Amelia’s Magazine | Style Passport: An interview with fashion retail website entrepreneur Sarah Walter

Sarah Walters by Gemma Cotterell
Sarah Walter by Gemma Cotterell.

Style Passport is the brainchild of Sarah Walter, formally a fashion director at Marie Claire, now retail entrepreneur. Realised as a one stop shop for the ultimate holiday wardrobe, Style Passport champions many smaller designers and artisan makers. I caught up with Sarah to find out how she got into the internet business, how her previous career has impacted her work and what she recommends for the ultimate vacation look this season.

Style Passport Matthew Williamson silk print utility dress blue
Matthew Williamson silk print utility dress in blue.

Hi Sarah, I believe I did a short work experience stint in the fashion cupboard when you were still at Marie Claire… what drew you to working in magazines during the first part of your career?
Did you really? How did you find that experience? I too started in a cupboard in a fashion department at Vogue, it still seems to be the only way to break into the business. Why was I drawn to magazines? Well, when I started they were wildly creative with photo shoots taking up 20 pages and really extending the editors’ and photographers’ imagination. Coming from art college this merged my two great loves – art and style – so was the perfect career path for me.

Nicole Fahri by Chloe Douglass
Nicole Fahri Easter patchwork print shirt dress. Illustration by Chloe Douglass.

How did becoming a mother inspire your career swerve into retail?
I experimented in retail just before I had my first daughter and found the whole experience pretty interesting. Not only was I trying to create something interesting to wear but then I got to see if it was actually bought and worn by someone. My daughters became experts in spotting a dress or bag I had created and we all shared the same excitement. It’s pretty addictive actually. Oh, and the pay is generally much better.

Fiona paxton coral and wood necklace £175 style-passport
Fiona Paxton coral and wood necklace.

How has your experience of working on fashion editorials influenced the way that you approach retail?
Creating a story in a magazine has all the same elements as creating a window in a shop or a page on a web site. All need a good idea to start with, then great creative and copy that hooks you in. The fact that more and more editors have left magazines in recent years to move into e-commerce and retail just shows you how blurred these worlds are now, whereas 20 years ago there were distinct barriers. The internet and technology has changed and will continue to change everything.

Style Passport Belize Rajasthan Ombre sequin top charcoal
Cool Change Belize Rajasthan Ombre sequin top in charcoal.

What factors do you consider when looking for a new brand to stock on the website?
Well, we start by thinking ‘Where is she going and what does she need to take with her to ensure she has the easiest and most stylish trip possible?‘ We love colour (we do mostly think of holidays in colour, not black and white, don’t we?), print and items that are easy to fold up, so jersey features strongly and unstructured jackets too. Some brands particularly scream ‘holiday’ like Matthew Williamson and Antik Batik; you can literally imagine yourself on the beach when you see them. We have a broad price architecture too, it’s very much the Fashion Editors‘ choice, so we try to choose what you can get for a reasonable amount of money (Armor Lux bretons for example are perfect, you don’t need to buy a designer version).

Matthew Williamson multi coloured column digital blossom jersey dress by Shy Illustrations
Matthew Williamson multi coloured column digital blossom jersey dress. Illustration by Shy Illustrations.

What have been your most exciting discoveries when hunting down new labels? Are there any particular finds which stick in your mind?
I’m very excited about Visconti & du Reau gladiators which will be on the site in March. Sam and I saw them in Paris and literally dropped everything on the spot.

Matthew Williamson style-passport
Matthew Williamson hat, an exclusive collaboration with Style Passport.

Where do you source your artisanal goods from, and why are these products so exciting to you?
Artisanal goods to me have always been the holiday ‘finds’ which tell the stories of your adventures and create your personal style. They are personal and remind us of the best times in our lives. We find our artisanal items from our own travels and now increasingly, artisans approach us with their goods and we love to find out about them and bring their stories to our customers.

Tam Tam one piece noir swimsuit Style Passport
Tam Tam one piece noir swimsuit and Vida Vida embroidered leather clutch.

How do you balance your stock of expensive high end products with more affordable items?
It’s all determined by our approach to style. Items on the site are there because they are loved and we believe they are worth the money. Sometimes it’s a designer piece that will make all the difference and sometimes a trusted basic or artisanal find. To me, this combination is true style.

Matthew Williamson by Isher Dhiman
Matthew Williamson oversized digital blossom cutout t-shirt. Illustration by Isher Dhiman.

How do you decide which beauty brands to promote on Style Passport?
Again, we try to focus on brands we love which support our travel ethos. We have to have suncream and mosquito spray so our customers really can come to us and get their bag packed in one place.

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

You’ve spoken of plans to expand the website to include menswear and kidswear – what else would you like to do with Style Passport in the future?
One step at a time! We would love to eventually have our own label associated with the best travel items, so let’s see what happens.

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

What have been the best and hardest parts of going it alone with your own business?
The best is creating what you want in the way you want to and surrounding yourself with hugely passionate, talented people. The worst is raising money to drive forwards and getting the call at 1am when the alarm goes off in the warehouse.

Style Passport mood board
Putting it all together: Style Passport looks.

Lastly, what are the three most important things to pack: for a hot destination?
1. A scarf that keeps you relaxed on the plane, is nice enough to wear out at night, can be doubled and belted to make a skirt and of course used as a beach coverup or a hair protector…… I can go on about scarves for ever.
2. Great sunglasses. Nothing makes you feel more glamorous and in the mood like these. Plus, after a long journey they cover puffy and tired eyes.
3. Your favourite dress. Dresses are the easiest way to get dressed as most decision making is removed. For me they are the most versatile of items. Very little work is required to take the same dress from a market shop (basket, flats, headscarf) to a dinner (heels, lipstick, ear rings).
Some of my key holiday looks are included in this blog. For S/S 2013 I’d go for a Matthew Williamson blue shirt waister dress, an Indonesian sarong – always a sarong, the gladiators in lizard and neon by Visconti & du Reau and a Seafolly Goddess swimsuit which just fits and improves every body that it is put on. 

And for a winter holiday this season?
A down coat. ADD and Barbour are great. Light, warm and stylish.
Lip salve – the cold really affects your lips. Carmex is the original and best in my view and the yellow pot is very friendly.
Base layers. American Vintage cotton fitted longjohns and roll necks should be the first thing you put on after your underwear.

Thanks Sarah! It’s so interesting to hear from someone who has created a successful retail experience. Do visit Style Passport to discover more great holiday ideas.

Categories ,ADD, ,American Vintage, ,Antik Batik, ,Armor Lux, ,Barbour, ,Beauty, ,Carmex, ,Chloe Douglass, ,Cool Change, ,fashion, ,Fashion Editors, ,Fiona Paxton, ,Gemma Cotterell, ,Hoilday, ,Holiday Wardrobe, ,interview, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Key holiday looks, ,Marie Claire, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Nicole Fahri, ,S/S 2013, ,Sarah Walter, ,Seafolly Goddess, ,Shy Illustrations, ,Style Passport, ,summer, ,Swimwear, ,Tam Tam, ,Vida Vida, ,Visconti & du Reau, ,vogue, ,Winter

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Amelia’s Magazine | Matthew Williamson Exhibition Review


Illustration by Mina Bach

When Flo and I waltzed into Somerset House on a sunny Saturday afternoon, web nurse we were shivering with excitement. An entire exhibition devoted to Matthew Williamson, the King of boho chic? The man who practically invented Sienna Miller’s wardrobe, and garnered serious fashion kudos for bringing a rich, India inspired palette of colours onto the catwalk after years of nineties minimalism? We braced ourselves for a carnival of colour, with endless displays of amazing outfits, and sketchbooks of his designs to drool over.

How wrong we were. The exhibition is free, which should have been a sign it wasn’t going to match up to the epic Victor and Rolf exhibition at the Barbican way back in 2008. Based on the coffee-table tome published by Rizzoli, the show is basically an extension of the book – a couple of blown up photos from across Williamson’s career, some choice quotes from admirers in the fashion industry, and one or two sketches and backstage snaps thrown in for good measure. Quotes came from all the usual suspects: Anna Wintour, Alexandra Shulman and Lucy Yeomans all sing his praises on typed plaques alongside the photos. One of the more interesting observations made by Wintour was her admiration of Williamson’s ability to understand lifestyle as well as style when designing his collections. Comparisons to Celia Birtwell and Zandra Rhodes followed and I think that it would have been great if more had been made of the quotes and the points they made.

All very nice – but with the book splayed out on a sofa for you to flick through, we couldn’t help feeling slightly cheated by the whole thing. Granted, it’s cheaper than buying the book, and the photos do look lovely on the walls – it was fun to see his first catwalk show with all the ‘supers’ lined up in a row, and there are some nice personal shots too – but it took us about five minutes to walk around the whole thing. We left feeling none the wiser as to what makes Matthew tick (more what other people think make him tick). Where was the back story behind his collections, or better still, samples of the clothes themselves? I can’t afford a Matthew Williamson dress, so to just catch a glimpse of his archive would have been nice.Compare that to Viktor & Rolf, where we were treated to a giant room of eerie dolls wearing every single collection they had designed, with the crazy design concepts explained, and videos of the finished look on the catwalk. Pure fashion escapism.

It just seemed that with this exhibition, there was a missed opportunity. I just hope the Dior Fashion Illustration show at Somerset House fares better!.That’s £6 to get into so hopefully the money will go to making the exhibition feel like more of an planned project rather than a marketing tool for the book. So for a window into Williamson’s world of bohemian glam – buy the book – and if you don’t want to fork out forty quid, do go and see the exhibition. Also, If you do, we spotted many autographed copies of the book in the exhibition shop looking rather lonely…

Categories ,Central Saint Martins, ,fashion, ,fashion exhibition, ,Gallery, ,london, ,london designer, ,Matthew Williamson, ,menswear, ,museum, ,photography, ,review, ,Somerset House, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Nova Chiu: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Ones to Watch Preview

Nova Chiu S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Nova Chiu S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Nova Chiu’s creations look like they’ve leapt straight off the pages of ancient fairytales. Strong, architecturally inspired silhouettes burst with colour, texture, beads and print. Her LCF graduate collection was a case of Art reflecting reality, as Nova drew inspiration from her birthplace, the Yunnan province of China, also known as the ‘mystical, earthly paradise’ that is Shangri-La. The aptly named Shangri-Ladida collection mixed traditional Chinese and contemporary dressmaking methods, winning the prestigious Collection of The Year award and creating a buzz of interest around what the designer will do next.

Nova Chiu by Cassandra Mayers

All photography courtesy of Nova Chiu

Chiu will be starting as a brand-new designer this London Fashion Week, but that doesn’t mean she’s new to fashion. Nova has worked for big-name designers such as Anna Sui, Richard Nicoll, and Matthew Williamson, who are all known for their use of colour, texture and shape.

Nova Chiu by Abi Hall

Nova Chiu by Abi Hall

For her graduate collection, Nova Chui drew inspiration from China for more reasons than it being her birthplace. Feeling that although China produces most of the clothes sold around the world, not much is known about traditional and contemporary Chinese fashion. Nova decided she wanted to unveil unknown Chinese culture through her work, mixing traditional and contemporary techniques together in a collection fit for a modern-day princess.

Nova Chiu by Dark Lens

Nova Chiu by Dark Lens

Nova’s background in Surface Textiles is evident in her choice of modern and traditional prints, embellishments, and fabrics. I love her use of different textiles and creativity with red and yellow faux fur, which she embroidered into or pressed prints onto. Not many people could whip up a traditional Chinese ‘ink and wash’ painting method and place it on cotton and nylon to such a fresh effect. Jade and wooden beads poke through faux fur and run along edges as decoration. Sequins and different types of bells were also embedded in the fabric, meaning a girl wearing Nova Chiu will most definitely be seen and heard.

Nova Chiu by Dana Bocai

Nova Chiu by Dana Bocai

The beauty of a graduate collection, and Nova’s in particular, is that burst of energy from the pages of a student sketchbook into a catwalk collection. With her sketchbook lovingly displayed on her website, visitors get a sneak peak at the work that went into her attention-grabbing graduate collection. The illustrator in me loves the detailed, feminine and surreal drawings Nova creates. This designer spends a lot of time illustrating.

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu by Cassandra Mayers

This London Fashion Week, I truly cannot wait to see what Nova has in store. Will it be a development of the graduate collection or a complete change? I think we can predict more fascinating displays of her expertise and playfulness with surface textiles. I know I want to see more of her beaded and embellished faux fur; seeing shimmering stones poking out from candy-coloured fur reminds me of some type of fairytale animal. Whatever colour, inspiration, shape or customer she chooses to create for, I’m sure this London Fashion Week will be heaven on earth for Nova Chiu.

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu by Jo Ley

Nova Chiu will be debuting her A/W 2012 collection this London Fashion Week on Friday the 17th of February at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Ones to Watch show

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Abi Hall, ,Alia Gargum, ,Anna Sui, ,China, ,colour, ,Dana Bocai, ,Fashion Illustration, ,Faux Fur, ,Jo Ley, ,london, ,London College of Fashion, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Nova Chiu, ,Ones To Watch, ,Richard Nicholl, ,Shangri-Ladida, ,surface design, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011: Triumph International Awards


Illustration of Charlotte Taylor by Paolo Caravello

21 fashion shows over five days is no mean feat. The London Fashion Week experience is not complete until you see the sheer amount of work and pure creativity at play during the Fashion Scout shows. The enterprise aims to pluck some of the more obscure yet talented designers out there and provide them with the means and support to build up a sustainable business. We have already seen the back to back Ones to Watch fashion show so here is a little bio for each in addition to Amelia’s write up of the catwalk show.

