Amelia’s Magazine | Shao Yen: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

Taiwanese-born Shao Yen is no stranger to success. This knitwear graduate has caught the eye of other designers such as Nicola Formichetti, created a bespoke dress for dress-up queen, Bjork, and has been showing at London Fashion Week ever since his graduate Central Saint Martin’s MA show for A/W 2010.

Shao Yen AW 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

As soon as I was directed to one of the spacious upstairs rooms at The Freemason’s Hall, I knew this presentation would be an altogether more relaxed affair than the dizzying thrills of earlier catwalk shows. If you’ve never visited the venue before, I would recommend it. Vauxhall Fashion Scout has used the iconic Art Deco building for their off-schedule shows for ages, and with good reason. The high ceilings, beautifully decorated walls and marble floors set the tone for equally enticing clothes.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Gaarte

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Gaarte

As I passed through large doors into the presentation space, I think I audibly sighed in delight of what I saw. Several models stood on plain white podiums, beautifully lit, while a cello player produced soothing classical melodies, setting a relaxed yet formal tone. Although the room was busy, it was a visual treat to be able to come up close and admire a collection. At London Fashion Week, you become used to models practically running past on the catwalk, while you desperately try to take everything in over blaring music and not much room to breathe. For this presentation, it was the audience who couldn’t keep still, moving around the models that posed for every single photographer.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

What I loved most about this collection was the mix of themes. Upper-class met underground/sports culture in a zillion different and clever ways. Sports socks were worn with simple black stilettos, tweed suits had elasticised cuffs and hoods, mesh baseball hats matched knitted dresses or silk two-piece suits. Vintage-looking embroidered dresses were dotted alongside stark black leather pieces, as though the Shao Yen woman will wear her mother’s antique dresses, but likes to sharpen things up with masculine tailoring, too.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

The colour palette was just as fresh as the models, who I could have hugged for being so patient, even when an over-eager photographer almost knocked one over. Fizzy oranges and bright turquoises were perfectly offset by tweed and monochrome. Hair was pulled into simple, carefree ponytails and roughly backcombed, paired with bright orange-red lips and some blush.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

The message for this collection was simple, understated country luxury done in an urban sportswear way. Tweed doesn’t have to be stuffy, and in fact was a massive hit this November when Rugby Ralph Lauren celebrated the opening of their Covent Garden store with a ‘Tweed Run’ where hundreds of Londoners donned their best tweeds and rode bikes around the town whilst stopping for tea and general merriment. We’ve chatted tweed and it’s cycling appeal before too, in an interview with the founders of Bobbin Bicycles, which you can read all about here. Shao Yen has created a whole new look by taking two quite fussy clothing cultures and stripping them down to something fresh and accessible (and more wearable than his previous beautiful yet revealing collections) for A/W 2012. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

All photography by Amelia Gregory and Alia Gargum

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,bjork, ,Bobbin Bicycles, ,Central St Martins, ,Dana Bocai, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,knitwear, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Nicola Formichetti, ,Shao Yen Chen, ,sportswear, ,Tweed, ,Tweed Run, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Spijkers en Spijkers: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi
Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi

From the looks of the feminine and pretty invite (which was beautifully illustrated by Dutch artist Martine Johanna) I didn’t expect anything too shocking from this A/W 2012 collection by Spijkers en Spijkers.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Claire Kearns

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Claire Kearns

The mood music as we sat down consisted of haunting, screeching quotes, so I suspected that we were in for something dark, haunting, and a little different. The quotes were from the original 1975 Grey Gardens documentary depicting the life of Big Edie and Little Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. It is a real-life tale of a mother and a daughter driven to an eccentric state of solitude, after falling from the grace of high-society New York when Edie’s father left them penniless. Little Edie, in the eyes of Spijkers en Spijkers, was a colourful ‘Bird of Paradise‘ and served as a muse for the collection.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

All photography by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

The music set the tone perfectly; the despair, drama, and frailty in the voices echoed the strong yet feminine use of colour and 1940′s silhouettes. Lyrics about houses being set on fire and Edie Bouvier Beale’s mother telling her what to do sent chills down my spine as I simultaneously warmed to the mixed-up styling by Karen Binns. It was well documented that these two women had to make do with what they had, forcing them to mix clothes up in new ways. ‘Never throw anything old away‘ the music boomed, echoing dresses paired with clashing tops or fluorescent jewellery.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

spijkers en spijkers A/W 2012 by anna higgie

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie

There was some of Spijkers en Spijkers unmistakable graphic detailing in the accessories and makeup, too. Little birds adorned shoulders and dresses in the form of a print or a brooch, hair was finger-waved and set into strong curves, set off with sweet but modern-day plastic headbands. The make-up was fresh, reminding me of when you first start to try wearing makeup as a teenager, sticking to bold lines and bright colours and not really knowing how to do subtle looks just yet.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Silks, satins, wool and prints were in a gorgeously covetable range of vintage-looking colours. Lime green and yellows reminded me of old stained-glass windows, while the rich purples and oranges referenced faded but no less opulent interiors.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Rebecca Hendin

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Rebecca Hendin

Something I’ve noticed this London Fashion Week is that while a lot of designers are referencing the dark and frightening for A/W 2012, they’re doing so in an unexpected way: making a conscious effort to hint at the macabre, court the morbid and inject collections with a touch of despair in beautiful and new ways. Even though the inspiration for this collection was part tragedy, the result was charming. The strong tailoring, warmer colours for winter and underlying tale of two women – all make you want to engage with this story.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Yasmin Mason

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Yasmin Mason

The catwalk show itself was a little bit like the thrill you feel when watching a scary movie; dark and even a little disturbing, but you can’t look away, making it all the more appealing. Spijkers and Spijkers have found a way to make you want the collection even more, delivering a desirable collection for those who like clothes that tell a story, especially if it’s as lavishly haunting as this one.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi
Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Zulekha lakeca

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Zulekha lakeca

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Zulek Halakeca

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Higgie, ,birds, ,Claire Kearns, ,Cristian Grossi, ,Edie Bouvier Beale, ,Fluorescent, ,Grey Gardens, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,new york, ,Rebecca Hendin, ,Sam Mardon, ,Silk, ,Spijkers en Spijkers, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,vintage, ,wool, ,Yasmin Mason, ,Zulek Halakeca

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Presentation Review: Kingston MA

Kingston-MA-by-Alia-Gargum
Stephanie Nieuwenhuyse by Alia Gargum

Located in Kingston upon Thames, buy South West London, more about Kingston University London doesn’t seem to have a buzzing reputation for academia. But with art the institution are widely regarded as one of the best in the country, particularly for fashion education. Kingston fashion graduates have gone on to senior posts in a range of leading labels which include Armani, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Vivienne Westwood and Yves Saint Laurent. And it goes without saying that the Fashion Scout presentation at London Fashion Week is a thoroughly unique opportunity to showcase work to the industry’s elite at such an early stage in a designer’s career.

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-002

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-004

The university has been presenting the best of it’s MA Fashion graduates at Vauxhall Fashion Scout for two years now, and the theme has remained the same – The Body Laboratory. This time, there was an array of interpretations of the theme from full-on brain-like, mouldy textiles (yes, really) to delicate references through elegant style details. My favourites of the presentation were Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse, Fay Gascoigne, Ninela Ivanova and Han Gu.

Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse Kingston MA LFW S/S 2012 by Kirstie Battson
Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse by Kirstie Battson

I saw perhaps the most bustle around Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse, who had a corset and shoe displayed as part of a collection inspired by Biomimicry. The pieces were created from an intricate shell of thin wood that was broken into tiny hexagonal shapes then arranged in the most impressive and fiddly way; it must have taken yonks to put together. Her business cards were also made out of the thin wood she had used in her collection pieces – a great touch!

Fay Gascoigne
Photography courtesy of Fay Gascoigne.

I asked Fay Gascoigne about her pieces and she spoke with such passion and expression that I couldn’t help but admire her work! She displayed a funky, sporty jacket, formed with purple digital printed fabric, gathered in sections to make a volumnous shape. She also had everyone in the room sniffing her giant white plastic necklace that smelt like lavender.

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-014

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-012

Ninela Ivanova created a somewhat controversial collection that was displayed in the center of the room in all its glory. The collection, titled Moulded Mind was largely made up of lazer-cut velvet encased in silicone (which created a wonderful veiny/brainy effect). These pieces were named Second Skin. What was even more bizarre was the thick mould that were contained in transparent vests and shoulder pads. This was much more of a textile venture than a fashion one but I was intrigued by the concept, as was everyone else in the room as they touched and stared at the pieces and badgered Ninela with questions.

Han Gu Kingston MA S/S 2012 by Aysim Genc
Han Gu by Aysim Genc

Han Gu‘s work stood out beautifully. It was just a shame that there wasn’t more of her collection on display for the presentation. She’d created pieces that were much more wearable but that still showed fantastic textile skill in minute triangular features that seemed to hark back to Japanese origami. It turns out that the collection, titled Triangular Memories, was inspired by memories of her grandma who liked to fold the smallest notes to make little triangles. My favourite feature was the collar, made from tiny transparent plastic triangles; a simple but beautifully constructed piece.

Kingston Fashion Textiles MA SS 2011 review-007q=
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

The Kingston MA Fashion presentation at Vauxhall Fashion Scout continues to show off the university’s ability to stretch their students’ capabilities, give them the creative freedom to push new boundaries and inject something new into the fashion world.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Armani, ,Aysim Genc, ,Biomimicry, ,Body Laboratory, ,Burberry, ,Calvin Klein, ,Fay Gascoigne, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Han Gu, ,Kingston, ,Kingston MA Fashion, ,Kingston University, ,Kingston University London, ,Kingston upon Thames, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,Mould, ,Moulded Mind, ,Ninela Ivanova, ,origami, ,Second Skin, ,Silicone, ,Stefanie Nieuwenhuyse, ,The Body Laboratory, ,Triangular Memories, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Velvet, ,Vivienne Westwood, ,YSL, ,Yves Saint Laurent

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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

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Elisa Palomino

Elisa Palomino - SS 12 LFW by Amber Cassidy

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Amber Cassidy

Having had the chance to see the behind the scenes activities for the Elisa Palomino show, ask I am super excited and eager for the show to begin. Unlike the other shows I have seen at the Freemason’s Hall, thumb this one is to be performed in a majestic chamber upstairs; a room very well suited for Elisa’s A Fairy Dance collection. I am early, so I sift through the press materials and study the inspirations behind the clothes.

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

The culture of Madrid played a significant part in the creation of the stunning collection, with the conception of the intricate embroidered motifs taking root from pieces like the traditional shawl, a garment very much present in the city’s fiestas even today. Elisa’s S/S 2012 collection aspires to reawaken the opulence of a far away era, as well as paying homage to the Asian influence on embroidery and the Victorian Fairy Painting movement and in particular the narratives of Pre-Raphaelite fairy paintings. The collection is an expedition from Victorian suppression and lament to the luxury of uninhibited freedom.

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino SS12 by emma block

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Emma Block

Slowly but surely, the room is teeming with guests and familiar faces, all ready to enjoy the treasures of Elisa Palomino‘s collection. An ethereal melody fills the air and out drifts a fairy in mourning, attired in tense black taffeta, net and leather and freckled in contrasting white floral print. The glossy onyx hairpieces resemble frightful inanimate crows, harbingers of bad news. The extensive palette of colours range from bold black, red and white, to the pretty; powder blue and candy-floss pink and the tones of an Indian summer; sand, caramel and antique gold.

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

Floral cut-work mutate into giant white butterflies, set for flight and ready to escape to a brighter existence. Rich crimson robes float across the runway giving way to pretty pastel coloured organza with flora and fauna motifs, carefully embroidered using the bobbin technique. Iridescent and visceral fabrics, in 1930s silhouettes and increasingly impressive headpieces command the stage next. Once again the embroidery is intricate and enchanting and there’s a chorus of “ooh-ing” and “aah-ing” from somewhere behind me as images of Chinese tea-houses and pagodas sweep past.

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

One of my favourite details is the row of fabric coloured buttons trickling down the side of floor skimming, pin-tuck detailed and appliquéd café au lait dresses. It’s a good thing I do not lack self-restraint or I’d very likely be tackling the models to the ground and fleeing with the stunning garments they are wearing. And what of the hairpieces? Are they not extraordinary? I especially have my eye on the bird cage design and make a note to find out more about the designer, Angel Amor.

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino’s A Fairy Dance collection is undoubtedly worthy of the label couture and I can easily see celebrities wearing such opulent garments at red carpet events.

Elisa Palomino by Gilly Rochester LFW SS12

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

A resounding applause fills the room as the show ends and I make my way backstage in hope of a meeting with the designer and comments on her S/S 2012 collection. Elisa greets me enthusiastically and insists I should have introduced myself earlier, though she’d obviously been incredibly busy. For somebody who boasts such a remarkable curriculum vitae, Elisa comes across as incredibly humble and sincere.

Elisa Palomino LFW SS2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

Her family and friends are eager to congratulate her, but she encourages me to go ahead and ask her a few questions. So she can get to celebrating her beautiful show, I keep the interview very brief before heading home for a cup of tea and daydreams filled with sheer fabrics, lilies and hummingbirds and glorious headgear. Read my post show interview with Elisa Palomino below:

What did you make of that reverberating applause?
It was very exciting to hear!
Were you pleased with the performance of the catwalk show?
Well, it’s difficult to say when you’re backstage, but the girls look really happy. I think the make-up and hair were really amazing; the team from Tony & Guy and Lan (Nguyen) were so divine. They perfectly translated the entire theme.

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

How long did it take to build the collection with all the intricate detailing involved?
Oh, a long time. About seven or eight months.
Will you be taking some time out to relax now?
Oh no, there’s never time to take a break unfortunately. Since I started designing my own collections I haven’t had the opportunity to take a break or a holiday. There’s always work to be done. I guess it requires a lot of devotion!

What will you be doing next? Have you already conceived ideas for your next collection?
Oh yes, I’m already working on my next collection.
Can you offer any hints as to what we might expect?
I am taking inspiration from eccentric women and there will always be the influence of the same kind of periods, the 1920s and 30s.

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

You can purchase Elisa Palomino designs from Spiga 2, the concept store from Dolce & Gabbana in Milan, Eleonora – Rome, Lilliane Romi – Paris, Al-Ostoura – Kuwait, Front Row – Beirut, Harvey Nichols and Al-Mayass in Riyadh.

View images from behind the scenes of the Elisa Palomino London Fashion Week S/S 2012 show

Watch the show here.

Elisa Palomino SS11 Full Show from VAUXHALL FASHION SCOUT on Vimeo.

Categories ,1920s, ,1930s, ,A Fairy Dance, ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Angel Amor, ,Appliqué, ,Article, ,backstage, ,behind the scenes, ,bird cage, ,BLOW online, ,Blow PR, ,Bobbin, ,catwalk show, ,Christian Dior, ,Diane Von Furstenberg, ,Elisa Palomino, ,embroidery, ,Emma Block, ,Flapper, ,gabby young, ,Gabby Young and Other Animals, ,Gilly Rochester, ,hair pieces, ,Hannah Hope, ,head dress, ,Hummingbirds, ,interview, ,Japanese art, ,Joana Faria, ,John Galliano, ,Lan Nguyen, ,Lillies, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madrid, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Pre-Raphaelites, ,qa, ,queues, ,review, ,Roaring Twenties, ,Roberto Cavalli, ,S/S 2012, ,Spiga 2, ,The Body Shop, ,Tony & Guy, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Victorian Fairy Painting Movement, ,vintage, ,Yamato-e

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012: Catwalk Review: Jasper Garvida

Jasper Garvida SS 2012 by Emma Block

Jasper Garvida SS 2012 illustrated by Emma Block

Some may think that having previewed this Spring/Summer 2012 collection in my recent London Fashion Week interview with Jasper Garvida would have dampened my excitement about the show, healing as I’d already seen it all, right? Let me tell you, I was more excited than a teenage girl turning up to her first dance (with cute boys and everything). Having chatted to the warm and sensitive Jasper about his collection, learning about the process and inspiration that went into it, I couldn’t wait to see it modelled on the catwalk at the luxurious Bloomsbury Hotel, which was a nice little break from the rush of Somerset House.

Jasper Garvida SS 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Garvida SS 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Garvida SS 2012 by Amelia Gregory

All photography by Amelia Gregory

A restricted colour palette of black and white served as the perfect backdrop to what Jasper loves: his intricate hand-embellished details and natural ability to make feminine garments without them being saccharine sweet and over-the-top. For this collection, the silver and gold detailing as well as the circular prints were inspired by a painting that gave the collection it’s name: ‘Autour d’un Point’ by František Kupka.

Jasper Garvida S/S '12 illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Hemlines were either above the knee or down to the floor in a series of futuristic-meets-delicate dresses. Jasper showed off his sense of how to flatter the figure without showing too much (as opposed to recurring the boob and nipple-flashing trend that seemed to emerge this London Fashion Week).

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Circular metallic panels made from silver and gold leather created beautiful frames for the shoulders, neckline and hips, as well as sequins cleverly folded and sewn in rows to look like heavy studding without all the extra weight. Perfect for the likes of socialite Lady Victoria Hervey, Katie Melua and MTV presenter Laura Whitmore who all atended the show and would most likely rather not be carrying a ton in studs while presenting the latest Lady Gaga video, attending an event or dancing around on stage. Two pieces that caught my eye (especially as I’d felt how surprisingly butter-soft and light they were in the studio) were the distressed silver and gold raincoat and a black dress with ‘studded’ gold pockets. I could already see many a celebrity stylist clamoring for the attention-grabbing yet wearable collection.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustrated by Charlotte Hoyle

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustrated by Charlotte Hoyle

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Fashion editor legend Diana Vreeland was the other main influence for Jasper and his S/S 2012, as he loves her individual sense of style (I’d also recommend watching some of her old interviews online, her bonkers and overly-dramatic way of talking fashion is second-to-none) and passion for the exotic. He was also inspired by her innate way of mixing contrasts, which he explored in this collection, creating garments that are hard yet soft and feminine with a strong silhouette thanks to defined silhouettes which reminded me a little of Jean Paul Gaultier and his strong definition of femininity.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

As each model walked past I couldn’t help smiling with pride for Jasper. Details like pockets that stood away and out from the body perfectly aligned with the hips, and the last few dresses completely made from sequins to create a shimmering disco-ball effect got some audible squeals of joy. Sparkle and sequins can go so wrong so easily, but in the hands of Jasper and his team they became wearable and breathtaking without making the models look like they got ready for a New Year’s Eve party months too early. The dresses looked comfortable, and the workmanship shone through as I inspected how well-stitched the sequins were, even catching a glimpse of myself reflected in the dress.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustrated by Charlotte Hoyle

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 illustrated by Charlotte Hoyle

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Jasper is serious about well-made clothes (perhaps a couture line would be appropriate in the future) and it shows. I would however have liked to see the look pushed even further with a shoe or jewellry collaboration to compliment the outfits, imagining how incredible a pair of disco-ball Jasper Garvida shoes would look like with one of his tailored black or white dresses. Although in terms of completing the look, it has to be said that the hair suited the collection perfectly; a modern version of a Diana Vreeland-eque strong and high hairstyle sculpted into place with a lot of backcombing.

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia GregoryJasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

The Garvida crowd strike a pose

Jasper Garvida S/S 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Our very own contributing writer Akeela Bhattay getting that perfect shot

When the show was over, Laura Whitmore and Lady Victoria Harvey both stayed to congratulate him, gushing over the collection (Laura has been a Jasper Garvida fan for a few seasons). I’m sure Jasper will also be getting more mentions, as the Head of Fashion at the Evening Standard, Maurice Mullen also attended the show, and many a blogger and editor hung around to get a snippet of what went into the collection. In-between socialites and TV presenters and other well-wishers I managed to give the beaming Jasper a quick congratulatory hug, safe in the knowledge that I’d already had the mother of all chats about the collection with him in the studio over a nice cup of tea.

