Amelia’s Magazine | Sorapol at Old Vic Tunnels: A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Sorapol AW12 by Joanne Young

Sorapol AW12 by Joanne Young

I was excited to receive an invite for the A/W 2012 catwalk show of Sorapol because I had heard that the creative director of this young underground brand is the extravagant club kid Daniel Lismore. So I eagerly arrived at the graffitied, atmospheric venue of Old Vic Tunnels to meet photographer and burlesque performer Tigz Rice aka Tigzy aka Raven Six, who took some of the photos shown here. There was a palpable air of excitement in the long queue, which was chock full of beautiful beings. Some of them, like Boy George, were superstars, and others were well known and popular scenesters, fashionistas and nightlife luminaries, such as Jodie Harsh, Lady Lloyd or Philip Levine. The crowd began to complain when it descended into a disorderly mass to enter the show space via a too small archway, resulting in a serious amount of squeezing and ticket waving. At one point I really thought I had lost my chance to go in, which sadly happened to a large number of guests. A few really disappointed ones even started burning their Sorapol tickets in protest, I hear, but Sorapol could not have been more apologetic on their twitter feed and I am sure this will be something they will think through more carefully next time.

Sorapol AW12 by Tigz Rice Studios

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 by Fay Myers

Sorapol AW12 by Fay Myers

Thankfully, once inside, the vibe was completely friendly, happy and relaxed. The show, entitled Iron Grip, opened in utter darkness aside from the lights behind a curtained archway, from which smoke crept down the catwalk against sounds of sirens, gunfire and explosions. After a few minutes the first model appeared and started walking slowly towards us as Charlie D Soprano sang in a majestic and slightly sinister opera style. I could not really make out what or in which language she was singing, but, intriguingly, the day before the show she wrote on her twitter feed that she was ‘translating pop songs into Russian for tomorrow’s gig’.

Sorapol AW12 by Tigz Rice Studios

Sorapol AW12 by Nicola Ellen

Sorapol AW12 by Nicola Ellen

Indeed the outfits that Thai head designer and recent graduate from the London College of Fashion Sorapol Chawaphatnakul sent down the catwalk were so theatrical and adorned with such symbolic props, that one could not help wondering – I like to read the press release after a show – what was the specific reference point or message of this collection. What the press release revealed was that for his A/W 2012 collection Sorapol was inspired by a very specific storyline, which is rather helpful to know when looking at these creations. The story is that of Vasilia, an orphaned girl in pre-revolutionary Russia, who was adopted and raised by exiled Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov aka Lenin. The story then goes that Lenin took Vasilia and his communist ideas to the Russian cities intending to overthrow the aristocracy, but he found Vasilia a place in the Royal Household and there she fell in love with Prince Alexander. Suspicious of this, Lenin ordered the assassination of Prince Alexander. Love and aesthetic beauty won over her father’s ideology and Vasilia attempted to warn the prince but failed. So, enraged and heartbroken Vasilia joined the ranks of the white-clad soldiers fighting to restore Russia’s splendour.

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 by Tessa McSorley

Sorapol AW12 by Tessa McSorley

Via this fairytale, therefore, the A/W 2012 Sorapol collection was created from Vasilia’s point of view with an emphasis on the grandeur of the pre-revolution Russian culture, showing lots of opulent furs, long gowns and embellishments of pearls and gold. [A little parenthesis here to say that I really hope the fact that Sorapol Chawaphatnakul is a Buddhist means all this fur on show was not real.] There were also a lot of elements which suggested war, death and the clash between luxury, or beauty, and fighting. For instance the second outfit was a long red gown with a line of bullets running down from the shoulders to the waist on both sides, complemented by a very impressive tall beehive hairdo in which a gold gas mask had been incorporated. Another favourite hairdo was again a tall beehive this time with a gold skull poking out of it. The theme of death was further emphasised by a model holding a black skull prop in her hand and battle was spelt out by dresses with structured armour sleeves and a silver, gloriously sparkly military suit.

Sorapol AW12 by Tigz Rice Studios

Sorapol AW12 by Joanne Young

Sorapol AW12 by Joanne Young

Sorapol AW12 by Joanne Young

The make up for the show was executed by Illamasqua. Unfortunately it is not properly evident in the photos, but it looked fantastic up close. A pale, whitish effect, with glittery touches here and there extended down to the models’ cleavages and brought to mind either corpses or the snowy Russian landscape or perhaps powdered aristocracy.

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW2012 by Janneke de Jong

Sorapol AW2012 by Janneke de Jong

The last couple of outfits were especially theatrical, featuring predominantly white and gold colours, and the crown worn by the last model suggested some kind of victory. This collection was far from commercial, and I can see how it would not be everybody’s cup of tea. As for myself, I was slightly disappointed that it was not more over the top, but then a lot of the time my ideal fashion design is something along the lines of Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World. In any case when the Sorapol spectacle ended the vibe was certainly one of victory, with Sorapol Chawaphatnakul running down the catwalk in really high spirits and the audience congratulating him with cheers and a standing ovation.

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 by Tigz Rice Studios

Sorapol AW12 by Tigz Rice Studios

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 photo by Maria Papadimitriou

Sorapol AW12 by Tigz Rice Studios

All photography by Tigz Rice Studios and Maria Papadimitriou

Categories ,Alternative Miss World, ,Andrew Logan, ,Blow PR, ,boy george, ,Buddist, ,Burlesque, ,Charlie D Soprano, ,Daniel Lismore, ,Fay Myers, ,graffiti, ,Illamasqua, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Joanne Young, ,Jodie Harsh, ,Lady Lloyd, ,Lenin, ,london, ,London College of Fashion, ,Luxury, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,military, ,Nicola Haigh, ,Philip Levine, ,Prince Alexander, ,Raven Six, ,Russian, ,Russian Revolution, ,Sorapol, ,Sorapol Chawaphatnakul, ,Story of Vasilia, ,Tessa McSorley, ,Thai, ,The Old Vic Tunnels, ,Tigzy, ,Tigzy Rice, ,Vasilia, ,Vladimir Illyich Ulyanov, ,war

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Amelia’s Magazine | S/S 2011 Press Days – An illustrated round-up


Ada Zanditon, website like this illustrated by Sara Chew

Wahoooo! Summer is finally here. No really, dosage it is. Seriously I don’t care how damp and dreary it is outside that office window, summer is most definitely here. I’m toasty warm and looking at shorts, t-shirts and dresses ranging from ethereal to barely there. Skipping round London in the increasingly cold weather this can be hard to believe, but that’s how it goes. Here’s a little look at some of the summer outfits I’ve been looking at…

Ada Zanditon
Held eight stories up in Holborn with a stunning view out over the Thames to the Oxo Tower, Ada showed her latest collection. A quick chat with the designer revealed a charming, intelligent woman and in her own words ‘geeky’. Who else would be so inspired by maths and formulas that they borrow text books from libraries? Well if that’s where inspiration comes from, long may it last. Ada is not just a lovely person but also incredibly talented. Three dimensional sculptural pyramids burst forth from the intelligently structured garments.

Even the prints were inspired by fractal geometry and swept across many garments from a particularly stunning floor length bias cut 1930s dress with backless detail to a leather minidress complete with a chiffon front panel. Hard seaming was juxtaposed with soft fabrics and details. The jewellery carried the same prints as the dress and were another hard counterpoint to some of the softness. Look out for more on Ada’s ethical collection in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Giorgio Armani

Armani called and off to Bond Street I went. Giorgio showed some great pieces with open weave jackets and low-breaking double-breasted jackets for the men, soft and light in beige, grey and smoke. T-shirts emphasised the lightness with sheer elements. Maybe this is a way to get the ‘heavage’ out without looking like a modern day medallion man. The shoes and accessories were simple and classic, from a soft leather briefcase to a brown woven leather shoe catching my eye in particular. Suede and salmon skin belts helped to further soften the tone. All very simple and invoking a cool Italian summers evening.

On the far side of the partition was the womenswear. Strong tailoring was paired with sheer blouses in varying shades of blue and deep purple. Skirts were long and flared slightly to the hem, though I will admit it was the shoes and accessories that stood out. High perspex wedges with wooden platforms excuded both freshness and class. Chunky cuffs, twisted silver necklaces and amulets of large dark blue/black stones hung on leather and fabric. Powerful, yet clean and sophisticated.

Emporio Armani

Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent
Emporio, the delinquent nephew of Giorgio, was my next visit. There may have been a similar colour palette across the brands, but that’s pretty much where the similarities ended. No Giorgio man is ever going to be seen in a chainlink bondage harness. The use of sheer panels as highlights was also shared, this time showing off what one imagines will be gym-honed biceps. The highlight for me was a double-fronted crock effect suit. Hiding underneath the croc, a layer of leather gave the hint of something more to come.

Draping and ruffles were mixed with simple clean lines in womenswear. A grey and purple halterneck knee length dress particularly appealed, not to mention vertiginous heels. A dainty black chiffon bow, gave the vampiest pieces a demure side. Combining both the soft and the sharp, a draped jersey dress was teamed with a pale grey cap sleeve tailored jacket. It’s youthful and energetic but with a business edge.

Paul Costelloe

Illustration by Karolina Burdon

Showing menswear for the third season Paul opened London Fashion Week with a strong summer collection including short suits, lightweight long coats, and intricate print details. The menswear of this brand is growing on a season by season basis and whilst the formalwear is available in stockists such as John Lewis and Austin Reed, it’s hoped the casualwear and the odd catwalk piece should start hitting the shops soon.


Illustration by Natsuki Otani

You can see reviews of Paul’s collections by Matt and Amelia here and here.

Snake & Dagger

This London based denim company are growing stronger and stronger. Having trained in Japan, they hope to bring a more traditional feel to the denim market. The quality of the denim and the range of finishes are exquisite and the designers behind the brand bring together the best of their training and the city of London to create a unique look.

Aqua

Illustration by Joana Faria

Wherever you thought you were going to buy your Christmas party dress, forget it. Scrub that idea now. Go straight to Aqua and get yourself sorted. This Christmas’ collection ‘Out to Sleigh’ is affordable glamour at its best.

The pieces are daringly cut but clever and in no way trashy. More importantly, whilst you’ve been eyeing up that dress on the high street for the last three weeks so has every other girl in your office, but it’s unlikely you’ll be in the same number if you visit Aqua.

Morphe

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Having previously shown in India, Morphe is thankfully launching in the UK. Playing with shape and form, the pieces are both dramatic and cutting edge. Born from countless hours of work, the statement pieces are surprisingly easy to wear, if somewhat out there.

However, the true gems in the collection include a one shoulder dress with silver trim along the neckline. Creating more than a simple point of interest this is a brand to watch as they develop their continued success in India.

Asher Levine

This was a fantastic collection from a burgeoning menswear designer. In particular, the asymmetric leather biker jackets were right on trend. Using differing leathers as well as digital printing, Asher showed a dynamic and contemporary collection.

Eleanor Amoroso

Most certainly one to watch. Eleanor graduated this summer from the University of Westminster. Her work with fringing has to be seen to be believed. Genuinely unique and fresh, I can only hope the future holds big things for Amoroso. This is one young designer who definitely needs to be nourished.

There were more…far more people that I saw during the press days. From the sublime to the ridiculous and everything inbetween. Trying to contain yourself when browsing all these wonders is a challenge, as is trying to get enough photos and remember everything. But I can safely say S/S 2011 is going to be a very, very good season.

All photography by Nick Bain

Categories ,Ada Zanditon, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustratio, ,Aqua by Aqua, ,Asher Levine, ,Blow PR, ,Bond Street, ,Eleanor Amoroso, ,Emporio Armani, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Giorgio Armani, ,Joana Faria, ,Karolina Burdon, ,london, ,menswear, ,Morphe, ,Natsuki Otani, ,Paul Costelloe, ,Press days, ,S/S 2011, ,Sara Chew, ,Snake & Dagger, ,Spring Summer, ,Stéphanie Thieullent, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | You Have Reached Ground Zero!

This? week? I? attended ?the Light? and? Architecture? symposium? at ?the? Kolding? School ?of? Design ?in ?Denmark. The event played ?host to? one of the forerunners in innovative Textile Design speaker ?Reiko? Sudo ?co? founder? and? director ?of? NUNO ?fabrics.??

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The company have been granted numerous accolades and were recently given the Mainichi? Design? Award, viagra 100mg cure the Roscoe? Prize? and? the? Japanese? Interior? Designers’? Association? Design? Award.? The? talk? focused? on? NUNO‘s? last project?? designing? fabrics? for? the? Mandarin? Oriental? Hotel, side effects ? Tokyo.?

The? project? aim for the Mandarin Oriental was to convey? Japan’s? changing? seasons? and? is? inspired? by the natural elements? of? wood? and? water.? Reiko? explained how? they? applied? traditional? Japanese? handcraft? and fused it with unconventional? materials?. She? took? the? audience? on? a? beautiful? journey? of? Japanese? landscapes? through? the? forest? in? rainfall,? sunshine,? day? and? night.? All? elements? provide? inspiration? for? the? hotel’s? interior? design fabric?, from? the? root? and? texture? of? a? tree,? or? the? way? the? raindrops? bounce? from? leaf? to? leaf,? reflecting? rays? of? sunshine? across? the? forest? floor.? This? allowed? the? audience? to? visualise? the? source? of? inspiration? behind? each ?fabric? and? imagine ?the ?textural ?quality ?of? the ?cloth? without ?the? sense? of ?touch.?

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After? introducing? her? inspirational? source for the fabrics, Reiko went on to? explain the methods of ?production.? For? example? to? recreate? the? beautiful? opalescent? sparkling rays? of? sunshine,? gold? embroidery? was? stitched? onto? transparent? fabric.

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?The atmosphere? of? forest? at nightfall? was? created by? stitching? shiny? metallic? midnight? blue? against? ink? stained? handmade? paper.? This? extra? consideration? to? detail? brings? an ?experiential ?quality ?to ?the ?fabric ?emulating ?a? certain? ambiance.?

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Reiko? was? a? truly? inspirational? speaker;? her? efforts? have? allowed? her? to? stay? true? to? Japanese? traditional? handcraft? whilst? experimenting? with? new? materials? to? create new? possibilities. ?This? visionary? approach? and? impeccable? attention? to? detail? project? an? original? yet honest? representation? of? Japanese ?culture.
Femke De Jong’s illustrations are multi-layered and intensively reworked collages, prostate they often explore the seemingly oppositional subjects of man and machine. She kindly agreed to answer a few of our questions and send us some lovely images to eyeball.

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Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am originally from the Netherlands and I lived in Amsterdam for about 10 years before I moved to Bristol 6 years ago. I come from a family of ‘makers’, especially my gran and my mum. I have always been interested in the visual arts, like all kids I spent a lot of time drawing and making ‘stuff’. I used to sit in the attic, reading old books, and especially loved the pictures in my dad’s science encyclopedias.
Also, I was kept back for a year in Kindergarten, the teachers there thought it would be good for me to play for another year.

How would you describe your work?
Surrealist collage, textural, playful, eclectic mishmash, a whiff of antiquety, whimsical.

What mediums do you use to create your illustrations?
A composition of drawings, collage (digital and hand-rendered) of elements and textures, layered up in the computer. I often scan hand-rendered drawings or textures in and work from thumbnails and ideas I make first. When inside the computer, I sometimes print out things again and then work into these prints. I try to keep that ‘organic’, hand-rendered feel in my work.

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Collage is a strong element to your illustrations. What is it about using this technique that interests you?
Working with collage gives me a lot of freedom, to mix different elements and ideas, to get to a ‘concoction’. When I was little I wanted to be an inventor, and in a way I still ‘invent’ illustrations.

Would you say you have certain themes which you visit in your illustrations?
I have always been interested in science, and often include mechanical bits in my illustrations.
I sometimes use it as an metaphore to emphasize the ‘clunky’ relationship between man and machine, or eg. the human doesn’t take responsibility for his/her actions, and acts as if he/she is programmed to do so. Themes like science, and environmental issues interest me.

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Do you think that the fact that you were raised in the Netherlands has affected your work in anyway?
I think my view is from a more ‘Dutch’ angle. I moved here about six years ago and even though I dream in English, Dutch normality is still present in the back of my head. Dutch sayings and expressions often pop up, and I find them visually stimulating. I think they drive a lot of the ideas in my work.
I really appreciate the British sense of humour for it’s absurd and macabre satire, like Monty Python and League of Gentlemen.

Is there a Dutch and an English illustration style?
The Dutch love their very bright colour palette, which is a little too bright for my liking. My colour palette seems to go towards more muted colours.
A lot of illustration in the Netherlands seems to me to be direct, conceptual and design led, and more minimalist whilst British illustration seems to be more romantic and eccentric.
In England, there is a big affection and tolerance of the eccentric, whilst in the Netherlands there is a saying: ‘Act normal, you’re mad enough as you are.’

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How do you like living in Bristol? Have you ever considered living in london like many creatives do?
I live with my boyfriend in a fairly central bit of Bristol. Bristol is a lively student city, there are always plenty of things to do here, as well I know a lot of fellow-illustrators here, like the collective ‘Hot Soup’. I’m actually thinking about living more in the countryside than we do now, so London would be a step in the other direction. Eventhough London is a very good place to be for creatives, and I have concidered moving there in the past, I now use the internet to plug myself, and visit London once every month/two months.

What are you working on at the moment?
This week I am working on a book cover, an editorial and an image that will appear in the book Lucidity.

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What inspires you?
Many things. I’ve been called too eclectic before, but when a friend went to Amsterdam with me, she said: “I understand now where you come from, this place is like one of your collages”. Amsterdam is a melting pot of many cultures, colourful, lively and noisy. There’s lots of nooks and crannies, like an old curiosity shop.
In Amsterdam there is an independence in attitude, and the freedom to be expressive. I love walking around antique shops and flea markets, to get a feel of the old times.

Who are your favourite artists?
The Russian Avant-Garde constructivists like El Lissitzky and Rodchenko for their composition. Henrik Drescher, for his independent style and Paul Slater, because of his absurd and surrealist humour. Also Svankmajer, for his nightmarishly unsettling surrealities. I love Eastern European animation the grimness and absurdity they find in everyday topics. The world around us is sometimes unsettling and by depicting the world in a surreal way and making fun of it, helps.

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How long do you usually work on one image?
It depends. For an editorial I usually work on the ideas and the roughs for a couple of hours, and then a bit longer on the finished piece.
When there’s a deadline, things always get done. When I don’t have the deadline, I revisit work more and things can take longer.

Have you done any commissioned work?
I have done are a book cover for the Bristol short story prize, which they used for the front cover of their quarterly mag. A CD cover for Furthernoise and some editorials for Management Today and Resource.

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What would your dream project be?
In this order: A cover for New Scientist, to design a range of book covers, a series of books for older children.
Any project where I get a lot of freedom, eg. by working with an art editor who isn’t afraid to take risks.

To see more of Femke’s work you’re just one click away from her website. You can also buy a few of her things here.

Saturday saw a hoard of eager revellers descend on the Fym Fyg Bar in Bethnal Green for all the fun of the fair, this well vintage fair that is! You could tell news of the event had travelled far on the grape vine as bargainistas formed a snaking queue outside that, alas, fellow intern Sabrina and I fell victim to. After an exasperating wait we finally entered the vintage emporium, and it certainly was a visual feast as soon as you entered. The first sight to grab my attention was the stunningly nostaligic tea shoppe brought to us by the delightful ladies at Lady Luck Rules Ok! I couldn’t help being hypnotised by the endless array of cakes and beautifully clad tea ladies adorned in 50′s get ups! But determined to embark on my bargain hunt I managed to draw myself away from the alluring cupcakes and straight on to the stalls.

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Highly reminiscent of a sweet shop rabble on a Saturday afternoon everyone was grabbing at the £5 a bag stalls, eagerly stuffing as much in as physically possible. There was a certain skill to this I established, you had to adopt a Tetris style approach to utilise the space to its full capacity. There certainly was enough to satisfy every nostalgic whim, I trawled through rows and rows of 50 and 60s aprons and pretty shift dresses, and then straight on to all the glamour and cabaret of the 70′s and 80′s in all their glittery excesses.

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The Vintage Kilo stall, it has to be said, was my beeline and alas I was disappointed. I think most of Shoreditch had my idea so subsequently it descended into a cattle market, making it all too difficult to delve out those bargains. Maybe I am still a mere vintage fair novice; I think I was dealing with the pros.

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The Jewellery was a real treat, I unearthered some stunning brooches, hat pins and charmingnecklaces, it really was a treasure trove of shimmery trinkets perfect for us magpies. There was also beautiful millinery ablaze with feathers and gems galore, taking us on a whirlwind tour through the roaring 40s to the swinging 60′s. I wished I could pull off some of the more flamboyant styles!

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After more then sufficient vintage indulgence I decided it was definitely time to let my stomach do the talking and succumb to some well deserved tea and cake at Lady Lucks pop up tea shoppe. The décor was delightfully twee and had been consciously laid out to reflect individual decades spanning the 50s to the 80s. We were escorted right back to the 50s table which was brimming with vintage board games. The staples included Sorry, Bingo and Scrabble all definitive games from the era in my book! So after taking in the décor I launched straight into a hearty cup of tea and my delectable chocolate cup cake while my partner in crime went for the carrot cake.

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So in all the consensus was a definite thumbs up for the affordable vintage fair, it’s safe to say I was vintaged out by the end! Keep your eyes out for the next one guys, it’s 25th April in Lincoln, well worth a visit!

Altermodern: Tate Triennial 2009

A multi media visual exploration of Altermodernism. Curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, there the co- founder of Palais de Tokyo in Paris, he describes Altermodern art as art made in today’s global context, a counter reaction to commercialism. The selection includes some of the best current British artist, alongside international artists who are working within similar themes.

Tate Britain Mill bank London SW1P 4RG
3rd Feb – 26th Apr 09 Daily 10am-5.50pm

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BRIDGE 2 WORLDS

The launch and celabration of Indian modern art, curated by Radha Binod Sharma.
The show will feature works by 22 comtemporary Indian artist, some of whom have never exhibited outside of there own country.

Menier Gallery 51 Southwark Street London SE1 1RU
31. Mar – 9. Apr 09, free admission 11am – 6pm daily

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The Mail Me Art Project

Run by Darren Di Lieto

The exhibition showcases a vast collection of artistic work sent in the form of mail by both professional and amateur artists of all ages from across the world as part of the 2007 Mail Me Art project. All of the work submitted to the Mail Me Art project is exhibited and available for purchase.

Red gate gallery
209a Coldharbour Lane Brixton London SW9 8RU
Friday 3rd to 9th of April 2009,
Gallery Opening Hours: Sat, Mon, Tues, Wed: 2.30 pm – 6.30 pm
Last day of Exhibition: Thurs 9th of April: 11.00am to 5.00pm

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Sock Exchange

Through video, events and one-on-one engagement, Sock Exchange invites you to transforming your humble and odd socks into an exquisite art experience.
Also come sit and knit with other fellow knitters/makers. Show non-knitters how to knit their own sock and spread the sock appreciation.

Exhibiting alongside residents from Eyebeam’s Sustainability Research Group, Stefan Szczelkun, Melanie Gilligan.

Fact Gallery, Liverpool L1 4DQ
6th Apr – 12th Apr 09, Free admission 10-6pm

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Crookes is an area of Sheffield popular with students and Joe Cocker pilgrims. One of wikipedia’s key facts about the area is that it is served by the number 52 bus. Be still, medications my beating heart.

But as I type a new band are causing something of a stir there ? it’s home to The Crookes: a baby-faced guitar wielding folk/pop/acoustic outfit. They deliver tender, more about sweet melodies and simple, stripped songs that are a good old fashioned treat for the ears.

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They’ve played a handful of gigs in London recently and are picking up a steady stream of fans, with Steve Lamacq at the front of the line like the Pied Piper of Hamelin, harping on about them on his blog and radio show.

The Crookes have a great stage presence and ooze charisma – without the arrogance associated with a good few of their contemporaries. Hey, they’ll even join you off the stage for a couple of numbers and charm you with their raw, acoustic and unplugged talent if you ask nicely (or not at all, actually). They have an experimental sound, incorporating toy guitars, harmonicas and banjos into their gigs, complimented by lead Goerge’s dulcet vocals.

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We caught up with George, Alex, Daniel and Russell at their recent Stoke Newington gig:

Hailing from Sheffield, people will compare you to it’s famous exports: Artic Monkeys, Pulp, Harrisons, Peter Stringfellow. Help or hinderance?

R: We haven’t been compared to Peter Stringfellow, as yet. The only comparison we’ve really had was to Treebound Story. We stole Richard Hawley’s drum sticks recently (he uses the same studios), though we don’t really want to live up to our name.

What was the last song you recorded and why?

D: By The Seine, which has a bit of a different sound. It’s about a pavement artist I saw who’s pictures kept getting washed away when it started raining. We’re going to be playing it at a live session we’re doing in Paris in the summer… playing there’s always been a big ambition of ours.

What have you got in store for the rest of the year?

G: We’re moving in together to give it a proper go. Apparently our future neighbor is deaf…so at least we can’t annoy him!

A: George wants to be a postman for a while.

Will there be an album?

R: Hopefully in the next year or so…but we want to take our time and make sure when we do it’s reflective of our best efforts.

What’s the best thing about Crookes?

D: It has a nice lake.

G: There’s a great chip shop called ‘New Cod on the Block.’ Actually, I’ve never been ? it might be pretty average, but I like the name.

Any band dramas?

A: Russell once vandalized the dressing rooms at Plug in Sheffield… he was making a cup of tea and pulled the cupboard off the wall..he then spent about 20 minutes trying to fix it before the house manager found out and refused to pay us.

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Do you prefer to perform unplugged or do you prefer to present a more produced sound?

G: Either, really, but we are playing at the Holmfirth Festival of Folk at the beginning of May which is going to be an unplugged set…we’re really looking forward to it.

R: …And we’re going to play an acoustic set on Margate Pier in the summer sometime…we have a thing for playing interesting venues.

You supported Slow Club (friends of Amelia’s magazine). How was that?

A: We’ve all been to see them loads before, so it was great to be on the same bill. They’re one of the current Sheffield bands we really admire.

Which song do you wish you’d written?

A: And Your Bird Can Sing by The Beatles

D: Be my Baby by The Ronettes

What is the most embarrassing song on your ipod/guilty pleasure?

G: Forget about Dre ? Eminem feat. Dr. Dre

R: Mambo No.5 by Lou Bega!
So imagine the most idyllic and serene childhood dream, information pills what does it conjure? Fluffy bears, story tea parties and blue skies. Oh for the naivety of youth, before we all fall foul to the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Well never fear here at Amelia’s Magazine we are here to bring you back your youth, well a slightly revised late night television version! Via innovative new design collaborative Ground Zero.

Hong Kong based brothers Eric and Philip have bombarded onto the London fashion sphere feeding our senses with an explosion of graphics and colour, which makes you feel you are being catapulted straight into a Super Mario Brothers game.

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Ground Zero’s A/W 2009 collection “Lazy Naughty and Sleepy” is epitomised perfectly by its title. It’s a whirlwind tour through apocalyptic nightmares and wistful daydreams embarking on a vivid tour of graphics and shapes. But don’t let me forget to add the abundance of Care Bears in rather compromising situations, some of the prints feature crack smoking and homosexuality, very controversial!

This brother duo has distinctive individual styles, having studied legions away from each other. With Eric studying Graphic Design in Hong Kong while his brother made the break to London to study Fashion at Middlesex University. These distinctly different facets of design unite perfectly within their work, fusing conceptual tailoring with bold graphic design.

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Defying our preconceived ideas on the common practice for pyjama use. The design duo features our favourite comfy Sunday afternoon staple as an integral part of their collection. With cutesy oversized pj’s in an array of confectionary tones from candyfloss pink to parma violet purple. The emphasis on wearabilty is particularly apparent in this collection, with oversized jumpers, joggers, deconstructed macs and t-shirts.

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Having featured in Selfridges, Concrete in London, Le Shop in Stockholm, Ships and And A in Japan, Bauhaus, and D-mop Seibu in Hong Kong. With such an endless array of suppliers it’s safe to saye their eccentric collections are well received in the fashion circuit!

Categories ,Bears, ,Blow PR, ,Conceptual, ,Fashion Designer, ,Ground Zero

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Catwalk Review: Asger Juel Larsen Vs t.lipop

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Faye West

t.lipop S/S 2012 by Faye West

Asger Juel Larsen versus t.lipop – not the first time to appear together – showed at Vauxhall Fashion Scout on the last day of London Fashion Week and gave me my most interesting queueing experience during this season. Upon arriving there was a multitude of cool young things waiting to go in – to my delight a lot of them were boys wearing big chunky jewellery! – while a little later the marvellously coiffured Prince Cassius joined the queue behind me, nurse quickly to be noticed and taken inside by the Blow PR girls. While I felt a little saddened that my co-queueing with Prince Cassius was so brief, approved I overheard a girl saying ‘oh, there is Kate Moss!’, which quickly distracted me from my loss. Immediately the whole queue, as if choreographed, leaned to the right to take a peak and of course a few cameras pointed towards her and husband Jamie Hince.

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Gemma Sheldrake
Asger Juel Larsen SS12 by Gemma Sheldrake

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

After being seated in the packed space inside, Asger Juel Larsen‘s models started coming out fast and aggressively. I really enjoyed elements such as the slightly twisted animal prints or the spiked prosthetic beards – reminding me of Bearded Dragons under threat – both of which impressively spelt out ‘wildness’. One of those spiked beards worn by a girl as well as a glorious chain mail army style headpiece with bull horns added the notion of the ‘beast’ to the collection. I am all for a little bit of bearded ladies and mythological creatures such as the Minotaur!

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Gareth A Hopkins
Asger Juel Larsen S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
Asger Juel Larsen S/S 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

I thought the themes of wilderness, fighting and survival suggested by the symbolism described above were brilliantly complimented by a number of woolly hats with different metal letters stitched onto them spelling out the phrase ‘we live’. Further allusions to survival through sexual expression were added by a round stitched logo at the back of a jacket reading ‘happiness is a warm pussy’ and the brothel creepers some models wore – shoes originally worn by ex-soldiers visiting nightspots in London.

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Claire Kearns

Asger Juel Larsen S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by The Pern

Asger Juel Larsen S/S 2012 by The Pern

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Jess Sharville

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Jess Sharville

Asger Juel Larsen S/S 2012 by Jessica Sharville

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

Asger Juel Larsen LFW SS12 menswear portrait by Maria Papadimitriou

The contrast between Asger Juel Larsen and the designer that followed, t.lipop, was seemingly like war and peace. t.lipop favoured a palette of pale blues, camel, white and stone, with a splash of bright orange. It was an array of generally relaxed and flowing pieces that calmed us a little after what came earlier. We saw tailored smart jackets and trousers, minimal tops and long untucked shirts that were far less aggressive, even with feminine touches such as fringed adornments and embroidery.

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Celine Eliott
t.lipop S/S 2012 by Celine Eliott

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Vasare Nar
t.lipop S/S 2012 by Vasare Nar

Looking closer, however, I thought there were similarities in the underlying themes of the two collections. T.lipop’s gentlemanly clothes reminded me of movies starring wealthy imperialists in warm exotic countries – suggesting aggression and war – while the long hair and full beards on the models evoked images of castaways striving for survival. Some of the monochrome outfits with their collarless round necklines looked similar to uniforms seen in hospitals’ operating theatres or emergency units, whilst wide brimmed hats alluded perhaps to field workers, both adding to the – admittedly subtle this time – undertones of struggle and self-preservation.

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Celine Elliott
t.lipop S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

t.lipop LFW SS12 menswear by Matt Bramford

t.lipop portrait LFW SS12 menswear by Maria Papadimitriou

With so many interesting references and inspirations in both collections, when Prince Cassius tweeted me to say he really enjoyed the show I could only tweet back in agreement!

All photography by Matt Bramford.
Photo portraits of designers by Maria Papadimitriou.

Categories ,Aggressive, ,Army, ,Asger Juel Larsen, ,Bearded Dragons, ,Bearded Ladies, ,Blow PR, ,Brothel Creepers, ,Castaways, ,Celine Elliott, ,Chain Mail, ,Claire Kearns, ,designer, ,embroidery, ,fashion, ,Faye West, ,Fighting, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Fringing, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,hats, ,Headpiece, ,Jackets, ,Jamie Hince, ,Jessica Sharville, ,jewellery, ,Kate Moss, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Long hair, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,menswear, ,minimalist, ,Minotaur, ,Mythological Creatures, ,Prince Cassius, ,Prosthetic Beards, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Suits, ,Survivalist, ,t.lipop, ,tailored, ,The Pern, ,Tweeting, ,Uniforms, ,Vasare Nar, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Wilderness

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Amelia’s Magazine | My adventures at Practicum: British Fashion, put together by the British Council in Moscow

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011
The Moscow Practicum: British Fashion crew in Red Square. All photography by Amelia Gregory. (unless I am in the pic that is)

Just over a week ago I travelled to Moscow with the British Council to talk to a group of young fashion designers from across Europe as part of a educational program called Practicum: British Fashion. I travelled from the UK with Toby Meadows, pilule who offers advice to fashion designers with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, sales and with Janine Passley, approved an expert in buying and sustainability practices for EI8HT who consults for ASOS.

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011
With Toby Meadows, Janine Passley and Michael Salac.

It was the first time that I have flown in nearly three years. R/H the label travelled from Finland by train to reduce their carbon footprint, but unfortunately it was just that little bit too far for me to do the same…

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011 with Janine Passley and Clare Lopeman
With Janine Passley and Clare Lopeman

It’s the second time I’ve been to Moscow: the first time having been in 2007 when I went there to discover up and coming creatives for issue 8 of Amelia’s Magazine. It takes under 5 hours to fly there, which seems remarkably close for a culture that is so very different from our own.

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011 with Evgenia Gerasimova
Practicum: British Fashion 2011 was put together by Evgenia Gerasimova, seen here introducing the programme.

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011 Kristian Steinberg
Kristian Steinberg gives us his pitch.

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011 Toby Meadows
Toby Meadows in front of a giant plastic bag sculpture in the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture.

Michael Salac of Blow PR joined us the next day, as did Clare Lopeman, a fashion designer and head of fashion at the British Higher School of Art and Design. Practicum: British Fashion took place in a wonderful old industrial complex known as the Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture, a huge hall that was built in 1926 as a bus garage and that now houses exhibitions, a cafe, lecture halls and a fantastic bookshop.

Moscow The Garage Centre of Contemporary Culture
Moscow’s The Garage Centre for Contemporary Culture.

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011 Toby Meadows
We ate a lot of canapes!

Together we made up a hopefully non scary panel of “experts” who listened to short pitches from the designers, who came from Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Finland, Denmark, Estonia and Latvia. We then offered our opinions and advice on how to improve their businesses – in my case this invariably meant encouraging sustainable practice and prompting them to improve their online presence. The next day it was our turn to lecture on our expert subjects, in my case, How to produce good promotional material that will attract editorial coverage in magazines, and how to promote your brand successfully on social media. Just some of my favourite subjects!

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion 2011 Michael Salac
Practicum: British Fashion lecture with Michael Salac

Moscow British Council Hede Kerstin Luik
Hede Kerstin Luik from the British Council in Estonia

I like teaching and lecturing so I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and it was lovely that so many people came up to me afterwards to tell me how inspired they were. I took loads of postcards with me and they all got taken which I take as a good sign!

Moscow British Council-after my talk

But what was undoubtedly the most brilliant part of the whole experience was the opportunity to meet lots of wonderfully talented people who are doing really interesting things in their own countries. Sitting at my computer all day every day I sometimes forget that I am very much a people person at heart, and I enjoy hanging out with other people. As is often the case at these kind of events some of the most important networking was done outside of official hours, when we were chatting at the hotel bar or exploring the extremely expensive rooftop bar at the Radisson Hotel which is housed in one of Moscow’s famous Seven Sisters – laughing as we all squished into the tiny lift to zoom up to the 29th floor, and then coming straight back down again when we discovered how expensive it was.

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Red Square
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Red Square

Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Red Square
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Red Square Soulland
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Red Square Soulland
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Radisson Hotel
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Radisson Hotel
Moscow Practicum: British Fashion Radisson Hotel
The incredibly fancy Radisson toilets…

We also got the opportunity to attend one of the many Russian Fashion Weeks, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, for which the British Council had flown over Lulu Kennedy of Fashion East to showcase three of her star designers: Marios Schwab, Louise Gray and James Long.

Moscow British Council-russian fashion week
Moscow British Council-russian fashion week
At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, sponsored by, ahem, Tupperware.

Moscow BC 2011-partying after fashion week
Partying after fashion week shenanigans.

I’ll be writing up that experience in a separate blog post. In the meantime here are a bunch of pictures from my time in Moscow… fun times indeed. As a result it looks as though I will be attending Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland in Lodz in early May 2011. Thankyou so much Evgenia Gerasimova and the British Council!

Moscow Red SQUARE soldiers
Soldiers in Red Square.

Moscow Dior advertising
Giant Dior advertising.

Moscow BCmy legs
My legs in the lift.

Moscow BC 2011-Michael and Emilia of R/H
Michael of Blow and Emilia of R/H

Moscow BC 2011-Lovely knitwear in Solyanka
Lovely knitwear in the shop at the Solyanka nightclub.

Moscow BC 2011-Red Square
Red Square

Moscow BC 2011-Russian Dolls
Lots of Russian dolls

Moscow BC 2011-Toby Meadows on the Metro
Toby Meadows on the Metro

Moscow BC 2011-Michael Salac and Janine Passley
Michael Salac and Janine Passley on the Metro

Moscow BC 2011-Metro

Moscow British Council-Amelia Gregory with cocktail
Enjoying an EXTREMELY expensive Cherry Pepper cocktail – like a meal in one!

Categories ,1926, ,ASOS, ,Blow PR, ,British Council, ,British Higher School of Art and Design, ,Carbon footprint, ,Centre for Contemporary Culture, ,Centre for Fashion Enterprise, ,Clare Lopeman, ,D.EFECT, ,Denmark, ,EI8HT, ,Estonia, ,Evgenia Gerasimova, ,fashion, ,Fashion East, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week, ,finland, ,Fortytwo, ,garage, ,James Long, ,Janine Passley, ,Kristian Steinberg, ,Latvia, ,Lisa Shahno, ,Lodz, ,Louise Gray, ,Lulu Kennedy, ,Mareunrol’s, ,Marios Schwab, ,Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, ,Michael Salac, ,Michaela Mazalanova, ,Moscow, ,Nadya Nurieva, ,Networking, ,poland, ,Practicum: British Fashion, ,R/H, ,R/H the label, ,Radisson, ,Red Square, ,Russia!, ,Seven Sisters, ,Slovakia, ,Slovenia, ,Social Networking, ,Soulland, ,sustainability, ,Toby Meadows, ,Tupperware

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Charlie le Mindu


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, purchase illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,A/W 2011, ,Anna Trevelayn, ,Blow PR, ,Carolina Bambina, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Cher, ,Crucifix, ,Drew Barrymore, ,Florence Welsh, ,Hair, ,interview, ,Kap Bambino, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Peaches, ,Plastic Surgery, ,preview, ,religion, ,S/S 2009, ,SEX, ,Steph Parr, ,Uffie

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Amelia’s Magazine | Pre-London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Interview: Charlie le Mindu


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, purchase illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religion-inspired collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one fashion week’s attendees wait for with immense anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,A/W 2011, ,Anna Trevelayn, ,Blow PR, ,Carolina Bambina, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Cher, ,Crucifix, ,Drew Barrymore, ,Florence Welsh, ,Hair, ,interview, ,Kap Bambino, ,Lady Gaga, ,London Fashion Week, ,Naomi Law, ,Peaches, ,Plastic Surgery, ,preview, ,religion, ,S/S 2009, ,SEX, ,Steph Parr, ,Uffie

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Amelia’s Magazine | R/H Label, fashion design from Finland: meet Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi

Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi RH Label
Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label.

I met Hanna Riiheläinen and Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label on my trip to Moscow, click where they came by train (very jealous) to pitch their brand to a panel of experts for feedback, website of which *ahem* I was one. The girls studied together for six years at the University of Art & Design Helsinki, and have forged a strong partnership which made them a delight to hang out with during my stay in Russia and I was utterly charmed by their playful style, for which they are the best ambassadors. In the first of two blog posts here’s a summary of what R/H Label are up to.

RH Label by Fawn Carr
RH Label by Fawn Carr.

R/H Label was named for a combination of the girls’ surnames, and was founded only last June in Helsinki after being in the planning for way longer, both girls having studied and worked in fashion at home and abroad after graduation – I actually met Emilia a few years ago when I borrowed clothes from Agency V, where she worked as a PR. Small world eh? They took this time in the industry to learn about the commercial sides of the business and analysed what they could do best when starting their own label: clever girls. It is no surprise that their designs perfectly encapsulate the Agency V aesthetic; playful, colourful, printed. All good things in my book!

RH Label by June Chanpoomidole
RH Label by June Chanpoomidole.

Whilst the Finnish design scene is strong on the international stage, the fashion scene is something new, and so for them indigenous inspiration comes from the likes of well known furniture designers Alvar Aalto and textiles supremo Marimekko who mainly produces textiles for the home. IVANNAhelsinki is one of the only major Finnish fashion designers to have a profile abroad, as well as Laitinen menswear which has a high profile in Milan and Paris.

Hanna Riiheläinen of R/H Label in Moscow
Hanna Riiheläinen of R/H Label in Moscow.

But now is an exciting time because there is a new generation of creatives coming through. Ones to check out include fashion photographer Susanna Majuri and Helsinki based illustrator Laura Laine. Emilia and Hanna work with creatives across lots of disciplines and are inspired by Finland’s location between the east and west – a place where different visual aesthetics easily meet and mingle. Functional solutions come over from Sweden, but there is plenty of rich decorative detail to play with from the eastern side.

RH Label SS 2011 blue dressRH Label SS 2011 jacket leggings dahlia
R/H Label S/S 2011.

RH Label SS 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou
R/H Label SS 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou.

S/S 2011 was R/H Label’s first commercial collection, inspired by Dolly Parton, Mickey Mouse, Black Magic and the Nordic Summer Sky. You don’t get much more fun than that! It features a mix of local reindeer leather and bamboo jersey and all the bespoke prints were digitally printed onto silk – they like to create every element of the collection. I particularly love the purple sky and dotty dahlia prints, and was thoroughly enamoured of their ceramic eyeball necklace, created in collaboration with a local ceramics studio.

RH Label AW 2011
R/H Label A/W 2011.

RH Label AW 2011 by Michalis ChristodoulouRH Label AW 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou
R/H Label AW 2011 by Michalis Christodoulou.

For A/W 2011 they were inspired by Dragons, Mountains, Acrobats and Vagabonds. Another rich inspirational mash up! Role models that helped to inspire the collection included the strong character of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, and Finnish author Sofi Oksanen. Lots of black is offset again with bright prints in louche easily wearable shapes.

RH Label AW 2011 coat
R/H Label A/W 2011

Production is mainly done in Tallinn, Estonia which is 80km away, but the reindeer bags are made in Helsinki and they are keen to do more with local materials. Interest in the collection has been quick and enthusiastic and as well as stocking at home in Finland they already have stockists in Berlin, Vienna and New York. Naturally Agency V has been looking after press, which is also going pretty darn well for such a new label.

RH Label AW 2011 jumpsuit
R/H Label A/W 2011

Now they just need to figure out a way to grow the brand organically whilst retaining their creative control… it’s all about achieving that balance, which is why they came to Moscow for advice. In my next blog Hanna and Emilia answer a few questions. In the meantime take a browse around the R/H Label website and R/H Label online shop. Let’s hope they find stockists in the UK soon.

Emilia Hernesniemi RH Label
Emilia Hernesniemi of R/H Label talking to Michael Salac of Blow PR.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Acrobats, ,Agency V, ,Alvar Aalto, ,berlin, ,Black Magic, ,Blow PR, ,ceramic, ,colourful, ,Dolly Parton, ,Dragons, ,Emilia Hernesniemi, ,Estonia, ,Eyeball Necklace, ,Fawn Carr, ,finland, ,FInnish, ,Helsinki, ,IVANNAhelsinki, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,Laitinen, ,Laura Laine, ,Lisbeth Salander, ,Marimekko, ,Michael Salac, ,Michalis Christodoulou, ,Mickey Mouse, ,Mountains, ,Nordic Summer Sky, ,pr, ,prints, ,R/H Label, ,Reindeer Leather, ,Riiheläinen, ,S/S 2011, ,Silk, ,Sofi Oksanen, ,Stieg Larsson, ,Susanna Majuri, ,Tallinn, ,University of Art & Design Helsinki, ,Vagabonds, ,Vienna, ,Womenswear

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

Elisa Palomino - SS 12 LFW by Amber Cassidy

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Amber Cassidy

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

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

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

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino SS12 by emma block

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Emma Block

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

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

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

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

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

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

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

Elisa Palomino by Gilly Rochester LFW SS12

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

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

Elisa Palomino LFW SS2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

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

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

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

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

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

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

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

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

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

Watch the show here.

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

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

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


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

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

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


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


My two lovely ladies, on the right during the finale


illustrated by Natsuki Otani

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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


My two lovely ladies, on the right during the finale


illustrated by Natsuki Otani

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


Illustration by Zarina Liew

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographs: Matt Bramford

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

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