Amelia’s Magazine | Topman Design: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

It was raining, men at the Old Sorting Office on Monday for my first show of this (awkwardly branded) London Collections: Men A/W 2014 season – Topman Design.

Topman Design A/W 2014 by Dom&Ink

I can’t be bothered to drone on about the usual fuss that preceded this event, but I’ll just say that my standing ticket offered zero VIP service. Inside I stood in a herd of people five rows deep, aiming my Canon zoom lens through heads while those around me took terrible photographs on point-and-shoot cameras, iPhones and iPads. There’s a whole other piece I could write here, touched on much more eloquently than I could by Michael over at Anastasia Duck, but I will say this: I’ve invested in a decent camera and pride myself on taking decent images that I hope offer a slightly different insight to the normal catwalking shots we’re all familiar with. This is why I continue to work with Amelia because we share the same values when it comes to documenting the shows, but it seems to be getting increasingly difficult to do the job and I left feeling somewhat frustrated.

All photography by Matt Bramford

I probably say the same thing every season, but I’m always reserved about Topman. Aesthetically they’ve upped their game, and whoever is in charge seems to know what they’re doing in the hope of offering a collection akin to the strong contenders on the LC:M schedule. This season relied heavily on a palette of black and red with an injection of pale blue pieces. Box-shaped overcoats offered a different silhouette, sharp tailored blazers worked effortlessly with plaid shirts and heavy knitwear pieces adopting a variety of techniques were exciting.

As usual there were some slightly off pieces – a red tee with graphic lettering (above) looked like something you’d buy on a whim in Kavos after two fishbowl cocktails and some of the double-breasted coats looked awkward on slight-framed models, but overall this was a coherent collection. A reasonable price point means it does offer something more interesting than the rest of the High Street without an outrageous price tag.

For the finale, the heavens (well, the rigging) opened to soak the models as they reappeared for the recap. Not for the first time in history but it was a spectacle none-the-less, but I sure as hell don’t fancy getting caught in the rain in one of those chunky knits. I’m not sure if there was a message here, or how it related to the clothes. Perhaps it was an unsubtle way of saying LOOK OUR THREADS WITHSTAND RAIN, WE’RE NOT CHEAP; maybe it was merely for the aesthetic, but I bloody enjoyed it and everybody else seemed to.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,catwalk, ,Dom&Ink, ,Dominic Evans, ,fashion, ,knitwear, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,Matt Bramford, ,Old Sorting Office, ,Rain, ,review, ,Topman Design, ,Weather Girls

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Amelia’s Magazine | KTZ: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

KTZ A/W 2014 by Sine Skau

Only if resident LC:M hunk David Gandy has been wheeled in will you find a tedious tailored three-piece suit at a KTZ show – and that’s exactly why I bloody love going.

KTZ A/W 2014 by Mitika Suri

All photography by Matt Bramford

The usual onslaught of chaos occurred outside, but I knew that once inside, it would be relatively empty. In the basement of Victoria House, I was right – rows of empty seats were frantically being filled as I picked a good standing vantage point from which to view this season’s bizarre brilliance.

A KTZ menswear show tends to feel comfortingly familiar, yet entirely different. The ambiguous, evocative symbols that mix Sanskrit with religious symbols with godknowswhat adorned most garments, black and white dominated this collection and the silhouettes were as dramatic as ever. So what do you do to mix things up a bit? Paint the bloody models ice white, of course. This is definitely not a show to appeal to the Harris Tweed brigade.

Pieces seemed to be bigger than ever this season. XXL hoods draped over models past the knee; furs, scarves and thick fabrics enveloped models’ faces and necks; a sort of Arctic exploration on LSD. I was dazzled by caps with metal embellishments, metal headpieces that crept down foreheads, jewels attached to sweatshirts that had been arranged in a precise, mathematical fashion, and skintight jumpsuits that were so low cut that they revealed navels.

KTZ A/W 2014 by Sine Skau

The tribal, cultish vibe remained at this collection’s core, its mix of graphic emblems and experiments with fabric keeping every audience member’s attention all the way through over forty looks. I won’t even attempt to define it, categorise it, or discuss it in terms of how wearable, sellable or functional it is. That would be a mistake. It’s better to sit (or stand) back, revel in the showmanship of it all, then stock up on Snazaroo face paint when you get home.

Categories ,Artic, ,catwalk, ,fashion, ,KTZ, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,Marjan Pejoski, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,review, ,Sanskrit, ,Sine Skau, ,sportswear, ,Victoria House

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Amelia’s Magazine | Craig Lawrence

When you think of the humble pom-pom you think of children’s clothes, order buy of gigantic sombreros for tourists, generic unsightly snow boots and poodles with dodgy haircuts. Experimenting with pom-poms always seemed to be a bit like tequila shots – one was fun, two was adventurous, any more was way overboard and enough to make you gag.
NOT ANY MORE! Somebody somewhere decided it was time to wrench those pom-poms from the cheerleader’s sweaty grasp and boom! Stick them in the right places and we’re in love – and it turns out you can have hundreds of them!



They might have come to our attention bobbling out all over the catwalks in fashion week and with the high street following suit, but this is a look that could be even cheaper for the creative recessionistas amongst you. Make your own! Check it.
If you ever find yourself sat staring into space on the tube, you could be churning out a whole lot of pom-poms instead. Worn the right way I think it’s a really easy and fun accessory to jazz up an outfit– this cute Peter Jensen ring as a prime example:


We’ve seen some girls wearing them in their hair, which make a nice woolly alternative to bows, and of course the contentious scrunchie.








Don’t be wearing those in the cinema mind you.

It’s amazing that something so simple has been culturally reinterpreted so often over the course of history. That might sound grand but something that’s gone from dangling off the edges of sun hats in Central America, to being mass marketed to children all over the world to making on the Paris catwalks is pretty unique. Yikes, Pom Pom international even reckons they can promote world peace. Maybe that’s one tequila too many. Sporting them could almost seem a throwback to childhood, a fashion revival harking back to the days of hats and mittens (I’d like to say ‘and snow and toboggans’ but let’s face it, it doesn’t snow THAT often).
The last thing we can learn about pom-poms is from cheerleaders everywhere, who if nothing else, seem mind-bogglingly happy. Why? POM-POMS!
“At a T-cross-section go to the left. On your left hand you will see a hill. At the end of the hill, tadalafil on the top, this you will see a green cottage. That is where you can find me. If I am not there I might be outside doing some experiments.”
Holland’s answer to a modern day Darwin, Theo Jansen has spent the last 19 years playing god and taking evolution into his own hands. An arrogant way to spend the best part of two decades you might say, but not when you see what incredible results this passing of time has produced. Jansen’s kinetic creature creations exist in a carefully crafted overlap of art and engineering.
From a physics background to a study of painting via an interest in aeronautics and robotics Jansen arrived at 1990 with a thirst for breathing autonomous life into mechanical sculpture. What started as a highly technical computer animation program is now only reliant on the power of the wind with no machine assistance and only minimal human input required, and even that Jansen hopes to eventually phase out.
My personal attraction to what Jansen does comes from my deep seated loathing of plastic waste, which he cleverly conquers by incorporating discarded plastic bottles as part of a complicated wind energy storage system and he sources metres and metres and metres of yellow plastic tubing- 375 tubes per animal to be exact- to create the skeletons for his beautiful monsters.
He claims he started to use the plastic tubing because it was unbelievably cheap and readily available although he quickly discovered that a more perfect material for the project would be hard to find as they are both flexible and multifunctional. He draws comparisons between the plastic required in his art and the protein required for life forms. “in nature, everything is almost made of protein and you have various uses of protein; you can make nails, hair, skin and bones. There’s a lot of variety in what you can do with just one material and this is what I try to do as well.”
The heads of his giant beings act as sails, directing the intricate frames to glide gracefully across the nearby beaches to Jansen’s home and laboratory. The insect-like wings catch gusts of wind and propel the body forward. When there is no wind not even for ready money, the stored energy in the belly of the beasts can be utilized.
Jansen’s vision is of a landscape populated by herds of these sculptures taking on entire lives of their own. The versions of models that made it into existence have raced and won survival of the fittest contests through his computer program and having studied these ‘winners’ Jansen designed creatures so developed they are even capable of self preservation, burrowing themselves in the sand when the gusts are too powerful for them to use constructively.
His imagination like his Strandbeests (literally translated as ‘Beach Animal) is an ever evolving self perfecting organ. He envisions a point at which he will release his creations ‘into the wild’, which he speaks about in the same loving tone you would expect from a parent preparing their nest to be flown by their offspring. “I imagine that two animals will meet each other and compare their qualities in some way; have a demonstration somewhere on how they run and how fast they can run and also do some quality comparison on how they survive the winds. And the one with the better quality kills the other one and gives the other its own genetic code. There could be 30 animals on the beach, running around all the time, copying genetic codes. And then it would go on without me.” It’s not so far fetched after all to consider what Jansen does as god-like. He plainly and rather humbly philosophizes, “I try to remake nature with the idea that while doing this you will uncover the secrets of life and that you will meet the same problems as the real creator,” he added. Theo Jansen is simply a genius though his genius is far from simple. Amen.

It has been a while since I have found a political party that I feel that I can get behind. Politics seem to have descended into a misguided mess. Anytime I read about a Tory or Labour MP, more about it is usually because of a scandal. What is going on environmentally and economically seems to play second fiddle to infighting and lies. Meanwhile, living in East London, I have become friends with a couple of people who are involved in the Hackney Green Party. They don’t seem to lie, or cheat, or claim expenses – this is a party that I can support! I wanted to find out more about them, so I sat down for a cup of tea with Matt Hanley, who is the Green candidate for Stoke Newington Central.

Illustration by Jessica Pemberton

I really liked the political broadcast; I thought it was very astute. The message is not that we have to step outside of our comfortable lives, but that the Green Party are the only political group who can deal with the contemporary and current issues that the world is facing; both politically and environmentally.

We have changed in almost a 180-degree way, twenty years ago the stereotype was beards, sandals, pipes, hemp clothes, it was almost like lecturing the public – it was unsophisticated. Twenty years ago was what, 1989? Scientists for the first time had come to an agreement that climate change was happening, and that it appeared to be man made. I guess when that news was first out there; people were like ‘look, its GOT to change’. Now we are a bit savvier. We have to present policies which are palatable to the voting public; there is no point in standing on the side lines and finger wagging, if we present a policy which will save money but drive down carbon emissions – that is what we are all about. I see the environment agenda of the Green Party very much subset of our core goal, which is social justice. Everything we do, we put the welfare of the human being at the very core. If they are not benefiting from our policies then… I don’t want to know…. that is what the Green Party stands for. So we work for human rights, LGBT rights, promoting the local economy, promoting local business, right though to reducing carbon emissions, they are all under this umbrella of social justice. We are providing a very electable platform, which will improve people’s lives. We are a very well run political party with extremely good innovative ideas to get ourselves out of this economic mess and we are also challenging climate change and enabling our communities to do the same and preparing ourselves for peak oil.

There have been a many protests organised recently, a lot of people who have never protested before are taking to the streets. What is the Green Party’s stance on direct action?

We are the political wing of the New Social Movement; we are the only party who advocate non-violent direct action. The Green Party leader, Caroline Lucas, is probably the only leader with a criminal record, she has been arrested at a nuclear base up in Scotland. We support legitimate protest. There is a place for the protesting, and a place for the parliamentary process. So we are the elected wing of the protest movement.

Illustration by Aarron Taylor

Other parties don’t like their protesters do they?

Absolutely not, they just want you to nod along. Like good citizens, nod along like The Churchill Dog! (Laughs)

For people who have only heard of Hackney and have not been here, the first words that would come to mind would not be “sustainability”, “communities” or “grow your own”, but plenty of people are living by these ideals here and there is actually quite a healthy sized green movement in Hackney….

There is a massive opportunity for a green movement here, and massive support for us. It is unbelievable. In the last elections, the Greens reached second or third in every single ward in Hackney.

And you have a good relationship with Transition Town Hackney as well?

Yes, but they are completely different organisations. The Transition Town movement doesn’t want to be in the thrall of the political party. We definitely support the parties and their principles. We are all about a localised economy, we should be able to feed ourselves, produce our own energy, and I should be able to send my kid to the local school. The Transition Town model is about preparing for the onslaught of climate change and equipping communities for that transition, and that is also what the Greens are all about.

Can you see Hackney functioning well under a Green Party council?

Absolutely! They are doing it in Lewisham at the moment, which is a similar demography. They are doing all these fantastic things, for example, they have set a system up where you can go to the library and hire energy reading meters which you can take home and fix into your energy meter and this allows you to do an audit of your energy usage. I definitely want to see this launched in Hackney. It’s an innovative, creative way of thinking. It’s about putting sustainability at the core of everything, which also saves lots and lots of money!

I see The Green Party as being very accessible to young people as well.

The average age of people joining is mid to late 20′s. They are not wedded to 20th century politics, a lot of older labour supporters can’t bring themselves to leave. We have the same agenda that Labour did, back when they were good Labour. Only we can add the environmental agenda. We stand up for peace. We stand up for nuclear disarmament, no other party does that. We want public services to stay public. We want to renationalise the railways – the cost of rail tickets hits young people very, very hard. Younger people can see that we are standing up to big businesses, supporting local shops, and standing up for individuals. We have a whole plethora of progressive policies……..

Illustration by Aarron Taylor

And also The Green Party a very media savvy bunch – you are on Facebook, you organise lots of activities….

Absolutely! In fact next week we are going paintballing – ‘Paintballing for Peace’

(Laughs) What other way is there to find peace?

(Laughs), and we are going on a Hackney Greens bike ride down to Brighton, we are organising a summer solstice away down to the coast. And we go on alternative pub-crawls. (Laughs)

Speaking of young people, Matt, you are 30 years old and you are standing for Stoke Newington Council for next May. What prompted this move?

I don’t like politicians – they are all the same, especially with what is going on with news about their expenses at the moment.
Working for the Green Party, and seeing the good that they are doing, I thought, you have to step up. I know that I can do a good job. Labour are failing miserably both in Hackney and in the country. The Conservatives are the same, the Liberal Democrats are no different, and so as a Green, you just have to step up.

What will you do if you won and had the power to implement any idea? What’s the first thing that you would do?

Free insulation! It’s a scheme that stems from European legislation, which states that energy companies are obliged to give a certain percentage to energy efficiency schemes. But the councils have to apply for that. The Green Party in Kirklees is on the local council, so every single person in Kirklees gets free insulation. It drives down energy costs, and drives down the carbon emissions and creates local jobs, so it’s a win win situation. Why every single council on the country is getting on this I don’t know. It saves everyone money, make peoples homes warmer, make them healthier – it stops people going to NHS with colds and flu and also reinvigorates the local economy by producing jobs. It creates a programme of very sustainable jobs. We tried to implement it before, but the Labour Councellors called it ‘daft’, dismissed it out of hand and didn’t give a reason beyond that!

That doesn’t make any sense!

The Labour and Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats are on the wrong side of history, but there is a new movement, and it takes into account the Green Party, Transition Town and Friends Of The Earth…. Amnesty International, trade unions, CND etc and all these community grass routes organisations. This is a wonderful new social movement that can be called green with a small g and is a new paradigm of social and political engagement…. this is what the 21st Century is coming to now, but the three big parties are still clinging onto the coat tails of 20th Century ideology. This whole new multifaceted social movement (of which the Green Party are the political wing) is the new politics of the 21st century.

Illustration by Faye Katirai

Can you tell us the best changes that we can make to our lives to make our world more sustainable?

Number one is vote Green! Although I don’t want to lecture people about being ” eco trendy”. Eco trendiness and eco consumption is not going to sort this mess out. We need strong government action to allow this country to change to a sustainable economy. But back to things that you can do as an individual: don’t use your car as much. Don’t eat as much meat. Cut down, you don’t have to stop eating meat completely, just don’t buy from supermarkets. Stop shopping at supermarkets altogether, because that is killing the environment, and your local towns. Support your local shops instead.

Wise words! Thanks Matt.
While the rest of us spent the winter windblown and wet-toed, viagra knitwear designer Craig Lawrence was dreaming of a resort escape, prostate with all the bells and whistles. And what hard earned sunburn doesn’t deserve to be soothed by an embarrassingly oversized tropical drink with all the tacky accoutrements. And ‘splash’ inspiration is born! Those fanciful toxic colored fishbowls of liquor with their cascading garnishes were all the visual inspiration Craig needed to create his first collection since graduating from St.Martins last July. Knitted up with satin ribbons and swirling metal yarn, the knitwear newcomer’s sugar sweet confections made it to Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s runways and onto the lips of the fashion heavies.


I understand sweets and cocktails were the inspirations for your recent collection. What are some of your favorites?
After my degree collection for St.Martins I needed a bit of time to catch my breath so when I started designing again it was winter…cold and grey. I was eating sweets in my studio and daydreaming of beaches and tropical drinks. Some of my favorite things are peach daiquiris, parma violets. My favorite sweet is probably chewy toffee and favorite drink is that fizzy orange drink irn-bru.
What do you recall as the first piece of knitwear you ever made?
A wooly, salmon colored scarf that I actually lost on the train. That and an awful grey ruched square-shaped polyester thing I had to make for my A levels.
If given the chance to collaborate with anyone who would you have in mind?
I’ve always thought of doing pieces for a more theatrical environment. I would love to work with Slava Snowshow.


You recently worked with stylist Katie Shillingford on a shoot for your recent collection. There’s so much movement in those images which really brings your knits to life, how did you manage to capture that?
I’d wanted dancing and movement but the studios’ ceilings were too low and they were all too expensive. So we brought a 9 ft family size trampoline to a rooftop overlooking the city and had the girls bouncing up and down on it. A bit risky actually as there was really not much there to stop them from going over if we weren’t careful. We did the hair and make up at home with the help of my boyfriend and flatmates, one of which is a model, which definitely helps when you need someone for fittings.
Did you start out interested in knit or did you find your way to it while studying fashion?
Actually, I wanted to do menswear while I was at London College of Fashion, by the time I got to St.Martins they encouraged me to do knit because they saw that all my stuff to that point had been designed in jersey. And I loved the chunky quality of knit.


I hear you managed to do the impossible and actually design 6 seasons of knitwear for Gareth Pugh, while doing your BA, AND working a retail job once a week. How were you able to do that and how many of yourself did you have to clone?
I was in school at the time and had knitted a scarf for a friend who’s flatmate wore it on a date with Gareth, who mentioned he was looking for a knitwear designer. He got in touch and said he needed to have pieces made up in a week. So it was all quite fast. All that while doing my BA degree and working in the stock room at John Lewis on Saturday mornings, sometimes having to be there at 6 am. You get used to not sleeping.
And a year after graduating you were showing at Vauxhall Fashion Scout?
My PR agency BLOW called me up a week before the show and said they had an opening for me, so I made up some accessories and a few pieces to fill out the collection I’d been working on. I was given a team of hair and make up artists and we were off.


Which comes first for you, the yarn or the garment?
Usually the textiles come first for me. I’ve learned alot about them along the way, like for example needing to use a flat knit for tight fitting garments.
Are there any textiles, practical or not that you’re really keen to use?
I’d like to do something with little leather strips or pvc something shiny and bright. Maybe even strips of diamante.
What is one of the more random things you’ve used to knit with?
You know those yellow rubber gloves used for washing up/ i found a guy in Dalston Market selling a gaint roll of it and bought it. I cut it up into tiny little strips and started knitting it up but as a garment it was incredibly heavy and totally unweareble.
Could you give us a peek into the inspirations for your next collection?
At the moment I’m interested in accessories, chenille, and fireworks!
Look out! That is some recipe. Craig Lawrence wants to expand our minds and preconceptions, to push knitwear into places we’d least expect it. Can’t wait to see what Molotov cocktail awaits us next season!

Categories ,Gareth Pugh, ,Knitwear, ,St.Martins, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion East Menswear Installations: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Presentation Review

Roxanne Farahmand A/W 2014 by Slowly the Eggs

Fashion East has brought the freshest designers to the London fashion catwalks for the last 13 years. It nurtures our newest talent and the likes of Jonathan Saunders, Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab, Christopher Shannon and Lou Dalton have all propelled to success with the help of this non-profit organisation. Here’s a round up of this season’s showcase:


All photography by Matt Bramford

I was immediately drawn to Roxanne Farahmand‘s installation at the far side of the room; five guys draped over an Mk3 VW Golf Cabriolet head-to-toe in Nike apparel. Roxanne is a jeweller who graduated from London College of Fashion. Boy racers and the Max Power generation are Roxanne’s influences for this collection of hardcore knuckle dusters, geometric rings and necklaces.


It would have been easy to dismiss Massimo Casagrande‘s simple display of hanging shirts in a room where models were draped over sports cars or lit with red spotlights. Take a closer look, though, and you have an innovative range of unique garments – shirts that make use of bubble wrap patterns, silicone and even concrete.


Tom Ryling A/W 2014 by Aysim Genc

Tom Ryling continued to experiment with materials with this ‘Ready to Fight’ collection. Five solemn models wore black ninja masks with white trousers and jackets peppered with red graffiti details. The chaotic decorations contrasted the rigid, architectural forms of his silhouettes.


Liam Hodges‘ black and white collection – appallingly illustrated by this sole photograph because my camera gave up – was in stark contrast to the colours of his Fashion East counterparts. Workwear met streetwear with denim overalls, black and white bombers, panelled jackets and jersey pants. I urge you to check it out elsewhere and I apologise for my poor representation here.


The graphic lines of artist Robert Morris‘ sculptures provided Nicomede Talavera with a landscape for his A/W 2014 collection. A striking set of high-collared zip-up jackets, graphic blazers with rectangular panels and unusual combinations made for a unique first outing at Fashion East.

Categories ,AW14, ,Aysim Genc, ,fashion, ,Fashion East, ,installations, ,LCMAW2014, ,Liam Hodges, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Massimo Casagrande, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Mercer Street Studios, ,Nicomede Talavera, ,Roxanne Farahmand, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Tom Ryling

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Amelia’s Magazine | Agi & Sam: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Agi & Sam A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

As we made our way through Victoria House for Agi & Sam‘s A/W 2014 presentation, models stood on plinths holding placards bearing the slogan ‘Watu Nguvu‘ (people power in Swahili) and oil company logos. They created a sombre atmosphere; part protest, part decoration. They were setting the scene for what would become an incredibly personal collection.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Banished were the vibrant fabrics of London transport of last season; gone were the matchy-matchy suits or block fluorescent colours that the duo have become famous for. In fact, gone was colouring altogether; only two pieces in this collection veered from the monochrome theme. It was a bigger surprise as any from the duo renowned for their worldly and energetic use of colour.

By this stage my camera had pretty much given up altogether. I have probably taken about 300,000 photographs with it, and it’s probably decided that it’s had enough of men and women walking backwards and forwards, so if anybody has a spare £2K to buy me another one that would be great, thanks. Despite this, I really like the shots I got here. There’s something about the soft focus (read: blurred) quality of them that suits this presentation.

The collection combines Western workwear with African tribal features, exploring the exploitation of African society and the stereotypes of the notion we call ‘The West’. Long silhouettes dominated this outing, as did box-shaped shoulders and ankle-length pants. Black cropped blazers and jackets with hidden fastenings toyed with the workwear theme with reflective band details. Traditional patterns like Masai check and African weaves were interpreted across coats and cropped jackets.

Agi & Sam A/W 2014 by xplusyequals

I particularly enjoyed the injection of oversized tees that featured Western oil conglomerate logos, providing a welcome burst of colour, and a long nylon coat that gave a utilitarian aesthetic without diverging from the key themes.

It’s easy to see why Agi & Sam were awarded the Emerging Talent accolade at last year’s British Fashion Awards: in just one season they’ve moved from playful prints to a slick collection with a political message that had been handled in a intelligent, provocative way.

Categories ,Agi & Sam, ,Agi Mdumulla, ,catwalk, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,london, ,London Collections Men, ,Masai, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,review, ,Sam Cotton, ,Victoria House, ,workwear, ,xplusyequals

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alan Taylor, MAN: London Collections: Men A/W 2014 Catwalk Review

Alan Taylor S/S 2014 by Yelena Bryksenkova

London Collections: Men might be the clumsiest branding known to man, but the MAN show does you no favours either. Not only do you find yourself saying aloud ‘I’m going to the MAN show’, but check out #MAN on Instagram shortly after the collections and you’ll get all sorts of unsavoury images mixed with Bobby Abley‘s pink fur or Craig Green‘s psychedelic prints.

I haven’t seen either of the above nor Alan Taylor‘s actual catwalk presentations before, so I was pretty excited about this showcase of London’s most innovative menswear designers. Irishman Alan Taylor was up first. Since starting his own label in 2011, Taylor the tailor has quickly asserted himself as one to watch.

All photography by Matt Bramford

This particular collection was inspired by Henri Matisse and Taylor’s love affair with modern art is well documented. Irish tweeds became the canvas and bursts of solid fluorescent panels became the art. Enlarged overcoats and blazers created the silhouettes – natural colours maintained Taylor’s commitment to his heritage. Most pieces were modernised with the aforementioned vibrant coloured panels – Matisse-like shapes in green and purple transformed sharp tailoring into unique and contemporary looks. Contrasting pieces like a floor-length black overcoat constructed from a heavy, shimmering fabric peppered the collection.

Taylor’s staple kilts featured alongside contemporary Oxford bags and jackets with a-line hems, proving that elements of womenswear can actually work in menswear without making the wearer look like an utter berk. Finally, zingy fluorescent accessories: leather gloves, bags and shoes, added yet another dimension to this outstanding outing.

Categories ,A/W 2014, ,Alan Taylor, ,catwalk, ,fashion, ,Fashion East, ,LCM, ,LCMAW2014, ,London Collections Men, ,Man, ,matisse, ,menswear, ,review, ,tailoring, ,Yelena Bryksenkova

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Amelia’s Magazine | Book Review: Wearable Vintage Fashion by Jo Waterhouse and Clare Bridge

Wearable Vintage Fashion

A new spring title by Vivays Publishing, Wearable Vintage Fashion is written by the owners of Second Hand Rose, a vintage boutique in Worcester. Jo Waterhouse and Clare Bridge aim to provide readers with a visual reference point for any anyone interested in vintage fashion, focusing on easily attainable looks to suit a range of budgets.

Wearable Vintage Fashion
All photography by Caitlin Sinclair, page spreads courtesy of Vivays Publishing

Wearable Vintage Fashion

The book is helpfully divided up into fashion according to decades, using colour-coded sections that range from the 1920s to the 1980s. A one-page introduction to each decade gives context, discussing the impact of societal circumstances on fashion trends, and with some brief tips on recreating looks. For instance, the 1950s introduction covers the new youth culture and how it opened up a fashion market for a generation of young people with disposable income. It’s an approachable way of thinking about the socio-economic and practical considerations embedded in fashion.

Wearable Vintage Fashion

Day and eveningwear pages in each section are filled with selected items of clothing and accessories, alongside descriptive text outlining the classic shapes and textiles from each era. ‘Get the Look’ pages are places where old candid and street photographs are used as inspiration for creating on-the-page outfits and to describe common trends.

Wearable Vintage Fashion

The garments and accessories shown are incredible, with colourful, multi-textured and authentic pieces from each era featured alongside modern-day alternatives, for those that might not be able to access the real items. What lets the reading experience down however is the way garments are laid out in a collage format -without mannequins or models (or in some cases, ironing) the pieces can’t be displayed to full effect, which is a shame given how precious some of them are.

Wearable Vintage Fashion

Wearable Vintage Fashion

Later on in each chapter are ‘Icons’ pages, where the authors interpret a signature look from the decade, for example, Farrah Fawcett from the 1970s. While the intentions here are admirable – to easily recreate a look for a party or event – the styling and images aren’t of a high enough quality to appeal in a book format. It’s difficult to tread the line between a do-it-yourself guide and a higher-end coffee table book, but in this case the extraordinary subject matter warranted that closer attention be paid to the visual design.

Wearable Vintage Fashion

Wearable Vintage Fashion

More appealing are the look books, where double page spreads show the full breadth of a fashion decade including day and eveningwear. I adored the 1940s spreads in particular, with pale knitted cardigans, a sweet pink bakelite elephant brooch and an original Pendleton ‘49er’ tartan jacket.

Wearable Vintage Fashion

Wearable Vintage Fashion

The final part of the book is ‘Vintage Street Fashion’ where the authors document how various fashion bloggers and enthusiasts wear vintage clothing on a day-to-day basis. As with previous sections, the styling and quality of the images varies dramatically and appears visually inconsistent, but if you can ignore this, the insight into the lives of these women and their relationship with certain vintage pieces is worth the read.

Wearable Vintage Fashion

Wearable Vintage Fashion is by Jo Waterhouse and Clare Bridge, and published by Vivays Publishing.

Categories ,Bloggers, ,Book Review, ,Clare Bridge, ,Daywear, ,Evening Wear, ,Farrah Fawcett, ,fashion, ,Jo Waterhouse, ,Second Hand Rose, ,Street Fashion, ,styling, ,vintage, ,Vivays Publishing, ,Wearable Vintage Fashion

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