Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Presentation: Ashley Isham (reprise)

On any average, dosage abortion non LFW weekend, unhealthy you might find me at one of London’s plethora of craft fairs, order vintage markets or fetes, and what I’m always really impressed by is how wonderfully sellers exhibit their wares. Running a handmade products company myself, I know how testing it can be lugging a dollshouse across town in order to sell handmade stationery from its little rooms;but I’m always convinced its worth it when buyers comment on how much they like the stall set up. So I was surprised and decidedly disappointed to see that many of the exhibitors in Somerset House made little effort to do more than lay their good out on a table. When buyers and journos are looking at tens of jewellery sellers in one location on one day, they really need to do everything they can to make their stall stand out. As creative, inventive individuals, you’d imagine they’d jump at the chance to decorate their own little space, but many simply hung their clothes or spread their pieces out on a surface. So I’m dedicating this post to those who really made an effort, creating settings that reflected their work and really caught my eye. Presentation is no less important on a stall than it is on a catwalk!

Bark jewellery had a traditional British feel,designed by Miwako Yoshioka ; incorporating vintage sheet music and old mannequins in her display.

Comfort Station also excelled themselves with their delicate necklaces exhibited on antique books assembled on the wall.

Jacey Withers’ collection channeled a sort of nautical highway woman; using treasure boxes and other props to present necklaces bearing intricate pirate’s chests, stingrays, shells and rifles.

In the Hedonism room curated by Stephen Jones, hats like Mister Smith’s were beautiful, but none so elaborately displayed ad Piers Atkinson’s hat ‘garden’ with wonderful floral headpieces, novelty fascinators and some less ostentatious veiled hats with beautiful embroidery.
LFW. ISHAM. HAYLEY WARNHAM
Ashley Isham’s amazing headdresses, illness by Hayley Warnham.

I’m never really sure how to take Ashley Isham. On the one hand some of his dresses are quite fabulous, shop he seems to attract quite a cool crowd and has a pretty good rep… on the other hand some of his dresses are frankly tacky.

LFW_Paloma Faith Noisettes stephanie Parr
Paloma Faith and the singer from the Noisettes by Stephanie Parr.

It’s almost as if he’s cornered the market in awards ceremony frocks for the slightly oddball celebrity: outre, but not too out of place on the red carpet. Hence, I guess, the front row presence of the kooky Paloma Faith and that girl whose name I can never remember from the Noisettes.

LFW. ISHAM. HAYLEY WARNHAM
LFW. ISHAM. HAYLEY WARNHAM
LFW. ISHAM. HAYLEY WARNHAM
Ashley Isham by Hayley Warnham.

I’ve only skim read Matt’s blog so that I don’t get swayed by his opinions of the show, but it was enough to note that his photos are way better than mine are: it’s interesting, if you’re taking photos from the audience so much of it is down to pot luck. And this time – despite my seat very close to the pop darlings – I was in quite a shite position for good photos: changing light levels meant I had to change my ISO setting manually as they walked. Not easy I can tell you. And not that I’m making excuses you understand. Still, if you want to see some superb pics I suggest you scurry over to Matt’s blog. They are really quite wonderful. But mine do give ample cause to marvel at the wonderful cut paper surround to the catwalk entrance.

Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

There was lots of sheeny satin fabrics, frothy feathers and splashy coloured prints, all accessorised with what I can only describe as some really rather marvellous Hawaiian Geisha headpieces. After the show I espied stylist Tamara Cincik peeking out from backstage. I can only presume these were her doing, and very fabulous too. Now what I’d like to see is someone stride down the red carpet in a posh frock… and one of these hectic hair adornments. Then maybe they’d give that Lady Gaga a run for her money.

Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham S/S 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Ashley Isham, ,Geisha, ,Hayley Warnham, ,Lady Gaga, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,onoff, ,paloma faith, ,Stephanie Parr, ,Tamara Cincik, ,the Noisettes

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Ashley Isham


Paul Costelloe S/S 2011, illness illustrated by Natsuki Otani

So the circus has begun, adiposity the Big Top (the BFC Marquee) is up surrounded by bizarrely dressed clowns, this and trapeze artists swing from the roof of Somerset House. Okay, that last one isn’t true, but you get the picture!

I haven’t had a bloody chance to write anything yet, and Amelia has beaten me to it with a review of fashion week S/S 2011′s opener – Paul Costelloe. But, while I have the chance, I thought I’d throw my tuppence worth in, too.
 
For the past six years, Paul Costelloe has had the rather unenviable task of opening the proceedings. I arrived super early, as I always do – I woke up actually asking if Santa had been, I was so excited I presumed it must be Christmas. Anyway, I joined the queue for Costelloe, in which the mean age must have been approximately 68. It was a crimplene snake. These lovely old dears were desperate to get inside (I suppose you can never be too careful, especially in this chilly weather) and, rather unfashionably, we were ushered inside on time.


 
Now I am familiar with Costelloe’s work, but the relationship between his collections and his audience totally and uttrerly baffles me. One by one, the first models of S/S 2011 strutted down the catwalk wearing fresh, well cut and contemporary clothes. So why do grannies in knits flock to see this? I got chatting to two gorgeous old dears who, with their enthusiastic clapping and cheering, almost threatened to steal my attention from the show. They thought every frock was ‘bloody gorgeous’ and cries of ‘Oooh, that’s STUNNING’ were heard from all sides.


My two lovely ladies, on the right during the finale


illustrated by Natsuki Otani

The show itself was a treat from start to finish, for a number of reasons. The styling was great, with bright red lipstick, back-combed hair piled atop models heads (a look Costelloe is famed for) and the soundtrack was summery and fun, featuring Eliza Doolittle’s recent hit Pack Up.

The clothes were wonderful, featuring contemporary curves with emphasis on waists, oversized bows and playful graphic prints. Such fun. I particularly like everything about this following model and her outfit, whose face and hair do reminded me of Evangelista in naughty George Michael’s Too Funky video.
 

The show, however, had the most bizarre ending. Six awkward looking blokes dressed to the nines in suits cautiously eased their way up the catwalk. They all looked alike and I instantly guessed that they were brothers. It turns out Mr Costelloe isnt just good at fashion, he also is a dab hand and breeding too. If you’ve already read Amelia’s review, then apologies, but SIX SONS! Bloody hell! SIX SONS! Imagine. My dad has four and went grey in his thirties. I can only imagine that Paul Costelloe is a devout Catholic or didn’t have a television at home. How does he find the time to produce such an exciting and polished collection with this sextet? Lord knows.

I’m with Amelia on the menswear – I probably wouldn’t wear it and it’s a long way away from the masses of creative talent we’ll see on menswear day next week. But, if his collections develop like his womenswear has over the seasons, I’m sure I’ll be changing my mind pretty swiftly!


Paul Costelloe menswear, illustrated to look far better than it was, by Natsuki Otani


Paul Costelloe S/S 2011, patient illustrated by Natsuki Otani

So the circus has begun, the Big Top (the BFC Marquee) is up surrounded by bizarrely dressed clowns, and trapeze artists swing from the roof of Somerset House. Okay, that last one isn’t true, but you get the picture!

I haven’t had a bloody chance to write anything yet, and Amelia has beaten me to it with a review of fashion week S/S 2011′s opener – Paul Costelloe. But, while I have the chance, I thought I’d throw my tuppence worth in, too.
 
For the past six years, Paul Costelloe has had the rather unenviable task of opening the proceedings. I arrived super early, as I always do – I woke up actually asking if Santa had been, I was so excited I presumed it must be Christmas. Anyway, I joined the queue for Costelloe, in which the mean age must have been approximately 68. It was a crimplene snake. These lovely old dears were desperate to get inside (I suppose you can never be too careful, especially in this chilly weather) and, rather unfashionably, we were ushered inside on time.


 
Now I am familiar with Costelloe’s work, but the relationship between his collections and his audience totally and uttrerly baffles me. One by one, the first models of S/S 2011 strutted down the catwalk wearing fresh, well cut and contemporary clothes. So why do grannies in knits flock to see this? I got chatting to two gorgeous old dears who, with their enthusiastic clapping and cheering, almost threatened to steal my attention from the show. They thought every frock was ‘bloody gorgeous’ and cries of ‘Oooh, that’s STUNNING’ were heard from all sides.


My two lovely ladies, on the right during the finale


illustrated by Natsuki Otani

The show itself was a treat from start to finish, for a number of reasons. The styling was great, with bright red lipstick, back-combed hair piled atop models heads (a look Costelloe is famed for) and the soundtrack was summery and fun, featuring Eliza Doolittle’s recent hit Pack Up.

The clothes were wonderful, featuring contemporary curves with emphasis on waists, oversized bows and playful graphic prints. Such fun. I particularly like everything about this following model and her outfit, whose face and hair do reminded me of Evangelista in naughty George Michael’s Too Funky video.
 

The show, however, had the most bizarre ending. Six awkward looking blokes dressed to the nines in suits cautiously eased their way up the catwalk. They all looked alike and I instantly guessed that they were brothers. It turns out Mr Costelloe isnt just good at fashion, he also is a dab hand and breeding too. If you’ve already read Amelia’s review, then apologies, but SIX SONS! Bloody hell! SIX SONS! Imagine. My dad has four and went grey in his thirties. I can only imagine that Paul Costelloe is a devout Catholic or didn’t have a television at home. How does he find the time to produce such an exciting and polished collection with this sextet? Lord knows.

I’m with Amelia on the menswear – I probably wouldn’t wear it and it’s a long way away from the masses of creative talent we’ll see on menswear day next week. But, if his collections develop like his womenswear has over the seasons, I’m sure I’ll be changing my mind pretty swiftly!


Paul Costelloe menswear, illustrated to look far better than it was, by Natsuki Otani


Ashley Isham S/S 2011, more about illustrated by Zarina Liew

Late afternoon it was the turn of Ashley Isham to display his wares for S/S 2011 at the On|Off venue, this web Victoria House. Amelia had beaten me there by bike (natch) and so I made my way in and joined the back of the queue. Amelia tried to persuade me to push to the front (by text) but I’m the world’s biggest scaredy cat at fashion week and so stayed where I was. On this occasion, it actually didn’t matter – I shoved my way to get a good standing spot, from where I could take pics. As I did I noticed a fashion palaver going on at the first corner of the horse-shaped catwalk. The paps were in a frenzy to capture a shot of somebody who I could only see from the back, and who was wearing a ridiculous cap that I can only describe as a disco-themed tribute to the Pontiff’s zucchetto. It turns out it was Paloma Faith.

As somebody minced down the catwalk explaining that Ashley was desperate to start and was getting bored (we were already running over half an hour late) the team soon sprang into action to get the show on its way.


Illustration by Zarina Liew

Ashley Isham is famed for his red-carpet dresses that many a celebrity is fond of. I hadn’t actually seen one of his shows before, but I was totally impressed. With so much doom and gloom and many of the designers playing it safe and producing muted, basic collections, thank heavens for Ashley Isham. Camp is an understatement with these fabulous headpieces, over-embellished frocks, glitter, sparkles, crystals, feathers, ruffles, beads and jewels. Now I know where Strictly Come Dancing gets its ideas from.

With a disco soundtrack including Wham! and The Hues Corporation, I was left desperate to grab one of the models and pay homage to Saturday Night Fever with a jazzy disco waltz.

I have no idea how to write about this collection without banging on about how wonderfully camp it was. Where to start? Well, key themes were bare shoulders, maxi-length floor sweepers, fishtail hems, silky fabrics and as much haberdashery-shop-hoard you can throw on something without actually going blind. Isham’s numbers ooze sex appeal and he’s clearly a fan of the female form. These dresses are made to emphasise the top half and the waist, and body-conscience is always key.

Wonderful headpieces constructed of artificial flowers made models look extremely exotic, and they were by far my favourite thing in the show.

I’m really struggling here. I love it, but I’m lost for words. It was utterly bonkers. You can see it all in the pictures anyway.

Colours and patterns were a bit all over the place, and while I wouldn’t want to knock this collection, if I had to I’d say it wouldn’t hurt to be a little more coherent. But when frocks make these alien-like creatures we call models look sexy, who cares?

Photographs: Matt Bramford

Categories ,Ashley Isham, ,Blow PR, ,body-conscious, ,disco, ,Fishtail, ,headpieces, ,London Fashion Week, ,onoff, ,paloma faith, ,Rock the boat don’t rock the boat baby, ,S/S 2011, ,The Hues Corporation, ,Wham!, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Ashley Isham

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young.

Every now and again London Fashion Week throws out a curveball and you end up in the most random of places with the most ridiculous collection of people, buy wondering what the hell is going on. The Olivia Rubin show was just such an occasion.

I was very early to this show – a confluence of circumstances that left me standing at the front of a line outside the Jalouse nightclub in central London until I was completely numb with cold. From my prime vantage point I was able to ogle as the paps pounced on a series of D-Z list celebrities. I recognised Konnie Huq and footballer’s wife Danielle Lloyd but after that it was anyone’s guess. In my mind it’s never a good idea for the guests to overshadow a fashion show, this and especially not if I haven’t got a clue who they are.

Once the celebs had been swept into the hallowed basement of Jalouse I too was invited in. I picked up a drink and swiftly headed towards the sunken seating area, click ignoring the protestations of the press girl to wait and see if there was space later on. As if! We’ve run an extensive interview with Olivia Rubin on this website and I didn’t much feel like standing around on my own anymore, so I plonked myself down next to a friendly looking bunch of people on a curved sofa. I soon discovered that the lad next to me was on work experience at a fashion magazine and somewhat in thrall to his first fashion week. Herein is revealed the ridiculousness of seating arrangements at fashion shows – at the end of the day they are completely arbitrary. Depending on who you know and whether you’re bolshy enough you can sit wherever you want, be you intern or editor.

Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon
Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon.

As guests slowly filled the club the celebrities stepped up on to the catwalk at my head height to pose for the paps. First Danielle, swishing her hair this way and that like a prime racehorse. Then, to my delight, Laura Goodger and friends from The Only Way is Essex. Don’t worry, I had to look up her full name. I did watch a few episodes, but I’m not THAT SAD. By this point I was gobsmacked by the stunning level of celeb-dom in attendance. I later discovered that another fashion PR had been approached for tickets by the *cast* of The Only Way is Essex, but had rapidly turned them down as way too tacky. I must say, I don’t really understand the logic. Rather than making me think, way-hey, this must mean Olivia Rubin is really cool, it makes me utterly distracted… anthropologically fascinated by these strange creatures. The result? I spent the entire catwalk show trying to capture Lauren pouting and preening, rather than concentrating on the clothes – which in any case were hard to see against the glare of flashbulbs. Famous model Olivia Inge certainly enjoyed herself too; gunning at friends in the audience as she pranced down the catwalk.

In a way it’s a shame that there was so much flimshaw surrounding this show because Olivia Rubin makes very cute clothes that feature colourful, fun prints and simple 80s styling. To my mind not at all Essex.

As soon as the show was done the music leapt up to dancing volume, and yet more Essex girls headed to the toilets to touch up their wondrously over-wrought get ups that must surely have taken all day to perfect. I could happily have stayed next to the basins with my camera all night but Matt and I instead drank free cocktails and put the world to rights.

You can read Matt Bramford’s fabby review here. Read our interview with Olivia Rubin here.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young.

Every now and again London Fashion Week throws out a curveball and you end up in the most random of places with the most ridiculous collection of people, purchase wondering what the hell is going on. The Olivia Rubin show was just such an occasion.

I was very early to this show – a confluence of circumstances that left me standing at the front of a line outside the Jalouse nightclub in central London until I was completely numb with cold. From my prime vantage point I was able to ogle as the paps pounced on a series of D-Z list celebrities. I recognised Konnie Huq and footballer’s wife Danielle Lloyd but after that it was anyone’s guess. In my mind it’s never a good idea for the guests to overshadow a fashion show, and especially not if I haven’t got a clue who they are.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Once the celebs had been swept into the hallowed basement of Jalouse I too was invited in. I picked up a drink and swiftly headed towards the sunken seating area, ignoring the protestations of the press girl to wait and see if there was space later on. As if! We’ve run an extensive interview with Olivia Rubin on this website and I didn’t much feel like standing around on my own anymore, so I plonked myself down next to a friendly looking bunch of people on a curved sofa. I soon discovered that the lad next to me was on work experience at a fashion magazine and somewhat in thrall to his first fashion week. Herein is revealed the ridiculousness of seating arrangements at fashion shows – at the end of the day they are completely arbitrary. Depending on who you know and whether you’re bolshy enough you can sit wherever you want, be you intern or editor.

Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon
Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon.

As guests slowly filled the club the celebrities stepped up on to the catwalk at my head height to pose for the paps. First Danielle, swishing her hair this way and that like a prime racehorse. Then, to my delight, Laura Goodger and friends from The Only Way is Essex. Don’t worry, I had to look up her full name. I did watch a few episodes, but I’m not THAT SAD. By this point I was gobsmacked by the stunning level of celeb-dom in attendance. I later discovered that another fashion PR had been approached for tickets by the *cast* of The Only Way is Essex, but had rapidly turned them down as way too tacky. I must say, I don’t really understand the logic. Rather than making me think, way-hey, this must mean Olivia Rubin is really cool, it makes me utterly distracted… anthropologically fascinated by these strange creatures.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The result? I spent the entire catwalk show trying to capture Lauren pouting and preening, rather than concentrating on the clothes – which in any case were hard to see against the glare of flashbulbs. Famous model Olivia Inge certainly enjoyed herself too; gunning at friends in the audience as she pranced down the catwalk.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

In a way it’s a shame that there was so much flimshaw surrounding this show because Olivia Rubin makes very cute clothes that feature colourful, fun prints and simple 80s styling. To my mind not at all Essex.

As soon as the show was done the music leapt up to dancing volume, and yet more Essex girls headed to the toilets to touch up their wondrously over-wrought get ups that must surely have taken all day to perfect. I could happily have stayed next to the basins with my camera all night but Matt and I instead drank free cocktails and put the world to rights.

You can read Matt Bramford’s fabby review here. Read our interview with Olivia Rubin here.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young.

Every now and again London Fashion Week throws out a curveball and you end up in the most random of places with the most ridiculous collection of people, generic wondering what the hell is going on. The Olivia Rubin show was just such an occasion.

I was very early to this show – a confluence of circumstances that left me standing at the front of a line outside the Jalouse nightclub in central London until I was completely numb with cold. From my prime vantage point I was able to ogle as the paps pounced on a series of D-Z list celebrities. I recognised Konnie Huq and footballer’s wife Danielle Lloyd but after that it was anyone’s guess. In my mind it’s never a good idea for the guests to overshadow a fashion show, cialis 40mg and especially not if I haven’t got a clue who they are.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Once the celebs had been swept into the hallowed basement of Jalouse I too was invited in. I picked up a drink and swiftly headed towards the sunken seating area, viagra buy ignoring the protestations of the press girl to wait and see if there was space later on. As if! We’ve run an extensive interview with Olivia Rubin on this website and I didn’t much feel like standing around on my own anymore, so I plonked myself down next to a friendly looking bunch of people on a curved sofa. I soon discovered that the lad next to me was on work experience at a fashion magazine and somewhat in thrall to his first fashion week. Herein is revealed the ridiculousness of seating arrangements at fashion shows – at the end of the day they are completely arbitrary. Depending on who you know and whether you’re bolshy enough you can sit wherever you want, be you intern or editor.

Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon
Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon.

As guests slowly filled the club the celebrities stepped up on to the catwalk at my head height to pose for the paps. First Danielle, swishing her hair this way and that like a prime racehorse. Then, to my delight, Laura Goodger and friends from The Only Way is Essex. Don’t worry, I had to look up her full name. I did watch a few episodes, but I’m not THAT SAD. By this point I was gobsmacked by the stunning level of celeb-dom in attendance. I later discovered that another fashion PR had been approached for tickets by the *cast* of The Only Way is Essex, but had rapidly turned them down as way too tacky. I must say, I don’t really understand the logic. Rather than making me think, way-hey, this must mean Olivia Rubin is really cool, it makes me utterly distracted… anthropologically fascinated by these strange creatures.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The result? I spent the entire catwalk show trying to capture Lauren pouting and preening, rather than concentrating on the clothes – which in any case were hard to see against the glare of flashbulbs. Famous model Olivia Inge certainly enjoyed herself too; gunning at friends in the audience as she pranced down the catwalk.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

In a way it’s a shame that there was so much flimshaw surrounding this show because Olivia Rubin makes very cute clothes that feature colourful, fun prints and simple 80s styling. To my mind not at all Essex.

As soon as the show was done the music leapt up to dancing volume, and yet more Essex girls headed to the toilets to touch up their wondrously over-wrought get ups that must surely have taken all day to perfect. I could happily have stayed next to the basins with my camera all night but Matt and I instead drank free cocktails and put the world to rights.

You can read Matt Bramford’s fabby review here. Read our interview with Olivia Rubin here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, ask but I greeted her warmly when she came through to join me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, pill gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, approved performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

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All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that makes the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011 by Jane Young.

Every now and again London Fashion Week throws out a curveball and you end up in the most random of places with the most ridiculous collection of people, nurse wondering what the hell is going on. The Olivia Rubin show was just such an occasion.

I was very early to this show – a confluence of circumstances that left me standing at the front of a line outside the Jalouse nightclub in central London until I was completely numb with cold. From my prime vantage point I was able to ogle as the paps pounced on a series of D-Z list celebrities. I recognised Konnie Huq and footballer’s wife Danielle Lloyd but after that it was anyone’s guess. In my mind it’s never a good idea for the guests to overshadow a fashion show, case and especially not if I haven’t got a clue who they are.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Once the celebs had been swept into the hallowed basement of Jalouse I too was invited in. I picked up a drink and swiftly headed towards the sunken seating area, ignoring the protestations of the press girl to wait and see if there was space later on. As if! We’ve run an extensive interview with Olivia Rubin on this website and I didn’t much feel like standing around on my own anymore, so I plonked myself down next to a friendly looking bunch of people on a curved sofa. I soon discovered that the lad next to me was on work experience at a fashion magazine and somewhat in thrall to his first fashion week. Herein is revealed the ridiculousness of seating arrangements at fashion shows – at the end of the day they are completely arbitrary. Depending on who you know and whether you’re bolshy enough you can sit wherever you want, be you intern or editor.

Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon
Olivia Rubin by Karolina Burdon.

As guests slowly filled the club celebrities stepped up on to the catwalk at my head height to pose for the paps. First Danielle, swishing her hair this way and that like a prime racehorse. Then, to my delight, Laura Goodger and friends from The Only Way is Essex. Don’t worry, I had to look up her full name. I did watch a few episodes, but I’m not THAT SAD. By this point I was gobsmacked by the stunning level of celeb-dom in attendance. I later discovered that another fashion PR had been approached for tickets by the *cast* of The Only Way is Essex, but had rapidly turned them down as way too tacky. I must say, I don’t really understand the logic. Rather than making me think, way-hey, this must mean Olivia Rubin is really cool… it makes me utterly distracted… anthropologically fascinated by these strange creatures.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The result? I spent the entire catwalk show trying to capture Lauren pouting and preening, rather than concentrating on the clothes – which in any case were hard to see against the glare of flashbulbs. Famous model Olivia Inge certainly enjoyed herself too; gunning at friends in the audience as she pranced down the catwalk.

Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryOlivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Olivia Rubin A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

In a way it’s a shame that there was so much flimshaw surrounding this show because Olivia Rubin makes very cute clothes that feature colourful, fun prints and simple 80s styling. To my mind not at all Essex.

As soon as the show was done the music leapt up to dancing volume, and yet more Essex girls headed to the toilets to touch up wondrously over-wrought hair and make-up that must surely have taken all day to perfect. I could happily have stayed next to the basins all night with my camera, but Matt and I instead drank free cocktails and put the world to rights.

You can read Matt Bramford’s fabby review here. Read our interview with Olivia Rubin here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, ed but I greeted her warmly when she came through to join me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, sale gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, shop performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that makes the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.

Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey
Kyla La Grange by Anna Casey.

A couple of weeks ago I met with angsty new folk popstrel Kyla La Grange at her management offices in central London. Her slight figure was easily missed as I walked through to the glass walled meeting room, visit this site but I greeted her warmly when she came through to join me. Kyla la Grange performed on my hastily assembled Climate Camp (RIP) stage at Glastonbury last summer, tadalafil gamely playing a beautiful semi-acoustic set in the sweltering summer heat. Today she releases her first official single – the anthemic Walk Through Walls – so let’s find out a bit more about this intriguing new musician…

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim
Kyla La Grange by Rukmunal Hakim/YesGo Illustration.

She may look very young but don’t be fooled by Kyla’s youthful exterior – she’s actually a 24 year old Cambridge University graduate. It wasn’t until her uni years that she finally found the guts to make music, performing at an open mic acoustic night called Songs in the Dark. “It was a good place to cut my teeth.” The process was very organic. She met other musicians, formed a few bands and played in some Battle of the Bands competitions. “Basically it was all very low pressure.” She loved studying philosophy, and admits that she misses the academic stimulation. “Being at Cambridge was like living in a magical piece of history… but I am incredibly grateful to be making music now.”

Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson
Kyla La Grange by Rebecca Strickson.

When the outside world of work beckoned she found herself working long hours in a high end bar, making it hard to go into the studio every morning and be creative. That and the odd bit of secretarial work kept her afloat until she was discovered by management company ATC via Rollo of Faithless fame, who discovered her songs on Myspace. She is eager to emulate the likes of Mumford and Sons and do things her own way, without the controlling hand of a label. “ATC let their artists go away and get on with it. They don’t view me purely as a money making machine; they are in it for the long haul. But I don’t anticipate selling a lot of records, ever,” she blithely tells me.

Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010 on the Climate Camp stage
Kyla La Grange at Glastonbury 2010. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The last year has been devoted to the creation of her debut album which so far hosts “too many songs” including the luscious Vampire Smile, a darkly beautiful blast of longing. But she’s in no rush. “The album will come out as and when it’s finished; the worst thing I could do would be to rush its release.” She expects it will finally see the light of day in early 2012.

YouTube Preview Image

All Kyla’s influences come from “sad music”. Having been introduced to Cat Power by a former boyfriend, You Are Free is a constant presence in her life alongside Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. But she also likes a lot of modern bands – Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, Yeasayer, Matthew And The Atlas, Marcus Foster, Alex Winston and Band of Horses. “I only write because I’m often quite sad…” she tells me. “I don’t think I’d write if I was a genuinely happy person.” In the age old tradition of the angst-ridden artist, writing music has become Kyla’s best form of catharsis, “like running into a big open field and screaming until you feel better.” It’s as if she feels an unstoppable need to release her feelings out into the open.

Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith
Kyla la Grange by Gemma Smith.

I wonder what has prompted such a downbeat personality. “Some people just have a default mode,” she explains. “They wake up and feel a bit black inside.” She admits that this is something she has battled for a long time but insists that her mood is not affected by the outside world… she just tends to feel down most of the time. “Most people fall into one of two camps – they are either upbeat or see life from behind a big grey cloud. Everyone is a product of their genes and their experiences when they are young.” But she is absolutely clear that she doesn’t blame her parents for the way she has turned out. “Even though I wasn’t a very happy child my parents were both fantastic.” Her parents had been involved in the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa before settling in Watford, and she felt very different from everyone else at her school. “Kids can be vicious.” They were massive music fans, between them inspiring her to listen to many different genres. “Dad loved folk, blues and country. Mum loved classical, rock and indie.” She now lives between Stockwell and Vauxhall. “I like the mix of people and place, the beautiful old squares next to housing estates… it’s unpretentious.”

YouTube Preview Image

I wonder if such a sensitive personality will still be able to write songs from the heart if she becomes famous. She has thought about this. “I don’t think the drive to write songs will be lessened just because people like them,” she says, “it’s not the only reason I write. I think all the best artists write primarily to get something out of the experience and I want to convey raw honest emotion because that makes the most meaningful music.”

Kyla La Grange in February 2011
Kyla La Grange in February 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It comes as no surprise that lyrics are hugely important to Kyla, although she likes the odd “non-sensical song by The Beatles.” She can’t really describe her writing process, although it is the part she loves the most. “It’s such a strange, solitary thing. You get so swept up in what you’re feeling, engrossed in emotion.” She can’t tell me what comes first, melody or lyric. “They tend to come together.”

Kyla doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any musical movement, so it’s no surprise to find that she lists herself as Black Metal/Children/Grindcore on Myspace. “There have been so many genres flung at me but I never think about what I belong to – the songs just come out.” I think she has a kind of dark indie pop sensibility that is all her own, and not fitting in to any musical clique suits her well. “I suppose my music is a bit all over the place, like me.” She gets thoroughly annoyed by the suggestion that women must fit into any type of separate musical category. “Music is not a sport so why do there need to be different categories and awards?”


Kyla La Grange performing on the Climate Camp stage at Glastonbury.

I ask her whether she is in general quite a solitary person, although I think I already know the answer. “Definitely. I’m not terribly good with people and I much prefer talking one to one. Groups of people are scary.” But she has grown accustomed to working with her band of four and she’s easy and down to earth when talking to me, even if an overwhelming undertow of sadness never quite leaves the room.

You can access a free download for Walk Through Walls from SoundCloud right here. The official launch party is at Notting Hill Arts Club tomorrow night, Tuesday 8th March, with the brilliant Daughter providing a support set and DJing from the Maccabees. After that she’s off to SXSW in Austin, Texas to play the Neon Gold show and she’s sure to be playing some festivals in the UK this summer. Make sure you catch Kyla La Grange soon, before she hits the big time.

You can read my review of Kyla’s performance at Glastonbury last summer here.


Illustration by Sanna Dyker

On the evening of Friday 18th February, viagra after a brief sprint via Freemasons Hall to collect my tickets, adiposity I arrived at Mercer Street Studios in Covent Garden to see Ashley Isham’s show at On|Off.

Ashley Isham is known for his dramatic red carpet frocks so it was no surprise that a few familiar faces turned out to see his Autumn Winter 2011 collection. Brendan Cole (of Strictly Come Dancing infamy) was near the front of the scrum waiting to get into the show, approved looking less than impressed that he had been made to queue with everyone else. Lots of shouting from the organisers suggested that those with a silver star on their ticket would be allowed to enter first; following a host of panicked people waving their tickets in the air it turned out most of these people had been given photocopies with a black star, oh the drama. After flashing my ticket (red spot, much less confusing) I settled into my seat, spotting Paloma Faith posing for photos on the front row.  

The inspiration for the collection was the enchanted forest, and the show began with floral printed velvet micro dresses in a vivid palette. Oversaturated pansies and berries were set against bright turquoise and forest green, punctuated by dark leaves and roses.


Illustration by Madi Illustrates

The models wore elaborate headresses with a taste of the orient; clouds of tulle were pierced by tasseled chopsticks, joined by silk peonies and blossom branches. Dark lips were a reminder that this was a winter collection. In contrast to the floral themes, the collection featured flowing layers in soft metallic gunmetal and brocade bodices with heavy embroidery and black sequins. Some darker pieces were verging on gothic, with structured capped shoulders and tulle trains. Safe Grecian draping was presented in cobalt, teal and gunmetal and featured obligatory red carpet one-shouldered shapes.


Illustration by Jo Cheung

There was a dramatic moment when one of the frailer-looking models tripped and fell after becoming entangled in her long sheer tulle skirt. A room full of gasps ensued and the poor girl had to limp off in skyscraper heels and a brave attempt at nonchalance. The combination of influences in the collection did seem a little discordant when the outfits were shown one by one on the catwalk, but when all the girls returned for the finale there was a more cohesive feel.

Overall it was an interesting and elegant collection but I wouldn’t call it adventurous. The theatrical make up and headdresses added a certain something which would have been lacking had the dresses been accompanied by a more neutral look. Having said that, I’m certain that the collection will definitely continue to appeal to the celeb masses; there was living proof on my way out back to the real world with Kimberley Walsh proudly perched on the front row…

All photography by Naomi Law.

See more of Jo Cheung’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Ashley Isham, ,Brendan Cole, ,Catwalk review, ,fashion, ,Grecian, ,Jo Cheung, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Mercer Street Studios, ,onoff, ,Oriental, ,paloma faith, ,Sanna Dyker, ,Sexy No No No, ,Strictly Come Dancing, ,Womenswear

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

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_01

Who cares if womenswear is wearable? As a gent, approved I certainly don’t. Hair stylist to the stars, search Charlie Le Mindu opened the On|Off shows yesterday – winning zero points for wearability, but a whopping 10 out of 10 for wow factor.

Charlie has been styling hair for shoots and shows for ages now, but his first catwalk show, as part of Blow Presents, was only last year. In the six months between then and now, he’s had time to polish his wares, and this time we had an even deeper delve into his psyche…

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_Illustration
Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With the sound of church bells welcoming a funeral cortege, the first model appeared with a giant, jewel-encrusted cross atop her sleek black wig. Wearing a most provocative outfit made of lace, Le Mindu’s pieces lie somewhere between your wildest dreams and your darkest nightmares.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_02

As the pounding music kicked in, with screams of ‘CHARLIE” peppered in the track, the stream of models slowly sauntered down the catwalk, expressionless and lost in their own thoughts. The outfits became racier – with one model, wearing a huge hair-trimmed construction, having little but a thick pony tail to hide her modesty.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_03

While Charlie’s SS 2010 show was all about the blonde, AW 2010 was definitely all about black. Black, black black. Black lace, black hair, black shoes and black knickers. Any use of colour would have ruined the drama of fashion’s favourite colour.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_04

The most prominent theme was undoubtedly death, with crucifixes, ashen skin and hair/head pieces influenced by the mantilla. Whilst some might find Le Mindu’s creations a little on the silly side, the craftsmanship, attention to detail and range of techniques he employs are outstanding. He’s comparable to the few designers who really push the boundaries, and, like dearly beloved McQueen, he toys with raw and emotive subjects. And when it’s not hair, it’s stoles with cuddly-toy heads or bird feathers.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_05

Amongst a hell of a lot of designers who’ve taken to playing it safe in these turbulent financial times, thank GOD for Charlie Le Mindu.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_06

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_01

Who cares if womenswear is wearable? As a gent, seek I certainly don’t. Hair stylist to the stars, viagra 60mg Charlie Le Mindu opened the On|Off shows yesterday – winning zero points for wearability, but a whopping 10 out of 10 for wow factor.

Charlie has been styling hair for shoots and shows for ages now, but his first catwalk show, as part of Blow Presents, was only last year. In the six months between then and now, he’s had time to polish his wares, and this time we had an even deeper delve into his psyche…

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_Illustration
Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With the sound of church bells welcoming a funeral cortege, the first model appeared with a giant, jewel-encrusted cross atop her sleek black wig. Wearing a most provocative outfit made of lace, Le Mindu’s pieces lie somewhere between your wildest dreams and your darkest nightmares.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_02

As the pounding music kicked in, with screams of ‘CHARLIE” peppered in the track, the stream of models slowly sauntered down the catwalk, expressionless and lost in their own thoughts. The outfits became racier – with one model, wearing a huge hair-trimmed construction, having little but a thick pony tail to hide her modesty.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_03

While Charlie’s SS 2010 show was all about the blonde, AW 2010 was definitely all about black. Black, black black. Black lace, black hair, black shoes and black knickers. Any use of colour would have ruined the drama of fashion’s favourite colour.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_04

The most prominent theme was undoubtedly death, with crucifixes, ashen skin and hair/head pieces influenced by the mantilla. Whilst some might find Le Mindu’s creations a little on the silly side, the craftsmanship, attention to detail and range of techniques he employs are outstanding. He’s comparable to the few designers who really push the boundaries, and, like dearly beloved McQueen, he toys with raw and emotive subjects. And when it’s not hair, it’s stoles with cuddly-toy heads or bird feathers.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_05

Amongst a hell of a lot of designers who’ve taken to playing it safe in these turbulent financial times, thank GOD for Charlie Le Mindu.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_06

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_01

Who cares if womenswear is wearable? As a gent, buy I certainly don’t. Hair stylist to the stars, Charlie Le Mindu opened the On|Off shows yesterday – winning zero points for wearability, but a whopping 10 out of 10 for wow factor.

Charlie has been styling hair for shoots and shows for ages now, but his first catwalk show, as part of Blow Presents, was only last year. In the six months between then and now, he’s had time to polish his wares, and this time we had an even deeper delve into his psyche…

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_Illustration
Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With the sound of church bells welcoming a funeral cortege, the first model appeared with a giant, jewel-encrusted cross atop her sleek black wig. Wearing a most provocative outfit made of lace, Le Mindu’s pieces lie somewhere between your wildest dreams and your darkest nightmares.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_02

As the pounding music kicked in, with screams of ‘CHARLIE” peppered in the track, the stream of models slowly sauntered down the catwalk, expressionless and lost in their own thoughts. The outfits became racier – with one model, wearing a huge hair-trimmed construction, having little but a thick pony tail to hide her modesty.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_03

While Charlie’s SS 2010 show was all about the blonde, AW 2010 was definitely all about black. Black, black black. Black lace, black hair, black shoes and black knickers. Any use of colour would have ruined the drama of fashion’s favourite colour.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_04

The most prominent theme was undoubtedly death, with crucifixes, ashen skin and hair/head pieces influenced by the mantilla. Whilst some might find Le Mindu’s creations a little on the silly side, the craftsmanship, attention to detail and range of techniques he employs are outstanding. He’s comparable to the few designers who really push the boundaries, and, like dearly beloved McQueen, he toys with raw and emotive subjects. And when it’s not hair, it’s stoles with cuddly-toy heads or bird feathers.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_05

Amongst a hell of a lot of designers who’ve taken to playing it safe in these turbulent financial times, thank GOD for Charlie Le Mindu.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_06

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_01

Who cares if womenswear is wearable? As a gent, visit this site I certainly don’t. Hair stylist to the stars, sildenafil Charlie Le Mindu opened the On|Off shows yesterday – winning zero points for wearability, ed but a whopping 10 out of 10 for wow factor.

Charlie has been styling hair for shoots and shows for ages now, but his first catwalk show, as part of Blow Presents, was only last year. In the six months between then and now, he’s had time to polish his wares, and this time we had an even deeper delve into his psyche…

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_Illustration
Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With the sound of church bells welcoming a funeral cortege, the first model appeared with a giant, jewel-encrusted cross atop her sleek black wig. Wearing a most provocative outfit made of lace, Le Mindu’s pieces lie somewhere between your wildest dreams and your darkest nightmares.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_02

As the pounding music kicked in, with screams of ‘CHARLIE” peppered in the track, the stream of models slowly sauntered down the catwalk, expressionless and lost in their own thoughts. The outfits became racier – with one model, wearing a huge hair-trimmed construction, having little but a thick pony tail to hide her modesty.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_03

While Charlie’s SS 2010 show was all about the blonde, AW 2010 was definitely all about black. Black, black black. Black lace, black hair, black shoes and black knickers. Any use of colour would have ruined the drama of fashion’s favourite colour.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_04

The most prominent theme was undoubtedly death, with crucifixes, ashen skin and hair/head pieces influenced by the mantilla. Whilst some might find Le Mindu’s creations a little on the silly side, the craftsmanship, attention to detail and range of techniques he employs are outstanding. He’s comparable to the few designers who really push the boundaries, and, like dearly beloved McQueen, he toys with raw and emotive subjects. And when it’s not hair, it’s stoles with cuddly-toy heads or bird feathers.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_05

Amongst a hell of a lot of designers who’ve taken to playing it safe in these turbulent financial times, thank GOD for Charlie Le Mindu.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_06

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_01

Who cares if womenswear is wearable? As a gent, more about I certainly don’t. Hair stylist to the stars, Charlie Le Mindu opened the On|Off shows yesterday – winning zero points for wearability, but a whopping 10 out of 10 for wow factor.

Charlie has been styling hair for shoots and shows for ages now, but his first catwalk show, as part of Blow Presents, was only last year. In the six months between then and now, he’s had time to polish his wares, and this time we had an even deeper delve into his psyche…

LFW_CharlieLeMindu_Illustration
Illustration by Maryanne Oliver

With the sound of church bells welcoming a funeral cortege, the first model appeared with a giant, jewel-encrusted cross atop her sleek black wig. Wearing a most provocative outfit made of lace, Le Mindu’s pieces lie somewhere between your wildest dreams and your darkest nightmares.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_02

As the pounding music kicked in, with screams of ‘CHARLIE” peppered in the track, the stream of models slowly sauntered down the catwalk, expressionless and lost in their own thoughts. The outfits became racier – with one model, wearing a huge hair-trimmed construction, having little but a thick pony tail to hide her modesty.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_03

While Charlie’s SS 2010 show was all about the blonde, AW 2010 was definitely all about black. Black, black black. Black lace, black hair, black shoes and black knickers. Any use of colour would have ruined the drama of fashion’s favourite colour.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_04

The most prominent theme was undoubtedly death, with crucifixes, ashen skin and hair/head pieces influenced by the mantilla. Whilst some might find Le Mindu’s creations a little on the silly side, the craftsmanship, attention to detail and range of techniques he employs are outstanding. He’s comparable to the few designers who really push the boundaries, and, like dearly beloved McQueen, he toys with raw and emotive subjects. And when it’s not hair, it’s stoles with cuddly-toy heads or bird feathers.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_05

Amongst a hell of a lot of designers who’ve taken to playing it safe in these turbulent financial times, thank GOD for Charlie Le Mindu.

LFW_CharlieleMindu_06

A designer renowned for his signature floaty and ethereal dresses – Ashley Isham – didn’t disappoint with his offering for AW10. With several celebrities in agreement (actress; Camilla Rutherford, viagra approved socialite and occasional model; Sophie Anderson and the queen of the beehive; Jodie Harsh) this five minute show was well worth the 45 minute wait.

4371538954_b82837afd6Images throughout courtesy of Fabrocks

Opening to Queen’s hilarious Flash Gordon theme tune, more about the catwalk was awash with stunning dresses fit for the A-list elite, information pills reflecting the lesser-known fact that Isham was the official designer of the 2004 BAFTAs, don’t you know – where he will probably be dressing many more for tomorrow night’s ceremony. Back to the show… AW10 channelled what I can only describe as the ‘Bollywood effect’, which saw several nods to the beautiful and highly unique style of Indian dress. With a plethora of rich fabrics cascading down the runway , we were treated to an inspired colour palette of burnt oranges, vibrant reds, ocean blues and hot pinks, which made me long for summer days and garden parties – even though I’m sure the invitation said AW10.

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Mixing in on-trend metallics through both appliqué and embroidery, the majority of garments were awash with gold sequins, jewel encrusting and beads – galore. Daring to go almost overboard with the metallic accents (which incidentally drew the collection together), Ashley boldly sent a model down the catwalk in a beautifully draped Grecian style asymmetric dress in a gold/ bronze colour, which unfortunately – in the bright lights of the On|Off venue – would have looked more at home wrapped around the Christmas turkey.

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Ashley’s beautiful Indian inspired pieces were popular with the crowd, eliciting a a low murmur of hushed whispers and collective ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. A self-confessed master of drapery, this stunning collection didn’t disappoint, with the whole collection looking almost too good to be true. To compliment the dresses, models wore short cropped jackets, sharply tailored and darted, with the emphasis on their rigid, boxy shoulders – evolving the statement shoulder look that we currently can’t quite get enough of. With only 17 looks on offer this was definitely a short show, but proving the old adage – quality definitely trumps over quantity.

Categories ,Ashley Isham, ,Camilla Rutherford, ,Fabrocks, ,Flash Gordon, ,Jodie Harsh, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Ashley Isham, ,onoff, ,Queen, ,Sophie Anderson

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Amelia’s Magazine | Asli Polat AW15: London Fashion Week Catwalk Review

Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 1
American designer Asli Polat took reference from a host of sources for AW15, culminating in a small but concise collection shown in the underground vaults of the RSA.

Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 3
Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 2
Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 4
Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 6
Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 5a
The show opened with several outfits made up in the same retro coloured plaid applied to different fabrics, including a mohair tweed. Shapes encompassed sweet rodeo detailed dresses, cute mini skirts, hooded sweat tops and a plasticised parka with teddybear fur details on pockets thanks to a partnership with the iconic teddybear manufacturer Steiff. This unusual choice of garment fabric was used in further outfits, most notably a couple of eye catching patchwork shift dresses, with matching bold tangerine eye shadow. Definitely a designer to watch.

Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 7
Asli Polat AW15-photo by Amelia Gregory 8
Asli Polat Steiff teddybear Jay Pinxie
Jay Pinxie Turnbull with a Steiff teddybear, our gift on the front row. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,American, ,Asli Polat, ,AW15, ,Catwalk review, ,Jay Pinxie Turnbull, ,London Fashion Week, ,retro, ,Steiff, ,Teddybear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ashley Isham: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

Ashley Isham by Lo Parkin
Ashley Isham by Lo Parkin.

I nearly didn’t make the Ashley Isham show, but a chance encounter with a catwalk photographer on the tube home persuaded me to take a side trip to the My Beautiful Fashion venue in the heart of the city: Goldsmiths’ Hall is an ‘urban palazzo‘ that is every bit as opulent and beautiful as the name suggests.

Ashley Isham S/S 2013 by Sam Parr
Ashley Isham S/S 2013 by Sam Parr.

Best not to sit under one of the outlandishly sized chandeliers, I thought, as I squashed my bum into a narrow space on the front row moments before the show started: unexpectedly. No preamble, out came a lady carrying a darling little lap dog. Isham has carved out a worthy career creating glamourous dresses that can be worn to high society occasions and that is exactly what he dished up: lots of sumptuously draped frocks, cinched at the waist with a range of pretty belts; some thigh skimming, others ankle sweeping. Berry tones were joined by dirty ice, tasteful mocha and textures in the form of geometric prints inspired by Orphism, lace and chintzy florals. The latter were reminiscent of prints from the 50s but reimagined in flared columns and tulip skirts. I liked the relaxed and occasionally asymmetric rope necklines, worn with pearls and loose chignons.

Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Just when we thought it was all over Isham upped the ante by sending out the pup in arms once more, followed by a series of jewel coloured glossy silk dresses.

Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
I was seated opposite Pandemonia, who was looking as fashion forward as a blow up gimp doll can, in a zippy shade of mint with a newly demure pale sorbet yellow hair do. When the show ended it became apparent (due to my late arrival) that I’d missed out on possibly the most exciting front row gift of all time: check out that parcel! It’s like Christmas time! Well jel.

Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
All front row gifts should be wrapped.
Ashley Isham S/S 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Ashley Isham, ,Goldsmiths’ Hall, ,Lo Parkin, ,My Beautiful Fashion, ,Orphism, ,Pandemonia, ,Sam Parr

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ashley Isham: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Catwalk Review


Ashley Isham S/S 2014 by Laura Hickman

I brandished a ‘priority’ ticket at Ashley Isham‘s show on Saturday, shamefully secure as I stood in the queue that I was assured a top seat. As chaos descended outside, though, it soon became clear that being escorted to my seat by my arm like a debutante was looking unlikely. I rapidly gave up on any hope of resting my derriere inside, instead opting for a decent standing spot. As we waited for the show to begin, I nosily read a girl’s text messages to pass the time. ‘I’m third row, it’s RIDICULOUS!’ she exclaimed, by SMS, to pretty much everybody stored in her iPhone 5.


All photography by Matt Bramford

It was pretty easy to see what all the fuss was about as the show began. This ‘Belle du Jour‘ collection was as sophisticated and polished as any I’ve seen. Luxury fabrics in pale blue formed the opening pieces, presented as short dresses and tapered trousers. Shift dresses in pastel colours demonstrated Isham’s commercial viability, while plastic jackets with floral edges added a futuristic dimension to the collection. These appeared in electric blue and black and were my favourite pieces. Hats by House of Flora covered models faces, only revealing eyes with laser cut mask shapes filled in with netting.


Ashley Isham S/S 2014 by Ozlem Djafer

There were a couple of slightly obscure pieces: a casual grey top teamed with ill-fitting white trousers didn’t belong, but were quickly forgotten with the finale pieces – Isham’s glamorous red carpet-ready dresses. Sweetheart necklines, fishtail hems, couture worthy embellishment and embroidery and elongated trains will secure even more fashionable followers.

Categories ,Ashley Isham, ,catwalk, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Laura Hickman, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Ozlem Djafer, ,Plastics, ,Red carpet, ,review, ,SS14, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ashley Isham: London Fashion Week S/S 2015 Catwalk Review

Ashley Isham by Laurie Nouchka
Ashley Isham by Laurie Nouchka.

Ashley Isham always has a flair for the dramatic and this season his models strutted down the runway before pausing to pout and pose at the ornate doors for the photographers. They wore a succession of swirling gowns in bright cerise pink, saturated royal blue and smokey greys. Ornate beaded details, fringing and curlicued lace were used in asymmetric formation with the addition of bondage inspired leather belts, which gave some edge to the proceedings. I particularly liked a pairing of softest grey silk with tomato leather shoulder caplets and wide cutout belt.

Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Hats were chosen to complement the heightened sense of drama, either woven baseball caps with outsized brims, or colossal affairs; spiked urchin umbrellas from under which models could glance askew. Lips and shoes were suitably glossy, giving a further pop of colour. More wearable for the everyday were short shorts, softly draped blouses and cute floral print sleeveless dresses. Prints were animal inspired, skirts flared or pencil tight. Glamourous encrusted swimsuits were designed for the swimming pool as catwalk, glittery clutch bags the must have accessory.

To watch the video scroll to the bottom of the page.

Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashley Isham SS 2015 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Ashley Isham, ,catwalk, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Glamour, ,Laurie Nouchka, ,London Fashion Week, ,review, ,S/S 2015, ,SS15, ,video

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