Amelia’s Magazine | Sabina Bryntesson: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

Sabina Bryntesson S/S 2013 by Elsabe Milandri
Sabina Bryntesson S/S 2013 by Elsabe Milandri.

Building on the extravagant tall hoods of last season Sabina Bryntesson‘s models wore peaked black hats: part witch’s hat, part baseball cap. Wide football player puff shoulders might have called to mind 80s power dressing but Sabina ensured a mood all her own with a muted ascetic colour way: shades of caramel and cream, offset against a slash of cobalt blue and lemon yellow. The strong lights of the upper rooms at Freemasons’ Hall perfectly suited the dramatic Monkish silhouette of this hotly anticipated first catwalk collection, which also bore elements of Amish style; A line skirts swinging low at the front in wide swinging folds. The girls were immaculately presented, with low thick ponytails and classic high heels lending a foxier air to the look. Just a peek of high white collars appeared under some of the heavier garments: you’d need a cool summer to enjoy these outfits.

Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabina Bryntesson S/S 2013 by Elsabe Milandri
Sabina Bryntesson S/S 2013 by Elsabe Milandri.

This was a really interesting collection from a unique new talent but there was one major problem – big boxy styles like these look awesome on the incredibly thin, but on anyone larger they are far from flattering. Nevertheless I can’t wait to see how Sabina Bryntesson‘s vision grows.

Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Sabrina Bryntesson S/S 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,80s, ,Amish, ,Elsabe Milandri, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,S/S 2013

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sister by Sibling: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review


Sister by Sibling S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker

On the Saturday morning of fashion week I cycled to Somerset House. It was such a sunny, cool morning that I couldn’t help myself. Despite sitting outside the main courtyard for a breather for nearly thirty minutes, I still arrived at the Sister by Sibling salon show sweatier than the Editor-in-chief of French Closer. I couldn’t help it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me at the moment, I just can’t stop bloody sweating. I’m just saying.


Sister by Sibling S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

Anyway, the queue for this hotly anticipated show was enormous and as I stood dabbing my brow I wondered how we were all going to fit inside the tiny Portico Rooms. I managed to find a so-so spot to stand in as the photographers began blocking the entrance. The room was already full, a good percentage of guests modelling this season’s marvellous leopard print numbers. Last minute guests, including my favourite woman (Dame) Suzy Menkes barged in as the show was about to start.

There’s nothing like a bit of dayglo and some X-Ray Spex at a million decibels to wake you up on a Saturday morning. This collection, wonderfully titled ‘Warriors in Woolworths‘, had all the aspects we’ve come to love and expect from Sibling; I was in no doubt when the first model popped from behind the screen that I was going to love everything I was about to see.


Sister by Sibling S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker

Said first model appeared in a white sweater with Sister paint logo daubed across the front and a white ruffle tutu skirt. This was accessorised with the only item you can accessorise a white ruffle tutu skirt with: a full-on lace face mask.

Next came a crocheted top and skirt, complete with ruffles and cap, shortly followed by a pair of white ruffled knickers – but all this white wasn’t fooling me. I knew there’d be some colour pretty soon, and before I could say ‘oh sure’ the colour came coming. Flashes of hot pink, baby pink, yellow and dayglo green appeared on floor length straight-up-and-down no nonsense dresses with matching cardigans.

Crew neck, short-sleeved jumpers and baggy cardigans reminded me of those my grandmother used to wear, expect hers weren’t in illuminous green or embellished with glitter to form reverse skulls. I don’t remember them like that, at least. I much prefer these. A polo-neck dress in green leopard print was a particular favourite, as was a black number with vibrant but delicate flowers splashed all across it.

Punk never looked so fresh.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,Cozette McCreery, ,crochet, ,dayglo, ,fashion, ,Joe Bates, ,knitwear, ,Krister Selin, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Poly Styrene, ,Portico Rooms, ,Punks, ,S/S 2013, ,Sid Bryan, ,Sister by Sibling, ,SS13, ,Suzy Menkes, ,Womenswear, ,X-Ray Spex

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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
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 12
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 2
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 3
amelias magazine - jenny robins - sorapol ss13 - catwalk sketches 5
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 | Spijkers en Spijkers: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

Spjikers en Spijkers SS 2013 by Faye West
Spijkers en Spijkers S/S 2013 by Faye West.

Spijkers en Spijkers named their S/S 2013 collection La Femme Paysage (meaning Female Landscape) in homage to 20s artist Sonia Delaunay, a member of the Orphist art movement known for her curvy geometric paintings and fabric designs in bold colourways. Orphism seems to be very in this season, I note.

Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spijkers en Spijkers S/S 2013 by Lo Parkin
Spijkers en Spijkers S/S 2013 by Lo Parkin.

The twin sisters Spijkers en Spijkers have become well known for their confident use of colour and shape, so this new source of inspiration suited them perfectly. Out stepped a series of beautifully cut silk dresses in Delaunay shades of red, jade green, yellow, orange, lilac and cornflower blue – variously teamed with crisp monochrome. For the most part necklines were high, though the back became a highlight in a dress featuring perfectly arranged Art Deco lines. Sheer patterned lace was used to create a show-stopping little black dress, and to more commercial effect in panelling when teamed with jewel coloured silk separates.

Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spijkers SS 2013 by Faye West
Spijkers en Spijkers S/S 2013 by Faye West.

A more painterly approach was taken for a loose shift dress that bore the portrait of the infamous Marchesa Luisa Casati, an eccentric noble woman revered in high society for her commitment to style.

Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Spijkers en Spijkers S/S 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

I particularly loved the hair for this show: loose low slung plaits and wispy headbands which suitably updated the louche historical feel, perfectly teamed with delicate necklaces and strappy heels (a nice change from the crazy platforms that are still dominating the catwalks). This collection was chock full of brilliantly desirable dresses that perfectly embodied the brand’s design ethos.

Spjikers en Spjikers SS 2013 photography by Amelia Gregory
Oh, and there’s Snarfle on the row behind me craning his head to see the show…

Categories ,20s, ,Art Deco, ,Fashion Scout, ,Faye West, ,La Femme Paysage, ,lfw, ,Lo Parkin, ,Marchesa Luisa Casati, ,Orphism, ,Orphist, ,S/S 2013, ,Snarfle, ,Sonia Delaunay, ,Spijkers en Spijkers

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

Sarah Walters by Gemma Cotterell
Sarah Walter by Gemma Cotterell.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

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

Style Passport mood board 1
Style Passport mood board.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | Sunglasses Trends: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

Chanel Sunglasses SS13 by Isher Dhiman
Chanel Sunglasses S/S 2013 by Isher Dhiman.

According to trends analysts designer sunglasses are getting smaller and rounder: with edgier designers such as Ashish showing the kind of sunnies that I sported in the early 90s, along with baggy rave clothing, hippy dresses and grunge gear.

Ashish SS 2013 Sept 2012-sunglasses
There are also a plethora of Ray Ban Aviator type shapes such as those at Felder Felder which are coloured in a nod to the ever popular heavily shaded retro look which is still popular, as seen in Gucci glasses for S/S 2013.

chanel sunglasses illustration shyillustrations
Chanel S/S 2013 sunglasses by Sheilagh Tighe aka shy illustrations.

My favourite high end designer look of the season has to be these amazing Coco Chanel sunglasses featuring a sculptural cutout of the visionary lady herself. But if the styling at some shows is anything to go by then the hottest sunglasses trend for S/S 2013 is still bigger, brighter and lairier. And not always entirely fit for purpose.

Tatty Devine sunglasses for Louise Gray S/S 2013 by Helena Clarkson
Tatty Devine sunglasses for Louise Gray S/S 2013 by Helena Clarkson.

Tatty Devine sunglasses for Louise Gray by shy illustrations
Tatty Devine sunglasses for Louise Gray by Sheilagh Tighe aka shy illustrations.

Tatty Devine‘s scribble sunglasses for the new Louise Gray collectionNow What‘ echo the oversized rings and dramatic eyebrows created for the show. You’d struggle to see out of them but they made a big impact when worn with huge pearlised mirror effect dangly earrings.

Leutton Postle SS 2013 Sept 2012-close
Leutton Postle S/S 2013 sunglasses by Sharon Farrow
Leutton Postle S/S 2013 sunglasses by Sharon Farrow.

Over at Leutton Postle the daring design duo had raided their craft box to embellish bold sunglasses with brightly coloured beads, leaving only a small gap through which to view the world. It will be intriguing to see how such unconventional looks filter through to mainstream sunglasses trends over the next few seasons.

Leutton Postle sunglasses by Rebecca May Higgins
Leutton Postle sunglasses by Rebecca May Higgins.

Categories ,90s, ,Ashish, ,Coco Chanel, ,Designer glasses, ,Felder Felder, ,Glasses, ,Gucci glasses, ,Helena Clarkson, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Leutton Postle, ,lfw, ,Louise Gray, ,Ray Ban Aviator, ,Rebecca May Higgins, ,S/S 2013, ,Sharon Farrow, ,Sheilagh Tighe, ,Shy Illustrations, ,SmartBuyGlassesUK, ,Sunglasses, ,Tatty Devine, ,trends

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Amelia’s Magazine | Tata Naka: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Presentation Review

Tata-Naka S/S 2013 by Jamie Wignall
Tata Naka S/S 2013 by Jamie Wignall.

I always look forward to the Tata Naka presentation and this season was no exception: this time the twin sisters had chosen to direct their models posed as if at the end of a diving platform against a skyline of palm trees. It was a clever piece of set design that suited their slightly retro style, all 80s power hair and nipped in waists. When I arrived they were shooting a range of glossy purple dresses on offer for S/S 2013. Centre stage a beautiful hourglass silk dress featured dramatic cut outs around the shoulders and hemline. Floral offerings flanked a bold placement print cutout dress, the ginger hair of a painted girl placed at hip level. For a more casual look the same image was applied to a swimming costume, worn with very high hot pants.

Tata Naka SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Tata Naka S/S 2013, photography by Amelia Gregory.

I only stayed at the ‘pool party’ presentation long enough to get a shot of this particular look, but a glance at a set of images on Vogue tells me that this collection was notable for its subtlety – cream and mint separates for daytime and jewel block colours for night providing a commercial counterpoint to the colourful clashing ditsy prints and painted life size faces: eye catching in house prints that the Tata Naka girls are known and loved for. It all worked brilliantly, as always.

Categories ,80s, ,Claire Kearns, ,cutout, ,Jamie Wignall, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Portico Rooms, ,prints, ,S/S 2013, ,Somerset House, ,Tata Naka, ,vogue

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Amelia’s Magazine | Vita Gottlieb: London Fashion Week Fashion Fringe S/S 2013 Catwalk Preview Interview

vita gottlieb by Alexa Coe
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Alexa Coe.

I’ve known of Vita Gottlieb through mutual friends for many years so when I bumped into her recently it was something of a surprise to hear of plans to launch herself as a fashion designer, having worked previously in fine art, film and textile design. I was then really happy to discover (via facebook, where else?) that she had been shortlisted as a finalist for this season’s Fashion Fringe. Here she describes the incredible journey she has made: inspiring stuff for all would be fashion designers!

Vita Gottlieb by Angela Lamb
Vita Gottlieb by Angela Lamb.

You are a textile designer by training – how difficult was it to become a fashion designer? Where did you learn to think in terms of putting your textiles on the body?
I actually trained in the more theoretical area of art history – then did an MA in Fine Art – it was here I started to experiment with my illustrative and graphical sketches, putting them into prints and wall hangings. It seemed natural to move into textiles from there and then translate these 2-D forms into 3-D with fashion. I’ve always needed to work with my hands and love the direct process of designing textile prints, then using these to design on the body. The prints inform the process and I absolutely love it. Finally I feel I can use and be inspired by all my passions – film, art, stories, travel and wilderness.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012.

Prior to that you also worked in film and gained a degree in fine art. What do you think led you to fashion after so many years in other design disciplines?
I suppose I like to slow-cook things! Sometimes you need a bit of time to work through all the peripheral ambitions and come slowly into settling on something that feels right and at the right time. I don’t think I would have been good in the fashion industry in my early 20s – I was quite sensitive and volatile, and probably would have been swallowed up or waylaid by it all! I love film and always will but ultimately wanted to be in control of a more contained aesthetic, and with fashion, you really can make things happen in an exciting, organic way. It’s akin to being an artist – it’s your vision, your story, but you need to communicate this message clearly in order to make it happen. Art and film will always feed into my work though, through the creation of story and mood, the use of print and fabric manipulation. I’ve also always loved texture, the feel and emotion of strong colour, of materials themselves. Fashion seems to encapsulate all of these things in such a magical way.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb AW 2012
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012.

What did you learn from your years working in interiors that you have been able to apply to your fashion designs?
For around 3 years I free-lanced as a textile designer in both the interiors market and also, I designed and made my own accessories for the body which sold at trade and public fairs. The biggest learning curve from that for me has been understanding how to translate ideas from the graphic ‘doodles’ I was making in textile print – which had a flat, albeit malleable substrate – into a conversation with construction, silhouette, movement. The amazing thing for me now is witnessing how much the 3-dimensional form in the movement of fabric can really alter my thinking on a design. It’s wonderful to watch it develop through sketches, into a pattern, all the protos and finally, to see a garment on a real body is just so exciting.

Vita Gottlieb AW 2012 scarf
What makes your scarf collection so unique?
I’d say my use of colour, graphic repeat prints and intricate detail. They’re trans-seasonal, so can be worn with anything and by anyone all year round.

Vita Gottlieb, Illustration by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, Illustrated Moodboard
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2013 preview by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, Illustrated Moodboard.

What was the inspiration behind your A/W 2012 collection?
AW12 was inspired by elements of the forest floor and the tactile quality of bark, moss, the underside of mushrooms. I had this image of a disenchanted forest filled with creeping lianas and the raw-edged, tactile textures of fallen leaves. Also, the colours of dusk. Dusk and moonlight, magic hour – I think these qualities of light will form a puncture through many collections to come.

Vita Gottlieb SS 2012 Nightbird (illustrated preview by Vita)
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2012 Nightbird (illustrated preview by Vita).

What was the process of being picked for Fashion Fringe? Where did it all start?!
It’s been an amazing journey so far! It started with a question – should I really apply? Do I have a chance? I thought it was a no until I woke up one day and just said to myself ‘there’s nothing to lose’ – classic, really. Something in the way the criteria for entry was written gave me hope as it seemed to me to encapsulate everything I wanted my label to be. It’s incredible to have got this far! I remember the day Christopher Bailey called, personally, to say I was a Semi-Finalist; I was in New York at the time and literally jumped around the room I was in. Being announced as a Finalist was one of those moments I won’t forget – the elation, nerves, and fear! I think I’m more afraid of success than I am of failure, much as I want and am working for it – but there’s no looking back now. The team at Fashion Fringe have been amazing and so supportive throughout, which amongst many other things has made the whole process such a joy and privilege.

 Vita Gottlieb SS 2012 Tamsin (illustrated preview by Vita)q
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2012 Tamsin (illustrated preview by Vita)

I can’t wait to see your new collection: the description sounds incredibly romantic and dreamy – are you a dreamer? What’s the best dream you’ve ever had?
Oh, man, I am a consummate dreamer! Both day and night. Reverie is a favourite hobby of mine. Often I dream of flying through the universe, diving in and out of colours and natural patterns of movement – sometimes I go back in time and poke about cobbled alleys and strange places. Always there’s a lot of movement, colour and music. I wake up shaking from the images sometimes. But it’s so much a part of me.

Vita Gottlieb S/S 2013 preview by Catherine Moody
Vita Gottlieb S/S 2013 preview by Catherine Moody.

The collection will layer eastern and western references – what motifs have you taken from each place, and how have you mixed them up?
SS13 is inspired in part by Paul Poiret‘s 1911 party ‘Thousand and Second Night‘, where guests were asked to wear Persian dress and indulge in dancing in the moonlight… I love the idea of layering Eastern influences into Western ideas; some of the prints are inspired by and use motifs from Georges Barbier‘s early twentieth century illustrations. I also thought about moonlight as a mood and infused some of the colours of that hour, just after dusk, in an imaginary city full of minarets and flickering lights. In terms of Western influences, I’ve tried to create a bit of a puncture through accessories and silhouettes.

vita gottlieb pinterest
You are an avid fan of Pinterest – how do you use it to collate and filter your ideas?
Yes, I love it as it’s such an easy way of keeping all your ideas and inspirations in once place. I’m a real sketchbook hoarder and keep everything I sketch or write in books at home or in the studio – but Pinterest I use more for general interest inspiration. And for food porn, it’s great for that!

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux.

In fact you are quite internet savvy all around, why do you think (as an up and coming designer) it’s important to be so visible on social media networks? Do you plan to sell all your collections online?
Being social-media savvy doesn’t necessarily come naturally and I was definitely a Facebook/Twitter abstainer for a LONG time. But once I’d set up my business I recognised just how useful it can be and have become a lot more interactive now. It’s mainly for business but I try to pepper what I post with some personal and quirky content too. I think it’s important not to forget that there is a person behind the label and to inject some personality into it all. As an emerging designer I think it’s imperative to use social media to maximise your profile – and to keep in touch with what your potential customers want, that’s key too. Currently I sell my scarves online but yes, eventually I do plan on selling the collections too. It’s exciting to see what the internet can realise for my label – you can’t ignore it anymore!

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux.

I believe you are a foodie – what is your must have edible delight whilst working on your new collection?
Ah, I am definitely a foodie! I’ve always loved food – eating, cooking, everything really. I read recipe books as pleasure. Hmm, must-have edible delight? Hard to say as I love so many things – Asian flavours, home-cooked, big, flavoursome dishes, vegetables from the garden (one radish, this year..no time to garden!), things like shepherd’s pie and fresh peas or glazed salmon in honey, mirin and lime. Don’t get me started! But it has to be savoury, I’m not really inclined toward sweet things.

Can you give us any hints as to what to expect in your Fashion Fringe catwalk show? (music… casting.. atmosphere etc)
I believe you’ll be there, so, you will have to wait and see, Amelia!

Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux
Vita Gottlieb A/W 2012 by Lea Rimoux.

What are your hopes for the future?
I’d like to build a successful, well-regarded and creative womenswear label, branching out with a diffusion line, travel lifestyle and perhaps lingerie. One day I’d love to open a kind of eco-lodge in a hot tropical country by the sea. You see, I am a dreamer! More locally, I’m interested in collaboration with other artists and creative professionals, making fashion films, happenings and shows, and see the future as a very exciting thing.

Vita Gottleib A/W 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake
Vita Gottleib A/W 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake.

See more from Vita Gottlieb here… I can’t wait to see the entire collection on the catwalk! Vita Gottlieb shows alongside Haizhen Wang and Teija Eilola in the BFC Courtyard Show Space on Tuesday 18th September 2012.

vita-gottlieb by Melissa Angelik
Vita Gottlieb by Melissa Angelik.

Categories ,Alexa Coe, ,Angela Lamb, ,Catherine Moody, ,Christopher Bailey, ,Courtyard Show Space, ,Fashion Fringe, ,film, ,Fine Art, ,Gemma Sheldrake, ,Georges Barbier, ,Haizhen Wang, ,Illustrated Moodboard, ,Lea Rimoux, ,lfw, ,Melissa Angelik, ,Nightbird, ,Paul Poiret, ,Pinterest, ,Rosa and Carlotta Crepax, ,S/S 2013, ,Tamsin, ,Teija Eilola, ,Textile Design, ,Thousand and Second Night, ,Vita Gottlieb

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Amelia’s Magazine | Nova Chiu: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Sharon Farrow
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Sharon Farrow.

It’s always difficult to follow up a much feted graduation collection: so I had to admire the spunk of Nova Chiu… who seemed to grab the task with relish for S/S 2013. The show opened with images of the open road, waterfalls and trees, setting the scene for what was to come. Rather than reproducing the extravagant layering of last season, the duo concentrated on the creation of some truly stunning placement prints, inspired by their travels around the world.

Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Kristina Vasiljeva
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Loosely draped silk dresses and separates came in a range of cuts; strapless, bat sleeved, cropped, mullet hemmed and tasselled. But the tailoring took second place to the stunning colour combinations chosen to depict fantasy landscapes. Clouds scudding across open skies, water cascading over piled rocks, rustling autumnal trees, fiery sunsets – all seemed to acquire an otherworldly neon Nova Chiu tint.

Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Shy Illustrations
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Sheilagh Tighe aka Shy Illustrations.

The outfits were worn with colour matched platform high heels, some covered with oodles of tiny ruffles. Nova Chiu‘s trademark embellishments appeared on miniature barrel bags and in the form of bold jewels by Marina Prokopiva at neck, wrists and ears. The models came in a range of sizes that included sexily curvy, an admirable choice that highlighted the wearability of the garments.

Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Isher Dhiman
Nova Chiu S/S 2013 by Isher Dhiman.

The diminutive Nova made a brief appearance on the catwalk at the end with her partner Jeff Archer. I hope that they are pleased that with the Bon Voyage collection they have retained their signature colourful drama whilst exploring new production techniques so successfully.

Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu SS 2013 Sept 2012-photography by Amelia Gregory
Nova Chiu S/S 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Bon Voyage, ,Fashion Scout, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Jeff Archer, ,Kristina Vasiljeva, ,lfw, ,Marina Prokopiva, ,Nova Chiu, ,S/S 2013, ,Sharon Farrow, ,Sheilagh Tighe, ,Shy Illustrations

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Amelia’s Magazine | Osman: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review


Osman S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

And so it was to Osman to ‘close’ my fashion week, as it were. It was getting late on the Tuesday and, frankly, I couldn’t be arsed to trek to Somerset House. I had a heap of work to do and the thought of going all that way to watch models walk in front of me twice for five minutes was almost too much to bear. In the end, I decided to go, obviously; I’m so glad I did.


Osman S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker

I had a rubbish seat but enjoyed watching people skid on Kuoni-sponsored A3 Osman lookbooks as I waited for the show to start. The catwalk had been adorned with a huge black rope, crossing above the bit where the models come out and trailing up both sides of the catwalk. Osman‘s got a bit of a reputation for putting on a good show and I liked the drama that this backdrop was already creating. There was a lot of fuss on the catwalk before proceedings began – Corinne Bailey Rae was one of many guests that had photographers in a flash bulb frenzy. But it was Osman‘s unique and vibrant colour palette and fashion-forward sense of shape that would really get the crowd going.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Incredible hues of pink and blue appeared before us. Osman Yousefzada always has a crafted ability to whet our appetites for the next summer while the current one is slipping away from us. Strong and dynamic shape was this season’s key theme – angular cuts were aplenty. Kimono shapes with a modern twist were teamed with high-waisted shorts, followed by tailored coats that curved to reveal more short shorts.


Osman S/S 2013 by Krister Selin

The collection progressed with embroidered love heart patterns. The same bold silhouettes were decorated with this beautiful design, having a slightly religious effect on certain dramatic overcoats. Brightly coloured hearts brought black garments to life while complimenting the blue and pink numbers.

More drama came later with Osman‘s unique forms: scooping necklines, wide sleeves, geometric patterns on tops, thick strips of fabric wrapped around models’ shoulders like shawls, sexily revealing only the collarbone.


Osman S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker

Less rigid looks followed with flowing skirts and fabric casually slung around models’ necks, but never without a hint of structure – tapered and cropped trousers defining many looks.

A few all black numbers heightened the drama towards the end – I particularly liked an all-in-one cape worn like a hood over skin-tight shiny trousers and a racy dress cut all the way up to the hip with bondage-like corsetry.

My favourite look was the penultimate outfit consisting of a white upper half with fabric draped all the way to the floor, following the model as she swaggered. It had all the qualities of Osman exuberance – femininity, drama and masses of sex appeal. I bet Osman fans new and old can’t bloody wait to get this stuff on come next year.

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,BFC, ,Blue, ,Bondage, ,catwalk, ,colour, ,Corinne Bailey Rae, ,embroidery, ,hearts, ,Krister Selin, ,Kuoni, ,London Fashion Week, ,Matt Bramford, ,Osman Yousefzada, ,pink, ,review, ,S/S 2013, ,Somerset House, ,SS13, ,Tuesday, ,Womenswear

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