Amelia’s Magazine | Thirty Years of Ally Capellino at The Wapping Project

little comets

Photos by Jazzy Lemon

It’s not often that a support band makes your ears prick up and pay attention; too often I’ve been to gigs where sub-standard support acts make the wait for the headliners feel that little bit longer. I doubt in their short career that Little Comets have ever had that problem.

They caught my attention when they supported the Noisettes on their national tour last year, and so it was exciting to see the band headline the Joiners in Southampton last week.

Little Comets are already favourites with the music press after a few well publicised stunts such as playing on the Metro, purchase or in the bakery isle of the local Marks & Spencer store, sales in their hometown of Newcastle. Their single ‘One Night In October’ reached No. 1 in the independent singles chart, so they’ve already got a relatively huge following.

It was the busiest I’ve seen the Joiners; it was a room full of sweaty, drunk lads who were all pretty excited for the band to start. When Little Comets play live they breathe life into their bouncy, poppy songs. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the fun of their live sets. At such an intimate venue, the gig really felt like we were watching something special.

Yes, Little Comets are a guitar band and that’s nothing new, but their songs and the way they approach them really are. In a genre that’s been done to death already, Little Comets are unexpectedly unique. In half an hour they convinced me that there is a future for guitar bands; something that no one has been able to do for a good year or so.

The audience sang along to pretty much every song as the band bounced their way through their perfectly formed pop-tracks such as ‘Friday Don’t Need It’ and ‘Adultery’, but it was ‘Joanna’ that really stood out. Unlike their other guitar-pop tunes, this a capella track quietened the room. It’s the song that sets them above their contemporaries and proves they’re not just four guys playing poppy lad-rock. They’re not a grown-up version of McFly, they’re a group of proper musicians who write proper lyrics and know how to engage the crowd.

Someone in the crowd shouted up to singer Rob, confessing that his girlfriend loved him. Rob got a lot of love that night; a couple of tracks in someone shouted that they loved him too. His witty responses, which were quicker than a heartbeat, had the crowd laughing throughout the set. Little Comets are the kind of band that will do well during the festival season. The fun they radiate is infectious and I can imagine nothing nicer than dancing in the afternoon to one of their sets.

They won over my friend whose CD collection extends to a collection of Now albums and the Glee soundtrack If they can do that, I have no doubt they’ll charm their audiences on the rest of the tour, and wherever else they get to play this summer.

Illustration by Aniela Murphy

The other Saturday I took a little trip down to The Wapping Project to see the rather splendid Ally Capellino exhibition. Completely under-publicised, drugs I have to thank Susie over at Style Bubble for bringing it to my attention. I’m a huge fan of this understated label, and I often pop into their store on Calvert Avenue in Shoreditch to salivate over their rather wonderful bags, rewarding myself with a coffee at Leila’s afterwards.

Turns out I’m a mere moment from The Wapping Project too, so I popped down with a couple of pals, only to be told by a florist, who shall remain nameless, that the exhibition was closed due to a wedding. Saddened, we stood outside hoping that we could at least get a glimpse through the window. LUCKILY, the director of the WP ushered us in. The wedding wasn’t due to start for a while (the International Sales Director of Topshop’s wedding, none-the-less, lah-de-dah) so we had twenty-two minutes to zip round.

The Wapping Project is ‘an idea consistently in transition’ and is set in the Wapping Hydraulic Power Station. Its interior remains pretty much as it would have done when in commercial use, with power hydrants and various power station ephemera still clinging solidly to the floors, around which the space is managed. During the evenings, the main room is transformed into an a la carte restaurant, and said wedding looked pretty incredible.

In the lower, darker, damper room, the Ally Capellino exhibition occupies the entire space. The central exhibition, made from recycled doors and different types of wood, tells the story of this intriguing brand, encircled by portraits of various fashionistas modelling different luggage and apparel.

Ally Capellino is the baby and brainchild of Alison Lloyd, began in 1980 (obv, being its thirtieth birthday). It’s gone from being a very small operation to an acclaimed British leather label. In her own words, she’s gone from ‘young designer to old bag lady’ and this exhibition sees Alison take a nostalgic and sometimes ‘embarrassing’ trip down memory lane.

The essence of Ally Capellino is predominantly British, with sneaky and slight European influences – often the simple style of the Scandinavians. The choronilogical exhibition explains, in just the right amount of detail, the progression of the label year-on-year.. The focus is it’s creative bag and luggage range, with clothing peppered here and there.

The label was originally set up as a clothing brand, and some of the examples on display of early garments are a total treat. It’s only been the past ten years where the accessories have shone through and become the stronghold, but the label has produced some exciting and innovative clothing throughout its existence.

There were graphic patterns, floral prints and neat tailoring in the 1980s:

…While a more futuristic style came through in 1990s with clean lines and masculine shapes:

…and childrenswear has remained fun and hip, reflecting the styles of the mens and womenswear whilst remaining playful:

The focus of the exhibition is the ‘bag wall’ – a huge wall dedicated to said bags – a mixture of new styles and vintage examples sent in by dedicated followers of the brand. Each bag has it’s only story to tell and numbers attached to the bag link to a wall of numbered stories. The essence of the brand is it’s focus on quality – some of these bags, which appear relatively new, are twenty years old for God’s sake!

Rupert Blanchard is behind the recycled, industrial look of the exhibition, and he shares Alison’s ‘passion for salvage and dread of waste’ and nothing looks out of place in this historical landmark.

There’s also a great selection of press material and advertising spanning the whole Ally Capellino era, with some great menswear advertisements, photographic thumbnails, and Vogue featured-in cards:

What does the future hold for the brand? Well, more of the same, please. With a host of collaborations with the likes of the Tate galleries and Apple, I expect there’ll be more of this in the pipeline. And what to say of the bags? Well, hopefully these beautiful creations, in a variety of subtle leathers and complimentary materials, will be produced for years to come.

Head down to the exhibition fast because it’s not on for long – go on, you’ll have a whopping time, even if fashion’s not necessarily your bag. (With puns like these, I should really work in Wapping for a certain tabloid newspaper.)


Illustration by Aniela Murphy

Check out all the important deets here.

Categories ,Alison Lloyd, ,Ally Capellino, ,Apple, ,Bags, ,Calvert Avenue, ,fashion, ,Hipstamatic, ,leather, ,Leila’s Café, ,Recycled wood, ,Rupert Blanchard, ,Salvage, ,shoreditch, ,Tate, ,The Wapping Project, ,vogue, ,wapping

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Amelia’s Magazine | Simeon Farrar, The Great British Summertime: New S/S 2012 Season Preview Interview

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Madi Illustrates
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Madi Illustrates

What began as an ‘art experiment’ by London-based Simeon Farrar has now turned into a successful fashion label; winning not only international acclaim but also the prestigious NEWGEN award three times along the way. Despite being crowned a fashion buyer favourite with stockists such as Liberty in the UK and many more in Paris, Tokyo, and Sydney (to name a few), Simeon hasn’t lost sight of his Fine Art training gained at the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. Every collection begins with a philosophical root from which the designs and drawings develop and each one-off piece is then created with Simeon’s trademark dash of humour delivered through experiments with colour and print, done by hand in his Shoreditch studio.

Simeon Farrar
Simeon Farrar, all photographs courtesy of Iroquois PR

As someone who trained as a fine artist, what was it that made you want to turn your hand from canvas and paper to fabric?
I’ve always been into printmaking and I used to use a lot of screen-printing in my paintings. I would load them up with all sorts of images and paint over them to form multiple layers. I started putting some of these images on to t-shirts purely as another surface rather than as fashion. The first t-shirts were so loaded with paint like the canvases that they could never be worn. I got so into this that it soon evolved into fashion.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by JL Illustration
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Jason Lear

As a ‘non-fashion’ person, did you expect to make such a big impression when you first exhibited at London Fashion Week?
Absolutely not. I had no idea what people would think of me. I didn’t even have an order book so I guess I didn’t expect to write any orders. Suddenly I had all these people wanting to order this junk I’d made which I found all a bit weird. It was still an art experiment at that point.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Abi Hall
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Abi Hall

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about being a designer and the way the world of Fashion works?
As an artist you develop a certain degree of snobbery towards anything that isn’t ‘Art’. I can safely say that I have been cleansed of that snobbery after being welcomed so openly into the fashion world. I’ve learned that it’s all a load of rubbish and an artist just does what ever he/she feels is the most honest path for their creativity and it doesn’t need a label to make it valid.

Neon Butterfly Chiffon Maxi
Butterfly Chiffon Maxi

Your ‘Kate Mouse‘ illustration has become a widely recognised and coveted t-shirt graphic. Why do you think it’s had so much success?
For me it was one of those magical moments when an image just works perfectly. I’d drawn the image for a nursery rhyme collection we were doing at the time and I wanted to do Three Blind Mice. So, to name the file on Photoshop I used ‘Kate Mouse’ so I would recognise it. Then it just clicked, like a light bulb coming on above my head. I think it’s been a success for the same reason. It’s not forced or contrived, just simple and genius. There’s been such a demand ever since her birth that she’s featured in every collection since, with various additions. She gets pimped up every season. Except this forthcoming A/W 2012.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Alia Gargum
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Alia Gargum

What personally inspired you to create a ‘Kate Mouse’ t-shirt with Net-A-Porter especially for the Japan Earthquake relief appeal?
Two of my staff are Japanese and they have been with me for years so due to that I feel a certain closeness with Japan. We sell a lot in Japan, and since I began the label the Japanese have been so supportive and loyal to my brand that when the earthquake hit it felt like an opportunity to repay some of that. The Kate Mouse print was our obvious big hitter, so I thought it would make the most money if we offered it for the appeal. We did it by ourselves at first, offering a free t-shirt with every donation to Save The Children. That went very well but as we were paying postage we had to limit it to the UK only. My PR company Iroquois and I approached Net-A-Porter so we could take it further. They were amazing with how they took it up and offered so much percentage of the profit to the appeal. I was very impressed with their instant generosity.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Dana Bocai
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Dana Bocai

Your current S/S 2012 collection not only has your own charming take on the uniquely temperamental British summer through neon colours, raindrop prints and a nod to the new Royalty, but a uniquely feel-good quote that runs throughout. How did the slogan ‘You Are My Silver Lining’ form in your head?
There is always a sense of romance in my collections, and no matter what the theme I always like to bring that in. I like the idea of someone being your Silver Lining. No matter what happens in life there is someone who’s very presence brings with it a sense of hope or a way out of darkness.

Slogan Print Tote with Leather Handles
Slogan Print Tote with Leather Handles

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Alejandra Espino
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Alejandra Espino

What are your favourite colours to print in (at the moment) and why?
I loved using the neon colours in the S/S 2012 collection. I like printing images in neon then overlaying that with a black print and washing it all out so the greys defuse the neon a bit.

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Mitika Chohan
Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Mitika Chohan
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Mitika Chohan

What can we expect for A/W 2012 from Simeon Farrar?
For S/S 2012 we had a ghost print that did very well, so I’ve built the next collection round that. So I guess it’s a Haunted House collection. We’ve got lots of ghost drawings, howling wolves, that kind of thing. But, there’s also a romantic side to it. I’ve always been interested in the tragic side of vampires and the sense of undying love that runs through it. So I’ve brought a lot of that in to the collection. And for the first time, NO KATE MOUSE. I didn’t want to cheapen her and put some fangs on her or something. Kate Mouse is dead, you heard it here first.

Cloud Print Tote Bag
Cloud Print Tote Bag

Simeon Farrar Spring/Summer 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins
Simeon Farrar S/S 2012 by Gareth A Hopkins

Simeon Farrar’s current S/S 2012 collection is available to buy in store and online at a variety of stockists, and his forthcoming A/W 2012 collection will be exhibited at Tranoi this March.

Categories ,Abi Hall, ,Alejandra Espino, ,Alia Gargum, ,Autumn/Winter 2012-13, ,british summer, ,canvas, ,Creativity, ,Dana Bocai, ,drawing, ,Fine Art, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Haunted House, ,illustration, ,Iroquois, ,Jason Lear, ,Kate Mouse, ,liberty, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Madi Illustrates, ,Mitika Chohan, ,Neon, ,Net-A-Porter, ,Newgen, ,painting, ,paris, ,Romance, ,royalty, ,Save The Children, ,screen-printing, ,shoreditch, ,Simeon Farrar, ,Spring/Summer 2012, ,sydney, ,T-shirts, ,tokyo, ,Tranoi, ,University of Creative Arts Farnham, ,Vampires, ,You Are My Silver Lining

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Amelia’s Magazine | Mich Dulce launches her new Saints and Sinners S/S 2012 hat collection at No-One

Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce S/S 2012 Saints and Sinners. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Last night I went to the launch of Mich Dulce‘s new hat collection, side effects Saints and Sinners, which was held at No-One in Shoreditch.

Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce has trained long and hard in the art of millinery, with stints at Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She has also been apprenticed to designers Marjan Pejoski and Jessica Ogden but more recently she has branched out on her own, receiving accolades as the winner of the International Creative Fashion Entrepreneur in 2010 at LFW.

Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Her beautiful creations have been worn by Anna Dello Russo and Adam Ant also sports her designs on his current tour. In fact, Adam Ant was at the launch, looking relatively normal apart from fantastic multicoloured nails and many jewelled fingers (unfortunately not visible in this photo).

Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce‘s new collection features amazing curvaceous designs in spiralled, budding, winged, rosette shapes. Options are available in elegant greys and blacks or vibrant yellow and pink, some with netting or on headbands, all of which guests were encouraged to try on.

Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory
Her gorgeous hats are highly desirable but that’s not all that makes Mich Dulce special: coming from the Philippines she has made it her mission to celebrate traditional Filipino crafts through her choice of materials. All the hats are handmade from T’nalck, which is woven with abaca fibre by the women of the T’Boli peoples of Lake Sebu in South Cotobato in the Philippines. The craft is an essential part of their heritage which Mich is proud to support and promote to a wider international audience. The final headpieces are also ethically made by the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, with all craftspeople personally trained by Mich.

Mich Dulce SS 2012 hat launch 2011-Saints and Sinners photo by Amelia Gregory Rob Lucas and Adam Ant
Rob Lucas and Adam Ant.

It was great to finally meet Mich since we’ve been conversing on twitter for some time. I also spent a long time chatting to a very interesting chap called Rob Lucas, who works as a antique arms and military specialist for Bonhams and in his spare time creates revolutionary inspired menswear for his Pimpernel label. Next year Rob is launching a brand new military inspired label with Adam Ant: Blueblack Hussar, and Mich Dulce will be designing the headwear. I can’t wait!

Also check out Mich Dulce’s own blog about the event… featuring myself with bike!

Categories ,2010, ,Adam Ant, ,Anna Dello Russo, ,Antique Arms and Militaria, ,Blueblack Hussar, ,Bonhams, ,Central Saint Martins, ,craft, ,ethical, ,Fashion Institute of Technology, ,Filipino, ,Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, ,handmade, ,hats, ,International Creative Fashion Entrepreneur, ,Jessica Ogden, ,Lake Sebu, ,London College of Fashion, ,Marjan Pejoski, ,Mich Dulce, ,military, ,millinery, ,new york, ,No-One, ,Philippines, ,Pimpernel, ,Revolutionary, ,Rob Lucas, ,shoreditch, ,South Cotabato, ,T’Boli, ,T’nalck, ,Woven

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011: Presentation and Film Review: Ziad Ghanem

Menswear day usually brings out the most stylish men, cialis 40mg buy more about whether sharp sartorial, ask post-punk or borderline ridiculous. Here’s a very quick look at what some of them were wearing for your delectation…

Love this Christopher Shannon print:

I love this guy’s boots. Bang on trend.

These AREN’T men – they are Amelia Gregory and Amelia’s Magazine illustrator Naomi Law!


Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

I have to say that I was more than a little disappointed when cult couturier Ziad Ghanem revealed, look when I interviewed him last month, that he would be showing a film for ‘Mother Russia’, his S/S 2011 collection, rather than producing a show. How would I cope without Ziad on the catwalk line-up? It was the highlight of my A/W 2010 fashion week by far.

Well, true to form, Ziad still managed to dazzle at swanky Shoreditch haunt Avalon on Monday night. I thought I might miss this one because I had hotted it from central London after the FAD Awards, and it turns out I did miss the live presentation of the collection. Gutted.


Photographs kindly courtesy of Masayo Matsuda

The venue, though, was packed full of the intriguing breed of person that Ziad’s visionary work attracts – people with antlers on their heads, for example. It’s a delight to simply stand and admire these people, who always seem to look amazing no matter what they are wearing. I had a job on trying to distinguish who was in the presentation and who was a guest!

The presentation featured a selection of the outfits from Ziad’s S/S 2011 collection, modelled by some familiar faces who have wurked his dramatic ensembles before. They were, inevitably, incredible.


Illustrations by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

As per usual, the sense of drama in Ziad’s collection was palpable. Models with painted white faces leaped around one of Avalon’s many rooms, wearing theatrical numbers that enveloped them. Enormous a-line dresses that models held up by their sides to create the illusion of wings featured and fabrics were adorned with exotic patterns in all sorts of vibrant colours (some of which I recognised from Ziad’s A/W 2010 collection and are quickly becoming a signature). One-shoulder capes featured on the guys who cavorted and writhed with busty ladies in strapless numbers.


Photographs kindly courtesy of Masayo Matsuda

Alongside this ferocious performance, in another room, the film was screened. The room featured grand antique armchairs and had zero lighting, creating yet more drama that the film would inevitably bring.

Directed by Marnie Hollande, fashion filmmaker who we interview recently, this encapsulated what Ziad Ghanem’s eponymous label has come to represent. Dramatic, Russian-inspired music played like a haunting melody as the models, again firm Ziad favourites, pranced around what looked like an old theatre. It had masses of drama and style, as always, as models leaped across the screen and cavorted with each other.

Enjoy:

‘Mother Russia’ by Ziad Ghanem on Vimeo.

Stills from the film:

The good news is that Ziad revealed on his Facebook page that, due to the generosity of a private buyer who has snapped up the entire collection, the Grand Master and his works of art will return to the catwalk next season. A/W 2011 can’t come some enough.

Categories ,Avalon, ,couture, ,drama, ,fashion, ,film, ,London Fashion Week, ,Marnie Hollande, ,Presentation, ,review, ,S/S 2011, ,shoreditch, ,Vibrant, ,Ziad Ghanem

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: Cassette Playa

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Biggest surprise of London Fashion Week? À La Disposition, search about which I knew nothing prior to their show at Fashion Scout. It’s really nice to go to a show and feel like you’ve discovered something exciting – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy LFW so much, and and especially going to the smaller shows. After all, discovering new talent is something I’ve always loved doing in Amelia’s Magazine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

An American husband and wife team, Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne of À La Disposition describe themselves as the fusion of form and function and for The Utopian Aviary collection they looked at the social structures, mimicry and mating displays of birds. This translated into an incredibly modern silhouette based on structures of times past: tight capes, over-developed coat tails that looked like wings and gigantic neck ruffles reminiscent of the medieval era. This was a super confident collection which showcased some superb pattern cutting skills.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson.

