Amelia’s Magazine | Simon Ekrelius: New S/S 2012 Season Interview

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek.

Simon Ekrelius has been slowly building a reputation for his futuristic yet feminine style. Here’s a peek into his new S/S 2012 collection Bar-Red, page and a chance to find out more about his unique vision.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson.

What brought you from Sweden to set up your studio in London? 
I first discovered London in 1993 and since then I have been back and forth. My designs work better in London than in Sweden, healing where people are very careful with their wardrobe. In 2002 my partner Tom and I decided to move here and settle down.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
All photography by Marc Lavoie.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen.

You have a wonderful way of making futurism seem eminently female and wearable – what inspires you and how do you keep this look fresh each season?  
I’m inspired by many things other than fashion; architecture, painting, sculpture and artistic movements in general. I don’t look at the work of other fashion designers because I can’t help but be affected, which is not good for my creative process. I also tend to avoid fashion magazines, which helps to keep my head clear and enable me to work hard on my feelings for the next season. I decide what I really like and what I feel will work, bearing in mind that it’s easy to go way too crazy and futuristic. It’s important to find the right balance – that’s what fashion is all about.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Natalia Nazimek.

What in particular is the new season’s collection Bar-Red based on and what does the name refer to?
I think that back in 1919 people were maybe experiencing similar things to what we are going through now, so Bar-Red is based on the Bauhaus movement, mainly with regards the geometric forms used in architectural design. I like the way that the Bauhaus integrated different forms in order to construct a new kind of style and I translated this into our time so that the collection is not completely retrospective. Bar-Red is so named because it can also mean Barred. The shape of a Bar is rectangular and the colour Red is the main colour in the collection, plus the words Bar and Red work together perfectly. I used bar-shaped objects in my prints such as cigarettes and there are big chunky arrows pointing at naughty areas or sometimes just away.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Sampo Lehtinen.

You showed in Ottawa this season which is quite exciting – how did this come about?
I was asked to take part by the organisers of Ottawa Fashion Week and at first I did not even believe they had a fashion week. Plus it was during Paris Fashion Week, which was very awkward. But they wanted me to come so badly that they offered me a very good package, so then I just couldn’t say no, especially since the economy in Europe is so tough now. I met members of the Swedish embassy when I was over there and that was interesting because they want to import more independent Swedish design to Canada.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius by Gareth A Hopkins
Simon Ekrelius by Gareth A Hopkins.

Will you be showing again in London anytime soon? We loved your last catwalk show with On/Off here. Any London based plans that we can share with readers?
Yes, absolutely, I’m planning to do an exhibition again next season at London Fashion Week. Perhaps I will share space with another designer to see how that goes, and after that I’m sure that I will be back on the catwalk again. But it all depends on the sales I’m afraid…

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Lesley T Spencer
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Lesley T Spencer.

What is your preferred music to listen to when you are working and have you discovered any new musicians or bands recently that we should know about?
I’m just putting together a playlist on Spotify, and it features Grace Jones, Best Coast, Fever Ray, The xx and The Knife. When I am working I sometimes listen to 6 Music, but sadly I don’t have much time to really discover new bands.

Simon Ekrelius Bar-Red SS 2012 - illus
Illustration by Simon Ekrelius.

Your fashion illustrations are beautiful – how do you ensure this side of your work practice stays alive?
I do my illustrations as I go along. I create them in my head and then if I have a pen, some colours and a bit of paper they will come out automatically like a machine. So I will always illustrate as long as I am creatively productive. They are not always pretty – sometimes they are just a few lines that will help me to remember what has come into my head.

Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson
Simon Ekrelius S/S 2012 by Milly Jackson.

What are your future plans for the Simon Ekrelius brand? 
Aww, this is a difficult one! I think for the moment I just want to get a better relation with buyers abroad and perhaps one boutique here in London to stock Simon Ekrelius exclusively. But then of course it would be great to eventually do my own shows in Paris or London, with high level production so that I can explain my stories properly in all areas. After that I would like to have my own place (to sell from). But first I need to focus on finding buyers.
 

Categories ,6 Music, ,architectural, ,Bar-Red, ,bauhaus, ,Best Coast, ,Buyers, ,Fever Ray, ,Futuristic, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Grace Jones, ,illustration, ,Lesley T Spencer, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marc Lavoie, ,Milly Jackson, ,Natalia Nazimek, ,onoff, ,Ottawa Fashion Week, ,paris, ,S/S 2012, ,Sampo Lehtinen, ,Simon Ekrelius, ,Spotify, ,Swedish, ,The Knife, ,The XX

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Bryce Aime

Illustrated by Gareth Hopkins

Blue lips. Lipstick. Even on the male models. Wrong or right?
Well Elliot J Frieze certainly thought it was right when he sent his models sashaying down the catwalk wearing “cool blue” on their smackers. And all only in his second season at London Fashion Week S/S 11. Brave move.

But actually Frieze always packs his shows with a little something extra; last season Jacquette Wheeler and Amber Le Bon were models du jour and this season see’s an appearance from Chronicles of Narnia actress (and muse) Anna Popplewell.

Of the actual collection though I wasn’t convinced. A mixture of Menswear and Womenswear the pieces were part utility and part work wear. No joke, store models wore dishevelled ties over striped shirts and clashed them with gingham dirndl skirts all in a palette of “powder shades of lemon and blueberry sherbet, hard boiled peppermints coupled with vibrant shades of fruit nougat for trimmings.” All a bit too saccharine for my liking. Top that off with a male model in a cropped powder blue jacket and something was not quite right.

Although Frieze did pull it back with his classic tailored trench coats and dresses; something of a speciality due to his known skill of “driving the boundaries of classic tailoring.”

I don’t think it was the aim though to send a model down the catwalk with her dress undone. Poor girl had to keep it together with her hand behind her back all the way down. All in a days work for a fashion designer!

A fashion mistake….not a new trend

Despite the sickly colour palette Frieze pulled together a collection that was rounded and made sense whilst sticking to his “British Heritage.” Taking his final walk down the catwalk Frieze surprised us all by joining the models in their love of blue lips. Cheeky scamp. But even more surprisingly (for Frieze and us) one spectator felt compelled to jump out of their seat and accost him for a photo before he walked off stage. Even though slightly stunned (and who wouldn’t be…..security!) Frieze ever the professional made the most of the impromptu photo op and posed with his muse. Lets not write off this one yet.

Illustration by Jaymie O’Callaghan
Bryce Aime show at On/Off
Illustrations by Gabriel Ayala

Random celebrity spot of the day had to go to Janice Dickinson – who sat botoxed to the max in the front row at Bryce Aime. Well, about it apparently. I didn’t see the self-proclaimed ‘world’s first supermodel’ (and funniest guest on Come Dine with Me in the show’s history) because I was crammed in at the back of the On / Off showcase. My camera would be out of action, information pills thanks to the guys in turbans standing in front of me, viagra 60mg but with the lively, laid-back atmosphere and banging music in the On/Off space, it was on with the show.

Bryce Aime fashion illustration
Illustrations by Gabriel Ayala

Known for his understated, elegant designs, and harsh tailoring, Bryce Aime was going in a different direction for S/S 11, with ‘Asiarama’ (my favourite show title so far) a theatrical collection drawing on Kabuki costume and the Beijing Opera. It was quite a show – Bryce’s skilled tailoring and clean lines hadn’t quite disappeared, with some kimono style tops, and structured dresses, but things were a lot more playful than usual. It was like seeing a harlequin transported to the Far East – with mismatched coloured tights, bright clown like makeup and space age shoes. There were also hats aplenty – avant-garde headpieces and even a mini crown of pom poms and feather plumes.

Bryce Aime Fashion Illustration
Illustrations by Gabriel Ayala

Thankfully, Bryce’s sensational prints were still there, but manipulated into skin tight leggings and even a fluid chiffon mini dress. This was the first time Bryce had branched out into shoes and headgear, and he went for all-out drama. It was entirely unexpected collection – but a whole lot of fun.

Categories ,Bryce Aime, ,Leggings, ,lfw, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,onoff, ,S/S 2011, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Matt)


Illustration by Lea Wade

If you’ve seen Amelia’s post about Charlie Le Mindu’s show yesterday, approved adiposity you’ll already know what you’re in for. But allow me to indulge myself because we can’t possibly harp on enough about this show…

When I was a lad, visit web Sundays were reserved for attending church (occasionally), price watching The Waltons and generally relaxing or playing with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. My, how things have changed. My most recent Sunday – yesterday – was spent gawking at vaginas. Bit of a difference, eh?

I absolutely love Charlie Le Mindu, that’s no secret and I recently had the chance to have a chat with him. He’s a welcome addition to the London Fashion Week line-up in that he has absolutely no shame and heaps of daring talent.

Last season’s show was a spectacle enough, and my imagination had run wild with what he might show this season (little did I know he’d show literally EVERYTHING this bloody season).


Illustration by Lea Wade

As the show started and the first model appeared to excited whoops, I thought – hmmm, I like it, it’s fun; love that candy-floss pink porno wig, love the lamp on her head. That human hair mankini she’s just about wearing is daring, could have done with a bit of work around the bikini line though, love. But overall, I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed. Well, I need not have been.

When the first absolutely starkers model appeared, wearing only a huge brimmed hat and carrying a bag in the crook of her arm, I actually caught myself mouthing OH MY GOD. To myself. Exaggeratedly. I was, yet again, rendered speechless. He’d done it – he’d dared to do what few others would; he’d shocked us in a ‘OMG-she-has-no-hair-down-there’ kind of way. I haven’t seen one of them for years and after yesterdays show, I’d like never to see one again, please. That’s enough for me. You can keep ‘em, ta very much.

What I most adore about Mr Le Mindu is that his shows aren’t really about fashion. They’re not about what’s on trend this season blah blah blah, but about taking an idea and really making it exciting.

After last season’s sexed up religious collection, it seems this season was all about porn stars – an homage, in fact, to the ladies of the adult movie industry of Los Angeles. Hence tacky candy-floss wigs, crude bob cuts, curls that covered bare chests (what is it with me and nudity this fashion week? Totally wasted on me), cartoon-like tailoring and the show piece: a huge pink perspex Hollywood sign hat. As you do.

Even though I seem to be doing it a lot, it’s not fair just to go on about the quantity of arse and tit, because I actually think that Charlie’s more modest creations (modest in the sense that they cover said arse and tit, not modest in a conservative way) are really good. The flamingo halter-neck piece with a huge bum and the floor-length numbers that cacoon models from head to toe are nothing short of genius. They’re totally unique on a somewhat perpetual catwalk line-up.

Oh, who am I kidding. This is sex, sex, sex at it’s best. I bloody loved it and I am counting the days until Charlie’s A/W 2011 show already. Can I suggest, though, that you cover up the crown jewels next time, please? Maybe with the odd human-hair merkin? Oh, the irony…

All photography by Matt Bramford

You might have noticed that I have omitted any photographs featuring vaginas. I cannot possibly edit them at work, because this would probably result in a series of cardiac arrests and my P45. To see them, check out Amelia’s review here.

Categories ,C U Next Tuesday, ,Candy floss, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Hair, ,Hollywood, ,Merkin, ,onoff, ,Porn Stars, ,The Waltons, ,Tits, ,Vaginas, ,Victoria House

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu (by Matt)


Illustration by Lea Wade

If you’ve seen Amelia’s post about Charlie Le Mindu’s show yesterday, you’ll already know what you’re in for. But allow me to indulge myself because we can’t possibly harp on enough about this show…

When I was a lad, Sundays were reserved for attending church (occasionally), watching The Waltons and generally relaxing or playing with my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures. My, how things have changed. My most recent Sunday – yesterday – was spent gawking at vaginas. Bit of a difference, eh?

I absolutely love Charlie Le Mindu, that’s no secret and I recently had the chance to have a chat with him. He’s a welcome addition to the London Fashion Week line-up in that he has absolutely no shame and heaps of daring talent.

Last season’s show was a spectacle enough, and my imagination had run wild with what he might show this season (little did I know he’d show literally EVERYTHING this bloody season).


Illustration by Lea Wade

As the show started and the first model appeared to excited whoops, I thought – hmmm, I like it, it’s fun; love that candy-floss pink porno wig, love the lamp on her head. That human hair mankini she’s just about wearing is daring, could have done with a bit of work around the bikini line though, love. But overall, I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed. Well, I need not have been.

When the first absolutely starkers model appeared, wearing only a huge brimmed hat and carrying a bag in the crook of her arm, I actually caught myself mouthing OH MY GOD. To myself. Exaggeratedly. I was, yet again, rendered speechless. He’d done it – he’d dared to do what few others would; he’d shocked us in a ‘OMG-she-has-no-hair-down-there’ kind of way. I haven’t seen one of them for years and after yesterdays show, I’d like never to see one again, please. That’s enough for me. You can keep ‘em, ta very much.

What I most adore about Mr Le Mindu is that his shows aren’t really about fashion. They’re not about what’s on trend this season blah blah blah, but about taking an idea and really making it exciting.

After last season’s sexed up religious collection, it seems this season was all about porn stars – an homage, in fact, to the ladies of the adult movie industry of Los Angeles. Hence tacky candy-floss wigs, crude bob cuts, curls that covered bare chests (what is it with me and nudity this fashion week? Totally wasted on me), cartoon-like tailoring and the show piece: a huge pink perspex Hollywood sign hat. As you do.

Even though I seem to be doing it a lot, it’s not fair just to go on about the quantity of arse and tit, because I actually think that Charlie’s more modest creations (modest in the sense that they cover said arse and tit, not modest in a conservative way) are really good. The flamingo halter-neck piece with a huge bum and the floor-length numbers that cacoon models from head to toe are nothing short of genius. They’re totally unique on a somewhat perpetual catwalk line-up.

Oh, who am I kidding. This is sex, sex, sex at it’s best. I bloody loved it and I am counting the days until Charlie’s A/W 2011 show already. Can I suggest, though, that you cover up the crown jewels next time, please? Maybe with the odd human-hair merkin? Oh, the irony…

All photography by Matt Bramford

You might have noticed that I have omitted any photographs featuring vaginas. I cannot possibly edit them at work, because this would probably result in a series of cardiac arrests and my P45. To see them, check out Amelia’s review here.

Categories ,C U Next Tuesday, ,Candy floss, ,Charlie le Mindu, ,Hair, ,Hollywood, ,Merkin, ,onoff, ,Porn Stars, ,The Waltons, ,Tits, ,Vaginas, ,Victoria House

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Louise Amstrup


Illustration by Krister Selin

I was very excited to see what NEWGEN winner Michael Van Der Ham would have in store this season at his first solo show. He’s quickly rising up the fashion ranks – he only bloody graduated a year ago, discount for God’s sake, tadalafil and it was inevitable that this was going to be a good ‘un.

A quick cycle across Waterloo Bridge took me to the erstwhile Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station. London Fashion Week is SO much better by bike. Despite the odd trauma here and there, specific to my unlucky self, to be able to zip between the many venues without relying on public transport is a Godsend.

The building is like a ghost town these days since the firm’s relocation to St Pancras. Apparently it’s costing millions to upkeep, so hopefully Topshop’s little foray into hosting fashion events there has helped. Sir Phillip Green certainly doesn’t need the money, that’s for sure.

Directed by awkward looking teenagers dressed in grey branded bolier suits, we were ushered through the labyrinth that is left behind. There’s something a bit spooky about it – escalators are motionless, luggage belts are empty and all electrical devices like light-up signs for directions are, of course, turned off. There’s also a sense of poignancy in the air in this abandoned haunt. Nobody else seemed to sense this misery as they clacked around on their heels, so this might have been due to the eight coffees I had consumed that morning. Arriving at the top with the beautiful afternoon light bathing through the glass roof was quite something, though.

I had a little wander around, Ham-ing it up and taking a few pics of people glugging booze, and then a loud speaker announced that we should take our seats. The catwalk was the very last platform on the south side of the building, with tiered seating on one side only. Those models sure were close to the track. I did worry, especially after the trend of tumbling models we’ve seen this season.

The usual front rowers were there, including Alexandra Shulman, Brix Smith Start, Anna Dello Russo, and Sarah Mower. While it was nice to be in the daylight, the building doesn’t allow for any dramatic changes in light, so without any prior warning the show began. It’s a long catwalk n’all – there I was, worrying again that these models might not have eaten and would pass out from all that exercise.


Illustration by Krister Selin

Michael Van Der Ham’s clothing is a little odd when you first view it – seams are all over the place, fabrics are diverse, colours clash, outfits are classifiable on one side and then something totally different by the other. But somehow, they work. Rich tones of blue, pale and hot pinks, graphic patterns and pale colours all combine to make unique pieces and were styled very simply to allow them to have maximum impact. Themes like disco and dance spring to mind.

Because of Michael’s expert fusing of varying fabrics and cuts, there isn’t really any kind of silhouette to talk about – skirts were short, and then long; necklines were high, and then low; waists were diagonal and then horizontal, sleeves were short and then high – there was bias cut, flattering fabrics, body-con fabrics, the lot… I was a nervous wreck by the time the show finished. It’s all pretty baffling but beautiful to look at.

My favourite elements were crushed velours and velvets, embellished skirts, skirts that had been gathered to create gorgeous, soft shapes, and floating translucent fabrics that were attached like super-hero capes.

It’s a brave woman that can pull off the Michael Van Der Ham look. But those who can, should.

Illustration by Krister Selin

I was very excited to see what NEWGEN winner Michael Van Der Ham would have in store this season at his first solo show. He’s quickly rising up the fashion ranks – he only bloody graduated a year ago, information pills for God’s sake, thumb and it was inevitable that this was going to be a good ‘un.

A quick cycle across Waterloo Bridge took me to the erstwhile Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station. London Fashion Week is SO much better by bike. Despite the odd trauma here and there, specific to my unlucky self, to be able to zip between the many venues without relying on public transport is a Godsend.

The building is like a ghost town these days since the firm’s relocation to St Pancras. Apparently it’s costing millions to upkeep, so hopefully Topshop’s little foray into hosting fashion events there has helped. Sir Phillip Green certainly doesn’t need the money, that’s for sure.

Directed by awkward looking teenagers dressed in grey branded bolier suits, we were ushered through the labyrinth that is left behind. There’s something a bit spooky about it – escalators are motionless, luggage belts are empty and all electrical devices like light-up signs for directions are, of course, turned off. There’s also a sense of poignancy in the air in this abandoned haunt. Nobody else seemed to sense this misery as they clacked around on their heels, so this might have been due to the eight coffees I had consumed that morning. Arriving at the top with the beautiful afternoon light bathing through the glass roof was quite something, though.

I had a little wander around, Ham-ing it up and taking a few pics of people glugging booze, and then a loud speaker announced that we should take our seats. The catwalk was the very last platform on the south side of the building, with tiered seating on one side only. Those models sure were close to the track. I did worry, especially after the trend of tumbling models we’ve seen this season.

The usual front rowers were there, including Alexandra Shulman, Brix Smith Start, Anna Dello Russo, and Sarah Mower. While it was nice to be in the daylight, the building doesn’t allow for any dramatic changes in light, so without any prior warning the show began. It’s a long catwalk n’all – there I was, worrying again that these models might not have eaten and would pass out from all that exercise.


Illustration by Krister Selin

Michael Van Der Ham’s clothing is a little odd when you first view it – seams are all over the place, fabrics are diverse, colours clash, outfits are classifiable on one side and then something totally different by the other. But somehow, they work. Rich tones of blue, pale and hot pinks, graphic patterns and pale colours all combine to make unique pieces and were styled very simply to allow them to have maximum impact. Themes like disco and dance spring to mind.

Because of Michael’s expert fusing of varying fabrics and cuts, there isn’t really any kind of silhouette to talk about – skirts were short, and then long; necklines were high, and then low; waists were diagonal and then horizontal, sleeves were short and then high – there was bias cut, flattering fabrics, body-con fabrics, the lot… I was a nervous wreck by the time the show finished. It’s all pretty baffling but beautiful to look at.

My favourite elements were crushed velours and velvets, embellished skirts, skirts that had been gathered to create gorgeous, soft shapes, and floating translucent fabrics that were attached like super-hero capes.

It’s a brave woman that can pull off the Michael Van Der Ham look. But those who can, should.


Illustration by Krister Selin

I was very excited to see what NEWGEN winner Michael Van Der Ham would have in store this season at his first solo show. He’s quickly rising up the fashion ranks – he only bloody graduated a year ago, cure for God’s sake, and it was inevitable that this was going to be a good ‘un.

A quick cycle across Waterloo Bridge took me to the erstwhile Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station. London Fashion Week is SO much better by bike. Despite the odd trauma here and there, specific to my unlucky self, to be able to zip between the many venues without relying on public transport is a Godsend.

The building is like a ghost town these days since the firm’s relocation to St Pancras. Apparently it’s costing millions to upkeep, so hopefully Topshop’s little foray into hosting fashion events there has helped. Sir Phillip Green certainly doesn’t need the money, that’s for sure.

Directed by awkward looking teenagers dressed in grey branded bolier suits, we were ushered through the labyrinth that is left behind. There’s something a bit spooky about it – escalators are motionless, luggage belts are empty and all electrical devices like light-up signs for directions are, of course, turned off. There’s also a sense of poignancy in the air in this abandoned haunt. Nobody else seemed to sense this misery as they clacked around on their heels, so this might have been due to the eight coffees I had consumed that morning. Arriving at the top with the beautiful afternoon light bathing through the glass roof was quite something, though.

I had a little wander around, Ham-ing it up and taking a few pics of people glugging booze, and then a loud speaker announced that we should take our seats. The catwalk was the very last platform on the south side of the building, with tiered seating on one side only. Those models sure were close to the track. I did worry, especially after the trend of tumbling models we’ve seen this season.

The usual front rowers were there, including Alexandra Shulman, Brix Smith Start, Anna Dello Russo, and Sarah Mower. While it was nice to be in the daylight, the building doesn’t allow for any dramatic changes in light, so without any prior warning the show began. It’s a long catwalk n’all – there I was, worrying again that these models might not have eaten and would pass out from all that exercise.


Illustration by Krister Selin

Michael Van Der Ham’s clothing is a little odd when you first view it – seams are all over the place, fabrics are diverse, colours clash, outfits are classifiable on one side and then something totally different by the other. But somehow, they work. Rich tones of blue, pale and hot pinks, graphic patterns and pale colours all combine to make unique pieces and were styled very simply to allow them to have maximum impact. Themes like disco and dance spring to mind.

Because of Michael’s expert fusing of varying fabrics and cuts, there isn’t really any kind of silhouette to talk about – skirts were short, and then long; necklines were high, and then low; waists were diagonal and then horizontal, sleeves were short and then high – there was bias cut, flattering fabrics, body-con fabrics, the lot… I was a nervous wreck by the time the show finished. It’s all pretty baffling but beautiful to look at.

My favourite elements were crushed velours and velvets, embellished skirts, skirts that had been gathered to create gorgeous, soft shapes, and floating translucent fabrics that were attached like super-hero capes.

It’s a brave woman that can pull off the Michael Van Der Ham look. But those who can, should.

All photography by Matt Bramford


Illustration by Krister Selin

I was very excited to see what NEWGEN winner Michael Van Der Ham would have in store this season at his first solo show. He’s quickly rising up the fashion ranks – he only bloody graduated a year ago, abortion for God’s sake, and it was inevitable that this was going to be a good ‘un.

A quick cycle across Waterloo Bridge took me to the erstwhile Eurostar Terminal at Waterloo Station. London Fashion Week is SO much better by bike. Despite the odd trauma here and there, specific to my unlucky self, to be able to zip between the many venues without relying on public transport is a Godsend.

The building is like a ghost town these days since the firm’s relocation to St Pancras. Apparently it’s costing millions to upkeep, so hopefully Topshop’s little foray into hosting fashion events there has helped. Sir Phillip Green certainly doesn’t need the money, that’s for sure.

Directed by awkward looking teenagers dressed in grey branded bolier suits, we were ushered through the labyrinth that is left behind. There’s something a bit spooky about it – escalators are motionless, luggage belts are empty and all electrical devices like light-up signs for directions are, of course, turned off. There’s also a sense of poignancy in the air in this abandoned haunt. Nobody else seemed to sense this misery as they clacked around on their heels, so this might have been due to the eight coffees I had consumed that morning. Arriving at the top with the beautiful afternoon light bathing through the glass roof was quite something, though.

I had a little wander around, Ham-ing it up and taking a few pics of people glugging booze, and then a loud speaker announced that we should take our seats. The catwalk was the very last platform on the south side of the building, with tiered seating on one side only. Those models sure were close to the track. I did worry, especially after the trend of tumbling models we’ve seen this season.

The usual front rowers were there, including Alexandra Shulman, Brix Smith Start, Anna Dello Russo, and Sarah Mower. While it was nice to be in the daylight, the building doesn’t allow for any dramatic changes in light, so without any prior warning the show began. It’s a long catwalk n’all – there I was, worrying again that these models might not have eaten and would pass out from all that exercise.


Illustration by Krister Selin

Michael Van Der Ham’s clothing is a little odd when you first view it – seams are all over the place, fabrics are diverse, colours clash, outfits are classifiable on one side and then something totally different by the other. But somehow, they work. Rich tones of blue, pale and hot pinks, graphic patterns and pale colours all combine to make unique pieces and were styled very simply to allow them to have maximum impact. Themes like disco and dance spring to mind.

Because of Michael’s expert fusing of varying fabrics and cuts, there isn’t really any kind of silhouette to talk about – skirts were short, and then long; necklines were high, and then low; waists were diagonal and then horizontal, sleeves were short and then high – there was bias cut, flattering fabrics, body-con fabrics, the lot… I was a nervous wreck by the time the show finished. It’s all pretty baffling but beautiful to look at.

My favourite elements were crushed velours and velvets, embellished skirts, skirts that had been gathered to create gorgeous, soft shapes, and floating translucent fabrics that were attached like super-hero capes.

It’s a brave woman that can pull off the Michael Van Der Ham look. But those who can, should.

All photography by Matt Bramford

Louise Amstrup by Stephanie Parr
Louise Amstrup by Stephanie Parr.

Now, cheapest I was going to write something really nice about how underrated Louise Amstrup is… how she deserves wider recognition and a bigger audience. The clothes were understated but clever. I enjoyed the show.

Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

And then, whilst I was eating my tea last night I finally decided to go through the goodie bag, and discovered a big promotional catalogue for a fur brand. Missed the fur piece – this was the spring/summer collection for cripes sake, I wasn’t looking for fur. Must have tuned it out. So far so not particularly acceptable, but I have grown to accept that the odd bit of fur will creep into the collections of those who aren’t bothered by its production or ethics. And inevitably its presence will have been sponsored, for what up and coming designer has the readies to splash on dead animals reincarnated as extra curricular human hides?

Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup by Stephanie Parr
Louise Amstrup by Stephanie Parr.

So Louise quite likes her fur. I think we’ve got the point, but was that it? Oh no…. I was in for a much bigger treat. And one that was guaranteed to hack off anyone who is remotely anti-fur. I know, why not wipe out a whole group of possibly complimentary press by agreeing to give away A FUCKING FUR KEYRING. So there I am, munching on my dinner, when I unsuspectingly open a little pouch, and I kid you not, out flopped the tail of a fucking mink. Slithered right onto my table like it was still half alive. FUCKING EWWWWWW. Why?! Why antagonise a whole section of press?

Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

So. With that over with, enough of the fucks and on with the show… Well, under attended as I’ve said, but then it was Sunday and it’s always a little slow and sleepy, attracting only the most hardcore fashionistas.

Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup by Stephanie Parr
Louise Amstrup by Stephanie Parr.

Dewy eyed models strode into the lights in a selection of high waisted trousers, shorts or floaty print dresses accessorised with carefully layered bib like kercheifs and protected with wide brimmed hats and floaty scarves. The colour palette was muted – predominately sand, beige, cream and dusty purples and blues. This collection was apparently inspired by the vast expanses of the American desert *what the fuck do I need a fur coat there for? I’d be blooming sweltering* Sorry woops thought I was going to steer clear of the swearing there for a moment, but I seem to have developed temporary Tourettes.

Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Was this the fur coat? Hard to tell really.

And I really enjoyed Hilary Alexander‘s enthusiastic whooping as the models hit the catwalk for a final turn, but I can’t remember what the track was I’m afraid because I was too busy smiling at Hilary’s outfit… let’s just say I’m very glad to know that one is never too old for leopard print leggings. And whilst I’m on the subject of Hilary – have you seen her twitter feed? The woman is even more celeb obsessed than the rest of us. The woman is a fucking legend. Oh dear, there I go again.

Hilary-Alexander-London-Fashion-Week-S-S-2011-Antonia-Parker-Amelias-Magazine-A
Hilary Alexander in her superfly leopard print leggings, by Antonia Parker.

So, how would I sum up? Well, next season: less fur, more Dr.Hauschka please. Did I mention that the goodie bag was very full, and I was decidedly more keen on the offerings from this “cult, biodynamic, pioneering skincare brand.”

Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Louise Amstrup SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Dr.Hauschka, ,Fur, ,Hilary Alexander, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Louise Amstrup, ,onoff, ,Stephanie Parr, ,twitter, ,Victoria House

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Spijkers & Spijkers

Illustration by Andrea Peters

The title of Spijkers & Spijkers S/S 2011 collection “Where the Wild Roses Grow, physician ” takes it name from the ballad made famous for it’s unexpected pairing of “good girl” Kylie and bad man “Nick Cave.” In the infamous video Kylie character Elisa Day, seek a nameless murder victim drifts in the river reeds as a modern Ophelia. Nick Cave, medicine describing the murder in the first person, documents the fallout from a desire to preserve beauty as it is for ever more in the place “where wild roses grow”.

Illustration by Andrea Peters

Stories or Ballads are often the source for inspiration behind a designer’s collection, which can be translated into the feel of the collection or the materials used however, in the case of Spijkers & Spijkers the creation of multiple Elisa Day’s being sent down the catwalk. The series of dresses, trousers and jumpsuits where the main characteristic could be described as desired innocence, the lace panels and the application of roses indicate a relationship between the designers and the idea of innocence lost through a desperate act of preservation.

The collection consisted of digital print, high cut flared shorts, 70′s silk shirts and several skirts that were so short you could only wear them if you were born with bambi legs. Which is really only a look of the very young or those who have a pedant for crimp hair.

Innocence is often portrayed as a positive characteristic and innocence lost is continually mourned – as so brilliantly shown in Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait Of Dorian Grey – and easily manipulated. This S/S 2011 collection is definitely Spring like in the use of material, more often associated with childhood holidays in Mid-Summer France, with dresses and skirts made from polka dotted thick cotton in a bright clean white.

Illustration by Naomi Law

The press release details the designers’ desire to bring out the beauty in women of all ages, rather than only in youth as documented in “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” whilst a commendable idea (one portrayed in the Guardian’s Fashion Spread “All Ages”) the collection adorned only a singular type of women on the catwalk itself, tall, slim and blonde. If this was a collection to challenge ideas of beauty where was the young, the old or even a model average size?

spijkers en spijkers by Alia Gargum
Illustration by Alia Gargum

Spijkers and Spijkers have previously been described as designers who challenge concepts of femininity, a challenge currently lost in white lace and their singular choice of model. Whilst the clothes are very wearable in their continuation of the presence of the 70′s on all catwalks, for A/W 2011 lets hope the designers return to questioning female stereotypes in the production of beauty which denies the inherent misogyny of “Where the Wild Roses Grow”.

Categories ,Blow PR, ,Kylie Minogue, ,lace, ,London Fashion Week, ,Nick Cave, ,onoff, ,Rose Print, ,S/S 2011, ,Spijkers & Spijkers, ,Victoria House, ,Where the Wild Roses Grow

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Spijkers & Spijkers

Illustration by Andrea Peters

The title of Spijkers & Spijkers S/S 2011 collection “Where the Wild Roses Grow, physician ” takes it name from the ballad made famous for it’s unexpected pairing of “good girl” Kylie and bad man “Nick Cave.” In the infamous video Kylie character Elisa Day, seek a nameless murder victim drifts in the river reeds as a modern Ophelia. Nick Cave, medicine describing the murder in the first person, documents the fallout from a desire to preserve beauty as it is for ever more in the place “where wild roses grow”.

Illustration by Andrea Peters

Stories or Ballads are often the source for inspiration behind a designer’s collection, which can be translated into the feel of the collection or the materials used however, in the case of Spijkers & Spijkers the creation of multiple Elisa Day’s being sent down the catwalk. The series of dresses, trousers and jumpsuits where the main characteristic could be described as desired innocence, the lace panels and the application of roses indicate a relationship between the designers and the idea of innocence lost through a desperate act of preservation.

The collection consisted of digital print, high cut flared shorts, 70′s silk shirts and several skirts that were so short you could only wear them if you were born with bambi legs. Which is really only a look of the very young or those who have a pedant for crimp hair.

Innocence is often portrayed as a positive characteristic and innocence lost is continually mourned – as so brilliantly shown in Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait Of Dorian Grey – and easily manipulated. This S/S 2011 collection is definitely Spring like in the use of material, more often associated with childhood holidays in Mid-Summer France, with dresses and skirts made from polka dotted thick cotton in a bright clean white.

Illustration by Naomi Law

The press release details the designers’ desire to bring out the beauty in women of all ages, rather than only in youth as documented in “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” whilst a commendable idea (one portrayed in the Guardian’s Fashion Spread “All Ages”) the collection adorned only a singular type of women on the catwalk itself, tall, slim and blonde. If this was a collection to challenge ideas of beauty where was the young, the old or even a model average size?

spijkers en spijkers by Alia Gargum
Illustration by Alia Gargum

Spijkers and Spijkers have previously been described as designers who challenge concepts of femininity, a challenge currently lost in white lace and their singular choice of model. Whilst the clothes are very wearable in their continuation of the presence of the 70′s on all catwalks, for A/W 2011 lets hope the designers return to questioning female stereotypes in the production of beauty which denies the inherent misogyny of “Where the Wild Roses Grow”.

Categories ,Blow PR, ,Kylie Minogue, ,lace, ,London Fashion Week, ,Nick Cave, ,onoff, ,Rose Print, ,S/S 2011, ,Spijkers & Spijkers, ,Victoria House, ,Where the Wild Roses Grow

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Presentation Review: Ada Zanditon

Illustration by Kellie Black

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

Illustration by Kellie Black

The Headonsim exhibition is hidden in the Embankment Galleries on the lower ground floor of Somerset house, medicine behind the BFC tent. I’ve been down there twice, once on Thursday and once yesterday – and both times it seemed very under attended. Actually, all the exhibitions around the scrum of the registration area seem very quiet but they are all well worth a look, even if it is just to take a closer look at some of the collections as I did upstairs for Louise Amstrup.

Curated by milliner extraordinaire Stephen Jones, the Headonism exhibition is all about the hats and is the only section of London Fashion Week to do so. There are only five exhibitors: J Smith, Little Shilpa, Noel Stewart, Piers Atkinson and Soren Bach, but the difference between the stands is remarkable. The xxxxx has no one manning it, nor does Little Shilpa – merely a book to leave details in and the only exhibitor to have put any real effort into their display is Piers Atkinson but more on him later. The importance of showcasing your wares appropriately at London Fashion Week is shockingly something that many have left to the last minute. Read xxx post on the displays upstairs to find out who did it well.

We were lucky enough to interview two of the exhibitors prior to the show, the first was J Smith Esquire. His exhibit is immediately to your right as you enter the exhibition, displaying his most recent foray into the high street market with a Mister Smith display of flat pack hats in colourful cut out leather. He told us about the collection: ‘Mister Smith is designed to be robust, accessible, affordable millinery with high design values, so everyone can have a J Smith Esquire hat’.

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

Mixing together the ready-to-wear and couture, J Smiths talent shines with his main collections. Illuminated promises to be VERY eclectic, ‘(it’s) inspired by vintage Italian fashion papers to create a modern-day Edwardian couture, and yes, expect a very colourful collection!’

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

Monday saw the fourth day dawn on London Fashion Week and delightfully my first day of intriguing ethical fashion presentations. First up on No. 1 Greek Street was the delightful Lu Flux, try followed in the afternoon by – congratulations! – the Ethical Fashion Forum’s Innovation Award winner Ada Zanditon. –

All photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

In the run up to London Fashion Week, stomach Katie Antoniou interviewed Ada Zanditon about the trials, tribulations and positive rewards of producing innovative ethical fashion. Often the problem lies in the assumption that ethical fashion is boring and unfashionable – that most heinous of sins! – a situation being speedily rectified with the continuing presence of Estethica’s exhibition and support of young designers exploring the possibility of sustainable fashion at London Fashion Week Exhibition.

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

Starting at 2pm, Ada Zanditon’s presentation – which in the grand scheme of things was more of catwalk – displayed the designer’s incredible 3D textiles used to embellish the collection of pretty dresses. Utilising her presence at On|Off, Ada showcased the delectability of clothes made through using up-cycled materials. The outcome of which had the group of ladies behind me swooning.

Christopher Raeburn and Lu Flux, (whose review will be appearing later on today…) are but two of Ada Zanditon’s trailblazing contemporaries in the field of ethical fashion. All three designers are successfully proving there need be no distinction between ‘fashion’ and ‘ethical fashion.’

Surely it is time for all designers to take the ethics of their production lines into consideration: namely where the fabrics originate and who is physically making the clothes for commercial consumption.

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

When answering Amelia’s Magazine’s final question , Zanditon touched upon the difficult reality of encouraging people to achieve not only sustainable fashion, but sustainable lives; “I only think the planet can truly convince people of the importance of sustainability. I’m sure most people living on the coast of Bangladesh are highly convinced that we need to live in a more sustainable way as they are effected daily by climate change.”

A common fault in humanities mentality is our failure to project successfully beyond today, nurtured as we are on natural resources being infinite. It is incredibly hard to convince worldwide populations’ materials are and will become finite, whilst items still appear in their thousands on shop floors. Perhaps it will take empty shelves to convince us of the perils of fast fashion.

Intriguingly Ada Zanditon uses geometric cutting to produce zero waste. Tell us how you do it Ada!

Categories ,Ada Zanditon, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Amelia Gregory, ,Amelia’s Magazine, ,Bloomsbury, ,Christopher Raeburn, ,Ecover, ,estethica, ,Ethical Fashion, ,Ethical Fashion Forum, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Innovative Design Awards, ,Katie Antoniou, ,London Fashion Week, ,Lu Flux, ,onoff, ,Somerset House, ,SS11, ,Upcycling

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Womenswear Preview: On|Off


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, recipe for sale illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, sildenafil he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religious collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crosses atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, visit this illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, try he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, about it Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religious collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crosses atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!


Charlie le Mindu A/W 2010, page illustrated by Naomi Law

Cheeky Charlie le Mindu already had quite the reputation when he burst onto the scene in dramatic fashion a couple of years ago. As celebrity hairdresser to the stars, he’d already produced a client list that included the likes of Florence Welsh, Uffie, Lady Gaga and Peaches. His first collection showed the makings of a designer with impact, with dramatic silhouettes, contrasting materials and eery influences. But it was his star performance in the Blow Presents… show for S/S 2009 that really grabbed the media’s attention. His collection, made from human hair and luxe materials, caused a stir in that way that radical fashion does and rendering row after row of fashionista breathless.


Charlie le Mindu, S/S 2010

But what would he do next? Surely you can’t keep on making bonkers frocks from hair, can you? Well, it turns out you can, and last season Charlie had us bouncing up and down with glee with his sexed-up religious collection – a more refined and sophisticated one that still managed to convey Charlie’s unique vision.

Church bells chimed and haunting cackles played, while androgynous models appeared one after the other sporting racy all-in-one lace numbers and crucifixes atop their heads or cocoon-like headpieces (see the video here).

I managed to catch up with Charlie for a (brief) chat to delve a bit more into the psyche of this weird and wonderful designer. I have to warn you, though – he doesn’t give much away. But in three days it’s time for collection number four – one the whole of fashion week’s attendees waits for with huge anticipation.


Charlie le Mindu S/S 2010, illustrated by Steph Parr

Hi Charlie! You’re quickly rising up the fashion ranks, what’s been the highlight of your journey so far?
I think the highlight for the moment is to have met new friends like Anna Trevelayn, who is totally on the same wavelength as me in terms of ideas.

What was the inspiration behind your eery A/W 2010 collection?
It was based on religion and I wanted to show that all religion could be very sexy and dirty at the same time.

What is it about hair that fascinates you so much?
I can do anything I want to do with it. It’s a perfect match of fabrics for me, and it’s the texture I’ve worked with since I was 13!

Of all your celebrity hair clients, who have been the best (or worst) to work with?!
The best one was Carolina Bambina from Kap Bambino and Peaches, because they are my best mates.


Charlie le Mindu, A/W 2010

A number of stylish celebrities have been seen wearing your work, from Gaga to Drew Barrymore. Who else would you like to dress?
I’d love to dress Cher, so much. She is the queen of plastic surgery! She is never gonna die, so I could work with her forever!

How are you preparing for this coming fashion week? Are you excited? Nervous?
I’m very excited – I think it’s going to be my dirtiest show so far!!!

You’re part of the latest breed of London fashion designers who push the boundaries in that unique, raw way. How do you think London fashion compares to the other bigger cities?
I don’t think I push the boundaries, because if I did push it, people wouldn’t come to see my show! I just try to make things fun. And sexy. London fashion is fun, but it’s going to be more fun again in a few years time I think.

Do you find juggling haute coiffure and haute couture a challenge? Which do you prefer?
It’s the same for me, they work together.

What’s next for Charlie Le Mindu?
Maybe opening a shop…!


Aminaka Wilmont A/W 2010, viagra illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

London Fashion Week is renowned for showcasing up and coming design talent – and nowhere is more uniquely ‘London’ than On|Off. Now in it’s twelfth season, this is an independent fashion showcase away from the major players at Somerset House.

Helping launch the careers of off-schedule designers like Mark Fast, the On|Off Presents…  catwalk show is a go-to for international press and buyers looking for the next big thing.

The main exhibition has expanded to a mammoth 22 designers, with fourteen catwalk shows and three presentations, and has attracted exciting on-schedule talent like Gareth Pugh and Jasper Conran, looking for a ‘freer’ space to showcase their work. So who can we look forward to this year? Here’s our pick of the ones to watch…

Roksanda Ilincic

A/W 2010, illustrated by Abby Wright

After the massive success of her catwalk show last season, Roksanda Ilincic returns to show at On|Off. With three capsule collections with high-end high street chain Whistles under her belt, the London-born designer is most famous for her beautifully draped dresses in jewel tones. Roksanda loves to dress up, and her signature looks are dreamy flowing dresses in asymmetrical lengths, toughened up with exposed zips and raw hems. Her AW 2010 show, inspired by “Dark clouds, metal flowers and the Brontë sisters” was as romantic as ever – with draped dresses in jersey and rich plum tones.

Bryce Aime

A/W 2010, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

Adding some French flair to proceedings will be Bryce Aime, a Parisian born designer who honed his craft in London and opened his first store in Chelsea in November 2009. With an emphasis on modern, architectural design, A/W 2010 was a futuristic affair, with lots of clean lines, and black sculpted pieces paired with abstract prints – manipulated into headbands and skintight leggings. But for S/S 2011 it sounds like Bryce is looking east, with the “Beijing opera, Kabuki and the modern Far East Asia” as inspirations.  

Pam Hogg

A/W 2010, illustrated by Stéphanie Thieullent

Pam Hogg is best known for her skintight cat suits (and with The Runaways just out, they would be just perfect) so expect a collection of rebellious body conscious looks from this designer with attitude. This woman knows how to dress the female form, and her A/W 2010 collection saw models parade around in sheer capelets, bodystockings and thigh high boots. One thing’s for sure, Hogg sure can fill a front row – Peaches Geldof, Jodie Harsh and Nick Cave were just some of the turnouts last season.  

Aminaka Wilmont

A/W 2010, illustrated by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Japanese/Swedish/Danish duo Aminaka Wilmont are also a dab hand at draping – their last collection was a riot of ruched dresses in mini and maxi lengths, with some feminine florals and futuristic headwear thrown in for good measure. This season we can look forward to a collection inspired by “Sleep psyche and surrealism”, with the designers testing “new shapes and silhouettes…more intricate fabric manipulations… and an emphasis on couture hand-embroidery.”

Julian J Smith

A/W 2010, illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Our one to watch is new label Julian J Smith. After stints working with Erdem and Jonathan Saunders, this designer is “obsessed” with print and pattern, contrast and colour, creating vibrant dresses that have been snapped up by Victoria Beckham and Olivia Palermo. True to form, our favourites from his A/W 2010 collection were the modern dresses – skater skirts, mini shifts – in a blown up ikat print in mustard and cornflower blue. We’re excited about this ‘Prints Charming’ already… 

Categories ,A/W 2010, ,Aminaka Wilmont, ,Bryce Aime, ,catwalk, ,Erdem, ,florals, ,Gareth Pugh, ,Headwear, ,Jasper Conran, ,Jodie Harsh, ,Jonathan Saunders, ,Julian J Smith, ,London Fashion Week, ,Mark Fast, ,Nick Cave, ,onoff, ,Pam Hogg, ,paris, ,pattern, ,Peaches Geldof, ,preview, ,prints, ,Roksanda Ilincic, ,S/S 2011, ,Somerset House, ,Victoria Beckham

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011: best of On/Off static stands

Carmen Secareanu On/Off by jenny robins
Illustration by Jenny Robins.

I didn’t make manage to take in the whole of On/Off exhibition this year because I was inevitably racing between shows when I passed through. And I always forget that it finishes a day before the other static shows. But here is the best of what I saw…

Iris Serban by Chris Morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Cecile Bahnsen
Two designers that I really warmed to were graduates of the RCA that we’ve already covered. Cecile Bahnsen is a Danish designer who works with complex textile combinations inspired by modernism and resulting in delicate laser cut dresses and geometric shapes galore. I loved the batwing oversized coats, apparently a reference to her teenage years in the 90s.

Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters
Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters.

Frances Conteh
Frances Conteh could be found next door – delightfully colourful in the face of so much tasteful monochrome. Another RCA graduate who specialises in beautiful knitwear, she produced a range of slim fitting graphic dresses, massive mohair cardigans and oversized patterned coats in a yummy palate of citrus flavours. Stunning stuff.

Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
frances conteh - lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Frances Conteh by Jenny Robins.

Carmen Secareanu
Hailing from Romania Carmen Secareanu creates strangely shaped garments inspired by “angels or birds”. Her stand was buzzing when I passed, with lots of people trying on her bulbous big shouldered black jacket replete with massive over-sized cuffs. Do garments get larger as models get slimmer, I wonder?

Carmen Secareanau photo by Amelia Gregory
Carmen Secareanu- lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Carmen Secareanu by Jenny Robins.

Iris Serban
Another Romanian designer, Iris Serban plays with subtle broken prints, beading and tasteful cream and beige ruffled textures like the carefully laid out pages of a very old book.

Iris Serban photo by Amelia Gregory
iris serban by chris morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Laura Theiss
My fifth and final On/Off tip is the work of Lithuanian born Laura Theiss, who first trained in business so she should be good at this fashion malarkey. She’s another knitwear designer and graduate of Central Saint Martins, and divides herself between the UK and Germany. She specialises in the combination of different yarns and colours to create unusual textures and feeling.

Laura Theiss by Ella Masters
Laura Theiss by Ella Masters.

I’m sure I may have missed other talent, but hey, if you close a day before everyone else what do you expect?

Categories ,Carmen Secareanu, ,Cecile Bahnsen, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chris Morris, ,Danish, ,Ella Masters, ,Frances Conteh, ,Iris Serban, ,Jenny Robins, ,Laura Theiss, ,Lithuanian, ,onoff, ,Romanian, ,Royal College of Art, ,Victoria House

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