Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Holly Fulton


Illustration by Gemma Randall

Christopher Shannon burst onto the catwalk in true and typical chavvy style to launch menswear day, see for me at least, more about on Wednesday. His wasn’t the first show; we didn’t get tickets for Lou Dalton (a real shame, as I was really looking forward to that one) or Topman Design (meh). There’s a strange feeling in the air on LFW’s Wednesday – it’s eerily quiet, people are more relaxed and you could actually swing a cat around in the press room, should you desire, for the first time in five days.

Shannon showed alongside JW Anderson in the BFC space, but even with these two heavyweights of menswear design presenting back to back, the venue still wasn’t full. It’s a shame that there isn’t as much interest in menswear, but the editors had all shipped off to Milan, I guess…

Shannon was up first and his show featured some of my favourite guilty pleasure tracks – Blu Cantrell, for instance. Tune! This kind of music sits hand in hand with his unique blend of street-inspired sportswear and edgy, boyish tailoring. The first looks were all crisp white numbers, featuring engineered t-shirts with geometric holes, multi-pocketed shorts and bucket hats, followed by sweaters with mesh details. I like Shannon’s fancy-free approach to menswear – it’s for young, hip individuals who care about style but not about stuffy suits.

Progressing into outerwear, the collection bore sports-luxe jackets, more mesh, and shorter shorts. Shannon’s garish but great rucksacks, a long-term callabo with Eastpak, made an appearance in similar tones as last season – pale greys and baby blues.


Illustration by Gemma Randall

Further in, Shannon’s signature camo-graffiti prints showed up, bringing a welcomed burst of colour in the form of pale blues. I like this print A LOT – it works on padded puffas, shorts and even bucket hats (although I doubt I’ll be seen in the entire get up – the pattern is intense and it needs breaking up a little, I think).

His scally charm shone through on more printed numbers, where sections had been cut away, and the reappearing camo print. Panelled trousers, though, displayed the menswear designer’s continual progression – sand chinos displayed oblong sections in luscious pastel colours made the move from teenage fashion. Vibrant yellows hinted at that ballsy appeal many of us were looking for.

Faces were painted like colloquial masks, apparently inspired by longing for a holiday, but I’m going to ignore this literal influence — as much as it looked fun, it fought to distract from some pretty sophisticated tailoring. All in all, a toned-down collection compared to what we are used to. As the chavvy charmer continues to grow up, so will – I hope – his collections.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Illustration by Gemma Randall

Christopher Shannon burst onto the catwalk in true and typical chavvy style to launch menswear day, find for me at least, on Wednesday. His wasn’t the first show; we didn’t get tickets for Lou Dalton (a real shame, as I was really looking forward to that one) or Topman Design (meh). There’s a strange feeling in the air on LFW’s Wednesday – it’s eerily quiet, people are more relaxed and you could actually swing a cat around in the press room, should you desire, for the first time in five days.

Shannon showed alongside JW Anderson in the BFC space, but even with these two heavyweights of menswear design presenting back to back, the venue still wasn’t full. It’s a shame that there isn’t as much interest in menswear, but the editors had all shipped off to Milan, I guess…

Shannon was up first and his show featured some of my favourite guilty pleasure tracks – Blu Cantrell, for instance. Tune! This kind of music sits hand in hand with his unique blend of street-inspired sportswear and edgy, boyish tailoring. The first looks were all crisp white numbers, featuring engineered t-shirts with geometric holes, multi-pocketed shorts and bucket hats, followed by sweaters with mesh details. I like Shannon’s fancy-free approach to menswear – it’s for young, hip individuals who care about style but not about stuffy suits.

Progressing into outerwear, the collection bore sports-luxe jackets, more mesh, and shorter shorts. Shannon’s garish but great rucksacks, a long-term callabo with Eastpak, made an appearance in similar tones as last season – pale greys and baby blues.


Illustration by Gemma Randall

Further in, Shannon’s signature camo-graffiti prints showed up, bringing a welcomed burst of colour in the form of pale blues. I like this print A LOT – it works on padded puffas, shorts and even bucket hats (although I doubt I’ll be seen in the entire get up – the pattern is intense and it needs breaking up a little, I think).

His scally charm shone through on more printed numbers, where sections had been cut away, and the reappearing camo print. Panelled trousers, though, displayed the menswear designer’s continual progression – sand chinos displayed oblong sections in luscious pastel colours made the move from teenage fashion. Vibrant yellows hinted at that ballsy appeal many of us were looking for.

Faces were painted like colloquial masks, apparently inspired by longing for a holiday, but I’m going to ignore this literal influence — as much as it looked fun, it fought to distract from some pretty sophisticated tailoring. All in all, a toned-down collection compared to what we are used to. As the chavvy charmer continues to grow up, so will – I hope – his collections.

All photography by Matt Bramford

LFW Holly Fulton by KAYLEIGH BLUCK
Holly Fulton by Kayleigh Bluck.

For S/S 2011 Holly Fulton took inspiration from Joan Collins and 60s cruise wear as her “ladies” went on a fantastical tour of luxury living in all the most chic resorts: Monaco, order Egypt, ed Brazil, Hollywood. If this woman exists in reality she would surely be the most shallow creature on the planet, but such is the way of fashion: it thrives on escapism.

Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

holly fulton by Michelle Urvall Nyrén
holly fulton by Michelle Urvall Nyrén
Holly Fulton by Michelle Urvall Nyrén.

This was the first Holly Fulton catwalk show I’ve attended, and being a fan I was intrigued to see how her aesthetic has held up in a year when her influence on the high street has been massive – particularly where large jewellery is concerned.

Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton by Aniela Murphy
Holly Fulton by Aniela Murphy.

The show started strongly with a bright orange cracked paving print blouse atop a tiered fringed pencil skirt before giving way to a look that I would say took as much inspiration from the flared shapes of the 70s as it did the decade before. Yellow skater style flared skirts featured laser cut cocktail patterns. Heels were so high one model was forced to remove hers for the finale.

Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW Holly Fulton by KAYLEIGH BLUCK
Holly Fulton by Kayleigh Bluck.

Holly is at her strongest when she puts together Aztec, Aboriginal and Memphis School inspired appliques on the front of long panels. Flares, shift dresses and maxi skirts provided ample opportunity for this, accessorised with the usual fabulous necklaces and decorated clutch bags. They were accompanied by suitably luxe big earrings and big hair.

Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

The collection only started to falter once towards the end, when Holly sent a few dresses down the runway that seemed obviously tacked on to appease sponsors Swarovski. Goodness knows why she decided to finish on these less polished numbers, instead of interspersing them through the whole show.

Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Holly Fulton by Aniela Murphy
Holly Fulton by Aniela Murphy.

Like David Koma before her Holly used python, this time in its natural colouring as part of heavily textured patterning so that it was less obvious from afar. Maybe a luxury feel demands some kind of obvious domination over the rest of the world, but I’m not sure I like this new trend towards exotic animal skins (see my David Koma blog for more on my thoughts). Other than this blip she remains an innovative and individual designer who’s very definitely one step ahead of her imitators.

Holly Fulton SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,1960s, ,1970s, ,Aboriginal, ,Aniela Murphy, ,Aztec, ,BFC Tent, ,David Koma, ,Holly Fulton, ,Joan Collins, ,Kayleigh Bluck, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Memphis School, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,Python skin, ,Swarovski

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Jasper Conran

Like most girly girls growing up, page shop my bedroom was decorated with various shades of baby pink and faerie-inspired memorabilia. I had faerie bedspreads, no rx no rx faerie lampshades, approved faerie candles, faerie wind chimes (no, really) – I had no idea of the concept of taking things too far. If there was an image of one of those illuminated delicate, dainty little figures slapped onto anything (including mugs and toilet rolls) it had to be mine.

Although I have since grown out of my faerie-loving phase (and into other crazy obsessions my good friends will tell you!), the child in me still gravitates towards stories about magical other worldly beings, the innocence of youth, and pretty much anything that takes me back to my childhood. It is for this reason that when I was asked to do a feature on Jessica Albarn’s first storybook, The Boy in the Oak, it was with a resounding ‘yes’ that I answered. However, it turns out that these faeries aren’t the good ones that I used to wrap around me to protect me as I slept.

Written and illustrated by Jessica, the artist tells the fantastical story of a young lonely boy who amuses himself by trampling on flowers, tearing the limbs off trees, and traumatising the creatures in the garden of his family home. His play becomes increasingly cruel until one day, the faeries that inhabit a giant oak tree, which is also the passageway to the Kingdom of Faerie, at the bottom of his garden take their revenge and trap him in the magical oak.

The narrative is accompanied by fine, detailed sketches of spindly creatures, faeries and facial expressions (the faces of the two protagonists in her story are based on her son Rudy and daughter Lola). Insects are introduced throughout the text and appear on most pages of the book, which Jessica weaves into the fabric of her story, somehow managing to make them appear more beautiful than creepy, through her gentle artistic strokes. The result is a dreamy, melancholic and rather sinister yet magical tale for adults and children alike.

On the eve of the launch of her first storybook ever, Amelia’s Magazine finds a few quiet moments to talk to the very talented artist (who also happens to be Damon Albarn’s sister) about her artistic influences, her rural upbringing, her alter ego faerie tale character and her biggest career challenge to date…

When did you first decide that you wanted to become an artist?I have always loved drawing but I guess I decided that I wanted to be an artist when I was about 15 yrs old.

How has your style evolved since you first started?
When I began my degree I was part of the sculpture department but I found I was happiest when I was drawing (although that could have been down to the fact that my sculptures had a tendency to fall over whenever my tutor drew near!). By the end of college, I had started drawing from nature and studying its relationship with geometry. It has developed a lot since then but I guess the seeds of that thought were sown then.

What/who has influenced your style?
Probably the most influential thing for me was the ‘Butterfly Ball’ by Alan Alderidge. It was a book I had as a child and of which I have revisited hundreds of times. I was fascinated by the detail, the personalities that Alderidge gave his characters and the dark sinister undertones.

What inspired The Boy in the Oak?
A good friend of mine has a tree in her garden that has a ghostly face in the bark. Her garden backs onto a wood and it reminded me of a place I used to visit as young child. A perfect setting for a faerie tale!

Is there a metaphor that older readers should relate to in The Boy in the Oak?
It’s about tuning into the magic in our daydreams, seeing through the veil of reality and escaping the prison of our minds.

How long did it take you to produce the illustrations and story for this book?
There were gaps along the way but it’s taken about four years from the birth of the idea to fruition.

Most of your work has a childhood theme – what was your childhood like and what were you like as a child?
I was born in London, but my parents moved out to North Essex when I was about 6. My parents are both artistic: my Dad ran the Colchester Arts school and my Mum had a studio at home. She also had a shop where she sold arts and crafts. We lived in a very old tudor house in a close-knit village. Most of my childhood was spent running around the countryside, making dens in woods and playing down by the river with my friends. I had lots and lots of guinea pigs, a rabbit and a cat. Also my Mum had a friend who had some ponies. It was all very ramshackle, but my Mum taught me and a lot of the village kids to ride. It was far away from pony club, hairnets and horse boxes, which was a good thing. I was a very happy child. My brother and I had a lot of freedom.

What is your favourite children’s fairy tale and why?
I loved all fairy tales like The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and the illustrations and stories in Russian Fairytales and folklore. But my favourite today still is the ‘The Happy Prince’ – by Oscar Wilde for its beautiful portrayal of love and kindness.

If you could be any fairy tale character, who would you be and why?
I would be the little girl in Baba Yaga, beating the witch and escaping adversity.

What has been the biggest career challenge you have faced to date?
Doing a three day live drawing performance for Helmut Lang in Tokyo. It was just a big deal for someone like me who is very private in their practice to be watched drawing!

What has been your proudest achievement to date?
Succeeding in getting my book published.

What three pieces of advice would you offer someone who is starting out as an illustrator/artist?
I don’t really see myself as an illustrator and haven’t worked as one apart from illustrating my book but as an artist I would say do what pleases you and don’t worry about what other people may think, work very, very hard and don’t give up if it makes you happy!

Jessica Albarn’s book ‘The Boy in the Oak’ is now available in bookstores worldwide.

(All images courtesy of Jessica Albarn)

Like most girly girls growing up, buy my bedroom was decorated with various shades of baby pink and faerie-inspired memorabilia. I had faerie bedspreads, faerie lampshades, faerie candles, faerie wind chimes (no, really) – I had no idea of the concept of taking things too far. If there was an image of one of those illuminated delicate, dainty little figures slapped onto anything (including mugs and toilet rolls), it had to be mine.

Although I have since grown out of my faerie-loving phase (and into other crazy obsessions my good friends will tell you!), the child in me still gravitates towards stories about magical otherworldly beings, the innocence of youth, and pretty much anything that takes me back to my childhood. It is for this reason that when I was asked to do a feature on Jessica Albarn’s storybook, The Boy in the Oak, it was with a resounding ‘yes’ that I answered. However, it turns out that the faeries I would be writing about aren’t the good ones that I used to wrap around me to protect me as I slept.

Written and illustrated by Jessica, the artist tells the fantastical story of a young lonely boy who amuses himself by trampling on flowers, tearing the limbs off trees, and traumatising the creatures in the garden of his family home. As his play becomes increasingly cruel until one day, the faeries that inhabit a giant oak tree, which is also the passageway to the Kingdom of Faerie, at the bottom of his garden cast a spell and trap him in the magical oak.

