, accessorised by woven wicker box bags and stonking great platforms. The collection also showed the evolution of this season's full skirts by leading the way to a lampshade skirt shape (with a few lampshade shoulders thrown into the mix too). Cute details such as massive pockets and envelope-style sleeves were all common denominators in an overall very wearable collection.

Felder + Felder

Friggin fierce is the adjective to describe Felder + Felder's show! The models strutted to a rendition of Born to be Wild which was certainly fitting once the collection was on display! A monochrome palette of midnight blues, blacks and dusty greys with the accents of fuschia pink and royal blue. Many textures incorporated with embellished body con dresses, silk fluid dresses, feather cropped jackets and leather pants. Felder + Felder upped the ante again including leather corseted upper halves to dresses and bustier tops teamed with cigarette pants. Super sexy rock chic all around. VERY impressed Felder + Felder.
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Friday, 17 September 2010

Jena Theo

Jena Theo

I'm a huge fan of Jena Theo, last years fashion fringe winners showed at the BFC tent. The collection that felt very 'Arabian inspired'
Models with hair wrapped in turbans slinked down the catwalk in silky jersey pieces, draped, gathered and twisted in a way synonymous with the Jena Theo style. It had a more grown up feel than last seasons look, right down to the sleek cut jeans.
The collection felt very 'deconstructed' there were slashed backs, twisted sides and garments in two toned overlaid fabrics, appearing like two separate garments had been merged together.
The garments really have to be seen to be believed but I loved the soft drapery, all the pieces were so well thought out with the manipulation being just right.
The colour palette was a mix of violet, grey denim, blush and dusky pink with cream and soft blues running through out.
Print wise, it was so soft and delicate. A cream based print, with an almost 'my jeans have run in the wash' blue print and marble/water colour in soft pastel hues.
I loved the way the softer pieces were toughened by divine, draped, leather, hooded jacket (I want) and cropped, slash back bomber styles. It really feels like SS11 will be the season of soft grunge. Far more romantic than we've ever seen it. The rock chicks have grown up.
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Bunmi Koko

To be honest, we had no idea what to expect from Koko and when the first theatrical piece came out (a man dressed as a giant pompom), I won't lie, we were damn right scared!! But once that was over the collection that followed was incredible and quite frankly left us a little bit speechless, we'd already seen several 'on schedule shows' but it was this that left us gobsmacked!
Shoulders had structural, upside down triangles built in, like oversized drapes and folds. Draped skirt sides and wrap over tulip shapes ensured that the separate skirts and dresses fitted with the mood of this coming season, but were so well executed they stood out a mile.
The style and theme was 'warrior' and when Kanye's 'Love Lockdown' played at the end I was not at all surprised, it fitted with the music video style and the models were accessorised in feathered masks.
Each dress had so much detailing, yet none of it felt overdone. I loved the striped back panels that combined ribbon and sheer.
Trousers were total cigarette pant style. Super slim leg, teamed with the oversized shoulder drape jackets that fitted snuggly at the waist were great. The balance really worked.
I loved the colour palette too. This was mainly used to create bold, graphic prints. Red/white/black and chocolate/cream and ochre were the order of the day and the distorted graphics were gorgeous.
Smaller pompoms were used on shoulders and as wrist adornments and looked fun without being comical.
By far the favourite show of the day!
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Jean Pierre Braganza

Soft and sophisticated with an authoritative edge was what Jean Pierre Braganza gave us. A palette of soft pastels with accents of turquoise and deep rose pink. Fluidity ran throughout the collection with plenty of draping and the use of silk to create flowing maxis, reed slim trousers and micro minis. Structured dresses made from contrasting leather and suede were looking fierce! Let's hope that PCD girl Kimberley Wyatt and front girl of Noisettes Shingai Shoniwa liked it as much as we did!
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Bora Aksu

As expected, the Bora Aksu show, which this year moved to OnOff was rammed! In the crowd was tones of press and even fellow Blow designer, Avsh Shalom Gur.
Bora definitely has a signature look. I always coin it, futuristic warrior but it really is just that. Tulip skirts, piping details, surface details and lots of silver knit fabrics created armour and skeletal like forms.
There was a nod to the Rococo era, with a floral like weave, again playing on silver tones.
The main colour palette was navy and dark grey accented by pink, silver and red tones.
While skirts and dresses were the basis for the collection, soft trousers with ruffled and pussy bow blouses were a far softer look than we are used to seeing from Aksu.
Another fabulous collection, that yet again made silk and chiffon fierce.
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You always know you're in for a good show when Prophetik are about, like last season live music ensured the mood was immediately lifted. Again pieces had a real regency, period feel to them, and the buxom look of Prada and Vuitton AW10 continued here.
There several, casual maxis in both denim shades and dip dyed played a great role in adding detail and interest. One shoulder maxis and short flirty, white pieces with trinket straps fitted with the summer romantic vibe.
Menswear was again quite historical and layered. Detailing in buttons and excellent tailoring ensured a great if not niche style.
The grassed over catwalk and youthful models made me think of the secret garden, a true treat!
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Maria Grachvogel

Maria's show had pre music to set the scene. The sound of the amazon was our backdrop and the clothes transported us to an almost safari, tropical chic. The palette started quite muted with nudes and ice grey accented by canary yellow. Cuts were incredibly soft and drapey, with draped armholes, asymmetric back cowls and side seams that were gently gathered. There were full centre front drapes and pleated front trousers. Legs were wide and waistbands high. The whole look was very calming. Chiffons have never looked so sleek. The prints were stunning too and reminded me of abstract tropical bird feathers. Yellow, orange, green and blue tones on grey bases. There were some softly tailored jackets and city shorts too, it was a real wardrobe staple collection, timeless classics that can come out year after year. I've got my eye on the draped printed. Shifts and the full chiffon maxis! Divine!
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Paul Costelloe

Funny how last season ended the same as this one began. AW10 closed with a live performance from Eliza Doolittle while Paul Costelloe settled for a pre recorded version, making Eliza fashions new hot thing.
The show itself felt very 60's inspired with lots of full lampshade and skater skirts and a-line dresses.
The jacket of the day was the biker and came in several hues, gun metal metallic was our fav, while the shape was classic, the pushed up sleeve and metallic tone was very sharp and modern.
As usual there were several prints on offer, the first being a graphic like charcoal print in monochrome with tiny trims of blush print.
Secondly there was a graphic monochrome floral print, a pastel green floral print and a zig zag peekaboo surface decoration on short a line shifts and maxi pieces.
Costelloe is a champion of detail and a master of tailoring and this show didn't disappoint!
Details like strong quilted shoulders (yes that 80's form is still around) and the sleekest of cut jackets, cropped, peplumed and skinny ensured sharp jacket silhouettes that contrasted nicely with the floats skirts.
I loved the 'top and skirt combo' dresses for their knife pleat skirts, again balanced nicely by scaloped tiered dresses. The hard and the soft the sharp with the romantic.
Menswear naturally was also a highlight. Navy teamed with white and camel. Monochrome floral shirts and hues of greys marched down the catwalk in skinny leg trousers, city short suits and trench coats. The highlight of menswear has to be when Paul's six sons took to the runway to lots of applause!
Though there were some eighties tones in oversized bows and more body con pieces the main swing was toward the sixties. Light, romantic and sophisticated. According to Paul we shall all be beehiving our hair so get back combing!
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Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Beautiful Soul SS11 - Fashion Film 'BELIEVE'

A few weeks ago I mentioned I was going to be involved in a fashion film. Well here are the results!

Beautiful Soul SS:11 Believe. from oliver Prout on Vimeo.

Film Credits:
Director: Oliver Prout
Produced by: Nicola Woods
Illustration: Zarina Liew
Music: Gabby Young & Other Animals
Stylist: Rivkie Baum
Make Up: Michaela Sporkova
Hair: Amber-Rose Peake
Models: Samantha at Profiles and Simon at Sapphires Model Management