Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Presentation Review: Cooperative Designs

Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

In our pre- London Fashion Week interview with Cooperative Designs , here the design duo discussed the incredible presentations they produced for S/S 2010 (Bauhaus) and A/W 2010;

“With a presentation we have the opportunity to design the entire event, we try to encapsulate the feel of the collection as an real experience for our guests. This season we are showing at the Groucho Club, and we have some really exciting plans!”

These were the words of Annalisa Dunn and upon entering the packed out Groucho Club, it was the designers had produced something rather special. It was a scene straight from one of my favourite books, Evelyn Waugh’s satiric love affair with London’s upper classes: Vile Bodies (or Bright Young Things to give the book it’s film title).

Utilising the ever-so-shabby, but rather wonderful art deco setting of the Groucho Club, the set designed by David White encouraged the “good time” atmosphere that was infectious from the moment you walked in.

In the centre of the room alongside the live piano, the models were arranged as in a frieze so beloved of traditional painting. Holding their position, they laughed and smiled as cameras snapped Cooperative Designs’ celebrated structural and incredibly textural knitwear. This year saw the introduction of raffia and jersey into their material repertoire.

Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

A Cooperative Designs presentation is a sought after event, by the time I had to leave, a one in one out policy had been implemented, as the upstairs room overflowed with admirers. The fantastic glasses adorning the models were made in collaboration with Alex Cunningham and the intriguing ready-for-the-beach wedges were in association with Flip Flop. As fitting such a special event many of the audience came dressed in previous seasons, making the clothes more covetable for the ease in which they are worn.

Illustration by Michelle Urvall Nyrén

Ever captivated by the fabrics and shapes used by Cooperative Designs, it was a delight to discuss their design process with Annalisa:

“Dorothee has more of a womenswear background then me, she has developed a process she calls Primary pattern cutting. Pieces are designed as flat graphic angular shapes then left to drape and distort on the body. This process particularly suits knitwear, as it has such great drape and stretch properties.”

A more apt title could not be found, for the presentation was titled Bollywood Babylon, which in turn was inspired by artist Kenneth Anger’s books; Hollywood Babylon 1 and 2 in which the writer records the debauchery of 1920′s Hollywood actors. This reviewer is particularly enamored with the art deco inspired print adorning the S/S 2011 collection, oh to join the easy revelry of this imagined film set created by Cooperative Designs!

Photographs by Amy Gwatkin

Categories ,Alex Cunningham, ,Amy Gwatkin, ,Art Deco, ,Bollywood, ,Bright Young Things, ,Cooperative Designs, ,David White, ,Flip Flop, ,Kenneth Anger, ,lfw, ,piano, ,S/S 2011, ,SS11, ,the groucho club, ,Vile Bodies

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Bernard Chandran

Illustration by Rachel Lewis Illustrations by Rachel Lewis

In what is swiftly developing into a London Fashion Week tradition, treat Fashion editor Matt Bramford and I found ourselves waiting in eager anticipation for what would be our third consecutive Bernard Chandran Catwalk. Meeting outside The Old Sorting Office at 9.15 on a cold Saturday morning, more about we wondered what this intriguing designer would produce for S/S 2011.

All photographs by Matt Bramford

The tunic dresses of the collection carried Bernard Chandran’s signature nature inspired prints and were inspired by the designer’s interest in the clean lines and rectangular shape of tradition Malay garments. The print effect were achieved by a traditional Malaysian technique known as Kerawang. Elongated pockets relaxed the straight lines and the bell sleeves added a touch of modern romance.

This most recent collection was a markably less experimental than the designer’s S/S 2010 affair (read our review here). However, information pills taking in the consideration of the current economic climate and the limited funds these designers often have available to them, it is not surprising that the majority of the catwalks (that this reviewer has seen) of S/S 2010 have focused on designs that are relatively sellable rather than the ‘crazy cool’ London is known for.

Perhaps the increased interest in commerce is the result of the British Fashion Council’s hard work to reestablish London Fashion Week as a viable option for buyers to stop at between New York, Milian and Paris. Whatever the reason is, behind this move away from challenging shows, it would be a shame if designers lost completely their platform for experimentation.

Illustration by Rachel Lewis Illustrations by Rachel Lewis

For S/S, the Bernard Chandran women will be dressed in a simple shift coupled with outsized rectangular paneling or the designers trademark use of print. These delicate prints adorning the clothes often have surprising original locations – be it studio detritus, objects or the environment of the designer’s native Malaysia.

The collection shimmered with deep golds interwoven with simmering greens, the collection embraced the colour spectrum and metallics made an appearance either entirely

or within knitted patchwork panels:

As would have be duly noted by now, this London Fashion Week has been the season of tottering models – but perhaps it is not surprising when they are sent down the catwalk in both the highest and filmiest of shoes? One model who never regained her balance limped out of the catwalk.

The music for the show was performed live by Mr Hudson, the hard beats of the DJ was a bold contrast with the sophisticated projection for what to wear in S/S 2011.

The off schedule London catwalks often provide a break from the banal trend reporting the fashion press increasingly focuses on. In reality breathtaking shows whose zeitgeist impact ripple across catwalks for seasons to come are few and far between.

Currently an idea of sophisticated 70′s elegance dominates following the recent (2009) collections of Chloe, Celine and Stella MaCartney, it is refreshing to see collections by designers who are continuing to develop their own aesthetic language.

Trousers came as skinny as the eponymous YSL cigarette suit and the presence of the jumpsuit remains undiminished, are they becoming an undeniable aspect of a designer’s repertoire? As uniform as trousers, skirts and dresses?

Bernard Chandran’s gently romantic collection came to a head with the final show stopping dress, perfect for those days that require a decadent lounging outfit.

Categories ,Bernard Chandran, ,Blow PR, ,british fashion council, ,lfw, ,London Fashion Week, ,Malaysia, ,Modern Romance, ,My Beautiful Fashion, ,Off Schedule, ,S/S 2011, ,SS11, ,The Old Sorting Office

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

Illustration by Kellie Black

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

Illustration by Kellie Black

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

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

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

Illustration of J Smith Esquire by Kellie Black

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

Illustration of Little Shilpa by Yelena Bryksenkova

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

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

All photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

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

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

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

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

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

Illustrations by Paolo Caravello

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

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

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

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

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Amelia’s Magazine | London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Presentation Review: Eun Jeung

Illustration by Jo Cheung

The organised chaos of London Fashion Week has begun (NB: at the time of writing, find it was the end of the second day) and apart from the excitement at spotting various London boutique owners, pills mild celebrities and the increasing chances of seeing a model stumble from the heady heights of unstable shoes. The week is of course, about FASHION.

From the stalwarts of John Rocha and Betty Jackson to the increasing number of designers titled as “ones to watch,” it is a (to put it mildly) a frantic dash from venue to queue to venue to queue and back to the BFC for a quick cuppa before starting all over again. London Fashion Week is an incredibly enjoyable dash to get to all the events in time, but a dash none the less.

On Friday (17th September 2010) Amelia’s Magazine had the pleasure of touching base with Eun Jeong’s S/S 11 static presentation in the alcoves of the Russell Chambers in Covent Garden. The designer’s studio presentation was set amidst the odd jumble of relics frequently obtained during the industrious weeks leading up to London Fashion Week.

The press pack moved hapazadly through the three rooms of the exhibition documenting the clothes positioned on mannikins or the exceptionally pretty seated or standing models who occupied the fringes of the space, within and enclosed by the detritus of the design process.

Illustration by Jo Cheung

One of the presentation rooms consisted entirely of props painted white, which rather effectively set off the crystal-embellished shoes. The white dresses saw a return to the draping with which Eun Jeung won the Fashion Fringe award in 2008.

The main room – whose entrance was achieved after a brisk walk up five flights of stairs – where the models were positioned, produced an eye catching jumpsuit, whose beautifully delicate floral pattern was reminiscent of Future Classics.

The third attic room occupied solely by mannikins included a dress which resonated in its simplicity. The tunic was completed by intricate black beading contrasted with delicate drapes across the breadth of the dress.

Looking at the standard of Eon Jeung’s designs for S/S 2011, it is hard to believe that it was only a few years ago Eun Jeong graduated from THAT Central Saint Martin’s MA.

Illustration by Jo Cheung

During the lead up to the S/S 2011 collections, Amelia’s Magazine heard the rather exciting news that Eun Jeong is also an illustrator – Eun we would love to see your drawings!

Categories ,british fashion council, ,draping, ,Eun Jeong, ,Fashion Fringe, ,floral, ,illustrations, ,Jo Cheung, ,lace, ,London Fashion Week, ,S/S 2011, ,Saint Martins MA, ,SS11

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