The narrative is accompanied by fine, detailed sketches of spindly creatures, faeries and emotive facial expressions (the faces of the two protagonists in her story are based on her son Rudy and daughter Lola). Insects are introduced throughout the text and appear on most pages of the book, which Jessica weaves into the fabric of her story, somehow managing to make them appear more beautiful than creepy, through her gentle artistic strokes. The result is a dreamy, melancholic and rather sinister yet magical tale for adults and children alike.

On the eve of the launch of her first storybook ever, Amelia’s Magazine finds a few quiet moments to talk to the very talented artist (who also happens to be Damon Albarn’s sister) about her artistic influences, her rural upbringing, her alter ego faerie tale character and her biggest career challenge to date…

When did you first decide that you wanted to become an artist?
I have always loved drawing but I guess I decided that I wanted to be an artist when I was about 15 yrs old.

How has your style evolved since you first started?
When I began my degree I was part of the sculpture department but I found I was happiest when I was drawing (although that could have been down to the fact that my sculptures had a tendency to fall over whenever my tutor drew near!). By the end of college, I had started drawing from nature and studying its relationship with geometry. It has developed a lot since then but I guess the seeds of that thought were sown then.

What/who has influenced your style?
Probably the most influential thing for me was the ‘Butterfly Ball’ by Alan Alderidge. It was a book I had as a child and of which I have revisited hundreds of times. I was fascinated by the detail, the personalities that Alderidge gave his characters and the dark sinister undertones.

What inspired The Boy in the Oak?
A good friend of mine has a tree in her garden that has a ghostly face in the bark. Her garden backs onto a wood and it reminded me of a place I used to visit as young child. A perfect setting for a faerie tale!

Is there a metaphor that older readers should relate to in The Boy in the Oak?
It’s about tuning into the magic in our daydreams, seeing through the veil of reality and escaping the prison of our minds.

How long did it take you to produce the illustrations and story for this book?
There were gaps along the way but it’s taken about four years from the birth of the idea to fruition.

Most of your work has a childhood theme – what was your childhood like and what were you like as a child?
I was born in London, but my parents moved out to North Essex when I was about 6. My parents are both artistic: my Dad ran the Colchester Arts school and my Mum had a studio at home. She also had a shop where she sold arts and crafts. We lived in a very old tudor house in a close-knit village. Most of my childhood was spent running around the countryside, making dens in woods and playing down by the river with my friends. I had lots and lots of guinea pigs, a rabbit and a cat. Also my Mum had a friend who had some ponies. It was all very ramshackle, but my Mum taught me and a lot of the village kids to ride. It was far away from pony club, hairnets and horse boxes, which was a good thing. I was a very happy child. My brother and I had a lot of freedom.

What is your favourite children’s fairy tale and why?
I loved all fairy tales like The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and the illustrations and stories in Russian Fairytales and folklore. But my favourite today still is the ‘The Happy Prince’ – by Oscar Wilde for its beautiful portrayal of love and kindness.

If you could be any fairy tale character, who would you be and why?
I would be the little girl in Baba Yaga, beating the witch and escaping adversity.

What has been the biggest career challenge you have faced to date?
Doing a three day live drawing performance for Helmut Lang in Tokyo. It was just a big deal for someone like me who is very private in their practice to be watched drawing!

What has been your proudest achievement to date?
Succeeding in getting my book published.

What three pieces of advice would you offer someone who is starting out as an illustrator/artist?
I don’t really see myself as an illustrator and haven’t worked as one apart from illustrating my book but as an artist I would say do what pleases you and don’t worry about what other people may think, work very, very hard and don’t give up if it makes you happy!

Jessica Albarn’s book ‘The Boy in the Oak’ is now available in bookstores worldwide.

(All images courtesy of Jessica Albarn)

Like most girly girls growing up, search my bedroom was decorated with various shades of baby pink and faerie-inspired memorabilia (I say most, but the latter could have just been me). I had faerie bedspreads, faerie lampshades, faerie candles, faerie wind chimes (no, really) – I had no idea of the concept of taking things too far. If there was an image of one of those illuminated delicate, dainty little figures slapped onto anything (including mugs and toilet rolls), it had to be mine.

Although I have since grown out of my faerie-loving phase (and into other crazy obsessions my good friends will tell you!), the child in me still gravitates towards stories about magical otherworldly beings, the innocence of youth, and pretty much anything that takes me back to my childhood. It is for this reason that when I was asked to do a feature on Jessica Albarn’s storybook, The Boy in the Oak, it was with a resounding ‘yes’ that I answered. However, it turns out that the faeries I would be writing about aren’t the good ones that I used to wrap around me to protect me as I slept.

Written and illustrated by Jessica, the artist tells the fantastical story of a young lonely boy who amuses himself by trampling on flowers, tearing the limbs off trees, and traumatising the creatures in the garden of his family home. As his play grows more cruel day by day, the faeries that inhabit a giant oak tree, which is also the passageway to the Kingdom of Faerie, at the bottom of his garden become increasingly unsettled until eventually, they cast a spell on him, trapping the boy in the magical oak.

The narrative is accompanied by fine, detailed sketches of spindly creatures, faeries and emotive facial expressions (the faces of the two protagonists in her story are based on her son Rudy and daughter Lola). Insects are introduced throughout the text and appear on most pages of the book, which Jessica weaves into the fabric of her story, somehow managing to make them appear more beautiful than creepy, through her gentle artistic strokes. The result is a dreamy, melancholic and rather sinister yet magical tale for adults and children alike.

On the eve of the launch of her first storybook ever, Amelia’s Magazine finds a quiet moment to talk to the very talented artist (who also happens to be Damon Albarn’s sister) about her artistic influences, her rural upbringing, her alter ego faerie tale character and her biggest career challenge to date…

When did you first decide that you wanted to become an artist?
I have always loved drawing but I guess I decided that I wanted to be an artist when I was about 15 yrs old.

How has your style evolved since you first started?
When I began my degree I was part of the sculpture department but I found I was happiest when I was drawing (although that could have been down to the fact that my sculptures had a tendency to fall over whenever my tutor drew near!). By the end of college, I had started drawing from nature and studying its relationship with geometry. It has developed a lot since then but I guess the seeds of that thought were sown then.

What/who has influenced your style?
Probably the most influential thing for me was the ‘Butterfly Ball’ by Alan Alderidge. It was a book I had as a child and of which I have revisited hundreds of times. I was fascinated by the detail, the personalities that Alderidge gave his characters and the dark sinister undertones.