The Utopian Aviary opened with a stunning faux fur concoction: skirt layered more like the wings of a beetle than a bird, cape bunched around the shoulders in striped tones of greys. Black, deep green, jades and autumnal reds dominated the ensuing outfits, created in luxe fabrics: silk, taffeta and chiffon.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul WaterA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A digitalised moire print featured on dress and blouse. Red buttons provided a contrasting punch to forest green velvet and waists were high and thighs puffed out, topped with exaggerated wing-collared pinstripe shirts and accessorised with fake wool leggings. Shoulder details called to mind the layered shapes of petals on a cross fronted jacket. A shot of deepest honey yellow was a searing burst of winter sunshine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina LiewA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Models had teased up-dos that emulated the chaotic structure of birds’ nests, red alienesque contacts and eyes deeply rimmed with black. The overall effect was nigh on futuristic.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup.

Gigantic breast ruffles appeared on coats and looped down the chest in marled knitwear, extending outwards and upwards until, peacock like, a model appeared bearing a stunning ruffled contraption which rose like cantilevered architecture from the back of her neck in a delicious deep copper metallic silk. Behind, the ruffles cascaded like an echo down the back of her skirt. What a revelation!

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam ParrA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Also of mention was the bulging goodie bags on the front row which contained two bottles of the new À La Disposition perfume {{intangible}}. These are composed of the same base ingredients, but with alternating top notes so that they can either be worn alone or together. Created by boutique perfume maker Carvansons I’ve yet to be convinced of their wonder, but the press release is indeed as *intangible* as it was for the The Utopian Aviary show.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

I always write my first draft about a show before I read the accompanying press release because I don’t want it to influence my initial perceptions – like good artwork I feel that a collection should stand alone without any kind of explanation. Which leads me to my final word for À La Disposition: keep it simple. There’s no need for overwrought descriptions, especially when the quality of showmanship itself does the talking.
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Biggest surprise of London Fashion Week? À La Disposition, visit web about which I knew nothing prior to their show at Fashion Scout. It’s really nice to go to a show and feel like you’ve discovered something exciting – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy LFW so much, medicine and especially going to the smaller shows. After all, discovering new talent is something I’ve always loved doing in Amelia’s Magazine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

An American husband and wife team, Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne of À La Disposition describe themselves as the fusion of form and function and for The Utopian Aviary collection they looked at the social structures, mimicry and mating displays of birds. This translated into an incredibly modern silhouette based on structures of times past: tight capes, over-developed coat tails that looked like wings and gigantic neck ruffles reminiscent of the medieval era. This was a super confident collection which showcased some superb pattern cutting skills.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson.

The Utopian Aviary opened with a stunning faux fur concoction: skirt layered more like the wings of a beetle than a bird, cape bunched around the shoulders in striped tones of greys. Black, deep green, jades and autumnal reds dominated the ensuing outfits, created in luxe fabrics: silk, taffeta and chiffon.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul WaterA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A digitalised moire print featured on dress and blouse. Red buttons provided a contrasting punch to forest green velvet and waists were high and thighs puffed out, topped with exaggerated wing-collared pinstripe shirts and accessorised with fake wool leggings. Shoulder details called to mind the layered shapes of petals on a cross fronted jacket. A shot of deepest honey yellow was a searing burst of winter sunshine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina LiewA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Models had teased up-dos that emulated the chaotic structure of birds’ nests, red alienesque contacts and eyes deeply rimmed with black. The overall effect was nigh on futuristic.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup.

Gigantic breast ruffles appeared on coats and looped down the chest in marled knitwear, extending outwards and upwards until, peacock like, a model appeared bearing a stunning ruffled contraption which rose like cantilevered architecture from the back of her neck in a delicious deep copper metallic silk. Behind, the ruffles cascaded like an echo down the back of her skirt. What a revelation!

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam ParrA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Also of mention was the bulging goodie bags on the front row which contained two bottles of the new À La Disposition perfume {{intangible}}. These are composed of the same base ingredients, but with alternating top notes so that they can either be worn alone or together. Created by boutique perfume maker Carvansons I’ve yet to be convinced of their wonder, but the press release is indeed as *intangible* as it was for the The Utopian Aviary show.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

I always write my first draft about a show before I read the accompanying press release because I don’t want it to influence my initial perceptions – like good artwork I feel that a collection should stand alone without any kind of explanation. Which leads me to my final word for À La Disposition: keep it simple. There’s no need for overwrought descriptions, especially when the quality of showmanship itself does the talking.
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Biggest surprise of London Fashion Week? À La Disposition, viagra 60mg about which I knew nothing prior to their show at Fashion Scout. It’s really nice to go to a show and feel like you’ve discovered something exciting – it’s one of the reasons I enjoy LFW so much, treatment and especially going to the smaller shows. After all, cialis 40mg discovering new talent is something I’ve always loved doing in Amelia’s Magazine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

An American husband and wife team, Lynda Cohen Kinne and Daniel Kinne of À La Disposition describe themselves as the fusion of form and function and for The Utopian Aviary collection they looked at the social structures, mimicry and mating displays of birds. This translated into an incredibly modern silhouette based on structures of times past: tight capes, over-developed coat tails that looked like wings and gigantic neck ruffles reminiscent of the medieval era. This was a super confident collection which showcased some superb pattern cutting skills.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Emma Lucy Watson.

The Utopian Aviary opened with a stunning faux fur concoction: skirt layered more like the wings of a beetle than a bird, cape bunched around the shoulders in striped tones of greys. Black, deep green, jades and autumnal reds dominated the ensuing outfits, created in luxe fabrics: silk, taffeta and chiffon.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul WaterA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zoe Georgiou of Soul Water.

A digitalised moire print featured on dress and blouse. Red buttons provided a contrasting punch to forest green velvet and waists were high and thighs puffed out, topped with exaggerated wing-collared pinstripe shirts and accessorised with fake wool leggings. Shoulder details called to mind the layered shapes of petals on a cross fronted jacket. A shot of deepest honey yellow was a searing burst of winter sunshine.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina LiewA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Zarina Liew.

Models had teased up-dos that emulated the chaotic structure of birds’ nests, red alienesque contacts and eyes deeply rimmed with black. The overall effect was nigh on futuristic.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sophie Pickup.

Gigantic breast ruffles appeared on coats and looped down the chest in marled knitwear, extending outwards and upwards until, peacock like, a model appeared bearing a stunning ruffled contraption which rose like cantilevered architecture from the back of her neck in a delicious deep copper metallic silk. Behind, the ruffles cascaded like an echo down the back of her skirt. What a revelation!

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam ParrA La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

Also of mention was the bulging goodie bags on the front row which contained two bottles of the new À La Disposition perfume {{intangible}}. These are composed of the same base ingredients, but with alternating top notes so that they can either be worn alone or together. Created by boutique perfume maker Carvansons I’ve yet to be convinced of their wonder, but the press release is indeed as *intangible* as it was for the The Utopian Aviary show.

