Amelia’s Magazine | The Amazon: Can Fashion Save the Rainforest? A talk with Bia Saldanha


Illustration by Charlotte Hoyle

“We are consumers, capsule addicted. We need to ask ourselves – this t-shirt, this where did it come from? A devastated place with devastated people?” – Bia Saldanha, health 28 July 2011??

Through Bia’s hesitant English – impressively peppered with the vocabulary of her respective fields – there was a message, a mantra, that seemed to resonate from her core with every sentence she spoke. The message? That as people, as a united force of humanity, we must end the selfishness, stop the excuses and start acting on the fact that our Earth cannot bear the brunt of our reckless lifestyle choices much longer. ??I was sitting at the far back of the still, woody space of The Hub, King’s Cross, looking on at Bia, eco journalist Lucy Siegle and novelist Ed Siegle’s discussion unraveling.

If there’s one thing I learnt on that warm Thursday evening, it’s that when a lady like Bia Saldanha gives out such a message from across the room, you sit up straight, strain your ears and listen. Living in the heart of the Amazon rainforest for 20 years definitely grants you a credible opinion on our Earth’s complex ecosystem and how it can be saved. And it only takes a minute or two of hearing Bia speak on the subject to get a sense of just how special she really is. A Brazilian woman who’s dedicated her years to both supporting the indigenous rubber farmers of Amazonia and aiding the battle against deforestation, Bia traded in a life running a stylish clothing boutique in Rio de Janeiro to live in the rainforest with her family and help the Seringueiros (the native rubber tappers) overcome their defeat by mainstream industrial production.


Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

But why should we care? Why should we listen? We all know of the damage upon the rainforest through mass deforestation and, for example, that Brazil lost nearly 150,000 square kilometers of forest—an area larger than Greece – between 2000 and 2006 alone. But the basis of why we should think again before discarding these past few lines as just another statistic lies in the words of Lucy Siegle; that we are in “the last chance saloon” when it comes to saving the rainforest. And, to further quote the fabulous Bia,

“You can’t imagine how strong, powerful and important the rainforest is if you haven’t been there”.


Illustration by Claire Kearns

With a background in the fashion industry, Bia began her pioneering work after a trip into the Amazon to search for new materials for her clothing line. She described how she found the indigenous rubber tappers storing their goods in traditional waterproof sacks. She then relayed her excitement of noticing how the sack material looked remarkably like leather when it was, in fact, cotton canvas covered in the extracted rubber from the trees. Bia took the idea for wild rubber “leather” handbags and had hundreds made, all of which completely sold out in the 1992 UN Earth Summit in Brazil. And so her crusade against the mass producers began. ?

The Amazon is, in fact, the only place in the world where rubber trees grow in the wild. When ecological and fair-trade brand Veja began their essential collaboration with Bia in 2007, they were already buying wild rubber from the rubber tappers. Veja are a French brand known for their ultra-cool sneakers and luxe accessories, whose products are sourced and produced solely in Brazil. They now work with Bia and use her independent, direct means of extracting wild rubber to produce their bags and footwear.

VEJA – CAOUTCHOUC SAUVAGE D’AMAZONIE from Veja on Vimeo.

In what can only be seen as a triumph in the fight for sustainable fashion, Bia Saldanha has also worked with Hermès, using her ‘vegan leather’ made of wild rubber to collaborate on an accessories collection for the luxury French fashion house.

Despite the dedication and ground-breaking work that’s been recognized the world over, however, Bia hasn’t received the support she justly deserves. In the discussion, she spelt out the level of sheer power and influence that Brazil’s central bank has over what is and isn’t permitted to function in the country. After struggling against many financial disagreements, Bia even faced being shut down completely, despite the continuous funding to unsustainable companies and projects, including the vast amount of cattle ranches that make up 60-70% of deforestation in the Amazon today.?

“I’ve now devoted 16 years to this,” said Bia. “It’s more than a business; it’s a cult.”


Illustration by Charlotte Hoyle

It’s not that she aims to trade with the giant companies, however. “There’s not enough wild rubber to supply the big companies. We don’t want to trade with anyone in particular but we do want to ask those companies, where does your rubber come from? These companies are just looking for marketing, they don’t care.”

Ed Siegle, author of new book Invisibles which is partially set in Brazil, contributed stating “With a lot of these issues, we’re all aware of them but we don’t do anything about it.” Lucy intervened – “That’s because we don’t know what the options are.”

To me, Lucy Siegle made an invaluable contribution to the event. She spoke of writing her latest book ‘To Die For” (Harper Collins; 2010) which she described as “engaging with the producer’s story”, and how she felt about the “contrast between her and the mainstream industry”, recounting fashion as a “vacuum that we know nothing about”. “We are now so distant from the producer,” she said “that the degradation of the consumer, the producer and the place is now inevitable.”


Photographs courtesy of Veja

She went onto ask the frustrating question, something I’d never put my mind to, of “Who are these people telling us what to wear? Telling us to buy this fast, discount fashion?” She feels that we are “told to shop for the economy”. Her answer to this has been to find a few brands that she can “rely on”.

The discussion moved on to the debate of ‘design and production – which should come first?’. Lucy Siegle, naturally, spoke in favour of production, upholding it as the healthier method in place of paper designs being sent across the world for the fastest and cheapest production possible. She believes instead that we need to be taking inspiration from the methods of Bia, who at the outset went into the forest – to the source – in search of materials, from which she then created her designs. This, she says, is a solution.


Photographs courtesy of Veja

Bia declares that her long-standing mission is to “protect the rainforest through economic alternatives”. And I say we need more ground-breaking fashion entrepreneurs like her. In the constant clash between nature and human demands, the more Bias we have in the world today, the brighter our future will be.

And with this mantra that seemed to beam from Bia’s every sentence; she most certainly wasn’t aiming it at the big logger companies or sweat shops or factories, definitely not. It’s US she meant. All of us. It’s you who sits right there wearing clothes that you really know nothing about. Someone’s hands, somewhere in the world, grew that cotton and dyed that fabric and stitched that pocket and, thus far, to you in your life it has made no difference. We’re all perpetrators and I’m most certainly one too. But after last Thursday, I’ll definitely be doing two things – reading Lucy Siegle’s book “To Die For” and taking a long, hard look at me and my wardrobe. And may I suggest you do the same.

Categories ,Amazon, ,Amazonia, ,Bia Saldanha, ,brazil, ,Ed Siegle, ,environment, ,ethical, ,fashion, ,Invisibles, ,Lucy Siegle, ,rainforest, ,review, ,Sustainable Fashion, ,Talk, ,The Hub, ,To Die For, ,Veja

Similar Posts:






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


Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

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


Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

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


All photography by Matt Bramford

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

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

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

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

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Treasure Jewellery Show 2013: Review

Treasure jewellery show review
This year I got my first taste of the Treasure jewellery show at Somerset House, a vast showcase now on its sixth outing during Jewellery Week. Here’s the familiar talents and hot new jewellery discoveries that caught my eye.

Ostrich little finger ring in rose gold with iolite gemstone by Dominique Lucas
The first thing to grab my attention was this unusual ostrich little finger ring in rose gold with an iolite gemstone by Dominique Lucas. Dominique trained with master craftsmen in Italy, Mexico and London. She’s created some bold pieces based on animals, and I love her current collection, featuring big bullet gem rings.

A clever neon lot display for silicone bracelets by #brazelights
Brazelights had created this clever neon lit display to show off modern silicone bracelets.

Ros Millar Nugget_Stud_Earrings
I couldn’t get close to Ros Millar‘s stand – an young award winning designer from Northern Ireland, who creates on trend organic metal jewels with a ‘Gothic Luxe‘ feel.

Tessa Metcalfe jewellery

Jeweller Tessa Metcalfe looked amazing in her own jewels. This young jeweller trained as an illustrator and has been championed by the Secret Emporium for some time. Now I see why her bold bird claw rings and necklaces are fast gaining a loyal following. Check out her innovative video look book above.

Rosita Bonita jewellery
Beautiful Rosita Bonita looked gorgeous sporting her new embossed leather collection (inspired by a combination of Japanese and Spanish styles) at her fabulously appointed stand. She’s another jeweller who trained as an illustrator before settling on her profession – read our recent interview with Rosita Bonita here.

An outsized showpiece ring containing fruit Atelier Laibach
This outsized showpiece ring containing fruit was worn by Kerstin Laibach of Atelier Laibach. She is an entirely ethical jeweller, so nothing is newly mined and her collection is vegan friendly. This wasn’t something I have ever considered before, but apparently many of the items used in the day to day production of jewellery feature animal products.

Pretty necklace of found objects by Sarah Drew with ecoluxe london
Ecoluxe London has recently launched a shopping site to compliment its trade fair presence during London Fashion Week, and their stand featured a variety of represented designers. This pretty necklace of found objects is by Sarah Drew, who finds all sorts of interesting things to work with on the beach where she lives in Cornwall.

Öhlund silver mens jewellery
These recycled sterling silver pendants are by men’s jewellery designer Öhlund and are inspired by aviation and industrial design. I think the shapes in the Boneyard 13 collection look like bullets or cartridges.

Myia Bonner
Jeweller Myia Bonner builds on her deconstruction of the traditional diamond shape with these dangly earrings. As one part of the Metric Collective she’ll be showcasing new work at their annual pop up store between 7th July – 1st September on Columbia Road.

It’s not often that I am gobsmacked. But three quarters of my way around Treasure this is what I stumbled upon: astonishing moving stainless steel rings by Atelier Michael Berger. His kinetic jewels swing around the finger on invisible mechanisms as if by magic.

Abby Carnevale jewellery New York
abby carnevale
Another beautiful jeweller wearing her wares was New York based Abby Carnevale, who solders fine chains together with gems to create intricate waterfall designs. This was her first visit to London, but she hopes to return again.

Michele White jewellery
Without a doubt the most fabulous person I met at Treasure was Michele White, sporting amazing thigh length hair that was dip dyed purple to match her clothes. It was a delight to talk to this former ceramics teacher turned master jeweller and gemologist based in the famous Birmingham jewellery quarter. Her timeless art nouveau inspired designs (below) make the most of the natural beauty of opals and other gems, and really stood out amongst a sea of very similar jewels.

michele white gold opal ring
Michele White opal earrings
Now I can’t wait to discover more graduate talent at the New Designers shows!

Categories ,Abby Carnevale, ,Atelier Laibach, ,Atelier Michael Berger, ,Birmingham, ,Boneyard 13, ,Brazelights, ,Cornwall, ,Dominique Lucas, ,Ecoluxe London, ,Gothic Luxe, ,jewellery, ,Jewellery Week, ,Kerstin Laibach, ,Metric Collective, ,Michele White, ,Myia Bonner, ,Öhlund, ,review, ,Ros Millar, ,Rosita Bonita, ,Sarah Drew, ,Secret Emporium, ,Somerset House, ,Tessa Metcalfe, ,Treasure

Similar Posts:






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


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

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


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

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

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

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


All photography by Matt Bramford

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

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

Daniel Holliday

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

Lucy Mellor


Graduate collection by Lucy Mellor

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

Richard Sun


Graduate collection by Richard Sun

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

Olivia Salmon


Graduate collection by Olivia Salmon

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


Olivia Salmon graduate collection by Sandra Contreras

Emily Houghton


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

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

Annie Mae Harris

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

Jenny Prismall


Graduate collection by Jenny Prismall

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

Marianne Sørensen


Graduate collection by Marianne Sørensen

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

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

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

Elisabeth Boström


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

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

Emma Beaumont


Graduate collection by Emma Beaumont

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

Until next year, UCA Rochester!

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

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Vita Gottlieb: London Fashion Week A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2014 by xplusyequals.

We ran a preview of Vita Gottlieb’s fourth collection, so I had an inkling of what to expect from the Fashion Fringe finalist before she took to the Fashion Scout catwalk for the first time for a stunning rendition of what she does best: combining sumptuous textiles with an intriguing silhouette.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb by Kit Wagstaff

Vita Gottlieb by Kit Wagstaff.

Vita Gottlieb names this collection Caged, after an imaginary film featuring Grace Jones in a Majaraja’s palace. The idea of birds in flight at sunset (this would obviously be a beautiful cinematic experience) influenced the romantic warmth of the fiery colour palette, with prints and textiles rich in multi-coloured spice hues. A more literal interpretation came in the form of birds floating across a pretty landscape print.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

The caged theme appeared in a skirt and jacket made up entirely of strips, and appeared in more commercial form as glossy black bindings, highlighting womanly curves. Alongside skin tight separates there were also boxy jackets and eye-catching layered maxi skirts. Furled scarfs gave detail to the neck, buckled arm cuffs added edge and sheer and textured black fabrics were rendered especially stunning with the addition of multi coloured appliqué details. The show closed with a magnificent yellow dress, split to the upper thigh and resplendent with a dramatic zig-zag design.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Vita Gottlieb AW 2014-end

All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,Caged, ,Fashion Fringe, ,Fashion Scout, ,Grace Jones, ,Kit Wagstaff, ,Majaraja, ,review, ,Vita Gottlieb, ,xplusyequals

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Yeashin: Fashion Scout Ones to Watch A/W 2013 Catwalk Review

Yeashin A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka.

South Korean designer Yeashin Kim‘s Woodland collection juxtaposed traditional Korean dress with inspiration from the swinging 60s. The colourful results built on the look she has been honing since completing her studies in fine arts and then attending the London College of Fashion.

Yeashin A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.

ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Victoria Wright
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Victoria Wright
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Victoria Wright.

A multitude of textures were thrown together and somehow emerged victorious. Oversized embellished hats, plenty of colourful trims and digitally printed woodgrain based on Korean furniture lent the collection a fairytale feel, with bespoke woolly boots adorned with pompoms adding to the idea that the models could have stepped off the pages of a children’s book (no bad thing in my world).

Yeashin A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Laura Hickman.

ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Yeashin-by-Sylwia-Szyszka
Yeashin A/W 2013 by Sylwia Szyszka.

Skirts were predominantly short and flared, collars adorned with on trend details, cuffs beautifully buttoned or trimmed in wool. Knitwear came in the form of a dotty cape, bolero and cosy looking chequerboard coat. Yeashin‘s was a delightfully unique collection in this time of monochrome madness, and all the better for it.

ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
ones to watch yeashin AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,knitwear, ,Laura Hickman, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Ones To Watch, ,review, ,South Korean, ,Sylwia Szyszka, ,Victoria Wright, ,woodland, ,Yeashin, ,Yeashin Kim

Similar Posts:






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


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Gabriel Ayala

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


Photography by Amelia Gregory

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


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink


All other photography by Matt Bramford

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


Yifang Wan A/W 2013 by Dom&Ink

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

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

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

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

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | SANKUANZ presented by GQ China: London Collections: Men S/S 2015 Catwalk Review

Sankuanz-SS-2015 by Gareth A Hopkins
SANKUANZ S/S 2015 by Gareth A Hopkins

After two seasons representing Kay Kwok, GQ China switch their attentions to Xiamen-based designer Shangguan Zhe, better known as SANKUANZ. As is often the case, I knew nothing about this up-and-coming label, but a debut London Collections: Men showcase is probably a good place to start.

ChrisSav_SANKUANZ_001

ChrisSav_SANKUANZ_002
SANKUANZ S/S 2015 by Chris Sav

A combination of an exodus to Milan and a debut catwalk show meant that inside Victoria House wasn’t exactly heaving. Staff rushed to seat everybody as near to the front as possible, so I took a spot on the front row despite having a standing ticket.

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_002

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_008

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_011

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_014

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_033
All photography by Matt Bramford

The first dozen or so looks were strong, but I felt like I’d seen it before. Long white lab coats had been embellished with embroidered black designs, inspired by Russian prison tattoos, ranging from obscure slogans to graphic phalluses. These coats were a fusion between 18th century frock coats and modern day sportswear. Translucent crew neck tops, crisp shirts and mesh hoodies, all in white, were styled underneath, flashing mouthpieces were used and Raf Simons-esque futuristic footwear completed the looks. Some pretty silly brightly-coloured fur shorts were the only break from white.

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_038

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_035

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_018

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_025

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_046

During a short pause afterwards I thought, ‘yes, I quite like it, some wearable pieces, a bit small as a collection perhaps’ and some other nonsense. Then, almost from nowhere, a model appeared wearing what I can only describe as a giant pair of brightly coloured papier-mâché claw hands. ‘Oh, here we go’ I thought to myself as I frantically tried to take pictures and pick my jaw up from the floor.

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_050

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_051

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_058

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_061

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_064

Without visual aids I couldn’t tell you a single item of clothing that the models were wearing during this ‘latter stage’ of the show, but I could remember enormous polka-dot lobster claws, Popeye-like forearms and gigantic acid-painted hands making an ‘OK’ sign. It was like a ludicrous tribute to Emoji and I enjoyed every bloody minute.

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_069

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_071

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_072

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_076

Looking back on the collection, these gimmicks were paired with some pretty decent garments. Black sweatshirts made more of the Russian criminal emblems and the frock coat in black was less lab-coat and more wearable, but that isn’t what I’ll remember this collection for.

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_078

MattBramford_LondonCollectionsMen_SS15_SANKUANZ_081

Categories ,catwalk, ,Chris Sav, ,fashion, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,GQ China, ,LCMSS2015, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Popeye, ,Raf Simons, ,review, ,SANKUANZ, ,Shangguan Zhe, ,SS15, ,Style, ,Victoria House

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Yifang Wan: London Fashion Week A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Yifang Wang A/W 2014 by Slowly The Eggs aka Maria Papadimitriou

Yifang Wan A/W 2014 by Slowly The Eggs aka Maria Papadimitriou.

Yifang Wan showcased a sleek collection accessorised with dagger sharp neckwear as a Fashion Scout Merit Award winner this time last year, so it was great to catch up with her again. Against a backdrop of glitchy beats she sent models down the catwalk in a range of seductive wintery hues – lilac, glittery navy blue, deep plum and grey, paired with bare legs and the simplest of black heels.

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Wan’s talent lies in the creation of super desirable clothing which nevertheless bears a unique twist – this season boxy jackets, simple flip skirts and elegant tapered trousers in wool and mohair were variously cut with patch pockets, pleats, wide collars and dangling lengths of fabric.

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Asymmetric shapes, apron layers and a detachable collar feature gave yet another element of interest to this wonderful collection. Yifang Wan calls this ‘simplistic workwear’ and indeed it is – the perfect way to dress for modern working life at the desk and dashing between meetings. I think she will soon amass countless fawning fans, eager to adopt the Yifang Wan way of dressing for work.

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

Yifang Wang AW 2014-photography by Amelia Gregory

All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,Fashion Scout, ,lfw, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Merit Award Winner, ,review, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Yifang Wan

Similar Posts:






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


SIBLING S/S 2014 by Gareth A Hopkins

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


All photography by Matt Bramford

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


SIBLING S/S 2014 by Gareth A Hopkins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Similar Posts: