Amelia’s Magazine | Secret Garden Party 2010: Stylish Headwear Photo Gallery

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010- headdress by Amelia Gregory

On my rambles around festivals this year it has been hard to escape the omnipresence of floral head garlands on the ladies, viagra and indeed worn by some of the more daring men… I recall a particularly dashing pair of matching flower topped bald male bonces espied through the crowd in the Cabaret Arena at Latitude for instance.

At Glastonbury and Latitude these garlands were usually bought off the peg at a stall, about it but Gardeners (as they are called) at Secret Garden Party were a little more inventive with their head gear. From customised top hats to Indian feather headdresses to stuffed birds, recipe decorative headwear provided ample opportunity for experiment in colour, combination and height.

Here are some of the most inventive and appealing creations I saw at Secret Garden Party.

Photography by Amelia Gregory.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
I loved this creation – the height, the space, the use of colour. Beautiful.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
This girl had used her own hair to create ears.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Gorgeous butterflies. Simple but effective.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Bees. Leaves. Flowers. Stuffed animals. Pile em on!

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
This girl had found loads of crap in her house and stuck it all on, including a Sheriff’s badge, handcuffs and a Toucan (just visible on the top)

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
A boy with a stuffed bird in his ‘fro. As you do.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
A huge holographic rainbow butterfly headdress.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Native American Indian inspired headdresses were very popular.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
My friend Dora does a simple red top hat extremely well.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
A little molecular number.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Channelling Louix XVI via Burlesque.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Sometimes more is more, don’t you find?

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Jemima with a found thistle and fake flowers.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Classy, and strangely inaccurate too.

SGP 2010-Pearl and Ivy headdress by Amelia Gregory
Lastly, Pearl and Ivy, or should that be Carly and Sam, here seen modelling their own creations which were for sale at Secret Garden Party.

SGP 2010-Pearl and Ivy headdress Amelia Gregory
And myself wearing one – c’mon, I had to get into the spirit of it all didn’t I?! You can buy a similar feather headdress from Pearl and Ivy from their online website.

Categories ,Cabaret Arena, ,Feathers, ,glastonbury, ,hats, ,Headdresses, ,Headwear, ,Latitude Festival, ,Native American, ,Pearl and Ivy, ,Secret Garden Party

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Amelia’s Magazine | Secret Garden Party 2010: Stylish Headwear Photo Gallery

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
SGP 2010- headdress by Amelia Gregory

On my rambles around festivals this year it has been hard to escape the omnipresence of floral head garlands on the ladies, viagra and indeed worn by some of the more daring men… I recall a particularly dashing pair of matching flower topped bald male bonces espied through the crowd in the Cabaret Arena at Latitude for instance.

At Glastonbury and Latitude these garlands were usually bought off the peg at a stall, about it but Gardeners (as they are called) at Secret Garden Party were a little more inventive with their head gear. From customised top hats to Indian feather headdresses to stuffed birds, recipe decorative headwear provided ample opportunity for experiment in colour, combination and height.

Here are some of the most inventive and appealing creations I saw at Secret Garden Party.

Photography by Amelia Gregory.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
I loved this creation – the height, the space, the use of colour. Beautiful.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
This girl had used her own hair to create ears.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Gorgeous butterflies. Simple but effective.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Bees. Leaves. Flowers. Stuffed animals. Pile em on!

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
This girl had found loads of crap in her house and stuck it all on, including a Sheriff’s badge, handcuffs and a Toucan (just visible on the top)

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
A boy with a stuffed bird in his ‘fro. As you do.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
A huge holographic rainbow butterfly headdress.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Native American Indian inspired headdresses were very popular.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
My friend Dora does a simple red top hat extremely well.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
A little molecular number.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Channelling Louix XVI via Burlesque.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Sometimes more is more, don’t you find?

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Jemima with a found thistle and fake flowers.

SGP 2010-headdress by Amelia Gregory
Classy, and strangely inaccurate too.

SGP 2010-Pearl and Ivy headdress by Amelia Gregory
Lastly, Pearl and Ivy, or should that be Carly and Sam, here seen modelling their own creations which were for sale at Secret Garden Party.

SGP 2010-Pearl and Ivy headdress Amelia Gregory
And myself wearing one – c’mon, I had to get into the spirit of it all didn’t I?! You can buy a similar feather headdress from Pearl and Ivy from their online website.

Categories ,Cabaret Arena, ,Feathers, ,glastonbury, ,hats, ,Headdresses, ,Headwear, ,Latitude Festival, ,Native American, ,Pearl and Ivy, ,Secret Garden Party

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Womenswear Preview: On|Off


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, recipe for sale 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, sildenafil 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 religious 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 crosses 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 the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge 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…!


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, visit this 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, try he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, about it 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 religious 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 crosses 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 the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge 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…!


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, page 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 religious 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 the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge 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…!


Aminaka Wilmont A/W 2010, viagra illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

London Fashion Week is renowned for showcasing up and coming design talent – and nowhere is more uniquely ‘London’ than On|Off. Now in it’s twelfth season, this is an independent fashion showcase away from the major players at Somerset House.

Helping launch the careers of off-schedule designers like Mark Fast, the On|Off Presents…  catwalk show is a go-to for international press and buyers looking for the next big thing.

The main exhibition has expanded to a mammoth 22 designers, with fourteen catwalk shows and three presentations, and has attracted exciting on-schedule talent like Gareth Pugh and Jasper Conran, looking for a ‘freer’ space to showcase their work. So who can we look forward to this year? Here’s our pick of the ones to watch…

Roksanda Ilincic

A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

After the massive success of her catwalk show last season, Roksanda Ilincic returns to show at On|Off. With three capsule collections with high-end high street chain Whistles under her belt, the London-born designer is most famous for her beautifully draped dresses in jewel tones. Roksanda loves to dress up, and her signature looks are dreamy flowing dresses in asymmetrical lengths, toughened up with exposed zips and raw hems. Her AW 2010 show, inspired by “Dark clouds, metal flowers and the Brontë sisters” was as romantic as ever – with draped dresses in jersey and rich plum tones.

Bryce Aime

A/W 2010, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Adding some French flair to proceedings will be Bryce Aime, a Parisian born designer who honed his craft in London and opened his first store in Chelsea in November 2009. With an emphasis on modern, architectural design, A/W 2010 was a futuristic affair, with lots of clean lines, and black sculpted pieces paired with abstract prints – manipulated into headbands and skintight leggings. But for S/S 2011 it sounds like Bryce is looking east, with the “Beijing opera, Kabuki and the modern Far East Asia” as inspirations.  

Pam Hogg

A/W 2010, illustrated by Stéphanie Thieullent

Pam Hogg is best known for her skintight cat suits (and with The Runaways just out, they would be just perfect) so expect a collection of rebellious body conscious looks from this designer with attitude. This woman knows how to dress the female form, and her A/W 2010 collection saw models parade around in sheer capelets, bodystockings and thigh high boots. One thing’s for sure, Hogg sure can fill a front row – Peaches Geldof, Jodie Harsh and Nick Cave were just some of the turnouts last season.  

Aminaka Wilmont

A/W 2010, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Japanese/Swedish/Danish duo Aminaka Wilmont are also a dab hand at draping – their last collection was a riot of ruched dresses in mini and maxi lengths, with some feminine florals and futuristic headwear thrown in for good measure. This season we can look forward to a collection inspired by “Sleep psyche and surrealism”, with the designers testing “new shapes and silhouettes…more intricate fabric manipulations… and an emphasis on couture hand-embroidery.”

Julian J Smith

A/W 2010, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Our one to watch is new label Julian J Smith. After stints working with Erdem and Jonathan Saunders, this designer is “obsessed” with print and pattern, contrast and colour, creating vibrant dresses that have been snapped up by Victoria Beckham and Olivia Palermo. True to form, our favourites from his A/W 2010 collection were the modern dresses – skater skirts, mini shifts – in a blown up ikat print in mustard and cornflower blue. We’re excited about this ‘Prints Charming’ already… 

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Aminaka Wilmont, ,Bryce Aime, ,catwalk, ,Erdem, ,florals, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Headwear, ,Jasper Conran, ,Jodie Harsh, ,Jonathan Saunders, ,Julian J Smith, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mark Fast, ,Nick Cave, ,onoff, ,Pam Hogg, ,paris, ,pattern, ,Peaches Geldof, ,preview, ,prints, ,Roksanda Ilincic, ,S/S 2011, ,Somerset House, ,Victoria Beckham

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland S/S 2012 in Łódź: Shumik 100% and Aga Pou

Aga Pou S/S 2012 by Marta Spendowska
Aga Pou S/S 2012 by Marta Spendowska.

Time for reports from the last two shows of my trip to Poland… Shumik 100% and Aga Pou.

Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Shumik 100% S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I was utterly bemused by the Shumik 100% show – at the back of the catwalk a neon pink backdrop declared ‘Headwear Design‘ so I spent the whole show convinced that the bizarre hats – over the top feathered creations and ugly turbans in every conceivable type of wrap – were all that we were being shown. I thus paid very little attention to the clothes, an insipid and flimsy collection made up of sweetie coloured chiffon and shiny stretch fabrics. I was afterwards informed that the Shumik designers Karina Gozdz and Anna Leszkiewicz have been working professionally for several years and that IN LOVE was their first collection created together. Not impressed.

Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Aga Pou Fashion Week Poland people SS 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Much better was the last catwalk show of my visit to Fashion Week Poland, an angular affair from Aga Pou. For S/S 2012 she was inspired by cubism, using transparent fabrics to give the impression of blocks penetrating each other. Unfortunately I was late getting to the show and was only allowed to stand at the side which afforded me a dire view and severely limited my ability to take decent photos, thereby putting me in a foul mood since the collection seemed really quite impressive… all in all the Aga Pou collection was a pretty good way to sign out of the Polish S/S 2012 season.

Categories ,Aga Pou, ,Anna Leszkiewicz, ,Chiffon, ,Cubism, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,geometric, ,hats, ,Headwear, ,IN LOVE, ,Karina Gozdz, ,Lodz, ,Marta Spendowska, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Transparent

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dans La Vie: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review and Interview

Dans La Vie by Sarah Underwood
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Sarah Underwood

For Dans La Vie’s new A/W 2013 collection Invisible Enemy, Threat Found Japanese designer Rira Sugawara revelled in a mish-mash of fabric textures and the bold yet intricate prints that she has become known for. But this time she eschewed the brightness of previous catwalk shows, choosing instead a sombre theme inspired by cyber attacks: the head of the Mona Lisa appeared in swirling prints, but models sported sinister balaclavas, gothic black lips and giant crosses as they stomped down the catwalk to a suitably dark soundtrack.

Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie by Chloe Douglass
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Chloe Douglass

With an academic background in both print design and art history Dans la Vie takes inspiration from Pop Art and traditional Japanese printing techniques to create collections centred on the concept of ‘Clash Beauty’. A few days before her catwalk show Rira Sugawara answered these questions.

Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans La Vie by Angela Lamb
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Angela Lamb

Your collections are certainly not for shrinking violets, what are the main characteristics of the women who wear your clothes?
Intellectual, independent and strong woman who have a strong outlook on life I can see wearing my clothes.

Which public figure do you dream of dressing?
When I was growing up Madonna was a huge inspiration to me, so to dress her would be a dream come too. I’d also like to dress Azealia Banks, Jessie J and Rihanna: they would also be great.

Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans la Vie London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans La Vie by Claire Kearns
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Claire Kearns

You’re from Japan but have lived in France and have traveled a lot- which place has influenced you the most?
I find inspiration in every city and every street I visit. Paris brought me fashion intelligence based on the philosophical spirit to be liberated through culture and diversity. In New York I experienced the exciting energy, and in Milan, an abundance of new techniques

What led you to move to France? How easy was it for you to get used to the classic French style compared to typically edgy Japanese fashion?
I moved to France to gain experience in a fashion atelier, I feel it was one of the best moves I ever made as it was after this that I set up Dans La Vie. I think the French style influenced me a lot, it wasn’t hard to get used to at all.

Dans la Vie  London Fashion Week AW 2013
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie by Sarah Underwood
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Sarah Underwood

Would you ever consider taking part in any of the main Fashion Weeks other than London? How about Tokyo, since your collections seem to reflect the city’s renowned street style?
One of the key elements of my collection is ‘Clash Beauty’: pushing the boundaries of conventional beauty. London enables me to push these boundaries, I would consider showing at other Fashion Weeks including Tokyo as the Street Style is like no other. However I want to concentrate on London for the time being.

Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie by Isher Dhiman
Dans La Vie A/W 2013 by Isher Dhiman

Which other designers inspire you?
Alexander McQueen was such an inspiring designer: I love the structure of his pieces and the way they were made.

Do you ever incorporate current trends into your collections?
Yes, I try to incorporate current trends into my collections as much as possible, at the moment everywhere you look is print!

Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie AW 2013-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans la Vie A/W 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Last season you used prints from Jasper Jones’ ‘Target’ painting from the late 60s, and Roy Lichtenstein’s ‘Brush Stroke’ and ‘Explosion’. What artwork has inspired or will be included in A/W 2013?
The new collection entitled Invisible Enemy, Threat Found is an altogether darker collection and has older influences such as Italian Renaissance Art, with inspiration being drawn from Botticelli.

Categories ,Alexander McQueen, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Angela Lamb, ,Azealia Banks, ,Botticelli, ,Chloe Douglass, ,Claire Kearns, ,Clash Beauty, ,Cyber Attacks, ,Dans La Vie, ,gothic, ,Invisible Enemy Threat Found, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Italian Renaissance Art, ,japanese, ,Jessie J, ,Madonna, ,Milan, ,Mona Lisa, ,new york, ,paris, ,Pop Art, ,print, ,Rihanna, ,Rira Sugawara, ,Sarah Underwood, ,Street Style

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dispatches: Fashion’s Dirty Secret


Illustration by Antonia Parker

Saying you work in fashion normally garners one of two reactions: awe with a smidgen of jealousy on the presumption all you do is swan around with fabrics and making swishy type movements before dashing off to an exotic shoot/party/event of the year, more about ambulance or utter contempt.