A La Disposition A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr
A La Disposition A/W 2011 by Sam Parr.

I always write my first draft about a show before I read the accompanying press release because I don’t want it to influence my initial perceptions – like good artwork I feel that a collection should stand alone without any kind of explanation. Which leads me to my final word for À La Disposition: keep it simple. There’s no need for overwrought descriptions, especially when the quality of showmanship itself does the talking.

You can see more work by Zarina Liew in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustration by Gabriel Ayala

I’ve always approached Cassette Playa with caution. She’s responsible for making Shoreditch look like a live Pump up The Jam video and has a lot to answer for when it comes to one of my good friends’ questionable fashion choices.


All photography by Matt Bramford

And then what happened? Well, thumb I can’t tell you, more about but I at least didn’t here anything for a while; I’m sure Carrie Mundane didn’t disappear, you probably had to look a bit harder than I was (i.e, not at all). Then, when the schedules were released at the beginning of the year, there was Cassette Playa on Menswear Day. I have to admit I got a little excited – last season’s KTZ show was one of the highlights and really mixed up Menswear Day in a sea of classic tailoring and less-than-experimental clobber for blokes, and I expected Cassette Playa would do the same.


Illustration by Krister Selin

Unsurprisingly the show was packed with all sorts of fashion-forward dressers, including one flamboyant gent sporting a Katie Eary PVC rabbit mask. At regular intervals he removed it to deeply inhale because he clearly couldn’t breathe behind it. Well, I ask you.

As the glamorous polythene sheet was removed from the catwalk and the lights began to dim, a rather flustered PR boy shoved me along the front row shouting ‘We’ve got to seat Charlie! We’ve GOT TO SEAT CHARLIE!’ As I pondered the different Charlies that could warrant such a reaction, Charlie Porter from Fantastic Man took a seat at the side of me and I wondered if that was all really necessary.


Illustration by Gemma Milly

I don’t know what’s changed since nu-rave had its day, but I bloody loved this show. A marriage of rude boys, rockers and thugs, this comeback collection had a bit of everything. This definitely wasn’t a collection for the sartorial dresser; not a single (or doubled-breasted) blazer in sight.

Leather and denim jackets were jazzed up with all sorts of various emblems representing various subcultures: rocker flames and hip-hop graffiti, for example. Cable-knit hooded sweaters in grey (worn on the most tattooed man I’ve ever seen, save on the pages of Pick Me Up Magazine) were embellished with embroidered graphic logos and teamed with baby pink shorts, and one of my favourite pieces was an oversized grey jersey t-shirt with an enormous leather motif in pink.

Padded jackets famed on East End market stalls were emblazoned with the Cassette Playa logo came in varied, vibrant colours and were worn with oversized rucksacks and trousers with acid graphic prints that bordered on hallucinogenic.


Illustration by Antonia Parker

A bit of womenswear showed up to – more references to music subcultures on body-conscious short dresses with sleeves. These were modelled by a curvaceous chick who swaggered up and down to the sounds of metal music, and it was bloody marvellous to see a model with sex appeal rather than the dead-behind-the-eyes waif I’d grown accustomed to this season.


Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

The lights dimmed, and the second half of the show brought out models sprayed head-to-toe in gold to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ken (of Barbie fame) – the ‘ultimate boyfriend’. CP X Ken is a capsule collection which features mostly black garments with Cassette Playa’s unique mix of prints and embellishments – silk rose-printed shirts, baseball jackets with patches, that sort of thing. I have to admit, when a model is gold and has enormous breasts (I’m talking about a menswear show, here) the clothes can go unnoticed.

So, consider me now a fan of Cassette Playa. Soz, Carrie, that I ever doubted you. Welcome back!

See more of Gareth A Hopkins, Gemma Milly, Antonia Parker and Krister Selin’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Antonia Parker, ,AW11, ,Barbie, ,BFC, ,Carrie Mundane, ,Cassette Playa, ,catwalk, ,East End, ,Fantastic Man, ,Gabriel Alaya, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Gemma Milly, ,Gold, ,Ken, ,Krister Selin, ,London Fashion Week, ,menswear, ,metal, ,Nu-rave, ,Pick Me Up Magazine, ,Pump Up The Jam, ,review, ,shoreditch

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Menswear Day Presentation Review: Mr Start

Cakes for Japan

Illustration by June Chanpoomidole

To those of you that have been to any of the Start boutiques in Shoreditch you’ll know they represent a relaxed luxury that more than compliments the clothes. This is most true for the mens formalwear boutique. I love it and could quiet happily spend hours in there. So when I saw that the Mr Start presentation was being held in One Aldwych I was very excited. Having graced the lobby bar with my presence on at least  one occasion to sip their very tasty cocktails, price I couldn’t think of a more suitable venue. Sadly we were shuffled downstairs to a tiny and ill-lit room. Pleased we’d arrived early to avoid the mounting queues, for sale myself and Matt surveyed the clothes.  


Illustration by Joana Faria

Thankfully the collection more than made up for the choice of venue, as did the dynamicism of Mr Start himself, and the lovely Brix Smith Start. Seeing people passionate about what they do never fails to lift my spirits. Despite living my life in jeans, I have a love of all things formal. I long for the day that dress down Fridays are a thing of the past; I’m just too lazy to do it myself. Very hypocritical, you might say. Suits, jackets and ties are almost always appropriate attire, however, they often take more consideration and thought than I am capable of bleary eyed at 7am on workday morning.  


All photography by Matt Bramford

This collection would inspire me to rise just that little bit earlier and make just a bit more effort. Mixing heritage fabrics such as Harris Tweeds with a modern cut, the collection worked really well. The colours chosen also lifted this collection from being too stayed; crushed grape and turquoise green statement jackets provided a subtle lift to everything. But we weren’t just treated to suits, elegantly tailored shirts in a variety of collar shapes were also a sight to behold. A clean colour palette of white, black and grey, the shirts complimented the suiting without overpowering it; my favourite being a smaller but starkly cutaway collar. I’d say understated luxury for those in the know was a common theme of the whole collection but the deep velvet suit and dinner jackets were far from understated.  


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

Another great piece was the double breasted cropped peacoat. We’ve seen these on every boy band and All Saints clone in the past few seasons, but there was still something fresh about this piece. Mr Start’s accessories were equally strong with many of the fashion pack gushing over the suede brogues and loafers. They have a definite place on my wishlist, but I fear no amount of scotchguarding will protect them from my clumsy ways.  

In store this collection will shine even brighter than it did during the presentation, and leaving the store dressed head to toe in Mr Start will be a feat of inordinate self control. It’s just a shame the lighting and crowding let things down a little. Here’s looking forward to next seasons presentation, and a quick/expensive trip to Shoreditch in the meantime.  

See more from June Chanpoomidole and Joana Faria in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Brix Smith Start, ,Joana Faria, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,menswear, ,Menswear Day, ,Mr Start, ,One Aldwych, ,Presentation, ,review, ,shoreditch, ,Start, ,Suits, ,tailoring

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Menswear Day Presentation Review: Mr Start


Illustration by June Chanpoomidole

To those of you that have been to any of the Start boutiques in Shoreditch you’ll know they represent a relaxed luxury that more than compliments the clothes. This is most true for the mens formalwear boutique. I love it and could quiet happily spend hours in there. So when I saw that the Mr Start presentation was being held in One Aldwych I was very excited. Having graced the lobby bar with my presence on at least  one occasion to sip their very tasty cocktails, I couldn’t think of a more suitable venue. Sadly we were shuffled downstairs to a tiny and ill-lit room. Pleased we’d arrived early to avoid the mounting queues, myself and Matt surveyed the clothes.  


Illustration by Joana Faria

Thankfully the collection more than made up for the choice of venue, as did the dynamicism of Mr Start himself, and the lovely Brix Smith Start. Seeing people passionate about what they do never fails to lift my spirits. Despite living my life in jeans, I have a love of all things formal. I long for the day that dress down Fridays are a thing of the past; I’m just too lazy to do it myself. Very hypocritical, you might say. Suits, jackets and ties are almost always appropriate attire, however, they often take more consideration and thought than I am capable of bleary eyed at 7am on workday morning.  


All photography by Matt Bramford

This collection would inspire me to rise just that little bit earlier and make just a bit more effort. Mixing heritage fabrics such as Harris Tweeds with a modern cut, the collection worked really well. The colours chosen also lifted this collection from being too stayed; crushed grape and turquoise green statement jackets provided a subtle lift to everything. But we weren’t just treated to suits, elegantly tailored shirts in a variety of collar shapes were also a sight to behold. A clean colour palette of white, black and grey, the shirts complimented the suiting without overpowering it; my favourite being a smaller but starkly cutaway collar. I’d say understated luxury for those in the know was a common theme of the whole collection but the deep velvet suit and dinner jackets were far from understated.  


Illustration by Maria Papadimitriou

Another great piece was the double breasted cropped peacoat. We’ve seen these on every boy band and All Saints clone in the past few seasons, but there was still something fresh about this piece. Mr Start’s accessories were equally strong with many of the fashion pack gushing over the suede brogues and loafers. They have a definite place on my wishlist, but I fear no amount of scotchguarding will protect them from my clumsy ways.  

In store this collection will shine even brighter than it did during the presentation, and leaving the store dressed head to toe in Mr Start will be a feat of inordinate self control. It’s just a shame the lighting and crowding let things down a little. Here’s looking forward to next seasons presentation, and a quick/expensive trip to Shoreditch in the meantime.  

See more from June Chanpoomidole and Joana Faria in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Brix Smith Start, ,Joana Faria, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,london, ,London Fashion Week, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,menswear, ,Menswear Day, ,Mr Start, ,One Aldwych, ,Presentation, ,review, ,shoreditch, ,Start, ,Suits, ,tailoring

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Amelia’s Magazine | #LCFBA15: London College of Fashion BA Hons 2015 Catwalk Review

FanniVargiLCFBA2015
LCF BA(hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear by Fanni Varga.

London College of Fashion took over Shoreditch this week to present their graduating collections for 2015. The former Nicholls and Clarke Building has been commandeered (until tomorrow) and for the first time all graduates from LCF are showcasing their work together.

Monday night saw the top twenty graduating fashion design students present their work at a lavish catwalk show. I only know it was lavish because I saw it being streamed at the George & Dragon boozer an hour or so later; I couldn’t get in the actual venue because it was massively oversubscribed. Amelia, toting visible pregnant belly, managed to score a seat inside, but I settled for a prime spot just outside the entrance and photographed the models as they emerged in groups from a purpose built marquee. It had all the glamour of a school sports day, but you can’t beat early evening summer light for pictures and there was much less of a scrum.

As per usual, the standard was exceptionally high, but I’ve picked a few of my favourites:

Natalie Ballout
Natalie Ballout opened the show with an army of peace sign-touting models. Netting, knitwear and rope made up these complex creations with punk influences.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_001
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_004
All photography by Matt Bramford

Oilam (Louisa) Pang
Oilam (Louisa) Pang was first up representing menswear. Traditional tailoring was mixed with sportwear influences in a polished collection that wouldn’t look out of place at this weekend’s upcoming London Collections: Men showcase.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_008
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_011

Chunyin Marc Mok
Chunyin’s sculptural pieces looked 2D with paper-like fabrics constructed in intriuging, non-conformist shapes, but it will be his futuristic foam footwear that his graduating collection will be remembered for:
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_021
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_032

Isobel R. Cook, Giverney Volrath and Jay Biscarra
Isobel R. Cook and Jay Biscarra’s collections were shown together, I assume, because they were strikingly similar in inspiration and reference. With hints of tribal designs and an exotic jungle palette, both men and women wore laser cut armour-like creations and thick wool coats. Giverney Volrath produced the striking laser-cut embellishments.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_055
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_051

Fanni Varga
Distressed fabrics and obscure seams in unusual places made Fanni Varga’s collection ethereal and futuristic – a theme that ran through many of the graduate’s work.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_064

Jinwoong Bang
One of my favourite menswear collection’s was by Jinwoong Bang. White in colour with lots of sportswear influences, the collection was incredibly slick. Burst of orange, including sports stripes and cropped jackets, made the collection cohesive.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_076
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_080

Kenji Lau
Kenji Lau continued the warrior and protest theme initiated by Natalie Ballout’s show opener. Models with Middle Eastern headwear covering eyes carried enormous flags, with textiles by Angela Domale. Garments were heavy, covering the models’ bodies, and featured unfinished edges and many tassles.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_085
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_088

Marianne Tse-Laurence
Marianne Tse-Laurence’s menswear was in stark contrast to the aforementioned collections for gents. Arctic explorer types wore furs and thick overcoats in cold winter colours, teamed with long frayed skirts.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_097
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_099

Geneviève Pinette and Lisaveta Haponenka
A welcome relief from the dark, heavier collections – Geneviève Pinette’s future disco attire was a firm favourite. Vibrantly coloured dresses had rigid inserts that toyed with the models’ silhouettes; dark tights had haphazard attachments and metallic strips with textiles by Lisaveta Haponenka.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_107
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_110

Dan He
The penultimate collection in the show, Dan He’s was a real stand-out. Exaggerated silhouettes, including bell-shaped skirts, oversized circular jackets and wide-legged trousers, all appeared in the same cream/peach tone. Jordan Byron Britton’s millinery topped off the collection perfectly.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_129
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_131

Catherine Wang and Camila Lopes
Closing the show, Catherine Wang presented striking hand-painted (I think) dresses in various shapes. Shoestring straps held them up as they draped down models and tied the dresses in different places, creating dreamy, swirling shapes with textiles by Camila Lopes.
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_149
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_152
MattBramford_LCFBA15_June2015_154

The exhibition runs until tomorrow – more details here.

Categories ,Blossom Street, ,Catherine Wang, ,catwalk, ,Chunyin Marc Mok, ,Dan He, ,Fanni Varga, ,fashion, ,Geneviève Pinette, ,graduate, ,Isobel R. Cook, ,Jay Biscarra, ,Jinwoong Bang, ,knitwear, ,LCFBA15, ,london, ,London College of Fashion, ,Maria Giannakopoulou, ,Marianne Tse-Laurence, ,menswear, ,Natalie Ballout, ,Oilam (Louisa) Pang, ,review, ,shoreditch, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | London College of Fashion BA (Hons) Graduate Catwalk Show 2014

•RuriWatanabe_LCFBA2014_Illustration
LCF BA Graduate Collection by Ruri Watanabe

A whole three weeks ago, while trying to wade through 10,000 London Collections: Men photographs and write up show reports, I went to another fashion show. The London College of Fashion hosted their BA collections two days after LC:M had finished (and I’d barely started). I knew that going was a bit silly, but I couldn’t resist – each year the standard is so high and the collections are so unique. ‘Bugger it’ I thought, as I legged it to The Yard in Shoreditch, the venue for this year’s show.

Twenty-six collections – many collaborations – is a bit of a challenge. At the LC:M menswear shows it’s pretty much one idea translated 30-odd times, but here there were TWENTY SIX totally different, totally unique ideas. Each student is worth a full review, but if I did that I wouldn’t sleep for days. I urge you to check out the very comprehensive University of the Arts London Showtime website where you can see collections in full. In the meantime, here’s a run-down of my favourites:

Opening the show was Daniel Tanner‘s regal womenswear, where dramatic sections of fabric in contrasting colours were fastened together with oversized knots.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_007DanielTanner
All photography by Matt Bramford

I loved Arianna Luparia‘s luxuriant womenswear; rigid felt fabric in rich, dark colours appeared moulded into shapes that revealed bare flesh. Pieces were finished with Henriette Camilla Sveen‘s glorious jewellery and objet d’art – black wood and gold sculptures.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_051AriannaLuparia_HyejinGo_HenrietteCamillaSveen

Faye Van Andel collaborated with Contour student Zoë Greening. The result was lace lingerie draped with rich silk fabrics and finished with fur wraps:

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_062FayeVanAndel_ZoeGreening

Luke Bullen and Jana Dahmen drew gasps from the audience with their ghostly, ethereal creatures. Delicate white sheets with unfinished hems were painted with black stripes with a resulting translucency. Models’ faces were only just visible underneath these unique creations.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_079LukeBullen_JanaDahmen

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_088LukeBullen_JanaDahmen

Bespoke Tailoring graduate Marta Cesaro collaborated with knitwear designer Shasha Wong. The result: a polished collection of coats, tops and dresses in thick fabrics and pastel colours. Hats with enormous brims, concealing models’ faces, completed their looks.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_131MartaCesaro_ShashaWong

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_139MartaCesaro_ShashaWong

I was blown away by Lucia Kelly‘s womenswear, with textiles by Inthira Tangjaroensutthichai. Love hearts formed the inspiration for these vibrant hand-painted metallic pieces; long coats were synched at the waist and long dresses with sweetheart necklines had dramatic dropped sleeves.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_175LuciaKelly_InthiraTangjaroensutthicha

Headpieces made from hair by Nicole Paskauskas transformed the clothing by Fiona Barnes and Lauren Pilgreen

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_189FionaBarnes_LaurenPilgreen_NicolePaskauskas

Sunjung Park‘s denim creations were pretty striking to say the least; shredded fabrics with thick knots and flattering, 1970s-esque shapes that revealed bare navals were complimented by Vivian Ng‘s bizarre and fascinating septum jewellery.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_215SunjungPark_JesikaJuly_VivianNg

Also bringing a disco element to the catwalk were Sofia Ilmonen and Jinhee Moon, with millinery by Mengna Ye. Towelling pastel fabrics were matched with metallic ruffles, velvet and tinsel in a collection that sounds hideous when written down but sparkled in real life.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_242SofiaIlomen_JinheeMoon_MengnaYe

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_245SofiaIlomen_JinheeMoon_MengnaYe

Maewa Uhlmann‘s luxurious sportswear in pretty much all white, with floating headpieces and cable details, provided a welcome break:

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_262MaewaUhlmann

A collaboration between Victoria Smith and Hae-Na Kim, featuring dramatic blosson shapes and candy colours, was a worthy winner of collection of the year:

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_301VictoriaSmith_HaeNaKim

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_302VictoriaSmith_HaeNaKim

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_371Finale_Awards

Clarissa Kang and Umme Salma presented a futuristic collection; dramatic, layered, silk pieces were brought to life with contemporary rigid braces with hair details:

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_320ClarissaKang_UmmeSalma

Menswear was, as always, well represented. My favourites included Danielle Nichol/Katie Barker/Tiffany C. Ng‘s offering, with revealing sportswear and futuristic jewellery; Carl Jan Cruz‘s unfinished tailoring combining a wide range of fabrics; Guyhyun Jee‘s ostentatious fur coats and Ruri Watanabe‘s fun, vibrant style that was complimented with womenswear.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_113DanielleNichol_KatieBarker

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_162CarlJanCruz

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_240GuyhyunJee

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_272RuriWatanabe_MarcoStormBraskov_HattieBuzzard

Closing the show was Charlotte Knowles. Charlotte had deconstructed Pinscreens and created dazzling pieces that jingled as models walked backwards and forwards. Hundreds of nails were delicately applied to wool coats and translucent dresses layered over skirts. It was the perfect finale to an outstanding show.

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_360CharlotteKnowles

MattBramford_LCFBA2014_363CharlotteKnowles

Categories ,2014, ,Arianna Luparia, ,BA, ,Carl Jan Cruz, ,catwalk, ,Charlotte Knowles, ,Clarissa Kang, ,Daniel Tanner, ,Danielle Nichol, ,fashion, ,Faye Van Andel, ,Fiona Barnes, ,graduate, ,Guyhyun Jee, ,Hae-Na Kim, ,Henriette Camilla Sveen, ,Inthira Tangjaroensutthichai, ,Jana Dahmen, ,Jinhee Moon, ,Katie Barker, ,Lauren Pilgreen, ,LCF, ,London College of Fashion, ,Lucia Kelly, ,Luke Bullen, ,Maewa Uhlmann, ,Marta Cesaro, ,Matt Bramford, ,Mengna Ye, ,menswear, ,Nicole Paskauskas, ,Pinscreens, ,review, ,Ruri Watanabe, ,Shasha Wong, ,shoreditch, ,Sofia Ilmonen, ,Sunjung Park, ,The Yard, ,Tiffany C. Ng, ,Umme Salma, ,Victoria Smith, ,Vivian Ng, ,Womenswear, ,Zoë Greening

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Topman

Topman, ed story hottest ticket in town!

Topman front row by Pearl Law.
Topman front row by Pearl Law.

You don’t believe me? Why, find dosage then you don’t understand the nature of fashion. Here was the only show where the menswear fashion mafia were out in force. The magnitude of control that the Topshop empire now wields over British fashion cannot be underestimated: between Philip Green, dosage Kate Moss and a huge amount of sponsorship Topshop practically IS British Fashion. Still don’t believe me? Then check out the rollcall of new designers that Topshop sponsored as part of New Gen this year, proudly announced in the foyer of the BFC tents like a litany of high achieving academics proudly etched into the wood panels of a university. They represent the very best of the new young designers working in Britain now, but the sad fact is that they will almost certainly be ripped off by the very monster that raised them. How else does Topshop make it’s obscene profits? And don’t even get me started on their ethical practices.

The menswear editors certainly aren’t here because they’re looking forward to the best collection of the entire week. They’re here to keep happy one of their biggest advertisers / the company that pays their consultancy fees. And Mr. Fatcat Philip Green himself can be found shortly before the show holding court in the press room, magnanimously chortling with some pretty young fashionista before taking his position in the front row, smiling contentedly, the lord of his dominion.

I know many of the menswear crew because of my past career as a stylist (for many years merely a fashion cupboard ‘monkey’ and thereafter as a stylist’s assistant) within this niche industry. I loved working as a menswear stylist – it wasn’t so fraught with the pinickety bitching and temper tantrums of womenswear, and the male models were a lot more fun. Even though there is now a dedicated menswear day at London Fashion Week it remains a very small part of the industry by comparison and many of the people I learnt my ‘craft’ alongside have now become highly influential, unsure how to treat me… the one who went off on an entirely independent tangent and has since become a mere speck on the edge of the menswear world.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The menswear crew of old sit in the front row opposite me, perfectly lined up like a row of duckies at the fair. First there’s Andrew Davis, sporting his best miserable face. We both started out in the Arena fashion cupboard as minions at the bottom of the heap, but Andrew learnt the art of sycophancy much better than I ever did and quickly rose to the position of Fashion Director for both Arena and Arena Homme Plus magazines. He now consults and styles for many large fashion brands across the world. He’s always looked young, a small ginger lad in a baseball cap, but he was old (29) even when he started out in this business, which just shows where blinding ambition will get you if you’re focused enough. Never let age be a barrier in fashion, especially if you look and act young.

Next to him Steve Beale – who is always chatty to me bless his soul – is now embedded in the bowels of uber lads’ mag FHM, where his career seems to be defined by a relentless quest for self-improvement. It was not always thus; he began life as founding editor of the cult underground magazine Sleaze Nation in the mid 90s… before the lure of cash from a proper job beckoned.

Daryoush Haj-Najafi was working as a barman in the then fantastically trendy Bricklayers Arms in the centre of Shoreditch when Shazzy Thomas, my then boss at The Face (I’d moved fashion cupboards in the Wagadon stable by then) decided he was cute and got him in as an intern in the late 90s. Thus his career began and he now writes extremely funny blogs about fashion for Vice Magazine. Hywel Davies offered me great encouragement at the start of my career – especially when I moved into photography – and used to hire me as a stylist, photographer and writer many years ago, again for Sleaze Nation. He is now a senior lecturer in fashion and has written the fashion tomes Modern Menswear and British Fashion Designers in recent years. Last in our round-up is Way Perry, a well-known stylist and menswear editor of Wonderland Magazine.

They will no doubt be among those who write glowing things about Topman: for them it’s the only way. But I have no such allegiances. Despite knowing many senior people in the Topman marketing and press team, they are one (of many) large advertisers who resolutely failed to support Amelia’s Magazine: in fact you could blame them for the downfall of the print version because if they’d jumped on board I may well have had many other advertisers, such is their power. And they continue to show no interest in what I do, so I can say about the collection what I like. And I will.

Named Berlin Boys this collection was dreariness personified – a feeling echoed in the faces of those opposite me. Styled by the perfectly respectable Alistair Mackie, all sense of excitement had been bled from the collection, just like the spidery tie-dyed silhouette trees bleeding across an apocalyptic reddened sky. On our seats had been placed a glossy little notebook that matched the invite we’d been sent, and this was quite frankly the most exciting bit of design I could see in the vicinity. I just don’t get it. Why not use a catwalk show as an excuse to create something more inspiring? Why does it have to be this way? Even from the second row I could see how cheaply made the clothes are, and how on earth did they find/force so many boys to adopt peroxide blonde hair for the show? Were they paid handsomely for the ordeal? I’ve seen the look so many times before.

Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Topman by Antonia Parker.
Topman. Illustration by Antonia Parker.

But none of it matters, because Topshop and Topman will continue to ‘support’ young designers as they start out on their tricky career in the notoriously fickle world of fashion, and people will continue to buy Topshop’s clothes, both good and bad. It matters not a jot what they choose to send down the catwalk. Mores the pity, for the megalith organisation that is Topshop could effect so much more good in this industry if it chose to. And I’m not just referring to design. Don’t even get me started on their ethical practices…

Categories ,Alistair Mackie, ,Berlin Boys, ,BFC Tent, ,Bricklayers Arms, ,Daryoush Haj-Najafi, ,FHM, ,Hywel Davies, ,Kate Moss, ,Mr. Fatcat, ,New Gen, ,Philip Green, ,Shazzy Thomas, ,shoreditch, ,Sleaze Nation, ,Somerset House, ,Steve Beale, ,The Face, ,Topman, ,topshop, ,Vice Magazine, ,Wagadon, ,Way Perry, ,Wonderland Magazine

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