What inspired The Boy in the Oak?
A good friend of mine has a tree in her garden that has a ghostly face in the bark. Her garden backs onto a wood and it reminded me of a place I used to visit as young child. A perfect setting for a faerie tale!

Is there a metaphor that older readers should relate to in The Boy in the Oak?
It’s about tuning into the magic in our daydreams, seeing through the veil of reality and escaping the prison of our minds.

How long did it take you to produce the illustrations and story for this book?
There were gaps along the way but it’s taken about four years from the birth of the idea to fruition.

Most of your work has a childhood theme – what was your childhood like and what were you like as a child?
I was born in London, but my parents moved out to North Essex when I was about 6. My parents are both artistic: my Dad ran the Colchester Arts school and my Mum had a studio at home. She also had a shop where she sold arts and crafts. We lived in a very old tudor house in a close-knit village. Most of my childhood was spent running around the countryside, making dens in woods and playing down by the river with my friends. I had lots and lots of guinea pigs, a rabbit and a cat. Also my Mum had a friend who had some ponies. It was all very ramshackle, but my Mum taught me and a lot of the village kids to ride. It was far away from pony club, hairnets and horse boxes, which was a good thing. I was a very happy child. My brother and I had a lot of freedom.

What is your favourite children’s fairy tale and why?
I loved all fairy tales like The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and the illustrations and stories in Russian Fairytales and folklore. But my favourite today still is the ‘The Happy Prince’ – by Oscar Wilde for its beautiful portrayal of love and kindness.

If you could be any fairy tale character, who would you be and why?
I would be the little girl in Baba Yaga, beating the witch and escaping adversity.

What has been the biggest career challenge you have faced to date?
Doing a three day live drawing performance for Helmut Lang in Tokyo. It was just a big deal for someone like me who is very private in their practice to be watched drawing!

What has been your proudest achievement to date?
Succeeding in getting my book published.

What three pieces of advice would you offer someone who is starting out as an illustrator/artist?
I don’t really see myself as an illustrator and haven’t worked as one apart from illustrating my book but as an artist I would say do what pleases you and don’t worry about what other people may think, work very, very hard and don’t give up if it makes you happy!

Jessica Albarn’s book ‘The Boy in the Oak’ is now available in bookstores worldwide.

(All images courtesy of Jessica Albarn)

Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

I love the Portico Rooms at Somerset House. Up an elaborate sweeping staircase, ask here lies a relatively small room in which I’ve seen some of my favourite presentations: Lou Dalton’s salon show a year ago, cialis 40mg both this and last season’s Orla Kiely presentations, and now Craig Lawrence’s presentation this weekend.

Presentations are my preferred preference to catwalk shows. You don’t have to fight for a seat, you can see the clothing and craftsmanship in close-up (particularly applicable with Craig’s astonishing knitwear) and, most importantly, they always have cakes.

This was no exception – just look at this table packed with the stuff. Delicious! Shame I decided on a cream-filled whoopie rather than something edible in front of fashion folk like a delicious slice of tiffin. Cue cream-covered chops, sloppy eating and and a general unfashionable mess. Ah, well.

Craig’s presentation was simple but oh so elegant. Three models perched around sculptural furniture wearing his latest offerings. I wonder how the pay-scale for models differs between catwalks and presentations? Surely sashaying to the end of a runway, striking a pose and then walking back is far easier than having people with zoom lenses oggle your pores and walk in circles around you? It’s a wonder they don’t fall over. They are good at looking into your camera though. Look at this one! She wurrrrks it. Give her a pay rise!

Craig Lawrence has quickly established himself as a man of exquisite craftsmanship, skill and style. I simply adore these floor length knitted numbers. Seeing them up close, you really develop an appreciation for the quality. I imagine that the wool he uses is of a high calibre, but staring closely at his pieces is quite something – hypnotic weaves create beautiful, rich textures.


Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

The colours were industrial and pewter was the mainstay, with the occasion flourish of varying greens and white. This all white number rustled as the model moved around the room, and it’s only when you see garments like this move that you realise their full potential. She does look a bit like she’s been through a paper shredder, though. God I hope she hadn’t.

Also on display was a strikingly beautiful and somewhat haunting film, which was actually all I thought I was going to see – the static models were a massive bonus. The black and white film was shot by Ben Toms and styled by Dazed & Confused’s Katie Shillingford. Bloody hard to photograph.

At first glance, it appeared to be a collection of photographs – a model stands stock still in a variety of poses on rocks and in the sea. It’s only when you watch for a little while you realise it is actually a film – you notice the hair flickering slightly from the wind, or the almost still waves of the ocean moving back and forth. It really brought the collection to life. Plus it was edited beautifully – by our own Sally Mumby Croft, no less!

You can see the film (and I suggest you do) here.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Jasper Conran  - Lea Wade
Jasper Conran by Lea Wade.

It’s hard to know what to say about Jasper. I certainly wasn’t expecting the earth to move, ask but it’s always nice to come out of a fashion show pleasantly surprised as I did after Paul Costelloe’s extremely strong opener to London Fashion Week.

LFW Jasper Conran by Anna Hancock Young
Jasper Conran by Anna Hancock-Young.

Perhaps Jasper needs to take a leaf out of Paul’s book – it seems that clothes your mum would be comfortable in at a wedding are no longer in, viagra dosage even with the more conservative crowd. And what was with the uncomfortable cheesy grins and hideous wide-brimmed netting hats? The styling and choice of models only served to emphasise the Debenhams factor, and I’m sorry but if I wanted high street on a catwalk I’d hot foot it down to Lakeside shopping centre.

Jasper Conran  - Lea Wade
Jasper Conran by Lea Wade.

However, all of this aside, much of the clothing was very sweet and (of course) I couldn’t fault its wearability. Straight up and down monochrome quickly gave way to the most citrus of hues in pleated swing skirts and dresses. The signature print – a painterly 40s inspired beach scene – was featured on the invite and on only one little sundress.

LFW Jasper Conran by Anna Hancock Young
Jasper Conran by Anna Hancock-Young.

Jasper Conran can clearly cut a great garment, so it’s just a shame he doesn’t push the boat out a bit more for London Fashion Week. Here’s hoping for more next time around.

Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Jasper Conran SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Anna Hancock-Young, ,BFC Tent, ,Jasper Conran, ,Lea Wade, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Somerset House

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

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea skirt by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

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

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

Ushered into one of the gorgeous upper halls I was seated only three chairs down from my nemesis, no rx who of course refused to acknowledge me. Which is just fine, our relationship never recovered after she moved out of my house and refused to pay her outstanding rent. But it did make me smile. Oh happy days. A funny little girl in latex stockings was placed between us and quickly presented me with her card and a badge. I had to spend the whole show trying to take photos around her as she leaned into the catwalk to take hers, but in the grand tradition of fashion week poseurs she sure was good at attracting attention.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

naomi-law-ktz
KTZ by Naomi Law.

Kokon To Zai is the cult Soho shop from whose loins the catwalk brand KTZ has sprung. Because I have been somewhat out of the loop I hadn’t actually connected the two together until I found KTZ on the stands in Somerset House. But suffice to say I used to borrow quite a lot of clothes from Kokon To Zai when I worked as a stylist so it was with somewhat excited anticipation that I made sure to attend just this one show on menswear Wednesday.

KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

aniela murphy ktz
KTZ by Aniela Murphy.

Well, online I say menswear Wednesday, more about but quite a few designers slipped a fair amount of womenswear onto the catwalk, more about and so it was with KTZ which seemed to be almost half and half. Though hard to tell, what with the inclusion of some gorgeous long haired male models.

KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ by Aniela Murphy
KTZ by Aniela Murphy.

The show was a whistlestop tour through monochrome and gold printed opulence, styled with golden crowns and huge colourful gems stacked across both male and female hands. Blazers met bodycon met baggy hoodies, just the kind of wearable bling that has me salivating like a hungry pug.

KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
naomi-law-ktz
KTZ by Naomi Law.

Sometimes I wish I was still a stylist just so that I could book these clothes out and have a play… but then I remember what the job really entailed: long hours of packhorse like drudgery. Maybe not then, but I’d love to sink my chops into some prime KTZ.

KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
KTZ SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Aniela Murphy, ,BFC Tent, ,Kokon To Zai, ,KTZ, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,pugs, ,rings, ,Soho

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Paul Costelloe

LFW Jena.Theo catwalk show SS11

In the prelude to September’s London Fashion Week, nurse 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, viagra 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, viagra approved 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, London Fashion Week“>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 S/S 10, 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 week to London Fashion Week.

Illustration by Gemma Randall

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft


Illustration by Faye West

Last London Fashion Week, information pills the Maria Grachvogel show was celebtastic, with Erin O’ connor and Yasmin Le Bon sitting front row. There seemed to be a lack of famous faces this time round, but it could be that they were driven away by the incessant ‘chirping crickets’ soundtrack which, as we waited for the show to start, began to grate on the soul. The natural world vibe seemed to be lost on the lady sitting next to me who was wearing what can only be described as an entire hind; despite it being so mild that I hadn’t even worn a jacket.

To begin with it was hard to spot the influence of Nature in the collection; there were far too many nude, caramel and pale silver numbers for my liking; which I should have expected given words like ‘minimalism’ and ‘chic simplicity’ that were bandied around in the press blurb. Not until the appearance of a canary yellow fishtail gown did anything make me sit up and take notice; hair and make-up being equally bland…sorry, I mean ‘minimalist’.


Illustration by Faye West

Kingfisher blue pieces brightened up the collection and the final few numbers bearing ‘wolf,’ ‘moth wing’ and ‘phoenix’ artwork had me almost converted. Organic greens and a fiery orange against deep blue really did evoke a reflection of the environment, unlike the opening pieces of the collection which were all a bit on the beige side.

Illustration by Faye West

I guess if you have the body of a ballerina and the face of a supermodel you might be able to throw on a paper thin, nude dress that clings to you as you walk; and whilst the effect of the chiffon and silk as the models moved was beautiful, I fail to see it being a look many women could pull off. The prints however were truly striking, and would flatter many more skin tones than the pale, caramel palette.

Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory

London Fashion Week opened with a collective bemused giggle when the well dressed crowd of a certain age overheard stressed shouting backstage at the Paul Costelloe show. This elder statesman of British fashion is not a designer that I’ve ever really paid attention to before, cure and I’m wondering why that is?

Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
lfw paulcostelloe lemclennan
Paul Costelloe by LE Mclennan.

His was a delightful show, order featuring darling flared skater and layered tulip shape skirts bedecked in dainty digital prints and accessorised with some fabulous bottom bows and some bright pink lipstick. It was all shown with big back combed hair and a jaunty bounce. And the best thing? It was all eminently wearable.

Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW-Paul-Costelloe-Helena-Maratheftis
Paul Costelloe by Helena Maratheftis.

I wasn’t so enamoured of his menswear. I am sure it was beautifully cut but some was pretty conservative, ed though the shorts were a cute touch and I liked the floral print shirts and the splashes of colour.

Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW Paul Costelloe Sine Skau
LFW Paul Costelloe Sine Skau
LFW Paul Costelloe Sine Skau
Paul Costelloe by Sine Skau.

The show ended with woops from the audience as his paraded down the catwalk. I’ll just say that again: SIX sons. SIX. Did you get that. He has SIX sons. We were all marvelling at this fact after the show, when it was pointed out that he is Irish. Still, as someone said, “doesn’t he have a TV?”

Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Two of his sons take to the catwalk.

Definitely a designer to check out if you’ve never thought of doing so before.

Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory
Paul Costelloe S/S 2011 LFW photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,BFC Tent, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,LE Mclennan, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Paul Costelloe, ,Sine Skau, ,Somerset House

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje

Ann Sofie Back S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Dee Andrews

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 illustrated by Dee Andrews

It’s 7 pm on the first day of London Fashion Week and the rapid advent of my first catwalk show clash; do I see Ashley Isham or Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje? I’m not familiar with either, case though as I clearly requested these invites, I’m sure both must have appealed to me in some form or other. A quick look through past look books online and I’m still undecided. I spy the locations for each show and my mind is made up; Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje at the BFC tent it is. I refuse to walk all the way to Il Bottaccio (again) – one of this season’s London Fashion Week venues, located miles (well maybe just under two miles) away from the hosting venue, Somerset House. If nothing else, it’s a sensible choice and means little time spent queuing and the acquisition of a front row seat.

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Michael of Anastasia and Duck comes and sits next to me and chats enthusiastically about Back’s previous London Fashion Week shows and the theatrical element to them; fear inducing ghosts and zombies I’m informed. Not many designers take advantage of the opportunity to stage a memorable avant-garde show, so I’m now super excited to experience this one.

Ann-Sofie Back S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Geiko Louve

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 illustrated by Karla Perez aka Geiko Louve

So soon after the show commences, I’m a tad disappointed with the non-drama of the show, though if I’d read the press-release before, instead of after the show, the seemingly non-theatrical element would have made complete sense. This is because Ann-Sofie Back’s Atelje collection is inspired by religion and traditional Lutheran values coined Jantelagen; a set of axioms that frown upon and discourage success, conspicuousness, pride and satisfaction and acuity amongst other things:

The law of Jante
1. Thou shalt not believe thou art something.
2. Thou shalt not believe thou art as good as we.
3. Thou shalt not believe thou art more wise than we.
4. Thou shalt not fancy thyself better than we.
5. Thou shalt not believe thou knowest more than we.
6. Thou shalt not believe thou art greater than we.
7. Thou shalt not believe thou amountest to anything.
8. Thou shalt not laugh at us.
9. Thou shalt not believe that anyone is concerned with thee.
10. Thou shalt not believe thou canst teach us anything.
From Aksel Sandemose’s 1933 novel En flygtning krydser sit spor (A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks)

Ann Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Dee Andrews

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 illustrated by Dee Andrews

With Sweden being one of the most secularized countries in the world, these rules akin to the ideals of communism, appear contradictory to the character of the Nordic country. But it appears that Jantelagen is very much embedded into Swedish culture, economics and politics and is taken rather seriously.

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back doesn’t do savory inspiration; her collections are always a creative battle against or a fight for awareness of some form of oppression/suppression or other and the spring-summer collection is no different; a rebellion against Jantelagen.

Ann Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Dee Andrews

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 illustrated by Dee Andrews

The garments appear almost two-dimensional in their simple paper like forms; crisp, clear and severe. The colours are neutral: white, sand, ink black and office blue maintaining the illusion of inconspicuousness. However, the acute stripes, the use of flattering soft and iridescent organza and careful features such as pin-tucks and precise folds and creases all offend the Jantelagen commandments by being defiant, boldly standing out and exuding confidence. I rarely wear mute colours, but the white apron dress and white skirt and stripy top ensemble would most definitely find a home in my wardrobe.

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back’s BACK collection certainly acquiesces far more to conventional inconspicuous and unostentatious fashion. Linen is the ruling fabric in the collection and is constructed into simple, loose shapes, but almost always accessoriesed with the signature motif, the skinny belt, inspired by – wait for it… Spaghetti! The knitwear is unpretentious and though I can’t touch the the fabrics and see how they feel, I have a feeling they would be a pleasure to wear.

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

My favourites in the BACK line are; the spacious hot pink linen dress and the long blue pleated skirt, very wearable, very chic. The collections haven’t blown my mind though the ideas behind them have certainly provoked curiosity, but they do however have commercial value.

Play the video and watch the show.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

Categories ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Ann-Sofie Back, ,Article, ,Atelje, ,BFC Tent, ,british fashion council, ,catwalk show, ,Dee Andrews, ,designer, ,fashion, ,Frugal, ,Functional, ,Geiko Louve, ,God, ,illustrations, ,Intellectual, ,Jantelagen, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,Neautral colours, ,Oppression, ,Rebel, ,religion, ,review, ,September, ,simple, ,Somerset House, ,SS12, ,Suppression, ,sweden, ,swedish designer, ,Swedish Fashion, ,theatre, ,Venue

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje

Ann Sofie Back S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Dee Andrews

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 illustrated by Dee Andrews

It’s 7 pm on the first day of London Fashion Week and the rapid advent of my first catwalk show clash; do I see Ashley Isham or Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje? I’m not familiar with either, though as I clearly requested these invites, I’m sure both must have appealed to me in some form or other. A quick look through past look books online and I’m still undecided. I spy the locations for each show and my mind is made up; Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje at the BFC tent it is. I refuse to walk all the way to Il Bottaccio (again) – one of this season’s London Fashion Week venues, located miles (well maybe just under two miles) away from the hosting venue, Somerset House. If nothing else, it’s a sensible choice and means little time spent queuing and the acquisition of a front row seat.

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Michael of Anastasia and Duck comes and sits next to me and chats enthusiastically about Back’s previous London Fashion Week shows and the theatrical element to them; fear inducing ghosts and zombies I’m informed. Not many designers take advantage of the opportunity to stage a memorable avant-garde show, so I’m now super excited to experience this one.

Ann-Sofie Back S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Geiko Louve

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 illustrated by Karla Perez aka Geiko Louve

So soon after the show commences, I’m a tad disappointed with the non-drama of the show, though if I’d read the press-release before, instead of after the show, the seemingly non-theatrical element would have made complete sense. This is because Ann-Sofie Back’s Atelje collection is inspired by religion and traditional Lutheran values coined Jantelagen; a set of axioms that frown upon and discourage success, conspicuousness, pride and satisfaction and acuity amongst other things:

The law of Jante
1. Thou shalt not believe thou art something.
2. Thou shalt not believe thou art as good as we.
3. Thou shalt not believe thou art more wise than we.
4. Thou shalt not fancy thyself better than we.
5. Thou shalt not believe thou knowest more than we.
6. Thou shalt not believe thou art greater than we.
7. Thou shalt not believe thou amountest to anything.
8. Thou shalt not laugh at us.
9. Thou shalt not believe that anyone is concerned with thee.
10. Thou shalt not believe thou canst teach us anything.
From Aksel Sandemose’s 1933 novel En flygtning krydser sit spor (A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks)

Ann Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Dee Andrews

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 illustrated by Dee Andrews

With Sweden being one of the most secularized countries in the world, these rules akin to the ideals of communism, appear contradictory to the character of the Nordic country. But it appears that Jantelagen is very much embedded into Swedish culture, economics and politics and is taken rather seriously.

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back doesn’t do savory inspiration; her collections are always a creative battle against or a fight for awareness of some form of oppression/suppression or other and the spring-summer collection is no different; a rebellion against Jantelagen.

Ann Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Dee Andrews

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 illustrated by Dee Andrews

The garments appear almost two-dimensional in their simple paper like forms; crisp, clear and severe. The colours are neutral: white, sand, ink black and office blue maintaining the illusion of inconspicuousness. However, the acute stripes, the use of flattering soft and iridescent organza and careful features such as pin-tucks and precise folds and creases all offend the Jantelagen commandments by being defiant, boldly standing out and exuding confidence. I rarely wear mute colours, but the white apron dress and white skirt and stripy top ensemble would most definitely find a home in my wardrobe.

Ann-Sofie Back | Atelje S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back’s BACK collection certainly acquiesces far more to conventional inconspicuous and unostentatious fashion. Linen is the ruling fabric in the collection and is constructed into simple, loose shapes, but almost always accessoriesed with the signature motif, the skinny belt, inspired by – wait for it… Spaghetti! The knitwear is unpretentious and though I can’t touch the the fabrics and see how they feel, I have a feeling they would be a pleasure to wear.

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

Ann-Sofie Back | BACK S/S 2012 London Fashion Week by Akeela Bhattay

My favourites in the BACK line are; the spacious hot pink linen dress and the long blue pleated skirt, very wearable, very chic. The collections haven’t blown my mind though the ideas behind them have certainly provoked curiosity, but they do however have commercial value.

Play the video and watch the show.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

Categories ,Akeela Bhattay, ,Ann-Sofie Back, ,Article, ,Atelje, ,BFC Tent, ,british fashion council, ,catwalk show, ,Dee Andrews, ,designer, ,fashion, ,Frugal, ,Functional, ,Geiko Louve, ,God, ,illustrations, ,Intellectual, ,Jantelagen, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week, ,Neautral colours, ,Oppression, ,Rebel, ,religion, ,review, ,September, ,simple, ,Somerset House, ,SS12, ,Suppression, ,sweden, ,swedish designer, ,Swedish Fashion, ,theatre, ,Venue

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

Ashish S/S 2012-by-Antonia-Parker
Ashish S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker.

There aren’t many designers who make me so excited I can hardly breathe, page but that tends to be a side effect of watching an Ashish catwalk show. Out they came, a stream of beautiful girls dressed in brightly coloured sequinned floral creations… except this being Ashish flowers were not staid or overly girly.

Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish-S-S12-by-Antonia-Parker
Ashish S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker.

Sunflowers were emblazoned against monochrome stripes, giant daisies ran riot, roses and primroses entwined, glossy orange lilies had stamens the size of forearms, a blouse was printed with marigolds and offset against a mini skirt in a bold brick design. There were chequerboards and zebra stripes, zigzags and leopard spots. Bright neon grounds gave a bolder edge to curling florals.

Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Paloma Faith was sporting an Ashish jacket on the front row.

Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester
Ashish S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester.

Girls were styled to perfection by Celestine Cooney in DMs and straw fedoras with loose plaits, glittery eyes and dark glossy lips. Flowers popped out of boots, circling elegant calves in sprigs that dropped petals in a trail along the catwalk.

Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW SS12 Ashish by Kristina Vasiljeva
Ashish S/S 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva.

As each outfit came out I just about managed to contain my excitement, imagining just how easy it would be to wear these beautiful clothes: simple shift dresses with cowl backs, drawstring waisted shorts, casual t-shirts and floppy collared jackets that would suit women of all shapes and sizes.

Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish-by-Kate-Eldridge
Ashish S/S 2012 by Kate Eldridge.

Le Jardin d’Ashish was everything that Ashish does best: using signature sequins to inject very wearable clothing with a sense of colour and fun that no other designer could ever dare replicate. Long may Ashish continue to plough his very own idiosyncratic fashion furrow. He even thanked his mum on the show notes, how sweet is that?

Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Ashish SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Ashish, ,BFC Tent, ,Brick, ,Celestine Cooney, ,DMs, ,DS Dundee, ,florals, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Kate Eldridge, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,Le Jardin d’Ashish, ,Leopard, ,lfw, ,Lilies, ,London Fashion Week, ,paloma faith, ,S/S 2012, ,Sequins, ,Somerset House, ,Straw Fedora, ,Zebra

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

Felder Felder SS 2011 by t.reidy

Felder Felder S/S 2011 by t.reidy.

Felder Felder are identical twin sisters Annette and Daniela Felder, and who studied together at Central Saint Martins (of course). According to the press release their S/S 2012 collection BANG! looked to the ‘bravery and bitten romance‘ of choreographer Pina Bausch, dosage which inspired their ‘modern undone style‘ of the kind preferred by uptown girls such as Jen Brill. Having never heard of Jen Brill I had to go google her: a model and photography agent of Chinese Australian origin she has or is apparently dating Terry Richardson. Which would account for her sudden it-girl infamy.

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Gaarte

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Gaarte.

Since the twins graduated just a few years ago they have quickly built a reputation for quirky combinations of girly and rock n roll aesthetics: attracting some famous patrons that include Rihanna, website like this Gwyneth Paltrow, and if the front row was anything to go by the ultimate Brit it-girl Peaches Geldof.

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Gaarte

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Gaarte.

A very gaunt looking Peaches was sat right across from me, her mouth dangling agog through the whole show as if desperate for a good meal. For god’s sake woman, eat! She kept self consciously adjusting her pose but luckily she didn’t distract me for long.

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory peaches geldof

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Barb Royal

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Barb Royal.

BANG! began with stunning graphic prints that swirled and splatted across flirty skater skirts paired with loose blouses. Over the top bondage inspired neck collars criss-crossed the chest and joined with belts to give a more hard edged feel. Stunning shoes by Kat Maconie were also given a matching print treatment, whilst metallic jackets, a dress and miniature backpack in glitzy pale blue added pizazz.

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Gaarte

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Gaarte.

Sheer fabrics were embellished with signature Felder Felder studs, this time offered in dangling bullet shapes on sweeping black dresses and short white frocks. Orange made a sunny appearance on models with slicked back locks and a collaboration with Triumph produced some sexy bikinis: oh to have a body like one of those models. It did at times feel as though there were too many incongruous shapes within one collection: A-line, bodycon, maxi, draped, flirty, they were all there.

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Barb Royal

Felder Felder S/S 2012 by Barb Royal.

Back at Somerset House I copped a quick feel of the gorgeous fabrics at the Felder Felder stand and quickly understood their appeal: no wonder it-girls, singers and actresses love the pretty yet hard-edged Felder Felder look.

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Felder Felder SS 2011 review-photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,BANG!, ,Barb Royal, ,BFC Tent, ,bodycon, ,Bullet, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Choreographer, ,Embellishment, ,Felder Felder, ,Gaarte, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gwyneth Paltrow, ,it-girl, ,Jen Brill, ,Kat Maconie, ,leather, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Metallic, ,Peaches Geldof, ,Pina Bausch, ,print, ,Rihanna, ,S/S 2012, ,Somerset House, ,Studs, ,t.reidy, ,Tina Reidy, ,Triumph, ,Twins

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: John Rocha

John Rocha SS 2012 by Sarah Harman
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Sarah Harman

Harold Tillman, information pills Hilary Alexander and James Goldstein were just a few of the fashion bigwigs to take their prime seating positions in anticipation of the latest John Rocha collection. This was much the same scenario when I attended Rocha’s show last season and the high-flying professionals seem to have become a favoured crowd for Rocha’s front row. And it’s not surprising when, information pills needless to say, cure the designer is a long-standing, treasured feature of London Fashion Week who is widely celebrated and, most of all, respected.

John Rocha by Duilio Marconi 1

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi 2

Model Abbey Lee Kershaw opened the show and took to the runway in the opening outfit. Sporting an all-black voluminous textured dress, her entrance had photographers’ flashes illuminating the BFC tent. Kershaw, who was finally dubbed a supermodel this year by V magazine, had also been presented as a key feature in Rocha’s A/W 2011 show back in February, suggesting that Rocha has seemingly taken quite a shine to the 24 year-old Australian.

John Rocha SS 2012 LFW by Nicola Ellen 2
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Also just like last season, (Rocha loves his traditions!) the models were styled with wind-swept nymph hair and long braided plaits. Make-up was minimal, pure and simple with pale fresh-faced skin and nude colouring; an overall effortless ethereal look to compliment John Rocha’s signature design ethic.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Much to their delight, I’m sure, John Rocha was one designer that gave models’ skinny-pins a short break from killer heels. In their place were black platformed flat sandals, adding an updated feminine grunge look (minus all the pain!).

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

 Rocha SS 2012 LFW by Nicola Ellen 1
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

To name a few of the many more intricacies that went into Rocha’s elaborately crafted collection, ribbons were attached to hair and hung long next to plaits and all models sported either wire or feather headdresses. The problem with this idea was that because Abbey had opened the show in a wired headdress with black feathers, I was almost convinced that a major fashion disaster had occurred. Models were appearing with bare wire headdresses; no feathers. They looked absolutely bizarre so I naturally assumed that their feathers must have fallen off. What a nightmare, I thought. This wasn’t the case at all. It was purposeful. Just John Rocha keeping us on our toes, I suppose.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Just as was the case with his A/W11 collection, the colour palette was ultra-minimal with neutral tones dominating throughout. In fact, there were only three colours on the agenda; all rich-black ensembles led to cream creations which then led to head-to-toe stark white. With only black, cream and white, the focus shifted away from colour to texture instead. Texture was intricately and ornately crafted with Abbey’s opening black raffia dress, raw raffia that made up other ensembles, loops of black rubber and Lurex threads intertwined in the cream and white garments.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha Catwalk LFW by Nicola Ellen jpg
John Rocha S/S 2012 by Nicola Ellen

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi

Towering tall over John Rocha, Abbey Lee Kershaw once again led the Hong Kong born designer down the catwalk for another of his gracious finales. And, as has become tradition, he placed a kiss on Abbey‘s cheek at the feet of the snapping papz, and then John Rocha was off, thanking and bowing to the audience as he went.

John Rocha SS 2012 by Duilio Marconi
All photography by Duilio Marconi

Categories ,Abbey Lee Kershaw, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,BFC Catwalk Space, ,BFC Showspace, ,BFC Tent, ,black, ,british fashion council, ,Cream, ,Debenhams Rocha, ,Duilio Marconi, ,Georgia Takacs, ,Harold Tillman, ,Headdresses, ,Hilary Alexander, ,Hong Kong, ,James Goldstein, ,John Rocha, ,lfw, ,LFW S/S 2012, ,LFW S/S12, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week S/S 2012, ,London Fashion Week S/S12, ,Lurex, ,Myth, ,Mythologies, ,Myths, ,Nicola Ellen, ,Nymphs, ,Raffia, ,Rubber, ,S/S 2012, ,Sarah Harman, ,Simone Rocha, ,Somerset House, ,Texture, ,Warriors, ,White

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


PPQ S/S 2012, pharm illustrated by Tina Reidy

What a difference a season makes. This time six months ago I was still moaning to my insufferable friends about how I had waited for almost an hour in the freezing cold waiting to get into the PPQ show only to hear the music began and the burley bouncer announce than no one else would be allowed entry. If I had had the energy, capsule I would have gone wild.


PPQ S/S 2012, illustrated by Naomi Law
 
This time around was a different story, and I Frowed with my home boy James who I had advised to wear his TEAM GINGE vest in the hope that Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame would be in attendance, clock his ensemble and, I don’t know, praps marry him. Unfortunately she wasn’t there, but this was a PPQ show: a guaranteed celeb draw, so we waited patiently while a Sugababe, Pandemonia, Erin O’ Connor and Peaches Geldof took to their seats – the paps going insane for the latter who had gone pretty much unnoticed at the earlier Felder Felder show.


PPQ S/S 2012, illustrated by Tina Reidy


All photography by Matt Bramford

It’s always fun fun fun at PPQ and this season was no exception. A selection of 1990s party hits such as Felix’s Don’t You Want Me and Technotronic’s Pump Up The Jam blasted from the sound system as super sexy models sashayed before us with that kind of confidence that would make even a boiler suit seem arousing. I’m not sure if it’s just the shows I’ve been to, but I’m overjoyed to say that there’s plenty of fuller, sexier models around this season. One at Felder Felder, modelling a slinky black bikini, had the hugest breasts I’ve seen on the catwalk since Ziad Ghanem’s A/W 2010 offering. Love that.






The first look brought a hint of 1990s Chanel – a cotton bouclé number with delicate silk fringing and a pencil skirt. More Chanel-esque pieces followed, but they’d been sexed up with cream tights that featured all sorts of embellishments – jewels, ribbon, embroidery.


PPQ S/S 2012, illustrated by Alia Gargum

Next came denim for Lee, so tight you might refer to it as ‘spray on’ if you were a berk. A Texan tuxedo was one of my favourite looks in the entire show, teamed with another pastel blue bouclé jacket worn like a cape. Models were all-American blonde with full red lips; my GOD it was a relief to see some models with sex appeal. Some of them this season have been dire. If I were being paid to walk up and down a runway in clothes like this (chances unlikely) I would most certainly be able to swish it up a bit.


PPQ S/S 2012, illustrated by Jessika Tarr

Cute pastel dresses were up next in mint and blush – a more demure offering – soon forgotten when the PPQ crest prints arrived – a sort of monogram for the club kid generation rather than the Bond Street elite. I LOVED this. It evoked that inimitable and glorious 1990s Versace period when Claudia and Naomi and Cindy frolicked in wild prints and enormous gold jewellery (GOD I could Google image those pictures ALL DAY) – but PPQ somehow made it seem as fresh as if it were brand new. I particularly liked the marriage of a blazer, micro skirt, vanity bag and ankle boot all in a PPQ crest/rose print. Daniella Westbrook would go BERSERK for this garb.


PPQ S/S 2012, illustrated by Naomi Law


Erin caught me pointing my camera in the opposite direction to the model…

Bodycon prints followed, giving the already confident models so much sex appeal that I wouldn’t have been surprised if an orgy had kicked off on row D. Zorro masks worn with straw hats added a hint of kink, and then came blouson blouses, encrusted belt buckles, more embroidery, leather harnesses with playful crystals in primary colours, pearl earrings, bondage tights, more vanity handbags, more denim – it was wonderfully exhausting and by far my favourite show of the day. Nobody parties like PPQ.





Watch the show here:

Categories ,1990s, ,Acid, ,BFC Tent, ,Cindy Crawford, ,Claudia Schiffer, ,Don’t You Want Me, ,fashion, ,Felix, ,Friday, ,Front Row, ,Lee, ,London Fashion Week, ,Monogram, ,Naomi Campbell, ,ppq, ,Pump Up The Jam, ,S/S 2012, ,Somerset House, ,Technotronic, ,Versace, ,Womenswear

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