I was ushered in through the door by a geezer of a Londoner chap, sick straight through to a high heeled officious lady, then again to the very highest heels clinking their way to the front row to show me my seat. There were bags on my seat. Bags filled with goodies. Splendid. The lady next to me was bouncing her baby on her knee, as said baby was knawing on a pain au chocolat. “Nice earmuffs” I said to the tiny fashionista, pointing towards her penguin earmuffs on her head. “To protect her from the sound. It can get very loud. But she does love it here. Loves the shows.” How much do I want a chilled out, cute baby like her. Also, cool mother! I know mothers who wouldn’t take their child to Tescos for fear of its screaming the flourescently lit shed down. I looked around properly, and saw straight backed women before me. Unsmiling, with notepads on their laps and twitter at their fingertips. No one was without a smart phone. Comfortingly others were holding cameras possibly at the same level as mine, not everyone had the enormous lensed beasts. This made me feel infinitely better about my black device with sand trapped in the lens from every holiday in the last three years and glitter from an explosion of glitter at a festival last year. It makes me slightly sad to see it sprinkle on my lap when I take the lens cap off. Nostalgic particles… To the left, I felt like I was getting an immense tan however from the mad, bright white, highly lit, flashing, mini bulb, sensation. It was just INTENSE; magic eye, transfixing, blinding… The lady next to me shielded the left hand side of her face for a bit. We briefly discussed the perils of giant screens of mini light bulbs. SUCH a drag. Then it all went dark and we were treated to intro music as the anticipation was allowed to be built. Dum, dum, dum….dum… dum. EXCITED. Most of the opposite front row remained attached to the twit or without expression.
The darkness remained for a while, and I felt my heart start to beat harder. You know when as a child (/adult), at a theme park, you have just queued to get onto a ride that begins in the dark? You’re kind of scared but excited, not really sure how it will turn out? Yes, that. That was what it felt like. I was half expecting for the floor to drop and to experience a heart in my mouth sensation, as gravity stole my nerves. Child next door was heckling, all ready for the experience to begin. She’s not worried her mother assures me, as a seasoned show-goer why would she be? Well, indeed. This does not compare to my 80s Sussex upbringing. I spent being three and four devoted to my pink bomber jacket and all in one waterproof jumpsuit number. Was it the 80s? Was it me? Is there any hope? I apoligise, enough pondering! The show began.
Photography by Matt Bramford
I was pleased to see that what was being presented was completely wearable. Definitely in London. Perhaps less so in Bristol – it was slightly ‘too’ urban for the West Country. However, if I had a choice (and el cash), some of those pieces would be getting worn in Falfael King and that secret bar we’ve been meaning to go to for a while… at least supper club. Or – ah see, I kind of want to move to London again. Don’t get the wrong impression of Briz, I beg you. Anyway digressing again- the show was very charcoal, black and cream orientated. The models all had black stripes across their eyes and otherwise bare faces. This made them look like mysterious, moody superheros. I liked it, as it really set of the simple coloured, pieces; the models all expressionless (course), their masks and the movement of the light or dark pieces worked together perfectly. It felt like we were on the sea, with norwegian heroines. Swishing slowly about, their heels never falter, their gaze exact, the path has been set and the grey skies are dappled with stars, as the storm takes hold. These strong warriors will take us with their capes flowing behind them, their hair dancing in the wind.
Jena.Theo LFW A/W 2011, Illustration by Matilde Sazio
My favourite piece was one with an almost bustling at the back, flowing down to the ground, in one swipe. The front was a mini, the back was the drama, the fantasy. I would love to wear this one standing at the front of a ship. Not a ferry, a ship. The collection; Valkyrie, refers to a band of celestial female figures who decide to die in the field of battle. So 300, in a sense, but with women. Strong, ethereal women.
Photography by Matt Bramford
Jena.Theo have managged to combine the mythology with the urban reality. Fantasy has been embraced, with opulence in mind, the designs are sumptuous, yet strong. Fit for women going into battle with the ice of Scandinavia and the luxuriousness of a cashmere bustle behind them. And why not mix up the hemlines, paint black across our eyes and march like amazonian creations girls. We are women. Watch us gracefully, cooly and quietly move, like we believe we are mighty. We are. For designs that were indeed simple, they were deserving of their sparkling lights.
Prophetik LFW A/W 20011 Collection illustration by Gemma Milly
A long queue waited for me outside of Freemason’s Hall. Initially I considered sauntering in through the door I first came across, pill but after peering in I discovered that in fact there was only a Vauxhall car in there and a couple of security men. Instead there was the aforementioned queue, pill just round the corner. I spotted Akeela, Katie and Sarah of Scribble fame in the line and promptly hit them all with my enormous goodie bag from Jena.Theo. As I was excitable, my accompanying movements were erratic and thus the thwacking continued until I decided to destroy the bag and had a look at the contents. Delicious. The standing and nattering continued before our coloured stickers were called forwards. I thanked Amelia power as we were marched straight in and positioned in the second row. Ooo a mini orchestra to the left.
Chat for ages it seems before it all goes dark. Then a blonde bobbed lady came out and started ‘haaaa’ing. More high pitched than Enya, but similarly Lord Of The Rings magical. WHAT to expect. Well, in truth I had an idea, the press sheet announced that this was ‘Artist Wonderment’. This can only mean we are entering the fantasy land of the designer. Happily, as I read on, it would appear that Prophetik have been inspired by all the magic of the past. And I DO so love a good period drama. I quote: ‘The season exudes the freedom from the pretense of being what we would become, fleeing from egotism into the wonderment of an artist.’ Prophetik are very fond of liberty and protection of our world, through being all-sustainable. Tennessee’s Jeff Garner, who designs the fashion lifestyle brand, wants to bring an awareness of the repercussions of the clothing business, to everyone they can reach.
Then violin lady, Analiza Ching came out, short skirted, her hair flicking around. Violinsts always look pretty cool I think, especially when they are jumping around, confidently using the strings to produce feisty sounds. After more hair and body kinetic energy, Miss Violinst went and joined the Benjamin Ellin orchestra. Then the models started streaming out in their Louis XV inspired outfits. With long dresses, corseted and delicate detailing. The colours were soft and the fabric consisted of ripped silks, organic velour, as well as 100 year old southern quilts, courtesy of Jeff Garner’s great grandmother, Lola. Interestingly cactus silk was also introduced, made from the agave plant. The pieces looked heavy and purposeful as they swept past. Similar to the dresses you find in fashion museums, a bit starchy and very thick. However, Prophetik‘s collection, as opposed to the historic pieces, had a woodland feel to them, connecting them to the earthy message and principles of the designer.
Prophetik LFW A/W 2011 Collection, photography by Matt Bramford
“He’s grease lightning isn’t he?” The ladies behind me complained, as they were unable to get a shot of the red-headed male model on the catwalk. With his long hair slicked back, quilted buttoned up jackets and three quarter length trousers, I wished he would next come out mounted on a horse. Perhaps with one of the angel lady beings, riding side saddle and looking into the middle distance – because that’s where the magic is, clearly. The men all looked serious and officious in their luxurious outfits. Like Prince’s, they wore the natural colours with a regal air about them. I can certainly imagine some of my Hereford friends cracking out these jackets round the fire this Autumn. Residing in woods, yurts and buses, they whole heartedly are ‘woodland creatures’. Much like these, pretty imps and fairies. The Prince, the carpenter and the folk singer, sit within the trees, stars sparkling and dragonflies dancing.
There were a few dresses that I fell in love with. This included the midi length halter dress with boots – most of the outfits were worn with flat boots – I imagine for easy action in the woods. They complimented the dresses, stopping the over pretty factor. All hair was slicked to the ears and then waved, faces pale and natural. I also loved the female tailcoats, tight to the waist then full to the thigh and featuring turned up cuffs, curling at the top. All with embroidered edges and in deep, or pastel colours. Then the floor length, corseted, strapless, rich purple dress, complete with a train was divine. As was a stunning mossy green and cream empire line dress. It was a modern, eco Austen esque, Regency beauty; so graceful. The strapless and halterneck dresses were lighter than the embroidered pieces, many of which billowed in layers to the floor, and were more reminiscent of the Tudor 16th century period.
THE Prophetik DRESS. Photo by Helen Martin
I must say, the absolutely MOST fantastic dress of them ALL was a white ostrich feather creation. I want to get married and wear this ostrich BEAUTY. Like the white, angelic creation from the sky, she swept in and the whole audience gasped. I’d like to think she was saved by birds after being orphaned through the enemy’s shots. Then nurtured by the birds before she emerged, into the woods. And the woodland creatures danced in merriment, for she had been saved, and she was beautiful. Red-headed man will hopefully slow his canter to a trot, then dismount, his nonchalent stare becoming a transfixed (gruff) stare. He loved her already.
- London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Jacob Kimmie
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011, Catwalk Review: Fashion Mode No.3 Carlotta Actis Barone (by Helen)
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Temperley London
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Charles Anastase
- London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Prophetik