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 | Marina Spetlova: creating fabulous upcycled fashion garments from zips

Martina Spetlova S/S 2011 by Krister Selin
Martina Spetlova S/S 2011 by Krister Selin.

Fashion designer Martina Spetlova hails from Bohemia in the southern part of the Czech Republic. She studied Chemistry and Biology at university in Prague before coming to London where she was accepted onto a print design BA at Central Saint Martins, sickness despite the absence of a portfolio. Having recently graduated from her MA she is now working on her second collection. En route she has won several prestigious competitions. Studying for an MA at Central Saint Martins seems to open doors.

During her year out from Central Saint Martins she set up a fairtrade embroidery network with women in Pakistan, stuff spending six months living in the area to network between communities and fashion designers, which was great fun but also a lot of responsibility. There was an exhibition in London but sadly the project didn’t last much longer after she left. I am now busy with my own label but I hope to incorporate similar projects into my work in the future. Thanks to her print design background Martina is able to fund her label from the sale of her printed textile designs and she also teaches pattern cutting to a small group of ladies…

Read the rest of this interview and see more illustrations of Martina Spetlova’s clothing in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Czech Republic, ,Eco fashion, ,embroidery, ,Ethical Fashion, ,fairtrade, ,Krister Selin, ,Martina Spetlova, ,Pakistan, ,Prague, ,recycling, ,Upcycling, ,Zips

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Amelia’s Magazine | Myrza de Muynck: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West.

Myrza de Muynck is a Dutch designer showing for the first time as part of Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch. She graduated from Central Saint Martins this year and her focus is on combining luxury embellishments with a youthful sports inspired silhouette – using lots of handpainted prints, embroidery and an 80s-esque pastel palette.

Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Faye West.

Stomping down the catwalk, ponytails swinging, girls wore minty tracksuit combos, scallop edged puff collared cardigans and loosely knitted leggings. Lightweight cream zippered jackets and skinny shorts might not be everyone’s winter taste, but when paired with bursts of pillar box red or black I can see how they would work for a certain brave kind of woman.

Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Ones to Watch Myrza de Muynck AW 2012  photo by Amelia Gregory
Myrza de Muynck AW 2012 by Rebecca Strickson
Myrza de Muynck A/W 2012 by Rebecca Strickson.

Categories ,A/W 2012, ,catwalk, ,Central Saint Martins, ,embroidery, ,Fashion Scout, ,Faye West, ,lfw, ,Luxe, ,Myrza de Muynck, ,Ones To Watch, ,pastels, ,Rebecca Strickson, ,review, ,sportswear

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


Osman S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

And so it was to Osman to ‘close’ my fashion week, as it were. It was getting late on the Tuesday and, frankly, I couldn’t be arsed to trek to Somerset House. I had a heap of work to do and the thought of going all that way to watch models walk in front of me twice for five minutes was almost too much to bear. In the end, I decided to go, obviously; I’m so glad I did.


Osman S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker

I had a rubbish seat but enjoyed watching people skid on Kuoni-sponsored A3 Osman lookbooks as I waited for the show to start. The catwalk had been adorned with a huge black rope, crossing above the bit where the models come out and trailing up both sides of the catwalk. Osman‘s got a bit of a reputation for putting on a good show and I liked the drama that this backdrop was already creating. There was a lot of fuss on the catwalk before proceedings began – Corinne Bailey Rae was one of many guests that had photographers in a flash bulb frenzy. But it was Osman‘s unique and vibrant colour palette and fashion-forward sense of shape that would really get the crowd going.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Incredible hues of pink and blue appeared before us. Osman Yousefzada always has a crafted ability to whet our appetites for the next summer while the current one is slipping away from us. Strong and dynamic shape was this season’s key theme – angular cuts were aplenty. Kimono shapes with a modern twist were teamed with high-waisted shorts, followed by tailored coats that curved to reveal more short shorts.


Osman S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

The collection progressed with embroidered love heart patterns. The same bold silhouettes were decorated with this beautiful design, having a slightly religious effect on certain dramatic overcoats. Brightly coloured hearts brought black garments to life while complimenting the blue and pink numbers.

More drama came later with Osman‘s unique forms: scooping necklines, wide sleeves, geometric patterns on tops, thick strips of fabric wrapped around models’ shoulders like shawls, sexily revealing only the collarbone.


Osman S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker

Less rigid looks followed with flowing skirts and fabric casually slung around models’ necks, but never without a hint of structure – tapered and cropped trousers defining many looks.

A few all black numbers heightened the drama towards the end – I particularly liked an all-in-one cape worn like a hood over skin-tight shiny trousers and a racy dress cut all the way up to the hip with bondage-like corsetry.

My favourite look was the penultimate outfit consisting of a white upper half with fabric draped all the way to the floor, following the model as she swaggered. It had all the qualities of Osman exuberance – femininity, drama and masses of sex appeal. I bet Osman fans new and old can’t bloody wait to get this stuff on come next year.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,BFC, ,Blue, ,Bondage, ,catwalk, ,colour, ,Corinne Bailey Rae, ,embroidery, ,hearts, ,Krister Selin, ,Kuoni, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Osman Yousefzada, ,pink, ,review, ,S/S 2013, ,Somerset House, ,SS13, ,Tuesday, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Peter Jensen

Manchester’s never been quite the same for me since the first day I ever saw Kid Carpet, side effects buy information pills AKA Ed Patrick, at the Academy some 4, 5 years ago. It was like losing your virginity. After a few sold out gigs more than a year ago, Manchester has been dry, an endless desert waiting for an oasis. The man hasn’t been on the road for some time, having kids and what not so to arrive tonight to a crowd of about 15 was a massive shock to say the least. The supporting bands all had their family contingents, but they’d all scarpered before the real show began. Talk about gratitude. You’d think after being given the opportunity to support one of the most exciting artists of the last five years they’d at least stick around and show their support. Some people!

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That said this in no means distracted him from putting on his regular and exuberant performance. In fact he seemed to enjoy the chance to get the few members of the crowd really involved in the set. He also got an opportunity to perform a bunch of stuff I hadn’t heard before. He introduced a ditty for a cosmetic surgery advert and ‘Help Yourself’ a re-working of the Tom Jones classic (for a porno film about the Welsh crooner’s most used appendage).

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Plus if I’m not mistaken I also spotted a pastiche to Moondog’s ‘Enough about human rights’ and a Metallica cover re-titled ‘Back to the shops’. All the while the 15 strong crowd kept the energy going the entire way though.
After the encore, he came out to give everyone in the audience free copies of all his 7” singles, signed on request. What a kind man, he’s a very kind man. He told me he’ll be back soon and with a much bigger crowd in tow. We should all look forward to that.

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It seems Scandinavian designers have been occupying my thoughts this week, more about what with Peter Jensen yesterday and today I salute print designer Karl Grandin. I just can’t seem to get enough of their effortlessly stylish and innovative approach to design!

Karl Grandin is as prolific as print designers get, visit this the Swedish based artist has such an endless list of clients it made my head spin just attempting to digest it all. Where to start, pharmacy well there are his worldwide exhibitions in far-flung realms from Amsterdam to Tokyo (just imagine the air miles there, I bet he boasts a fine passport) Then In conjunction to his extensive array of shows he works closely with humanitarian charities such as Amnesty International. Then the crème de la crème has to be his endless list of magazine contributions with fashion giants Wallpaper, Vogue, Tokion and Pop Magazine. It’s a boastful array of clients if ever I saw one.

Then as if that wasn’t enough he has been working closely with top designers to create capsule collections for the likes of hip collaborative Cheap Monday and Wknd. My favourite has to be his vivacious hurricane designs. His cut and paste aesthetic is almost reminiscent of a child’s collage book!

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The piece that left me completely enamoured however had to be this animal print sweater. Its almost like Noah and his ark has re-formed but this time instead of a boat for refuge they all bundled onto this sweater! Its like an animal where’s Wally! 180 animals run wild in this computerized knit, go on I urge you to count them all!

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Inspired to create a piece to politicise the plight of endangered pieces, Grandin pays homage to mother nature emphasising its beauty and fragility. Nature is a topic so often broached by designers; fashion is brimming with animal prints or floral motifs to which we enjoy on merely face value so much so it’s almost become banal. Grandin is attempting in his piece to encourage a more thought provoking approach to nature, he states “ We have cultivated nature for our own convenience. Now it is instead man-made cultural constructions that are becoming increasingly autonomous and slipping out of our control. Wild systems like brands, stock markets and traffic is the wilderness of today. Nature has become culture and culture is turning into our new nature”.

Grandin is a designer that doesn’t merely create aesthetically pleasing pieces; you get a real sense of his devotion to change within the design sphere to create ethical yet energetic pieces. He gets a big Amelia’s Magazine thumbs up, hoorah!
Artist AJ Fosik’s sculpted characters look like your high school mascot that went AWOL and ended up at a full moon party in Thailand. Or perhaps the stuffed and mounted head of some big game he vanquished in a spirit dream and was able to sneak back under the border patrol of consciousness (quite a feat really I hear they’re rather tight). His technicolor wooden sculptures certainly carry the sense of having seen the otherside and with their hypnotic fluorescent eyes they seem all too than eager to take you there as well.

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According to his myspace page AJ Fossik is 66 years old. Sure, stomach maybe on his second time round on the carousel of life. perhaps wise beyond his years, cost what is for certain is that this Philadelphia born artist is onto something. Currently exhibiting printed works at Giant Robot Gallery in NY, it is his psychedelic sculptures which have really roared onto the scene. Made of hundreds of small, individually cut and hand painted wood, his animal effigies and their symbolism strike a chord with the collective consciousness, especially in the US. Aside from being the California state animal, a campsite mischief, cartoon character and omnipresent sports team icon, the bear is one of the largest and most regal North American animals, a reminder of the vastness and awesome natural beauty experienced by the earliest pioneers.

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A country whose experience at the moment consists of what is referred to as a “bear market”, one in which stockholders, all in the same blind panicked, decide to sell! sell! sell!, driving the value of stocks deep into the ground (sounds familiar). Not that far off really from the wooly winter hibernator’s image of reclusion and introspection. To Native American shamans the bear represents qualities of steadfastness and patience making excellent teachers. In dreams, bears represent a healing cycle, where the dreamer has retreated into himself in order to regenerate and to create something new and valuable in his life.

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For this particular breed of artist the road out was not a conventional one. After years as a teenage urban nomad on the streets of Philadelphia, a city often at odds with itself, Fosick eventually drifted to NY where he obtained a degree in illustration from New York’s Parson’s and a 2007 solo show in the city’s Jonathan Levine Gallery. The name he goes by he adopted from an Australian “verb to describe the act of people sifting through mine washings or waste piles to look for any gold that might have been missed; sorting through the garbage to find gold.” However, like many things in our global soup it apparently seeped into another language where it means something different altogether. “From what I can gather,” he says with a good natured appreciation of irony, “the spelling I use means ‘to shit oneself’ in Hungarian.”

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A peek into the global origins of this furry ursine idol is just as intriguing. In Hindu mythology the bear’s name “riksha”
(also in Sanskrit, Celtic, Greek and Latin believe it or not) derive from the word for star, which in turn comes from the word light, shine, illuminate. Ahhhha.
The term for Great Bear, “sapta riksha”, is also the symbolic dwelling of the Seven Rishis, whose name is related to “vision” and are called the Seven Luminaries. It was through them that the wisdom of the past was transmitted to the present. A rich past for the unassuming bear.

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AJ Fosick is an artist who, one could argue, has an abnormal fixation with carving his own path through the great unknown. No wonder then that he refers to his pieces as “existential fetishes”. And hey, who couldn’t use one of those? And perhaps the missing little league mascots and unemployed stockbrokers of the world have joined Albert Camus on a beach somewhere in South East Asia and are doing some soul searching. In my dreams.

