Amelia’s Magazine | Sorapol ‘Euphoria’ S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - illustration 1
Illustrations, sketches and first photograph by Jenny Robins, all other photos courtesy of Pop PR

Sorapol’s S/S 2013 show ‘Euphoria’ was an ecstatic exhibition of excess. Anything less would surely have disappointed the audience, which included a large number of guests in utterly ridiculous outfits: even my view of the shoes from my seat on the floor in front of the photographers (better for sketching) was extreme.

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - front row shoes
I’m sure there were plenty of celebrities from the fashion world present but I am unfortunately rubbish at knowing who they are. Having said that I was pretty excited to spot Ruth Brown of The Voice fame on the front row: much more my kind of celebrity. She was wearing Sorapol’s many tailed creation from his A/W 2012 collection as well, so presumably a fan.

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - frow sketches
Likewise I couldn’t possibly comment on whether any of the creepy masked caricatures portrayed by the catwalk models were based on specific celebrities. The off-her-face-and-sweary model, the twirl-and-flash-your-bum model, the air-kissers and over-the-top posers, the pair of giggling twins who staggered down the runway bouncing off of each other, till faced with the photographers at the end they became suddenly media savvy and struck the right poses. One character beckoned a black t-shirted lackey out of the crowd and into the spotlight, to cojole and then slap.

amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 1
Each look seemed to have a corresponding act, seemingly sending up and/or celebrating the behaviour of privileged London party people. The story in the press release reinforced this, telling us about Catherine, who ‘Sparing no expense in her efforts to quench her thirst for more, tried everything.

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - look 12
amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 5
Luke Worrall walked down the runway wearing (as well as shiny leather hot pants) a hat with his name on and many arrows pointing to it. The majority of the models wore grotesque masks with melting mottled surfaces and painted on eyelashes and lipstick. These were by Achraf Amiri, an illustrator known for his distorted disturbing fashion figures.

amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 11
amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 15
Exhibitionism, excess, celebrity, waste, disgrace, decadence, ideas that were also riffed on in the musical choices (‘we’re all stars now in the dope show’) and the giant sparkly line of cocaine (presumably sand – no-one’s that excessive) down the centre of the catwalk. Presumably the irony was not entirely lost. A grumpy commenter on my first ever fashion write up once told me ‘High fashion and Couture is about Fantasy and creating an artistic vision‘, and Sorapol Chawaphatnakul and Daniel Lismore have certainly achieved that. But what about the clothes? Isn’t that what fashion is supposed to actually be about? Here are my catwalk sketches…

amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 1
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A great variety of shapes and colours, a peplum here, a ra-ra there, an orgy of sparkle, brocade, billowing trains and structured corsets, tassels, hotpants, fluorescent platform brogues with giant pompoms on, and big purple hair. All very feminine in a certain way. The sex, drugs and rock and roll mantra was referenced very literally with prints and accessories featuring hundreds of little bicoloured pills, and the final piece, which was a Marylyn Manson-esque gothic dress featuring a double necked electric guitar attached to the front.

amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 18
amelias magazine - Sorapol ss13 - Look 19
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - puma bike
The clothes were actually great – ridiculous and sublime like the whole event, and not pretending to be anything else. The show started with a jaguar shaped motorbike, and ended with an amazing performance by Vince Kidd (also of The Voice), cigarette in hand, singing The Rolling Stones and swaggering all over the place (this is probably why Ruth was there too I guess). A very excellent excessive sleazy glamorous night out.

Categories ,Achraf Amiri, ,Celebrity, ,Daniel Lismore, ,Euphoria, ,fashion, ,illustration, ,london, ,Luke Worrall, ,Marylyn Manson, ,menswear, ,Pop PR, ,review, ,Ruth Brown, ,S/S 2013, ,Soho, ,Sorapol, ,Sorapol Chawaphatnakul, ,The Voice, ,Vince Kidd, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Ong-Oaj Pairam: London Fashion Week S/S 2014 Preview Interview

ONG-OAJ PAIRAM S/S 2014 preview by Gaarte.

Thai born designer Ong-Oaj Pairam takes to the catwalk this season as part of Fashion Scout at the Freemasons’ Hall. Having trained with the likes of Proenza Schouler and Roland Mouret, he combines precise tailoring with an eye for decorative detail. I caught up with Ong-Oaj for an exclusive preview of the new collection.

Ong-Oaj Pairam Autumn:Winter 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

You studied at Brighton University (so did I!) What is the best thing about the course these days?
I found the course really tough, and found I had a hard time just keeping my head down. The beauty of studying in Brighton is the ability to escape from it all when you need to switch off. You are surrounded by the beautiful countryside and the sea. The aftercare I have got from my tutors has been really valuable and they have been really supportive of me launching my own brand. The friends I made at uni are friends for life: many are taking the day of work for me and chipping in backstage to help with the show.

What three words best describe your style?
Confident, elegant, fun.
Ong-Oaj Pairam Autumn:Winter 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

What did you learn from working at Proenza Schouler and Roland Mouret?
Proenza Schouler was only a small company when I started with them so I had to adapt very quickly to various roles. I would be pattern cutting, managing a runway show and running sales all in the same week. I was very lucky that Jack and Lazaro exposed me to everything. New York is also great place for people watching, and because I saw people making really brave yet sophisticated choices in what to wear it helped me develop my own style. Roland Mouret helped me refine my pattern cutting skills: he is a master at the body conscious dress. I learnt that simpler design is often harder to achieve yet just as impactful.
Ong-Oaj Pairam Spring Summer '14 Preview Collection by Rose Crees
Ong-Oaj Pairam S/S 2014 Preview by Rose Crees.

How have you translated the idea of Drew Barrymore’s character in ET into a fashion collection? It sounds most intriguing. 
Haha, inspiration comes in the most extraordinary forms. Gertie (Drew Barrymore’s character) inspired me in many ways. Initially I emulated her childish curiosity in the creative process, exaggerating what is exciting and removing all the usual rules. She’s one tough cookie, despite her age, and I admired her strength. Without giving too much away, there are lots of cues to her character in the collection, including fabric choices, patterns, colour and perspectives. (Although there’s no gingham cowgirl uniforms or cut out bed sheet in this collection… yet…)
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013 by Zoe Gotts
Ong-Oaj Pairam S/S 2014 preview by Zoe Gotts.

Why is it so important to you to print on British textiles, and where do you get this done?
We have so many skilled factories and teams in Britain and there is so much talent, yet it’s very easy to get work done overseas to save on cost. You miss out on a wealth of local talent, craft and inspiration if you save a few pennies by getting work done abroad. All the textiles in this collection were sourced and printed in Britain, and all my embroidery and my shoes have been manufactured here. It’s nice building a relationship with the companies and you learn so much more from the people. 
Ong-Oaj Pairam Autumn:Winter 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

Embroidery was all done by Jenny King and her team, her studio is a five minute walk from my studio and she has a huge portfolio of spectacular embroidered pieces. My shoes were manufactured by Thomas Murphy, who is an incredible designer and has a small workshop in London. The textiles come from various factories, unfortunately they are mainly in Yorkshire so a bit too far for me to bribe them with cup-cakes. Printing is done through the Silk Bureau.
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013
Ong-Oaj Pairam A/W 2013.

How has your Thai heritage affected your approach to design? 
My Thai background has mainly affected my approach to business and my work ethic. My parents grew a successful (food) industry from nothing and inspired me to work very hard and achieve my dreams. Always start with the end in mind and keep focussed. They are also good at making sure I keep my business head on.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,Brighton University, ,Drew Barrymore, ,ET, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Gaarte, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Gertie, ,interview, ,Jenny King, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Ong-Oaj Pairam, ,Pop PR, ,preview, ,Proenza Schouler, ,Roland Mouret, ,Rose Crees, ,S/S 2014, ,Silk Bureau, ,Thai, ,Thomas Murphy, ,Zoe Gotts

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran

Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, capsule illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

I feel like myself and Bernard Chandran are good pals. He’d probably see it differently, but the first show I ever saw during a fashion week was his, and since then I haven’t missed a single one. I almost did this time – cruelly his show clashed with one of my other favourites, Jean Pierre Braganza. I was worried sick – who would I choose? In the end, the Amelia’s Magazine team had got JPB more than covered and I decided that I couldn’t miss Bernard after all.

Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Cruz

It’s a bloody good job I was so desperate to see it, because his show was at the Il Bottaccio venue on Grosvenor Place. If this doesn’t mean anything to you, it’s basically a 20 minute cycle by Boris from Somerset House, fashion week’s epicentre. It might not sound much, but when you’ve got less than twenty minutes to get there, it’s boiling hot on the Strand and rammed with buses churning emissions in your face and you’re prone to perspiration, it’s less than entirely ideal.

All photography by Matt Bramford

I arrived at the venue in a complete state. Perspiring, thirsty, hungry and miserable, I just wanted to get inside and get it over with. Luckily entrance was a breeze, and I found a good seat on which to waft my invite frantically and avoid glares from immaculate fashionos free of any perspiration. I sat next to Lida from The First To Know – I’ve spoken to her electronically a few times, and it was great to finally meet her. We chatted about a recent article of hers for the Ecologist where she speaks to Chandran about the lack of available craftsmanship in our country, and it’s definitely worth a read.

Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Bernard’s invite featured a duplicated picture of a glamorous woman from the 1950s. I had already guessed (naturally, as myself and Bernard are so friendly) that it was his mother. She had the same delicate bone structure and exotic appeal. It turns out that these two subjects – the 1950s and the matriarch of the Chandran dynasty – where Bernard’s inspiration this season.

The show featured many of Bernard’s now signature styles, but this time he’d cranked up the glamour factor and it really suited his unique dedication to sculpture and proportion.

Bernard Chandran S/S 2012, illustrated by Cruz

Look after look brought glamour, sophistication, elegant craftsmanship and a unique approach to dynamic cutting. Floor-length silk numbers, beautifully simple, sat happily with futuristic blazers with angular oversized lapels and a-line dresses with feather panels. The colour palette was a varied as it could be – pale pinks and blues, gold, silver, and vivid cobalt and fuchsia. Chandran’s evident bravery in his use of colour was a dominant feature once again.

It was quite a mix, and that’s what I quite like about Chandran; you can’t label his collections with this season’s buzz words and you could try to squeeze him into a box but he’ll burst out of it, wearing feathers and glittered fabrics and assymetric cuts (metapohrically speaking, of course).

The finale brought a stunning black model onto the catwalk wearing a red-carpet finest – a dazzling body-con number with a sweetheart neckline and a fishtail train. Delicate petal shapes in a complimentary colour had been applied all over the frock, teamed with high-gloss evening gloves. The model glided past us oozing sex appeal with a look of confidence that only this sort of piece can give.

Bernard, you didn’t let me down. Until next time, pal…

Categories ,1950s, ,Bernard Chandran, ,Boris Bikes, ,catwalk, ,Cruz, ,Feathers, ,First To Know, ,Front Row, ,Gabriel Ayala, ,Glamour, ,Glitter, ,Grosvenor Place, ,Il Bottaccio, ,Lida Hujic, ,London Fashion Week, ,Off Schedule, ,Pop PR, ,review, ,S/S 2012, ,Sweat, ,the ecologist, ,Womenswear

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