Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Bora Aksu (by Georgia)

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

It was Day 1 at Somerset House and I was surrounded by all those fashion bigwigs at Caroline Charles; sure to have just flown in first-class from the closing New York Fashion Week and before that whichever glamorous corner of the Earth they resided. The BFC Catwalk space, page therefore, kicked off with a sure-fire reminder of where we were; London. Just in case anyone forgot.

Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

??It was all about the classic, home-comfort elements of good-old British style. You had your checks, your lace, your chiffon, your wool winter coats that your mother forced you in when you were young and now just can’t get out of.??

Most garments were intrinsically minimalistic. There was very little print. The fabric palette didn’t stretch too far and no real attempt towards a-symmetric cuts or daring features was made. Despite such profuse amounts of plain-Jane style, however, a subtle sexiness arose from those full-sequined dresses in bright red and sultry black as well as the odd combination of tiger and leopard print. It was bad taste turned classy.??

Illustration by Gilly Rochester

The collection’s silhouette held a strong focus on the waist with delicate belts cinching-in wool shift dresses and chiffon floaty creations. There was a barely a bold moment throughout the entire show but one thing was for sure: everything had style.
Furthermore (as has been featured countless times this season), bows were a primary focus for Charles. She placed them on bowler hats, made them out of black ribbon tied around the neck and pulled them round to the rear of high-waisted trousers.

Illustrations by Maria Papadimitriou

Some of the combinations of textures, however, were a little iffy for me. Black leather pencil skirts with brown lady-like jackets? It just didn’t click. I also wasn’t keen on the injection of equestrian riding hats and low pony-tails. It was oh-so-boring and that kind of look, for me anyway, completely lacks any sort of style or attitude. Perhaps a ploy made my yet-another designer to turn the head of Kate Middleton as the Royal Wedding approaches? Maybe so.

Photographs by Georgia Takacs

Amidst the elegant and some-what calming classical music, however, I was agitated by lady-with-hideous-hat who was inconveniently featured in most of my photographs. There was a bit of a frenzy around her and THE HAT after the show. I couldn’t begin to understand why and marched past indifferent and utterly confused.??

All in all, a largely predictable and collection from a classic London dress-maker. It’s endearing, however, to see a leading designer of 47 years to continue delivering a fail-safe iconic style which will forever be appreciated. And with so much sophisticated femininity around this Autumn/Winter season, it certainly set the scene for what was to come and offers a solid reference to anyone embracing ‘The Woman’ next season.

Illustration by Sandra Contreras

Jena.Theo, more about made up of Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis, more about who met at the London College of Fashion, approved clearly want to be rock-chic at heart, and the show was like a highly anticipated gig with fashion editors literally fighting for seats (I’m not kidding it was crazy). So a bit of a manic start then!

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

The models sashayed down the catwalk whilst the clothes beautifully draped and flowed behind them and nothing was structured; it was very much a free-loving collection. A possible clanger came from the denim bubble coat (not as horrific as it sounds but still bad) and the look was slightly undone; maybe even unfinished but then maybe that’s what was intended.

The venue itself was pretty hardcore for 11am too with flashing coloured lasers spraying from the ceiling and a giant board lit up behind the models leaving us in no doubt as to what show we were at. They might as well have told us to get our rave on whilst referencing Valkyrie as the collection was aptly known.

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Something always gets me though at these shows and it’s when the designers decide that ‘normal’ make up isn’t enough for their show, they need something a little kooky. Jena Theo decided that each model needed a black ‘Michael Stipe’ esque stripe across their eyes and to me it just wasn’t needed. Not that it particularly distracted from the clothes but it didn’t necessarily add anything either.

Illustration by Sandra Contreras

I’ll give them their due, after all it is their first on-schedule show this year but maybe next year the theatrical make up needs to be left out. Surely there’s enough of that in fashion!

You can saw more of Gareth A Hopkins’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustration by Jenny Robins

So I’m a big fan of Bora Aksu. He’s one of those London Fashion Week underdogs that just has that extra WOW-factor and his show always seems to be the hot ticket on Day One. And with Twiggy and Marina (of The Diamonds) in the front row, price I don’t think I was the only one with high expectations!??The show was held in the BFC Catwalk Space and, approved after being ushered into the line for those with seated tickets, I found myself standing behind a rather ratty lady from Marie Claire who literally huffed and grumbled even if my bag simply brushed her arm. It’s called a queue, darling.

