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

Illustration by Eugenia Tsmiklis

After pegging it down the strand, ampoule I arrived at the BFC tent with less than 30 seconds to spare. My desperate dan demeanour must have won me brownie points somewhere as I was ushered into the catwalk seating area so fast my feet barely touched the floor. Expecting the Issa show to begin, erectile imagine my suprise when Basso and Brooke creations started to walk their way down the catwalk…there must have been some awful mistake?…yes, troche indeed there was Mr Matt Bramford (who must be reading his timetable upside down last night).

A 9am Sunday morning treat: great turnout (including model Amber Rose – front row), amazing prints and a seamless show. To be able to mix so many colours, prints, patterns and styles into pieces of clothing is a talent few can boast. I have never trained as a fashion designer but I imagine that there comes a time early in their lives, perhaps as a kid choosing between a pencil and a box of crayolas, when their speciality is set for life. In my view, all designers have not so much a signature look as a part of the DNA clothing they excel at: silhouette, colour, print, cut. Some designers can change the way we see the body – I’m thinking of Miuccia Prada –and some fill in the outlines of fashionable shapes with their own individual colour, pattern and texture.

Illustration by Eugenia Tsmiklis

Prints were the order of the day with a slight All Saints (edgy brand not 90s girlband) feel to some of the ones with italic scripting and antique maps running across. After reading the press release, it turns out that the writing is actually handwritten notes by Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Balzac and others in a nod to the non digital past. Digital prints are then sliced into the notes and maps, creating more dramatic, eclectic mixes. Other prints included trompe l’oeil images of ruched fabrics, mainly used in larger panels on the back of dresses but occasionally inserted onto the front. I am personally a huge fan of print design (I was a colour-change felttip pen sort of kid), which I think often gets ignored in favour of more flashy, and by definition, flesh-revealing options (anyone designing an elaborately printed bikini has rather missed the point). There’s something depressing about an off-the-shelf pattern you end up seeing on clothes everywhere, from high street shops to market stalls. I want someone to have sat down and designed the images that appear on the surface of clothes with as much care and dedication as they did every other aspect.

Basso and Brooke’s S/S11 show didn’t pioneer any particular dress shape, although all their clothes look wearable: lots of skater-skirted party dresses, a collared blouse and skirt and filmy jumpsuitst. The skirts had great shape and movement to them, especially the shorter kicky ones; the dresses made use of clashing prints on the front and back and thought had also been put into matching shoes to each look. However, what they do to a tee is the print; everyone knows that when you go to their show you’ll get lovingly rendered prints galore. This also means subtle use of colour, and when the models took their turn all together, it added up to a handwritten, map inspired rainbow.

Shoes at Basso & Brooke

Some of the choices surprised me at first: leopard print? Hermes-scarf style illustrated floral squares? But because they were digitally chopped up with gold foil sections that seemed to creep over the garish parts, or set against a background of pearly grey silk, I think it worked. There is a trend now for mixing up complicated prints, which when it works, looks incredible. One good thing about animal print is that you can’t really beat nature for creating a pleasing whole and by sticking to the silvery sheen of water, brown and rusty orange of animals spots and mineral metallics, there’s a good chance an outfit will hang together, just like Basso and Brooke’s show.

LFW Daks Catwalk Show Spring Summer 2011

I rolled into Daks at the bright and early time of 9am on a Saturday morning – expecting to be one of the few who made in out of bed. But the crowd was bright eyed and bushy tailed – shame some of the models looked pale and in need of some shut-eye!

When the Daks press release proclaimed the collection was inspired by a “British traveller on a journey through India” I envisaged either a ‘gap yah’ nightmare or colonial outfits complete with G&T’s. Thankfully what ended up on the catwalk was far from it. Daks S/S 2011 was an easy, symptoms breezy collection of crisp designs in white, medicine pale grey, and stone.

Daks Spring Summer 2010 collection illustration by Abi Daker

Rather than going for swathes of layers, embroidery and hippy trippy designs, Daks decided to translate the ‘traveller’ theme in a much more sophisticated way – splashes of mustard yellow (my FAVOURITE colour) were meant to represent the spices of India, and the lightweight fabrics were chosen to be suitable for hot climates. I can’t see myself donning a drop waisted skirt and chic leather satchel to trek through the Himalayas, but Dak’s ‘grand tour’ was fun to watch – and felt oh-so English.