Categories ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Charlotte Hoyle, ,Diana Vreeland, ,Emma Block, ,Frantisek Kupka, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,jasper garvida, ,John Paul Gaultier, ,Katie Melua, ,Lady Gaga, ,Lady Victoria Hervey, ,Laura Whitmore, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maurice Mullen, ,monochrome, ,MTV, ,Nipples, ,pattern, ,S/S 2012, ,Sequins, ,Somerset House, ,The Bloomsbury Hotel, ,The Evening Standard, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Lako Bukia

Lako Bukia - London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Being ushered past the growing queues for Lakio Bukia and presented with the offer to take a seat, approved I’m suddenly transported back to one of my very first catwalk shows and my very first front row experience at London Fashion Week earlier this year. Lako Bukia’s A/W 2011 collection captivated me with its rich use of colour, price flattering fabrics and innovative design and I had thoroughly enjoyed the show (read my review of the Lako Bukia A/W 2011 CHOXA collection) so I was excited to see the designer’s presentation of her S/S 2012 collection.

Crowd at Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Hannah Hope

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Hannah Hope

I’ve read Lako Bukia’s S/S 2012 Preview Interview with Amelia’s Magazine, help so I have an inkling of what to expect, but that hasn’t diluted my interest at all; in fact I’m further intrigued, and eager for the show to commence. The auditorium is filling up rapidly and I observe the melting pot of characters gathered at the Fashion Scout venue. A group of splendidly preened and styled front-row fashionistas chat animatedly from across the room, willing for someone to take their picture. So I do, as one does.

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

The dimming of the lights signals the start of the show and the now crowded arena settles into silence inviting the first model to glide on to the runway. The Lako Bukia ethos promises to create beautiful clothing for all women and I champion Lako’s commitment to continue the upholding of that code. The unrestrictive blouses and sweeping skirts hold the potential to flatter all body shapes.

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

The contentious subject of the sexualisation of femininity is something Lako Bukia isn’t afraid to challenge and I love that about her. Lako attempts to change the attitudes of men and women alike, regarding the two seemingly inextricably entwined identities that are synonymous with figure-hugging and revealing clothing. With her designs, Lako Bukia effectively demonstrates that women can look and feel feminine and sexy in garments that do not simply focus on body shape. In Lako Bukia‘s interview with Amelia, she says ‘the women of the world have forgotten that there is something more exciting in the mystery of garments that do not stress ones body shape’ and I’m inclined to agree.

Lako-Bukia - LFW (SS-2012) by-Barb-Royal

Lako-Bukia - LFW SS-2012 by-Barb-Royal

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Barb Royal.

For her spring/summer collection, Lako Bukia has chosen a palette of bold, contrasting colours that reflect her often, kaleidoscopic personality; black, red, white and shades of grey paint the pieces for this season’s crop. The black and white eye make-up adheres to the theme as do the neat and up-do hairstyles.

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 LFW by Hannah Hope

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Hannah Hope

It’s the first time Lako Bukia is using print and her hand painted Asian inspired flowers and trees shroud the billowing chiffon and silk pieces. The Asian inspiration is further exposed in the mandarin collars adorning many of the blouses and dresses. My favourite detail is the neat row of tiny fabric covered buttons, reminiscent of the 1930s, placed on a variety of positions, most notably on the structured bodices and on the seams of the Jodhpur like trousers. The gathered waistline is also a trending theme in the collection.

Lako Bukia - London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

The catwalk is performed in a unique fashion, which is fantastic for those sitting closer to the end of the runway, but as I’m not, getting a decent photo is a lot to ask for. I do hope the choreography for next year’s shows revert back to a simpler style (or I learn to position myself more strategically).

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

The talented designer has decidedly stated that her new collection will be one that is wearable and saleable and with the beautiful garments swishing past me on the catwalk, I undoubtedly recognise this to be true. The commercial element of fashion has obviously penetrated the creative process, but Lako Bukia’s unique branding has not been diminished. However, I do hope too see a spark of the former eccentricity of the brand in future designs.

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

As the show comes to an end the sweet Georgian designer takes to the catwalk, to be applauded enthusiastically by her audience.

Watch the show here.

Lako Bukia SS12 Full Show from VAUXHALL FASHION SCOUT on Vimeo.

Categories ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Article, ,Asian, ,Barb Royal, ,black, ,Blog Post, ,Central Saint Martins, ,CHOXA, ,Dramatic, ,Fashion Scout, ,Felicities PR, ,Femininity, ,Flowers, ,georgia, ,Grey, ,Hand Painted, ,Hannah Hope, ,Images, ,japanese, ,Joana Faria, ,lako bukia, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Photos, ,print, ,Red, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,sexuality, ,Silk, ,trees, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,White

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Lako Bukia

Lako Bukia - London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Being ushered past the growing queues for Lakio Bukia and presented with the offer to take a seat, approved I’m suddenly transported back to one of my very first catwalk shows and my very first front row experience at London Fashion Week earlier this year. Lako Bukia’s A/W 2011 collection captivated me with its rich use of colour, price flattering fabrics and innovative design and I had thoroughly enjoyed the show (read my review of the Lako Bukia A/W 2011 CHOXA collection) so I was excited to see the designer’s presentation of her S/S 2012 collection.

Crowd at Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Hannah Hope

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Hannah Hope

I’ve read Lako Bukia’s S/S 2012 Preview Interview with Amelia’s Magazine, help so I have an inkling of what to expect, but that hasn’t diluted my interest at all; in fact I’m further intrigued, and eager for the show to commence. The auditorium is filling up rapidly and I observe the melting pot of characters gathered at the Fashion Scout venue. A group of splendidly preened and styled front-row fashionistas chat animatedly from across the room, willing for someone to take their picture. So I do, as one does.

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

The dimming of the lights signals the start of the show and the now crowded arena settles into silence inviting the first model to glide on to the runway. The Lako Bukia ethos promises to create beautiful clothing for all women and I champion Lako’s commitment to continue the upholding of that code. The unrestrictive blouses and sweeping skirts hold the potential to flatter all body shapes.

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

The contentious subject of the sexualisation of femininity is something Lako Bukia isn’t afraid to challenge and I love that about her. Lako attempts to change the attitudes of men and women alike, regarding the two seemingly inextricably entwined identities that are synonymous with figure-hugging and revealing clothing. With her designs, Lako Bukia effectively demonstrates that women can look and feel feminine and sexy in garments that do not simply focus on body shape. In Lako Bukia‘s interview with Amelia, she says ‘the women of the world have forgotten that there is something more exciting in the mystery of garments that do not stress ones body shape’ and I’m inclined to agree.

Lako-Bukia - LFW (SS-2012) by-Barb-Royal

Lako-Bukia - LFW SS-2012 by-Barb-Royal

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Barb Royal.

For her spring/summer collection, Lako Bukia has chosen a palette of bold, contrasting colours that reflect her often, kaleidoscopic personality; black, red, white and shades of grey paint the pieces for this season’s crop. The black and white eye make-up adheres to the theme as do the neat and up-do hairstyles.

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 LFW by Hannah Hope

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Hannah Hope

It’s the first time Lako Bukia is using print and her hand painted Asian inspired flowers and trees shroud the billowing chiffon and silk pieces. The Asian inspiration is further exposed in the mandarin collars adorning many of the blouses and dresses. My favourite detail is the neat row of tiny fabric covered buttons, reminiscent of the 1930s, placed on a variety of positions, most notably on the structured bodices and on the seams of the Jodhpur like trousers. The gathered waistline is also a trending theme in the collection.

Lako Bukia - London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Lako Bukia S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

The catwalk is performed in a unique fashion, which is fantastic for those sitting closer to the end of the runway, but as I’m not, getting a decent photo is a lot to ask for. I do hope the choreography for next year’s shows revert back to a simpler style (or I learn to position myself more strategically).

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Lako Bukia SS 2012 London Fashion Week by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

The talented designer has decidedly stated that her new collection will be one that is wearable and saleable and with the beautiful garments swishing past me on the catwalk, I undoubtedly recognise this to be true. The commercial element of fashion has obviously penetrated the creative process, but Lako Bukia’s unique branding has not been diminished. However, I do hope too see a spark of the former eccentricity of the brand in future designs.

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Lako Bukia - S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

As the show comes to an end the sweet Georgian designer takes to the catwalk, to be applauded enthusiastically by her audience.

Watch the show here.

Lako Bukia SS12 Full Show from VAUXHALL FASHION SCOUT on Vimeo.

Categories ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Article, ,Asian, ,Barb Royal, ,black, ,Blog Post, ,Central Saint Martins, ,CHOXA, ,Dramatic, ,Fashion Scout, ,Felicities PR, ,Femininity, ,Flowers, ,georgia, ,Grey, ,Hand Painted, ,Hannah Hope, ,Images, ,japanese, ,Joana Faria, ,lako bukia, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Photos, ,print, ,Red, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,sexuality, ,Silk, ,trees, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,White

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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

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Masha Ma

Masha Ma SS 2012 1 by Marta Spendowska
Masha Ma S/S 2012 by Marta Spendowska

She concluded her MA in Womenswear at Central Saint Martins only three years ago, page but Masha Ma has already a made a name for herself amongst London Fashion Week goers, visit web and is even one of Amelia Gregory’s favourites! True story. We therefore, capsule of course, made our way back to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to see what she’d been up to and what her S/S 2012 range had to offer.

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-003

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-004

In our interview with the award-winning designer last August, just prior to her London Fashion Week debut, Masha described her design agenda as ‘chic, modern arrogance and semi-couture’. Since then, we’ve seen her work evolve from her exquisite take on classic chic to what Amelia and I witnessed on that Saturday morning; a futuristic, bold mission into the female silhouette with accomplished fashion-forward detail.

Masha Ma SS 2012 by Meagan Morrison 1
Masha Ma S/S 2012 by Meagan Morrison

Inspired by the reconstruction of the famous Palace of Versailles, France, the collection displayed a combination of disciplined colours and textures juxtaposed with distressed sheers and unfinished edges. Most looks were slim, elegant, elongated assemblies with a tough sportswear vibe running throughout, complete with strategically placed zips, head gear and androgynous tailoring.

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-011

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-014

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-015

Masha Ma S/S 2012 by Kassie Berry
Masha Ma S/S 2012 by Kassie Berry

The show began with icy ensembles of muted blues and green pieces in numerous tones of mint and sea foam. For me, it was a stunning colour pallette which illuminated upon a delicate canvas of fluid silks, satins and sheers. These light references to an underwater odyssey (helped along by the gentle water sounds on the soundtrack) blended in-and-out amongst the Palace-inspired printed pieces. Thematically, the consistency did seem to lack. This, however, didn’t prevent me from finding the collection’s many contrasting elements equally delightful.

Masha Ma SS 2012 by Meagan Morrison 2
Masha Ma S/S 2012 by Meagan Morrison

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-022

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-023

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-033

Sheer white gauze skimmed down legs and clung loosely around calves, whilst delicate tight-pleated mini skater skirts in mint tones swayed across thighs. It was an unusually sexy composition that contrasted with smart, high-necked tailored shirts. Intelligent construction existed in the zipping together of a-symetric skirt and dress layers with other zips utilised as shaping detail to flatter the figure. The female silohuette was considered, embraced and pushed to new boundaries.

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-053

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-056

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-063

Masha Ma SS 2012 by Marta Spendowska
Masha Ma S/S 2012 by Marta Spendowska

Amongst my favourite pieces were the breathtakingly skilled coats that dominated the show, pre-finale. Original and dramatic in design, yet extremely wearable for the Spring/Summer seasons, I was being seduced into the idea of owning one of Masha‘s beautifully crafted outerwear pieces. (The matte-white one took my fancy; a girl can always dream.)

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-076

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-086

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-096

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-127

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-131

Masha Ma SS 2011 review-132
All photography by Amelia Gregory

As opposed to the radical design ethic that is so deep-seated in London fashion today, observing a collection so fine in detail and delicate in reference is something rare and refreshing. In her return to London Fashion Week for her third solo collection, Ma didn’t disappoint. In fact, it extended our vision as to her dress-making capabilities. With the art direction intriguing and beautifully illustrated, the construction unique and the detail impeccable, Masha Ma certainly (and, perhaps, unknowingly) reaffirmed herself as one of Amelia’s Magazine‘s firm favourites.

Categories ,Amelia Gregory, ,Blue, ,france, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Georgia Takacs, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,LFW S/S12, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week S/S12, ,Marta Spendowska, ,Masha Ma, ,Masha Ma S/S 2012, ,Masha Ma S/S12, ,Meagan Morrison, ,Palace of Versailles, ,pleats, ,print, ,sportswear, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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