Illustration by Joe Turvey

Hoards of hipsters then made their way into the line behind me (men in wedges, copious amounts of fur and red lipstick – you know the drill) hence this was the moment I knew I was in the line allocated good seats. Front row was, therefore, choc-a-bloc with extreme scenesters and second row wasn’t bad at all when one clocked onto the masses that were standing in any space available. Fashion Week does seem very busy this time round.

Live catwalk illustration by Jenny Robins

Twiggy! All photography by Georgia Takacs

I passed Twiggy’s name on a piece of paper and, upon her arrival moments later, the paps were crazy around her. I could just about see her smile, flashing amidst the flurry. Surrounding her on the front row were the likes of Nicola Roberts and Tallulah Harlech.

Illustration by Joe Turvey

As the lights were just about to dim, the fierce Marina Diamandis – arms adorned with tumbling knitted mice – was ushered to the seat right in front of me by a crazed front-of-house lady belting ‘Make way! Move along!’, probably resulting in some poor lady writing for Grazia sitting cross-legged on the floor. Fashion, eh?

Marina Diamandis

Show time. Bora Aksu didn’t hang around. Dark music and a-symmetric power dresses immediately stormed the catwalk. It was all about sharp tailoring with wool blazers and-the-like including a reoccurring little bow placed high at the neck, either tied there or on the dress. They were, in fact, appearing everywhere – on belts, the backs of dress and even hanging down from the backs of skirts. Bows are big this season!??One thing was for sure, Aksu was clearly enjoying the green. Shirts and underskirts blazed with a bright emerald hue amidst a largely classic palette of greys, charcoals and, of course, black. Green definitely stood out. And it stole the show.

Illustration by Joe Turvey

The dresses had countless genius intricacies – such is the genius of Aksu himself! Every garment had a mix of textures, fabrics, colours and structures. Hemlines were either short-and-sexy or floor-length – the two trends that seem to be dominating, this season. It’s either one extreme or the other, which I LOVE.

Hemlines are greatly important, often defining a silohette, and they were paid great attention to here creating an imposing, powerful image.

With frizzy back-combing and casual back-dos, the hair was understated messy glam. As was the make-up with pale skin and hints of brown. This natural grooming was a definite side-step away from the often mind-boggling intricate creations of Bora Aksu who, once again, delivered a fashion force to be reckoned with!

You can saw more of Jenny Robins’ illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Bora Aksu, ,Catwalk review, ,Emerald, ,hipsters, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marie Claire, ,Marina & the Diamonds, ,Nicola Roberts, ,Tallulah Harlech, ,twiggy

Similar Posts:

Amelia’s Magazine | Record Store Day: Let’s Celebrate

VOD Music Record Store Day
Record Store Day is like the Christmas of the music world. Music lovers from all over the world come together in unity to support their local record stores and favourite artists. In an age where digital music is overtaking the market at an incredible speed, it’s wonderful to watch people celebrating actual, real, records and all that they embrace.

Luck would have it, records are back in fashion. Hipsters, we salute you. This is good news for the independent record store market and according to the official Record Store Day website more than forty new shops have opened in the UK high streets in the last 5 years, with sales of vinyl albums already up 74% this year alone. Despite the recent increase in vinyl sales, the digital transformation of society and the music industry is progressively replacing our physical music collections with online streaming services, which we now rely on to hear our favourite tracks. Let’s hope the internet doesn’t do a dinosaur on us and become extinct.

Record Store Day poster
Record Store Day was founded in the USA back in 2007 when over 700 independent record stores came together to celebrate their incredible culture. A year later the UK followed suit. Artists, record store owners and music fans rally together to acknowledge and support a culture and art form the world would be lost without. Watching the passion on music lovers faces as they queue for hours on end to join in the celebration and take the time to indulge in the physical act of finding their favourite record is something downloading an MP3 will never replace.

