Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011: best of Somerset House & New Gen stands.

Romina Karamanea skirt by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

For the past two seasons the good PRs for Romina Karamanea have ensured that there has been a ridiculously long queue of baying fashionistas gathered outside the venue before they will let anyone inside. And so it was that I found myself being battered around on the steps of the Freemasons’ Hall on Tuesday evening: it was late in the week and it wasn’t really what I wanted to deal with. My ex flatmate, physician a stylist that I used to work for at The Face – we fell out – elbowed her way through with a bit of a hissy fit. I was seriously considering just calling it a day and going right home. But then security announced that it was “too late for stars” meaning that the complex sticker system on invites was about to be ditched, visit this site and the PRs next to me agreed that the most important people were at the front anyway – that would include me! love it when I feel less of a pleb – and it all looked good to go.

Romina Karamanea pants by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

Ushered into one of the gorgeous upper halls I was seated only three chairs down from my nemesis, who of course refused to acknowledge me. Which is just fine, our relationship never recovered after she moved out of my house and refused to pay her outstanding rent. But it did make me smile. Oh happy days. A funny little girl in latex stockings was placed between us and quickly presented me with her card and a badge. I had to spend the whole show trying to take photos around her as she leaned into the catwalk to take hers, but in the grand tradition of fashion week poseurs she sure was good at attracting attention.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina-Karamanea-by-Lisa-Stannard
Romina Karamanea by Lisa Stannard.

For this season Greek born, Central Saint Martins trained Romina looked to abstract expressionism for inspiration, though as her press release cheekily says, basically “the designer had popped to see her artist friend Hermes for a glass of wine.” Three colour stories of white, bluey green and red explored passionate brush strokes and the patterns of natural phenomena and geology. Opposing structures morphed into one garment, voluminous swathes of chiffon colliding with cleanly structured tailoring. It was a big collection that included a smattering of menswear but my favourite pieces were undoubtedly the final ones, glorious rich red undergarments topped with sweeping patterned dresses. Utterly divine.

Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

I wasn’t aware that Romina Karamanea was an advocate of sustainable design until I found a leaflet featuring her work in the basement at Esthetica, where the Centre for Sustainable Fashion had a corner stand showcasing some of the designers they work with. This organisation was set up by the London College of Fashion, with the aim of “challenging and provoking the established fashion system to work towards the goals of promoting human well being and respecting nature’s limits, whilst creating beauty and style.” Fashion designers are invited to attend workshops and one to one mentoring sessions about how to implement sustainable design practices and apparently Romina is one of their ambassadors, which is very exciting news.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina-Karamanea-by-Lisa-Stannard
Romina Karamanea by Lisa Stannard.

But a line in the first paragraph of her blurb immediately made my heart sink just a tiny bit. And not just because of the bad grammar. “Each piece is designed to be loved and kept forever getting better over-time, hopefully like the wearer.” Along with the notion of upcycling (now a far trendier way to say recycling in fashion circles) and making the most of factory waste – both of which I hasten to add are admirable choices when it comes to making fashion – creating clothes to be worn for a long time has become a bit of a get out quick clause for designers. It’s an easy statement to trot out because high fashion is invariably all about luxury and has a price tag to match. Not many people who invest in designer pieces are likely to throw away their purchases every season.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

But let’s just stop and think a bit more here. The reality is that these designers continue to show new collections, and we are inevitably urged to delve deep and create ourselves a new wardrobe each time a new season comes around. I only very rarely buy new clothes myself but I can’t claim to be completely removed from the process because I also get really excited about new creativity on the catwalks. It’s an innate human excitement that you can’t take away, but it’s how we deal with that feeling that counts. Of course I am against throwaway mass produced fashion, but sustainability cannot be achieved merely by saying that people should treasure clothes forever, not whilst producing a new collection twice a year with no deeper links to sustainable practice.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Reading on, I applaud Romina Karamanea‘s efforts. She is careful to fully research her supply chain, reduce fabric waste, utilise low impact digital printing techniques and organic cottons. She’s an edgy designer with a big following who can really affect people’s perception of working in a sustainable way. But it’s interesting that none of this information was on the press release for the catwalk show, or on her website: after all, who wants to be pigeonholed? It says a lot about how we still perceive an ethical imperative in design.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

LFW-Cecilia Mary Robson-Andrea-Peterson
Cecilia Mary Robson by Andrea Peterson.

As well as all the shows there are of course a huge number of static stands to visit during LFW. Generally I manage to whip around them in something of a frenzy, there making mental notes of what to cover over the the ensuing months and accepting business cards but never with the intention of a proper write up on this ‘ere blog. This time though, I determined to do it properly. Because I want to support new designers that I like. Despite the fact that I myself (and this website) is deemed so unworthy of encouragement from the BFC that I made a staggering £19 from a Mercedes sponsored BFC advert over the course of LFW. It would be nice if I myself was to receive some support. Just a little bit. You know, enough to keep this darn blog rolling… because right now it’s in severe danger of death: I need to eat you know.

Somerset House SS2011 Tata Naka shoes
Tata Naka shoes. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

That bit of moaning done and dusted, here’s the low down of the best bits that I saw at Somerset House, both in New Gen and on the main stands. Some of it will have appeared on the catwalk, but if we didn’t make it to the show for whatever reason or didn’t get tickets I’ll cover it here instead. Note to designers: we’d prefer to see your catwalk show wherever possible. I’ll cover jewellery and Esthetica in other blogs.

Somerset House SS2011 Grazia helium dogs
Grazia helium dogs.

Tata Naka
This Georgian sister duo is one of my favourites – I used to style with their clothing a lot, most memorably in a shoot I did in the first ever issue of Amelia’s Magazine. They used to have quite a high profile but that has taken a bit of a nosedive in recent years – probably due to their decision to place more emphasis on creating a solid commercial business. But over the last few seasons they have been slowly creeping back into the centre of the fashion storm and I was very sad to have missed their presentation this year. My own error entirely. This season, like fellow independents Tatty Devine and Drowned in Sound (a very good music website) they were celebrating their 10th anniversary. Whilst perusing the gorgeous printed and embroidered kaftans and playsuits I got thoroughly distracted by a mad buyer who was trying on all the clothes and demanding fabric and colour changes. She was no doubt very important but downright scary: she watched over me whilst I deleted a photo of her (only wanted to get the outfit on someone to be illustrated, honest guv)

tata naka by genie espinosa
Tata Naka by Genie Espinosa.

DavidDavid
Two brothers, one who designs, the other with the business brains *oh why wasn’t I born with a business minded sister? sigh* DavidDavid have been on my radar since I first spotted their unique geometric designs in Mandi Lennard‘s press office many a moon ago. Back then I presumed some feisty young club kid was responsible – but I was clearly wrong: at least one of these designers was seen carrying his kid through the courtyard at Somerset House. Upstarts they ain’t.

Somerset House SS2011 DavidDavid
Somerset House SS2011 DavidDavid

This season’s collection was fetchingly presented against the light beaming through the window… pastel blocks marched against white and grey backgrounds on signature simple tees. But I think what I’d really like most this season is a chair covered in their fabric.

Somerset House SS2011 DavidDavid
DavidDavid.

Felicity Brown
Felicity Brown was discovered in one of the funny little New Gen huts: all froufrou dip dyed cascades of silk ruffled fabric, it reminded me of some much loved 70s dresses that I own. Inspiration was found in the shameless females in paintings of Toulouse-Lautrec. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art Felicity has worked with loads of top designers including Mulberry and Lanvin. Utterly fabulous.

Somerset House SS2011 Felicity Brown
Somerset House SS2011 Felicity Brown
Felicity Brown by Monique Anderson
Felicity Brown by Monique Anderson
Felicity Brown by Monique Anderson.

Mary Katrantzou
I was intrigued by Mary Katrantzou last season but sadly we were not to be recipients of a catwalk ticket – and thus missed the lampshade skirts in action. I nevertheless enjoyed a close up view of her digitally reworked prints of classic 70s glamour photography from Newton and Bourdin.

Somerset House SS2011 Mary Katrantzou
Somerset House SS2011 Mary Katrantzou
LFWSS11 Mary Katrantzou_KitLee
Mary Katrantzou by Kit Lee.

Yang Du
Yang Du was another designer that grabbed my attention last season. She creates huge surrealist sweater dresses in playful designs, and I was particularly taken by the crocodile top. But full marks also have to go for her display, which was really quite special – huge blow up eyeballs, lion finger puppets and masks… and not forgetting the helium dogs (see above for a picture). Oh hang on, they were a freebie from some magazine… still great though.

Somerset House SS2011 Yang Du
Somerset House SS2011 Yang Du
Somerset House SS2011 Yang Du
Somerset House SS2011 Yang Du
Yang Du by Genie Espinosa.
Yang Du by Genie Espinosa.

Klavers Van Engelen
Klavers Van Engelen were spotted in the Eastern Block room. Beautiful relaxed European design from these Dutch designers.

Somerset House SS2011 Klavers Van Engelen
Somerset House SS2011 Klavers Van Engelen
Klavers Van Engelen by Fiona M Chapelle
Klavers Van Engelen by Fiona M Chapelle
Klavers Van Engelen by Fiona M Chapelle.

Cecilia Mary Robson
The Cecilia Mary Robson collection was absolutely adorable and right up my street – watch a movie of these cute brightly coloured patch work dresses and skirts here.

Cecilia Mary Robson by Andrea Peterson
Cecilia Mary Robson by Andrea Peterson
Cecilia Mary Robson by Andrea Peterson.

Bebaroque
I only spotted the fabulous Bebaroque beaded tights as they were packing up to go home, and so didn’t get much of a chance to check out what they were made from and how well they might stand up to some heavy wear. But they sure looked bloody brilliant. Scottish designers Mhairi McNicol and Chloe Patience studied at the Glasgow School of Art before hooking up to start their hosiery business. If you fancy sending me a pair to test drive I’d sure like to give them a go ladies.

LFW SS2011 Bebaroque

Christopher Raeburn
Where to start with Christopher Raeburn? He appears to have made that tricky transition from Esthetica to the loftier climes of New Gen. Which is a good thing. Since we first started to champion his environmentally friendly designs he has expanded his anorak making repertoire – I really loved all the new bright colourways with giant spot prints. But I’m still smarting over the fact that he declined to give me a leftover rabbit, despite my very vocal appreciation of these cleverly designed little buggers and despite the continued support this blog has given him. And having seen lots of other apparently more *emminent* fashionistas carrying said rabbits around tucked smugly under their arms. Hurumph.

Somerset House SS2011 Christopher Raeburn
Somerset House SS2011 Christopher Raeburn
Somerset House SS2011 Christopher Raeburn
LFW SS2011 Menswear Andrew davis
Andrew Davis with his rabbit.

Categories ,Andrea Peterson, ,Bebaroque, ,BFC, ,Cecilia Mary Robson, ,Chloe Patience, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,daviddavid, ,Eastern Block, ,esthetica, ,Felicity Brown, ,Fiona M Chapelle, ,Genie Espinosa, ,Hosiery, ,Kit Lee, ,Klavers Van Engelen, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mandi Lennard, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Mhairi McNicol, ,Monique Anderson, ,New Gen, ,Royal College of Art, ,Somerset House, ,Tata Naka, ,Tatty Devine, ,Yang Du

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: David Koma

LFW David Koma Maria del Carmen Smith
David Koma by Maria del Carmen Smith.

Last Monday’s shows opened with a double whammy from David Koma and Holly Fulton, illness which I shall review in separate blogs.

LFW David Koma by Maria del Carmen Smith
David Koma by Maria del Carmen Smith.

We wrote about David Koma as far back as his longer named incarnation when he graduated from his Central Saint Martins BA way back in 2007. His rise in popularity since then has been unstoppable, clothing many high profile celebrities including modern day sweetheart Cheryl Cole – in a heavily embellished dress for the X Factor. It was an instant talking point.

His modern take on glamour owes much to an eclectic life, equally split between three countries where David has spent appreciable amounts of time and of which this 24 year old regards himself as equal citizen. He was born and spent his early years in Georgia before moving to St Petersburg to study classical drawing (and which is where he presumably met his Russian wife). He then relocated again to the UK, where he studied at Saint Martins under the expert tutelage of Louise Wilson, who he idolises.

LFW David Koma by Maria del Carmen Smith
David Koma by Maria del Carmen Smith.

For S/S 2011 his collection was inspired by The Mariinsky Theatre of Saint Petersburg, and memories of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. A series of pleated skater dresses in sugary colours moved swiftly through abstract monochrome tailoring, shades of lemony yellow and onto gold party pieces, all accessorised by sky high platforms and big metal knuckledusters courtesy of a collaboration with Mawi.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

In official parlance this translates pretty much thus: Ballet silhouettes were combined with the more graphic shapes of cubist artist Fernand Leger to explore contradictions of fragility with physical and emotional strength.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
One cleverly cut dress even had me fooled that a model’s waist could be smaller than seems physically possible: I did an instant double take when I looked back at this photo.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

I loved this collection, so was a bit discombobulated when I discovered that David had used copious python skin in his show. Where does python come from? Were they caught in the wild or farmed? It’s not an industry I know much about, so when I ran into David at his New Gen stand I decided to give him a bit of a grilling.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

A quick question turned into a half an hour chat during which David was utterly charming the entire time. He’s determinedly upbeat about life and feels blessed to do what he loves the most; his precocious rise surely the result of much hard work as well as obvious talent.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

So, back to that python skin. It comes from an accredited factory farm – for pythons and crocodiles are farmed much as mink is. I feel quite uncomfortable about this – I am okay with the use of leather for outer clothing and shoes, safe in the knowledge that it is very much the waste product of a meat industry that is unlikely to go anywhere anytime soon.

Somerset House SS2011 David Koma
David Koma at Somerset House.

But I don’t buy into the idea that it’s ethically okay to farm animals purely to provide us with luxury goods – and no matter how accredited a farm might be on paper there are always going to be corners cut in reality on the factory floor. David’s take on it is that he is against fast consumerism, and therefore wants to create luxury garments that will be treasured for a long time. For this to be possible he wants to chose the best possible materials available – and if that means stripping a snake then so be it – that they will live on in a beautiful garment is enough for him. And he does not feel that fake fur or leather is a particularly ethical substitute, a fact with which I tend to agree. Another fair point he makes is that he would rather buy from a reputable farm than encourage any kind of black market. But this surely begs the question, how is a black market encouraged – except by the use of python leather in luxury must-have items? If you are able to remove questions of provenance from your mind all that gold python is very very beautiful.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Knuckledusters from Mawi.

David also admitted that he is considering the use of fur in his next collection, but as we parted he said I had made him think a bit more about this. Whether my words have had any effect remains to be seen but I really appreciate that he didn’t balk under my questioning and seems genuinely to be interested in engaging in the origin of his materials: he’s a very talented and increasingly influential designer and I hope he’ll make educated decisions in the future. In the meantime enjoy our pictures… and forget about any real live snakes in cages if you can.

David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
David Koma Gold Python on White By Fiona M Chapelle
David Koma “Gold Python on White” by Fiona M Chapelle.

Categories ,ballet, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Cheryl Cole, ,David Koma, ,Fernand Leger, ,Fiona M Chapelle, ,Fur, ,georgia, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise Wilson, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,Mawi, ,New Gen, ,Python skin, ,Russia!, ,Somerset House, ,St Petersburg, ,Swan Lake, ,The Mariinsky Theatre, ,X Factor

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week preview: an intimate interview with Bora Aksu

David Longshaw
For Spring Summer 2011, viagra 60mg David Longshaw says he was inspired by ‘chav dogs, cialis 40mg feathers and a ruffle or two and a story I wrote’. The tale apparently describes the outcome when some hoodies break into a stately home and end up dressing up in period clothing. I am waiting with baited breath to see the results! Don’t miss David’s upcoming round up of LFW exclusively for Amelia’s Magazine.

Eudon Choi

A/W 2010, photographed by Matt Bramford

Eudon Choi has been much talked-about over the six months that have passed since the last London Fashion Week. As well as being awarded Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Merit Award, he was named as a winner of the BFC Elle Talent Launch Pad. His Merit Award collection has been greatly anticipated; expect industrial references, masculine tailoring and military embellishments, cutting an edgy yet sophisticated silhouette.

Bernard Chandran


A/W 2010, photographed by Matt Bramford

Malaysia’s Prince of Fashion, Bernard Chandran, continued to impress with his powerful, glimmering AW2010 collection. Glamour prevailed; power shoulders were paired with luxe beading, sequins, feathers and exposed backs, providing the ultimate in wearable opulence. Look out for Lady Gaga and Florence Welch queuing up for his fresh flamboyance.

Eley Kishimoto

A/W 2010, photographed by Matt Bramford

Eley Kishimoto never fail to impress with their unmistakable graphic prints. Expect another eclectic mix for SS11, with inspiration cited as “imitation, 3D on 2D and clothes drying on a rack”. After a notably scaled-down, pop-up shop presence last Fashion Week, it will be interesting to see what they show this time at Shoreditch Studios.

Ziad Ghanem

Ziad Ghanem couture, illustrated by Joana Faria

When Matt Bramford recently interviewed coutourier Ziad Ghanem for Amelia’s Magazine, he revealed that he has been making a film for his new collection. After February’s show-stopping runway performance from Immodesty Blaize, the oncreen unveiling of his latest collection is eagerly anticipated.
Bora Aksu studio. by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu in his studio. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I’ve championed Bora Aksu since the very first issue of Amelia’s Magazine in print way back in 2004. The four times New Gen winner has come a long way since then…. As we head inexorably into the next manic edition of London Fashion Week the time has come to run an interview I did with the lovely Bora Aksu some months back, sales when he was kind enough to welcome me into his high ceilinged studio in West Ferry Studios, mind east London.

Zarina Liew bora aksu
Zarina Liew bora aksu
Zarina Liew bora aksu
Bora Aksu’s A/W 2010 collection by Zarina Liew.

Bora’s wonderful Autumn/Winter 2010 collection combined layers and flounces with corsetry and alienesque details. It was all about structure, approved layers and textures working together, but was it just me that saw the alien thing?
I suppose I was thinking about aliens when I designed the collection, but it was so subconscious that I didn’t even say anything to the team. I kept picturing things emerging from the body in a super natural way: other people have picked up on it since, but many have been more focused on the corsetry and 3D shapes. I love the way corsets create flattering shapes that compliment the body and I like muted colours because then they create more of a blank canvas so I can concentrate on line and texture. I suppose I like the colours in shadows, the in between colours that you can’t describe instantly – and then sometimes I like a splash of brighter colour. Luckily this all fits into the current trend for nudes. although I don’t deliberately follow trends. I like to think of it as mixing the sugary and the spiky, sort of Marie Antoinette meets Edward Scissorhands!

Bora Aksu by Faye West
Bora Aksu by Faye West.

How did you learn to work in this way?
You need to do the A-Z of design first so you know the whole process of pattern cutting and how to use fabrics, but being a good designer involves more than just technical training. The way you execute an idea is the most important part and this can’t be resolved with just paper and pencil – it needs a hands on approach. For example I like to do a lot of draping. In Turkey they have all the equipment but that’s not enough. The experimental mindset is lacking. I came to London 15 years ago to study, and even though I had no money I was surrounded by inspiration. You need to be able to make something beautiful out of nothing. That’s why in Turkey there is still the concept that to be successful you need to have designed abroad.

Bora Aksu bags
Bora Aksu shoes
Accessories hang in neat rows in Bora’s studio.

But isn’t it all changing in Turkey? There seems to be a bit of a buzz.
Turkey has a great cultural heritage and a strong factory supply base, but there was no fashion education to speak of when I came to study in the UK. However in the past ten years lots of universities have sprung up as fashion has become more popular as a career. Did you know there are now over 115 fashion weeks across the world? I love Istanbul but I don’t get back as often as I would like: I try to go for one month at a time between the February and September shows and I’ve done two seasons of Istanbul fashion week (including this year) but it’s not always possible to get away.

Bora Aksu by Maria del Carmen Smith-01
Bora Aksu by Maria del Carmen Smith.

What do your parents feel about your career in fashion?
Turkey is very family orientated and traditional: both my parents are doctors so I grew up breathing medical science. They were worried I wouldn’t be successful as an artist so my first degree was actually in business administration although I always knew I wanted to do ‘art and crafts’. Luckily I got accepted onto my second degree with only a sketch book to my name, but my marketing background bubbles up to the surface sometimes! But to give my parents full credit they were happy for me to follow my dream and stand by me which is an amazing feeling – to have not just their approval but their support. I have always been supported on my journey and my mother came to my first shows although she doesn’t like flying so she hasn’t been recently.

Bora Aksu collage
A mood board features one of Bora’s illustrations.

You famously attended the prestigious Central Saint Martins MA course. How did this shape you?
I spent a year working for Ghost because I didn’t want to go straight onto an MA, and I was massively influenced by their approach. Luckily it was a paid internship, which is rare to find now. It prepared me for the MA at Central Saint Martins, where it’s more like working for a company with strict deadlines. It is the Central Saint Martins ethos to breed creative beings whilst other colleges just think “let’s get our students a job in design” so most of time you are left to create designs on your own in a very free spirited way, which is a good platform to start from. You then have to present everything as a whole package in the best possible way so the students are really pushed and inevitably some people drop out because they can’t cope. My MA taught me that there are no rules in fashion and really gave me a chance to find my style.

Bora Aksu by Maria del Carmen Smith
Bora Aksu by Maria del Carmen Smith.

How did being in London influence your work?
In London so many different cultures are mixed together but somehow everything works in harmony, so you can be very free in your creativity. You see that especially in fashion: out of 10 students on my MA there were 7 different nationalities and I constantly meet people from other places: my wife Fella is from Mauritius. [she chatters away in Creole with his right hand man, who is also from Mauritius]. The Class of 2002 was pretty special: I graduated from my MA with Jens Laugesson, Jonathan Saunders, Miki Fugai and Richard Nichol.

Bora Aksu necklaces
Bora Aksu shoes 2
More stuff hanging up.

That’s pretty amazing! Are you in any way competitive with each other, or are you all good friends?
We’re not competitive because we’re all just busy doing our own thing and we all design so differently. People think of the coldness and isolation created by the fashion PR world, but it’s not like that on the creative side at all. There may only be a small market for consultancy but everyone has a place and we really help each other, for example we tell each other about good manufacturers to use and so on. I’ve also recently become friends with Mark Fast, who used to work on knitwear with me.

Bora Aksu by Maria del Carmen Smith
Bora Aksu by Maria del Carmen Smith.

Where does all this stuff in your studio come from?
I used to go to every single car boot fair in London, buying up old bags, army boots, old account books, handkerchiefs, laces, leather embossed bags… and I started to put things around me that I liked whilst designing a collection. I don’t think about whether the styles clash, I just go on my personal taste. I hang stuff up and take photos of it together whilst thinking about what to design.

Bora Aksu doll face
Bora Aksu manequinn
Bora Aksu doll
Mannequins around the studio sport collections of random objects.

What happens next?
I undo old garments so I can see the binding and hand finishing inside, which is often more beautiful than the outside. I’ve got boxes and boxes of stuff behind these walls – I try to get rid of stuff but I get emotionally attached to things and even if I only look at it once a year it’s comforting to know that it’s there. My mum is a collector so now she has an excuse to buy stuff too, because I might want it.

Bora Aksu dress by Joana Faria
Bora Aksu dress by Joana Faria.

How are you various collaborations going?
I’m still doing stuff with People Tree and will continue to do so, and I’m going to design a capsule collection for Anthropologie. It’s frustrating because the ethical thing should be more substantial and ongoing than it is. The western world has such a huge influence and every high street store should be more ethical; one t-shirt produced in Bangladesh has a huge knock on effect for whole families. But it’s no good producing undesirable garments because most teenagers don’t care where a garment is from, they just want fashionable clothing like celebrities wear. People Tree’s Safia Minney has a really good sense of what the customer wants, and we must concentrate on design.

Zarina Liew bora aksu PeopleTree
Bora Aksu’s People Tree collaboration by Zarina Liew.

How do you try to be ethical in the production of your own collections?
I source cotton from Turkey but I try to produce most of my clothes locally in the UK. Time is the main factor in producing ethical clothing – it takes much longer to design because of the limitations so you need to plan in advance. I also try to look for companies that are disappearing because there is no demand for their products. I’ve just been to the EcoChic show in Geneva where I found an ethical fish leather available in any colour, produced by some Brasilian fishermen. I use recycled latex. I’m not against leather but I don’t think its necessary to use fur – it may be nice to the touch but it’s not attractive and technology is so advanced we can surely make something else that’s similar.

Bora Aksu fabric metallic
Bora Aksu fabric
Close ups of the wonderful fabrics used in the A/W 2010 collection.

How do you find London Fashion Week these days?
I’m not sure the high turnover of new designers is such a good thing – it doesn’t happen in Paris or Milan. But then we don’t have big fashion houses and we’re known as a new talent hub. Maybe we need to emphasise that more, but all new designers also need to stand on their own two feet so they get a good buyer base: so many designers aren’t ready to deal with the whole business side of fashion.

What about working with Blow PR? You’ve had a close relationship for a long time haven’t you?
I’ve been looked after by them for over six years now and I love working with Blow PR – it’s become more of a friendship. My last collection was well received in the press and orders have been good.

Bora Aksu knit
Bora Aksu ruffles
More fabulous Bora fabrics.

And to finish on a cheeky note, you and Fella obviously work together very well. How did you get together?
We were flatmates and good friends first! She’s been my studio manager for five years and we used to live in the studio here but it all got a bit much so we now live in Angel, Islington, which means we can leave work behind. My friends have started to have kids, but it looks like hard work… I like to take the laid back approach – when you plan too much it usually doesn’t work because there’s a gap between imagination and what might happen. I always believe you should follow arrows, not push at doors.

Bora Aksu illustration
Bora Aksu illustration
Bora Aksu illustrations on the walls of his studio.

Before I leave Bora gives me a guided tour of his studio, where I have ample opportunity to feel his clothing up and marvel at some of his wonderful illustrations that adorn any gaps in the wall. Tomorrow Bora shows his S/S 2011 collection on the first day of London Fashion Week. There’s no doubting it will be every bit as magical as the last one was: he is one very special man.

Categories ,Anthropologie, ,Bora Aksu, ,EcoChic, ,Faye West, ,Joana Faria, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,New Gen, ,People Tree, ,Safia Minney, ,Zarina Liew

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Mary Katrantzou

thumb MFP
Maria_Francesca_Pepe_Abby_Wright_LFW

MariaFrancescaPepe LFW A/W 2011. Illustration by Abby Wright.

It was extremely dark in that first room. Save for a few lamps casting red strips of a blood-like glow. Certain points were lit up on the model, discount the shining metal spikes, the dull sheen of black leather and the pointed hat. I will be honest now. I had to check that the model was in fact a mannequin. She was. But checking was interesting. The light was so low and I was terrified she would move suddenly. An intimidating mannequin.

red

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 1

I wasn’t sure whether the rest of the models would be mannequins too, but as we entered slightly more light filled rooms, it was obvious that these ones were real. But they were also a higher level of scary. Two looked like mermaids trapped on rocks. Occasionally shifting, they looked confident, bored and yet super vulnerable and TRAPPED. I felt myself want to look at them closer, but then one of them looked me in the eye. Which was a shock. These models, with their purposefully lank, long hair, dark eyes, glossy and pale skin, ghostlike sheer dresses, and fabulous golden accessories looked like aliens. Of course ridiculously beautiful aliens.

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 5

Photography Helen Martin

I have to say that I was mesmerised by the back of one model. She had a golden, Egyptian styled headpiece, in the shape of eyes. The three main headpieces were forged by hand in resin and carbon steel, then varnished in opalescent acrylics and hand studded with brass and Swarovski hexagonal studs. They are designed in the style of medieval shields and helmets. The tiara for me was my favourite however, it looked regal and yet delicate and pretty. Also empowering, I imagine a useful attribute for whichever land she/you/me might be in. In contrast, although also empowering, MariaFrancescaPepe‘s shoes looked like something you could definitely cause GBH with. Not pretty, pretty – fierce! In a more sultry way than Rihanna fierce. With enormous spikes at the top, their cream colour, did little to belie their extra ridiculous height and metal danger.

Hels MFP 3

Hels MFP 3

Photography Helen Martin

Like the tiara, the majority of the presentation focused on eyes. Earrings, rings and chains…. EYES. This was a small issue for me. Ever since my brother told me the details of his eye operation at five years old, and then watching Dali’s eye slitting scene – ugh- I’m feeling sick as I write, I have been afraid of anything touching eyes. Or just weird eyes. And in truth… Dali. Cue sweeping generalisation alert: In terms of films, books, art and what I have seen; the 30s, like the 70s, seem like the scariest decades to me. Thus, when the saddest and scariest looking model of them all, looked at me right in the eye, with her incredibly, INTENSELY mesmerising own eyes, I didn’t know what to do. Transfixing model.

Hels MFP 5

Model looking at me… Photography Helen Martin

It’s not surprising that MariaFrancescaPepe has been heavily influenced by Dali’s surrealism for this collection. As I read: ‘Objects of magical meaning and of inner strength. A mask hides and reveals at the same time. Eyes are a mirror for the soul. Dali’s surrealism lesson has been learnt.’ The presentation was tribal and punky, but also ethereal and ghost-like. Almost like facing your own deep reality, that of the soul’s and our desires. The ‘ahhhhhhhhhhh’ music added to these fearful and reflective thoughts. It was as if MariaFrancescaPepe had gone through Indiana Jones’s chest of treasure, added in some Alien, X Files, lots of Dali and then Marilyn Manson on top. Sounds odd, is odd – but also very interesting. It comes as no surprise that Lady GaGa apparently ‘embodies’ MariaFrancescaPepe’s accessories.

Maria_Francesca_Pepe_Abby_Wright_LFW

MariaFrancescaPepe LFW A/W 2011. Illustration by Abby Wright.

It was extremely dark in that first room. Save for a few lamps casting red strips of a blood-like glow. Certain points were lit up on the model, prescription the shining metal spikes, cialis 40mg the dull sheen of black leather and the pointed hat. I will be honest now. I had to check that the model was in fact a mannequin. She was. But checking was interesting. The light was so low and I was terrified she would move suddenly. An intimidating mannequin.

red

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 1

I wasn’t sure whether the rest of the models would be mannequins too, see but as we entered slightly more light filled rooms, it was obvious that these ones were real. But they were also a higher level of scary. Two looked like mermaids trapped on rocks. Occasionally shifting, they looked confident, bored and yet super vulnerable and TRAPPED. I felt myself want to look at them closer, but then one of them looked me in the eye. Which was a shock. These models, with their purposefully lank, long hair, dark eyes, glossy and pale skin, ghostlike sheer dresses, and fabulous golden accessories looked like aliens. Of course ridiculously beautiful aliens.

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 5

Photography Helen Martin

I have to say that I was mesmerised by the back of one model. She had a golden, Egyptian styled headpiece, in the shape of eyes. The three main headpieces were forged by hand in resin and carbon steel, then varnished in opalescent acrylics and hand studded with brass and Swarovski hexagonal studs. They are designed in the style of medieval shields and helmets. The tiara for me was my favourite however, it looked regal and yet delicate and pretty. Also empowering, I imagine a useful attribute for whichever land she/you/me might be in. In contrast, although also empowering, MariaFrancescaPepe‘s shoes looked like something you could definitely cause GBH with. Not pretty, pretty – fierce! In a more sultry way than Rihanna fierce. With enormous spikes at the top, their cream colour, did little to belie their extra ridiculous height and metal danger.

Hels MFP 3

Hels MFP 3

Photography Helen Martin

Like the tiara, the majority of the presentation focused on eyes. Earrings, rings and chains…. EYES. This was a small issue for me. Ever since my brother told me the details of his eye operation at five years old, and then watching Dali’s eye slitting scene – ugh- I’m feeling sick as I write, I have been afraid of anything touching eyes. Or just weird eyes. And in truth… Dali. Cue sweeping generalisation alert: In terms of films, books, art and what I have seen; the 30s, like the 70s, seem like the scariest decades to me. Thus, when the saddest and scariest looking model of them all, looked at me right in the eye, with her incredibly, INTENSELY mesmerising own eyes, I didn’t know what to do. Transfixing model.

Hels MFP 5

Model looking at me… Photography Helen Martin

It’s not surprising that MariaFrancescaPepe has been heavily influenced by Dali’s surrealism for this collection. As I read: ‘Objects of magical meaning and of inner strength. A mask hides and reveals at the same time. Eyes are a mirror for the soul. Dali’s surrealism lesson has been learnt.’ The presentation was tribal and punky, but also ethereal and ghost-like. Almost like facing your own deep reality, that of the soul’s and our desires. The ‘ahhhhhhhhhhh’ music added to these fearful and reflective thoughts. It was as if MariaFrancescaPepe had gone through Indiana Jones’s chest of treasure, added in some Alien, X Files, lots of Dali and then Marilyn Manson on top. Sounds odd, is odd – but also very interesting. It comes as no surprise that Lady GaGa apparently ‘embodies’ MariaFrancescaPepe’s accessories.

Carlotta_Actis_Barone_Abby_Wright_LFW

LFW A/W Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Abby Wright

Well the third of Fashion Mode’s designers this Sunday was simply put: stunningly pretty and explosive. Frosted make up, abortion backcombed and massive hair, nurse beige skyscraper heels and icy pouts – all complimented utterly beautiful pieces from the designer. Carlotta Actis Barone drew gasps and ‘ooohs’ as her models sashayed down the catwalk. These girls were ice princesses. With enormous hoods, viagra fluffy shrugs, pom poms, exposed zips, extravagant fishtail dresses, flamboyant netting and super sleek, pencil skirts; they all had a heavenly, intense, snowy fairytale vibe.

Gemma Milly-Carlotta Actis Barone-Fashion Mode-A-W11

LFW A/W Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Gemma Milly

Reading about the designer, her artistic training has been life -long. Carlotta Actis Barone is the daughter of Italian visual artist Manuela Corti and writer Gianni Actis Barone. Although she discovered her true passion for fashion at the age of 24. During her study at Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design for a BA in Fashion Print, she went on a gap year, working with Korean designer Moon Young Hee, B.C.B.G Max Azria Manoukian and Balmain.. Explaining the bold colour use in her collection, we discover that Carlotta’s pieces are based around strong, feminine women. She often also has a political edge to her designs, and is extremely passionate about the ethical issues surrounding fashion. These ethical opinions are often reflected in her designs, this season being no exception. The Autumn/Winter 2011 collection focuses on cruelty against animals, with particular focus on fur, and seals. We all know fur is wrong, our animals should be celebrated, not worn. We at Amelia’s feel very fiercely about this. See Amelia’s own ethical fashion book, here.

Gareth A Hopkins Carlotta Fashion Mode AW11

LFW A/W Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Hence for Carlotta, the frosted lipped models, beige faux fur and red, white and navy blue palette. The seals being the beige faux fur, the blue the cold sea, and the white symbolic of the snow and ice. Red is obviously the horrendous slaughter of the seals, shown in the underskirts and showpieces.

Carlotta Actis Barone

LFW A/W Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The enormous, white eyelashes, iced lips and enormous hair, paired with fitted 50s influenced dresses, short knitted, luxurious, hooded pieces… faux fur shrugs, hand muffs, sleeves and collar details… were so strong and and almost, beautifully angry. Carlotta also referenced Inuit people in her designs, each of the skirted models wore transparent leggings and geometric patterns ran through the collection, similar to their attire. The whole collection represents how I’m sure many girls would love to look in the winter time. It’s so feminine, heavenly and bold. A mixture of prom dresses, Narnia and Victorian fashion – a fantasy, a drama – and of course in terms of the seals; a harsh reality.

LFW Kayleigh Bluck

LFW A/W Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Illustration by Kayleigh Bluck

I adored the pronounced peplum dress, the fitted black coat, with full skirt from the waist. The blue, white and red mixed beautifully, if slightly shocking. Which of course, is part of the message Carlotta is making with her show. Without doubt the finale piece, a red fishtail, strapless dress, with a faux fur beige, large shrug, was just INCREDIBLE. I was in love with that dress. I still am in love with that dress. It was the perfect ending to a show that inspired, amazed and informed. This fabulous collection, left me in awe.

Carlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia GregoryCarlotta Actis Barone LFW A/W Amelia Gregory

LFW A/W Carlotta Actis Barone Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

Buy Amelia’s Book on Ethical Fashion: here. You will also find illustrations by Abby Wright, Gemma Milly and Gareth A. Hopkins in the book.

Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, treat who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, no rx on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network
David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit
Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours
Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone
An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Gemma Milly_Nicholas Stevenson
Illustration by Gemma Milly

Nicholas sent me his CD and tape, more about accompanied by a lovely letter about living and musing about in Bristol. One of my favourite pastimes – we may have been staring into the same middle distance…! Like a quill pen into my heart, I am a sucker for a personal letter. Especially on such nice paper. After reading his scribe, I listened to Nicholas’s album: Phantom Sweetheart, available now on Hilldrop Records.

phantom sweetheart cover by nicholas stevenson
Album Cover, Phantom Sweetheart, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

It’s a splendid listen. Thoughtful and wistful. It’s like a less brash Spectrals. It has a Californian, surf sound, mixed with a smattering of New York – and the mighty UK. This mixture of locations is perhaps a reflection of Nicholas’s various home locations from birth. Since my initial listen, I now enjoy playing the album when I’m in my own little zone, cleaning. Because you could be anywhere. And if you don’t overly want to be where you are right now, there’s your ride. This interesting, sentimental man will take you away. Or indeed in my present case, scrub that flat ‘til in shines like the summer sun reflecting in my – prematurely purchased, cat eyed – sunnies. I miss you sun. I’d like to meet him to discuss travel, home, love and art. Oh yes, he’s an illustrator too. As Nicholas was so eloquent in his letter, I thought an interview would be perfect. So here it follows:

Nicholas Stevenson with phantom

Could you introduce yourself for us Nicholas…?
Hi there, my name is Nicholas Stevenson and I’m a songwriter and illustrator.

Where are you from originally and where do you reside now?
I currently reside in Cambridgeshire, but I was born in Scotland, lived on an island in the Seychelles for a while, and then moved back to England. I’m also half American so I sometimes have a confusing accent; it’s all a bit confusing actually. I usually give people fake biographies about growing up in the North Pole or being found in the wilderness to avoid explaining the complicated truth…

The Aeroplane Darling cover by Nicholas Stevenson
EP Cover, The Aeroplane Darling, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

How long have you been playing music? Could you describe it?
It would be hard to say when I started making music, but I found a tape of myself shouting a song I made about giraffes aged four the other day. The music in the shape it is now probably started about three years ago when I moved away to go to Art College. I had a band in high school that made fuzzy alt rock like the Smashing Pumpkins, but when we went our separate ways I started recording songs on my own in my room. It’s a sort of alt folk sound, with lots of layers, and a big emphasis on melodies.

How long have you been illustrating? Could you describe your style?
I’ve been drawing a lot longer than I’ve been making music, but I don’t think I could ever have considered myself an illustrator up until the last couple of years. I try to make work that’s fun, mysterious and occasionally a bit unsettling where possible.

chase in a sketchbook by Nicholas Stevenson
Chase In A Sketchbook, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Do you use your illustration and music to compliment/influence each other?
Most definitely. I think both of these activities really boil down to an urge for me to be story telling. Both my music and illustration usually revolves around some sort of implied narrative and it’s pretty common for a drawing to influence a lyric or vice versa.

What inspires your creativity, both re: music and illustration?
Cosmography, polar exploration, time travel, childhood, memory, feral children, miniature painting, amateurs and outsiders; a lot of things that I read about or places I visit. I try not to rule anything out as potential fodder for making stories and art about.

bayonets album sleeve
Bayonets Album Sleeve, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Have you ever had a ‘phantom’ sweetheart?
Well not a sweetheart per-se, but in the Seychelles I had two childhood ghost friends called Coco and Silent. Coco lived in a palm tree, and Silent lived on an abandoned ship. They were both only a foot tall, and wore white sheets with eyeholes, although I think Silent wore a baseball cap. The name ‘Phantom Sweetheart’ came about partly because all of my records have had terms of endearment in the name (Dearest Monstrous, The Aeroplane Darling) and I wanted this album to be really ghostly and spectral. Phantom Sweetheart just seemed to be the perfect title.

And what do you think about love and ‘being in love’ ? 
I think it’s a really nice special thing, I’m probably a bit of a softy and a romantic. It might seem like I’ve written a few songs from an anti-love position, but as Harvey Danger once said: “Happiness writes white”.

Have you been in love?
Oh yes mam.

hilldrop business card blank small
Hilldrop Business Cards, Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

Who else is in your band?
Dan Lewis plays the drums, Tom Harrington plays the bass guitar and glockenspiel whilst Oliver Wilde plays lead guitar.

When/how did you get together?
I met Dan and Tom in Hereford where I was studying at Art College. My manager Joe introduced us and we started arranging my songs and got performing almost straight away as a three piece. Oliver joined the band just last autumn. He not only signed me to his label Hilldrop Records, but he also produced and recorded the album with me in his house in Bristol. We worked really closely together on Phantom Sweetheart and Oliver had a big impact on the way those songs turned out. Of course by the end he knew how to play them all back to front and it seemed like a no-brainer that he should come out on tour with us.

And who is your record label, and how did you get signed?
Hilldrop Records are my label. I think they requested I send them some of my demos in the mail over a year ago. They liked what they heard and I played some gigs for them and we hit it off pretty fast, I started making posters for their shows too. We were all coming from a similar direction and they were interested in promoting art and building it in to the performances. We’d got to know each other reasonably well by the time we decided to sign a contract and make the album.

hilldrop cult 1300_1300
Illustration by Nicholas Stevenson

What was it like going on tour? Did you get inspired?
It was a blast, definitely not glamorous, but great fun. Our car broke down on the way to a sold out show in Bakewell and we had to jettison half the gear and get a taxi. We arrived just in the nick of time with no drums or drummer, and played entirely unplugged to a wonderfully attentive packed room. We spent the night in a big old house; there were teddy bears in the beds. Bakewell is such an old fashioned and charming town (home to the bakewell tart) everyone was so kind and interesting there, it sort of inspired us to play more small places on tour. It doesn’t seem fair that the big cities get all the tour dates, where people can sometimes be so jaded towards the barrage of live music anyway.

Nick25

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Hopefully doing the same things I’m doing now, but more masterfully. I’m fully aware I have a long way to go and lots of room to grow before I’m satisfied… I just hope I’m fortunate enough to find time for it all.

What about now, what is coming up for you?
At the moment I’m working on a sort of audio zine project called ‘Dead Arm’. It’s going to be a series of cassette tapes, each with a different set of new songs and sounds. Its quite fun telling myself to sit down and make a continuous twenty-minute tape, rather than getting too hung up on individual songs; it makes me less precious and hopefully more inventive. I’m quite excited to see where it goes… 
You can buy Phantom Sweetheart, on Hilldrop Records, here.

Maria_Francesca_Pepe_Abby_Wright_LFW

MariaFrancescaPepe LFW A/W 2011. Illustration by Abby Wright.

It was extremely dark in that first room. Save for a few lamps casting red strips of a blood-like glow. Certain points were lit up on the model, click the shining metal spikes, generic the dull sheen of black leather and the pointed hat. I will be honest now. I had to check that the model was in fact a mannequin. She was. But checking was interesting. The light was so low and I was terrified she would move suddenly. An intimidating mannequin.

red

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 1

I wasn’t sure whether the rest of the models would be mannequins too, but as we entered slightly more light filled rooms, it was obvious that these ones were real. But they were also a higher level of scary. Two looked like mermaids trapped on rocks. Occasionally shifting, they looked confident, bored and yet super vulnerable and TRAPPED. I felt myself want to look at them closer, but then one of them looked me in the eye. Which was a shock. These models, with their purposefully lank, long hair, dark eyes, glossy and pale skin, ghostlike sheer dresses, and fabulous golden accessories looked like aliens. Of course ridiculously beautiful aliens.

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 5

Photography Helen Martin

I have to say that I was mesmerised by the back of one model. She had a golden, Egyptian styled headpiece, in the shape of eyes. The three main headpieces were forged by hand in resin and carbon steel, then varnished in opalescent acrylics and hand studded with brass and Swarovski hexagonal studs. They are designed in the style of medieval shields and helmets. The tiara for me was my favourite however, it looked regal and yet delicate and pretty. Also empowering, I imagine a useful attribute for whichever land she/you/me might be in. In contrast, although also empowering, MariaFrancescaPepe‘s shoes looked like something you could definitely cause GBH with. Not pretty, pretty – fierce! In a more sultry way than Rihanna fierce. With enormous spikes at the top, their cream colour, did little to belie their extra ridiculous height and metal danger.

Hels MFP 3

Hels MFP 3

Photography Helen Martin

Like the tiara, the majority of the presentation focused on eyes. Earrings, rings and chains…. EYES. This was a small issue for me. Ever since my brother told me the details of his eye operation at five years old, and then watching Dali’s eye slitting scene – ugh- I’m feeling sick as I write, I have been afraid of anything touching eyes. Or just weird eyes. And in truth… Dali. Cue sweeping generalisation alert: In terms of films, books, art and what I have seen; the 30s, like the 70s, seem like the scariest decades to me. Thus, when the saddest and scariest looking model of them all, looked at me right in the eye, with her incredibly, INTENSELY mesmerising own eyes, I didn’t know what to do. Transfixing model.

Hels MFP 5

Model looking at me… Photography Helen Martin

It’s not surprising that MariaFrancescaPepe has been heavily influenced by Dali’s surrealism for this collection. As I read: ‘Objects of magical meaning and of inner strength. A mask hides and reveals at the same time. Eyes are a mirror for the soul. Dali’s surrealism lesson has been learnt.’ The presentation was tribal and punky, but also ethereal and ghost-like. Almost like facing your own deep reality, that of the soul’s and our desires. The ‘ahhhhhhhhhhh’ music added to these fearful and reflective thoughts. It was as if MariaFrancescaPepe had gone through Indiana Jones’s chest of treasure, added in some Alien, X Files, lots of Dali and then Marilyn Manson on top. Sounds odd, is odd – but also very interesting. It comes as no surprise that Lady GaGa apparently ‘embodies’ MariaFrancescaPepe’s accessories.

Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, generic who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, rx on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, pilule Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network
David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit
Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours
Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone
An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, prostate who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, visit this on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network
David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit
Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours
Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone
An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, medical who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman was fantastic though, and has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network
David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit:Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours
Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone:An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, page who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, ailment on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman was fantastic though, and has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network: David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit:Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours: Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone:An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Oscars - Georgia Coote
Illustration by Georgia Coote

So Colin and Helena have already won their BAFTA awards. Now all eyes are on them for the Oscars. Particularly Colin Firth, patient who has been vigorously doing the rounds as it were, buy on chat shows such as Ellen. I believe in the aforementioned show, Colin was given some Oscar worthy tuxedo pants. Personally I think Colin should have got an Oscar for A Single Man, one of my favourite films…in the world ever. This article is a small run down of 13 films nominated in the Oscars. Lucky 13…

Abby_Wright_Oscars_Natalie_Portman
Natalie Portman Illustration by Abby Wright

Black Swan revolves around Nataliie Portman’s character winning the lead to Swan Lake, leading to madness and obsession. Driven by perfection, she loses grip of reality entirely as you are taken on a heady journey. I accept it is a genre piece, thus obvious and over the top for a reason, but controversially I didn’t love it. Natalie Portman was fantastic though, and has been nominated for Best Actress, among five other nominations for the film.

Inception is a fantasy thriller with Leo at the forefront. Christopher Nolan produced some incedible scenes for our eyes to devour and the twists and turns were a thrill to behold. It has eight nominations, including Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor.

Helena Bonham Carter by Matilde Sazio
Helena Bonham Carter Illustration by Matilde Sazio

The King’s Speech had people applauding in the cinemas. Everyone has gone mad for this film. And what with Will and Kate getting hitched this year, the Royal family are enjoying a thrust of positive publicity. Colin Firth’s character is a George VI and Helena Bonham Carter, his wife, the Queen Mother have both been nominated for their performances. The film has been nominated for 12 awards in total.

Colin Firth by Karina Yarv
Colin Firth Illustration by Karina Yarv

Rabbit Hole is about a couple’s life is affected after their young son dies in an accident. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for Best Actress for her role.

The Social Network: David Fincher’s account on the origins of Facebook…

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a lesbian couple whose sperm donor returns into their lives, has four nominations and stars Annette Bening and Julianne Moore.

Toy Story 3 was a sad film in many ways, because it reflected time’s passing and the end of childhood. But Toy Story (1) brings back wonderful memories and has been overplayed to death without inducing even the remotest hatred. Same with Toy Story 2. Toy Story 3 was held in high hopes and it delivered. The film has five nominations, including Best Picture.

Gemma Milly-True Grit
True Grit Illustration by Gemma Milly

True Grit:Joel and Ethan Coen make quite scary, but brilliant films. This remake of the 1969 John Wayne western has received ten nominations in total, these include Jeff Bridges for Best Actor and Hailee Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress.

Alice In Wonderland sees Alice return to the world of magic and chattering objects, as a 19 year old. She learns of her destiny and meets her old chums. The film, which stars Johnny Depp, has been nominated for three Oscars.

Exit Through the Gift Shop saw Bristol’s Banksy nominated for Best Documenary Feature. The story is about an eccentric French amateur film maker and shop owner trying to befriend Banksy.

127 Hours: Ewww. But also amazing story of overcoming the odds, directed by Danny Boyle. This is a real life story about a climber forced to take extreme action to survive. You all know what I’m talking about I’m sure. James Franco has been nominated for his role as the protagonist and indeed, only character in the film. The film has also been nominated for Best Picture.

Michelle Williams by Russty Brazil
Michelle Williams Illustration by Russty Brazil

Blue Valentine is a stunning and devastating film about falling out of love. Michelle Williams has become numb to her life and husband, whilst Ryan Gosling flails around, trying to save the marriage. Making it all worse. The flashbacks to their falling in love are touching, and the soundtrack by Grizzly Bear made me cry. Michelle Williams has been nominated for Best Actress.

Winter’s Bone:An independent film, Debra Granik’s tale is about a young woman living in a rural community, trying to find her missing father. The film has been nominated for three awards.

Now bring on the pizazz and dresses, quaff, quaff!
Eugon_Choi2_by_Karolina_Burdon
Eudon Choi LFW A/W 2011 Collection, pills illustration by Karolina Burdon

I’m going to say saddles. And horses. It’s not just because there was a saddle on the invite to the show. You couldn’t escape the leather straps at Eudon Choi. I wasn’t entirely sure what they were all for, stuff but they were clearly beautifully soft and of the highest quality. One of the outfits a model wore, pills involved an all in one – I think, I’d have to study it at closer range – contraption, that worked like braces and a belt. The braces went down to the top of the thighs and featured gold loops and studs. Worn with a white shirt and beige skirt, it was very old English, equestrian. Open toe wedge boots were worn with short black dresses. Navy, orangey browns, tans, greys and rusty colours were prominent. Nothing too artificial, or over the top. You could imagine wearing these to work. The funnel neck coats, a line skirts, three quarter length sleeves and loose shouldered pieces, were all positively clean and sharp. I personally liked a long sleeved floaty dress, with a wide diagonal off white stripe across the body, from the neck to the hemline. It had a very high waisted leather belt, almost making it empire lined, and looked feminine and understated.

Eudon_Choi_BY_Avril_Kelly
Eudon Choi LFW A/W 2011 Collection, illustration by Avril Kelly

The skirts got shorter and then wider as the show continued. A wide grey/cream, short coat, made an appearance. It featured two strips of brown leather towards its hem, and was tailored to perfection. The floatier dressses hit midi length and full length, with slits to the thigh. These were looser, most strapless or with a single knotted strap, over the shoulder. The look was very together. Like the women who carry small tubes of expensive moisturiser and have ipad covers made from baby goat leather. And an actual ipad, or four.

Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1575
Andy Bumpus sketching in his ACOFI Moleskine notebook for Fashion Scout.

Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1574Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1637Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1597
Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1631Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1625Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1607Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1585Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1643
Eudon_Choi_AW_2011-W_2011-IMG_1640

Eudon Choi LFW A/W 2011 Collection, photography by Amelia Gregory

Everything felt very structured, slightly confined and purposeful. Asked how he would describe an Eudon Choi woman, the designer said: “She likes to stand out from the crowd yet look stylish and sophisticated. She looks individual, with an edge.” That’s perfectly achieved. Organised and controlled, a wearer of Chanel’s Red No.5 lipstick. She positively thrives over a bit of hard business with her espresso. Not a second to spare, she doesn’t even have time to look you up and down darling. Too busy looking ahead. Nice show.
Maria_Francesca_Pepe_Abby_Wright_LFW

MariaFrancescaPepe LFW A/W 2011. Illustration by Abby Wright.

It was extremely dark in that first room. Save for a few lamps casting red strips of a blood-like glow. Certain points were lit up on the model, view the shining metal spikes, ed the dull sheen of black leather and the pointed hat. I will be honest now. I had to check that the model was in fact a mannequin. She was. But checking was interesting. The light was so low and I was terrified she would move suddenly. An intimidating mannequin.

red

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 1

I wasn’t sure whether the rest of the models would be mannequins too, but as we entered slightly more light filled rooms, it was obvious that these ones were real. But they were also a higher level of scary. Two looked like mermaids trapped on rocks. Occasionally shifting, they looked confident, bored and yet super vulnerable and TRAPPED. I felt myself want to look at them closer, but then one of them looked me in the eye. Which was a shock. These models, with their purposefully lank, long hair, dark eyes, glossy and pale skin, ghostlike sheer dresses, and fabulous golden accessories looked like aliens. Of course ridiculously beautiful aliens.

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 5

Photography Helen Martin

I have to say that I was mesmerised by the back of one model. She had a golden, Egyptian styled headpiece, in the shape of eyes. The three main headpieces were forged by hand in resin and carbon steel, then varnished in opalescent acrylics and hand studded with brass and Swarovski hexagonal studs. They are designed in the style of medieval shields and helmets. The tiara for me was my favourite however, it looked regal and yet delicate and pretty. Also empowering, I imagine a useful attribute for whichever land she/you/me might be in. In contrast, although also empowering, MariaFrancescaPepe‘s shoes looked like something you could definitely cause GBH with. Not pretty, pretty – fierce! In a more sultry way than Rihanna fierce. With enormous spikes at the top, their cream colour, did little to belie their extra ridiculous height and metal danger.

Hels MFP 3

Hels MFP 3

Photography Helen Martin

Like the tiara, the majority of the presentation focused on eyes. Earrings, rings and chains…. EYES. This was a small issue for me. Ever since my brother told me the details of his eye operation at five years old, and then watching Dali’s eye slitting scene – ugh- I’m feeling sick as I write, I have been afraid of anything touching eyes. Or just weird eyes. And in truth… Dali. Cue sweeping generalisation alert: In terms of films, books, art and what I have seen; the 30s, like the 70s, seem like the scariest decades to me. Thus, when the saddest and scariest looking model of them all, looked at me right in the eye, with her incredibly, INTENSELY mesmerising own eyes, I didn’t know what to do. Transfixing model.

Hels MFP 5

Model looking at me… Photography Helen Martin

It’s not surprising that MariaFrancescaPepe has been heavily influenced by Dali’s surrealism for this collection. As I read: ‘Objects of magical meaning and of inner strength. A mask hides and reveals at the same time. Eyes are a mirror for the soul. Dali’s surrealism lesson has been learnt.’ The presentation was tribal and punky, but also ethereal and ghost-like. Almost like facing your own deep reality, that of the soul’s and our desires. The ‘ahhhhhhhhhhh’ music added to these fearful and reflective thoughts. It was as if MariaFrancescaPepe had gone through Indiana Jones’s chest of treasure, added in some Alien, X Files, lots of Dali and then Marilyn Manson on top. Sounds odd, is odd – but also very interesting. It comes as no surprise that Lady GaGa apparently ‘embodies’ MariaFrancescaPepe’s accessories.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Lesley Barnes
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Lesley Barnes.

On arrival at the Topshop space in Billingsgate for Mary Katrantzou I pulled up my Pashley beneath a phalanx of official LFW cars and blacked out big name magazine people carriers. I usually find it takes me approximately the same amount of time to race between venues on my bike alongside said official cars, viagra dosage no doubt being looked down upon by wealthy magazines’ fashion editors from behind those blacked out panes, but maybe I should post an ode to my preferred transport, in much the same vein that Susie Bubble has been posting about her sponsored Orla Kiely car?

Pashley
My Pashley locked up outside Somerset House.

I love cycling but it was a struggle – as usual – to lock my bike against a post without it, me and my cycling pannier capsizing in an (un)attractive pile. At times like these I very much hope I’m not being watched by those who are able to elegantly descend from their car in vertiginous heels.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Ellie Sutton
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Ellie Sutton.

We were only granted one ticket to Mary Katrantzou, beautifully pearlised and colourfully printed on heavy card. Clearly then, there was no chance that anyone else was going to lay their hands on it. Having scoped the layout during Michael Van Der Ham the day before I headed straight for what I considered the best position in the cavernous hall and discovered that I was sitting next to the proud mother of Mary’s right hand man, one Alexander Giantsis, also of Greek extraction… she quickly voiced her motherly worries about her son’s lack of sleep. That would be none then, the night before.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Mira Tazkia
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Mira Tazkia.

My spot proved the perfect place to capture the models as they swung around to face the bank of cameras right at the end of the looong catwalk. Mum Stephanie kept up a running commentary as I tried to concentrate on capturing the clothes whirring past me at the hyper fast pace that has characterised the catwalk shows this season.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh.

Despite her own concerns that she’s pushing the parameters of what people will wear Mary Katrantzou has quickly built up a glowing reputation for her clashing prints and clever architectural constructions. Last season she took architecture as her starting point but this time she looked to interiors, quoting the Marchesa Luisa Casati in her press release: “I want to be a living work of art.”

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Karolina Burdon
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Karolina Burdon.

Clever hooping was attached at waist level to create a kind of riser inspired by the shape of vases, Fabergé eggs and porcelain bowls – beautiful, but the kind of thing that only the thinnest of girls can get away with wearing. More successful for bigger girls would be the wide hipped dresses, curved shoulders and over skirts that stood proud from the figure. Clashing prints inspired by “priceless objets d’art” were cut and merged to create a profusion of pattern and colour in print, embroidery and intarsia knits.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana FariaMary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana FariaMary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana Faria
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana Faria.

One dress featured an extraordinary skirt covered in three dimensional roses in a diagonal pattern – certainly not for the faint hearted… or those who would like to be comfortable when sitting down. Towards the end a series of chiffon skirts swept onto the catwalk, billowing dramatically around the figure.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Sarah Matthews
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Sarah Matthews.

This A/W show was everything I had hoped for: Mary Katrantzou, a fashion designer after my own maximalist heart. I’m so glad that someone out there is confident enough to translate my type of design onto clothing.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can see more fashion illustration by Lesley Barnes in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,Alexander Giantsis, ,Billingsgate, ,Ellie Sutton, ,Fabergé, ,Jessica Singh, ,Joana Faria, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Marchesa Luisa Casati, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Mira Tazkia, ,New Gen, ,Orla Kiely, ,print, ,Sarah Matthews, ,Susie Bubble, ,topshop

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Lesley Barnes
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Lesley Barnes.

On arrival at the Topshop space in Billingsgate for Mary Katrantzou I pulled up my Pashley beneath a phalanx of official LFW cars and blacked out big name magazine people carriers. I usually find it takes me approximately the same amount of time to race between venues on my bike alongside said official cars, no doubt being looked down upon by wealthy magazines’ fashion editors from behind those blacked out panes, but maybe I should post an ode to my preferred transport, in much the same vein that Susie Bubble has been posting about her sponsored Orla Kiely car?

Pashley
My Pashley locked up outside Somerset House.

I love cycling but it was a struggle – as usual – to lock my bike against a post without it, me and my cycling pannier capsizing in an (un)attractive pile. At times like these I very much hope I’m not being watched by those who are able to elegantly descend from their car in vertiginous heels.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Ellie Sutton
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Ellie Sutton.

We were only granted one ticket to Mary Katrantzou, beautifully pearlised and colourfully printed on heavy card. Clearly then, there was no chance that anyone else was going to lay their hands on it. Having scoped the layout during Michael Van Der Ham the day before I headed straight for what I considered the best position in the cavernous hall and discovered that I was sitting next to the proud mother of Mary’s right hand man, one Alexander Giantsis, also of Greek extraction… she quickly voiced her motherly worries about her son’s lack of sleep. That would be none then, the night before.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Mira Tazkia
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Mira Tazkia.

My spot proved the perfect place to capture the models as they swung around to face the bank of cameras right at the end of the looong catwalk. Mum Stephanie kept up a running commentary as I tried to concentrate on capturing the clothes whirring past me at the hyper fast pace that has characterised the catwalk shows this season.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Jessica Singh.

Despite her own concerns that she’s pushing the parameters of what people will wear Mary Katrantzou has quickly built up a glowing reputation for her clashing prints and clever architectural constructions. Last season she took architecture as her starting point but this time she looked to interiors, quoting the Marchesa Luisa Casati in her press release: “I want to be a living work of art.”

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Karolina Burdon
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Karolina Burdon.

Clever hooping was attached at waist level to create a kind of riser inspired by the shape of vases, Fabergé eggs and porcelain bowls – beautiful, but the kind of thing that only the thinnest of girls can get away with wearing. More successful for bigger girls would be the wide hipped dresses, curved shoulders and over skirts that stood proud from the figure. Clashing prints inspired by “priceless objets d’art” were cut and merged to create a profusion of pattern and colour in print, embroidery and intarsia knits.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana FariaMary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana FariaMary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana Faria
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Joana Faria.

One dress featured an extraordinary skirt covered in three dimensional roses in a diagonal pattern – certainly not for the faint hearted… or those who would like to be comfortable when sitting down. Towards the end a series of chiffon skirts swept onto the catwalk, billowing dramatically around the figure.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Sarah Matthews
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011 by Sarah Matthews.

This A/W show was everything I had hoped for: Mary Katrantzou, a fashion designer after my own maximalist heart. I’m so glad that someone out there is confident enough to translate my type of design onto clothing.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMary Katrantzou A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mary Katrantzou A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can see more fashion illustration by Lesley Barnes in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,Alexander Giantsis, ,Billingsgate, ,Ellie Sutton, ,Fabergé, ,Jessica Singh, ,Joana Faria, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Lesley Barnes, ,Marchesa Luisa Casati, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Mira Tazkia, ,New Gen, ,Orla Kiely, ,print, ,Sarah Matthews, ,Susie Bubble, ,topshop

Similar Posts:





Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Michael Van Der Ham (by Amelia)

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, order sickness having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, doctor I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love. I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it didn’t last because it soon became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, so now big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent times there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in tones of oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design supremo Georgia Hardinge.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and sexily louche and accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the girls that looked more like real women.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, pharmacy having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, here I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love. I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it didn’t last because it soon became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, sildenafil so now big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent times there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in tones of oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design supremo Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and sexily louche and accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the girls that looked more like real women.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, rx having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, case I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love. I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it didn’t last because it soon became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, more about so now big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent times there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in tones of oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the girls that looked more like real women.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, prescription having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, remedy I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love: I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, stomach so now my big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent years there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Loving the fairy light look!

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the models of more normal size.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, more about having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, no rx I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love: I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, so now my big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent years there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Loving the fairy light look!

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the models of more normal size.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Jenny Lloyd
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Jenny Lloyd.

Michael Van Der Ham was held at the New Gen space in Billingsgate, visit this site and in the queue I bumped into *name drop alert* Courtney of Forward PR, rx Jeff Garner of Prophetik, Louisa of Cent Magazine and Jessica of Vogue. Usually I just slink in and out of shows as fast as possible, so it was nice to have a friendly little crew to hang out with as we made the most of free food laid on courtesy of Topshop… glasses of champagne, or juice… and creamy butternut squash risotto served in dinky little pots: quite possibly the best risotto I have ever tasted.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.

This was only Michael Van Der Ham‘s second stand alone show, and as we were ushered in to our seats I was left wondering why the hell it had been so hard to get tickets for New Gen shows… the Billingsgate venue is huge, and the PR girls had to hurry standing tickets into seats as the lights went down. It was not exactly busy for either of the shows that I attended here, so it’s a shame that allocation of tickets was so tight.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Katie HarnettMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Katie Harnett
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Katie Harnett.

Michael Van Der Ham has made his name from a unique cut and paste approach to fashion. Last season he mashed up all sorts of clashing fabrics to create something universally lauded but perhaps not wholly wearable. This season he appeared to address the commerciality question, so first out onto the catwalk came a series of eminently desirable velvet outfits in a range of jewel brights. Each one featured his signature asymmetric draped tailoring, but rendered all in one shade: delicious rose, fuchsia, lime, turquoise and orange.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Madi
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Madi.

From then on in we were in more familiar territory: assorted fabric panels and intarsia knitwear inspired by vintage floral paisleys in 70s style shades of purple and orange, complete with accents of lurex. Heavily tasseled trousers were fun for editorial but of questionable taste for the buying public; far more successful were the wide legged high waisted trousers worn with panelled wool crop jackets.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril KellyMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.

But for me the standouts were unquestionably the range of sumptuous velvet dresses. Want. One. Experimenting with more wearable concepts suits Michael Van Der Ham well.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMichael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly
Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2011 by Avril Kelly.

You can read Jemma Crow’s review of this show here and see more of Katie Harnett’s work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Assymetrical, ,Avril Kelly, ,Billingsgate, ,Cent Magazine, ,Champagne, ,Courtney Blackman, ,Forward PR, ,Intarsia, ,Jeff Garner, ,Jemma Crow, ,Jenny Lloyd, ,Jessica Bumpus, ,Katie Harnett, ,Louisa Lau, ,Lurex, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Michael van der Ham, ,New Gen, ,Old Billingsgate, ,Prophetik, ,Risotto, ,topshop, ,vogue

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Exhibition Review

Caitlin Rose by Hayley Akins
Illustration by Hayley Akins.

Such had been the anticipation surrounding Caitlin Rose’s return to the UK, medical search especially after the release of her acclaimed debut album, pilule Own Side Now, nurse that her shows in the capital soon sold out. Being the smallest of those venues, but organised by such thoughtful fellows, Brixton’s Windmill quickly arranged a special early evening show to cater for any disappointed punters. Needless to say, the tickets flew for that one as well.

CAITLINROSE_BY DONYATODD
Illustration by Donya Todd

I’d been caught out too many times by being lastminute.com when buying tickets in the past, so I’d got in sharpish and, as a result, I drew the straw for the late show. I arrived quite early (well, 9.00pm) and caught the support band, Treetop Flyers, limbering up for their second performance of the evening. A London based band, and purveyors of the finest Americana, tonight they were playing a more stripped back acoustic set. I’d never caught them before, but I liked what I heard. They set the mood nicely for the evening, even throwing in a Townes Van Zandt cover.

caitlin rose-stephanie thieullent
Illustration by Stephanie Thieullent

By the time Caitlin Rose took to the stage, the Windmill was pretty rammed. I’d seen her live a couple of times before (and all but once at the Windmill), though this was the first time with a full band (apparently they couldn’t afford to fly out the drummer from the US on the last tour). After having obviously enjoyed a few refreshments between sets, Rose cheerfully exclaimed “two of us haven’t slept!”, as the band launched into New York.

caitlin rose by mary ferfyri
Illustration by Mary Ferfiry

Own Side Now has seen Caitlin Rose expand on the fairly traditional country sound of her debut release, the Dead Flowers EP (as hinted at in an interview with Amelia’s Magazine last summer). The intimacy of the Windmill really lent itself to her songs (and especially that voice!), as we sampled such bittersweet treats as For The Rabbits and Learning To Ride.

YouTube Preview Image

There was a particularly affecting rendition of Own Side, which brought a lump to the throat of even this old cynic. Answer In One Of These Bottles (from Dead Flowers) sparked a raucous sing-along, before everyone rocked out to Shanghai Cigarettes.

YouTube Preview Image

Caitlin Rose by Ashley Fauguel
Illustration by Ashley Fauguel

Rose switched from acoustic guitar to electric and back again, there was plenty of banter, and there were all the hallmarks for a special night in place. After a couple more UK dates before a return to the US, and then a trip to the Antipodes, we’re not likely to see Ms Rose on these shores again before some festival appearances in the summer – given her current ascendency, one wonders whether we’ll ever see her play in such a venue as the Windmill again.

Caitlin Rose by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly the Eggs

Caitlin Rose by Hayley Akins
Illustration by Hayley Akins.

Such had been the anticipation surrounding Caitlin Rose’s return to the UK, doctor especially after the release of her acclaimed debut album, patient Own Side Now, that her shows in the capital soon sold out. Being the smallest of those venues, but organised by such thoughtful fellows, Brixton’s Windmill quickly arranged a special early evening show to cater for any disappointed punters. Needless to say, the tickets flew for that one as well.

CAITLINROSE_BY DONYATODD
Illustration by Donya Todd

I’d been caught out too many times by being lastminute.com when buying tickets in the past, so I’d got in sharpish and, as a result, I drew the straw for the late show. I arrived quite early (well, 9.00pm) and caught the support band, Treetop Flyers, limbering up for their second performance of the evening. A London based band, and purveyors of the finest Americana, tonight they were playing a more stripped back acoustic set. I’d never caught them before, but I liked what I heard. They set the mood nicely for the evening, even throwing in a Townes Van Zandt cover.

caitlin rose-stephanie thieullent
Illustration by Stephanie Thieullent

By the time Caitlin Rose took to the stage, the Windmill was pretty rammed. I’d seen her live a couple of times before (and all but once at the Windmill), though this was the first time with a full band (apparently they couldn’t afford to fly out the drummer from the US on the last tour). After having obviously enjoyed a few refreshments between sets, Rose cheerfully exclaimed “two of us haven’t slept!”, as the band launched into New York.

caitlin rose by mary ferfyri
Illustration by Mary Ferfiry

Own Side Now has seen Caitlin Rose expand on the fairly traditional country sound of her debut release, the Dead Flowers EP (as hinted at in an interview with Amelia’s Magazine last summer). The intimacy of the Windmill really lent itself to her songs (and especially that voice!), as we sampled such bittersweet treats as For The Rabbits and Learning To Ride.

YouTube Preview Image

There was a particularly affecting rendition of Own Side, which brought a lump to the throat of even this old cynic. Answer In One Of These Bottles (from Dead Flowers) sparked a raucous sing-along, before everyone rocked out to Shanghai Cigarettes.

YouTube Preview Image

Caitlin Rose by Ashley Fauguel
Illustration by Ashley Fauguel

Rose switched from acoustic guitar to electric and back again, there was plenty of banter, and there were all the hallmarks for a special night in place. After a couple more UK dates before a return to the US, and then a trip to the Antipodes, we’re not likely to see Ms Rose on these shores again before some festival appearances in the summer – given her current ascendency, one wonders whether we’ll ever see her play in such a venue as the Windmill again.

Caitlin Rose by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly the Eggs

title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, nurse exciting shapes, erectile draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du‘s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the BFC/Elle Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, but looking at the website it seems maybe they are not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though. While Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces – which are based on child genius and bird heads (yay, birds) – she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature idea. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale (above) to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the same conflict brought on by the posh/cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line during World War I – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection – which also includes high waist trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items – that chimes well at the moment. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers above with their iconic dress. Read more about Teatum Jones in our emerging talent preview.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W 2011 Bright Eyes collection based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares, especially that bit with the gas in the tunnels, you’ve got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit – all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. Their S/S 2011 stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Then I strayed into Estethica and met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection because each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes. I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the necklaces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed a sneak peek at Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections, which feature pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun, with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layer leather flowers, and were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s prosthetics inspired pieces and wet plate photography at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand because apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice a Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, where I drew two stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Anthony Peto, ,BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad, ,birds, ,Edward Finney, ,Elle Talent Launch Pad, ,Erika Trotzig, ,estethica, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Fannie Schiavoni, ,fashion, ,Fashion Mode, ,Felicity Brown, ,Freemasons, ,George Angelopoulos, ,Ginta, ,hats, ,Holly Fulton, ,illustration, ,Jenny Robins, ,jewellery, ,Jordan Askill, ,Les Nereides, ,Lublu Kira, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,N2, ,Neuroticam Little Glass Clementine, ,New Gen, ,Nicole Murray, ,Pachacuti, ,piers atkinson, ,Sketches, ,Tatty Devine, ,Teatum Jones, ,Úna Burke, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Yang Du, ,Yunus & Eliza

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Exhibition Review

title - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Most illustrations by Jenny Robins.

I got photographed on my way in to Somerset House (in my jumble sale sheepskin coat belonging to my sister and waistcoat from H&M Kids circa 1999) – expect to see me in Vogue. Not really. The reason I wore the waistcoat was to hide the fact that the little charity shop top I had on underneath with the Peter Pan collar was missing several buttons up the back which continued to pop off as I rushed around London.

sketchbook -Jordan Azkill - Felicity Brown - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Jordan Askill and Felicity Brown in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

After sketching away at the Charlotte Eskildsen exhibition (leather gloves, exciting shapes, draw string leg warmers, see the write up by Jemma Crow which includes my sketches here) and drawing like a mad thing from a sideways view at Jasper Conran’s catwalk show (see my write up and illustrations here) I went for a wander through the New Gen, BFC/Elle talent launch pad and Vauxhall Fashion Scout galleries to take in some static displays and meet some nice publicists and designers. Please see here for your viewing pleasure my sketchbook pages from the day and some additional pictures and commentary.

sketchbook - Holly Fulton - Christopher Raeburn - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Holly Fulton & Christopher Raeburn in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

It’s a funny thing to visit these exhibitions on the Saturday (as I did) because half the stuff on show at New Gen is Spring/Summer as the new things are off being catwalked – as it were – or are secret till they have been, and the designers don’t really want you to write about their Spring/Summer stuff yet so sometimes they talk it down. This didn’t stop me from falling in love with the hand perforated yellow leather cocktail dress and skirt by Holly Fulton which were some of the first things I saw. I’ve had a look at her new collection and it isn’t quite as joyful as these two pieces for me but still typically beautiful with her geometric patterns and increasingly incorporating more sinuous art nouveauesque prints too.

Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi
Jordan Askill Ceramic Bird Necklace by Madi.

The next thing to really catch my eye was the stunning sculptural jewellery work of Jordan Askill. Anything with a lot of birds in, or let’s face it, just one bird, is a joy for me and Askill’s white resin and nylon swallows *en masse* was perfection itself.

Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins
Jordan Askill by Jenny Robins.

Opposite was Yang Du’s stall with her fabulously kitsch and chic cashmere dolly dresses and capes. These I love, but Yang Du’s additional arrangement of knitted toy scarves and finger puppet gloves confused me quite a lot. It’s not that I don’t like them, I just don’t see what about them is different from the crafty equivalent you could pick up in a village jumble for probably a fiver, or from a hobbyist on etsy for a bit more, but they are retailing at Selfridges for hundreds of pounds. This is the paradox of lo-fi high fashion.

sketchbook - Yang Du - Mary Katrantzou - Fannie Schiavoni - Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Yang Du, Mary Katrantzou, Fannie Schiavoni & Piers Atkinson in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

I didn’t see any of Mary Katrantzou’s amazing collection as it was out on show, but the pieces on show from S/S 2011 still caught my eye: high colour interior prints and tasselled house lamp skirts – I highly recommend taking a look at the review of her A/W 2011 collection here.

Piers Atkinson - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Piers Atkinson by Jenny Robins.

In the riverside lobby downstairs where the cake is, a display of various hats under the title headonism (get it) was sure to catch my attention with Piers Atkinson’s awesome giant cherry headband – he has a wide array of other more and less absurd head accessories including a beanie with giant mickey mouse ear style pompoms, a glittery and 24 carrot gold aubergine head band and various exuberant ostrich feathered creations. Read a longer review of this here.

sketchbook - Lublu Kira Plastina - George Angelopoulos - Yunus & Eliza - Les Nereides - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Lublu Kira Plastina, George Angelopoulos, Yunus & Eliza & Les Nereides in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

At the BFC/Elle Talent Launchpad exhibition space the first thing to pique my curiosity were the jewel like gold plated enamel face crucifixes made by Yunus & Eliza – I say crucifixes, but looking at the website it seems maybe they are not meant to be Christian symbols at all – the ambiguity probably plays to their favour though. While Eliza was wonderfully eloquent about some of their other pieces – which are based on child genius and bird heads (yay, birds) – she didn’t say a lot about what seems to be their signature idea. Good for them I say, spiritual ambiguity should be shiny and beautiful. I was also very impressed by the description the pair gave of their collaborative working – the metamorphosis of their ideas mirroring the themes they play with. I don’t play very well with others so I’m always impressed by successful collaboration. I was also struck by Lublu Kira Plastinina’s novelty oversize zips, as well as her classic mac with giant fur sleeves (boo fur), I drew this to scale (above) to demonstrate the size of the zips.

les nereides - n2 aw11 - lfw
Les Nereides, image courtesy of N2

I then spent a good amount of time looking at the beautiful and quirky N2 jewellery collection by Les Nereides and chatting to the lovely Rose and Melissa about fashion week snobbery. The work is gorgeous, a cheaper, kitscher spin off from the intricate work of the main label (although still retailing from £30 – cheaper is high end cheaper of course) featuring designer collaborations, fairytales, French patisserie and large characterful animal necklaces. N2 recently opened their own spin off special store in Monmouth Street. I love it all though similarly to with Yang Du I feel the same conflict brought on by the posh/cute dynamic – I’m just not born to be bothered by quality as much as some, if it’s going to look cheerful and basic, why gold plate it?

sketchbook - Teatum Jones - N2 llama - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Teatum Jones and N2 llama in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Upstairs I was struck by Teatum Jones’ amazing printed silk Eva Moore Shirt Dress – super delicate and all lilacs and pinks against the utilitarian shapes of the shirt design. Catherine Teatum (who was wearing an amazing silver leather jacket), shared with me how the piece is inspired by two women who worked on the front line during World War I – there was no female uniform for their position so they wore oversized men’s uniform and the floral looking pattern reflects their mud and blood soaked attire. You would not guess this from looking at the dress. But there is that sense of strength and melancholy in the collection – which also includes high waist trench trousers and a heavy caped trench coat cut short as well as more delicate items – that chimes well at the moment. Let us be stoic and feminine, and pull together. I drew the two designers above with their iconic dress. Read more about Teatum Jones in our emerging talent preview.

Nuerotica - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nuerotica by Jenny Robins.

My next love affair was with Neurotica’s A/W 2011 Bright Eyes collection based on Watership Down. Even though the animated film did give me nightmares, especially that bit with the gas in the tunnels, you’ve got to love the foresty, rabbity vibe on show here. I want almost everything in this collection, from the chunky quilted collars to the amazing strapless jumpsuit – all sporting some kind of atmospheric winter branch print. A little bit gothic in sentiment, but so clean and feminine in the shapes. Yeah I super love it actually. Their S/S 2011 stuff is pretty brilliant too. Look out for it.

sketchbook - Little Glass Clementine - Neurotica - ethical - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Little Glass Clementine & Neurotica in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Then I strayed into Estethica and met Little Glass Clementine (as featured in ACOFI!) who puts together all sorts of oddments and icons in her maximalist jewellery, not so much of a collection because each piece is a one off, but there are emerging themes. I especially enjoyed the stop-watch elements and the pieces of blue and white tiles incorporated into some of the necklaces.

Pachacuti - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Pachacuti by Jenny Robins.

I was also impressed by Pachacuti’s array of colourful ethical panama hats made by women’s collectives in Ecuador. Apparently they were doing it before it was all trendy.

sketchbook - Ginta - Anthony Peto - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta & Anthony Peto in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Tatty Devine - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Tatty Devine by Jenny Robins.

I also enjoyed a sneak peek at Tatty Devine’s forthcoming new collections, which feature pieces inspired by owls, ivy, foxes, sycamore seeds and chunky oldschool brogues. All very fun, with the organic subtlety of some of these new designs blending softly with their Perspex shapes – perfect in the new matt frosted Perspex used for some of these. I like the foxes and ivy especially, mature yet whimsical showing that Tatty Devine is growing from strength to strength. Also featured were an upcoming footwear collaboration with the Old Curiosity Shop – adding Perspex moustaches to their shoes.

Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi
Ginta Siceva Masks by Madi.

Ginta - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Ginta by Jenny Robins

Ginta’s lovely lazer cut intricate accessories layer leather flowers, and were almost as stunning as the designer herself.

Ginta - aw11 - lfw
Image courtesy of Ginta

sketchbook - Vauxhall Fashion Scout - Erika Trotzig - Una Burke - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Erika Trotzig & Una Burke in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

As extensively covered elsewhere on Amelia’s Magazine, I also found myself struck by Una Burke’s prosthetics inspired pieces and wet plate photography at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. High concept bondage, beautifully put together – all by hand because apparently the riveter has not been made that can rivet so many layers of leather, so more art than fashion really. Exploring how people with prosthetics (like disfigurements) find they often lose their identity when all people see is their unusual limbs, the work is successful I think – you certainly would notice a Una Burke outfit more than the person inside it.

In the small amount of time left before I headed into the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, where I drew two stunning dresses and the designers who created them:

sketchbook - Nicole Murray - Edward Finney - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
Nicole Murray & Edward Finney in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Edward Finney’s work here is amazingly fluid yet sculptural, the silhouette is so long and sumptuous, and I love the matter of fact shapes of the bodice. Classy yet daring. All that stuff.

Nicole Murray’s dress by comparison is an absolute delight of softness and intricacy. The classic long gown underneath the gorgeous lace shift covers the wearer almost completely, yet seems very naked and unearthly. She was also beautiful.

Nicole Murray - lfw aw11 - dress
Nicole Murray. Photo courtesy of h.prlondon

Of the three shows I enjoyed the vibe at Freemasons Hall the most… it may have been the venue but it just felt far more relaxed and refined. The toilets were also very nice.

sketchbook - Fashion Mode crowd - lfw aw11 - jenny robins
The Fashion Mode crowd in Jenny Robins’ sketchbook.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Anthony Peto, ,BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad, ,birds, ,Edward Finney, ,Elle Talent Launch Pad, ,Erika Trotzig, ,estethica, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Fannie Schiavoni, ,fashion, ,Fashion Mode, ,Felicity Brown, ,Freemasons, ,George Angelopoulos, ,Ginta, ,hats, ,Holly Fulton, ,illustration, ,Jenny Robins, ,jewellery, ,Jordan Askill, ,Les Nereides, ,Lublu Kira, ,Madi, ,Madi Illustrates, ,N2, ,Neuroticam Little Glass Clementine, ,New Gen, ,Nicole Murray, ,Pachacuti, ,piers atkinson, ,Sketches, ,Tatty Devine, ,Teatum Jones, ,Úna Burke, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Yang Du, ,Yunus & Eliza

Similar Posts:





Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week AW15 Exhibition Stands Report including Fashion Scout and Me London

Typical Freaks
In my final AW15 London Fashion Week round up I take a peek at a few of the designers on the stands. At Fashion Scout I got chatting to Sonia Xiao of Typical Freaks, which is a collaborative project with partner Seun Ade-Onojobi. The new collection was inspired by the chaos of dog shows and features baggy layer able hand painted and embellished clothing in pastel brights. Loved it!

Cats Brothers pompoms
At the main London Fashion Week stands my eye was immediately attracted to this massive coat covered with pompoms by Cats Brothers, who specialise in heavily embellished garments that strike a statement.

Pitchouguina
This season Pitchouguina was obsessed with drawing hands, adding unusual statement embroideries such as this to the front of garments.

Emma Shipley
The Emma J Shipley luxury scarf brand goes from strength to strength thanks to her detailed drawing skills and eye for beautiful colour combinations. She recently collaborated with Disney to produce a special Tinkerbell range, profiled on her excellent blog.

Achtland flamingos
Achtland is brand new to LFW, founded by German duo Oliver Luhr and Thomas Bentz but now headquartered in London. I absolutely adored this fun flamingo applique sweat top from the latest collection.

Sadie Williams flowers
Sadie Williams clothing
I love the work of New Gen designer Sadie Williams, who specialises in the application of fancy textiles techniques such as quilting and applique, combined with sheers in a signature bright metallic palette. Love the quirky flower arrangement too.

Min Wu
Min Wu earrings
The new collection by Min Wu features supercute details like these metallic pocket ruffles. Her 3D printed earrings can be made in any colour way and featuring removable spinning interiors.

JD Cruz bags
As a former textile designer I was attracted to the fabulous colourful splashes on these printed leather bags by JD Cruz.

Beautiful Soul lollipops
At the Fashion at Me London showcase I caught up with Nicola Woods of Beautiful Soul, whose floral covered collections grow ever stronger. Loved the stand covered in false hydrangeas and featuring these fabric covered lollies.

Frank by David Longshaw
This little guy is called Frank, the newest character created by fashion designer David Longshaw, who skilfully combines illustration and fashion design to create unique garments.

Vielma dark tales
Finally, Vielma showcased new collection Dark Tales in the bitterly cold entrance to the hotel, featuring expert tailoring and skeleton prints.

Categories ,A/W 2015, ,Achtland, ,AW15, ,Beautiful Soul, ,Cats Brothers, ,Dark Tales, ,David Longshaw, ,Emma J Shipley, ,Fashion at Me London, ,Fashion Scout, ,Frank, ,JD Cruz, ,London Fashion Week, ,me london, ,Min Wu, ,New Gen, ,Nicola Woods, ,Oliver Luhr, ,Pitchouguina, ,Sadie Williams, ,Seun Ade-Onojobi, ,Show report, ,Sonia Xiao, ,Thomas Bentz, ,Typical Freaks, ,Vielma

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Topman

Topman, ed story hottest ticket in town!

Topman front row by Pearl Law.
Topman front row by Pearl Law.

You don’t believe me? Why, find dosage then you don’t understand the nature of fashion. Here was the only show where the menswear fashion mafia were out in force. The magnitude of control that the Topshop empire now wields over British fashion cannot be underestimated: between Philip Green, dosage Kate Moss and a huge amount of sponsorship Topshop practically IS British Fashion. Still don’t believe me? Then check out the rollcall of new designers that Topshop sponsored as part of New Gen this year, proudly announced in the foyer of the BFC tents like a litany of high achieving academics proudly etched into the wood panels of a university. They represent the very best of the new young designers working in Britain now, but the sad fact is that they will almost certainly be ripped off by the very monster that raised them. How else does Topshop make it’s obscene profits? And don’t even get me started on their ethical practices.

The menswear editors certainly aren’t here because they’re looking forward to the best collection of the entire week. They’re here to keep happy one of their biggest advertisers / the company that pays their consultancy fees. And Mr. Fatcat Philip Green himself can be found shortly before the show holding court in the press room, magnanimously chortling with some pretty young fashionista before taking his position in the front row, smiling contentedly, the lord of his dominion.

I know many of the menswear crew because of my past career as a stylist (for many years merely a fashion cupboard ‘monkey’ and thereafter as a stylist’s assistant) within this niche industry. I loved working as a menswear stylist – it wasn’t so fraught with the pinickety bitching and temper tantrums of womenswear, and the male models were a lot more fun. Even though there is now a dedicated menswear day at London Fashion Week it remains a very small part of the industry by comparison and many of the people I learnt my ‘craft’ alongside have now become highly influential, unsure how to treat me… the one who went off on an entirely independent tangent and has since become a mere speck on the edge of the menswear world.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The menswear crew of old sit in the front row opposite me, perfectly lined up like a row of duckies at the fair. First there’s Andrew Davis, sporting his best miserable face. We both started out in the Arena fashion cupboard as minions at the bottom of the heap, but Andrew learnt the art of sycophancy much better than I ever did and quickly rose to the position of Fashion Director for both Arena and Arena Homme Plus magazines. He now consults and styles for many large fashion brands across the world. He’s always looked young, a small ginger lad in a baseball cap, but he was old (29) even when he started out in this business, which just shows where blinding ambition will get you if you’re focused enough. Never let age be a barrier in fashion, especially if you look and act young.

Next to him Steve Beale – who is always chatty to me bless his soul – is now embedded in the bowels of uber lads’ mag FHM, where his career seems to be defined by a relentless quest for self-improvement. It was not always thus; he began life as founding editor of the cult underground magazine Sleaze Nation in the mid 90s… before the lure of cash from a proper job beckoned.

Daryoush Haj-Najafi was working as a barman in the then fantastically trendy Bricklayers Arms in the centre of Shoreditch when Shazzy Thomas, my then boss at The Face (I’d moved fashion cupboards in the Wagadon stable by then) decided he was cute and got him in as an intern in the late 90s. Thus his career began and he now writes extremely funny blogs about fashion for Vice Magazine. Hywel Davies offered me great encouragement at the start of my career – especially when I moved into photography – and used to hire me as a stylist, photographer and writer many years ago, again for Sleaze Nation. He is now a senior lecturer in fashion and has written the fashion tomes Modern Menswear and British Fashion Designers in recent years. Last in our round-up is Way Perry, a well-known stylist and menswear editor of Wonderland Magazine.

They will no doubt be among those who write glowing things about Topman: for them it’s the only way. But I have no such allegiances. Despite knowing many senior people in the Topman marketing and press team, they are one (of many) large advertisers who resolutely failed to support Amelia’s Magazine: in fact you could blame them for the downfall of the print version because if they’d jumped on board I may well have had many other advertisers, such is their power. And they continue to show no interest in what I do, so I can say about the collection what I like. And I will.

Named Berlin Boys this collection was dreariness personified – a feeling echoed in the faces of those opposite me. Styled by the perfectly respectable Alistair Mackie, all sense of excitement had been bled from the collection, just like the spidery tie-dyed silhouette trees bleeding across an apocalyptic reddened sky. On our seats had been placed a glossy little notebook that matched the invite we’d been sent, and this was quite frankly the most exciting bit of design I could see in the vicinity. I just don’t get it. Why not use a catwalk show as an excuse to create something more inspiring? Why does it have to be this way? Even from the second row I could see how cheaply made the clothes are, and how on earth did they find/force so many boys to adopt peroxide blonde hair for the show? Were they paid handsomely for the ordeal? I’ve seen the look so many times before.

Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

But none of it matters, because Topshop and Topman will continue to ‘support’ young designers as they start out on their tricky career in the notoriously fickle world of fashion, and people will continue to buy Topshop’s clothes, both good and bad. It matters not a jot what they choose to send down the catwalk. Mores the pity, for the megalith organisation that is Topshop could effect so much more good in this industry if it chose to. And I’m not just referring to design. Don’t even get me started on their ethical practices…

Categories ,Alistair Mackie, ,Berlin Boys, ,BFC Tent, ,Bricklayers Arms, ,Daryoush Haj-Najafi, ,FHM, ,Hywel Davies, ,Kate Moss, ,Mr. Fatcat, ,New Gen, ,Philip Green, ,Shazzy Thomas, ,shoreditch, ,Sleaze Nation, ,Somerset House, ,Steve Beale, ,The Face, ,Topman, ,topshop, ,Vice Magazine, ,Wagadon, ,Way Perry, ,Wonderland Magazine

Similar Posts: