Amelia’s Magazine | The 3rd Annual Fashioning the Future Awards


Caryn Franklin hosting the ceremony, by Antonia Parker

The third annual Fashioning the Future Awards took place last Thursday, where guests from the world of fashion, business and sustainable living came together to celebrate international sustainable fashion talent. Supported by the United Nations, the awards promote students who produce fashion with conscience.

The setting for this glamorous occasion – the East Wintergarden, part of the Canary Wharf complex – seemed a little unusual in the wake of the current financial crisis, and it’s not the first destination I’d think of if I wanted to host a conscious do. But, I was to learn, that Canary Wharf are committed to environmental issues. The Canary Wharf Group is, in fact, one of the country’s top ‘green’ companies.


Two of the finalists’ work by Joana Faria

Inside the venue, a load of wooden cogs had been dotted around the room, on which frozen models posed for the duration of the evening. Large zoetropes descended from the ceiling, requiring manmade kinetic power to operate that involved guests turning winches in order for them to animate. Drinks flowed and there was no obvious stage or focal point, creating a strange but enjoyable atmosphere that allowed guests to freely mingle amongst the spools and lights.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Circular tubes also hung from the celing, a little lower than average height, in which guests could stand, head fully immersed inside, and listen to interviews with the shortlisted nominees while looking a little silly. It all made for good fun and took the sometimes stifling atmosphere of these kind of events quickly away.

The ceremony itself was delayed in the hope that the members of the celebrity judging panel who could make it (Erin O’Connor and Lucy Siegle had already pulled out for unspecified reasons) would eventually show up. It was repeatedly announced that Jo Wood and BFC chairman Harold Tillman were, together, stuck in traffic. Eventually the producers of the awards gave up and the show commenced, glamourously hosted by fashion protagonist Caryn Franklin. The lights dimmed and Caryn took her place in the centre of the room under one of the zoetropes. Guests were invited to sit, anywhere, or stand to view the ceremony.


Jo Wood and Harold Tillman stuck in traffic by Gareth A Hopkins

Five awards were presented across a diverse range of subjects, including design and innovation, under this year’s theme: Biodiversity.


One of the finalists’ work by Jaymie O Callaghan

Unique Balance
Sara Emilie Terp Hansen scooped the coveted prize for Unique Balance with her intriguing and aesthetically brilliant collection made from cork. The judges said Sara Emilie had ‘found an opportunity to utilise an unexpected material in a fashion context, allowing nature to dictate design.’ It was quite the striking collection and Sara, one of the only recipients to collect her award in person, looked heartwarmingly shocked to receive the award.


One of the finalists’ work by Justyna Sowa

Unique Materials and Processes
The second award, for Unique Materials and Processes, was due to be presented by the aforementioned Jo Wood. Guests still hoped she would leg it in last minute and snatch the mic, but still no joy. Massive props must go to Alex McIntosh from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion who took to the stage (metaphorically speaking as there wasn’t one, of course) and presented also absent Evelyn Lebis‘ wearable light collection with the award.


One of the finalists’ work by Katrina Conquista

Unique Enterprise
Australian Alice Payne scooped the Enterprise award for her conceptual approach to business. ‘Think Lifecycle’ is a sort of social media platform for big companies, allowing them to harness environmental sustainability across the entire business. No, I didn’t completely understand it either, but I did like her spider diagrams.

Unique Design
LCF graduate Lara Torres picked up the award for Unique Design. Professor Frances Corner OBE, head of the LCF, said ‘ironically the design category was the hardest to judge; it’s very hard not to fixate on the idea that the winning entry has to be a perfectly realised garment’. In fact, it wasn’t – Lara’s entry examined the role of the fashion designer in modern society and the relationship we have with the clothing we wear.

The Body Shop One to Watch Award
The final award, presented by Ann Massal, International Brand Director of The Body Shop, went to Ashley Brock, who had flown all the way from the USA for the occasion. Eek. It was a sort of all-encompassing award for the prize student who hadn’t been acknowledged in the other categories. Ashley’s collection showed how ‘seemingly obsolete garments can be re-purposed’.


Erin O’ Connor realxing in the shower and Jo Wood stuck in traffic by Antonia Parker

And so the awards were wrapped up with a brief catwalk show where models stood up from their spools, sashayed around the room and then formed an imposing group under the centre spotlight. Still no sign of Jo Wood or Harold Tillman. It was a marvellous ceremony – genuinely unique – and a celebration of wearable sustainable fashion. I did wonder if it was entirely appropriate that these two were sitting in a car somewhere when they were supposed to be part of an environmentally-aware event (why they didn’t just get out of their bloody cars and get on the bloody tube is beyond me) but infact it didn’t matter; it made the evening entirely about the fashion, the winners, and the real message.

Categories ,Alex McIntosh, ,Alice Payne, ,Ann Massal, ,Antonia Parker, ,BFC, ,Biodiversity, ,Canary Wharf, ,Caryn Franklin, ,Centre for Sustainable Fashion, ,Ceremony, ,East Wintergarden, ,Enterprise, ,environmental, ,Erin O’ Connor, ,ethical, ,Evelyn Lebis, ,fashion, ,Fashion the Future Awards, ,Frances Corner OBE, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,green, ,Harold Tillman, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Jo Wood, ,Joana Faria, ,Justyna Sowa, ,Katrina Conquista, ,Lara Torres, ,LCF, ,London College of Fashion, ,Lucy Siegle, ,Matt Bramford, ,Sara Emilie Terp Hansen, ,The Body Shop, ,unique, ,united nations, ,Womenswear, ,Zoetropes

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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 | Treasure: London Jewellery Week 2012 Show Review

Grace Hamilton at Treasure by Claire Kearns

Grace Hamilton at Treasure by Claire Kearns

Being a jewellery designer myself I was thrilled to have an invitation to the press view of Treasure at Somerset House during London Jewellery Week, which took place from the 11th to the 17th of June. I particularly enjoy Treasure, as opposed to The Jewellery Show for instance, as it showcases a wider variety of styles and more contemporary cutting edge jewellery. I really enjoyed going around the show talking to designers – all of whom somehow managed to look like models – and here is a selection of my favorite encounters of the night…

Treasure-show-Pip-Jolley-photo-by-Maria-Papadimitriou

Exciting jewellery was on show immediately upon entering. Pip Jolley was not one of the exhibitors, but a jewellery designer working at the welcoming desk and I loved her roller necklace – her own design.

Tatty Devine at Treasure by Naomi Wilkinson

Tatty Devine at Treasure by Naomi Wilkinson

Treasure show Flavie Michou photo by Maria Papadimitriou

In the Fashion Gallery the first thing that caught my eye were these Lady Skull Rings by Flavie Michou. Some of them have movable jaws!

Treasure show Jessica de Lotz photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Then it was Jessica De Lotz, whose work I knew of and admired. Jessica makes narrative based collections and works with vintage pieces. This fabulous ring called ‘Edith’s cheeky winking eye ring’ is from her ‘Edith Mary Baldwin Collection’ inspired by a framed baptismal certificate, dated 1909, found by Jessica at Portobello Market.

Rachel Galley at Treasure by Sally Cotterill

Rachel Galley at Treasure by Sally Cotterill

Treasure show Daniel Claudio Ramos Y Munoz photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Daniel Claudio Ramos Y Muñoz was showing these bangles in beautiful colours. Two of them can be worn together as they fit into each other and the clever bit is that they can serve as a carrier bag support in your hands when you do your shopping!

Treasure Treasure show Lehmann & Schmedding Marilyn Brooch photo by Maria Papadimitriou

In the Design Gallery I saw Lehmann & Schmedding’s ‘Marilyn Brooch’. Aramith spheres with little magnets in them energise each other and hold onto cloth.

Treasure show Yoko Izawa photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Yoko Izawa’s stand had these fabric covered flakes, which did not look like jewellery at first sight, but when she put them on, they became super cool rings. I also quite like that her jewellery has some philosophical meaning for her behind it: ‘Veiled jewellery reflects my assumption that although certainty is often required in modern society, ambiguous expression has been the most distinctive characteristic found in Japanese values and religious beliefs‘.

Jessica De Lotz at Treasure by EdieOP

Jessica De Lotz at Treasure by EdieOP

Treasure show Christiane Wichert 1 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Treasure show Christiane Wichert 2 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I loved Christiane Wichert’s bold, sticky jewellery. The green brooch stuck on her skin like a suction cup and some of her other pieces also stuck on clothes.

Treasure show Jenny Llewellyn 2 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

This necklace is from Jenny Llewellyn’s ‘Plume’ collection of hollow silicone cups that glow in the dark. I liked not only its bold colour and shape, but also that the cups looked like they were made from a hard material but when I touched them they felt so soft I did not want to stop squeezing them.

Imogen Belfield at Treasure by Lucy Robertson

Imogen Belfield at Treasure by Lucy Robertson

Treasure show Rachel Galley Jewellery photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I was happy to see some larger body jewellery at Rachel Galley’s stand. This is a larger piece from her ‘Enkai Sun Collection’ inspired by Rachel’s travels in Tanzania.

Treasure show Tatty Devine photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Of course Tatty Devine are always a favorite! I love seeing their larger, more couture pieces. Coincidentally, I saw a lovely photo recently of Kate Nash wearing this necklace.

Treasure show Grace Hamilton photo by Maria Papadimitriou

The Emerge Gallery had tons of talent on display. Grace Hamilton’s beautiful statement accessories are handcrafted using traditional crochet and knotting techniques.

Treasure show Imogen Belfield photo by Maria Papadimitriou

It was great to at last meet the young, talented designer that is Imogen Belfield and her sales manager Emma Crosby, both good friends of Amelia’s Magazine. Imogen makes gorgeous textured jewellery influenced by nature, architecture and in some cases, as she told me, by shapes in packaging. Matt Bramford did a lovely interview with Imogen Belfield a little while ago in Amelia’s Magazine.

Treasure show Claire English photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Claire English was another designer drawing inspiration from everyday objects, such as matchsticks, and I loved her display which included corks!

Treasure show Gina Melosi photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Gina Melosi’s ‘Broken Promises’ collection featured pieces moulded from broken glass This necklace is moulded from a broken gin bottle.

Flavie Michou at Treasure by Polly Stopforth

Flavie Michou at Treasure by Polly Stopforth

Treasure show Jessica Flinn photo by Maria Papadimitriou

I liked Jessica Flinn’s hand printed and gold plated Floral Lace Collar Necklace and Rose Lace Curved Cuff.

Treasure show Diane Turner Jewellery photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Finally in the Emerge Gallery Diane Turner showed pieces created by growing metal on natural fissures in the wood.

Treasure show Emma Ware photo by Maria Papadimitriou

In the Essence Gallery, Treasure’s ethical jewellery gallery, I found Emma Ware, another Amelia’s Magazine favorite. Emma makes beautiful one off pieces by juxtaposing malleable dark rubber with polished metal and look at her refreshing display using plant pots!

Treasure show Linnie Mclarty photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Linnie Mclarty won me over again with her swirly, recycled silver rings.

Treasure show Renush photo by Maria Papadimitriou

One of the best pieces from Renush was this necklace made from assembled leather left overs.

Treasure show Mel White Jewellery photo by Maria Papadimitriou

And my last pick from the Essence Gallery was this pair of elegant cufflinks by Mel White Jewellery made with recycled silver and limited edition reclaimed British wood off-cuts.

Treasure show Sarah Elizabeth Jones photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Finally, in the Design Space room I was impressed by Sarah Elizabrth Jones’ collection which explores her experimentation with the material wood veneer, to create fascinating pieces of body adornment, such as this brooch.

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,Christiane Wichert, ,Claire English, ,Claire Kearns, ,Daniel Claudio Ramos Y Munoz, ,Design Space, ,Diane Turner Jewellery, ,Edie OP, ,Emma Crosby, ,Emma J Crosby, ,Emma Ware, ,Essence gallery, ,Flavie Michou, ,Gina Melosi, ,Grace Hamilton, ,Imogen Belfield, ,Jenny Llewellyn, ,Jessica De Lotz, ,Jessica Flinn, ,jewellery, ,Kate Nash, ,Lehmann & Schmedding, ,Linnie McLarty, ,London Jewellery Week, ,Lucie Robertson, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Matt Bramford, ,Mel White Jewellery, ,Naomi Wilkinson, ,Pip Jolley, ,Polly Stopforth, ,Rachel Galley, ,Renush, ,Sally Cotterill, ,Sarah Elizabeth Jones, ,Somerset House, ,Tatty Devine, ,The Jewellery Show, ,Treasure, ,Ware, ,Yoko Izawa

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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 | Xander Zhou: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review


Xander Zhou S/S 2014 by Isher Dhiman

Sometimes I look at fashion week press releases with the same disdain that I do art gallery captions. I have absolutely no idea where some of the designers (or press personnel) get their ideas from. I often stifle giggles as I read them, waiting for somebody to pop out and say ‘we had you there, didn’t we!’ And so it was highly refreshing when I arrived at Xander Zhou, my final show of this London Collections: Men season, to find not a rigid press release but a selection of thought-provoking words. Words like ‘personal’ ‘cosmetic’ ‘online’ ‘variety’ and, erm, ‘Thai boxing’ flooded a sheet of purple card.


All photography by Matt Bramford

I have to hold my hands up and say that I didn’t know much about Xander Zhou before this show. It turns out he studied industrial design in China and fashion design in the Netherlands, both of which have clearly had a resounding effect on his collections.

I was back inside the Old Sorting Office for the last time and by this point I’d worked out where the best spot was. An obscure, celestial soundtrack and a model clad in a beige latex blazer and shorts launched this S/S 2014 collection, which was to explore the internet and cyberspace through a range of futuristic garments. A selection of latex aprons followed, in muted colours, worn over crisp white shirts. Thin white garters worn on thighs and detachable collars completed these looks.

The collection then took a curveball direction into smart, dark tailoring with futuristic elements: double-breasted overcoats toyed with proportions and featured elongated sleeves; discrete checks, almost invisible to the naked eye, were constructed into sleeveless jackets and loose-fitting trousers.

More surrealist tailoring followed, including waistcoats with differing lengths and blocks of complimentary colours. Jackets nipped in at the waist to give a slightly feminine silhouette, styled with basic leather slip-ons.

Then came the most dramatic pieces. Show-stopping knee-length coats hammered home Xander Zhou’s internet-based inspiration, featuring images such as Google search pages, Facebook symbols, internet memes and dramatic photography – a masterclass in print.

More tailoring closed the show; pastel-coloured playsuits featured black highlights, but it will be the printed coats that I remember this show for.

Categories ,China, ,cyberspace, ,internet, ,Isher Dhiman, ,LCM, ,LCMSS14, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Old Sorting Office, ,tailoring, ,Xander Zhou

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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 vogue.fr 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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Amelia’s Magazine | YMC: London Collections: Men S/S 2014 Catwalk Review

YMC S/S 2014 by Natasha Likes Tea

Fraser Moss and Jimmy Collins borrowed legendary designer Raymond Loewy‘s slogan ‘you must create‘ to launch their label back in 1995. The brand constantly evolves, better known by the acronym YMC, but the ethos behind Loewy’s words resonate through the heart of the clothing label even today.


All photography by Matt Bramford

A YMC show feels a bit like respite on the London Collections: Men line-up. The Corbusian mantra ‘form follows function’ runs through the core, and to judge them against Craig Green or Astrid Andersen would be totally missing the point. Relaxed tailoring with a modern edge, minimal silhouettes and unassuming, stylish, wearable separates have become the brand’s signatures.

This season the YMC boys took over the Old Sorting Office where I’d previously seen Topman Design. I derived pretty quickly that this was going to be right up my straße in comparison. A quietly confident crowd saw striped blazers and bombers with matching shorts, fusing the brand’s utilitarian aesthetic with a fun summer flavour.


YMC S/S 2014 by Natasha Likes Tea

These bold opening offerings were quickly followed by the brand’s unmistakable denims, tees and casual shirts. A quilted jacket was given a modern twist with a haphazard, swirling design in Chombray. Crisp, linen shirts featured oversized polka dots and revealed intricate, childlike patterns on the reverse. Sportswear complimented these subtle twists, from tapered joggers to sleeveless bomber designs with zip pockets. Floral shirts were worn effortlessly.

Oversized checks then made an appearance in subtle blues and greens. Basic white t-shirts with luscious marine-blue gradient hems made me yearn for a decent fucking summer.

A range of jackets closed the show: a blue overcoat with synched hood and sleeves, a play on the French utilitarian jacket and an oversized overcoat-cum-poncho with slits in the sides to expose arms.

Many a menswear designer could learn a thing or two from YMC‘s inimitable, laid-back blend of cool.

Categories ,fashion, ,LCM, ,LCMSS14, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Natasha Likes Tea, ,Old Sorting Office, ,SS14, ,YMC

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ziad Ghanem: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Helena Maratheftis

Ziad Ghanem‘s catwalk shows are always momentous: massively oversubscribed, a cat-fight to get into and an array of weird and wonderful creatures desperate to get a glimpse of what the ‘cult couturier’ has delivered this season.


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Michael Arnold

So imagine my surprise when I arrived a mere fifteen minutes late to find that the show had already started. I darted up the Freemasons’ Hall‘s stairs and the vivacious models were already wowing the crowds. It was a struggle to take pictures between the illustrious millinery of Ziad‘s fans; the pictures that feature here aren’t amazing, particularly since you can’t actually see much of the clothes…


All photography by Matt Bramford

As always, it’s impossible to define this collection in terms of trends or style. It would perhaps be easier to talk about what didn’t appear – you won’t find any tailored trenches or wearable basics here. Instead, Ziad is notorious, infamous and celebrated for frocks that defy seasonality. His blend of couture is one of the rare displays of truly unique craftsmanship at fashion week.

To describe the music as eclectic would be a massive understatement. Munroe Bergdorf had put together a mammoth mixtape of hits across the decades, most of which I now can’t remember so I’ve made a note to make more notes next season. I do remember David Bowie‘s Fashion, George Michael‘s Too Funky and Duran Duran‘s Notorious, tracks synonymous with the catwalk but given a different feel in the majestic setting of the Freemasons’ Hall.


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Helena Maratheftis

Effervescent models strode one after the other to rapturous applause and deafening whoops. This particular collection had been inspired by Andy Warhol‘s superstar transvestite Candy Darling, star of Flesh and muse of The Velvet Underground. Lavish make-up featured on every model, with Ziad‘s boys wearing as much as his girls. There were hints of the 1980s with Boy George-esque layering and vibrant African patterns.

Some dresses fitted so tightly that some models were forced to walk more slowly than others, while other pieces nipped at the waist but flourished at the hips. A completely diverse selection of fabrics were on offer – couture lace, organza, translucent contrasts and painted cottons. A terrifying model came out waving feathers… with her knockers out and doing a bird impression. Christ, this is hard work. Maybe just look at the pictures. Not that they do this collection any justice.

Monty Python‘s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life accompanied the finale, another unexpected twist as if we needed any more, but an uplifting statement and a glorious finish to this fashion week spectacle.

Categories ,A/W’13, ,boy george, ,couture, ,David Bowie, ,Duran Duran, ,fashion, ,Fashion Scout, ,Feathers, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,George Michael, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Michael Arnold, ,Monty Python, ,Munroe Bergdorf, ,Tits, ,Womenswear, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ziad Ghanem: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Helena Maratheftis

Ziad Ghanem‘s catwalk shows are always momentous: massively oversubscribed, a cat-fight to get into and an array of weird and wonderful creatures desperate to get a glimpse of what the ‘cult couturier’ has delivered this season.


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Michael Arnold

So imagine my surprise when I arrived a mere fifteen minutes late to find that the show had already started. I darted up the Freemasons’ Hall‘s stairs and the vivacious models were already wowing the crowds. It was a struggle to take pictures between the illustrious millinery of Ziad‘s fans; the pictures that feature here aren’t amazing, particularly since you can’t actually see much of the clothes…


All photography by Matt Bramford

As always, it’s impossible to define this collection in terms of trends or style. It would perhaps be easier to talk about what didn’t appear – you won’t find any tailored trenches or wearable basics here. Instead, Ziad is notorious, infamous and celebrated for frocks that defy seasonality. His blend of couture is one of the rare displays of truly unique craftsmanship at fashion week.

To describe the music as eclectic would be a massive understatement. Munroe Bergdorf had put together a mammoth mixtape of hits across the decades, most of which I now can’t remember so I’ve made a note to make more notes next season. I do remember David Bowie‘s Fashion, George Michael‘s Too Funky and Duran Duran‘s Notorious, tracks synonymous with the catwalk but given a different feel in the majestic setting of the Freemasons’ Hall.


Ziad Ghanem A/W 2013 by Helena Maratheftis

Effervescent models strode one after the other to rapturous applause and deafening whoops. This particular collection had been inspired by Andy Warhol‘s superstar transvestite Candy Darling, star of Flesh and muse of The Velvet Underground. Lavish make-up featured on every model, with Ziad‘s boys wearing as much as his girls. There were hints of the 1980s with Boy George-esque layering and vibrant African patterns.

Some dresses fitted so tightly that some models were forced to walk more slowly than others, while other pieces nipped at the waist but flourished at the hips. A completely diverse selection of fabrics were on offer – couture lace, organza, translucent contrasts and painted cottons. A terrifying model came out waving feathers… with her knockers out and doing a bird impression. Christ, this is hard work. Maybe just look at the pictures. Not that they do this collection any justice.

Monty Python‘s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life accompanied the finale, another unexpected twist as if we needed any more, but an uplifting statement and a glorious finish to this fashion week spectacle.

Categories ,A/W’13, ,boy george, ,couture, ,David Bowie, ,Duran Duran, ,fashion, ,Fashion Scout, ,Feathers, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,George Michael, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Michael Arnold, ,Monty Python, ,Munroe Bergdorf, ,Tits, ,Womenswear, ,Ziad Ghanem

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