Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Presentation Review: U.Mi-1

U.Mi-1 S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Walking through the hallowed halls of the Freemasons’ building, salve I couldn’t help but think I was actually appearing in an episode of BBC One’s Spooks. Heals clip-clopped on marble flooring, cialis 40mg echoing around the grandiose interior, help darkened wood, glass cabinets filled with associated paraphernalia. I couldn’t shake the feeling I was actually there to meet with the Home Secretary; that Harry Pearce was lingering somewhere in the shadows. He wasn’t, of course, he’s fictional; and I was dressed *way* too good to be doing such silly business as saving the world from terrorists.

Instead, for this presentation by menswear label U.Mi-1, the room we were in was filled not with MI5 Suits, but with boys wearing oversized-blazers, and girls who all seemed to have more-hair-than-clothes; all clutching man-bags or purses, cameras, notepads and complimentary herb-infused juice drinks. I’ve no idea why they were ‘herb-infused’. One assumes it was to give the idea that they were laced with vodka. It worked.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Upstairs, on the first floor, in the room we had converged in, was a presentation that felt more like a piece of theatre than it did a fashion show. Divided into two rooms, the first was lit only by the light from a projector on the wall; while the over-zealous pouring of the aforementioned juice drinks gave a heavy, over-burdened incense-like smell to the proceedings.

U-Mi.1 S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim

The projector reel showed images two models at one time against a white wall. Standing side by side, the two boys would interact, not so much with each other but with their clothes: laughing as they pulled at button holes, braces, hemlines and creases, before changing to two new boys in two new outfits.

In the second, brighter room, the same models were present, only this time in the flesh and frozen: scattered across the back of the room to create a tableau of gorgeous fellas. This only heightened the theatricality of the event, thanks in part to the fact that the growing crowd (us included) were standing around the models as if there were a barrier between us and them: them on a stage, us an audience.

It wasn’t until, as we pulled out our camera, easily the biggest one there (size matters), that some man with a clipboard informed us we could get closer and the rigidness of the event shifted into something more real: journalists writing notes, models moving from one statuesque pose to another. And we lead the way, pioneers that we are. We twice contemplating striking a frozen pose in the centre of the room, hoping that revellers of the collection might confuse us for an eighth model.

The collection on offer was mostly made up of muted colours and pastel shades, simple lines and classic cuts. At one point I saw a girl jot down The Great Gatsby as a footnote, but she’d obviously never read F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic: these boys weren’t Jay Gatsby, they were the boys in Brideshead, dipped in sepia tones and burnt sienna, like something from a Sofia Coppola movie. Seams had been piped in contrasting colours, discreet checks were teamed with pale pastels and styled with thick-rimmed glasses and brown leather loafers.

Outside, still caught up in the spring-like warmth of the collection, my PA duties to Matt Bramford had drawn to a close. I could’ve lingered all day, only he then actually started calling me Alex Forrest (Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction) and I had to bid adieu to Fashion Week for another year; all Brideshead illusions truly shattered.

Categories ,Alex Forest, ,Brideshead Revisited, ,checks, ,F. Scott Fitzgerald, ,Fatal Attraction, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Glenn Close, ,Gozi, ,Harry Pearce, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,MI5, ,Piping, ,Presentation, ,review, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,Sofia Coppola, ,Spooks, ,Suits, ,tailoring, ,The Great Gatsby, ,U.Mi-1, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: James Small

James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

I arrived at the James Small show pretty early – such is the bonkers London Fashion Week schedule that some shows overlap and then you’re left with huge gaps in your day. I joined the small but perfectly formed queue and waited for a pal to arrive. The show was delayed, prescription I was informed, because of the knock-on effect of late-runners throughout the day. The queue eventually began moving a mere 20 minutes late, and just as we were about to be let in, we were halted by an impossibly gorgeous PR girl. Her colleague came over and whispered ‘Kate’s imminent, we should hold the queue‘. Now, I don’t know if it was the pint I’d just enjoyed or the onset stir-crazy sensation I was experiencing after 6 days of shows, but I started sweating profusely. It couldn’t be, could it? ‘Calm down, Matt’ I internally repeated. It can’t be. She wouldn’t. It might be a code word. It might be Kate Adie.

