Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu

In the prelude to September’s London Fashion Week, website Amelia’s Magazine ran a series of interviews with designers and previews of designers to watch. One of these took the form of a conversation between Amelia and Bora Aksu, a designer whose progression we love to watch and have followed since his graduation from that increasingly famous St Martins MA.

The interview (a must read) discusses Bora Aksu’s involvement with People Tree and the designer’s personal attempts to incorporate ethically sourced material in the main collection.

As aforementioned, Bora’s shows are often magical and his Spring Summer 2011 collection was no exception, the designer signature material combinations were present on the dresses alongside the new additions of delicately tapered trousers.

Illustration by Gemma Randall

For S/S 11 Bora Aksu premiered his new collection as part of the always pleasing On|Off schedule (there are multiple schedules at London Fashion Week and after three seasons I am still getting my head around the numerous venues, times, places and dates!). Set in the basement of Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Bora Aksu produced a series of eerily romantic garments in which all the looks were completed by inky black lines on cream hosiery.

Illustration by Gemma Randall

A whimsical affair, each dress elaborated the models physical features through the application of delicate ruffles. Carefully crafted materials mimicked that of an anatomically deconstructed corset. The adorned dresses drew attention to Bora Aksu’s craft drawing the viewers eyes towards every seam, hem and contrasting material.

The collection celebrated the experience of wearing material, from lace panels to the injection of silver jacquard in a pair of beautifully cut trousers. Compared to last season, S/S 2011 was a pared down collection, but as always the designer’s dress patterns intrigued the viewer’s eye.

The mainly muted collection contained moments of vivid saturation achieved by the addition of a beautiful deep red. As always Bora’s eye for collecting and studying discarded garments made this a very special collection and a lovely addition to London Fashion Week.

Illustration by Gemma Randall

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Categories ,Amelia Gregory, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,BFC, ,Bora Aksu, ,british fashion council, ,LFW SS2011 SS 2011, ,London Fashion Week, ,Romantic

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu

Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins.

Nicola Roberts was once more amongst the attendees for The Unknown, online which promised an entire narrative within the collection. Ever the romantic, tadalafil Bora Aksu discovered four old postcards in a Geneva antiques market. Initially attracted to the beautiful Edwardian imagery, it was to be the words written on the back that would inspire him the most. Written by a young lady named Rose, the postcards disclosed her love for Charles… and left Bora wondering what happened to this great romance of over one hundred years ago. And thus he embarked on The Unknown.

Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Karla Pérez (Geiko Louve)Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Karla Pérez (Geiko Louve)
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Karla Pérez aka Geiko Louve.

Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins.

Lighting low, the show began with a group of models who emerged en masse at the head of the runway, each dressed head to toe in shades of cream and beige with their heads wrapped in flowery garlands. Before them the catwalk (with no riser this season) was strewn with autumnal petals. Short puff skirts paired with crisp sleeveless blouses gave way to columns of tulle and net, all with signature Bora Aksu detailing. The demure colouring left me with the impression of an Edwardian schoolgirl who had been caught in her undies, but amongst this were some very wearable separates that should sell well in the real world.

Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Megan Thomas
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by Megan Thomas.

With a splash of sea blue roped detailing the collection moved onto sophisticated blacks and navy blues. Sweeping dresses with ribbon seam details emphasised womanly curves and curved necklines riffed on the current mania for all things pan collared. Sheer fabrics gave a glimpse of nipple, a common theme of this fashion week.

Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by June Chanpoomidole
Bora Aksu S/S 2012 by June Chanpoomidole.

I prefer my Bora with a bit more colour and structure, but this was an elegant collection that showed off Bora Aksu‘s love of all things Edwardian. It was also an excellent showcase for his new venture into the realm of hosiery. In the goodie bags were a pair of very special Bora Aksu branded tights, the rolling fishnet emulating the curved seams of his clothes: a perfect way to own a piece of Bora for a fraction of the cost of a whole outfit. Over the next few days I spotted many a pair of Bora clad legs on the front row, so it looks like he’s onto a winner.

Categories ,Antique, ,Beige, ,BFC, ,Bora Aksu, ,Charles, ,Cream, ,Edwardian, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Geiko Louve, ,Geneva, ,Hosiery, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,June Sees, ,Karla Perez, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Megan Thomas, ,Nicola Roberts, ,Nipples, ,Pan Collars, ,postcards, ,Romantic, ,Rose, ,S/S 2012, ,Sheer, ,Somerset House, ,The Unknown, ,tights

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Christian Blanken

Christian Blanken SS12 by Gareth A Hopkins

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

This presentation in particular was enjoyable from the start. Away from the rush and fuss of the main tent, pharmacy I went to explore the bright and beautiful Portico Rooms of Somerset House to find the Christian Blanken show. As I lined up, I got a peek at the other designer exhibitions and took in the quiet calm of the wooden floors and neo-classical architecture.

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Rosa and Carlotta

All photography by Rosa & Carlotta Crepax of Illustrated Moodboard

I was ushered inside a room set up with some impressive-looking mirrored panels, I took a seat and got my sketchbook and pens ready for what Mr Blanken had to show us. As the lights slightly dimmed and the music began to start I got my third compliment of the day on my Bora Aksu patterned ‘Angel’ tights which were a front-row goody bag gift and have left me wanting more from his new hosiery and accessory range.

Christian Blanken SS 2012 by Gilly Rochester

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

Christian Blanken has a very clean and cool vision for Spring/Summer 2012, defined by shades of grey, mink, and black and occasional shots of soft coral. He really developed his sharp and luxe look with an artful use of heavy ruching and sportswear-like silhouettes.

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 illustrated by Kate Eldridge

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Kate Eldridge

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Rosa and Carlotta
Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Rosa and Carlotta
It was all undoubtedly feminine, but not as you’d recognise it. Ruching? Sparkle? Soft silks and pale colours? Sweet, but not in the hands of Christian Blanken. I have never been a big fan of sweet, and like Christian count strong-silhouette designers like Azzedine Alaia and Helmut Lang as two of my favourites, but would most definitely embrace this wearable version of it for S/S 2012.

Christian-Blanken S/S 2012 illustrated by Alia Gargum

Christian-Blanken S/S 2012 by Alia Gargum

Inspired by the new Swarovski Elements ceramics collection, stingrays (which worked beautifully in print), bonded textiles and leathers, this collection is for those that appreciate tailoring, detail, and good fabrics. Christian sourced materials from Italy to get the best he could while following his aim of creating the ideal modern wardrobe without an impossible price range.

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 illustrated by Ada Jusic

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 illustrated by Ada Jusic

The show itself was even relaxing to draw; the clean lines, slicked-back hair and sharp tailoring flowed easily along the page. Even the latecomers that kept walking into the show space and were momentarily reflected in the cleverly designed set along with the models didn’t disrupt the calm.

Christian Blanken S/S 2012 by Rosa & Carlotta Crepax
As the show ended and I left the room, I felt curious to see what this Dutch-born designer comes up with next. Anyone who can make ruching and sparkle also behave in such a strong and structured way deserves attention, which he seemed to be in for as I strolled past the long line already patiently waiting for the next show.

Categories ,Ada Jusic, ,Alia Gargum, ,Azzedine Alaia, ,Bora Aksu, ,Christian Blanken, ,Clean Lines, ,Coral, ,Feminine, ,Front Row, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Goddy Bag, ,Helmut Lang, ,Hoisery, ,Illustrated Moodboard, ,Kate Eldridge, ,London Fashion Week, ,Rosa & Carlotta Crepax, ,Set Design, ,Sparkle, ,Sportwear, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,Swarovski, ,Sweet

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Mark Fast

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Marcus Reed
Mark Fast S/S 2012 by Marcus Reed

Mark Fast is a designer that sticks in peoples minds for a multitude of reasons. For some it’s his way of turning knitwear into an art form, viagra for others it’s how he creates some of the most recognisable figure-hugging yet conceptual dresses out there or his revolutionary steps in technique. Amelia herself is a massive knitwear fan, and raved about his work with merino wool in her review of Mark Fast‘s A/W 2011 collection at London Fashion Week. For me, it all started when I met a very funny and gently spoken fashion student who was creating knitwear for womenswear designer Bora Aksu back in 2006.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by CharlotteHoyle
Mark Fast S/S 2012 by Charlotte Hoyle

Since then, Mark has rocked some headlines with his catwalk shows; causing a fashion stir for his use of plus-sized and curvier models such as Crystal Renn and Hayley Morley consistently each season (his first use of plus-sized models allegedly causing members of his team to walk out). At the time, I remember a sudden explosion of people talking about Fast, even friends who never ‘got’ fashion week before knew his name. There are countless designers who create figure-hugging sartorial magic on the catwalk, but a distance is created when you realise that normal women come in all different shapes and sizes, which stops me from seeing a fantastically chic friend or myself in the clothes. I can always appreciate the raw beauty and skill involved in a good catwalk show, as you’d admire a work of art; but don’t always see it as something accessible for this reason. Mark blew all of this out of the water by proving that his knitted dresses could also hug the curve of real hips and flatter the roundness of a fuller bust.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast S/S 2012, all photography by Amelia Gregory

I lined up for the show with endless other fashion editors and buyers for what looked like was going to be a very packed event. Fashion editor and style magpie Anna Dello Russo fluttered by in a shimmer of current season Prada oversized paillette dress and snakeskin boots, which have an incredible curved heel to them, catching my eye despite of my aversion to real snakeskin. Model Liberty Ross, Tallulah Harlech (daughter of modelling legend Lady Amanda Harlech) and modelling pop songstress Eliza Doolittle were in the front row, with Eliza catching a lot of attention from the paparazzi in a very short (presumably Mark Fast) black dress. I had to smile when she pretended to ignore them but continued posing as she caught up with a friend.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva
Mark Fast S/S 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

As I was shown to my seat, there were a lot of people running around including a production or show manager yelling ‘showing in 5 MINUTES!’ in my ear as I scurried past. There definitely was something in the air before this show, a palpable heated excitement radiating from every person in the presentation space. Suddenly, the press release I was reading through seemed incredibly apt. The collection was inspired by ‘desert mirages and tropical exoticism’ with colours taken from a desert landscape and the movement of a sandstorm providing a starting point for the clothes. I began to feel hotter, as if all the anticipation had brought the desert heat into the show, making me forget all about the blustery autumn weather outside. I was then asked to shuffle over to make room for a lady who turned out to be a very nice Condé Nast street style photographer. She spotted my pens and sketchbook, poised for drawing, and chatted to me about how enchanting it is to watch Vogue creative director extraordinaire Grace Coddington (who I loved in The September Issue) sketch live at catwalk shows. As we talked illustration and photography, the lights began to dim and a sultry summer track mixed with electro beats began to play.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Orange-tinged lights especially set up for this show around the catwalk began to shine and fade in time with the sharp metallic-sounding music, and then settled to glow intermittently as the first model made her way onto the catwalk. An off the shoulder knitted top and skirt in the lightest possible shade of sand with equally light detailing and undone strands that trailed along the arms of the model as she moved made it out along the catwalk. The photographer next to me sighed a little breath of relief and delight along with most of the room. The pale gold colours made me reminisce over the sunlight you get in the summer, while the 1920s finger-waved and bobbed hair gave the clothes a bit of vintage glamour. The shoes, thanks to Mr Christian Louboutin, brought the look back around to the modern day. T-bar wedges and heels with incredibly huge platforms in gold, pink, black and orange to match the clothes also had little details like spiked studs and rubber straps, which reminded me of jelly shoes.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

More dresses in the same colours but with a variety of shapes you would normally associate with formal wear such as a fishtail gown (which the model almost fell over in) and a practically see-through floor-length number came along. Cleverly re-worked in a luxe version of macramé-style knotting, the silhouettes held their structure but had a light, summery softness to them. Sheer finer-knit dresses were placed over golden knitted bikinis, subtly showing off their delicate intricacy.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Although the audience was already clearly wowed by the pale gold creations, several pieces came out that made me hold my breath in amazement. The first was a dress with a structured top and then a signature Mark Fast bottom half completely made out of golden loose strands, which moved like nothing I’ve ever seen in my life. Movement on this scale is hard enough to capture in a garment, let alone getting it to a point where it’s flattering. But the weight and lengths of the string-like strands moved perfectly in harmony with the model, never losing her shape but seemingly dancing around her. It was like Mark had actually gone out and captured a little sandstorm of gold, and then attached it to a dress in the most flattering way possible. The model and the others that followed her with similar garments couldn’t help having a little something extra in the way they walked. I began to fantasize about how it must feel to wear something quite so incredible, and luckily was snapped out of it by what came next.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

After some acid-yellow and Lucozade-orange dresses with a similar lightness but no less ‘feminine with an edge’ fabulousness, I got a shock that made me want to elbow the photographer next to me in eagerness (luckily I held back, realising that almost knocking the poor girl off the bench in a rush of excitement wouldn’t be the best thing to do).

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins
Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins
Mark Fast S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

At first, I thought I was imagining it, but then I remembered the painterly pattern on my show invite and realised that I was indeed seeing the first bit of print in a Mark Fast show. Printed on neoprene, that wetsuit fabric that fashion houses have been using for a while and love for summer, the pattern circled necklines, sleeves and hemlines, gradually fading out. It was completely unexpected and I love the way Mark just gave print a little try, modestly put it on a few dresses but was obviously proud enough to use it for the invitation.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Marcus Reed
Mark Fast S/S 2012 by Marcus Reed

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

All in all, the show was very relaxed, sultry, modern and seductive while sporadically a little bit younger than before with the cute baby doll type dresses alongside the dramatic-but-comfortable grown-up gowns. There were some black dresses and two-pieces expertly styled with Linda Farrow sunglasses and jewellery from both Pebble and Renee Lindell (stacks of thick bangles looked perfect for summer) as was the rest of the collection. Quite a few garments were like summer versions of his previous winter collections made from heavier wool. It was almost like someone said ‘well I bet that body-con knitted dress business wouldn’t work in summer’ and Mark replied ‘oh yeah?’ by finding an entirely new and light-as-air way of knitting.

Mark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia GregoryMark Fast Spring/Summer 2012 by Amelia Gregory

On the way out of the show, the cynic in me thought that were was actually a lot of repetition from previous seasons in the necklines, silhouettes and structured knits. However as hot-footed it to another show, I thought about why I expected there to be something so completely different this time around. I admittedly had high expectations of the show, but it was such a standout collection, and little details like structure and shape created by embroidering shimmering petals of sequins into the knitwear didn’t disappoint. I suddenly thought, what is so wrong with sticking with what you’re good at? Mark has now built up a signature style where so much can be developed from, why should he change drastically each season? The promise of prints and ever-developing strides in knitwear are keeping me interested, and if Mark continues to keep his fans I can see his brand following in the steps of Azzedine Alaïa, who practically invented sexy dressing with a twist through his figure-hugging cut-out womenswear in the 1980s and is still going strong. I was genuinely surprised by what this clever designer delivered, and no doubt will be panting in anticipation for the next season with everyone else.


Play the video and watch the show.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Dello Russo, ,Azzedine Alaia, ,BFC, ,Bora Aksu, ,catwalk, ,Charlotte Hoyle, ,Condé Nast, ,Crystal Renn, ,Eliza Doolittle, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Grace Coddington, ,Hayley Morley, ,knitwear, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Liberty Ross, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marcus Reed, ,Mark Fast, ,print, ,S/S 2012, ,Somerset House, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,Tallulah Harlech, ,The September Issue, ,Womenswear

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 S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu (more)


Illustration by Andrea Peterson

It wasn’t until the Jena.Theo show that I got my first hit of fashion adrenaline this LFW. The design duo Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis have created a Spring Summer 2011 collection that combines both the theatrical and the wearable in draped layers of silk and jersey, treat side effects shot through with the Midas Touch. Gold leaf was applied not only to models’ eyelids and nails, view but also to wrists, ankles, collarbones and occasionally a breast or belly button that happened to be exposed.

Though this would undoubtedly not go down well in the Muslim world today, culturally the show was a mix of the old Arabian Nights- or Prince of Persia to the computer game generation- meets 19th century British colonialism; models’ heads swathed in oversized turbans or hair backcombed into huge Victorian updos.


Illustration by Andrea Peterson

The winners of Fashion Fringe 2009 struck a perfect balance between catwalk creativity and clothes with the potential to actually be worn in real life; with a wonderful take on a Victorian hoop skirt to finish the show. This is what I want from an LFW show; something fun and inventive as well as wearable clothes.

I sat with the team behind the new Young British Designers website, which champions the likes of Jena.Theo; keep an eye out on Amelia’s for an interview with them coming soon. Adriana was in fact loyally wearing an outfit by the design duo.

We were in the second row but got bumped forward into the front row when there were a few spaces at the last minute; which meant I managed to get a really good, close up look at the raw painted gold leaf stiletto platform shoes.

It also of course, meant goody bag ahoy!Ironically, for a fashion gift, this included one of the best brownies I’ve ever eaten; in fact many of the stalls in the LFW exhibitions have sweets or cakes on their stands, though you never see anyone eating them. Except me.Which is why you won’t see me bearing my gilded navel in an Aladdin-esque ensemble anytime soon.


Illustration by Andrea Peterson

London Fashion Week has begun (NB: at the time of writing, order it was the end of the second day) and apart from the excitement at spotting various London boutique owners, try mild celebrities and the increasing chances of seeing a model stumble from the heady heights of unstable shoes, information pills the week is of course about FASHION. From the stalwarts of Simon Rocha and Betty Jackson to the increasing number of designers who are the”ones to watch,” it is a to put it mildly a frantic dash from venue to queue to venue to queue and back to the BFC for a quick cuppa before starting all over again. An incredibly enjoyable dash, but a dash none the less.

On Friday (17th September 2010) Amelia’s Magazine had the pleasure of touching base with Eun Jeong’s S/S 11 static presentation in the alcoves of the Russell Chambers, Covent Garden. The designers studio presentation was set amid the odd jumble of relics frequently obtained during the industrious weeks leading up to LFW. Exceptionally pretty models were positioned around the fringes of the room and the press pack moved in hapazadly through the three rooms of the exhibition documenting the clothes positioned on mannikins and on seated or standing models.

One room consisted entirely of props painted white, which rather effectively set off the crystal-embellished shoes, whilst drawing attention to Eon Jeung’s attention to draping. From looking at the shoes, the inspiration for the sewing basket may have come from Jeong’s shoe designs, rather than the other way round. The middle room consisted of a beautiful floral pattern that was reminiscent of Future Classics in cut.

The final room was occupied solely by mannikins dressed in an assortment of designs including a beautifully simple dress embellished with a touch of bright colour on the shoulders. Quickly reflecting on the first two days of the designers this reviewer has seen at the September 2010 edition of London Fashion Week. Many appear to be playing it safe and producing clothes fit for the boutique market.

Looking at the standard of Eon Jeung’s designs for S/S 2011, it is hard to believe that this is the designer’s third season since graduating from THAT Central Saint Martin’s MA.

The organised chaos of London Fashion Week has begun (NB: at the time of writing, approved it was the end of the second day) and apart from the excitement at spotting various London boutique owners, online mild celebrities and the increasing chances of seeing a model stumble from the heady heights of unstable shoes, web the week is of course about FASHION. From the stalwarts of Simon Rocha and Betty Jackson to the increasing number of designers who are the”ones to watch,” it is a to put it mildly a frantic dash from venue to queue to venue to queue and back to the BFC for a quick cuppa before starting all over again. An incredibly enjoyable dash, but a dash none the less.

On Friday (17th September 2010) Amelia’s Magazine had the pleasure of touching base with Eun Jeong’s S/S 11 static presentation in the alcoves of the Russell Chambers, Covent Garden. The designers studio presentation was set amid the odd jumble of relics frequently obtained during the industrious weeks leading up to LFW. Exceptionally pretty models were positioned around the fringes of the room and the press pack moved in hapazadly through the three rooms of the exhibition documenting the clothes positioned on mannikins and on seated or standing models.

One room consisted entirely of props painted white, which rather effectively set off the crystal-embellished shoes, whilst drawing attention to Eon Jeung’s attention to draping. From looking at the shoes, the inspiration for the sewing basket may have come from Jeong’s shoe designs, rather than the other way round. The middle room consisted of a beautiful floral pattern that was reminiscent of Future Classics in cut.

The final room was occupied solely by mannikins dressed in an assortment of designs including a beautifully simple dress embellished with a touch of bright colour on the shoulders. Quickly reflecting on the first two days of the designers this reviewer has seen at the September 2010 edition of London Fashion Week. Many appear to be playing it safe and producing clothes fit for the boutique market.

Looking at the standard of Eon Jeung’s designs for S/S 2011, it is hard to believe that this is the designer’s third season since graduating from THAT Central Saint Martin’s MA.

The organised chaos of London Fashion Week has begun (NB: at the time of writing, advice it was the end of the second day) and apart from the excitement at spotting various London boutique owners, pills mild celebrities and the increasing chances of seeing a model stumble from the heady heights of unstable shoes, the week is of course about FASHION.

From the stalwarts of Simon Rocha and Betty Jackson to the increasing number of designers who are the”ones to watch,” it is a to put it mildly a frantic dash from venue to queue to venue to queue and back to the BFC for a quick cuppa before starting all over again. An incredibly enjoyable dash, but a dash none the less.

On Friday (17th September 2010) Amelia’s Magazine had the pleasure of touching base with Eun Jeong’s S/S 11 static presentation in the alcoves of the Russell Chambers, Covent Garden. The designers studio presentation was set amid the odd jumble of relics frequently obtained during the industrious weeks leading up to LFW.

Exceptionally pretty models were positioned around the fringes of the room and the press pack moved in hapazadly through the three rooms of the exhibition documenting the clothes positioned on mannikins and on seated or standing models.

One room consisted entirely of props painted white, which rather effectively set off the crystal-embellished shoes, whilst drawing attention to Eon Jeung’s attention to draping. From looking at the shoes, the inspiration for the sewing basket may have come from Jeong’s shoe designs, rather than the other way round. The middle room consisted of a beautiful floral pattern that was reminiscent of Future Classics in cut.

The final room was occupied solely by mannikins dressed in an assortment of designs including a beautifully simple dress embellished with intricate black beading across the breadth of the dress. Looking at the standard of Eon Jeung’s designs for S/S 2011, it is hard to believe that this is the designer’s third season since graduating from THAT Central Saint Martin’s MA.

Quickly reflecting on the first two days of the designers this reviewer has seen at the September 2010 edition of London Fashion Week. Many appear to be playing it safe and producing clothes fit for the boutique market.

naomi-law-bora-aksu
Bora Aksu by Naomi Law.

Oh how I do love a bit of Bora Aksu. As well as being a one of a kind creative genius he is surely the nicest man in fashion – as you will know if you’ve read my pre LFW interview. I attended his show at Victoria House with Sally yesterday, sildenafil and she has also written up her review of it here.

Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

It was a far more intimate venue than last season’s show in the BFC tent, about it which meant that I got a brilliant view of Bora’s extraordinary artistry up close. Merely a hands reach away the models strode past in bulging loose bun beehives accessorised with giant ants (the loosely backcombed up-do is becoming a bit of a theme this fashion week) and tangled spiders web lacy tights.

Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
naomi-law-bora-aksu-1
Bora Aksu by Naomi Law.

This season the palette took a darker turn, consisting of steely greys, navy and a gorgeous deep red. Taking his alienesque styling of last season to its next *logical* step, the protrusions seemed to curl ever further out of dresses, or perhaps it was just my new proximity which made it seem so. For more commercial effect ruffles, brocade and lace also made an appearance in creative mashups.

Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

After the show I was hastily approached by Blow PR to see if one of my photos could be whisked off to the newspapers – something to do with an urgent request for “harem pants” – so I spent the next half an hour in the frantic press room, where I managed to say hello to Bora as he was giving interviews in the corner. He was utterly delightful of course: as I said, the nicest man in fashion. And as innovative as ever.

Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Alienesque, ,Blow PR, ,Bora Aksu, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,onoff, ,Sally Mumby-Croft, ,Victoria House

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu (by Amelia)

W 2011-W 2011-IMG_4205
LFW2_FlorianJayet_by_AlisonDay

LFW A/W 2011, mind Florian Jayet. Illustration by Alison Day

I spent London Fashion Week staying at my parent’s house. My childhood home with a new kitchen, approved dog ‘brother’, purchase central heating that works and a bath. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed having my porridge made in the morning. Maple syrup on the side, and a herbal tea, packed lunch filled with snacks. That’s right, I lapped it up. Although Charlie is an excellent boy/man, there is nothing quite like the mother. However they live a few miles outside of Brighton, in a village. Thus the trek to London, the long days and write ups – intense. All because I LOVE it. Love words, fashion, and obviously, this mighty magazine. Yet I deliberated with coming to London for one show on Sunday. Day of rest day normally means Roast dinner. But I have in my mind, ‘NO HELS! SAY NOT TO NOTHING!’ at all times. I’m following my writing dream after all. This causes me great pleasures and enormous pains. So, of course, one show or not, I was on that train to London Victoria. And am I glad I made the effort for Fashion Mode?

Yes. Three shows in one; three excellent shows. I’m going to split Fashion Mode into three posts, because each designer deserves the love. So we will start with Floriet Jayet.

LFW3_FlorianJayet_by_AlisonDay

Illustration by LFW A/W 2011, Florian Jayet.Alison Day

Initially I was slightly terrified and in awe of the models coming out. Nothing different to every show you might say. But, this was different, because the models had metal contraptions of their heads that made them look like a cross between special aliens and orthodontic patients. Four strips of silver metal came over their heads from the back, to touch their faces, with an enormous roller at the back. After my initial fear, I decided that they looked cool, as inevitably happens at LFW. See: ‘Urg… ahhh.. yah, I totally get that now. I want one.’ Although I’m not sure I would wear one of these creations, I would certainly consider wearing the dresses, which the metal complimented perfectly. Wiggle space lady, that’s what you are. With lasers from your eyes and hips.

Florian Jayet is a graduate in Biology which explains his science appreciative designs. The dresses featured strong shoulders, midi length skirts and padded fabrics. The shape of the woman has been celebrated and appreciated as if it is meant to be seen and not covered – raw biology. The models reminded me of those in Huxley’s; Brave New World. Perfect, angular and although feminine, minus the romanticism and emotional sentimentality, that are sometimes conjured by designs. In a sense Jayet‘s pieces are actually a mix of previous, and our vision of future, ideologies. The restricted, but beautiful shapes of the 20s, 30s and 40s appear to have been fused with modern and excessive details; i.e. the shoulders. The contemporary complimenting the past, and particularly with reference to French houses; Chanel and Dior. This makes for a very sophisticated and composed look. It made me want to look closer, at every detail, and know more. As opposed to held within the ruffles, the corset and the red heels, everything seemed so wrapped up, with the story inside. It was whimsical in its own way, and also impenetrable. These outfits are those that I would hope to find in the corner of a cafe in Paris, smoking, mysterious, alone – with a steely, but far away look.

I adored the padding details and the shrug wraps. Space lady, dressed for dinner. The long dresses had a Japanese feel to them, geisha like and graceful. Florian Jayet said that the focus for him, is to create; ‘a fetish wardrobe, pieces that a woman can keep forever, bringing them out on special occasions when she needs to be propelled into confidence and strength.’ It’s fair to say that you would feel empowered wearing Jayet’s pieces. The creams and blacks, shoulders, padding and midi length skirts would have me stomping and demanding like a glossy magazine Editor with somewhere to be. However at the moment it’s more probable I would be the space lady in the cafe, with a triple americano (having no affect), internally reliving or hoping for something. With an unreadable face, it’s unclear as to what scene could be playing in the mind of this space femme, but in a way it’s romantic.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd.

Bora Aksu is one of the most unassuming and down to earth men I’ve ever met, and let alone in the land of fashion – which is why it is so bizarre that his shows attract such a high level of celebrity interest – I can’t for one moment imagine that he courts it himself…

Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Amelia Gregory
Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It was only after I’d planted myself down in the front row that I realised I was in the thick of a celebrity pap fest. Twiggy was busy giving vox pops to my left and Marina of Marina and the Diamonds fame came stomping past inches from my nose in a bid to find a spare patch of front row action. I kept my head down, stomach so it was only after the show that I realised I’d been sitting only a few bodies down from ex Sugababes’ star Keisha Buchanan, information pills as she stood for an awkward and heavily photographed air kiss reunion with Girls Aloud’s current fashion darling Nicola Roberts, whose incredible thinness was enhanced by the halo of flashes going off behind her. I could hardly leave the venue for the ensuing scrum. Memo to self: try to avoid sitting in the thick of celeb land next time.

Marina by Artist Andrea
Marina in an amazing mice encrusted jumper by Andrea Peterson.

Last season Bora took a step away from the Somerset House action to show at the considerably smaller venue at Victoria House, and in reflection of this step down his collection seemed slightly lacking in confidence. But for A/W 2011 he was back in the big tent, and proving once more that he is at the height of his powers.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd.

Gun metal grey is a favourite Bora colour, and the collection flew off the starting blocks as it meant to continue, with a gorgeous bustle-backed party frock in metallic fabric and wool, highlighted by a slash of emerald green at the waist and in the underskirt – a colour that was to take second place only to his beloved grey this season.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Alia Gargum
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Alia Gargum.

Bora staples: lace, sheer chiffon, cable knit and corsetry lacing were all present and correct, bound and wound around the models in cunning arrangements. Playful inspiration was found in the form of tuxedos and bow ties, Bora playing with proportion, placement and trompe l’oeil effects.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

As usual some of the dresses called to mind a suit of armour, contouring the female form. As the collection progressed the models’ delicate features became evermore bound in black gauze before they grouped in formation to take their final turn on the catwalk – a trend that was to be repeated throughout the week at various shows.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Bora Aksu has an extraordinarily clear vision that keeps getting stronger and stronger: feminine without being too girly, clever without being unwearable, recognisable without being samey and continuously innovative. He is without doubt one of the most individual and idiosyncratic designers working in the UK today. Roll on S/S 2012.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read Georgia Takacs’ review here and Jemma Crow’s review here. Or you can check in with my intimate interview, posted last September. We’re big fans, what can I say?

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Andrea Peterson, ,Bora Aksu, ,Bow Tie, ,Danielle Shepherd, ,Donya Todd, ,Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ,girls aloud, ,Keisha Buchanan, ,Marina and The Diamonds, ,Nicola Roberts, ,Sugababes, ,Sweeny Todd, ,trompe l’oeil, ,Tuxedo, ,twiggy

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu (by Georgia)


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

It was Day 1 at Somerset House and I was surrounded by all those fashion bigwigs at Caroline Charles; sure to have just flown in first-class from the closing New York Fashion Week and before that whichever glamorous corner of the Earth they resided. The BFC Catwalk space, page therefore, kicked off with a sure-fire reminder of where we were; London. Just in case anyone forgot.


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

??It was all about the classic, home-comfort elements of good-old British style. You had your checks, your lace, your chiffon, your wool winter coats that your mother forced you in when you were young and now just can’t get out of.??

Most garments were intrinsically minimalistic. There was very little print. The fabric palette didn’t stretch too far and no real attempt towards a-symmetric cuts or daring features was made. Despite such profuse amounts of plain-Jane style, however, a subtle sexiness arose from those full-sequined dresses in bright red and sultry black as well as the odd combination of tiger and leopard print. It was bad taste turned classy.??


Illustration by Gilly Rochester

The collection’s silhouette held a strong focus on the waist with delicate belts cinching-in wool shift dresses and chiffon floaty creations. There was a barely a bold moment throughout the entire show but one thing was for sure: everything had style.
Furthermore (as has been featured countless times this season), bows were a primary focus for Charles. She placed them on bowler hats, made them out of black ribbon tied around the neck and pulled them round to the rear of high-waisted trousers.


Illustrations by Maria Papadimitriou

Some of the combinations of textures, however, were a little iffy for me. Black leather pencil skirts with brown lady-like jackets? It just didn’t click. I also wasn’t keen on the injection of equestrian riding hats and low pony-tails. It was oh-so-boring and that kind of look, for me anyway, completely lacks any sort of style or attitude. Perhaps a ploy made my yet-another designer to turn the head of Kate Middleton as the Royal Wedding approaches? Maybe so.


Photographs by Georgia Takacs

Amidst the elegant and some-what calming classical music, however, I was agitated by lady-with-hideous-hat who was inconveniently featured in most of my photographs. There was a bit of a frenzy around her and THE HAT after the show. I couldn’t begin to understand why and marched past indifferent and utterly confused.??

All in all, a largely predictable and collection from a classic London dress-maker. It’s endearing, however, to see a leading designer of 47 years to continue delivering a fail-safe iconic style which will forever be appreciated. And with so much sophisticated femininity around this Autumn/Winter season, it certainly set the scene for what was to come and offers a solid reference to anyone embracing ‘The Woman’ next season.

Illustration by Sandra Contreras

Jena.Theo, more about made up of Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis, more about who met at the London College of Fashion, approved clearly want to be rock-chic at heart, and the show was like a highly anticipated gig with fashion editors literally fighting for seats (I’m not kidding it was crazy). So a bit of a manic start then!


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

The models sashayed down the catwalk whilst the clothes beautifully draped and flowed behind them and nothing was structured; it was very much a free-loving collection. A possible clanger came from the denim bubble coat (not as horrific as it sounds but still bad) and the look was slightly undone; maybe even unfinished but then maybe that’s what was intended.

The venue itself was pretty hardcore for 11am too with flashing coloured lasers spraying from the ceiling and a giant board lit up behind the models leaving us in no doubt as to what show we were at. They might as well have told us to get our rave on whilst referencing Valkyrie as the collection was aptly known.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Something always gets me though at these shows and it’s when the designers decide that ‘normal’ make up isn’t enough for their show, they need something a little kooky. Jena Theo decided that each model needed a black ‘Michael Stipe’ esque stripe across their eyes and to me it just wasn’t needed. Not that it particularly distracted from the clothes but it didn’t necessarily add anything either.


Illustration by Sandra Contreras

I’ll give them their due, after all it is their first on-schedule show this year but maybe next year the theatrical make up needs to be left out. Surely there’s enough of that in fashion!

You can saw more of Gareth A Hopkins’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.


Illustration by Jenny Robins

So I’m a big fan of Bora Aksu. He’s one of those London Fashion Week underdogs that just has that extra WOW-factor and his show always seems to be the hot ticket on Day One. And with Twiggy and Marina (of The Diamonds) in the front row, price I don’t think I was the only one with high expectations!??The show was held in the BFC Catwalk Space and, approved after being ushered into the line for those with seated tickets, I found myself standing behind a rather ratty lady from Marie Claire who literally huffed and grumbled even if my bag simply brushed her arm. It’s called a queue, darling.


Illustration by Joe Turvey

Hoards of hipsters then made their way into the line behind me (men in wedges, copious amounts of fur and red lipstick – you know the drill) hence this was the moment I knew I was in the line allocated good seats. Front row was, therefore, choc-a-bloc with extreme scenesters and second row wasn’t bad at all when one clocked onto the masses that were standing in any space available. Fashion Week does seem very busy this time round.


Live catwalk illustration by Jenny Robins


Twiggy! All photography by Georgia Takacs

I passed Twiggy’s name on a piece of paper and, upon her arrival moments later, the paps were crazy around her. I could just about see her smile, flashing amidst the flurry. Surrounding her on the front row were the likes of Nicola Roberts and Tallulah Harlech.


Illustration by Joe Turvey

As the lights were just about to dim, the fierce Marina Diamandis – arms adorned with tumbling knitted mice – was ushered to the seat right in front of me by a crazed front-of-house lady belting ‘Make way! Move along!’, probably resulting in some poor lady writing for Grazia sitting cross-legged on the floor. Fashion, eh?


Marina Diamandis

Show time. Bora Aksu didn’t hang around. Dark music and a-symmetric power dresses immediately stormed the catwalk. It was all about sharp tailoring with wool blazers and-the-like including a reoccurring little bow placed high at the neck, either tied there or on the dress. They were, in fact, appearing everywhere – on belts, the backs of dress and even hanging down from the backs of skirts. Bows are big this season!??One thing was for sure, Aksu was clearly enjoying the green. Shirts and underskirts blazed with a bright emerald hue amidst a largely classic palette of greys, charcoals and, of course, black. Green definitely stood out. And it stole the show.


Illustration by Joe Turvey

The dresses had countless genius intricacies – such is the genius of Aksu himself! Every garment had a mix of textures, fabrics, colours and structures. Hemlines were either short-and-sexy or floor-length – the two trends that seem to be dominating, this season. It’s either one extreme or the other, which I LOVE.

Hemlines are greatly important, often defining a silohette, and they were paid great attention to here creating an imposing, powerful image.

With frizzy back-combing and casual back-dos, the hair was understated messy glam. As was the make-up with pale skin and hints of brown. This natural grooming was a definite side-step away from the often mind-boggling intricate creations of Bora Aksu who, once again, delivered a fashion force to be reckoned with!

You can saw more of Jenny Robins’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Bora Aksu, ,Catwalk review, ,Emerald, ,hipsters, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marie Claire, ,Marina & the Diamonds, ,Nicola Roberts, ,Tallulah Harlech, ,twiggy

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu (by Jemma)

Bora Aksu London Fashion Week AW11
Bora Aksu by Lisa Stannard

Bora was the hot ticket on Saturday night and it was typical that all the big fashion editors were otherwise engaged, pills ok so they were at Downing Street with the queen of political fashion Sam Cam but I bet they were gutted. In fact I was quite impressed with myself getting a seat right by the models entrance and plonking myself right on the end….that was until the show got soo full up that the side of the stage was crowded with a gazillion people blocking my photographic view. Oh well.

Bora Aksu London Fashion Week AW11
Illustration by Lisa Stannard

Aksu is a graduate of the Central Saint Martins MA (who isn’t these days?) so since 2002 he has been working through his collections and gaining the title of “star of the show” by many newspapers which lead him to his first debut collection off schedule in February 2003. Suzy Menkes is even a fan, mind not an accolade to be taken lightly. Intriguingly Bora Aksu was intent on dressing models in chiffon headband. Now these weren’t ordinarily tied around the head but wrapped in a variety of criss cross styles almost like a facial sling; not that that’s a slur I loved it. Aksu’s aspiration is to “find balance point between contrast [and create romance] with a darker twist.”

Bora Aksu London Fashion Week AW11
Photoography by Jemma Crow

It certainly was a darker show inspired by Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde with Marilyn Manson’s rendition of Sweet Dreams accompanying the models. Although looks were tailored there was an old-fashioned Victorian feel to the collection with bustle style skirts on dresses and bow ties. It even seemed that Aksu had taken a leaf out of Christopher Kane’s book with a green lace dress, looking to be a hot colour for the season along with red (but never together of course that would be ridiculous!) It even came in the form of silky shirts tucked into trousers. Delish!

Aksu knows how to make the OTT side of fashion into a surprisingly wearable collection. I think it’s mostly down to his subtle use of colour (the greens) and detailing (the bows and head scarves) which makes everything just that bit more interesting.

Bora Aksu London Fashion Week AW11
Photoography by Jemma Crow

As with all the popular shows we had the delights of a front row celebrity through non other than M&S sweetheart Twiggy who sat next to our very own Amelia Gregory. But the real press scrum (and I’m not using that word lightly it was a MENTAL scrum) came after the show. What with the likes of Marina from the Diamonds fame, Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud and Twiggy making their exit, getting out of the show was easier said than done. Cue lots of pushing us plebs from the paparazzi as far as we could go just so that they could get the money shot. Not my favourite thing about these shows but it’s all got to be done. And believe me I’ve got elbows to push them back be warned.

Bora Aksu London Fashion Week AW11
Bora Aksu by Lisa Stannard

Thanks to Lisa Stannard for the illustrations. More of her work can be seen in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,Amelia Gregory, ,AW11, ,Bora Aksu, ,celebrity scrum, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Downing Street, ,Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, ,Lisa Stannard, ,London Fashion Week, ,marilyn manson, ,Marina and The Diamonds, ,Nicola Roberts, ,samantha cameron, ,Suzy Menkes, ,twiggy

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | LCF MA Fashion and the Environment graduate exhibition

mime-festival-ockhams-razor
Ockham’s Razor by Rosalie Hoskins

I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to much performance art or modern dance before. But let’s just say that my circumstances have somewhat changed of late and at the moment I am enjoying being introduced to new types of creativity.

So, prostate cheapest what’s with this Mime Festival stuff? Well, information pills if you thought that mime was all men in black pretending to grope a wall be ready to have your definition of mime challenged. It seems that mime nowadays is more a combination of contemporary dance and circus. It’s about story telling from an abstracted and expressionistic perspective. In a play you’ve got the constraints of character and storyline – well this modern form of mime is much more like creating a painting over time and space.

I went to my first mime festival performance with a completely open mind, but entirely unsure of what to expect. It’s good to be challenged! Staged in the sadly blighted ICA (threats of closure have been bandied about in the press) this was a truly bizarre tale from Russian troupe BlackSkyWhite – USSR Was Here. In what was to prove a staple the pre-show explanatory notes made absolutely no sense at all, so I just about managed to glean the idea that the ‘storyline’ was based on the brutal history of Russia.

mime-festival-blackskywhite
Blackskywhite by Rosalie Hoskins

The murky blackness of the stage was pierced by the coloured forms of two strange characters who occasionally merged and then separated, interacting in dysfunctional ways. The music and lighting (lighting, I was to learn, is THE key element in mime. God knows how these performers would survive without coloured gels) evoked the kind of freakshow mania I imagine you might have encountered in fairgrounds of yore, the type that could slowly induce madness, in me at least. I really couldn’t figure out how many people were performing, but thought that I counted at least three. Not until the end of the show did I discover that there were actually only two performers, so able to radically change their demeanour as to convince me of their multitude. Double headed? Wherein I presumed the dummy head was the one hanging sideways? Why yes. I was fooled. Clever puppetry such as a curiously adult head on a baby left me wondering where the full person was hidden. With the aid of cunning wide legged pants the two performers were able to mutate, wibbling into shortened gnome figures. Features so altered by elastic bands and hairnets completed my confusion. Despite this discombobulation I have to confess that half way through I was starting to think “When will this nightmare end?” It was not without some relief that an hour later the swirling red and green lights finally came to a halt. Clever for sure, but for a performance artist novice like me watching Blackskywhite was at times more of an arduous task to finish than an enjoyable experience. I think I may have started in at the deep end.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-2
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-3
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-4

Next up on my Mime Festival week smorgasbord was a trip to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (get me), where it appears that there is an even split between people who dress up to the nines for their every operatastic outing, and those who slump along in their civvies. A background in circus was immediately obvious as the wonderfully named Ockham’s Razor performers sat perched deathly still atop giant bobbins as the audience filed in and dry ice swirled around. The centrepiece of this imaginative set was a vast wheel suspended centre stage and this excellent video put together by the troupe describes how the set informed the subsequent narrative of the performance. The five nimble performers scrambled with undue ease (and superb upper body strength) up ladders and along ropes in elegant procession, all the while making sure the wheel was turned. Until it all went intentionally wrong and the rapidly unwinding spools caused a dramatic panic. Yes, the premise of the ‘story’ was slim – the wheel of work goes round and round – but it was a great deal of fun to watch (one of the blokes was well fit which is always nice) and I grinned through the whole show. Plus I felt very pleased with myself for taking sneaky iphone pics which I then put together with my favourite panorama stitch application. Love that thing.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-1

Last up was possibly the most interesting piece of mime – a piece called Rankefod performed by a single lady, of indeterminate age, but certainly not in the first flush of youth. (I’ve since discovered that she is in fact over 50. Quite staggering considering what she is able to achieve physically.)

mime-festival-kitt-johnson
Kitt Johnson by Rosalie Hoskins

Kitt Johnson is apparently an ex athlete and her command of her body was quite enthralling: an hour spent in her company at the ICA went a lot faster than the first time around. Starting alone in the centre of the spartan stage for many moments she made use of just a few jutting back muscles and flicks of her legs to evoke the early stages of evolution, as interpreted through her body. At first I thought she was wearing just a pair of hotpants, but I then deduced that her plaited hair was actually conjoined with some cave woman-esque shorts. Despite her naked breasts there was nothing remotely sexual about her presence, which through sometimes barely perceptible movements gradually became more animalistic. Described as a “loner” on her website, Kitt Johnson was something of a revelation. I might yet be a convert to this performance art marlarkey.

mime-festival-ockhams-razor
Ockham’s Razor by Rosalie Hoskins

I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to much performance art or modern dance before. But let’s just say that my circumstances have somewhat changed of late and at the moment I am enjoying being introduced to new types of creativity.

So, order what’s with this Mime Festival stuff? Well, viagra 40mg if you thought that mime was all men in black pretending to grope a wall be ready to have your definition of mime challenged. It seems that mime nowadays is more a combination of contemporary dance and circus. It’s about story telling from an abstracted and expressionistic perspective. In a play you’ve got the constraints of character and storyline – well this modern form of mime is much more like creating a painting over time and space.

I went to my first mime festival performance with a completely open mind, store but entirely unsure of what to expect. It’s good to be challenged! Staged in the sadly blighted ICA (threats of closure have been bandied about in the press) this was a truly bizarre tale from Russian troupe BlackSkyWhite – USSR Was Here. In what was to prove a staple the pre-show explanatory notes made absolutely no sense at all, so I just about managed to glean the idea that the ‘storyline’ was based on the brutal history of Russia.

mime-festival-blackskywhite
Blackskywhite by Rosalie Hoskins

The murky blackness of the stage was pierced by the coloured forms of two strange characters who occasionally merged and then separated, interacting in dysfunctional ways. The music and lighting (lighting, I was to learn, is THE key element in mime. God knows how these performers would survive without coloured gels) evoked the kind of freakshow mania I imagine you might have encountered in fairgrounds of yore, the type that could slowly induce madness, in me at least. I really couldn’t figure out how many people were performing, but thought that I counted at least three. Not until the end of the show did I discover that there were actually only two performers, so able to radically change their demeanour as to convince me of their multitude. Double headed? Wherein I presumed the dummy head was the one hanging sideways? Why yes. I was fooled. Clever puppetry such as a curiously adult head on a baby left me wondering where the full person was hidden. With the aid of cunning wide legged pants the two performers were able to mutate, wibbling into shortened gnome figures. Features so altered by elastic bands and hairnets completed my confusion. Despite this discombobulation I have to confess that half way through I was starting to think “When will this nightmare end?” It was not without some relief that an hour later the swirling red and green lights finally came to a halt. Clever for sure, but for a performance artist novice like me watching Blackskywhite was at times more of an arduous task to finish than an enjoyable experience. I think I may have started in at the deep end.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-2
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-3
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-4

Next up on my Mime Festival week smorgasbord was a trip to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (get me), where it appears that there is an even split between people who dress up to the nines for their every operatastic outing, and those who slump along in their civvies. A background in circus was immediately obvious as the wonderfully named Ockham’s Razor performers sat perched deathly still atop giant bobbins as the audience filed in and dry ice swirled around. The centrepiece of this imaginative set was a vast wheel suspended centre stage and this excellent video put together by the troupe describes how the set informed the subsequent narrative of the performance. The five nimble performers scrambled with undue ease (and superb upper body strength) up ladders and along ropes in elegant procession, all the while making sure the wheel was turned. Until it all went intentionally wrong and the rapidly unwinding spools caused a dramatic panic. Yes, the premise of the ‘story’ was slim – the wheel of work goes round and round – but it was a great deal of fun to watch (one of the blokes was well fit which is always nice) and I grinned through the whole show. Plus I felt very pleased with myself for taking sneaky iphone pics which I then put together with my favourite panorama stitch application. Love that thing.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-1

Last up was possibly the most interesting piece of mime – a piece called Rankefod performed by a single lady, of indeterminate age, but certainly not in the first flush of youth. (I’ve since discovered that she is in fact over 50. Quite staggering considering what she is able to achieve physically.)

mime-festival-kitt-johnson
Kitt Johnson by Rosalie Hoskins

Kitt Johnson is apparently an ex athlete and her command of her body was quite enthralling: an hour spent in her company at the ICA went a lot faster than the first time around. Starting alone in the centre of the spartan stage for many moments she made use of just a few jutting back muscles and flicks of her legs to evoke the early stages of evolution, as interpreted through her body. At first I thought she was wearing just a pair of hotpants, but I then deduced that her plaited hair was actually conjoined with some cave woman-esque shorts. Despite her naked breasts there was nothing remotely sexual about her presence, which through sometimes barely perceptible movements gradually became more animalistic. Described as a “loner” on her website, Kitt Johnson was something of a revelation. I might yet be a convert to this performance art marlarkey.

mime-festival-ockhams-razor
Ockham’s Razor by Rosalie Hoskins

I’ll admit it. I’ve never been to much performance art or modern dance before. But let’s just say that my circumstances have somewhat changed of late and at the moment I am enjoying being introduced to new types of creativity.

So, pills what’s with this Mime Festival stuff? Well, about it if you thought that mime was all men in black pretending to grope a wall be ready to have your definition of mime challenged. It seems that mime nowadays is more a combination of contemporary dance and circus. It’s about story telling from an abstracted and expressionistic perspective. In a play you’ve got the constraints of character and storyline – well this modern form of mime is much more like creating a painting over time and space.

I went to my first mime festival performance with a completely open mind, healing but entirely unsure of what to expect. It’s good to be challenged! Staged in the sadly blighted ICA (threats of closure have been bandied about in the press) this was a truly bizarre tale from Russian troupe BlackSkyWhite – USSR Was Here. In what was to prove a staple the pre-show explanatory notes made absolutely no sense at all, so I just about managed to glean the idea that the ‘storyline’ was based on the brutal history of Russia.

mime-festival-blackskywhite
Blackskywhite by Rosalie Hoskins

The murky blackness of the stage was pierced by the coloured forms of two strange characters who occasionally merged and then separated, interacting in dysfunctional ways. The music and lighting (lighting, I was to learn, is THE key element in mime. God knows how these performers would survive without coloured gels) evoked the kind of freakshow mania I imagine you might have encountered in fairgrounds of yore, the type that could slowly induce madness, in me at least. I really couldn’t figure out how many people were performing, but thought that I counted at least three. Not until the end of the show did I discover that there were actually only two performers, so able to radically change their demeanour as to convince me of their multitude. Double headed? Wherein I presumed the dummy head was the one hanging sideways? Why yes. I was fooled. Clever puppetry such as a curiously adult head on a baby left me wondering where the full person was hidden. With the aid of cunning wide legged pants the two performers were able to mutate, wibbling into shortened gnome figures. Features so altered by elastic bands and hairnets completed my confusion. Despite this discombobulation I have to confess that half way through I was starting to think “When will this nightmare end?” It was not without some relief that an hour later the swirling red and green lights finally came to a halt. Clever for sure, but for a performance artist novice like me watching Blackskywhite was at times more of an arduous task to finish than an enjoyable experience. I think I may have started in at the deep end.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-2
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-3
Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-4

Next up on my Mime Festival week smorgasbord was a trip to the Linbury Studio Theatre at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden (get me), where it appears that there is an even split between people who dress up to the nines for their every operatastic outing, and those who slump along in their civvies. A background in circus was immediately obvious as the wonderfully named Ockham’s Razor performers sat perched deathly still atop giant bobbins as the audience filed in and dry ice swirled around. The centrepiece of this imaginative set was a vast wheel suspended centre stage and this excellent video put together by the troupe describes how the set informed the subsequent narrative of the performance. The five nimble performers scrambled with undue ease (and superb upper body strength) up ladders and along ropes in elegant procession, all the while making sure the wheel was turned. Until it all went intentionally wrong and the rapidly unwinding spools caused a dramatic panic. Yes, the premise of the ‘story’ was slim – the wheel of work goes round and round – but it was a great deal of fun to watch (one of the blokes was well fit which is always nice) and I grinned through the whole show. Plus I felt very pleased with myself for taking sneaky iphone pics which I then put together with my favourite panorama stitch application. Love that thing.

Ockhams Razor-The-Mill-1

Last up was possibly the most interesting piece of mime – a piece called Rankefod performed by a single lady, of indeterminate age, but certainly not in the first flush of youth. (I’ve since discovered that she is in fact over 50. Quite staggering considering what she is able to achieve physically.)

mime-festival-kitt-johnson
Kitt Johnson by Rosalie Hoskins

Kitt Johnson is apparently an ex athlete and her command of her body was quite enthralling: an hour spent in her company at the ICA went a lot faster than the first time around. Starting alone in the centre of the spartan stage for many moments she made use of just a few jutting back muscles and flicks of her legs to evoke the early stages of evolution, as interpreted through her body. At first I thought she was wearing just a pair of hotpants, but I then deduced that her plaited hair was actually conjoined with some cave woman-esque shorts. Despite her naked breasts there was nothing remotely sexual about her presence, which through sometimes barely perceptible movements gradually became more animalistic. Described as a “loner” on her website, Kitt Johnson was something of a revelation. I might yet be a convert to this performance art marlarkey.

The inaugural round of graduates from London College of Fashion’s new MA course entitled Fashion and the Environment, sildenafil exhibited their findings this weekend within the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

P2012400Image courtesy of Rachael Oku depicting the work of Shibin Vasudevan.

The students have taken a variety of approaches to tackle their environmental concerns with the fashion industry, some more successful than others. I wasn’t totally convinced by the practicality and wearability of Shibin Vasudevan’s shirts made from the contents of a hoover bag, though they were very visually stimulating. I was really excited by a number of projects including Shibin’s as his idea was highly innovative.

handheadheartHandheadheart collection image, courtesy of Anna Maria Hesse.

Anna Maria Hesse utilised her background in knitwear and deep interest in sustainable fashion to produce a collection entitled ‘handheadheart’ that discourages consumerism. Her beautifully subtle, draped garments are made to be worn in a variety of ways – so a top is a dress is a skirt. Her thinking is thus: the more ways you can wear one garment, the less garments you need to buy, and they are timeless, the opposite of disposable fashion. Both the traceability and sourcing of the raw materials used are important to Hesse, who uses only pure alpaca wool farmed sustainably within the UK – resulting in luxuriously soft and hardwearing fibres. The resulting garments are beautiful and wearable, and most importantly have been created to last a lifetime.

handheadheart2Handheadheart collection image, courtesy of Anna Maria Hesse.

I was impressed with both the concept and design behind Julia Crew’s collection of man bags labelled i.did.nee.ken (taken from the Scottish colloquialism meaning ‘I didn’t know’). Taking a threefold approach to the design process, Julia has ensured each product fits the criteria of a) durable design b) responsible sourcing and c) sustainable lifestyle. Essentially the bags are made to last, they have a low environmental impact and they can be used as part of a sustainable lifestyle. Designed with the concerns and requirements of a cyclist in mind, the i.did.nee.ken accessories are urban, utilitarian, and feature beautiful soft leather combined with waxed canvas, with graphical touches such as the reflective material around zips – ticking every box a cyclist could ask for.

backpackBackpack courtesy of Julia Crew, photographer Sally Cole.

Another project that interested me was that of Energy Water Fashion. With an aim to create directional garments made from lovely fabrics such as Lamb’s wool and Merino, Energy Water Fashion creates garments that are naturally odour resistant therefore requiring less washing and general maintenance. The designer, Emma Rigby’s environmental concerns relate to the exorbitant figures regarding how much water we use in laundering our clothes (mentioned at length in Amelia’s magazines coverage of the LCF Centre for Sustainable Fashion’s Fashioning The Future Awards, where Emma Won the prestigious award in the Water category). Successfully designing a capsule wardrobe that offers real solutions in reducing our water consumption, there seems no end to Emma’s talents.

P2012385Emma Rigby presentation, photographed by Rachael Oku.

By staging exhibitions like this for the public, it’s good to know that Fashion colleges and indeed designers alike are addressing the need to develop more sustainable, less environmentally impacting methods. There are now a growing number of fashion labels devoted to seeking out cleaner, greener processes, which is great to see. I am continually impressed by two companies in particular whose truly sustainable approach and great designs mean consumers don’t have to choose between looking good and staying true to their environmental conscience and ethics.

Outdoor lifestyle brand Howies produce simple, functional pieces and pay attention to the little details. They use only the best in organic cotton, hemp and sustainable materials such as Merino and Lamb’s wool. The second brand is fair-trade fashion label People Tree, who offer a wide range of affordable fashion forward garments with a continual offering of designer collaborations including Richard Nicholl, Jessica Ogden and Bora Aksu to name but a few. This season, to appeal to a younger audience Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame has collaborated on a range, of which I have my eye on the organic cotton blue and white stripe Breton top (only £25!).

breton-stripe-topBreton stripe top by People Tree, image courtesy of PR shots.

So, until these talented, forward thinking MA graduates gain backing and start producing their collections for real, there are options – getting less limited by the day.

Categories ,Anna Maria Hesse, ,Bora Aksu, ,Emma Rigby, ,Emma Watson, ,Energy Water Fashion, ,Fashioning The Future Awards, ,Hannah Poole, ,Harry Potter, ,howies, ,i.did.nee.ken, ,Jessica Ogden, ,Julia Crew, ,LCF, ,LCF Centre for Sustainable Fashion, ,MA Fashion & the Environment, ,People Tree, ,Queen Elizabeth Hall, ,Richard Nicholl, ,Shibin Vasudevan, ,Southbank centre

Similar Posts: