Amelia’s Magazine | SIBLING: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review

SIBLING S/S 2014 by Gareth A Hopkins

Oh GOD I love SIBLING. Every season they manage to come up with an amazing theme that makes you wonder how they do it, time and time again. There was an East End boozers pub crawl, fairgrounds, even wayward jailbirds and their mothers. This fifth birthday season was no exception.

All photography by Matt Bramford

West Side Story became ‘East Side Story‘ in this glorious romp through American youth culture with a British twist, taking inspiration from the 1961 film and Saul Bass‘s iconic graphics. Any collection inspired by Saul Bass’s iconic graphics gets my vote.

SIBLING S/S 2014 by Gareth A Hopkins

I settled into my perfect standing spot, sandwiched between a guy wielding an iPad (give over) as if it were a shield and a speaker belting out Gee, Officer Krupkee. The entrance to the catwalk had been daubed in Richard Woods‘s signature woodprint, and just inside I noticed a huge sign saying ‘SMILES PLEASE’ with a cheeky felt-tip drawing of a grin. Well, it would have been rude not to, and so I grinned as wide as I could as the first model appeared.

The masculinity of the Jets and gang dress codes were first explored – cropped denim jackets and oversized bomber jackets featured enlarged JET BOY motifs on the reverse. Models were styled with slick quiffs and huge smiles – oh, hang on, the sign was for them! What a brilliant idea. It took all my strength not to start weeping as each handsome devil appeared, grinning and genuinely enjoying themselves.

From the streets to the gym; up next came polos, cardigans and shorts in Richard Woods‘ aforementioned print. Dreamy colours – mint green, lilac and Shark blue were indebted on the press release to the Ndebele tribe and West Side Story cinematographer Daniel L Fapp.

No SIBLING collection would be complete without chunky knits and a hint of leopard print, and die hard fans weren’t disappointed on either count. Cardigans and cropped jackets in blue peppered the sportswear, as did a thick, black mesh knit at the beginning of the show.

The most dramatic pieces combined scoobie strings (yes, like the bracelets) with American track and field sportswear shapes to create show-stopping tops and shorts in white, neon greens and acid pink.

A knit emblazoned with a ’5′ emblem in stars closed this fifth anniversary show, SIBLING‘s best yet IMHO.

Categories ,catwalk, ,Daniel L Fapp, ,East Side Story, ,fashion, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Jets, ,knitwear, ,LCM, ,LCMSS14, ,Leopard Print, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Ndebele, ,Officer Krupkee, ,review, ,Richard Woods, ,Saul Bass, ,scoobie bracelets, ,Sharks, ,Sibling, ,smiles, ,SS14, ,West Side Story

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Amelia’s Magazine | Soojin Lee AW15: London Fashion Week Catwalk Review

Soojin Lee AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 20
Stark red eye make up accompanied the colourful designs paraded down the catwalk by Soojin Lee. On closer inspection Art Deco-esque designs revealed repeat patterns made up of bullets, rippled metal panels and fighter planes. Here was another designer with war on the mind (see also Jean-Pierre Braganza). Scarfs at the neck echoed an older era of war, as did lady-like crop waist jackets and delicately ruffled shirts worn with dainty floral pleat skirts, creating elegance in a time of great unrest. At the back of her look book Soojin Lee states ‘Pray for peace and protection for everyone…

Soojin Lee AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 11
Soojin Lee AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 16
Soojin Lee AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 14
Soojin Lee AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 29
Soojin Lee AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 26
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Soojin Lee AW 15/16 from FASHION SCOUT on Vimeo.

Categories ,A/W 2015, ,AW15, ,catwalk, ,London Fashion Week, ,review, ,Show report, ,Soojin Lee

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Amelia’s Magazine | Swedish School of Textiles: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Catwalk Review part one

Swedish school of textiles by-Antonia-Parker
Jesper Danielsson by Antonia Parker.

As in previous years, the Swedish School of Textiles at Boras took to the catwalk at Fashion Scout to showcase the best of their graduates. As the press release stated, this was not about commerciality but about promoting the myriad creative ways in which their students approach the use of textiles in fashion. At 35 minutes long this trip was not for the faint hearted and I felt sorry for the later designers, who lost audience members to the Holly Fulton show. Luckily me and my bike are fairly swift so I saw the show out, and was very glad I did since the closing collection was one of my favourites. I’ve split my coverage into two posts, but I’ll keep my commentary short.

Swedish School Of Textiles SS14 by Gareth A Hopkins
Jesper Danielsson by Gareth A Hopkins.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Jesper Danielsson opened the show with a series of Functional Cuts for men: my favourites being the orange ombre jumpsuit, a playful splatter print coat and a huge hooded gold puffa.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Emelie Ahlner presented a clever collection titled Kurbitch! that featured curly laser cut panelling on multiple forms of fabric: neon perspex, plastic, denim, glitter and pearlescent fabrics were all used with wild abandon.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Units from Anna Margareta Svensson was a far more minimalist affair, presenting boxy shapes in an intriguing juxtaposition of textures and an on trend colour palette of muted colours mixed with a pop of tangerine. One outfit was accompanied with a fab clutch bag and I liked the flip flops that were styled with panels of latex, which gave a subtle Japanese feel to the collection.

Swedish School of Textiles for LFW - Becca Corney
Elias Hogberg by Becca Corney.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Elias Hogberg merged utilitarian winter fashions with peasant styling in the form of furry hoods, warm shearling coats and elaborate floral prints on apron-like panels.

Swedish School Of Textiles SS14 by Gareth A Hopkins
Emelie Johansson by Gareth A Hopkins.

Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Swedish School of Textiles SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Menswear from Emelie Johansson successfully combined the sheerest of fabrics with both tailoring and sporty details. And the large round sunglasses were a real winner.

Stay tuned for the second part of my review, which includes a video of the show.

Categories ,Anna Margareta Svensson, ,Antonia Parker, ,Becca Corney, ,Boras, ,catwalk, ,Elias Hogberg, ,Emelie Ahlner, ,Emelie Johansson, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Functional Cuts, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,graduate, ,Holly Fulton, ,Jesper Danielsson, ,Kurbitch!, ,london, ,menswear, ,review, ,Swedish, ,Swedish School of Textiles, ,textiles, ,Units, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Tabernacle Twins: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Catwalk Review

Tabernacle Twins S/S 2014 by Karolina Burdon
Tabernacle Twins S/S 2014 by Karolina Burdon.

Tabernacle Twins was a new brand to me, but having visited the website my interest was piqued. The label is described as an exploration of fashion, textiles and illustration by designer Vibe Lundemark, a graduate of the RCA now relocated home to Denmark.

Tabernacle Twins S/S 2014 by Rose Crees
Tabernacle Twins S/S 2014 by Rose Crees.

The show began with the appearance of the ‘Tabernacle Twins‘ who, as Vibe Lundemark‘s creative muses, take fictional journeys through surreal landscapes. This season the scene was set for a Cobra Casablanca, with our handouts describing a desert quest to search for a magic cobra, meeting fortune tellers, jesters and street magicians along the way. These ideas were translated into colourful abstract illustrations that crept and curled across large panels of fabric on dresses and blowsy shirts. Vibe Lundemark used a bold colour palette of lilac, purple, peach and ochre which was lightened by plentiful white across this relaxed collection. Girls with bright matte orange lips swung talismans from their wrists and paced the catwalk in patent white DMs with ankle socks. Alongside blouson shapes that were the perfect canvas for prints there were tailored details that included cowl necks, a crop top covered in pointy scales and a lacey matching shorts suit. A marbled chequerboard in deep purple on white created an arresting all over effect.

Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins S/S 2014. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

It seemed odd that the girls chosen as twins were barely alike, and not even the same height, but that aside the twins were an appealing visual concept, who cropped up several times on the runway wearing key pieces. I liked the use of narrative to drive ideas behind the collection and look forward to seeing more from the Tabernacle Twins on future Fashion Scout runways.

Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tabernacle Twins SS 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,catwalk, ,Cobra Casablanca, ,copenhagen, ,Danish, ,Denmark, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Karolina Burdon, ,London Fashion Week, ,rca, ,review, ,Rose Crees, ,S/S 2014, ,Tabernacle Twins, ,Vibe Lundemark

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Amelia’s Magazine | The 2013 FAD Awards: London Fashion Week Catwalk Review

Stephanie Kitchen by Warren Clarke

The Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) Awards are always an end-of-fashion-week treat. After five days of the freshest fashion talent dominating the catwalks at the Fashion Scout venue, FAD looks even further into the future at the best of the country’s undergraduate talent, based each season around a different theme.

Louis Anderson-Bythell – all photography by Matt Bramford

There could be no better a theme in this age of global change and austerity than ‘Future Optimism‘, which was the brief for this year’s students. Over 100 undergraduates submitted work for the competition, with fifteen entries showcased at this climatic event.

Anna Kim by Gabriel Ayala

Here’s a quick photographic rundown of the fifteen entries:




Stephanos Konstantiou by Laura Hickman













And so on to the winners. It must have been a tough job for Hilary Alexander, Fashion Scout’s Martyn Roberts, Topshops’ Geraldine O’Brien, FAD’s Claire Muldoon and our pal Milly Jackson (who won the 2011 Award) to choose a winner.

Sitting at the end of the catwalk is fantastic for shots of models but not so fantastic if the awards action takes place at the opposite end.

One of my personal favourites, Nneka Okorie‘s glorious menswear, took one of the runner up prizes. Her slick trench-coats with digital printing techniques brought both expert tailoring and vivid colours to the catwalk and I loved the discrete details of city skylights on a backpack and trouser hems.

Stephanos Konstantiou took the other runner up prize with his futuristic neoprene collection with rigid cutaway details. His laser-cut houndstooth pattern was completely original, and I enjoyed the sharp silhouettes that his collection projected. Nneka and Stephanos both take home five hundred quid and an industry placement. Well done, pals!

The winner, described by Hilary Alexander as ‘unanimous’ and ‘one to watch’ for the coming seasons, was, deservedly, Stephanie Kitchen. A final year student at Bath Spa University (always a good show at Graduate Fashion Week), Stephanie’s innovative cycle wear earned cheers when it first appeared at the beginning of the show and rapturous applause when it was announced Stephanie had won. This collection brought together wearability, sustainability, style and functionality all in one. The cycle sunglasses were a hit, too.

Stephanie wins £1000 and an industry placement and her designs were also shown at London Fashion Weekend. I don’t think this will be the last time we see Stephanie on the London fashion catwalks.

Winner Stephanie Kitchen by Milly Jackson for FAD

Categories ,2013, ,Anna Kim, ,Awards, ,Aysha Simpson, ,BA, ,catwalk, ,Chelsey Crossland, ,Estela Nevinskaite, ,FAD, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Hilary Alexander, ,Joseph Horton, ,Kimberley Phillips, ,Laura Chittenden, ,Laura Hickman, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louis Anderson-Bythell, ,Lucinda Roberts, ,Matt Bramford, ,Matthew O’Brien, ,menswear, ,Milly Jackson, ,Morwenna Darwell, ,Nneka Okorie, ,review, ,Robert Mills, ,Stephanie Kitchen, ,Stephanos Konstantinou, ,students, ,sustainability, ,undergraduate, ,Warren Clarke, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Topman Design: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

It was raining, men at the Old Sorting Office on Monday for my first show of this (awkwardly branded) London Collections: Men A/W 2014 season – Topman Design.

Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

I can’t be bothered to drone on about the usual fuss that preceded this event, but I’ll just say that my standing ticket offered zero VIP service. Inside I stood in a herd of people five rows deep, aiming my Canon zoom lens through heads while those around me took terrible photographs on point-and-shoot cameras, iPhones and iPads. There’s a whole other piece I could write here, touched on much more eloquently than I could by Michael over at Anastasia Duck, but I will say this: I’ve invested in a decent camera and pride myself on taking decent images that I hope offer a slightly different insight to the normal catwalking shots we’re all familiar with. This is why I continue to work with Amelia because we share the same values when it comes to documenting the shows, but it seems to be getting increasingly difficult to do the job and I left feeling somewhat frustrated.

All photography by Matt Bramford

I probably say the same thing every season, but I’m always reserved about Topman. Aesthetically they’ve upped their game, and whoever is in charge seems to know what they’re doing in the hope of offering a collection akin to the strong contenders on the LC:M schedule. This season relied heavily on a palette of black and red with an injection of pale blue pieces. Box-shaped overcoats offered a different silhouette, sharp tailored blazers worked effortlessly with plaid shirts and heavy knitwear pieces adopting a variety of techniques were exciting.

As usual there were some slightly off pieces – a red tee with graphic lettering (above) looked like something you’d buy on a whim in Kavos after two fishbowl cocktails and some of the double-breasted coats looked awkward on slight-framed models, but overall this was a coherent collection. A reasonable price point means it does offer something more interesting than the rest of the High Street without an outrageous price tag.

For the finale, the heavens (well, the rigging) opened to soak the models as they reappeared for the recap. Not for the first time in history but it was a spectacle none-the-less, but I sure as hell don’t fancy getting caught in the rain in one of those chunky knits. I’m not sure if there was a message here, or how it related to the clothes. Perhaps it was an unsubtle way of saying LOOK OUR THREADS WITHSTAND RAIN, WE’RE NOT CHEAP; maybe it was merely for the aesthetic, but I bloody enjoyed it and everybody else seemed to.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,catwalk, ,Dom&Ink, ,Dominic Evans, ,fashion, ,knitwear, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,Old Sorting Office, ,Rain, ,review, ,Topman Design, ,Weather Girls

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Amelia’s Magazine | UCA Rochester: Graduate Fashion Week Catwalk Review

Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

UCA Rochester is always a hot ticket at Graduate Fashion Week. It usually takes a late evening slot, so there’s always a more ritzy atmosphere. This year was no different.

Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

When I joined the queue I was pleased to note that I was maybe 10 or 15 attendees from the front. ‘Marvellous’, I thought to myself as I politely waited. As the door-opening grew closer, one by one various other press, sponsors and ‘VIPs’ did that hilarious thing that only fashion people know how to do. I marvel every time it happens. It’s the Magical Fashion Queue Jumper. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

1. Look for somebody you’ve vaguely met once, follow on Twitter, are connected with on LinkedIn, or somebody who looks like somebody you know;
2. Scream ‘HAI darling!‘ at them and swing from their neck with glee;
3. Go a bit red, hoping nobody has noticed you’ve been incredibly rude and pushed in;
Voila – you’ve jumped the queue.

Sigh. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it. It’s just so impolite. I’d tell you how I then got kicked off the front row but managed to get back onto it with half a dozen seats going begging, but then I’d just be a big moaner.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Anyway, yes, back to the show. An usual start unfolded – I’d already noticed that there were a sole pair of shoes and a selection of menswear on hangers to the right of the stage. The lights dimmed and a model appeared wearing white underclothes. Two men wearing white lab coats, I presume students, dressed the man in silence. As soon as he was dressed and styled, the lights shone brightly, the music pounded, and the tattoo-clad model stormed the catwalk.

Here’s a round-up of my favourites from UCA Rochester:

Daniel Holliday

It was Daniel’s model who was dressed live on stage and opened the show. It was a strong menswear opener, with digital print shirts, tweed blazers with contrasting sleeves and flashes of neon green juxtaposed with a dark colour palette.

Lucy Mellor

Graduate collection by Lucy Mellor

Lucy’s collection was our first taste of Rochester womenswear. Fitted knee-length dresses were sculptured at the shoulders and hips, creating futuristic silhouettes, embellished with organic felt shapes.

Richard Sun

Graduate collection by Richard Sun

The future according to Richard Sun sees women wearing utilitarian geometric dresses accessorised with wire cages. Inspired by Hong Kong architecture, this was an innovative fashion vision.

Olivia Salmon

Graduate collection by Olivia Salmon

Juxtaposed to Richard’s fashion future came Olivia Salmon‘s playful collection of cute floral dresses. Silhouettes were soft and prints were hand-drawn – a welcome break from digital. Models were styled with clusters of flowers in this uplifting collection.

Olivia Salmon graduate collection by Sandra Contreras

Emily Houghton

Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

Emily also took her inspiration from architecture – notably Richard Rogers‘ ‘inside-out’ Lloyds building. Visible seams and outer pocket bags explore this concept – a dark colour palette with some flashes of neon and some elements of sportswear made this a really polished collection.

Annie Mae Harris

Blink and you might miss Annie Mae’s attention to detail in this fusion of print and materials. Soft silks and organzas were treated with hypnotic, organic swirls that elegantly floated by. Leather accessories, including a headpiece embellished with gold teeth, added an extra dimension.

Jenny Prismall

Graduate collection by Jenny Prismall

War Horse was the inspiration for Jenny’s womenswear and was one of my favourite collections of the week. Military cuts were given a chicer treatment. Leather straps like horses reins were carefully added to garments creating a luxurious look with a hint of kink, whilst also sculpting silhouettes. Oh, and the digital-print sunset – just wonderful.

Marianne Sørensen

Graduate collection by Marianne Sørensen

Marianne presented a beautiful all-black collection teaming luxury materials with dynamic cuts: one of the most polished presentations of the week.

Callum Burman
Callum’s modern Miami Vice male had me squealing. Influence had come from the TV show and the Art Deco buildings of Miami (love). Cropped-sleeve shirts, short shorts, oversized sweater and skinny trousers all in a range of cool pastel colours. It was fun, relaxed and infinitely wearable.

Sharon Osborne
Sharon presented a beautiful collection of flattering, body-hugging dresses of varying glamorous lengths. Ruching around the necks and into seams was used to dazzling effect, with cloud-like forms printed onto the garments. But it was Sharon’s transparent perspex accessories that really caught my eye; beautiful, organic shapes creeping up models’ arms.

Elisabeth Boström

Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

Elisabeth’s offering was another contender for my favourite collection of this year’s graduates. Sweeping frocks in gorgeous silks featured digital streaks of varying bright colours fused with natural browns. Elisabeth was inspired by natural vs. unnatural, effortlessly blending the two together. Some dresses were embellished with hair for a fashion-forward look with maximum appeal.

Emma Beaumont

Graduate collection by Emma Beaumont

I wasn’t at all surprised to see Emma’s collection nominated for the Gold Award at the Gala ceremony the following evening. Inspired by harvest, Emma’s feminine cuts and adept use of the most visually stimulating materials provided a real treat. I loved the aesthetic appeal of the opening woven coat and a gold woven dress.

Until next year, UCA Rochester!

Categories ,2012, ,Annie Mae Harris, ,Callum Burman, ,catwalk, ,Daniel Holliday, ,Elisabeth Bostrom, ,Emily Houghton, ,Emma Beaumont, ,fashion, ,GFW, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Jenny Prismall, ,knitwear, ,Lucy Mellor, ,Marianne Sorensen, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Olivia Salmon, ,review, ,Richard Sun, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sharon Osbourne, ,UCA Rochester, ,University, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentino: Master of Couture at Somerset House

Valentino A/W 2005 by Krister Selin

A recent viewing of the documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, a film dedicated to the infamous fashion editor’s pioneering feats, highlighted that going to a gallery to view exhibitions of living fashion designers is a relatively new concept. When Vreeland launched an Yves Saint Laurent retrospective in 1983 at the Costume Institute, she set a precedent for a legion of future fashion fairs.

In the modern era, fashion fans have no qualms about trading their hard-earned cash to gaze at frocks on mannequins and fashion retrospectives have dominated galleries with record-breaking visitor numbers. Presenting these exhibitions comes as a challenge to curators: no longer is it a case of whacking a few frocks on mannequins like you’re assembling a high street window display. A quick look at Viktor & Rolf at the Barbican, McQueen at the Met or Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Decoratifs shows the dedication and commitment necessary to present fashion as art.

Valentino A/W 2002 and Natalia Vodianova by Cathleen Naundorf

What better way, then, to present Emperor of Couture Valentino Garavani‘s illustrious history than on one long catwalk? Avoid temptation to sashay past the tableaux as mannequins appear amongst elegant white chairs on either side of a runway, on which you’re the model. The Embankment Galleries at Somerset House have been transformed; no longer tiny catacombs, but brought together for dramatic effect.

Valentino A/W 2002 by Maya Beus

The lower floor showcases a number artefacts appearing in glass cabinets at the start of the exhibition. Letters from prominent designers and magazine editors celebrate Valentino‘s last milestone, his 45th anniversary as King of Couture, showering the Italian with praise for his record-breaking anniversary couture show at the Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome. Glorious fashion sketches line other cabinets, but as was with Margiela and other exhibitions here, I found myself skimming past these in order to get to the main event upstairs.

Photographs courtesy of Somerset House/Peter MacDiarmid

And so the catwalk comes alive on the upper level, with a breathtaking 130 haute couture creations on models appearing as guests. They are arranged pretty haphazardly amongst the aforementioned white chairs, almost with abandon, without any rigid chronological order. Empty seats bear the names of the great and the good that have worn Valentino and attended countless shows: Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Carla Bruni, Diane Kruger, Iman; Diana Vreeland herself.

Valentino S/S 1998 by Annie Rickard Straus

Valentino A/W 1992 by Sandra Contreras

La dolce vita comes alive as you make your way along the displays, featuring floor-sweeping gowns, kaftans, trouser suits and capes. I particularly enjoyed the 1990s section – creations designed with the decadent abandon of an era when the supermodel ruled fashion and Valentino, Gianni Versace and pals were bending over backwards knee-deep in gold chains to appease them. These pieces were without doubt the height of fashion, but have dated the most. Compare these to some numbers from the 1960s: they’re indistinguishable from the output of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli, heading Valentino, over recent seasons.

Valentino S/S 2005 by Jamie Wignall

Valentino S/S 1969 by Maya Beus

The show’s dramatic finale sees Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece‘s wedding dress come to life on a dramatic platform. This pearl-encrusted ivory silk gown features a 4.5m train and 12 kinds of lace. Sure.

Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding dress

While I wouldn’t wear it, it’s one of the greatest examples of dressmaking in history and this presentation allows you to see the astonishing detail in the flesh.

Valentino S/S 2004 by Krister Selin

I particularly enjoyed a personal tribute to le regazze – the girls – the loyal atelier that have produced innumerable tulles, mock-ups and eventual red-carpet-ready frocks for the Grand Master’s enormous following. They’re the stars of groundbreaking documentary film Valentino: The Last Emperor, bickering as they lovingly stitch the last couture collection by the man himself. In the exhibition we’re spoiled with an education of Italian atelier terms – such beauties as ‘Incrostazioni‘ ‘Drappeggio‘ and ‘Budellini‘, a couture technique specific to Valentino where double charmeuse silk is rolled and sewn around a looped length of wool. Each term has a visual representation, occupying a glass box and highlighting the important role that these individual processes have played in Valentino‘s roaring success.

Valentino A/W 2002 by Jamie Wignall

Valentino S/S 1998 by Sandra Contreras

Unmissable. Go.

Categories ,Annie Rickard Straus, ,Budellini, ,catwalk, ,couture, ,Drappeggio, ,Embankment Galleries, ,emperor, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Grand Master, ,Incrostazioni, ,Italy, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Krister Selin, ,le regazze, ,london, ,Marie-Chantal, ,Matt Bramford, ,Maya Beus, ,Natalia Vodianova, ,Peter MacDiarmid, ,Rome, ,runway, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Somerset House, ,The Last Emperor, ,Valentino Garavani

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vivienne Westwood Shoes, An Exhibition 1973 – 2010, at Selfridges

Naomi Campbell wears Vivienne Westwood (1993), viagra sale illustrated by Krister Selin

It isn’t very often that a specific fashion designer is singularly celebrated for their contributions to fashion; when the V&A presented the Vivienne Westwood retrospective in 2004, medicine fashion fans were delirious at the opportunity to revel amongst the creations of our most fashionable Dame. This month, viagra the team at Selfridges reopen the Westwood archives and present a glorious exhibition devoted entirely to Vivienne Westwood’s revolutionary footwear.

Vivienne Westwood, illustrated by Abi Daker

What began as a calm stroll into central London on a bank holiday Monday soon descended into chaos – it was absolutely heaving (and to those of you shouting OF COURSE IT WAS YOU BLOODY IDIOT at the screen – yeah, I know). A text to remind me I was going to a party at Shoreditch House as early as 6pm didn’t help either, so me and the other half legged it down Oxford Street to catch the exhibition, and thank heavens we did.

Located in the chic Ultralounge on the lower ground floor of Selfridges (where previous exhibitions and pop-ups have occurred, including the brilliant 100 years of Selfridges display), the room features long rows of glass cabinets holding a huge selection of Westwood footwear from over the years. The black walls are sparse, with a few large images from advertising campaigns and of Our Viv herself dotted here and there, and a show reel of some of Westwood’s awe-inspiring catwalk shows at the back of the room, featuring a soundtrack of sexed-up national anthems and punk hits. It is, however, row after row of shoes displayed like the crown jewels that capture the imagination the most.

Ordered chronologically, the exhibition charts the literal rise and rise of Dame Viv’s footwear, from surviving examples from SEX and Seditionaries, (including leopard mules worn by SEX shop assistant Jordan) right through to Propoganda pirate boots (worn mostly by the gays and people from Leeds) and pairs seen at the most recent fashion weeks. The most interesting comparison drawn when you’ve seen every pair is that there isn’t much of a comparison at all – similar shapes and themes are echoed through the ages, shoes that have been consistently daring and innovative.

Illustration by Joana Faria

There must be over 100 pairs on display, all of which are a delight to view, but here are some of my favourites:

Mock Crock Elevated Gillie from Anglomania, AW 1993

Frilly petit-pied sandal (there is a shoe in there somewhere) from Blue Sky, SS 2005

Elevated court shoe in PVC, 1994, illustrated by Dee Andrews

Can shoes, from Ultra Feminity, SS 2003

Biba shoes, from Le flou taillé, AW 2003

MAN coin sandals, from MAN, SS 2005

Swarovski court shoe with Gina, from 56, SS 2008

The exhibition is supported by Melissa, the wonderful Brazilian-born ethical label that champions Melflex®, the recycled plastic phenomenon that uses sustainable and environmentally friendly production processes. Beginning with plastic versions of iconic Vivienne Westwood shoes, the collaboration has grown to include many of the archive styles on display at the exhibition (re-imagined in plastic, of course).

Exhibitions of this calibre, celebrating our fashion designers and presented so brilliantly, don’t come around very often. So if you’re in London and anywhere near Selfridges, do check it out – you won’t be disappointed.

Illustration by Meera Lee

Until 22 September, admission free.

Get all the important details here.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,1973-2010, ,catwalk, ,Dame Viv, ,exhibition, ,footwear, ,Jordan, ,london, ,Meliflex, ,Melissa, ,Oxford Street, ,Plastic dreams, ,Seditionaries, ,Selfridges, ,SEX, ,shoes, ,Ultralounge, ,va, ,Vivienne Westwood

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Amelia’s Magazine | Yifang Wan, Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Gabriel Ayala

Fashion Week A/W 2013 got off to a cracking start on Friday, for anybody who actually turned up. I didn’t, thanks to the effects of an anti-Valentine’s cocktail binge, instead spent the evening in bed with fish and chips and half a bottle of Rioja. So it was Saturday morning where my season started, heading as I did to this season’s Fashion Scout Merit Award winner – Yifang Wan.

Photography by Amelia Gregory

Previous Merit Award winners including David Koma, Felder Felder, William Tempest and Leutton Postle have all gone on to establish successful labels and the pressure of such previous acclaim must be terrifying — but its effects weren’t evident in this polished collection by Yifang Wan.

Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

All other photography by Matt Bramford

Record numbers packed the ‘white room’ of the Freemasons’ Hall, and so my view of the show was framed by a diminutive Frenchman wielding a microphone like a maniac and a very excitable girl with masses of hair. Her head was all over the place trying to secure a good shot and I was forced to perform a strange sort of swaying dance with my zoom lens, not unlike an Emperor penguin.

Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

I’d briefly taken an interest in Wan‘s work when the Merit prize was awarded at the beginning of the year, and her previous collections draw inspiration from her Asian heritage and long, draped silhouettes dominate her previous outings. So it was no surprise, in the best possible way, to see these themes continued for A/W 2013, with inspiration from performance artist ‪Marina Abramović‬, most famous for sitting in a smock and staring at New Yorkers in the MOMA for 700 hours.

Only four rich colours featured in this collection – deep blue, green, red and black in thick fabrics. Jackets came with triangular slices removed almost with abandon as fabrics draped asymmetrically and architecturally. Almost every piece skimmed the floor, while fabric swayed and draped in different directions with emphasis on Far Eastern cuts. Each piece was accessorised with intriguing angular sculptural pieces, some worn around necks, others carried almost like weaponry.

Yifang Wan is no stranger to awards, having won the L’Oreal Professionel Award at Saint Martins as an MA student. Her £25,000 prize this season will hopefully propel the designer’s label in the direction it deserves.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,A/W’13, ,catwalk, ,Central Saint Martins, ,East, ,Fashion Scout, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Kimono, ,marina abramovic, ,Matt Bramford, ,Merit Award, ,Orient, ,review, ,Yifang Wan

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