Daks Spring Summer 2011 fashion illustration by Abi Daker

Referencing the 1930s, there were some gorgeous mid length pleated skirts, high-waisted trousers and a standout mustard yellow shirt dress. I was even convinced that I needed the knitted shorts and onesies in my life. But considering how great the accessories were in the rest of the collection – with little round sunglasses and convertible leather rucksacks – the shoes (cheap looking wedges and flip flops) seemed a bit of an afterthought.

Categories ,1930s, ,daks, ,fashion, ,illustration, ,India, ,leather, ,lfw, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,pleats, ,review, ,rucksack, ,S/S 2011, ,Somerset House, ,Sunglasses, ,traveller, ,yellow

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

I’ve always had a personal love of Betty Jackson’s clothes, web this web she was one of the first big designers that I got my ticket to see and there’s something that resonates there as an old friend I suppose. Jackson’s collections do always leave me in complete awe too; true they’re not always the most controversial but but that doesn’t mean you can call them boring.

And boom out walked the first model to a mix up of Neil Diamond’s “Girl you’ll be a Woman soon” and David Bowie’s “John I’m only Dancing” wearing a fusion of camel (thought it was gone last season well it’s back) and red. Instantly it’s a hit!

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11
Illustration by Lisa Stannard

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Bryony Crane

It definitely was a collection that allowed us to be our most womanly, abortion full of midi length skirts and dresses in the aforementioned respectable reds (a colour I’ve always loved but never really worn for some strange reason) but Jackson mixed up the ladylikeness of the whole thing by teaming ever look with white tights or thigh high socks. Now that’s certainly not an accessory that all of us can pull off without looking like a doll or a small child but when teamed with a midi leaving just the calves on show (i.e. the thinnest part of the leg) then I think we can all work it. Or try at least.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

Moving through the collection though Jackson showed a different side to the look with 90’s-esque grungy striped knits and fleece jackets. Yep I did just say fleece! Do you remember the ones you were made to wear as a small child walking through parks? Well this is nothing like that thank god; in fact this is posh fleeces in long line jackets but still I say wear with caution, it looks good on the catwalk but real life may throw up some slightly different conclusions.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

Now there was a neutral element to some pieces too. It wasn’t quite a full camel look but more of a darker shade of pale in the shape of mohair coats and cinched in dresses with waist belts. On the opposite end of the scale was the black lace maxi skirts and chiffon dresses and lace jumpers. Maybe not such a practical choice for every day as Jackson paraded them worn with nothing underneath….I’m sure that would be a no so attractive occasion for cold nipples to do their worst.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Bryony Crane

A definite thing to note from Jackson for winter though is that this season is going to be a bright one. Others have shown us variations on mulberry and dusky pinks but there’s no doubt that red is a key look too. Wear it with pride and white tights with platform patent shoes. Slightly reminiscent of childhood dressing but then maybe that’s why it’s such a perfect combination.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Lisa Stannard

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

And of course what would a catwalk show be without it’s celebs; we got ours in the form of none other than T4’s Jameela Jamil who’s quicly becoming part of the fashion A List as Alexa Chung rose to the dizzy heights from the same path. But that girl has the longest legs I have ever seen. Wearing a super cute tangerine mini lantern dress and leopard print heels all I could stare at were her legs. But at least the paparazzi were pleased.

Jameela Jamil at Betty Jackson London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Bryony Crane

Thanks very much to Bryony Crane and Lisa Stannard for their illustrations. More of their work can be found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration
LFW Paul Costelloe AW2011 by Krister Selin
Paul Costelloe by Krister Selin

And it’s off! In fact it was Paul Coselloe that kicked off the eponymous London Fashion Week for AW11 and he didn’t disappoint. Well how could he with Janice Dickinson on the front row! With a modernised version of “In The Mood” as his soundtrack he sent his daughter down the catwalk to start the show in a loving fatherly way. Aww sweet. But I digress; lets get back to the clothes: mini dresses in bright pink hues, order glitzy jacquard mixed with bobbed pink wigs and very wearable men’s suits were the call of the morning interspersed with some mustard suits and patterned palazzo pants. The opening look was a quartet of emerald green swing dresses, a style Costelloe is famous for and knows he does well. And its safe to say (after New York Fashion Week too) that Mulberry, and its various guises, is the colour to be seen in. Teamed with oversized checks and damson tights its perfect for next Autumn moving on from the 70s colours of Summer. It looks like the earthy tones are here to stay but this time there’s more to them than variations on beige.

LFW Paul Costelloe AW2011 by Krister SelinIllustration by Krister Selin

On the side Costelloe has mused about designing airline uniforms (is there really a desire to that?) and the not so subtle hint in his collection was perhaps the boxy swing suits with bracelet sleeves and flirty mini skirts. Who knows maybe we’ll see the staff of BA sashaying down the walk way in a Paul Costelloe burnt orange suit set. Then again maybe not quite what he had in mind…. in all seriousness though congratulations to Costelloe who has opened LFW for his 10th year and still brings wearable pieces straight off the catwalk that still have a fashion appeal. What a perfect opening to a very busy week, and of course Janice Dickenson waving to her friend as he took his bow was a not so subtle closer.

All illustrations by Krister Selin and more of his work can be found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustrations by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Daks was always going to be a good old English Heritage show and I think some of the looks may be my favourite of the season.
In particular one thing to definitely note for A/W 2011 is silk skirt with bum covering jumper and tan leather waist belt. Oh so simple but very effective. Imagine a cosy retreat in the good old English countryside sitting around a log fire and you’re pretty much there.

Although the colours were mostly muted I loved the splash of snooker table green on a chunky jumper interspersed with navy trims. This wasn’t really a collection for trousers; it was all about the skirts. Special commendation goes to the lovely lovely full versions in slightly quilted materials (think Barbour jackets) worn with tucked in round neck jumpers and again the trusty leather waist belt. It really was a feminine figure Daks was accentuating and it played to the best of their ability.

The boys were well catered for too as fisherman knit jumpers and long chunky scarves were all in the repertoire created by Filippo Scuffi who learned from the brand heritage designs to create a familiar feel to this AW11 collection. In fact it was probably why the checked capes and traditional tweeds felt so comforting, drugs like an old friend, price they’d been around us before.

The show itself was quite a change from last season too, discount where I’m reliably informed that spectators had to move forward several rows to fill the venue but this year there was none of that. Standing room only was allowed at the catwalk in Somerset House; what a turnaround for the classic brand.

In fact I had high hopes for the show even before I saw it. When the invite arrived in a slick black envelope with a lux gold inside I was very impressed and the black and gold patterning on the invitation itself made me feel very special. What do you mean everyone got one?! So when you’re planning your next country house retreat make like Daks and you’re sure to look like something out of a fashion editorial. When there’s a colour palette of Navy, Green, Brown and Neutral undertones it’s always a fashion win.

And it seems the general consensus is that Daks has done good. Exploring their heritage and updating it for the 21st century is something they can run with again, and for a brand that started out in 1894 with bespoke tailoring that’s a big achievement. And with the instantly recognisable ‘House Check’ running through in a series of blanket capes, shirts and skirts its sure to get them noticed.

And as a brand that I would have never associated with liking myself before I am a convert; ok so maybe not an actual convert at designer prices but I will be channeling them on a tighter budget I promise. A lovely positive start to the Saturday shows.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Catwalk review, ,check, ,country, ,daks, ,filippo scuffi, ,fisherman jumper, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,royal, ,skil skirt, ,Somerset House

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2014: Fashion Illustrations from the Catwalk

Burberry A/W 2014 by Emma Farrarons

Burberry A/W 2014 by Emma Farrarons.

Since I was unable to attend many of my favourite designer’s shows this season, and indeed had no help in covering the shows (apart from this post, written by the fabulous Maria Papadimitriou) I thought it would be a nice idea to do an open callout for illustrators to depict their favourite outfit from any of the London Fashion Week shows. Here are the results, in no particular order: I am sure you will agree that they are fabulous. Long live fashion illustration!

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker

Michael Van Der Ham A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker.

Erdem A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

Erdem A/W 2014 by xplusyequals.

Ashish A/W 2014 by Rebecca May Illustration

Ashish A/W 2014 by Rebecca May Illustration.

Eudon Choi A/W 2014 by Mark Goss

Eudon Choi A/W 2014 by Mark Goss

Eudon Choi A/W 2014 by Mark Goss.

KTZ A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

KTZ A/W 2014 by xplusyequals.

Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014 by Carol Kearns

Emilio de la Morena A/W 2014 by Carol Kearns.

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2014 by Maelle Rajoelisolo

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2014 by Maelle Rajoelisolo

Mary Katrantzou A/W 2014 by Maelle Rajoelisolo.

Daks A/W 2014 by Jenny Robins

Daks A/W 2014 by Jenny Robins.

Sibling A/W 2014 by Calamusyychan

Sibling A/W 2014 by Calamus Ying Ying Chan.

House Of Holland A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker

House Of Holland A/W 2014 by Antonia Parker.

Erdem A/W 2014 by Jane Young

Erdem A/W 2014 by Jane Young.

Burberry A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri

Burberry A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri.

Vivetta A/W 2014 by Briony Jose

Vivetta A/W 2014 by Briony Jose.

Tata Naka A/W 2014 by Isher Dhiman

Tata Naka A/W 2014 by Isher Dhiman.

David Koma A/W 2014 by Gaarte

David Koma A/W 2014 by Gaarte.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Ashish, ,Briony Jose, ,Burberry, ,Calamus Ying Ying Chan, ,Carol Kearns, ,daks, ,Emilio de la Morena, ,Emma Farrarons, ,Erdem, ,Eudon Choi, ,Gaarte, ,House of Holland, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Jane Young, ,Jenny Robins, ,KTZ, ,Maelle Rajoelisolo, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mark Goss, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Mitika Suri, ,Rebecca May Illustration, ,Sibling, ,Tata Naka, ,xplusyequals

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: DAKS (by Nick)

Bunmi Koko A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Daks A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou
Daks A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou.

Half past six on a Saturday morning will see me in either two places, physician going to bed following a heavy night out, cost or firmly in bed oblivious to the world around. Never will you find me rousing myself from slumber and blindly stumbling into the shower. That is unless its Fashion Week. DAKs is up there with Aquascutum and Burberry as a great heritage brand, so why it gets the painful nine a.m. slot on a the Saturday morning I have no idea. After all, fashion week and the insane parties has only just begun and any intention of this year being good and pacing one’s self has flown out the window by eleven o’clock and/or your third cocktail the night before.

Daks A/W 2011 by Gareth A Hopkins
Daks A/W 2011 by Gareth A Hopkins.

Still there I was sat with the lovely Jemma Crow (read her review here), both of still a little bit blearly eyed waiting for the show start. The plus side of such a ridiculous time is that there is hardly any scrum outside and its very simple to find your seats. The handy press release promised us a show reaching deep into the heritage of the brand. We were certainly not disappointed.

Daks A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou
Daks A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou.

There is a fine fine line between classic and dull, between a collection evoking a more refined time and place, and one that belongs in Evans. A criticism that had been overheard by a colleague at another show. Harsh doesn’t begin to cover it.

DAKS by Emmi Ojala
DAKS by Emmi Ojala.

Thankfully DAKS stayed exactly the right side of the line. Picture if you will a brisk stroll through the grounds of a loyal friends country estate, perhaps after a large Sunday roast complete with plenty of wine. Now picture all your friends sat around the massive log fire in the drawing room of this country house. Everyone should be wearing this collection. It was sophisticated without being stuffy, easy wearing without being trackies and hoodies.

Daks A/W 2011 by Gareth A Hopkins
Daks A/W 2011 by Gareth A Hopkins.

An bell shaped cape/dress in an oversized check was twinned with thick wool tights, quilted skirts navy with the house check as the lining, and chunky knits all exuded a relaxed and welcoming feel. Whilst the finale pieces of quilted full circle skirts mixed the English countryside with Paris’s New Look. Between the quilting and the knits were light satin skirts in royal blue, relaxed woolen trousers, and feminine blouses.

Daks A/W 2011 by Gareth A Hopkins
Daks A/W 2011 by Gareth A Hopkins.

As for the menswear, the public school boy in us all was not left out. Not a shred of denim in sight, instead relaxed almost pyjama like wool trousers in navy, brown and cream, were teamed with fitted knitwear. For the stroll around the grounds this season the DAKS has great trench coat and a Dr Who length scarf.

The collection had to draw to a close but it took with it a big chunk of my hangover, and left me wondering what the quickest way out of the capital would be.

You can see more work by Gareth A Hopkins in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Aquascutum, ,BFC, ,Burberry, ,daks, ,Dr Who, ,Emmi Ojala, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Heritage, ,Jemma Crow, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,New Look, ,paris, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Somerset House

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