Parson’s Paris School of Art and Design graduate Georgina Hardinge is already a highly successful designer with a collection for online retail giant Asos under her belt. Her last collection had a very Gaga-esque structured feel to it, page prescription and was picked up by countless magazines and stylists in this summer’s style guides. Erin O’Connor and Little Boots are fans.


Illustration of Georgina Hardinge by Paolo Caravello

A. Hallucination is the brain child of two St Martins graduates – Hwan Sun Park and Chung Chung Lee. Their label was only launched last season and caters for the ‘modern English dandy’ favouring good tailoring and well cut lines, pharmacy modernised with excessive quilting details and added bows to a great effect (if not a little Chanel). The duo use a classic palette in grey, white, beige and black, and their last collection ‘The First Peal’ presented a well crafted and wearable work wardrobe. After taking inspiration from landmarks such as the venue formerly known as The Millenium Dome, their S/S 2011 collection has a lot to beat.

Next up to the block is Amelia’s fave, Charlotte Taylor, also in her second season. With quirky and colourful prints (note she trained under Luella), her S/S 2011 collection is bound to offer a bright and fun style to go with the (hopeful) Indian summer which we missed out on this year. For this collection, her theme is Island Invaders so expect more pokey-fun from the designer in collections to come. Her blog warned not to expect any black and plenty of small orange robots (which are also adorning the VFS cars for the week so look out), silk and bold prints – the sneak preview, a white dress with red and blue stripe detail was lovely, and there’s more where that came from.

The final One to Watch of the week is the lovely, floaty LiLee who, like Georgina has also come under the radar of Asos for a diffusion line. After winning the Highly Commendable award for her London College of Fashion MA graduate show this January, this week Amelia saw how her style has developed since.

Krystof Strozyna was picked up by Vogue in 2007 as one to watch, and after winning the Harrods Design Award for his thesis he has certainly lived up to his potential. Dressing the ‘charismatic and sassy’ woman (he has dressed Cheryl Cole – make of that what you will), his designs utilise graphic lines and perfect fit to create the ultimate pieces. When quizzed on his inspiration for his S/S 11 show, tropical animals and neon lights are listed as key elements in the design process.


Illustration of Prophetik by Paolo Caravello

Prophetik designer Jeff Garner is an eco warrior, a fashion eco warrior. Probably the most well known of the VFS lineup is sustainable fashion brand Prophetik, who have a far more philosophical approach to their collections than contemporaries. Tennessee based, the designer Jeff Garner is firm over the importance of sourcing sustainable fabrics and ethical processes. This year the show entitled ‘Midnight Garden’ focussed on wearable philosophy, and kicked off the VFS shows. Read our review of his show here.

Vauxhall Fashion Scout

21 fashion shows over five days is no mean feat. The London Fashion Week experience is not complete until you see the sheer amount of work and pure creativity at play during the Vauxhall Fashion Scout shows. The enterprise aims to pluck some of the more obscure yet talented designers out there and provide them with the means and support to build up a sustainable business. Today, buy the back to back fashion show will feature four Ones to Watch…and they are all worthy. Here is a little bio for each to wet your appetite before the show. A Hallucination is the brain child of two St Martins graduates – Hwan Sun Park and Chung Chung Lee. Their label was only launched last season and caters for the ‘modern English dandy’ favouring good tailoring and well cut lines, modernised with excessive quilting details and added bows to a great effect (if not a little Chanel). The duo use a classic palette in grey, white, beige and black, and their last collection ‘The First Peal’ presented a well crafted and wearable work wardrobe. After taking inspiration from landmarks such as the venue formerly known as The Millenium Done, their S/S 11 collection has a lot to beat. Next up to the block is Charlotte Taylor, also in her second season. With quirky and colourful prints (note she trained under Luella), her S/S 11 collection is bound to offer a bright and fun style to go with the (hopeful) Indian summer which we missed out on this year. For this collection, her theme is Island Invaders so expect more pokey-fun from the designer. Her blog warns not to expect any black and plenty of small orange robots, silk and bold prints – the sneak preview, a white dress with red and blue stripe detail is lovely, and there’s more where that came from. Parson’s Paris School of Art and Design graduate Georgina Hardinge is already a highly successful designer with a collection for online retail giant Asos under her belt. Her last collection had a very Gaga-esque structured feel to it, and was picked up by countless magazines and stylists in this summer’s style guides. Erin O’Connor and Little Boots are fans.

The final One to Watch of the week is the lovely LiLee who, like Georgina has also come under the radar of Asos for a diffusion line. After winning the Highly Commendable award for her London College of Fashion MA graduate show this January, this week will demonstrate how her style has developed since. Mirroring the twists of a woman’s hair, French rope was used to embellish the dresses in her last collection. Previous one to watch, Eudon Choi has scooped the merit award this year, and gosh, doesn’t he deserve it! After stints at All Saints and Twenty8Twelve he had all the credentials he needed to launch his own line, and that he did. Expect industrial, masculine looks for next year. Krystof Strozyna was picked up by Vogue in 2007 as one to watch, and after winning the Harrods Design Award for his thesis he has certainly lived up to his potential. Dressing the ‘charismatic and sassy’ woman, his designs utilise graphic lines and perfect fit to create the ultimate pieces. When quizzed on his inspiration for his S/S 11 show, tropical animals and neon lights are listed as key elements in the design process.

Prophetik designer Jeff Garner is an eco warrior, a fashion eco warrior. Probably the most well known of the VFS lineup is sustainable fashion brand Prophetik, who have a far more philosophical approach to their collections than contemporaries. Tennessee based, the designer Jeff Garner is firm over the importance of sourcing sustainable fabrics and ethical processes. This year the show entitled ‘Midnight Garden’ will focus on wearable philosophy, and kicked off VFS this zear.
21 fashion shows over five days is no mean feat. The London Fashion Week experience is not complete until you see the sheer amount of work and pure creativity at play during the Vauxhall Fashion Scout shows. The enterprise aims to pluck some of the more obscure yet talented designers out there and provide them with the means and support to build up a sustainable business. Today, pharm the back to back fashion show will feature four Ones to Watch…and they are all worthy. Here is a little bio for each to wet your appetite before the show. A Hallucination is the brain child of two St Martins graduates – Hwan Sun Park and Chung Chung Lee. Their label was only launched last season and caters for the ‘modern English dandy’ favouring good tailoring and well cut lines, unhealthy modernised with excessive quilting details and added bows to a great effect (if not a little Chanel). The duo use a classic palette in grey, clinic white, beige and black, and their last collection ‘The First Peal’ presented a well crafted and wearable work wardrobe. After taking inspiration from landmarks such as the venue formerly known as The Millenium Done, their S/S 11 collection has a lot to beat. Next up to the block is Charlotte Taylor, also in her second season. With quirky and colourful prints (note she trained under Luella), her S/S 11 collection is bound to offer a bright and fun style to go with the (hopeful) Indian summer which we missed out on this year. For this collection, her theme is Island Invaders so expect more pokey-fun from the designer. Her blog warns not to expect any black and plenty of small orange robots, silk and bold prints – the sneak preview, a white dress with red and blue stripe detail is lovely, and there’s more where that came from. Parson’s Paris School of Art and Design graduate Georgina Hardinge is already a highly successful designer with a collection for online retail giant Asos under her belt. Her last collection had a very Gaga-esque structured feel to it, and was picked up by countless magazines and stylists in this summer’s style guides. Erin O’Connor and Little Boots are fans.

The final One to Watch of the week is the lovely LiLee who, like Georgina has also come under the radar of Asos for a diffusion line. After winning the Highly Commendable award for her London College of Fashion MA graduate show this January, this week will demonstrate how her style has developed since. Mirroring the twists of a woman’s hair, French rope was used to embellish the dresses in her last collection. Previous one to watch, Eudon Choi has scooped the merit award this year, and gosh, doesn’t he deserve it! After stints at All Saints and Twenty8Twelve he had all the credentials he needed to launch his own line, and that he did. Expect industrial, masculine looks for next year. Krystof Strozyna was picked up by Vogue in 2007 as one to watch, and after winning the Harrods Design Award for his thesis he has certainly lived up to his potential. Dressing the ‘charismatic and sassy’ woman, his designs utilise graphic lines and perfect fit to create the ultimate pieces. When quizzed on his inspiration for his S/S 11 show, tropical animals and neon lights are listed as key elements in the design process.

Prophetik designer Jeff Garner is an eco warrior, a fashion eco warrior. Probably the most well known of the VFS lineup is sustainable fashion brand Prophetik, who have a far more philosophical approach to their collections than contemporaries. Tennessee based, the designer Jeff Garner is firm over the importance of sourcing sustainable fabrics and ethical processes. This year the show entitled ‘Midnight Garden’ will focus on wearable philosophy, and kicked off VFS this zear.

Illustration of Justin Singh’s entry by Katie Harnett

The calm before the storm, ed the eve of London Fashion Week (16th September) was the night of the Triumph International Awards at The Old Sorting Office. Not really knowing what to expect apart from a whole lorra lingerie, cheap the evening began with drinks and canapés (mini ice cream, mini falafel); before long I was ushered into my amazingly positioned seat directly opposite judges Matthew Williamson (who refused to clap), Helena Christensen (beautiful in the flesh) and Rankin. Although the room was packed, some of the desirable front row seats were a no-show which slightly took away from the significance of sitting there. I did however spot Louise Redknapp, Mary Portas and the cat-like model from the Lancome ads. Both Amelia and Jenny Robbins were there too, and have written, photographed and sketched their respective thoughts on the night here and here.

Follwing a painful introduction from Adam Garcia (actor from Coyote Ugly), we watched a video on each designer. This reminded me so much of the scene from Zoolander award show montage, where they whisper ‘Hansel’ over and over that I had to stifle some giggles. Anyway…to the catwalk show. Well timed and presented, the show ran smoothly with each of the 27 finalists showcasing their winning underwear design. With some outlandish designs such as an exploding balloon costume, an armadillo armour style corset and an organic inspired leafy number, there was much to excite and entertain the audience. My favourites were Vietnamese Pha Thi Cam Tu’s, unzipping flower creation, and Spanish Amaya Caracamo’s wood detail all-in-one.

Illustration of Tovah Cottle’s entry by Katie Harnett

After a speech from judge Hilary Riva, “the future of fashion is very safe” (phew), the winners were announced by Christensen with a flurry of a gold envelope. Caracamo’s wooden all-in-one was crowned runner up, with Italy’s Ludovico Loffreda taking second runner up and Bulgaria’s Nikolay Bogilov snapping up the 15,000 euro first prize for his black ‘Morphology’ creation which interprets the relationship between different muscle groups in the body. His design will be sold by Triumph in Summer 2011.

See all the entries here.

Categories ,Amaya Caracamo, ,Awards, ,bras, ,Helena Christensen, ,Hilary Riva, ,knickers, ,Lancome, ,lingerie, ,live, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise Redknapp, ,Ludovico Loffreda, ,Mary Portas, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Morphology, ,Nikolay Bogilov, ,Pha Thi Cam Tu, ,photography, ,Rankin, ,Shape Sensation, ,The Old Sorting Office, ,Triumph, ,Triumph International Awards, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Christopher Beales

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
I cannot tell a lie: I went into Ada Zanditon‘s presentation with high hopes, information pills especially after I ran a huge pre LFW interview with her describing what to expect from The Cryoflux.

Ada Zanditon The CryofluxAda Zanditon A-W 2011
Ada Zanditon deep in conversation.

On entry to the On/Off space I was ushered towards already packed seats. Ada was deep in conversation on the front row but it was unclear what was going to happen until she urged those near her to get up and touch the clothes, pharmacy arranged on a series of awkward mannequins across one half of the room. At which point everybody got out of their seats and descended on the area at the front, stomach immediately blocking the wall just as her short film started playing. I looked at the clothes briefly, then tried in vain to watch The Cryoflux film over a sea of heads before leaving for another show.

Ada Zanditon The Cryoflux film faceAda Zanditon The Cryoflux film

This was a compact collection compared with previous seasons. Taking inspiration from the extreme climate in Antarctica The Cryoflux features plenty of complex pyramidal cutting, a technique for which Ada Zanditon has become well known. We have already run multiple images of the gorgeous orange red ‘flame’ wool coat, which picks up on a key colour theme for the next season, but the dominant colouring of The Cryoflux was icy blues, whites and a deep navy.

Ada_Zanditon CryofluxAda_Zanditon Cryoflux

My favourite piece was the stunning showpiece dress, replete with a layered waterfall of printed silk inspired by frozen ice formations. I was also struck by a particularly beautiful geometric necklace, another collaboration with Luca Romanyi.

Ada Zanditon The Cryoflux jewellery
Ada Zanditon The Cryoflux jewellery in collaboration with Luca Romanyi.

We have been massive supporters of Ada Zanditon for several years now and we were blown away by her show last season. In short I really like Ada’s design aesthetic and ethical outlook… but I’m afraid that this proved to me once and for all that presentations are a difficult beast to get right. She had spoken of her desire for people to get up close and personal with the collection, which is all well and good, but journalists want good images, and it’s very hard for mannequins to provide this – pretty girls in pretty clothes will always win head and shoulders over a bony angled mannequin, however bony said girls are likely themselves to be. It felt as though this presentation was aimed at the needs of buyers rather than press.

As for the promise of a surprise when we entered the room, I still have no idea what this was, though other people have assured me that there was an ice sculpture in the room somewhere. I never saw it, thanks to the density of the crowd in attendance.

Despite Ada’s protestations that this was the best possible way to showcase her A/W 2011 collection I left feeling sadly underwhelmed. Please bring back live models next season Ada!

Georgia Hardinge by Kiran Patel

Recipient of the VFS Merit Award, pilule Gerogina Hardinge is far more than the ‘one to watch’ designer she was last season. Her first stand alone collection drew the likes of fashion press favourite Nicola Roberts.Another committed member of the digital prints parade, Hardinge sent monochrome skeletal prints down the runway played out on leggings, tight half-sleeve dresses and body-con tops. Inspired by the dark, and sometimes disturbing photography of Joel Peter Witkin, the concept of death, destruction and disfiguration was emphasised on streamlined silhouettes and her signature structural pieces.

The second half of the show was a little lighter, due to the injection of bone white and dusky peach leathers. A particular favourite was a dark brown playsuit with centre detailing and a nipped in waist. Hardinge cleverly used the robust leather so that she could engineer it to do what she wanted. Pleats, folds, and stiff overlapping layers on sleeves, legs and bodies were key in adding volume to otherwise clean, simple and effortless pieces.

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou.

Christopher Beales has been working at the coal face of fashion for his entire career thus far, more about in places as diverse as Voyage (the bizarre hippyluxe shop that you had to be a member of to even enter) and for Primark. He’s worked for Alexander McQueen and Matthew Williamson, about it as a costume designer for films such as Harry Potter and Robin Hood, case and he’s dressed eccentric individuals such as Prince.

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

On Friday evening I popped along to his A/W 2011 presentation When The Crystal Crack’d, which was conveniently held in the Rag Factory off Brick Lane – thereby ensuring a steady stream of inquisitive fashionistas who were no doubt heading home to their East London nests after a long first day of shows.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Toni Bowater.

Arranged on a sculptural arrangement of silver mesh mannequins, themselves constructed by Christopher Beales, this was a stunning debut for LFW: low key but very clever in its presentation. When The Crystal Crack’d is a collection of cocktail and evening dresses that features the precision tailoring that Christopher has perfected over many years of pattern cutting for famous names. Based on lots of asymmetric shapes in pastel and metallic silk, my favourite bit of the collection was most definitely in the details. Unexpected bows held aloft draped fabric, metal spikes accentuated the subtle curve of an exposed back and knobbled wool traced the contours of a waist.

Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle
Christopher Beales A/W 2011 by Hazel Castle.

Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia GregoryChristopher Beales LFW A/W 2011- Photography by Amelia Gregory
Christopher Beales LFW A/W 2011. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I look forward to seeing what next season will bring.

Categories ,Alexander McQueen, ,Brick Lane, ,Christopher Beales, ,Costume Design, ,Harry Potter, ,Hazel Castle, ,Hippyluxe, ,lfw, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Presentation, ,Primark, ,prince, ,rag factory, ,Robin Hood, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Toni Bowater, ,Voyage, ,When The Crystal Crack’d

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week AW15 Fashion Illustrations

Vivienne Westwood Red Label LFW by Sara Netherway
Vivienne Westwood Red Label AW15 by Sara Netherway.

This year, instead of accompanying individual show reviews with fashion illustrations I decided to do something a bit different and open up the brief: inviting illustrators to send me their interpretation of any look from any of the London Fashion Week shows that took place, whether on or off schedule. Here are the results, all in one place. I hope you enjoy them!

Temperley-by-Emma-Farrarons
Temperley AW15 by Emma Farrarons.

SophiaWebster AW15 by_KatSquire_03
Sophia Webster AW15 by Kat Squire.

Minnan Hui AW15 Karolina Burdon
Minnan Hui AW15 by Karolina Burdon.

BURBERRY by EUGENIA_TSIMIKLIS_LO
Burberry AW15 by Eugenia Tsimiklis.

Sophia Webster AW15 by Kat Squire
Sophia Webster AW15 by Kat Squire.

Burberry AW15 by Eugenia Tsimiklis
Burberry AW15 by Eugenia Tsimiklis.

Antonio Berardi by Jordana Globerman
Antonio Berardi AW15 by Jordana Globerman.

Sophia Webster AW15 by Kat Squire
Sophia Webster AW15 by Kat Squire.

MATTHEW_WILLIAMSON AW15 by EUGENIA_TSIMIKLIS_LO
Matthew Williamson AW15 by Eugenia Tsimiklis.

Burberry Prorsum by Jordana Globerman
Burberry Prorsum AW15 by Jordana Globerman.

AW15 London Fashion Week Alice Temperley 480pix by Kasia Dudziuk
Alice Temperley AW15 by Kasia Dudziuk.

Orla Kiely AW15 by Lydia Coventry
Orla Kiely AW15 by Lydia Coventry.

Minnan Hui AW15 by Isabelle Mattern2
Minnan Hui AW15 by Isabelle Mattern2
Minnan Hui AW15 by Isabelle Mattern.

Vivienne Westwood Red Label by Sara Netherway
Vivienne Westwood Red Label AW15 by Sara Netherway.

Phoebe English by Laura Wilson
Phoebe English AW15 by Laura Wilson.

Daisy Steele Holly Fulton AW15
Holly Fulton AW15 by Daisy Steele.

Mary Katrantzou AW15 by  Iris van Gelder LFW
Mary Katrantzou AW15 by Iris van Gelder.

Categories ,A/W 2015, ,Antonio Berardi, ,AW15, ,Burberry, ,Daisy Steele, ,Emma Farrarons, ,Eugenia Tsimiklis, ,Fashion Illustrations, ,Iris van Gelder, ,Isabelle Mattern, ,Jordana Globerman, ,Karolina Burdon, ,Kasia Dudziuk, ,Kat Squire, ,Laura Wilson, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lydia Coventry, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Minnan Hui, ,Phoebe English, ,Sara Netherway, ,Sophia Webster, ,Temperley, ,Vivienne Westwood Red Label

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week begins with the Triumph Inspiration Award

Triumph Inspiration Award
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

So, you’re a sports celebrity, but your sporting career has long since ended. What to do to keep in the spotlight? Why, turn up to a fashion show. And watch pretty models parade around in their keks. Purfect! And so it was that I found myself sitting behind not only Nicky Hambleton-Jones (fabulous skin since you ask, and a forehead as smooth as a baby’s bottom) but that well known fan of underwear Linford Christie. Well, he’s a man isn’t he?

Triumph Inspiration Award

I got to the awards as people were being seated, so just had a chance to whisk past a clutch of uncomfortable looking models posing in underwear beneath coloured lights as guests blithely sipped vodka tonics in front of them, and men (only men, and me) snapped them for posterity.

Triumph Inspiration Award presented by someone
Triumph Inspiration Award presented by someone I’ve never heard of.

Triumph Inspiration Award

And so I sat behind the celebs as they had a suitably celeb-y chit chat, and then we were subjected to a bombastic intro which involved a lengthy and dramatic collage of lady silhouettes and then some misogynistic words from a male dancer who I’ve never heard of, and then the judges arrived. Helena Christensen looked vaguely uncomfortable as she was introduced and then joined in the passing of a note with Matthew Williamson and Rankin like a giggly schoolkid. I wonder how much they all got paid for this little shindig? A pretty penny I shouldn’t wonder.

Triumph Inspiration Award judges
Triumph Inspiration Award judges.

In the goodie bags were the first of many hair products that I expect to receive this week, a pair of pants that might fit around my thigh if I’m lucky, and a very glossy brochure of Helena wearing the outfits designed by the 27 finalists chosen from 2300 students from countries all over the globe. And how old is Helena Christensen anyway? A cheese lover apparently, no less, she’s still outrageously good looking in the flesh, though of course she has been airbrushed to oblivion in the promo shots.

Triumph Inspiration Award Helena Christensen

Luckily the actual show was short and sweet, and some of the designs – based on the theme Shape Sensation – were really rather good. It was all over very quickly as we finished with a nod to burlesque; a girl exploding balloons full of coloured paint powder all over the catwalk.

Triumph Inspiration Award

The winners were announced in a manner reminiscent of the Eurovision contest, Ludovico Loffreda of Italy, then Amaya Carcamo of Spain, both designs that I liked. Unsurprisingly the first prize went to a design that clearly had commercial potential, though I would have picked Amaya’s beautiful armoured contraption myself. The winner, Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria looked utterly dazed as he paraded down the catwalk with Helena Christensen on one arm.

Triumph Inspiration Award 2010 winner Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria
Triumph Inspiration Award 2010 winner Nikolay Bojilov of Bulgaria.

Here then, are my favourites, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

The Sublime:

Triumph Inspiration Award Suzanne Ferncombe
Suzanne Ferncombe.

Triumph Inspiration Award Justin Singh
Justin Singh.

Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Ludovico Loffreda of Italy
Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Ludovico Loffreda of Italy.


Grace Eliana Sugiarto.

Triumph Inspiration Award winner
The winning design by Nikolay Bojilov.

Triumph Inspiration Award Eugenia Dimopoulou
Eugenia Dimopoulou.

Triumph Inspiration Award Isolde Mayer
Isolde Mayer.

Triumph Inspiration Award Anette Boman
Anette Boman.

Triumph Inspiration Award Dennis Lyngso
Dennis Lyngso.

Triumph Inspiration Award Benjamin Blarer
Benjamin Blarer.

Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Amaya Carcamo
Triumph Inspiration Award runner up Amaya Carcamo.

Triumph Inspiration Award Manuel Marte
Manuel Marte.

Triumph Inspiration Award Tovah Cottle
Tovah Cottle.

And the Ridiculous:

Triumph Inspiration Award Da Da Tang Sze Man
Da Da Tang Sze Man.

Triumph Inspiration Award Peet Dullaert
Peet Dullaert.

Triumph Inspiration Award Pha Thi Cam Tu
Pha Thi Cam Tu.

Triumph Inspiration Award Karine Feldman
Karine Feldman.

Triumph Inspiration Award Cristina Homen de Gouveia
Cristina Homen de Gouveia.

Triumph Inspiration Award Caroline du Chastel
Caroline du Chastel.

Triumph Inspiration Award Yadvi Aggarwal
Yadvi Aggarwal.

Triumph Inspiration Award Ayumi Kawase
Ayumi Kawase.

Triumph Inspiration Award Elin Engstrom
Elin Engstrom.

Triumph Inspiration Award Xu Yi
Xu Yi.

Onward, London Fashion Week here I come. Look out for a live sketch blog of the awards from the wonderful Jenny Robins coming up soon.



Categories ,Amaya Carcamo, ,Anette Boman, ,Benjamin Blarer, ,Bra, ,Dennis Lyngso, ,Eugenia Dimopoulou, ,Eurovision, ,Grace Eliana Sugiarto, ,Helena Christensen, ,Isolde Mayer, ,Justin Singh, ,lfw, ,Linford Christie, ,London Fashion Week, ,Manuel Marte, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Nicky Hambleton-Jones, ,Nikolay Bojilov, ,Rankin, ,Shape Sensation, ,Suzanne Ferncombe, ,Tovah Cottle, ,Triumph Inspiration Award

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Gala Awards Ceremony: Part One


Matthew Williamson by Ruth Joyce

Twelve hundred students descend on Earls Court Two for Graduate Fashion Week every year. About a quarter of them get the opportunity to showcase their collections during one of the 16 fashion shows that are held over four days. In a dramatic climax – the Gala Awards show – 10 students are selected to present their work for a second time in the hope of receiving the coveted Gold Award.


All photography by Matt Bramford

So, like the fashion industry itself, chances of making it are pretty slim. 10 incredible collections graced the catwalk in the finale and I honestly couldn’t pick a winner – celebrity judges like Matthew Williamson and Julien Macdonald commented on the incredible standard exhibited of not only those who had been selected as a Gold Award nominee, but every college.


Julien Macdonald by Claire Kearns

Here’s a photographic whistle-stop tour of the awards ceremony:

INTERNATIONAL AWARD


Yvonne Kwok – Amsterdam Fashion Institute


Zhu Liyuanzi – Istituto Marangoni Milan


WINNER: Karen Jessen – ESMOD Berlin, presented by Julien Macdonald, Sara Maino from Vogue Italia & Caroline Burstein from Browns.

STUART PETERS KNITWEAR AWARD


Emma Walsh – Nottingham Trent University


Jousianne ProppManchester Metropolitan University


Caitlin Charles Jones – Kingston University


Judges Ruth Chapman from Matches, Erica Peters from Stuart Peters and knitwear designer Mark Fast couldn’t decide, so Caitlin and Jousianne both scooped the award!

ZANDRA RHODES TEXTILES AWARD


Daisy Lowe by Ruth Joyce


Amelia Smith – Northumbria University


Dae-Byn Lee – Nottingham Trent University


Roz Lamkin – Manchester Metropolitan University


WINNER: Xiaoping HuangUCLAN, presented by Daisy Lowe and Mary Katrantzou

BARCLAYS NEW BUSINESS AWARD


Holly Reid – UCLAN, presented by Tabitha Somerset-Webb (Project D) and Michelle Mone OBE

FASHION INNOVATION AWARD


Ami Collins – UCLAN, presented by Lorraine Candy of ELLE magazine and designer David Koma

MEDIA & DESIGN AWARD


Kerrie Donelly – UCA Epsom, presented by Fashion Editor-at-Large Melanie Rickey and ID magazine‘s Jefferson Hack (swoon)

STAND DESIGN AWARD


Edinburgh College of Art, presented by designer Fred Butler and Harvey NicholsYuri Nakamura

GEORGE BEST OF BRITISH AWARD


Susanna Yi – University of East London, presented by TV presenter Caroline Flack and ASDA fashion director Fiona Lambert

GEORGE CHILDRENSWEAR AWARD


Harriet Simons – Colchester, presented by singer Louise Redknapp and Fiona Lambert

MULBERRY ACCESSORIES AWARD


Laura Smallwood – Kingston University, presented by Mulberry‘s Tori Campbell

ETHICAL AWARD


Sarah Murphy, Northumbria – presented by stylist Jocelyn Whipple and film producer/eco hero Livia Firth

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD


Legendary catwalk photographer Chris Moore, presented by designer Jeff Banks

Part Two, featuring the major players and the menswear, womenswear and Gold Award winners, coming soon…!

Categories ,accessories, ,Amelia Smith, ,Ami Collins, ,Amsterdam Fashion Institute, ,ASDA, ,Awards, ,Caitlin Charles Jones, ,Caroline Flack, ,Caryn Franklin, ,Catwalking.com, ,Ceremony, ,Childrenswear, ,Chris Moore, ,Claire Kearns, ,Colchester, ,Dae-Byn Lee, ,daisy lowe, ,David Koma, ,Earls Court Two, ,Eco Age, ,Elle, ,Emma Walsh, ,Erica Peters, ,ESMOD Berlin, ,Essex, ,fashion, ,Fiona Lambert, ,Fred Butler, ,Gala, ,George, ,Gold Award, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Harvey Nichols, ,Holly Reid, ,ID Magazine, ,international, ,Istituto Marangoni Milan, ,Jeff Banks, ,Jefferson Hack, ,Jousianne Propp, ,Julien McDonald, ,Karen Jesson, ,Kerrie Donnelly, ,Kingston University London, ,knitwear, ,Laura Smallwood, ,Lifetime Achievement, ,Livia Firth, ,Lorraine Candy, ,Louise Redknapp, ,Manchester Metropolitan University, ,Mark Fast, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,matches, ,Matt Bramford, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Melanie Rickey, ,menswear, ,Michelle Mone OBE, ,Mulberry, ,New Business, ,Northumbria University, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Project D, ,Roz Lamkin, ,Ruth Chapman, ,Ruth Joyce, ,show, ,Stuart Peters, ,Susanna Yi, ,Tabitha Somerset-Webb, ,Tori Campbell, ,UCA Epsom, ,UCLan, ,UEL, ,Womenswear, ,Xiaoping Huang, ,Yuri Nakamura, ,Yvonne Kwok, ,Zhu Liyuanzi

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with fashion designer Ramil Makinano


Ramil Makinano‘s Graduate Collection illustrated by Milly Jackson

I first saw the weird and wonderful work of Ramil Makinano at the Toni&Guy Hair Show during London Fashion Week last month. The show, which I very much enjoyed, was all about hair as you can imagine; the clothes were selected to compliment the hairstyles and were pretty basic. That is, except for the final pieces. Vibrant colours and odd shapes flooded the runway, and as a result of my review, Ramil got in touch to introduce himself. I couldn’t wait to find out more about this unique designer.

I met Ramil on a chilly Monday evening at Bar Music Hall in Shoreditch. It had been hard to pin him down, and I was about to find out why. Born and raised in the Philippines, Ramil moved to London fifteen years ago on a nursing scholarship with the NHS, despite being thoroughly passionate about fashion from an early age. ‘It was a good way to move away,’ Ramil told me as we took a seat with our beers. ‘I was interviewed in Manilla, and was one of the first few people to be brought over by the NHS.’ Ramil’s passion for nursing and inevitable need to fund his collections still see him working at St Thomas’ Hospital at weekends.


Ramil Makinano‘s Graduate Collection illustrated by Maria del Carmen Smith

After 8 years working as a nurse after qualifying in London, Ramil decided to return to his desire to become a fashion designer and had naturally heard of the world’s most famous fashion school – Central Saint Martins. By this time Ramil had obtained British citizenship and secured a place on the foundation course, professing to the degree specialising in print.

It was whilst studying at Saint Martins on a sandwich course that Ramil undertook placements with some of fashion’s greatest talent, experiences that he remembers very fondly. Internships at Matthew Williamson, Elisa Palomino and Diane Von Furstenberg allowed Ramil to fully explore his penchant for print. As I rub my hands together hoping for some juice on these fashion figures, I’m only slightly disappointed when Ramil has nothing but great things to say about the designers. He tells me a story about Von Furstenberg calling all the interns to the rooftop apartment of her 14th Street studios for lunch. ‘We were just sitting there, having lunch, on the roof, with Diane Von Furstenberg. It was INCREDIBLE!’ he exclaims. He attributes his successes whilst studying to course lecturer Natalie Gibson. ‘I owe her so much,’ he tells me, ‘she’s an incredible woman.’


Ramil Makinano‘s Graduate Collection illustrated by Estelle Morris

We move on to talk about Ramil’s breathtaking final collection that I saw at the Toni&Guyshow and that he presented during the CSM presentations in the summer. He digs out his portfolio and comes across a little nervous when talking me through it. ‘I feel like it’s a job interview!’ says Ramil. I feel like Diane Von Furstenberg for a mere moment, and I’m not complaining. Ramil’s inspiration for his collection came from two disparate sources – Medieval armour and Margaret Thatcher. Well, not that disparate when you consider satirical cartoons of the Iron Lady in Medieval garb, I suppose.


Pages from Ramil Makinano’s sketchbooks

His obsession with colour, texture and the aesthetic properties of materials is all over this collection. It’s fascinating to see where a designer started with their research and where they finished; where the collection has come from. Ramil leafs through page after page of design inspiration; vibrant patterns, sketches of Thatcher, photocopies of Medieval source material, grabs from movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars. His journey began at the Tower of London, and it is the armoury he saw there, with its bold silhouettes and sense of purpose that inspired Ramil so much. Throw in a powerful woman like Thatcher and you’ve got a seriously ambitious collection on your hands. ‘I didn’t want it to be serious, though,’ Ramil informs me. ‘I wanted to keep it playful; to be fun.’ Even the hardest-nosed critics would have trouble not finding any fun in this set of outfits.

Shapes in the collection are visibly inspired by the curves and sculpture of armoury, constructed from neoprene using techniques Ramil created himself. These are presented in a variety of bold colours, and the ensembles feature playful, almost childlike, prints of rockets and spaceships. It wasn’t a easy task by any means. ‘I had to make at least 8 toilles per garment,’ Ramil explains. ‘I am always seeking perfection.’ We discuss the surge in digital printing. ‘I do like digital prints, but I prefer traditional methods. I spent hours in the studio matching colours, testing colours – I like the interaction between fabrics and dyes that you don’t get with digital methods. I spent my whole student life in the print room, but I have no regrets. It’s not glamorous either, it’s dirty work!’


Ramil Makinano‘s Graduate Collection illustrated by Milly Jackson

So who does he admire? ‘Matthew [Williamson] and Diane [Von Furstenberg] especially – people who are successful in fashion but have their feet firmly on the ground.’ He also likes labels that continue to employ traditional methods – only Eley Kishimoto and Zandra Rhodes, he believes. What else does he get up to? It’s a pretty packed week, researching Monday to Friday and nursing at the weekends. ‘I love London galleries!’ he tells me, ‘because there’s so much to see. The Design Museum, the V&A, the National Gallery – they are all so wonderful.’ He try to persuade me to get a National Trust membership, one of his favoured possessions.


Pages from Ramil Makinano’s sketchbooks

He tells me he’s a ‘child of the MTV era’ and finds much inspiration in the graphics of music videos. It was an MTV show, House of Style, and Style with Elsa Klensch, that are amongst his earliest fashion memories. He tells me ‘I used to fight with my brother all the time because Elsa Klensch‘s show was on at the same time as American Basketball!’

So what’s next for Ramil? He’s currently researching his next collection – A/W 2012 – which promises to be ‘something completely different.’ It will most likely be print-based, but that’s all Ramil can tell me at this stage. One thing he is certain on is that he’s staying put here in London, and currently applying to various fashion bodies in the hope of a debut solo show during fashion week next September. I look forward to seeing his name on the schedule.

Photographs courtesy of Ramil Makinano

Categories ,2001 A Space Odyssey, ,A/W 2012, ,American Basketball, ,Armour, ,Armoury, ,Bar Music Hall, ,catwalk, ,Central Saint Martins, ,CSM, ,Design Museum, ,Diane Von Furstenberg, ,Eley Kishimoto, ,Elisa Palomino, ,Elsa Klensch, ,Estelle Morris, ,fashion, ,House of Style, ,interview, ,Iron Lady, ,London Fashion Week, ,margaret thatcher, ,Maria del Carmen Smith, ,Matt Bramford, ,Matthew Williamson, ,medieval, ,Milly Jackson, ,MTV, ,Natalie Gibson, ,National gallery, ,National Trust, ,NHS, ,print, ,Ramil Makinano, ,shoreditch, ,Star Wars, ,textiles, ,Toni&Guy, ,Tower of London, ,va, ,Womenswear, ,Zandra Rhodes

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with jewellery designer Daisy Knights


Illustration by Emma Block

From student life to Vogue fame in one action packed year, page cure Daisy Knights’ creations have already been snapped up by our most loved style icons and proved that ethically responsible jewellery can still be achingly cool.  

Splitting her time between the simple life in the countryside and the rush of her production process, buy Daisy tells us a little bit more about the passion and inspiration behind her jewellery collections and what the future holds for this wonderfully British label. 

Your collection has taken off at incredible speed, viagra dosage how does that feel?
It’s great, I’m so happy that people want to buy and wear my designs! I saw my bracelets in Vogue this month and had a moment of “wow, this time last year, I was at university and now my jewellery is in Vogue!” 


Illustration by Holly Trill

Two of your pieces, the Oxidised Feather ring and the 22 Karat Skull ring have recently been worn by Daisy Lowe and Alexa Chung, two of the UK’s biggest style icons. Did they approach you personally or was it just a wonderful surprise?
Well, we share the same publicist who made them aware of my pieces and happily, they seemed to love them! 

Which inspirations lie behind your jewellery designs?
Every collection is named after a friend and I use them as a muse for that collection. I aim to embody that person in the collection, My new one is Talullah, after my friend Tallulah Harlech. 

You pride yourself on having an ethically responsible ethos throughout your collection, is this something you have always had a strong belief in?
My workshop is in Britain and even my pouches are made here. I really try to be responsible but it’s not possible yet to get everything transparent sourced, which is what I hope for one day! There are so many grey areas within the industry in regards to where things come from. Keeping things in Britain means I know every person working for me, I know exactly how things are made and every person in my workshop is a highly skilled craftsman/woman. It means that my prices are higher than if I used a factory in India or China but I think the kind of people who buy my jewellery respect that it is very high quality and British made. 


Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Each one of your pieces is hand made from recycled materials, which is becoming increasingly popular in a society where everything seems so disposable. Is this something you aim to maintain and something you think your buyers appreciate above anything else?
I don’t want the main aspect of my jewellery to be that it is recycled. For my brand, it’s about the design and the recycled silver is just a plus! Not every piece is recycled silver but the majority is. For example, the chain is not recycled because it’s not possible to obtain. I would love my jewellery to be made from ethically mined silver rather than recycled but right now, not enough is produced and I’m not even sure it is possible yet, so right now recycled is better than nothing. I do hope, however, for it to be ethically mined silver one day in the future. My fine jewellery and bespoke engagement rings are ethically mined gold and diamonds. 

You personally make one of your designs, the Studded Wrap Around ring, at your home workshop away from production, is there any particular reason as to why you chose this one to work on alone?
I don’t ever want to be separated from the making process and this is a very popular piece so it’s nice to feel involved. I also make the Michelle stacking rings and a few others. It keeps my skills up for when I make engagement rings and bespoke pieces! I hate being away from the bench and I’m constantly making new samples for collections or adding pieces to existing ones. 


Illustration by Cat Palairet

Are there any designers out there that you would compare yourself and your work to?
At this early stage in my career, (I only graduated from Central Saint Martins last year) I’m not sure I could compare myself to anyone yet! However, my favourite designer is Matthew Williamson and I like to think my jewellery matches his clothing quite well! 

 Which of your pieces are you the most fond of?
My favourite piece has to be the new skull ring that I’ve done in an exclusive collection for Urban Outfitters… it’s not out yet though so you will have to wait and see! 

What do you get up to in the spare time that you have away from designing?
I live in the Cotswolds and I love going for country walks with my boyfriend and our dog, Ace Ventura Pet Detective (Ace for short). There’s a great pub in my village called the Falcon Inn which serves amazing locally sourced food and I love sitting by the fire there. I also love to sail and surf and when my boyfriend is back from work (he’s a pilot in the RAF) we go on surf trips together. I also love going to the British Museum and the V&A

What does the future hold for Daisy Knights?
Well hopefully it holds a long and happy career. But for the immediate future keep your eyes peeled for my new Spring/Summer collection…

Categories ,Ace Venturer Pet Detective, ,Alexa Chung, ,Britain, ,British Museum, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Cotswolds, ,Daisy Knights, ,daisy lowe, ,Diamonds, ,Emma Block, ,ethical, ,Falcon Inn, ,Feathers, ,Gold, ,jewellery, ,Matilde Sazio, ,Matthew Williamson, ,Silver, ,skulls, ,Talullah Harlech, ,Urban Outfitters, ,va, ,vogue

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