The culture of how we listen to, and our interaction with music has changed dramatically since the internet became a player in the industry. We want our music like we want our food- fast. We don’t think about the ingredients, where it came from, who made it. We want it cheap and to satisfy our immediate needs. We’ll pay £3 to a company with questionable ethics for a skinny, no whip, decaf, hazelnut latte without much thought. We’ll even queue for ten minutes to receive the monstrosity. Pay a few quid for a record that someone’s spent years perfecting, not to mention the years and money spent mastering instruments, that has helped you through that difficult situation or always puts you in a great mood? It’s like you’ve asked someone a complicated maths problem. It confuses them. A new generation of music consumer has been born, and in their mind, music is free. Most of the arts are free actually. Is it time for a society overhaul yet?

Banquet records
Most adults can remember the first album they ever bought. They can remember the artist, the album title, their absolute favourite track, where they bought it. How excited they were when they had it in their hands. They remember what the cover looked like and the smell of the freshly printed sleeve. It was a memorable moment. It was sacred. The interaction we once felt by owning music has been replaced with online playlists and ‘likes’. The artwork on the album cover is looked at as an afterthought as is seeing who wrote and produced each of the tracks. Music has become a fly on the wall. It’s there whilst we are busy doing everything else. With so much new music flooding the internet every day, its shelf life, and our attention, is becoming much shorter too. What are our children going to remember? The first time they opened their own Spotify account? The first music video they watched on Youtube? Streaming services definitely have their pros. They have made the music industry accessible for smaller, unsigned artists. Artists no longer have to rely on major record labels to release their music and it can be heard all over the world for free. That’s a fantastic opportunity. But this new era is also killing off the need to buy records and CDs.

Record Store Day is a little like the Valentines Day of the music world. Record stores can’t survive on one good sales day a year. Just like your love can’t survive on a bunch of roses every February. It’s important to show your significant other all year that they are appreciated and that you love them. Why wait for a commercial day to buy flowers and whisper sweet nothings? Record Store Day will see record stores flooded and my, will it be a beautiful sight. Thousands of music lovers stroking handsomely designed record sleeves and paying hard cash for creations that are full of blood, sweat and tears. But just as every day should be full of love, every day should be filled with the desire to pay for your music.

Artists have always been at the bottom of the money ladder when it comes to revenue, with record labels right at the top. With the advent of streaming, it’s actually still the record labels that are winning, not the streaming hosts and definitely not the artists. The big labels receive millions in licensing fees so that companies like Spotify can stream the artists signed to the labels. The artists receive pittance, regardless whether you pay subscription fees. It’s a similar situation with record sales, the artist receives the least in the financial equation, but it’s still more than the pennies they receive via streaming. Steve Albini wrote an insightful article back in 1993 in The Baffler, pre streaming, entitled ‘The Problem With Music’ where he highlights these financial disparities. Perhaps the real answer is addressing the distribution of revenue in a fairer manner.

More and more musicians are having to resort to full time day jobs on top of writing, recording and touring, just to afford to continue making music. Many musicians can’t take the heat and quit because it’s just too much of a struggle. Streaming isn’t creating revenue, the current economic climate means many fans aren’t going out to watch live music, touring is expensive… That’s just the tip of the enormous iceberg. But as challenging as the music market may feel at the moment, music itself is far from doomed. People have been creating music since the beginning of documented history and will continue to do so until our planet explodes. We need it for our souls. Rather than resisting the digital transition, we should absolutely embrace it but in a positive and responsible fashion. As consumers we need to find new ways to use technology to support musicians and build exciting new communities. Crowdfunding websites like Patreon might be the future. Patrons pay artists monthly or per creation, as much or as little as they like. In less than a year and a half over 125,000 people have signed up and are donating over a million dollars every single month. From these figures alone it is apparent that a lot of people want to pay their favourite creators directly. Perhaps the new generation of music consumers aren’t so bad after all. Maybe they just need a little education. Eat that Doom.

Music is a collaboration, a journey, a communal experience. Just as Facebook can’t replace the feeling you get from a real physical community, digital music can’t replace the magic of owning your favourite artists craftwork. Looking at your favourite piece of artwork on the computer is an entirely different experience to seeing it on your wall. If you’re streaming your new favourite artist every day on Youtube, go out and support them and your local record store. In a matter of seconds you’ll remember just how much you appreciate the entire experience. Gosh, you might even make a friend.

Categories ,2015, ,hipsters, ,MP3, ,Patreon, ,Record Store Day, ,Spotify, ,Steve Albini, ,The Baffler, ,Vinyl, ,Youtube

Similar Posts: