Amelia’s Magazine | Tata Naka: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Presentation Review

Tata-Naka S/S 2013 by Jamie Wignall
Tata Naka S/S 2013 by Jamie Wignall.

I always look forward to the Tata Naka presentation and this season was no exception: this time the twin sisters had chosen to direct their models posed as if at the end of a diving platform against a skyline of palm trees. It was a clever piece of set design that suited their slightly retro style, all 80s power hair and nipped in waists. When I arrived they were shooting a range of glossy purple dresses on offer for S/S 2013. Centre stage a beautiful hourglass silk dress featured dramatic cut outs around the shoulders and hemline. Floral offerings flanked a bold placement print cutout dress, the ginger hair of a painted girl placed at hip level. For a more casual look the same image was applied to a swimming costume, worn with very high hot pants.

Tata Naka SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2013, photography by Amelia Gregory.

I only stayed at the ‘pool party’ presentation long enough to get a shot of this particular look, but a glance at a set of images on Vogue tells me that this collection was notable for its subtlety – cream and mint separates for daytime and jewel block colours for night providing a commercial counterpoint to the colourful clashing ditsy prints and painted life size faces: eye catching in house prints that the Tata Naka girls are known and loved for. It all worked brilliantly, as always.

Categories ,80s, ,Claire Kearns, ,cutout, ,Jamie Wignall, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Portico Rooms, ,prints, ,S/S 2013, ,Somerset House, ,Tata Naka, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | Valentino: Master of Couture at Somerset House

Valentino A/W 2005 by Krister Selin

A recent viewing of the documentary Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel, a film dedicated to the infamous fashion editor’s pioneering feats, highlighted that going to a gallery to view exhibitions of living fashion designers is a relatively new concept. When Vreeland launched an Yves Saint Laurent retrospective in 1983 at the Costume Institute, she set a precedent for a legion of future fashion fairs.

In the modern era, fashion fans have no qualms about trading their hard-earned cash to gaze at frocks on mannequins and fashion retrospectives have dominated galleries with record-breaking visitor numbers. Presenting these exhibitions comes as a challenge to curators: no longer is it a case of whacking a few frocks on mannequins like you’re assembling a high street window display. A quick look at Viktor & Rolf at the Barbican, McQueen at the Met or Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs at Les Arts Decoratifs shows the dedication and commitment necessary to present fashion as art.

Valentino A/W 2002 and Natalia Vodianova by Cathleen Naundorf

What better way, then, to present Emperor of Couture Valentino Garavani‘s illustrious history than on one long catwalk? Avoid temptation to sashay past the tableaux as mannequins appear amongst elegant white chairs on either side of a runway, on which you’re the model. The Embankment Galleries at Somerset House have been transformed; no longer tiny catacombs, but brought together for dramatic effect.

Valentino A/W 2002 by Maya Beus

The lower floor showcases a number artefacts appearing in glass cabinets at the start of the exhibition. Letters from prominent designers and magazine editors celebrate Valentino‘s last milestone, his 45th anniversary as King of Couture, showering the Italian with praise for his record-breaking anniversary couture show at the Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome. Glorious fashion sketches line other cabinets, but as was with Margiela and other exhibitions here, I found myself skimming past these in order to get to the main event upstairs.

Photographs courtesy of Somerset House/Peter MacDiarmid

And so the catwalk comes alive on the upper level, with a breathtaking 130 haute couture creations on models appearing as guests. They are arranged pretty haphazardly amongst the aforementioned white chairs, almost with abandon, without any rigid chronological order. Empty seats bear the names of the great and the good that have worn Valentino and attended countless shows: Princess Margaret, Elizabeth Taylor, Carla Bruni, Diane Kruger, Iman; Diana Vreeland herself.

Valentino S/S 1998 by Annie Rickard Straus

Valentino A/W 1992 by Sandra Contreras

La dolce vita comes alive as you make your way along the displays, featuring floor-sweeping gowns, kaftans, trouser suits and capes. I particularly enjoyed the 1990s section – creations designed with the decadent abandon of an era when the supermodel ruled fashion and Valentino, Gianni Versace and pals were bending over backwards knee-deep in gold chains to appease them. These pieces were without doubt the height of fashion, but have dated the most. Compare these to some numbers from the 1960s: they’re indistinguishable from the output of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccoli, heading Valentino, over recent seasons.

Valentino S/S 2005 by Jamie Wignall

Valentino S/S 1969 by Maya Beus

The show’s dramatic finale sees Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece‘s wedding dress come to life on a dramatic platform. This pearl-encrusted ivory silk gown features a 4.5m train and 12 kinds of lace. Sure.

Princess Marie-Chantal’s wedding dress

While I wouldn’t wear it, it’s one of the greatest examples of dressmaking in history and this presentation allows you to see the astonishing detail in the flesh.

Valentino S/S 2004 by Krister Selin

I particularly enjoyed a personal tribute to le regazze – the girls – the loyal atelier that have produced innumerable tulles, mock-ups and eventual red-carpet-ready frocks for the Grand Master’s enormous following. They’re the stars of groundbreaking documentary film Valentino: The Last Emperor, bickering as they lovingly stitch the last couture collection by the man himself. In the exhibition we’re spoiled with an education of Italian atelier terms – such beauties as ‘Incrostazioni‘ ‘Drappeggio‘ and ‘Budellini‘, a couture technique specific to Valentino where double charmeuse silk is rolled and sewn around a looped length of wool. Each term has a visual representation, occupying a glass box and highlighting the important role that these individual processes have played in Valentino‘s roaring success.

Valentino A/W 2002 by Jamie Wignall

Valentino S/S 1998 by Sandra Contreras

Unmissable. Go.

Categories ,Annie Rickard Straus, ,Budellini, ,catwalk, ,couture, ,Drappeggio, ,Embankment Galleries, ,emperor, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Grand Master, ,Incrostazioni, ,Italy, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Krister Selin, ,le regazze, ,london, ,Marie-Chantal, ,Matt Bramford, ,Maya Beus, ,Natalia Vodianova, ,Peter MacDiarmid, ,Rome, ,runway, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Somerset House, ,The Last Emperor, ,Valentino Garavani

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Amelia’s Magazine | Michelle Urvall Nyrén introduces her Ever Rêve A/W 2013 fashion collection

Ever Reve by Jamie Wignall
Ever Reve by Jamie Wignall.

Michelle Urvall Nyrén has a wonderful way with ink, whether it be the washes of colour in her beautiful fashion illustrations (found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration) or the beautiful bespoke prints on garments in her Ever Rêve fashion range, now stocked in Wolf & Badger. Here she explains the inspiration behind the new collection and the making of her accompanying video.

My inspiration for the A/W 2013 Ever Rêve collection was again taken from a story by Swedish writer Hanna Ricksten. When I discussed the character and idea for the collection with my business partner Karol he straight away grabbed his computer and started showing me pictures of old palaces in the city of Lodz, Poland where he is from. We wanted to create an ambience where this young woman partly looked very lonely in a big and empty space and partly looked unbelievably strong and independent. The study of the strong and weak, the dreamy and real is something that I have been analysing in my work for a long time and find very interesting.

Michelle Urval Nyrén
Michelle Urval Nyrén
Ever Reve by Laura Hickman
Ever Reve by Laura Hickman.

We eventually decided to take the photos and make the video in The Museum of Cinematography in Lodz, a mid-nineteenth century small palace (residence) in a neo-renaissance style. It has a quite dramatic feeling to it but without being too old-school. Sejin Ahn, the photographer just finished his fifth year at the film school in Lodz and is a very talented film producer. He wanted the photos to look like they were a part of an actual film and have a real and untouched look. The way we both work with characters and sets makes it perfect for collaboration. He has got an amazing attention to details and he doesn’t give up until he has got what he thinks is a perfect picture.

Michelle Urvall Nyrén
Michelle Urvall Nyrén
Ever Reve by katy edelsten
Ever Reve by Katy Edelsten.

This collection was modelled by my younger sister Amanda. She has been working professionally for quite a while and she did a very good job in the cold building and snowy garden. We are close like twins and read each others minds so she knew exactly what kind of ambience I was after.

Michelle Urvall Nyrén
Ever Reve By Kim Jenkins
Ever Reve by Kim Jenkins.

You can read a full interview with Michelle Urvall Nyrén here.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Amanda, ,Ever Rêve, ,Hanna Ricksten, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Katy Edelsten, ,Kim Jenkins, ,Laura Hickman, ,Lodz, ,Michelle Urvall Nyrén, ,Museum of Cinematography, ,poland, ,Sejin Ahn, ,Wolf & Badger

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Amelia’s Magazine | Edinburgh College of Art: Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Catwalk Review

Graduate collection by Farah Saffari

Edinburgh College of Art always have much to offer at Graduate Fashion Week. Weird and wonderful, expert craftsmanship, innovative use of materials and new silhouettes, Edinburgh always seems to make it appear dazzling effortless.

They were all wonderful, frankly, but here are some of my favourites:

Jacob Birge

All photography by Matt Bramford

Jacob caused a striking stir as the show’s opener, featuring futuristic shapes and wide brimmed visor hats. Industrial colours lifted dresses, which were more like armour.

Raj Mistry

Graduate collection by Raj Mistry

Raj’s expert menswear collection really stood out. He married sportswear with engineered shapes with luxurious materials for outerwear; zips and drawstrings in contrasting colours were nice details.

Farah Saffari

Graduate collection by Farah Saffari

A whimsical approach to fashion was the mainstay in Farah’s collection, inspired by nature and, probably, the beach. Cropped tops, translucent layers and piped waists resulted in mermaid-like creatures rather than models.

Colin Oliphant

Something about Colin’s relaxed tailoring for men that also worked on ladies really stood out; it was simplicity at its best. Subtle lapel-free jackets with crew necks were worn over collarless shirts in muted colours, and a collection like this is always welcome amidst a sea of designers who try to push the boundaries a little too far.

Ainslie Hogg

Juxtaposed to Colin’s subtle collection (above) came Ainslie Hogg’s weird and wonderful experimentation with material and shape. It was the kind of collection, akin to Michael Van Der Ham, that shouldn’t work but completely does. Materials of various textures and densities were combined in hap-hazard fashion to create striking ensembles.

Katarzyna Krzywania

I simply loved Katarzyna’s hooded overcoats with contrasting geometric shapes.

Dan William James Prasad

Graduate collection by Dan William James Prasad

Dan’s menswear was a perfect blend of old and new – a sort of updated period novel hero with contemporary, aesthetic fabrics in the place where tweeds and heritage fabrics might be. High-waisted trousers and structured jackets featured in this richly-coloured collection.

Katie Bremner

What’s not to love about Katie’s ethereal world? Her fringed frocks in garish colours, embellished with hearts, added both fun and thought provocation to the show. Not a collection for the supermarket, but for the fashion-forward at the very least.

Marie Leiknes

Pages from Marie Leiknes‘ graduate collection sketchbooks

Marie creates new silhouettes from marvellous knitwear in vivid colours. Millinery had an Eastern influence, whilst the garments themselves featured triangular wool formations and contrasting colours.

Riona Horrox
Riona might have looked to 1990s hip hop for inspiration for her premium menswear. Oversized coats with digital prints were decorated with wool trims or worn with hoods. Orange and copper highlights glared from a general colour palette of black and grey. Riona went on to win the Menswear Award at the Gala Show yesterday evening (more to come on that soon) – and quite rightly so.

Louise Bennetts

Louise’s collection consisted of parachute-like dresses and capes in varying shades of orange – warm tones that brought life to paler structures. Layered translucent materials created interest, and bold black lines that divided up the garments added yet another dimension to this highly polished collection.

Emma Hardstaff
Emma closed the show with her collection of dreamy quilted numbers with vague digital prints, some of which were disguised with translucent fabric. The prawn-like head pieces, whilst attracting attention, were a little unnecessary – but it was a collection worthy of closing the show nonetheless, and gained much deserved recognition at the Gala Show. Bravo!

Three cheers for Edinburgh, as always! Hip Hip…

Categories ,2012, ,Ainslie Hogg, ,catwalk, ,Colin Oliphant, ,Dan William James Prasad, ,Earls Court Two, ,ECA, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Emma Hardstaff, ,Farah Saffari, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2012, ,Jacob Birge, ,Katarzyna Krzywania, ,Katie Bremner, ,knitwear, ,Louise Bennetts, ,Marie Leikes, ,menswear, ,Michael van der Ham, ,Raj Mistry, ,review, ,Riona Horrox, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Fashion Blogger turned Fashion Designer Coco Fennell

Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan
Kiss Me Coco Fennell by Jade Boylan.

I discovered via good old Facebook that my talented ex intern Jenn Pitchers has been creating bespoke print designs for gorgeous curvaceous dresses made by the blogger turned fashion designer Coco Fennell, so of course I had to check them out. Here Coco describes her career move and how she hooked up with Jenn.

Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie
Coco Fennell by Amyisla Mccombie.

What is your education and what brought you to this point in your fashion career?
After school I did a great graphic design course in East London which then led me on to art direct a magazine where I met Jenn Pitchers, the illustrator who I work with on my prints! 

Coco Fennell Louie_Banks

Did being a blogger first help you to launch your own label and what has it taught you about the business?
Yes for sure, working on my fashion blog made me realise that what I really wanted to do was design dresses and that with the internet it could be possible. It showed me that it wasn’t impossible to have an online shop to start a label with low overheads when you don’t have terrifying things like shop rent to deal with!

Coco Fennell new tricks
What does your blog focus on, and has the focus changed since you started your own label?
Yes I think so. I probably blog more about editorials and look books where as before I was focusing on key pieces to buy. It’s just like an online scrapbook. I love that I can find great websites I blogged about ages ago which I would have otherwise forgotten. 
Coco Fennel Veronica Rowlands
Coco Fennell by Veronica Rowlands.

What is the process of working together with Jenn to create your unique print designs?
I come up with a theme, pull together lots of imagery and then we meet up, talk about it, Jenn sketches up some awesomeness and we go from there! 

Coco Fennell kiss me
Why was it so important that you create your own bespoke print fabrics and what do you think makes them so different to anything else on the market?
I’ve always loved designers like Jeremy Scott and Swash and when I met so many illustrators working at the magazine it inspired me to make some of my limited edition pieces in cool, unusual prints.

Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings
Coco Fennell by Rebecca Rawlings.

What else inspires your designs?
The female form is the first thing because I want to achieve a flattering shape – if the dress isn’t flattering then girls don’t feel as wonderful as they could and I don’t think there’s any point in making something that doesn’t make you feel good! I love 60′s and 70′s designers too like Biba and Ossie Clark.

coco fennell 1
How have you managed to acquire such a good relationship with celeb fans such as Daisy Lowe, Pixie Lott and Bip Ling?
I’ve just been lucky enough to get in touch with stylists and have been even more lucky that the girls like my dresses so have worn lots of different pieces.
Gypsy Heart Dress by Jamie Wignall
Smokin' Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall
Gypsy Heart Dress and Smokin’ Hot Babe Dress by Jamie Wignall.

Who is the model in your current look book and how did you achieve that amazing hair? what was the inspiration?
She is such a babe! She’s called Mimi Wade and she already had that amazing green hair we just added in some yellow extensions. I love big Dolly Parton hair!

coco fennell  2
How many collections do you create a year?
Around three, but it depends. I haven’t really been making set collections so sometimes there are bits inbetween.

Coco Fennell, Circus,Circus by EdieOP
Coco Fennell: Circus,Circus by EdieOP.

What are you aspirations for the future?
I want to grow my brand: promoting fun, friendliness and a positive body image! I love brands like Nasty Gal and Wildfox and the way they work – I aspire to build something like that. There’s a big aim to set myself!

Find Coco Fennell‘s collection online here.

Categories ,70s, ,Amyisla Mccombie, ,biba, ,Bip Ling, ,Blogger, ,Coco Fennell, ,daisy lowe, ,Dolly Parton, ,EdieOP, ,Fashion Designer, ,illustrator, ,Jade Boylan, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Jenn Pitchers, ,Jennifer Matignas Pitchers, ,Jennifer Pitchers, ,Mimi Wade, ,Nasty Gal, ,Ossie Clark, ,Pixie Lott, ,Print Design, ,Rebecca Rawlings, ,retro, ,Veronica Rowlands, ,Wildfox

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Amelia’s Magazine | An Interview with Mina Tindle and Review of Debut Album Taranta

Mina Tindle 'To Carry Many Small Things' by Gilly Rochester
Mina Tindle ‘To Carry Many Small Things’ by Gilly Rochester.

Mina Tindle Taranta by Chloe Giordano
Mina Tindle’s Taranta by Chloe Giordano.

French folk pop singer Mina Tindle has a deceptively girly voice: sweet and high. But don’t be fooled: the songs on her debut album Taranta come with strong sentiments and instantly hummable melodies whilst videos reveal her to be a saucy minx. From the jaunty tones of To Carry Small Things to the softly rolling guitar pickings of Echo and the minimal chords of Henry, the whole album is a very individual delight. And her story is an inspiring one indeed.

Mina Tindle by Jamie Wignall
Mina Tindle by Jamie Wignall.

How long have you been singing, and how did it all start? What has your musical journey to this point been?
I have always been singing in a way, because there are some great singers in my family. So I have been surrounded with voices all my life. Then some of my friends had bands, and invited me to sing along with them (Toy Fight, Orouni…). Step by step, I started writing songs of my own and recorded them at home. Then I released in 2009 a 7” with Sauvage Records, a French small and great Indie label. After that, I focused for years in the recording of Taranta, my first LP that just came out.
YouTube Preview Image
What do you think of the current contemporary French music scene? Do you feel a part of it or do you think most of your influences come from elsewhere and if so where?
I am not an expert of the current French scene. Still, I really love the work of bands like Francois and the Atlas Mountains, Arlt, Bertrand Belin, Maison Neuve, etc… But I have always been listening to different kinds of music; from American Indie pop to Brazilian music.
mina tindle by Nathalie Sanchez
Mina Tindle by Nathalie Sanchez.

Mina Tindle by Jamie Wignall
Mina Tindle by Jamie Wignall.

You also have Spanish roots – how did you come to be in France, and what have you kept of this part of your background?
I was born and raised in France. But a part of my family still lives in Spain. I need to go there to feel at home.  

mina tindle by charlie rallings
Mina Tindle by Charlie Rallings.

How did living in New York colour your creation of music?
I lived my NYC time under the sign of music: I was living above a bar at that time, where they had 3 concerts a night. I also met some great musicians over there and listened to a lot of music. I love the way American people embrace music. There is something really spontaneous about it.

mina tindle pola yell
You self-produced much of your material, how did you learn to do this and do you have any tips for others going down this route?
I did not have the choice at that time. But I had the chance to have met great people who helpt me out a lot with everything.
Mina Tindle by Adopted-Design
Mina Tindle by Adopted Design.

What else have you been doing over the two years that it has taken to produce Taranta? And what does the title refer to?
Some part-time jobs here and there, but mostly stressing out about the recordings. I also played a bunch of shows, on my own or with friends. Taranta refers to a traditional dance and music from South Italy. People used to say that women had been bitten by spiders and that explained, supposedly, why they needed to dance to make the poison go out of their body. Which was obviously wrong, but I loved what it says about hysteria and creation.

 minatindle by Franck Loriou
Mina Tindle by Franck Loriou.

What do you most like to sing about?
I wish I could find some answers in music. And it sometimes happens. So basically, I love singing about something true, whether it is love, people, encounters, intuitions, sadness… It is pretty universal in the end.

Mina Tindle by Catherine Askew.

How did you come up with the name Mina Tindle?
It is a reference to the great movie Sleuth by Joseph L Mankiewicz, don’t ask me more: It’s a really long and not really interesting story.

mina tindle taranta album cover
What are you most excited about doing this year?
I hope to travel a lot with this record. And I am already thinking about a next one.

Taranta will be released on the 28th May on Believe Digital.

Categories ,Adopted Design, ,album, ,Arlt, ,Believe Digital, ,Bertrand Belin, ,Catherine Askew, ,Charlie Rallings, ,Chloe Giordano, ,Echo, ,folk, ,Franck Loriou, ,Francois and The Atlas Mountains, ,french, ,Gilly Rochester, ,Henry, ,interview, ,Jamie Wignall, ,Joseph L Mankiewicz, ,Maison Neuve, ,Mina Tindle, ,Nathalie Sanchez, ,new york, ,Orouni, ,review, ,Sauvage Records, ,Sleuth, ,Spanish, ,Taranta, ,To Carry Small Things, ,Toy Fight

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