On arriving at a friend’s boyfriend’s drinks it was the second reaction I received. He and his friends were doing a masters degree in ethical business, seek and had I arrived dressed as Cruella DeVil with a baby’s head on a silver platter I possible would have got a warmer reception. As allegedly glamorous as fashion is, medicine it is also many people’s favourite whipping boy. Neither picture is entirely true.

Channel 4’s Dispatches programme exposed the vile, undeniably horrific and illegal working conditions of UK based sweatshops. Showing the secret film to a sweatshop surveyor, he stated these compared to some of the worst conditions he’s seen in the Far East. The conditions in the sweatshop should never be allowed to happen regardless of where it is in the world: Leicester or Laos it really doesn’t matter.


Illustration by Karolina Burdon

The UK High Street actually has some very high standards when it comes to treatment of labourers. The retailers featured, including New Look, Peacocks and Jane Norman stated their supply chains were SEDEX approved. SEDEX allows retailers to independently demonstrate their commitment to ethics. Obviously this self regulation had failed. Each retailer appeared to take on board the facts and launch appropriate investigations into sub-contracting. If only they had been more proactive in the first place.

One retailer leading the way in the UK is ASOS. In the last few months they have built on the successes of Fashion Enter, a not-for-profit enterprise, specialising in garment sampling and helped them open a dedicated ASOS factory. Having a UK based factory will not only cut transport costs, carbon footprints, and lower turnaround times for ASOS but also boost the local economy.

It’s thanks to programmes like Dispatches that public awareness of poor working conditions is being raised. This is undeniably a good thing. Sweatshops like this should not be allowed to exist.

Let’s look at the facts for a moment. The story doesn’t end there and Dispatches, to their credit, touched on it. The existence of fast fashion and super cheap clothes has a huge role to play in the existence of sweatshops. In yesteryear clothes were luxury items, to be worn over and over; to be mended and repaired, to be recycled into new garments. Not so anymore.  Some of the responsibility must inevitably fall on the heads of all of us. How often have you bought a cheap top, or bargain basement jeans, or a £15 dress that was such a steal it’d be rude not to buy it? I know I have (not the dress, but you get the picture). How often do you really think about where that has come from? The Dispatches vox pop revealed that few people actually do.


Illustration by Willa Gebbie

The fact is until UK consumers begin to demand better working conditions and simultaneously agree to pay for them little will change. When asked why UK retailers rarely manufacture in the UK anymore, the answer is simple. The UK consumer won’t pay the necessary price. Why do these sweatshops exist? Because on ever dwindling profit margins short cuts will happen. Blind eyes will be turned – a feeling echoed by both Mary Portas and Melanie Rickey in their tweets after the show. Such things are, again, totally unacceptable.

I used to get asked to make outfits for people. When I gave honest rock bottom quotes, I found most of these requests vanished. Why pay £100 for a shirt when you can go down town and get one for a tenner? Scales of economy and an essentially bespoke service aside, it’s the same thing. Regardless of who does it, every piece has to be cut, every seam sewn, and every feature, rhinestone, embellishment and sequin attached. A suit has over 140 separate pieces, a zipper five, a shirt cuff six or more including buttons and buttonholes.

A lot of work goes into the shirt on your back. Those making it deserve to get paid a living wage, and work in safe conditions. Those manufacturing deserve to make a profit. The consumer deserves quality goods at the right price. At some point someone is going to lose out. Nine times out of ten this will be the person we can’t directly see.


Illustration by Karolina Burdon

So what do we do? A little bit of research goes a long way. Check out responsible manufacturers, check out your local boutiques (a small designer is often more likely to be ethical and more importantly the chance of bumping into someone in the same outfit is greatly reduced), check out eco-fashion labels (for instance in Amelia’s new book) or places like Traid, and check out ASOS’ own brand.Your t-shirt may cost £25 instead of £5, your jeans £40 instead of £15, but in each tiny way it’ll help stop sweatshops.

As one of the members of the public on the programme stated, ‘we each have to buy within our means, but that doesn’t mean buying irresponsibly.’

To watch the documentary on Channel 4′s 4oD, click here.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,ASOS, ,Channel 4, ,designers, ,Dispatches, ,ethical, ,Far East, ,fashion, ,Fashion Enter, ,High Street, ,Jane Norman, ,Laos, ,Leicester, ,Mary Portas, ,Melanie Rickey, ,New Look, ,Peacocks, ,SEDEX, ,Sweatshops, ,traid, ,Willa Gebbie

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