Amelia’s Magazine | Shao Yen: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

Taiwanese-born Shao Yen is no stranger to success. This knitwear graduate has caught the eye of other designers such as Nicola Formichetti, created a bespoke dress for dress-up queen, Bjork, and has been showing at London Fashion Week ever since his graduate Central Saint Martin’s MA show for A/W 2010.

Shao Yen AW 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

As soon as I was directed to one of the spacious upstairs rooms at The Freemason’s Hall, I knew this presentation would be an altogether more relaxed affair than the dizzying thrills of earlier catwalk shows. If you’ve never visited the venue before, I would recommend it. Vauxhall Fashion Scout has used the iconic Art Deco building for their off-schedule shows for ages, and with good reason. The high ceilings, beautifully decorated walls and marble floors set the tone for equally enticing clothes.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Gaarte

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Gaarte

As I passed through large doors into the presentation space, I think I audibly sighed in delight of what I saw. Several models stood on plain white podiums, beautifully lit, while a cello player produced soothing classical melodies, setting a relaxed yet formal tone. Although the room was busy, it was a visual treat to be able to come up close and admire a collection. At London Fashion Week, you become used to models practically running past on the catwalk, while you desperately try to take everything in over blaring music and not much room to breathe. For this presentation, it was the audience who couldn’t keep still, moving around the models that posed for every single photographer.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

What I loved most about this collection was the mix of themes. Upper-class met underground/sports culture in a zillion different and clever ways. Sports socks were worn with simple black stilettos, tweed suits had elasticised cuffs and hoods, mesh baseball hats matched knitted dresses or silk two-piece suits. Vintage-looking embroidered dresses were dotted alongside stark black leather pieces, as though the Shao Yen woman will wear her mother’s antique dresses, but likes to sharpen things up with masculine tailoring, too.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

The colour palette was just as fresh as the models, who I could have hugged for being so patient, even when an over-eager photographer almost knocked one over. Fizzy oranges and bright turquoises were perfectly offset by tweed and monochrome. Hair was pulled into simple, carefree ponytails and roughly backcombed, paired with bright orange-red lips and some blush.

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Shao Yen A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

The message for this collection was simple, understated country luxury done in an urban sportswear way. Tweed doesn’t have to be stuffy, and in fact was a massive hit this November when Rugby Ralph Lauren celebrated the opening of their Covent Garden store with a ‘Tweed Run’ where hundreds of Londoners donned their best tweeds and rode bikes around the town whilst stopping for tea and general merriment. We’ve chatted tweed and it’s cycling appeal before too, in an interview with the founders of Bobbin Bicycles, which you can read all about here. Shao Yen has created a whole new look by taking two quite fussy clothing cultures and stripping them down to something fresh and accessible (and more wearable than his previous beautiful yet revealing collections) for A/W 2012. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

All photography by Amelia Gregory and Alia Gargum

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,bjork, ,Bobbin Bicycles, ,Central St Martins, ,Dana Bocai, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,knitwear, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Nicola Formichetti, ,Shao Yen Chen, ,sportswear, ,Tweed, ,Tweed Run, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sister by SIBLING: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Gaarte

Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Gaarte

Twinsets, cardigans, and crew-neck jumpers were all over this Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 collection, but not as you’ve seen them before. One of the reasons I love SIBLING is that this brand was born out of a trio of designers who wanted to give men’s knitwear an overhaul, striking such a covetable and attention-grabbing luxe look that women started wearing the pieces too. Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery dutifully provided Sister by SIBLING, the equally loud leopard-printed, skull-brandishing womenswear brand.

Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Jamie Chiu
Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Jamie Chiu
Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Jamie Chiu

Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Helena Maratheftis

Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Helena Maratheftis

Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Jamie Chiu
Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Jamie Chiu

This presentation in the Portico Rooms was a pretty hot ticket, judging by the intense jostle for seats and a front row full to bursting with fashion editors. Long-term SIBLING fan Laura Bailey smiled sweetly from her seat in a way that only someone who has had a private preview of the collection does, safe in the knowledge of what is to come. I did my best impression of a similar smile of satisfaction as I’d already drooled over this sparkly, lurex, sequined offering from SIBLING in the Somerset House press exhibition room.

Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

Katie Grand’s in-your-face styling definitely woke up the sleepy crowd (who like me, wanted a lie-in and chose the later showing) by mixing acid-bright pinks, oranges, and purples together for a strong visual punch. The most special touch came in the form of face masks that turned models into faceless sparkling mannequins with incredible pom-poms and hand stitched flower clustered defiantly on top of their heads.

Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Sister by Sibling A/W 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

The genius behind this collection and the Sister by SIBLING brand is that it’s easy to wear. Attention-seekers can go for the whole look, and those who like a bit of crazy colourful sparkle without much effort (ahem, me) get an instant outfit by pulling on some knitwear over jeans. I particularly liked how something as traditional as a Scottish Fair Isle jumper was transformed with skulls and clashing neon leopard print.

Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Jamie Chiu
Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

As the models walked around the room at the end of the presentation and I resisted the urge to ruffle a pom pom or two, I noticed the shoes. In collaboration with Underground, this means that hopefully the trademark Sister by SIBLING leopard prints and skull Fair Isle teamed with ubiquitous pointy creepers and Chelsea boots may be available to buy next season.

Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

Another nice little touch was the brand’s collaboration with Barbie, who they dressed up in miniature versions of the collection and displayed along shelves on their exhibition stand. If Sister by SIBLING can make someone as clean-cut as Barbie look like she’s right at home wearing glittering skulls, neon prints and fully sequinned jumpers, then surely the look can work for anyone. Besides, a full face of sequins or sparkly lurex means less time bothering with hair and makeup: a definite win.

Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Sister by SIBLING A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

All photography by Alia Gargum and Jamie Chiu

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Barbie, ,chelsea boots, ,Cozette McCreery, ,Crepe Sole Creepers, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Helena Maratheftis, ,Jamie Chiu, ,Joe Bates, ,Katie Grand, ,knitwear, ,Laura Bailey, ,Leopard Print, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Neon, ,Portico Rooms, ,Sequins, ,Sid Bryan, ,Sister by Sibling, ,Underground Shoes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Spijkers en Spijkers: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi
Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi

From the looks of the feminine and pretty invite (which was beautifully illustrated by Dutch artist Martine Johanna) I didn’t expect anything too shocking from this A/W 2012 collection by Spijkers en Spijkers.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Claire Kearns

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Claire Kearns

The mood music as we sat down consisted of haunting, screeching quotes, so I suspected that we were in for something dark, haunting, and a little different. The quotes were from the original 1975 Grey Gardens documentary depicting the life of Big Edie and Little Edie, the aunt and first cousin of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. It is a real-life tale of a mother and a daughter driven to an eccentric state of solitude, after falling from the grace of high-society New York when Edie’s father left them penniless. Little Edie, in the eyes of Spijkers en Spijkers, was a colourful ‘Bird of Paradise‘ and served as a muse for the collection.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

All photography by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Sam Mardon

The music set the tone perfectly; the despair, drama, and frailty in the voices echoed the strong yet feminine use of colour and 1940′s silhouettes. Lyrics about houses being set on fire and Edie Bouvier Beale’s mother telling her what to do sent chills down my spine as I simultaneously warmed to the mixed-up styling by Karen Binns. It was well documented that these two women had to make do with what they had, forcing them to mix clothes up in new ways. ‘Never throw anything old away‘ the music boomed, echoing dresses paired with clashing tops or fluorescent jewellery.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

spijkers en spijkers A/W 2012 by anna higgie

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie

There was some of Spijkers en Spijkers unmistakable graphic detailing in the accessories and makeup, too. Little birds adorned shoulders and dresses in the form of a print or a brooch, hair was finger-waved and set into strong curves, set off with sweet but modern-day plastic headbands. The make-up was fresh, reminding me of when you first start to try wearing makeup as a teenager, sticking to bold lines and bright colours and not really knowing how to do subtle looks just yet.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Silks, satins, wool and prints were in a gorgeously covetable range of vintage-looking colours. Lime green and yellows reminded me of old stained-glass windows, while the rich purples and oranges referenced faded but no less opulent interiors.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Rebecca Hendin

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Rebecca Hendin

Something I’ve noticed this London Fashion Week is that while a lot of designers are referencing the dark and frightening for A/W 2012, they’re doing so in an unexpected way: making a conscious effort to hint at the macabre, court the morbid and inject collections with a touch of despair in beautiful and new ways. Even though the inspiration for this collection was part tragedy, the result was charming. The strong tailoring, warmer colours for winter and underlying tale of two women – all make you want to engage with this story.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Yasmin Mason

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Yasmin Mason

The catwalk show itself was a little bit like the thrill you feel when watching a scary movie; dark and even a little disturbing, but you can’t look away, making it all the more appealing. Spijkers and Spijkers have found a way to make you want the collection even more, delivering a desirable collection for those who like clothes that tell a story, especially if it’s as lavishly haunting as this one.

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory
Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi
Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Amelia Gregory

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Zulekha lakeca

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Zulekha lakeca

Spijkers en Spijkers A/W 2012 by Zulek Halakeca

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Anna Higgie, ,birds, ,Claire Kearns, ,Cristian Grossi, ,Edie Bouvier Beale, ,Fluorescent, ,Grey Gardens, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,new york, ,Rebecca Hendin, ,Sam Mardon, ,Silk, ,Spijkers en Spijkers, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,vintage, ,wool, ,Yasmin Mason, ,Zulek Halakeca

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Amelia’s Magazine | Teatum Jones: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie

Away from the busy rush of Somerset House, away from the mobs of photographers, willing subjects and flashing lights, Teatum Jones chose to retreat to a secret room behind large wood-panelled doors. This wasn’t any room, but the official personal office of Arthur Liberty himself, which still retains the charm of it’s original design. Completely hidden away from the public in the Mock Tudor labyrinth that is Liberty, I was directed down a panelled hall before reaching the beautiful presentation Teatum Jones had prepared.

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum_88
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

One thing I have loved doing this London Fashion Week is talking to design duos. There is something incredibly sweet about how each designer will talk about the other when you interview them, complimenting them endlessly. As soon as I entered the room, I was introduced to Rob Jones, who immediately beamed when he heard I was reviewing the presentation for Amelia’s Magazine. After giving his thanks to the Amelia’s Magazine team for all the continued support and gorgeous illustrations from the last review, he began to talk me through the intriguing collection.

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

These Ravensbourne College of Design and Central Saint Martin’s graduates began to work together due to their mutual love for escapism and the power of a story, which is how this collection began. Rob Jones described how they start with a ‘screenplay’ when working on a collection, and this one began from looking at the menacing and dark qualities to fairytales. ‘I found it interesting that stories we read to children deal with such dark and frightening themes. It made me think about how I’d react if a fairytale was re-told in a newspaper today, would I see it differently?Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum were drawn to the mix of innocence and frighteningly dark folklore, wanting to explore the underlying beauty in something considered traditionally sinister.

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

I was immediately drawn to the intricate prints, swirling with dark reds, bright pinks and forest greens, highlighted with touches of neon. Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum pointed out how these beautiful floral-like patterns were actually cut-up crime scene photography from the 1940’s. I was immediately surprised, which I couldn’t hide. Really? But they were such beautiful prints… suddenly I saw the numbered markers police use for blood spatters, dropped weapons, or worse. The thought sunk in…and it made sense. In a strange way, it felt nice to know, like being let in on a secret or the thrill of when the murderer almost catches someone in a horror movie. In order to place such a dark theme on clothing in a lighter way, a harlequin diamond pattern was used instead of simply overlaying the imagery.

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Andy Bumpus

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Andy Bumpus

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Andy Bumpus

Other items of clothes glittered and shimmered, almost like childhood dress-up clothes, or to mimic the magic of fairytales and shining sweets like that shown in the film created for the collection, currently showing on the Teatum Jones website. Although several mannequins displayed the collection in the centre of the room, it wasn’t until I saw the models that I noticed that most of the clothing had large pockets, even in the more formal dresses. One of the models commented on how relaxed she felt, resting her hands in the silk pockets of her neon yellow dress.

Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum
Teatum Jones A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

This team have found a perfect niche for womenswear that is considered and subtle, yet attention-grabbing. Alluring without being obvious. The midi length of the dresses and nipped-in light fabrics allow the wearer to be feminine in a relaxed way. It’s clear that the Teatum Jones woman is at ease with herself, a modern-day enchantress with a penchant for neon, skilled design and something a little wickedly different. The warm and positive outlook of these designers created an unforgettable London Fashion Week presentation experience; a drop of magical escapism from the busy London Fashion Week storm.

All photography by Alia Gargum

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Andy Bumpus, ,Anna Higgie, ,Catherine Teatum, ,Duo, ,Fairytale, ,Fashion films, ,Forests, ,graduates, ,Horror Films, ,Innocence, ,Liberty of London, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,mock tudor, ,Neon, ,photography, ,print, ,Rob Jones, ,Silks, ,sinister, ,Teatum Jones, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Mark Fast: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Anna Higgie

As I squeezed myself onto the end of a bench, it was impossible to ignore that the hundreds of people inside the space were very, very excited. Besides the increasing numbers of editors, bloggers, and Mark Fast fans, a scrum of photographers were going a bit mad trying to get a picture of front-row attendees. Ten minutes later, after security forced them to disperse, it became clear what the fuss was all about. None other than Mr Kanye West was in the centre of the front row, engaged in conversation but stopping to pose for photographs like he was born doing it. As he is due to show his second collection at Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday the 6th of March, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was like revision for his big fashion exam.

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou

This collection was called Questions in a World of Blue, inspired by a scene from the David Lynch film, Fire Walk with Me, promising to deliver ‘a collection of sophisticated grunge’. I still had Mark Fast’s current S/S 2012 collection in my head; sexy, light and inspired by a sand storm. I loved this interpretation of Mark Fast’s signature feminine silhouettes, the review of which can be read here. Mark Fast doing modern-day grunge sounded interesting.

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Claire Kearns

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Claire Kearns

I think this theme turned out to be exactly where this brand needed to go next. Although beautiful, most of Mark Fast’s previous collections have been extremely body-con, and mostly consisting of dresses. This collection saw the knitwear designer take the casual, layered, easy-going elements of grunge and re-invent them as luxury pieces. Striped crop-tops, wool coats and long knitted skirts in a range of textures added accessible separates to the collection. Anyone would feel comfortable throwing on a luxurious but slouchy cardigan, and feel just as at ease in the more dramatic full-length gowns.

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou

Mark Fast makes knitwear so exciting; all you’d want to wear with his pieces are a pair of heels. This designer is in the habit of using Christian Louboutin shoes for catwalk shows, making the ‘effortless and strong’ Mark Fast woman look complete. Hair was erratically plaited, mimicking the intertwined knitwear. Greys, deep blues, and pink-nudes set against black made up a simple colour palette that wouldn’t look out of place on any self-respecting grunger.

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Gaarte

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

I really like what Mark Fast has come with for next season; but what I love even more is seeing him develop as a designer. He’s definitely gotten to a place where he doesn’t have to prove himself through show-stopping pieces that only work on the catwalk and celebrities. I found this collection his most complete in terms of a range of pieces, which no doubt will worn by many a lady come winter. Mark Fast only needs to change one thing for his next collection; get a bigger venue. He’s outgrowing the BFC Showspace.

Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou
Mark Fast A/W 2012 by Maria Papadimitriou

All photography by Maria Papadimitriou

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Anna Higgie, ,BFC Showspace, ,Christian Louboutin, ,Claire Kearns, ,David Lynch, ,Feminine, ,Fire Walk with Me, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Grey, ,grunge, ,Kanye West, ,knitwear, ,Layered, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Make-up, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Paris Fashion Week, ,plaits, ,Questions in a World of Blue

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Amelia’s Magazine | Phoebe English: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Phoebe-English-by-Gaarte-LFW-AW2012

Phoebe English by Gaarte

For S/S 2012, Phoebe English’s MA collection was a range of subtle body-con dresses in a neutral palette of white, cream and black. There was a lot of comment on the level of talent and craftsmanship that Phoebe obviously held – guess work went into how many hours she had spent hand-smocking the lengths of calico fabric used for her designs.

Phoebe English AW 2012 -photo amelia gregory
Phoebe English AW 2012 -photo amelia gregory
Amelia’s Magazine contributor Georgia Takacs wasn’t impressed with the collection – she acknowledged the high level of skill involved, but thought that the designs were too boxy, and unflattering. However, I really liked the show, and it was one of the first tickets I applied for this year. Phoebe English’s take on modern dressing, the unfinished hems done just right, so as not to get that high street distressed finish, and the fact that this was an MA show, I personally felt, was something to get quite excited about.

Phoebe-English-by-Amelia-Gregory-AW2012
I arrived at the Freemasons Hall a little early, feeling a little confused about what I actually thought of the PPQ show that had been on 20 minutes before, and took my place in the eager queue that was forming. A trio of candy-colour dressed Norwegians came to stand behind me, and I noticed that designer Fam Irvoll was one of the group. She had shown her new collection as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout earlier that day, and was being interviewed by Dr Lida Hujic from The First To Know. She very modestly played down how the show had gone, telling Lida that she thought it had gone OK.

Phoebe English AW 2012 -photo amelia gregory
The hall became full very quickly, with not too much flocking around Kate Nash and stylist Rebekah Roy who were on the front row. The music, a perfect choice – was a haunting track called Sleep Paralysis from musician Gabriel Bruce, apparently a childhood friend of Phoebe’s.

Phoebe-English-by-Victoria-Haynes-LFW-AW2012.jpg

Phoebe English A/W 2012 by Victoria Haynes

The first three looks of Phoebe English’s collection pleased me a lot. Sticking to the concept of body con dress shapes that she had championed in S/S 2012, black viscose was matched against black and grey latex as trimmings for skirts and sleeves. The best of these was a one sleeved short dress, that was constructed from a latex skirt, heavy viscose top, and a quarter of the long sleeve made from the black latex. It was modern and cool.

Phoebe-English-AW2012-by-Amelia-Gregory

The next two looks showed a sportswear influence, with two short dresses with prominent thick elasticated waistbands, that had been separated along the stomach, producing a cut out effect. The waistbands were dropped, but not too slouchy looking – these were still dresses for dressing up in. Phoebe English had cleverly shielded flesh with a layer of fabric behind this. The first of the dresses also had a latex underskirt, and cut outs on the arm, and I really admired Phoebe for not choosing to show any extra skin – it gave the looks a refined finished.

Phoebe-English-by-Jo-Ley-LFW-SS12

Phoebe English by Jo Ley

This went hand in hand with the make up and hair that had been used for the models – the hair was scraped back into buns or loose ponytails, with no polished finish. Their faces appeared make up free, with a sheen of dew on their cheeks, and simple lightly pink stained lips.

Phoebe-English-by-Claire-Kearns-LFW-AW12

Phoebe English by Claire Kearns

The next two looks were my firm favourites. These were longer styles, that just skimmed the knee, and that were simply stunning. The first, was a column body con dress, made from a black felted top with cut off sleeves, and a body which was made from translucent latex. Underneath, the model wore a pair of high waisted black pants, which again added a refined feel, as did the cropped felt top, that just skimmed the models chest, but showed no skin. The latex was darted twice down the front, and it fitted perfectly to the model’s form, but stretched and allowed movement.

Phoebe-English-by-Amelia-Gregory-AW2012

The second of these looks was a two piece. Made from a cropped top with latex arms and a felt and latex body, and worn with a high waisted felt and latex skirt. I loved the contrast of the heavy felt body pieces to the see-through latex, which pared sexy with refined, and again, not having the need to show off flesh, because the design was already doing enough to make it desirable. Conversely, they were also very lady like – because of the midi length, and with the high waisted cut of the paints and skirt.

Phoebe-English-by-Catherine-Meadows-LFW-AW12

Phoebe English A/W 2012 by Catherine Meadows

I read recently that Phoebe English relocated her work studios to a warehouse in Hackney – and the influence of East London, and it’s residents penchant for black, sheer and sexy definitely came through in these opening looks. They also exemplified what I really like about Phoebe’s work – her ability to combine materials, that are unsuspecting and non-precious, cutting and crafting them together into something that works and looks luxurious. These were also a step away from the boxier shapes that she had shown for S/S 2012. The influence of Phoebe English’s time spent as Gareth Pugh’s intern was also clear.

Phoebe-English-by-Amelia-Gregory-AW2012

The middle set of looks presented a new material – loosely woven rubber strips that adorned heads, and poked out from sleeves and hems of dresses. Making up 5 looks, this was a furthering of the unfinished element of Phoebe’s work that she is known for. It was also quite playful – the strips were woven into lattice work across the bodies of the outfits, but often hung long and loose, which meant a lot of movement as the models walked across the cat walk. I liked the lattice work skirt, the rubber layered on top of the translucent latex, and paired with a industrial knitted rolled hem top. The last look, a latex shift dress was completely covered with the rubber strips, but with longer ends on the lower half of the dress, which gave the dress an ‘unwoven’ finish.

Phoebe-English-by-Cristian-Grossi-LFW-AW2012.jpg

Phoebe English A/W 2012 by Cristian Grossi

As an unexpected but welcome finish to the show, the last 3 looks were an explosion of bubblegum and hot pink. Instantly this added a girlish, feminine feel to the collection, and a great move for Phoebe English, away from her usual subtle palette. There was a heavy knitted jumper, and in the first look, the thick waistbands were back, on both a cropped top and super short skirt.

Phoebe English AW 2012 - amelia gregory
Phoebe English AW 2012 - amelia gregory
Phoebe English AW 2012 - amelia gregory
Phoebe-English-by-Amelia-Gregory-AW2012

It was the last of these berry shade looks that was the winner for me, an asymmetric knit jumper, pink felt skirt, pink latex waistband and a experimental play on her usual smocking. Half of the felt skirt was layered with a bubblegum hued plastic, but it was longer in length, and loosely bound together. It added beautiful movement.

Phoebe-English-by-Emily-Reader-LFW-SS12

Phoebe English by Emily Reader

This collection showed exciting growth in Phoebe’s work – it was a mature but fun collection which showed off her talents for the paring of shapes and textures, and understanding of materials and the ways that they can be utilised to their best effect. The feminine inclusion at the end also showed how Phoebe English will undoubtedly continue to experiment, grow in confidence to produce work that is refined, yet modern and thoroughly deserving of the recognition she has received in her short-career so far.


Phoebe English AW 2012 - amelia gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gareth Pugh, ,knitwear, ,Latex, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,ma, ,Merit Winner, ,Modern, ,Phoebe English, ,pink, ,Rubber, ,S/S 2012, ,sportswear, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | Jean-Pierre Braganza: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Jean-Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Catherine Meadows

Jean-Pierre Braganza A/W 2012 by Catherine Meadows

Although Chandelierium was inspired by ‘the sensuality of being covered’ and Victorian women driven to madness by the repression of their concealing clothes, Jean-Pierre Braganza turned constrictive silhouettes into a very wearable collection. As his current S/S 2012 collection was about 1920′s silhouettes and free movement (which I reviewed last London Fashion Week and loved, read about it here) A/W 2012 is all about figures being tailored and moulded by sharp lines. Jean-Pierre Braganza never does things in an expected manner, and played with the idea of how women embraced the dark side of such strict dress to remain in control.

Jean Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jean Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jean Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Alia Gargum

All photography by Alia Gargum

After a bit of a wait and shuffle to the Embankment Gallery Show Space and spotting fashion writer legend Colin McDowell, we were let in to get seated and into the mindset of ‘the sensuality of being covered’. It seems that Victorian dress is a big influence for next season, almost a backlash against the vampy vixen type of looks we saw this winter from fashion houses such as Louis Vuitton. Of course, Mr Jean-Pierre Braganza worked his magic and made an originally repressive silhouette just right for 2012. The models stomped down the runway powerfully and with ease, adorned with simple makeup except a metallic lip and beautifully mad hair piled high and cropped short at one temple as if done in a fit of delirium.

Jean Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jean-Pierre Braganza A/W 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Jean-Pierre Braganza A/W 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Jean-Pierre Braganza A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

I particularly liked how corsets, nipped-in waists and high necklines were referenced yet brought into modern day with beautifully psychedelic prints. Chandelierium was the name of one, which was also used on the invite. Each print gave the impression of falling into an image, surrounded by swirls of purples, reds, lilac pink and green, offset by shimmering metallic fabrics. The best thing was that this collection gave the impression of multiple-layered Victorian dress but kept fresh with a mini skirt here and there, relaxed yet oversized sleeves and flowing silks. As the show continued, it was almost as if Jean-Pierre Braganza was referencing women breaking free of the constriction, mixing dropped-waist trousers with some beautifully patterned knitwear or adding a loosely gathered dress.

Jean Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jean-Pierre Braganza A/W 2012 by Alia Gargum

Jean-Pierre Braganza AW 2012 by Illustrated Moodboard

Jean-Pierre Braganza A/W 2012 by Illustrated Moodboard

As the girls fiercely stomped en masse at the end of the show (perhaps to emote that bit of Victorian madwoman unpredictability) I couldn’t think of anyone who would have difficulty finding a piece just right for them in this collection. Loud prints, structured black and deep purple dresses, beetle-bright metallic jacquard, or simple printed silks were all there but didn’t seem to crowd each other. Jean-Pierre Braganza doesn’t just conjure up a fantasy, he makes it wearable and desirable. As Bad Girls by M.I.A. played the girls out and Jean-Pierre Braganza in to do his final bow, I had to smile as I almost got my camera smacked out of my hands by a model’s hip. These women didn’t feel constricted at all, they were ready to knock A/W 2012 right out.

JEAN PIERRE BRAGANZA by JAYMIE O'CALLAGHAN
Jean Pierre Braganza by Jaymie O’Callaghan.

Categories ,Alia Gargum, ,Catherine Meadows, ,Chandelierium, ,Colin McDowell, ,Embankment Galleries, ,Embellishment, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Illustrated Moodboard, ,Jaymie O’Callaghan, ,Jean Pierre Braganza, ,knitwear, ,London Fashion Week, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Louis Vuitton, ,M.I.A, ,Madness, ,Metallic, ,print, ,Silk, ,tailoring, ,Victorians, ,Womenswear, ,wool

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Amelia’s Magazine | Emma Ware: the sustainable designer who makes jewellery from tyres

Lisa Stannard, diagnosis cheapest Emesha S/S 2010
Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, look who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, for sale all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, case and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, erectile who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, troche all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, seek and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Lisa Stannard, <a target=adiposity Emesha S/S 2010″ title=”Lisa Stannard, online Emesha S/S 2010″ width=”480″ height=”576″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-32247″ />
Emesha S/S 2010 by Lisa Stannard.

Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, approved who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Lisa Stannard, <a target=rx Emesha S/S 2010″ title=”Lisa Stannard, buy Emesha S/S 2010″ width=”480″ height=”576″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-32247″ />
Emesha S/S 2010 by Lisa Stannard.

Emesha is created by Emese Nagy, pill who was named after the lead lady in a myth about the creation of the Hungarian kingdom. She grew up between Hungary and the United States before moving to London, all of which has made her very open-minded and observant. My travels have been a great inspiration to me as a designer. She particularly likes the quirky style of places such as Shoreditch in east London.

Being a socially sensitive type who wants to help others it was natural that she took an ethical stance for her brand especially as she began to understand more about the origins and manufacturing of clothing. As a strict vegetarian she doesn’t use fur or leather in her designs, and only natural materials. An internship at Vivienne Westwood taught her about precision in complicated patterns, and at Jasper Conran she was given the confidence to create a collection from start to finish. I was involved in all the stages of production which gave me a good insight into how the final garment comes together…

Read the rest of this interview with Emesha in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, alongside interviews with 44 other ethical fashion designers and 30 fabulous fashion illustrators. You can buy the book here.
Joana Faria_Emma Ware_S-S 2011
Emma Ware by Joana Faria.

Jewellery from tyres.
I have always been attracted to colourful, sildenafil shiny, fun pieces of old broken jewellery, toys and bottle tops; stuff that others would consider rubbish or of no use. It doesn’t make ecological or economic sense to manufacture new materials when there is so much out there already. Reusing materials changes the way you design because it forces you to work within the limits of the material you have and I am constantly on the lookout for new waste materials to use. One day my friend had a puncture, and seeing potential in the rubber ring of the inner tube I had a go at chopping it up and immediately knew I was onto something.

Elegance in rubber.
I create designs based on what the rubber wants me to do, playing with the natural shapes when it is cut up in different ways. Making repetitive cuts in graduated sizes of inner tubes rings seems to result in designs that imitate naturally occurring organic patterns; similar to those found in wings, feathers, leaves, shells or even waves. My signature pieces are based on cutting the tube in a specific way, from which I figure out how I can make something to complement the human form…

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

Categories ,ACOFI, ,Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, ,Eco fashion, ,Emma Ware, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Feathers, ,Joana Faria, ,leaves, ,organic, ,recycling, ,Rubber, ,shells, ,wings

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Amelia’s Magazine | Alice Lee: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

Alice-Lee-by-Claire-Kearns-LFW-AW12

Alice Lee by Claire Kearns

I had been emailing back and forth with Alice Smith a few days before the Alice Lee A/W 2012 show, trying to get a preview finished before London Fashion Week began. As a huge knitwear fan, Alice Lee is one of the names that I get excited about – a must-see show for me on the Vauxhall Fashion Scout schedule. With the preview live, all I had to do now was turn up for the show, and enjoy.

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

All photography by Amelia Gregory

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

So it was to my great frustration that 5 minutes before the show began I found myself stuck in traffic: I had an awful sinking feeling that I wasn’t going to be able to review the show, but after racing into the grand salon room at the Freemasons’ Hall I found that I wasn’t too late, and that although the music had started, the first look was not yet out. Phew.

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

And for me, it was a good start. An off white knitted cape, with a super cosy roll neck, split right from the top and paired with dark cream knitted leggings. For S/S 2012, the collection was made up of similar cream and off white hues, in modern body con dress shapes, so it was great to see a change in shapes they were producing. The second two looks were also cream coloured, the first of which was made up from a knitted jacket with leather and faux-fur details, which I will lust after for a little while. The intricate weave of the jacket showed a great attention to detail, and helped to show off the skills of husband and wife team, Lee Farmer and Alice Smith respectively.

Alice-Lee-by-Catherine-Meadows-LFW-AW2012

Alice Lee by Catherine Meadows

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

Another colour that Alice Lee like to work with is black – which is always key for an A/W collection, but they didn’t play it completely safe, and brought in flashes of bright red and cobalt blue. Blue was used as an accent or detail to lift black outfits. It worked as a contrast line to the neckline of a black knitted dress, but was better as a fun detail to longer sleeves of a lovely black roll neck jumper, which also had strips of the blue run through the chest. A bright red knitter jumper and asymmetric skirt came in the middle of the show, reminiscent of the pop of red that they also used for S/S 2012.

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

Alice-Lee-by-Rosa-and-Carlotta-Crepax-LFW-AW12

Alice Lee by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax

Most of the collection was made up from dresses and knitwear separates, which is what Alice Lee do very well. They also do layering really well, and the middle outfits had knitted coloured sleeves poking out from the bottom of knitted jumpers and dresses. This wrapping up effect was also channelled in the model’s hair styling – which was wrapped fully around the models face, only exposing the mouth. The accents of colour in the clothing were also mimicked in the hair, which had strands of blue and red attached into it. I’m not sure how the models managed to walk in reasonably straight lines with limited sight, especially in those high wedge heels, so well done to them.

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

The last look was finished with a striking head decoration, a black, white and red rose head piece that came down all the way over the face. Some of the dresses were worn with woven coils or tubes around the shoulders and neck, that were stitched with leather, and it was eccentric additions like these that kept the knitwear collection modern. It also gave a nod to the futuristic influence that we had seen in the S/S 2012 collection, but this time in a much more earthy and autumnal colour palette.

Alice-Lee-by-Amelia-Gregory-LFW-AW12

This collection may not have broken any fashion boundaries, but it did show what Alice Lee do best – and that is extremely well crafted knitwear. Alice Smith had told me that one of the influences behind the collection was to give a feeling of being protected and armoured, and these designs live up to that. They are perfect for wrapping yourself up in this winter, and with the edge of leather work woven through the intricate knits, thoroughly modern.

Categories ,Alice Lee, ,Alice Smith, ,Catherine Meadows, ,Claire Kearns, ,Dante, ,Faux Fur, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,knitwear, ,leather, ,Lee Farmer, ,London Fashion Week A/W 2012, ,Ones To Watch, ,Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, ,VFS

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