Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: The Ozwald Boateng Extravaganza

Bolshie AKA Baby-Leg Girl, shop by Antonia Parker.

Over at Fashion Scout there is yet another array of amazing new designers to trawl through. As I entered the upstairs room at the Freemasons’ Hall I was greeted by a girl with plastic roast chickens attached to her breasts and fanny. Perfect for Lady Gaga.

Those chickens, that spike-encrusted big-shouldered body suit, the top knot, something was ringing a very big bell. And it wasn’t the giant gold glittery Big Ben headpiece in the corner. I turned around and went “oh, it’s you!” For it was none other than Baby-leg Girl. Bolshie is 18 year old Rhiannon Jones, thrown out of her East Yorkshire school at the tender age of 15 years old and now residing in fashion centrale, Shoreditch.

Bolshie by Antonia Parker.

We noticed her everywhere last season, usually to be found obscuring our view with giant shoulders and hair – little did we realise that this daring and very ambitious fashionista has got her very own label a spot at Fashion Scout. She’s even made it onto the local BBC news. Now there’s two fingers up at her old school eh?

The collection is a massive mashup of contemporary culture, full of passionate bravado. Think Mickey Mouse ears on a police helmet, guns, watch-encrusted glittery jackets, a print that appears to feature Coca-Cola baby bottles and of course the odd Baby-Leg adornment. I wonder if she ever reads Super Super?
You can see her entire collection here. Keep a beady eye on this one. She’s still only a teenager for gawd’s sake.

James Hock
This is the third season for the ex-accountant from Australia. But that’s about all I know about James Hock, since his website is ridiculously economical with any biographical information. The Unloved is a bold and playful collection of entirely black and red garments, based on an emotional journey. “It is sadness with a flickering of hope but ultimately, it is about the acceptance of fate.” So says the press release. Sheer fabrics are adorned with Swarovski crystals and juxtaposed against huge asymmetrical harlequin shapes cut across pantaloons, mini crinolines, sharp-shouldered capes and hybrid trouser-shorts. Audacious and definitely not for the faint hearted. He is currently stocked in uber trendy shop Machine-A.

James Hock by Lisa Stannard.

Kirsty Ward
Kirsty Ward graduated from Central Saint Martins MA in 2008 since when she has been working with Alberta Ferretti in italy. S/S 2011 saw the launch of her own label at Fashion Scout but I remember well how astonished I was by her jewellery for David Longshaw last season. Her own collection features amazing sculptural creations that echo the lines of the body in sheer pastel panels shaped with exaggerated wire and piping. Many pieces have integral jewellery or are meant to be worn with her huge wire and crystal bead necklaces in shades of pale peach and mint green. She was wearing an earring necklace when I met her: dangling earrings that connect under the chin. I’d personally be incredibly worried about pulling my earlobes off if I wore this creation, but she rocked the look with admirable confidence. I think a bit of upcycling could definitely fit into her aesthetic and I did nonchalantly suggest that she could use some old wire coat hangers… Definitely a new designer to keep a firm eye on.

felice perkins kirsty ward
felice perkins kirsty ward
felice perkins kirsty ward
Kirsty Ward by Felice Perkins.

Special mention goes to Yong, who studied at Edinburgh College of Art and Design before passing through the hallowed years of an MA at Central Saint Martins. He makes clever and elegant dresses, advised by my old friend Jason Leung. I particularly liked the royal blue dress with amazing white ruffled embroidery, but I think I need to see more of these dresses worn to really appreciate them. In fact I’d like to see all of these designers on the catwalk. Here’s hoping…

Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

So then – the circus was finally over! The tent was in the process of being taken down, look designers were queuing for cabs with their collections in boxes, and the press made their individual ways home or to closing parties. But there was still one show to attend, which promised to be the most extravagant of them all… The final show on Wednesday and the closing spot for London Fashion Week S/S 2011 went to Mr Ozwald Boateng.

The invite won the award for the thickest, which gave details of this 25th anniversary celebration at the Leicester Square Odeon. I hadn’t had much time to think about it, but whispers were that it would be an all singing, all dancing display, and who was I to argue? I was gob-smacked when I showed up in Leicester Square to see that the cinema, famed for it’s glitzy premieres, had been covered in huge posters bearing the tailor’s name and fences had been erected to corden off fans desperate for a glimpse at a celebrity. What the hell was going on?!

The same build up ensued that I was oh-so used to by now – a heaving queue that descends into mush as soon as the gates are opened and a catfight to get in. Celebrities like Michelle Williams, Piers Morgan (!) and Joe McElderry were given the A-list treatment while we were herded in, catching a rare close-up glimpse of Amber Rose‘s enormous bosom as I shuffled past her.

Hilariously, I had been assigned the very last seat on the very last row – Z-47. Gee, thanks OB! I decided not to get too upset and took my seat, and was happy to discover a baby bottle of Moët & Chandon in the popcorn holder with one of those cheap flutes that you ram in the top so you can neck it quicker. Could be worse, I thought to myself, and I was desperate for an alcoholic drink. I admired the man who played guitar under the spotlight while I drank and thought that I could quite easily slip into a coma in this dark, relaxing atmosphere.

One hour and fifteen agonising minutes after the show was scheduled to start, the lights finally dimmed. I can only imagine that by now the guitarist had either worn down his fingers or ran out of tunes. The cinema screen came alive with a trailer for A Man’s Story; a forthcoming film about Boateng’s life. A who’s who of Hollywood including Will Smith and Laurence Fishburne waxed lyrical about the quality, craftsmanship and unique vision of Boateng and the film featured archival footage of life changing events, including the Brixton riots and the opening of Boateng’s store on Savile Row.

Ozwald Boateng was born in 1960 to Ghanian parents in North London. A combination of a laborious job in IT and his mother’s influence as a seamstress forced Boateng to reconsider his future, and he began selling his mother’s designs on Portobello Road. He quickly rose up the fashion ranks, being the first tailor to show in Paris and the first black tailor to launch on Savile Row. He’s also credited with bringing the famous sartorial street into the 21st century with his vibrant use of colour, modern cuts and Hollywood clientele.

Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

When the film trailer had finished, the real show began on a purpose-built runway below the cinema screen. The audience went MENTAL as one by one models appeared, strutted to the front, and then waited at the back – some in pairs, some in groups, many solo.

They just kept on coming, and at varying points when they had collected at the back, they marched forward again. It was utterly mesmerising, even from my appalling seat (which might as well have been in the Odeon Sheffield, I was so bleedin’ far away).

Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent

The spectacle and celebration of such an event was immense, but it’s difficult to say much about the clothes when the models appear as tall as Lego men. I was hoping for a sort of retrospective of Boateng’s illustrious collections but it seemed most were very recent, and a quick Google search reveals it was the S/S 2011 collection with elements of last season’s, presumably because nobody creates a collection of 100 pieces required for a show of this scale.

Despite being miles away, I could see on the real-time projection on the cinema screen that each pair of trousers, each blazer and each different coat had been made to perfection. The fit was perfect, the cut was stylish but retained elements of sartorial old-English dress, and the collection itself was peppered with Boateng’s signature vibrant colours, inspired by his ancestry. Bright hues of purple, yellow, green and blue appeared as a welcome break from more traditionally coloured suits, and the use of aesthetic materials such as leather showed Boateng’s flair as a fashion forward thinker.

It was over in a flash. The finale featured all the models in a big love-in heap – hunky Tyrone Wood made an appearance, as did Richard Branson’s son Sam who was almost but not entirely as hunky. When they had exited the stage, Boateng appeared with his father to wild applause, whoops, cheers and the odd tear. Yes, including me. I will sob at anything – it’s all been about tits and tears this fashion week. Although, I have to say, I did once cry at DIY SOS, so my threshold is considerably low…

Congratulations, OB. Here’s to the next 25 years!

All photography by Matt Bramford

Categories ,Amber Rose, ,Joe McElderry, ,Leicester Square, ,London Fashion Week, ,Michelle Williams, ,Moët & Chandon, ,Odeon, ,Ozwald Boateng, ,Piers Morgan, ,S/S 2011, ,Sam Bronson, ,Savile Row, ,Stéphanie Thieullent, ,Suits, ,tailoring, ,Tyrone Wood

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: D.GNAK by KANG.D

Illustration by Romain Lambert-Louis

It’s good thing it’s starting to feel like spring outside, rx as listening to Lulu and the Lampshades in the dead of winter strikes me as being something akin to torture. This is music that makes me want to ride my bicycle along gravel roads, healing slurping down iced lollies and squinting as the sunshine pokes through my eyelashes.

There is a lot of sweetness to Lulu and the Lampshades – starting with the playfulness of the name itself, link down to the music which is a bucketful of sunshine. At least that was my first impression, before I listened to the new ‘Cold Water’ EP. The only thing I’d heard of the London-based foursome before was ‘Feet to the sky’, a cheery little number with an even cheerier video, but for a release with just four tracks, ‘Cold Water’ does an impressive job of delivering diversity.

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

My favourite thing about Lulu and the Lampshades is probably main singer Luisa Gerstein’s voice – a rich, chocolatey sound which makes you think of bigger songs and swoonier music productions. But the stripped back style of the Lulu songs do an excellent job of accompanying Luisa. The overall effect is something akin to listening to your favourite act playing at a musical, just a few feet away and it feels like they‘re playing just for you.

It certainly sounds like the Lulus having fun though, skipping along (or at least that’s what it sounds like) on the title track ’Cold Water’. Although the lyrics tell a more complex story: ’I hate to be wrapped in cotton although I think it’s better for me / Yes I see there’s trouble but it’s proven to me I’m better off this way’ … I’m not sure if the music and lyrics are mismatched, or if Luisa is simply the happiest when causing a bit of trouble?

Illustration by Mhairi-stella McEwan

Illustration by Sarah Matthews

The video to ‘Cups’, or ‘You’re gonna miss me’, has had over half a million YouTube hits, as Luisa and Heloise banging those plastic beakers into the kitchen table really needs to be seen. ‘Cups’ started out as a routine Louisa learnt at percussion class, combined with new verses and a chorus from a traditional folk song. The result is a lovely little ’all together now’ call-and-response song, but it’s that cup action that has us all going Whoa Lulu! Have a look:

‘I’ll keep my demons underground if it keeps you smiling’, Luisa sings as ‘Demons’ start. Although the flute and glockenspiel keeps things light, the darker undertones are definitely there now, both in terms of lyrics and tone. ‘Cause you’ve punctured me / I’ve ruptured at the seams and though its strange for me / I’ll do my best to keep the rest from falling out’ … But there is something fairytale-like about it too, like the stories about witches and evil creatures that we like because it gives us a chill down our backs.

‘Moccasin Mile’ mixes vocal harmonies, ukulele and some nifty drumstick action as the tempos change. ‘If you can’t be good then please be careful,’ Luisa sings … But then the flute comes in again at the chorus, as Lulu regulars Luisa, Heloise, Jemma and Dan were joined by flutist Isobel to add some extra ‘dance around the maypole’ feeling. And that’s it – four tracks are done and Lulu and the Lampshades have certainly managed to whet our appetites for a full-length album. As well as a dip in a lake that’s still a little too cold, before skipping on home with sunburnt cheeks.

Illustration by Matilde Sazio

Illustration by Sarah Matthews

‘Cold Water’ by Lulu and the Lampshades is out now on Moshi Moshi. Have a look at the website for the current gig schedule, or see the YouTube channel for more music videos.

Illustration by Oliver John Quinn

After hanging out with contributor Nick for lunch during Menswear Day, information pills I hot-footed it up to Vauxhall Fashion Scout to check out D.GNAK‘s latest offerings. It was the only menswear show I’d see at the Freemasons’ Hall and it was fairly quiet. I’d enjoyed his outing last season and was looking forward to seeing how his quirky Japanese aesthetic would translate for A/W.

Contributor Georgia with Paul Weller

I bumped into contributor Georgia Takacs there and we headed into the venue, more about sitting on opposite sides so not to get the same pictures. As we sat down, she started FREAKING OUT. ‘Is that Paul Weller? IS THAT PAUL WELLER?!’ she began yelling. It turns out it was, and he was nestled on the front row with his missus and two children. Georgia immediately went over to chat to him and I took a few pictures of them together, grinned nervously at him and thought to myself that his haircut has a lot to answer for.

Illustration by Joana Faria

On with the show. In a bold move from last season’s classic tailoring with contemporary twists, Kang D (the designer behind D.GNAK) had injected strong colours, interesting knits and enormous rucksacks.

All photography by Matt Bramford

The show opened with utilitarian tailoring that you might expect George Orwell’s Winston Smith to wear dark grey baggy trousers with an apron-like upper half was teamed with a luxurious floor-length cable knit cardigan. Next, a rich pea-coat with over-sized lapels and plaid-detail shoulders.

D.GNAK as a label is quickly establishing itself as an expert in materials and textures. Wools, corduroy, tweed and cotton were all on display, spiced up using colours like mustard and burgundy.

Illustration by Rob Wallace

There’s also an eye for the unfinished – that’ll be the Japanese ma influence then – with fraid hems that look a bit like a Savile Row tailor has had the day off – but teamed with polished blazers and expensive-looking coats, this works really well.

Every man is pretty much catered for here. There’s sartorial tailoring in the form of suits and Sherlock Holmes-esque coats for the sharpest dresser; wool blazers with contrasting buttons and vibrant trousers work well for casuals; corduroy onesies will have the more fashion-forward males racing to the shops.

Ace accessories were on offer – oversized patent leather rucksacks with suede details were worn on both shoulders, buckle straps revealed helpful features like an umbrella carrier. I like.

This was a much fresher collection than last time – the same level of craftsmanship was on offer, but it’s interesting to see D-GNAK explore different pieces, experiment with colours and toy with the traditions of sartorial menswear.

See more of Joana Faria’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Catwalk review, ,D.GNAK, ,Dong Jun Kang, ,Freemasons’ Hall, ,George Orwell, ,Joana Faria, ,KANG.D, ,London Fashion Week, ,ma, ,Menswear Day, ,Nineteen Eighty Four, ,Oliver John Quinn, ,Paul Weller, ,Rob Wallace, ,Savile Row, ,Sherlock Holmes, ,tailoring, ,Unfinished, ,Utilitarian, ,Vauxhall Fashion Scout, ,Winston Smith

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Amelia’s Magazine | It’s National Wool Week!

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

Illustration by Danielle Andrews

London is phenomenal, story a vast ever evolving metropolis where nothing stays still and sleep is for the dead. As much as it tires you out, the frenetic pace of life is what keeps us all going. The thing is: growing up in Dublin, there are times where I yearn for something a bit more relaxed. From almost anywhere in Dublin you can see the mountains and countryside, (From almost anywhere read: my house, and if I’m honest only the Irish call the Wicklow Mountains that, to most others they’re big hills). Try doing that in London. The parks are gorgeous, but they just dont cut it.

Sheep on Savile Row. Photography by Nick Bain

 On Monday though, Wool Week stepped up to the plate to help alleviate this pastoral longing. In order to champion the cause of the British Sheep Farmer, and the wonder natural resource that is wool, Savile Row was over run with our four-legged friends. Now, these were the cleanest sheep I had ever seen – but it was great to bring the countryside into town. The week was later launched in style by a fantastic party in Selfridges attended by the great and the good.

The initiative which was set up by His Royal Highness Prince Charles, who champions the cause of wool. Shocked by the fact that it can cost a farmer more to shear a sheep than the value of its fleece, Charlie set up the cross-industry Campaign for Wool. Sure, we all have our favourite big wooly jumpers perfect for winter, but the fact is wool can be used in a huge variety of ways. From aerospace to insulation, wool has a huge range of uses. I’ll be honest though, I’m not too concerned about them. Championing great British fashion that uses wool on the other hand is another story.

The fine gauge knits of John Smedley, Pringle‘s innovative and directional intarsia, organic products from Daniel Hechter at John Lewis, traditional tweeds at Hackett and a lovely thick Crombie all show just how versatile wool is. There is a very good reason Britain used to be swamped from shore to shore in woolen products. Aran sweaters, cricket jumpers and kilts all make up part of our rich cultural heritage.  This should be celebrated! Yeah, they shrink in the wash – and some fibres can be itchy as hell (though with modern spinning techniques less so than the past) but don’t think of that awful school jumper you had growing up. Think of your gran knitting you that somewhat hideous jumper out of love. Think of the glamorous Tilda Swinton in Pringle. For heaven’s sake, think of the Queen in her twinset and pearls. Get behind Wool, leave the polyester blends behind.

If nothing else do it for the sheep….

National Wool Week runs until Sunday

Categories ,Aran, ,british, ,Crombie, ,Daniel Hechter, ,Dublin, ,Farming, ,Hackett, ,HRH, ,John Smedley, ,knitting, ,Prince Charles, ,Pringle, ,Queen, ,Savile Row, ,Selfridges, ,sheep, ,Tilda Swinton, ,Wicklow Mountains, ,wool, ,Wool Week

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with fashion designer David Longshaw

Latitude 2010-Ivo Graham Blind Date by Amelia Gregory
James Acaster by Kathryn Jones
James Acaster by Kathryn Jones.

Over the course of Latitude I saw numerous comedians, online some of whom appeared as comperes on other stages when not performing to surely one of their biggest ever audience (of thousands) in the Comedy Arena. The Cabaret Arena was much favoured, cialis 40mg as of course was the Literary Arena – hanging out with Robin Ince and his fabled posse.

Kevin Eldon, sildenafil Phil Jupitas, Josie Long… they all dropped by, frequently.

Latitude 2010-Phil Jupitas by Amelia Gregory
Phil Jupitas. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Robin Ince by Stacie Swift
Robin Ince by Stacie Swift.

My favourite part of the longstanding Book Club was a guide to one of Robin Ince’s favourite bad books: Mens’ Secrets, set to a duelling musical accompaniment.

Latitude 2010 James Acaster by Amelia Gregory
James Acaster.

James Acaster was one such novice who I saw happily entertaining pre-act literary crowds with clever improv. Teenage wonder Ivo Graham kept the Cabaret crowd thoroughly entertained with his impromptu rendition of Blind Date – amusingly he is so young he had to be told of Cilla’s name. Weird to think of Blind Date already consigned to ancient TV history.

The main Comedy Arena was my favourite place to hang out in 2007, and it’s popularity continues to grow. Despite additional wing tents on each side of the huge central marquee, the arena remained unable to contain the enthusiastic crowds, who kicked up huge volumes of dust with every new exodus and influx.

Abi Daker - Ivo Graham
Ivo Graham by Abigail Daker.
YouTube Preview Image

One of the biggest draws of Latitude is the chance to discover new talent. Ivo Graham is a mere 19 years old, which made his ability to engage a massive audience all the more impressive. With jokes centred around Facebook, pesky younger brothers and getting in trouble with mum, he still struck a chord with the older folks.

Eric Lambert by Gareth A Hopkins
Eric Lambert by Gareth A Hopkins.

Eric Lambert was winner of the Latitude New Act of the Year 2010, although from what I heard Ivo would have been way more deserving…. or James. Eric’s winning performance centred around an improv routine that wasn’t always quite up to scratch.

Latitude 2010-Eric Lambert by Amelia Gregory
Eric Lambert.

He was cheeky and sexual, no doubt a hit with the ladies. It’s proved nigh on impossible to do any research into Eric since he seems to have zero internet presence… but I would guess from his demeanour that he’s a big fan of Russell Brand.

Doc Brown by Iamanoctopus.

Of the better known comedians I really enjoyed the guide to slang courtesy of Doc Brown, who was formerly a rapper and just happens to be younger brother of Zadie Smith. Sucking snot out of his small child and inappropriate comments on packed buses define his descent towards the normality of family life.

Stephen K. Amos by Suzie Winsor.

Following him on Friday South Londoner Stephen K. Amos was suitably un-PC, berating his previous Yorkshire audience for its lack of diversity, ripping the piss out of posh people, bemoaning his old age (he’s 35. there’s no hope for me) and generally causing loud if somewhat uncomfortable chuckles across the arena.

On Sunday we caught the tail end of Rufus Hound, who was indeed face-painted up like a dog, if somewhat lacking of a tail. He spoke of the trials and tribulations of marriage and babies… which led onto the misogynistic diatribe of Richard Herring, a 43 year old singleton who made jokes about tit wanks and gay sex, accompanied by a signer for those hard of hearing. Or perhaps just to afford the opportunity to make yet more lewd jokes.

Richard Herring by Sine Skau
Richard Herring by Sine Skau.

He also over-milked an incredibly tedious tirade about Mars Bars that met with a fairly frosty reception… that became part of the act… that increased it’s tediousity. I think he was my least favourite comedian at Latitude.

Andrew Lawrence by Faye Skinner.

Next up Andrew Lawrence was really quite sinister but also strangely endearing, geared as his jokes were around his all round lack of appeal. Hey, why the sadness? I’ve always had a soft spot for scrawny gingers! Leaning back at a jaunty angle and grinning demonically he spoke of his semi-autistic relationship with his current (long-suffering) girlfriend. Hey, doesn’t that cover most men?

Lastly, Deborah Francis White put on a genius show on Sunday in the Cabaret Arena. “Every actor wants to be in a sitcom, every man wants to be in a woman,” she informed us, talking us through a series of pie charts that showed the different state of mind for women. Whilst we’d like practically every man we meet to want to sleep with us (approximately 95% according to Deborah) the reverse is true when it comes to the amount of men we actually want to sleep with.

Deborah Francis White Oversees a Bra Fight by Gareth A Hopkins
Deborah Francis White Oversees a Bra Fight by Gareth A Hopkins.

To a chorus of knowing laughter from women, slightly nervous laughter from the men, she talked us through the best way to pull the opposite sex. “Be a Scorsese movie!” she opined, extolling the virtues of confidence. “You’re probably not going to get a part in me…” But the point is that every man should want to. Even if the reason they’re so fixated on lesbian porn is simply “two tits good, four tits better.” She persuaded the women in the audience to stroke themselves on the breast to turn the men on, pulled people out of the audience to follow her instructions on how to tell a girl on the tube she’s gorgeous, and finished with a bra wrestling match between two men. Because who wants to sleep with a man who can’t get a bra off with one hand?

The comedy at Latitude Festival is undeniably one of its biggest selling points… now if only they could figure out how to accommodate the heaving numbers of people that yearn to be amused.

David Longshaw, patient illustrated by Abigail Wright

David Longshaw is a man of many talents. Aside from designing his own label, look he is passionate about writing and illustrating not only for various publications but as part of the creative process behind his collections. 

After his passion for fashion lead him to an open day at the famous Central St Martins, try where all his favourite designers had attended, before even completing his GCSE’s, he decided to go ahead with A Levels at his local Grammar school whilst taking Wednesday afternoons off to study  pattern cutting at an Adult education centre as his first step onto that ladder towards success. It worked.  

Now, with an impressive resume boasting a degree, an MA, various awards, work with designers such as Alberta Ferretti and Max Mara and his own label, he is as motivated as ever and yet to satisfy that inner taste for success in the fashion industry. 

AW10, illustrated by Krister Selin

How did you get from such humble beginnings, attending just one pattern cutting class a week, to working with such big designers and creating your own label? 
During the summer that followed my A Levels, I did a work placement with Adam Entwisle, working on his LFW debut collection. I then studied Art Foundation at Manchester Metropolitan and carried on my pattern cutting, studying the advanced course. Then, during that summer I did work experience at Clements Ribeiro and Hussein Chalayan before starting at St Martins, where I studied BA (Hons) Fashion Design Womenswear. 

The fabric for my graduate collection was given to me by Richard James after doing a work placement there on Savile Row during my second year and the collection won the Colin Barnes Drawing Prize and the Esme Fairburne Award. 

After St Martins I went straight on to the Royal College of Art studying  (MA) Fashion Design Womenswear. I was asked to design for Alberta Ferretti before I finished my graduate collection but said I wanted to finish my MA, so the day after graduating I moved to Italy to design for Alberta. It was great being offered the job before graduating as it meant I could concentrate on my collection and I knew I’d get great experience from designing in Italy. 

My MA collection was selected for the Final of ITS#6 (Trieste) and Le Vif Weekend (Belgium) and I then went on to design for Max Mara in Italy before coming back to start my own label. 

David Longshaw at Ones to Watch, AW10, photographed by Matt Bramford

Where do you get inspiration from for your own label?  
I’m inspired by short illustrated stories I create specially for each new season. My last collection was called ‘Escaping Emily’, it was about a puppet who was discovered by a slightly disturbed fashion designer called Emily who had moved to work in Italy.

Some of the illustrations I then turned in to prints for the dresses – and the cogs that were in some prints and sewn on to some garment, came from the section where Emily finds the puppet in a hamper style basket that’s full of camera and watch parts. The colours, shapes and prints all come from the story.  

Illustration from David’s sketchbooks

Are there any designers that you would compare yourself to or that you admire? 
I wouldn’t compare myself to any one really but I really admire a variety of designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada and Ricardo Tisci at Givenchy. Kirsty Ward is a really exciting designer who’s launching her own label this September, after working for Alberta Ferretti and doing jewellery for my collections. 

Are there any pieces from your collections that you are particularly fond or proud of? 
I have a few favourites. One of them is a cog print cropped jacket from my last collection that wasn’t actually on the catwalk in the end as I felt there was enough going on with the dresses and it would have detracted from the total look. I also like the pleated dresses from the last collection as they were the trickiest to construct but after a severe lack of sleep, wither out how I wanted. 

Illustration by David Longshaw

What else do you get up to in any spare time that you manage to have? Is there anything other than designing that you like to immerse yourself in? 
I also do some writing and illustrating for different magazines which you can find links to on the press section of my website. There’s also a section called ‘Maudezine’ where I’ve interviewed Holly Fulton and JulieVerhoven. I’ve also written about up and coming designers with fictional character Maude for Disorder magazine which is quite amusing. 

Other than that, I really love going to galleries and the theatre with my girlfriend when we both have the time! I also really like watching rugby and football, especially live.  I’ve not had much time to go since starting working for myself but I get the odd match in with my dad or friends.   

AW10, illustrated by Krister Selin

So, what’s next for David Longshaw?  
Well short term I’m working on my new collection for September, which I’m planning on exhibiting in London and then Paris. I’m expanding my collection to include some more, simpler pieces using my illustrations as prints so they are more accessible for shops and customers. That will also mean I can have a few more extreme pieces in the collection to balance it all out which should be fun. I’ll also be continuing writing and illustrating. 

Where do you see yourself in the future? 
Hopefully still being as creative as possible – designing , writing and illustrating, just hopefully on a bigger scale with my own larger creative company.

David Longshaw at Ones to Watch, AW10, photographed by Matt Bramford

Categories ,Abigail Wright, ,Adam Entwisle, ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Central St Martins, ,Clements Ribeiro, ,David Longshaw, ,Disorder Magazine, ,Emily, ,Givenchy, ,Holly Fulton, ,Hussein Chalayan, ,JulieVerhoven, ,Karl Lagerfeld, ,Kirsty Ward, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,ma, ,Manchester Metropolitan, ,Maudezine, ,Max Mara, ,Miuccia Prada, ,Ones To Watch, ,paris, ,Pattern Cutting, ,Ricardo Tisci, ,Richard James, ,Royal College of Art, ,Savile Row, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Russian fashion designer Pitchouguina

Pitchouguina by Isher Dhiman
Pitchouguina by Isher Dhiman.

Pitchouguina is the new label from Russian designer Anna, now based in London but producing her collection in Poland. Having first studied economics she is well placed to grow a serious brand, with a style that is both wearable and unique. The A/W 2013 collection features scrumptious floral printed blouses, rough wool fitted dresses and oh-so-tactile fluffy sleeveless jumpers, cleverly mixing folk inspired detailing and Japanese tailoring. I caught up with Anna to discover more about to what expect from her next collection…

Firstly, your website is very enigmatic, who is Pitchouguina, and where are you from?
I am originally from Russia, but I have been bouncing around the globe for a little while. From the early stages I was drawn towards a nostalgic, curious and somewhat naive image of a young lady, because as a designer I was always searching for those things while in each different country. 

Pitchouguina by Veronica Rowlands.

How did you come to be based in London, and what keeps you here?
It seemed natural to stay in London once I realised how much I have built and created around me. I first came here to spend time gaining work experience with great established designers as well as young designers, and then I opened a company here and now I am planning my first commercially presented collection for S/S 2014.

How would you describe the Pitchouguina aesthetic?
Dreamy but with the strong beliefs behind those dreams. I hope that my clothes can be adapted to a lot of lifestyles but I think my garments will be chosen over others because of the need to wear something soft, melancholic and maybe even loving.

Pitchouguina AW 13_14 by Tone Gautefald Tveit
Pitchouguina A/W 2013 by Tone Gautefald Tveit.

You have an impressive list of sponsors – how did you go about finding them?
I believe in what I do and I think if you make others believe in it as well you will get results eventually. Finding sponsors is really hard work, but after approaching hundreds of people and being ignored by most I found a few that were exactly the ones that I was looking for.

Can you give us a sneak peak into your ideas for next season: what can we expect?
Layering, lots of pinks and lots of covered buttons.

What unexpected things inspired the upcoming collection?
I started with baby pink, baby blue and loose sequins in a bag at first and this slowly evolved into what will be shown in a few weeks time. I guess an unexpected part of the new S/S 2014 collection is a bit of a sporty touch, but Pitchouguina is mainly a colour and fabric driven label so if you were to put my mood boards into black and white all the references would seem to go off in many different directions! 

What fabrics and silhouettes dominate the upcoming season?
Expect organzas, coloured jeans, gold thread and sweat shirt jerseys. Silhouettes are kept simple but I have worked hard on creating delicate details and fit.

Categories ,A/W 2013, ,fashion, ,Fashion Illustration, ,interview, ,Isher Dhiman, ,Pitchouguina, ,poland, ,Russian, ,S/S 2014, ,Tone Gautefald Tveit, ,Veronica Rowlands

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