This Sunday we’re off to The Rag Factory , see for 2009′s London Zine Symposium to celebrate DIY and radical culture in all its handmade glory.
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(2007 London ZIne Symposium)

There will be readings from several zine favourites and veterans including Chris from Lipgloss and Chella Quint from the fantastically named Adventures in Menstruating. Plus talks and Q&A sessions about the politics and future of zine publishing- very interesting stuff indeed!
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(detail from Shebang Zine)

For those who want to get involved, ambulance there will plenty of workshops including a collective zine which will be compiled and published on the day in collaboration with the Footprint Workers Co-op then given to contributors for free- so bring a page of wrting, viagra approved illustration, ancient Sanskrit or whatever else you fancy, along.
As if all this isn’t enough, there will be stalls selling all sorts of goodies alongside all shapes and sizes of zines such as Fever Zine, Brighton-based, blue-covered favourite Shebang Zine and Meow Magazine– a student run treasure trove of illustrations.
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(Meow Magazine’s Christmas cover)

Cakes will be provided of both the edible and knitted variety- the latter being provided by Amelia’s very own Melodie Ash, so get there quick before these gems are gobbled up!
Hope to see you there.

London Zine Symposium at The Rag Factory, 16-18 Heneage Street, London E1 5LJ free entry, 12- 6pm on Sunday 3rd May 2009
www.londonzinesymposium.lasthours.org.uk
Today to pay homage to our faithful companion the sun gracing us with rays the past few days. I thought what better time to usurp the weatherman and bring you some extra rays of warmth myself in the form of the vibrant and jovial new collection from Peter Jensen.

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He is no newcomer to the big smokes eccentric fashion sphere. Jensen came to our shores from Denmark in 2005 to study Fashion at Central St Martins. After propelling through his degree with flying colours he went on to form a cult following with his menswear designs, viagra causing waves in the fashion circuit in Paris. Eventually Jensen succumb to the allure of Womenswear, much to us ladies relief!

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Peter is a designer with a whole array of strings to his bow, not only is he accomplished in print, but both embroidery and graphic design. His garments play host to a myriad of different fabrics and techniques which create a cut and paste aesthetic to his pieces. It’s a slap dash blaze of conflicting colours and prints. To me the collection evokes all the nostalgia and whim of a childhood rummage through a fancy dress box.

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The collection packs a whole load of gusto! Playfully throwing all conventions of colour coordination out the window. Your vision is almost impaired as it tries to digest the layers of colour and print. We see florals juxtaposed against vivid checks finished off with beautifully delicate beaded capes, and adorable knitted socks to boot!

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The prints are a salute to kitsch design, exuding a decidedly twee “butter couldn’t melt “ feel, its hard to imagine anyone in one of Jensen’s polar bear clad jumpers inciting trouble. Other then catching the eyes of a few infamous celebrities, most notoriously the eccentric artist Cindy Sherman.

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Jensen’s work has been taking the high streets by storm with collaborations with retail titans Topshop, Topman, Fred Perry and B store and stock supplied in Ebonyivory, Falbe, and Buddahood. Jensen boasts an impressive list of followers!

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So keep your eyes open for any polar bear jumpers on the shopping rails near you!

Categories ,Central St Martins, ,Embroidery, ,Fashion Designer, ,Graphic Design, ,Peter Jensen, ,Twee

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Behind the Scenes: Elisa Palomino

Elisa Palomino - SS 12 LFW by Amber Cassidy

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Amber Cassidy

If you’ve read my Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 preview interview with the designer, you’ll know I’m already in love with her designs. The designer had invited me to pop backstage before the show to view her spring/summer collection up close and as I’d not experienced before, the behind the scenes affairs of a fashion show, my curiosity was most definitely piqued!

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Zooming past the infinite queue at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, I am escorted backstage by the lovely people of Blow PR, to the organised chaos of the catwalk performance in construction. I’m told Elisa is preoccupied right now, but if I return after the show, I may speak to her then. In the meantime, I decide to hover for a while, take in the scene and take some pictures.

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

With about twenty odd statuesque and fat free women towering over me, I’m feeling a little like a munchkin, but they look as nervous as I’m feeling, so I smile in support and swoon over their exaggerated 1920s style make-up and exquisite head-pieces. One minute they’re having their make-up applied and the next they’ve changed into one of Elisa’s opulent garments; everything is moving dizzyingly fast and the anticipation is transparent.

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

I spy Elisa, attired in her signature pink and adorning a pretty floral head-piece – she flits from one model to another, making sure all is as it should be. I realise I may be getting in the way as the phrase “excuse me” is directed at me for the umpteenth time and so I withdraw from the orderly pandemonium and retreat to the beautiful amphitheatre to await the performance.

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW by Hannah Hope

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Hannah Hope

Read my review of the Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 catwalk show.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

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

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

Elisa Palomino - SS 12 LFW by Amber Cassidy

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Amber Cassidy

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

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

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

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino SS12 by emma block

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Emma Block

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

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

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

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

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

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

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

Elisa Palomino by Gilly Rochester LFW SS12

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Gilly Rochester

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

Elisa Palomino LFW SS2012 by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs

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

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

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

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Elisa Palomino SS 2012 LFW by Amelia Gregory

Photography by Amelia Gregory

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

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

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 LFW by Akeela Bhattay

Photography by Akeela Bhattay

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

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

Watch the show here.

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

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

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

Fyodor Golan Winners of Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker
Winners of Fashion Fringe 2011: Fyodor Golan S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

If you’ve read Matt’s or my account of The Swedish School of Textiles show at Fashion Scout, dosage you’ll know it went on for an insanely long time. This means I’m ridiculously (half an hour!) late for Fashion Fringe, which is showing on the opposite side of the WC2 postcode, near Trafalgar Square. Once again I wonder if London Fashion Week organisers have conferred to place shows at nonsensical distances from each other just so that the frustration of the press may create humorous fodder for them.

Luckily I’m not one that insists on wearing heels at fashion week (or ever), so I’m able to run comfortably – well, as comfortably as one can in the relentless monsoon like rain and when one is wearing a wholly impractical maxi dress (I suppose that eclipses my wise footwear choice).

8 Northumberland Avenue is not easy to find, especially when the familiar sight of an impatient queue has vanished, leaving no sign that reveals ‘catwalk show here!’ So after zipping across the street twice, I finally stumble upon, quite literally, the Fashion Fringe venue. I’m out of breath and drowning in rain and sweat (not quite how I’d wanted to present myself), but I’m here and it appears the show hasn’t started yet. Phew.

Claudia Schiffer & Roland Mouret Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

My Fashion Fringe invite gets a scrutinising glance before someone is told to get a wristband on me and rush me into the arena. More running and I’m there. “You can stand anywhere at the back,” I’m told – this guy obviously hasn’t scrutinised my invite. I proceed to find my seat and of course, as luck would have it, my view is being obscured by those of a superior height. I complain about my predicament to my new neighbouring friends; they’re writing for a publication in Toronto and tell me they “love Amelia’s Magazine“.

Fyodor Golan Claudia Schiffer Roland Mauret Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

The winners of Fashion Fringe 2011 Fyodor Golan with judges Claudia Schiffer and Roland Mauret.

A fuss is being made of a couple of celebrities as they make their predictable late entrance and ‘flash flash, snap snap’ croon those domineering cameras. Damn it, I can’t see from where I’m sat, so naturally I take to the raised runway to peer at Claudia Schiffer and Roland Mauret, this year’s Fashion Fringe judges. The photographers are been ushered away, but I take my chance and ask Claudia and Roland if I may take a picture – “of course,” they agree and I triumphantly click the shutter on my camera.

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay 1

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

The show is about to start and I can hear a voice shouting, “Quiet please!” I take a seat on the floor, knowing it’s the only way I’m going to get any half-decent pictures of the show. Sat across from me, Hilary Alexander offers me a smile and I hope it’s because she approves of my determination rather pitying my plight.

First up is the endearing partnership Fyodor Golan with their spring summer collection ‘Flowers of evil’, inspired by the anthology of the same title by Charles Baudelaire. The showcase narrates the story of a nymph (I’m guessing she’s a water nymph by the appearance of the straggly, uncombed, just out of the river after a star light dip hair the models are wearing) that experiences an excruciating metamorphosis.

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

The transition begins with her appearing in symbolic white, in contrasting textures; the strong and the delicate. Stencilled into the garments are birds as if signalling the fair creature’s desire to take flight and be free, whilst the gleaming gold choker that threatens to asphyxiate her, pulling her in to a world that promises contentment only in death.

As nature supports her frail demeanour, life appears brighter and the progressing metamorphosis reveals itself in form of a white dress veneered in vividly coloured blossom. The neck shackle however, remains, unforgiving.

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

The transformation sees the nymph freeing herself from the shackles of her former life and enjoying the dangerous opulence of the new and the darkest ebbs of human nature, but the shackle now replaced by her very own hair appears to reveal that she has become her own enemy. Golan Frydman and Fyodor Podgorny have clearly put a lot of thought in to the theatrical element of the show and this is very much evident as their nymph’s painful transition into maturity is depicted by an older than average model – not a common sight at fashion week, so a high-five to them!

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay 8

Fyodor Golan Fashion Fringe 2011 Winners London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

The finale presents the protagonist in a severely structured, yet elegant black gown that trails the catwalk. Her head is held high, but her face hidden by a staggering collar, beautiful but all consuming. It’s a tragic tale and a timeless one, but the collection itself hasn’t quite enthralled me.

Heidi Leung -  Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

Fashion Fringe Runner-up: Heidi Leung S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

After that dramatic performance, Heidi Leung’s collection inspired by Orientalism (‘East Asia and the Middle East’ highlights the press release) and 60s holiday photos appears a far more light-hearted an affair. The colour palette of lively greens, oranges and yellows, combined with a neutralising tan and blue and white checks incite summer days on sandy beaches, neon beach-balls and a nearly cloudless sky and picnics on a luscious green field dotted with pretty flora. The hair is styled simply; straight and easy with a prominent centre parting and the make-up complements with sixties’ neutrals and accentuated eyes.

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

I’m a massive fan of layering, but if you’re not, Leung’s collection is going to be wearisome to comprehend. Every outfit appears to be made up of at least three layers; sixties style gingham undies (which I love), a chiffon overlay with a mandarin collar and a loose cape or a coat to complete the look.

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Leung also combines crochet and embroidery within her collection, revealing an element of couture (in its original sense) and the use of ancient handicrafts. The crocheted and embroidered pieces sit upon gingham foundations and hang from the neck. I must say these pieces resemble table runners I’m sure reside on an antique oak table somewhere, in the parlour of a country cottage where a village tea party is being enjoyed. I love this collection.

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

My favourite pieces include the frilly three quarter pants, reminiscent of undergarments of a past era, the knitwear, pleated tops and skirts and the long, softly moving, elegant coats. And have I mentioned the footwear? Okay, so a platform shoe covered in pastel coloured rosettes and secured with a transparent covering may not be the most flattering of foot accessories, but think about how much fun they’d be to wear? They’ve made me smile and I’m only looking at them.

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Heidi Leung - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal is the final Fashion Fringe contestant showing his collection titled ‘All the Riches She Deserves’. The collection conveys the story of a wealthy heroine who is taken to safety as her mansion of splendour burns to the ground at dawn. The make-up and hair conform to the narrative with captivating smoky eyes and voluminous, gracefully wild locks; a look inspired by the 1970s.

Nabil Nayal Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

Fashion Fringe Runner-up: Nabil Nayal S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

The colours that empower the collection echo the tones of smoke, fire and ash and perfectly cloak the strong, modern and feminine silhouettes. Nayal’s innovative construction of his collection boasts a myriad of wonderfully cultivated techniques and the use of a whole host of fabrics and textures. The Syrian born and Sheffield raised designer uses soft leathers, luxury silk jacquards and transparent fabrics such as organza and chiffon to concoct a dynamic presence, a characteristic each of his pieces flaunt.

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nayal’s love and admiration for the fashions of the Elizabethan era are manifested in the bulbous ruffs of his magnificent capes, whilst his appetite for elegance is evident in the long, flowing gowns, most notably the kimono style dress in antique gold lace. The tailored tulip dresses and skirts endeavour to promote a sense of a strong, ambitious, feminine character that never fails to look chic.

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Of all the competitors, I believe Nabil Nayal’s design appear the most expertly put together and the commercial aspect of fashion design has clearly been considered. I can certainly see the entire collection being bought and it adhering to the taste of many women, but would I wear the fastidiously put together collection? My desire for colour and eccentricity says “no”.

In contrast to my response to Fyodor Golan’s narrative, Nayal’s narrative isn’t one that I (or many others, I’m sure) can empathise with – I mean, how many of us enjoy power and wealth and the promise of a silk lined, jewel encrusted safety net, lest we fall?

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

Nabil Nayal - Fashion Fringe London Fashion Week S/S 2012 by Akeela Bhattay

I’m ready to mosey on home by the time the show ends; I’m exhausted and feeling a little faint (where’s the Vitamin Water when you need it?), but instead of being lead out of the venue, guests are taken down into the basement where the Fashion Fringe after-party is getting under way. I’ve never understood why these parties happily offer alcoholic beverages, but never provide decent non-alcoholic beverages. I feel like I’m being persecuted for being a non-drinker as I sip my medicinal tasting One Water.

A flurry of excitement commands the attention of the crowd; Claudia Schiffer, Roland Mauret and Colin McDowell take to the stage. A moment of silence, then Fyodor Golan are announced the winners of Fashion Fringe 2011. I hadn’t expected it, but I’m impressed that the judges haven’t simply been dragooned into championing the familiar and the chary. I’m very curious to see what Fyodor Golan will be delivering to the world of fashion in the future; I wonder if I could persuade them to create a collection around the poem ‘Lamia’ by Keats?

Watch the show here.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

Categories ,1960s, ,2011, ,8 Northumberland Avenue, ,After-party, ,Akeela Bhattay, ,All the Riches She Deserves, ,Antonia Parker, ,BFC, ,British Fashion Co, ,Claudia Schiffer, ,Contestants, ,couture, ,crafts, ,crochet, ,East Asia, ,Elizabethan, ,embroidery, ,Fashion Fringe, ,Flowers of Evil, ,Fyodor Golan, ,Fyodor Podgorny, ,Golan Frydman, ,Good Relations PR, ,Heidi Leung, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Metamorphosis, ,Middle East, ,Nabil Nayal, ,Nymph, ,Orientalism, ,Roland Mauret, ,Runners-up, ,S/S 2012, ,Swedish School, ,Trafalgar Square, ,transition, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,WC2, ,Winners

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week Menswear Day A/W 2011 Presentation Review: SIBLING

Fair+True and Reluxe by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, viagra healing just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, viagra I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I quickly got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t ever heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I utterly loved their stuff. The AW 2011 pieces were gorgeous, brightly coloured, hand knitted accessories and clothing. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their Spring 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

Hemyca Dress. Photo via Not Just A Label.

I was also introduced to Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. It wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress by Fritha Strickland

I expected to be impressed by the show rooms, but I didn’t expect to be blown away. I left both the Esthetica and Eco Luxe exhibits with my brain whirring, my bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. I hope that as ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  that one day ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms, but showcasing alongside all the other designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is the norm, not the exception. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, illness just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, sales I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, website but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I quickly got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t ever heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I utterly loved their stuff. The AW 2011 pieces were gorgeous, brightly coloured, hand knitted accessories and clothing. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their Spring 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

Hemyca Dress. Photo via Not Just A Label.

I was also introduced to Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. It wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress by Fritha Strickland

I expected to be impressed by the show rooms, but I didn’t expect to be blown away. I left both the Esthetica and Eco Luxe exhibits with my brain whirring, my bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. I hope that as ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  that one day ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms, but showcasing alongside all the other designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is the norm, not the exception. One day indeed.

Illustration by Rachel Liddington

After a very early start Frowing at JW Anderson on menswear day, approved it was time to head to the Sibling presentation – one of my most anticipated shows during fashion week. Taking place in the Portico Rooms again, by the time myself, illustrator Gareth and contributor Nick got there the room was already heaving. It was a similar set up to last time – mannequins formed a circle around the room with a film showing on loop in the centre.

It was fab. This season’s collection is absolutely inspired. Whimsically titled ‘Darn The Boozer,’ A/W 2011 takes us on a pub-crawl of the East End, stopping off at my favourite drinkeries. From the Golden Heart to the George & Dragon, the collection is a whistle-stop tour around local boozers, with different pieces for different places. The Golden Heart describes itself as ‘a real British pub’ and that pretty much sums up this collection – the best of British boozer motifs embroidered onto sweaters in Sibling’s staple style.


Illustration by Abi Daker

The Golden Heart gets the Sibling treatment to kick things off, with embroidered hearts in a tattoo motif as well as emblems knitted into sweaters with spider-web elbows. The Red Lion gets a look in on the way, in the form of a crew neck sweater with an enormous embroidered lion design, featuring different textures and tones of red. The Bricklayer’s Arms is represented through an insignia zip jacket with pockets. My favourite boozer – The George & Dragon – is our last stop. A Fair Isle knit features typical geometric patterns, spiced up with Saint George on horseback woven into the mix.

George, the knight, further inspires my favourite piece in the collection – a bright red knitted sweater with added shoulder details and tan leather buckles, and I’m already working out how I’ll be able to buy it when it hits the shops. This quirky detail is also used on grey scarf which looks a bit like a neck brace, in the best possible sense.

Accessories this season include Kiss Panda knitted masks – completely unwearable but another fab artist collaboration following on from last season’s marriage with Tim Noble and Sue Webster. They’re the conception of Pure Evil, and a jumper also features this playful design – far more wearable and definitely one for the wish list.

The film, by Willem Jaspert & Stephen Langmanis, showed chavvy boys having a pint and a fag outside The George & Dragon itself. I’m not sure these ruffians are Sibling’s target audience, but the aesthetic really worked.

Other bits and pieces include lust-worthy ‘love’ and ‘hate’ gloves. Really should start saving…

Look out for illustrator Gareth’s take on this and more coming soon!

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Darn The Boozer, ,East End, ,embroidery, ,Kiss, ,knitwear, ,Leonard Street, ,London Fashion Week, ,menswear, ,Pandas, ,Portico Rooms, ,Pubs, ,Pure Evil, ,Sibling, ,Somerset House, ,The Bricklayer’s Arms, ,The George & Dragon, ,The Golden Heart, ,The Red Lion

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Behind the Scenes: Elisa Palomino

Elisa Palomino - SS 12 LFW by Amber Cassidy

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Amber Cassidy

If you’ve read my Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 preview interview with the designer, viagra sale you’ll know I’m already in love with her designs. The designer had invited me to pop backstage before the show to view her spring/summer collection up close and as I’d not experienced before, prostate the behind the scenes affairs of a fashion show, my curiosity was most definitely piqued!

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Zooming past the infinite queue at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, I am escorted backstage by the lovely people of Blow PR, to the organised chaos of the catwalk performance in construction. I’m told Elisa is preoccupied right now, but if I return after the show, I may speak to her then. In the meantime, I decide to hover for a while, take in the scene and take some pictures.

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS 12 LFW by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Joana Faria

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

With about twenty odd statuesque and fat free women towering over me, I’m feeling a little like a munchkin, but they look as nervous as I’m feeling, so I smile in support and swoon over their exaggerated 1920s style make-up and exquisite head-pieces. One minute they’re having their make-up applied and the next they’ve changed into one of Elisa’s opulent garments; everything is moving dizzyingly fast and the anticipation is transparent.

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW Backstage by Akeela Bhattay

I spy Elisa, attired in her signature pink and adorning a pretty floral head-piece – she flits from one model to another, making sure all is as it should be. I realise I may be getting in the way as the phrase “excuse me” is directed at me for the umpteenth time and so I withdraw from the orderly pandemonium and retreat to the beautiful amphitheatre to await the performance.

Elisa Palomino SS12 LFW by Hannah Hope

Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 by Hannah Hope

Read my review of the Elisa Palomino S/S 2012 catwalk show.

All photography by Akeela Bhattay

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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