Kate Moss by Antonia Parker

Eventually, after much discussion, it was decided that we should be allowed in because this mysterious Kate hadn’t yet arrived. We were escorted individually up the grand staircase of the Freemasons Hall, this Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, and assigned seats on the front row. Seating was heavily policed, and I enjoyed the personal escort, but it was taking bloody ages and another show downstairs was set to take place pretty soon afterwards. Jaime Winstone, looking incredible with a silver grandma up-do and vertiginous heels, entered the room and was seated with little fuss. Now I love Jaime Winstone, but if ‘Kate’ was a codename for Jaime Winstone, I was about to go berserk.

Kate Moss by Claire Kearns

Kate Moss by Gilly Rochester

The personal escort service soon turned into a scrum; somebody had clearly realised that it just wasn’t practical. I let out a huge sigh as I said to my friend ‘Well, Kate clearly isn’t coming.’ ‘What?’ my friend replied, ‘she’s over there!’ I turned to my left to study the front row. Somehow I had missed the arrival of Meg Matthews, Sadie Frost, Annabelle Neilson, James Brown, Jamie Hince and… Kate Moss. Kate FREAKIN’ Moss!

All photography by Matt Bramford

There was little fuss as I struggled to fight the urge to jump out of my seat, leap across the catwalk, gather Kate up in my arms and force her to take my hand in marriage. It all happened so quickly, and of course, now Kate had arrived, the show must go on.

James Small S/S 2012 by Gabriel Ayala

It was tricky to concentrate on the show knowing that My Kate was mere feet away, but being the consummate professional that I am, I took up my camera and started to study the clothes, being carefully to take a picture of Kate in between each look. The fashion on offer was actually great, and I don’t know why I was thinking that it might not be. The secondary venue at Fashion Scout is actually much nicer – a dark wood arch divides the old stone room, dark wood lines the floor and majestic chandeliers hover above the revellers. Models appear almost out of nowhere. You do lose sight of the models as they bound through the arch, unfortunately, but this ensured enough time to snap Kate excessively.

James Small S/S 2012 by Sam Parr

Hysteria mounted thanks to the special guests: Kate and her entourage whooped and cheered every look and wolf-whistled translucent shirts, which sent roars of laughter through the room. Last season’s sharp tailoring continued this time around, but had been given a more casual feel for the discerning gentleman who manages to looking devastatingly cool without any real effort during the summer months.

James Small S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson

Small’s mainstay silk shirts had been jazzed up with the aforementioned translucency, and romantic florals with an air of Liberty were the most aesthetically appealing pieces in the collection, particularly a shirt/shorts combination with identical print. I’m not sure I’d get away with it, but the model did with aplomb.

Small‘s sharp tailoring was dressed down with white ankle-high sports socks and Vans in varying colours – when I read this on the press release I wasn’t so sure about it, but seeing it in the flesh allowed it to make sense. Rich colours: plum and royal blue, and luxe materials: silk and velvet, made this collection Small‘s most sophisticated yet. Retaining an edge above his competitors with leopard print and camouflage short shorts, it’s Small’s sharp cuts and sophisticated tailoring that really set him above the rest. That and his stellar front row, of course.

Categories ,Annabelle Neilson, ,Antonia Parker, ,catwalk, ,Claire Kearns, ,combat, ,fashion, ,Floral prints, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gilly Rochester, ,illustration, ,James Brown, ,James Small, ,Jamie Hince, ,Kate Moss, ,Leopard Print, ,liberty, ,London Fashion Week, ,Meg Matthews, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Milly Jackson, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sadie Frost, ,Sam Parr, ,Silks, ,tailoring, ,The Kills, ,Translucent, ,Vans, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day: Fashion East Installations

Astrid Andersen S/S 2012 by Antonia Parker

The Fashion East Menswear display always guarantee a treat at fashion week. The grandiose rooms around the courtyard at Somerset House are transformed into mini installations of the various menswear designers, sildenafil and it’s grand to see so much talent side by side.

This season was no exception. I started at the main entrance, naturally, where burley bouncers were insisting anyone let inside had pre-registered with the British Fashion Council. So, for example, if one of the designers’ grandmothers wanted to see the fruits of their grandchildrens’ successes, they had to go to the other side of Somerset House to register. A bit silly, I thought.

Nevertheless, once I’d presented my credentials I was allowed inside and I quickly necked a champagne. Here’s a whistle stop tour via the wonderful mediums of illustration and photography.


William Richard Green S/S 2012 by Rukmunal Hakim


Astrid Andersen S/S 2012 by Celine Elliott


Matteo Molinari S/S 2012. Amazing sunglasses that I’m already saving up for. That is all.


Cassette Playa by Gabriel Ayala


Agi & Sam S/S 2012 by Claire Kearns

All photography by Matt Bramford

Watch some highlights from the installations here:

Categories ,Agi & Sam, ,Antonia Parker, ,Astrid Andersen, ,Cassette Playa, ,Celine Elliott, ,Claire Kearns, ,Creepers, ,Fashion East, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gym, ,lace, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matteo Mollinari, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Newgen, ,Rukmunal Hakim, ,S/S 2012, ,Somerset House, ,Sunglasses, ,video, ,William Richard Green

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: Christopher Shannon

Christopher Shannon S/S 2012 by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

I’d received two standing tickets for Christopher Shannon‘s S/S 2012 show; the first show I would see on glorious menswear day. I only have two legs and while I know I’ve put on a few pounds, cure I thought two a little excessive. I also forgot to print either of them out, discount so I joined the queue for people with no tickets; the chancers’ queue, pilule you might call it. Mere moments before the show started we were allowed in, to find the BFC venue about 75% full. Pfft.

Christopher Shannon S/S 2012, illustrated by Naomi Law

I didn’t have much chance to do anything before the show started. I’m not sure what I’d do exactly, but it is nice to do a bit of people watching. There was no time for that this morning as no sooner had I got my camera out of my bag than the lights had fallen and the music started – this season a jazzed-up blend of indie tunes including the Happy Mondays. A sort of cardboard jungle had been constructed at the beginning of the catwalk, from which appeared Shannon’s first model. It seems his sports-luxe aesthetic is here to stay (and quite rightly so). A nylon knee-length coat with a crisp white shirt and black polka dot shorts soon had us all imagining what was to follow.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Next came more nylon jackets and windbreakers with shirt collars and hoods that juxtaposed sporty nylon with softer cottons in geometric shapes. A palette of slate, black and pastel blue seemed a little more A/W than S/S, but as the collection progressed bright tassels on the hems of tops and vibrant Madras patterns that split shirts in half provided a welcome burst of colour. Hasidic-inspired hairstyles complimented these influenced looks.

Christopher Shannon S/S 2012 by Sam Parr

There was an enviable mix of formal wear and casual wear – grey marl joggers looked ace teamed with a navy shirt that had bright coloured panels towards the lower half. Sharp tailored shorts were given a slight dressing down by the aforementioned Madras tops.

Slick hair-dos, now becoming a Shannon trademark, made a glorious return. I wish I could do that with my barnet. Some models wore a selection of combs as headpieces, which was a little silly on reflection, but in the moment you can’t help being drawn into Shannon‘s mysterious but oh-so-stylish world.

Christopher Shannon S/S 2012 by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

I’m pleased to report that there’s still an element of chav to Christopher Shannon‘s collections, although this one did feel like his most grown-up to date, whilst still retaining his inimitable blend of sportswear and tribal influences. And long may it continue.

Watch the video here:

Categories ,1990s, ,BFC, ,catwalk, ,chavs, ,Christopher Shannon, ,Combs, ,Happy Mondays, ,Hasidic, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madras, ,menswear, ,MenswearSS12, ,Nylon, ,Polka dots, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Shorts, ,Somerset House, ,sportswear, ,tailoring, ,Tassels

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