So London Fashion Week is officially in full swing. It couldn’t have kicked off with a nicer day on Sunday as fashion folk of all shapes and sizes donned their finest and turned up at the various venues around the capital to see what’s in store for Spring/Summer 2009. Of course Team Amelia couldn’t possibly miss out on the chance of spotting new talent, medical try so putting all thoughts of Sunday roast firmly to the back of our mind, more about we joined the rest of the fashion community at some of the weeks opening shows.
Now in day 4, price my highlights would have to be the eccentric desert tribe meets punk-rocker collection presented by Horace; a breathtaking show by Quasimi which opened with a dancing violin playing duo and ended with a couture clad Erin O’connor; an exotic Hawaiian themed collection from Antoni and Alison complete with beach scenery, deck chairs and complimentary coconuts, and finally the beautifully detailed range of sculptured metallic shift dresses, oversized caps and two-piece suits from Bernard Chandran.
According to this weeks reoccurring trends, delicate pastels and neutral shades are set to dominate our wardrobes next summer alongside layered ruffles on just about everything. Don’t bother to ditch your gladiator and patent heels too fast because it looks like eccentric heels are set to stay for another season.
That’s all for now, but keep checking the website for detailed reports and pictures from each of the each of the shows.
Musicians at Qasimi show
Finale at Qasimi show
We should have seen the nipples coming, viagra order really. After all, we were greeted on the door by the most exciting clipboard wielder I’ve ever laid eyes on. A taste of what was to be expected…he checked our names off the list showing not one sign of embarrassment over his outfit (nor should he! He was fabulous, dahling), an ensemble that consisted of Russian army hat atop blue hair and teeny shorts held up by Union jack braces. And nothing on top. So, if we had had our wits about us, we should have known that nipples would be on the menu for the night.
We were, of course, at the Under/Current Magazine launch at Cafe OTO in Dalston. All the cool kids were in attendance (tired of heading West for Fashion Week, presumably) with many guys rocking the Giles Deacon/Terry Richardson big glasses look. There were some not so cool ones, too; we were rather put off by a guy who’s jacket was covered in dead foxes – not big, not clever. Still, we averted our eyes by taking a sneak peek at the first, ‘Dynasty’ issue of the new arts and fashion magazine. After taking in the beautiful cover shot by Babette Pauthier we had a good flick through. It’s a lovely size (30cm x 23cm, to be exact), full of avante garde fashion photography and I’m sure it’s set to become a firm favourite of mag junkies like myself. Lot’s of pictures, not so many words – just the way I likes ‘em.
On to these nipples then. As we watched a few members of Cleckhuddersfax setting up, we noticed a rather foppish guy step on the scene and begin disrobing. ‘How alarming! Would there soon be nudity?’ we whispered amongst ourselves. Alas, no, as we soon realised that this was the lead singer, rather than some strange streaker, and he was only taking off his top layers to reveal his official stage outfit. Suitably under-dressed, and giving us no time to prepare ourselves, Cleckhuddersfax got stuck in.
Cleckhuddersfax describe themselves as sounding like ‘Fake-Prog Musique Con-cretin’ on their myspace page. Erm… yep, it’s actually a fairly good description. From the looks of the band (excepting the lead singer, of course) long hair and beards had led us to believe that things would be getting pretty old school rock, and we were not disapointed. Cleckhuddersfax also have a bit of that mental operatic thing going on, which did feel pretty prog, but on top of this there’s keyboards and voice warping devices a-plenty.
Cleckhuddersfax make the most alarming noises; it’s as if Wyld Stallyns had found a Korg and got into Devo. Perhaps it all sounds a little strange, but it was very fun and definitely dance-able with much toe-tapping taking place at the front of the crowd.
Toe tapping wasn’t enough for the tango-ed front man, however. Seen below giving it his all in front of a video-projection by Adham Faramawy, he rampaged his way into the first few layers of crowd, shouting into audience members faces and daring everyone to dance. Many were glad to take him up on his offer, and things got a little messy in the front row.
After getting all hyped up by Cleckhuddersfax, it was unfortunate that we had to take our leave. Ahh, well, I suppose Fashion Week is about cramming in as many parties as possible and, to be honest, I think I’d seen quite enough nipples for one evening…
The Greengaged event organisers (left to right) Sophie Thomas (co-founder, erectile thomas.matthews), price David Kester (CEO, Design Council), Sarah Johnson of [re]design and Anne Chick (Director, Sustainable Design Research Centre, Kingston University)
As the girls were busy planning their outfits and getting their hair done I grabbed my notepad, A-Z and sandwiches and off I trundled in seek of the Design Council. I won’t bore you with the details of my nightmare journey, but all I will say is that London Transport and I have been the least of friends this week. My galloping through Covent Garden and colliding with dawdling tourists payed off and I eventually arrived at my destination to be greeted with a sticky name badge, coffee and biscuits. I poured myself a quick fix and pulled up a pew in the rather minimalist, swish function room (what else was I expecting?!).
Simon Terry of Anglepoise
With pen and paper poised I sat and listened attentively as the first speaker opened the lecture on the sustainability of Product and Fashion Design. As the managing director of the lighting and manufacturing company Anglepoise, Simon Terry stressed the importance of that “a product should be a pleasure to use” not purely an aesthetic beauty. When addressing the query of how they as designers of the future can help to change the conscience of a consumer Terry spoke of the term ‘world view.’ Within this he outlined that it is not possible to make a consumer conform, instead you must enter their awareness (or world view) through their own agenda.
Cressida Granger, founder of DeWeNe a product design company mirrored these thoughts with their motivation in creating designs consumers ‘need’ not purely desire. Designs are based on utility and function over the ‘look’ of a product, very different to her background career with lava lamp company Mathmos. ‘Hook and Go’, one of their more popular product lines works with the current climate of shopping bag reduction, using a recycled steel trolley with wheels to transport shopping. Carrying up to 8 bags (32 kilos) of produce this design aims to reduce our carbon footprint, decreasing the need to use the car around town.
Hook…. and go
A future addition is the ‘eco cooler’ worked on by David Weatherhead of the Royal College of Arts. Working with a terracotta dish and bowl, water is dispensed into the dish below which then evaporates and acts to cool the contents of the bowl. Designed for the preservation of our fruit and veg, Granger hopes that this will encourage consumers to use smaller fridges, thus dramatically cutting down our demand on energy. Keen to work with an ethically friendly product line, Granger has set up two places of manufacture, allowing the customer to decide for themselves what is high on their agenda. The cheaper option is made in India and imported, whereas the more expensive same design is constructed in Wales by the social project Crafts for All which employs people with physical and mental complaints.
The eco cooler by David Weatherhead
Closing this talk was Tom Fishburne of the Method product company. The brainchild of an American product designer and scientist, this product line has only recently cropped up on British shores. They have quite a charming story behind the birth of their cleaning product company…. once upon a time Adam (the scientist) considered why we are encouraged to use registered pesticides (which in turn pollute) when we clean? Meanwhile the product designer was shopping and realised the disgusting array of nasty shaped and coloured cleaning products and began making thoughts on how to develop these. I am a little sceptical of the story (it is a bit cheesy and convenient) but, there is no doubt Method have found a gap in the market with 95% of current cleaning products refusing to bridge into the 21st mentality of green products. Non toxic and sourcing natural ingredients is absolutely the way we should be cleaning.
The natural ingredient Method product line
In much similarity to the ideas expressed by Terry and Granger, Fishburne spoke of the need of how to shape clients. You can’t make the consumer consume less, instead you have to make them smarter. They are certainly achieving this, with product lines established in John Lewis, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and of course online.
Insightful, inspiring and free… to all those designers out there, get your free spaces on the last few days of the workshops here!!
Carianne Laguna may look like a fresh-faced intern entering a building standing among lofts owned by fashion models in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood. However, unhealthy the 28-year-old is Vice President and General Manager of Blackheart Records, viagra a label that rock legend Joan Jett helped create in 1980. Laguna, drugs who resides in Brooklyn, tirelessly commutes to her office, where she signs new artists to the label, including punk acts like Girl in a Coma and The Cute Lepers. Not only does she spend days promoting artists, but she manages the “I Love Rock N‘ Roll” rebel. In the music industry – where few women take behind-the-scene roles in impacting listeners, Laguna does it all with a toothy grin. Yet, she wouldn’t have been crowned queen of indie music management if it wasn’t for her family.
The Cute Lepers
Her father is Kenny Laguna, a music producer who, in 1980, began managing a 17-year-old Jett. Despite Jett joining a band when she was just 15 and befriending Sid Vicious, 23 music labels turned her down, causing her manager to sell demos from the trunk of his car. Consequently, the duo started Blackheart Records, one of the first music labels owned by a woman. Jett would go on to sell millions of albums, becoming one of rock’s top-charting females in history. Laguna, who grew up traveling around the world as Jett performed for thousands, would later carry on her father’s legacy. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 2001, where she took several internships to fully understand the business of music. “When I got to Blackheart Records, I said ‘I’m going to do this, but I would like to sign a lot of new bands that are in it for the music and not the fame,’” she says.
Laguna did just that, all while proving herself. “People tend to dismiss you if you’re a girl,” she reveals before groaning at how few females are leaders in the music business. “People think it’s just a fabulous thing to look as young as an intern, until you have to be taken seriously.” After many frustrations from Devil Wears Prada archetypes, she chose to keep moving without ever looking back. She takes a deep breath before gushing about her love of finding overlooked musicians and giving them a chance. “It just makes me feel good that I’m spreading their music. That beats out all those days when people would look down at you just because they had their own hang-ups.”
Just like her father perfected, Laguna is still applying the DIY method. From designing all the artwork, to selling merchandise during Warp Tour, Laguna isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. At times, she would even pass out Cds in bars, restaurants, and any place that plays music. Yet, it’s this technique that’s going to help save the suffering music industry. “This is a great time for indie labels and artists to get their art out there,” she explains. “A lot of people are discovering bands on the internet. You have to hit all the networking sites and play live as much as you can. There’s just no better way of finding new music.”
Speaking of upcoming hits, Laguna happily shared some exclusive news, including of Girl In A Coma and The Dollyrots going to the studio this fall. If that isn’t enough, she also revealed that Lana Davies, daughter of The Kinks founding member Dave Davies, was recently signed to the label and will be recording soon. It’s certain that as long as this bubbly brunette keeps challenging the all-male club known as the music industry, good music, with a woman’s touch, will always prevail.
Appointed with the responsibility of covering London Fashion Week’s opening show – Dublin born and well established Paul Costelloe, there I had dreamt about providing a fabulous and detailed write up complimented by stunning pictures taken with my Canon 5D camera that I’d managed to get in without a hint of a bag search. I was rather perturbed, click as you can imagine then, to find that my review button didn’t work, which meant I couldn’t delete any photographs. From a FULL memory card. So whilst I struggled trying to get it to work, the show started. As guests including Erin O’ Connor and Hilary Alexander enjoyed the show, I went into panic mode in a desperate attempt to fix it. The poor guy sat at the side of me, clearly unsettled by my constant rummaging in my bag with beads of sweat pouring down my face, slid as far across the bench as he could. Before I knew it the show was over, I’d looked up 3 or 4 times, and the delighted audience were clapping while I clacked my teeth and painfully giggled at the irony of Fashion Week’s head sponsor – Canon.
This opening show whizzed by in seconds, or so it seemed, but what I saw of it through the tears in my eyes looked fabulous. With a colonial and uplifting soundtrack, models were adorned in sharp tailored suits (the designer’s signature) nipped in at the waist with a hint of military (just enough, not overdone) first in neutral beige and navy and then in stunning vibrant yellows and hot pinks. Shape here was key – hoods and shoulder emphasis was a fine element and reinforced the female silhouette – as did a combination of a-line and tulip skirts. The third segment displayed even more military flavour along with elegant yet discreet floral patterns. The shoes, supplied by ALDO, were understated and complimented each of the looks.
You’ll be glad to know that my camera is still under warranty, it seems to be working, and I’ll be covering shows later in the week. I do hope I can redeem myself.
Images courtesy of www.catwalking.com
FELDER • FELDER are German twins Daniela and Annette Felder. They first launched their womenswear line in 2007 whilst studying at Central Saint Martins.
A folksy guitar track begins the show, web complimenting the altogether floaty and feminine look of the first few dresses to hit the runway. High neck lines add to the modesty of these dresses whose natural spectrum includes greys, website like this beiges, sickness mosses and mints. Waterfalls of ruffles flow across the body of each dress, which hang loosely from the tighter fit around the top. Multiple chiffon layers give weight and movement.
The hues soon turn darker, pebble moving to slate, and ruffles move on to shoulders and skirts. As the music moves to an electro beat we are surprised by a pale teal coloured dress that reveals a bright aqua flash within its ruffles. More shocking is the entirely turquoise piece, a definite ‘neon pastel’, the hot new hue that everyone’s banging on about.
The music begins to pound as a track from The Duke Spirit breaks out of the sound system and Felder Felder fall in to their stride showcasing a more rock chick look. This is an area that the duo became confident in with their AW08/09 collection that featured black fur, gold studs and leather. For SS09 leather embellishments, short shorts, cropped jackets and cuffs translate their harder edge to become more wearable in the more temperate months. Chiffon overlays soften the look.
This bandage dress was the real stand out piece of the collection. In an interesting turn, dresses began to emerge on to the catwalk that were made up of shimmering oyster bands of fabric. Much clingier, these dresses accentuated the body and glittered like scales as the models moved. The tops of these dresses were tighter, cut more in the style of a biker vest, again falling into the rock chick category. Bright coral chiffons provided another splash of colour in this segment.
With this show I was left in two minds about Felder Felder’s direction. I felt the loose silhouettes with frills over the front were unremarkable and perhaps included to fulfil a feminine sensibility associated with the Spring season. However, I enjoyed the self assured woman who later appeared in Felder Felder’s work summoned in by edgier styling and bolder colours.
Watch the show for yourself here.
10.15am may not be early in the real world, mind but in the world of London Fashion Week (especially on Thursday, ailment this is day 5 of 6 for gawdsakes!) 10.15am may as well be dawn. Skip that, I’m sure most fashionistas were still partying at dawn with ‘Mr Diamond-head’ or ‘The Turban Woman’. But, well, you get what I mean.
By Thursday I was already scraping the bottom of the little pot of Benefit ‘EyeCon’ that had come in a goody bag earlier in the week. With eye bags suitably smothered I yawned all the way to the Royal Academy of Arts for the Romina Karamanea show. I was greeted by a very small crowd of hard-core fashion enthusiasts and a helpful girl who told me the show would be starting at least half an hour late. Late? But this is the first show of the day! Oh well, I suppose the later the start the more hung-over LFW visitors they were be able to round up.
When we were eventually allowed to take our seats I was excited to see the whole first 4 rows decorated with goody bags (surely a reward for all those dedicated enough to get out of bed), each one complete with a bottle of Sabai Wine Spritzer and a packet of vodka filled chocolates. Hair of the dog, anyone?
But of course, goody bags aren’t enough to prise a gal out of bed. No, the crowd was eager to see what Karamanea, a St Martins graduate who has worked with leading designers such as Clements Ribeiro, Robert Cary-Williams and Preen, had to offer us. And with the knowledge that Karamanea impressed the late, great Isabella Blow (she reportedly took a shine to an ‘origami dress’ from the SS07 collection) we were expecting a lot.
The feel of the show was utilitarian, yet sexy. Karamanea has admitted in past interviews that she is influenced by the functionality of the Bauhaus movement and this showed in her SS09 pieces. The clean simplicity of cut brought uniform to mind, indeed it often felt that we were being presented with visions of ‘uniforms of the future’. I don’t really want to reference Star Trek, but I might have to…
Karamanea’s sculptural style that had been apparent in her origami creations of old came to the fore once more in her new works with almost absurdly boxy shoulders. The often harsh shapes were tempered down, however, with varying techniques. The occasional flash of neon blue found its way underneath garments, whilst sunglasses and Doc Marten boots punkified outfits to give a youthful edge. A very of-the-moment translucent softly flowing tangerine dress even cropped up in the collection.
More flowing shapes were evident which, twinned with geeky brogues and shades, gave the look of a studious bad girl or an art teacher with a naughty past.
Slightly less forgiving than the more flowing silhouettes were the tight playsuits, which I imagine the average woman would steer well clear of for fear of the dreaded camel toe.
Front row fashion is, of course, one of the other spectacles of Fashion Week. Romina Karamanea’s show saw one guest robed in a rather revealing yellow dress, only hiding her modesty by covering her head with the biggest, pinkest hat I have ever seen. I captured her below in some sort of hat stand-off between herself and a model sporting a large black mesh visor. Which one will win in the style stakes?
Karamanea’s jewellery was note-worthy, with plastic neck pieces that almost looked like ammo straps. High waisted shorts also found their way into Karamanea’s collection, yet another clue that we can be sure that they will feature heavily in our SS09 wardrobes.
The styling of the models was definitely a hugely interesting part of the show. With hair that was slicked back at the sides but flowed in waves down the back (a look that nodded to Alice Dellal, surely) the girls looked cool and androgynous. Femininity was never girly; even the chosen heels were the brogue-ish Rosie shoe from B Store, their clever sculpted heel adding to the modernist feel. Clever uniforms accompanied by a sound-track that included a tune that told tales of motor cycles setting you free, this truly was a show for the bad girl with brains.
I really enjoyed viewing Karamanea’s daring pieces and the whoops of appreciation that came at the end of the show meant that I definitely wasn’t alone. I look forward to see the shapes she will create in the future.
Watch the show for yourself here and here.
In 2005 Helen, page Myra and Cathy, online three graduates from the London College of Fashion, decided to join forces (and the first two letters of each of their names) to become Hemyca. With their first show at London Fashion Week, we were promised a ‘Dream Of Time’, and the show was chimed in, quite literally, by the trilling, ticking and whirring of clocks.
The ‘Dream of Time’ soon transpired not to be a dreamy Alice in Wonderland style flight of fancy, but rather the modern dream everyone shares of having more time; with models in sharp tailoring marching business-like around the catwalk. Pleats a-plenty softened and added interest and made sure the sillhouettes were anything but straight-laced.
Catching our eye on the front row of this show was the (now almost legendary) Mr Diamond Head. I wonder if he was a fan of the Hemyca high-waist?
Well, the high-waists in this collection really caught my eye, with the ensemble below being a particular favourite. Simple and smart, with an elegant attitude, the wide, loose trousers flowed beautifully as they moved and looked hot teamed with the racer back white vest. Inspiration for this collection had apparently come from the idea of a broken clock and garments were printed with illustrations along the same theme. The ensembles were topped off with wire mesh hats by Monique Luttin.
Just as I was becoming comfortable with the show and enjoying the interesting shapes before me, I was a little bit shocked by some rogue brightly coloured pieces creeping in. ‘Neon Pastels’ is a palette that we’ve been warned to expect from SS09, and many designers have showcased lemon sorbets, candy pinks and aquas with aplomb. Hemyca, however, had concentrated on the ‘neon’ side a wee bit too much, sending a couple of warm canary yellow pieces down the catwalk. This was later followed by a cold, acrid lime coloured dress. The colours felt confusing, as I can’t imagine the two sitting together very well on a clothes rail. The miss-match felt like a curdle in the collection.
I also can’t claim to be a fan of Hemyca’s use of bright blue tartan. My only explanation for the inclusion of the two tartan pieces was perhaps an over-exposure to Henry Holland. I can’t fathom, however, why yellow ruffles had crept in to one of the tartan dresses. The result was an unfortunate cheapening of some actually well cut dresses.
After this acidic hiccup the rest of the show carried on as before, demonstrating Hemyca’s love of interesting shapes. Cocooned hips made their way back into the Hemyca catalogue (a hark back to their last SS collection, entitled ‘Secret Garden’), with some lovely jumpsuits. Yes, jumpsuits again! Seen at Olanic and Jacob Kimmie, amongst others, there’s no doubt these will be part of the idealised 2009 wardrobe. And if I’m going to have to struggle in and out of one of these bad boys every-time I need the loo then only the black, bodice topped Hemyca jumpsuit will make it all worth it. Seriously, I heart it.
On the subject of wearability, that old conundrum the playsuit made yet another appearance on the LFW runway. Of course it looked amazing on the Amazonian model with legs up to her armpits, but how it would translate on the average woman? I just don’t know.
With their last offering, Hemyca showed us that they can also do full on glamour. A beautiful, billowy, draped dress flowed down the catwalk, embellished with strings of jewels and metallic pieces reminiscent of a watch’s inner workings. Cog like embroidery over the back was a delicious, delicate touch.
I know I will be keeping an eye on Hemyca, as I really love their interestingly structured garments. I do hope, however, that in the future they will stick to their more restrained colour palette. Either that, or take control of their own colours and not feel pressured by trend forecasts that predict ‘neon pastels’ or way too much tartan.
See the show for yourself here, or take a peek backstage here.
We’re rather taken with London based Turkish designer, cialis 40mg Bora Aksu, physician here at Amelia’s. Not only was he featured by us way back in issue 1, but his ongoing collaboration with fair-trade fashion pioneer People Tree has got him into our good books AND our forthcoming issue 10. Needless to say, we were looking forward to see his Spring/Summer 09 collection debut at the British Fashion Council Tent.
It looked like the designer has been partaking in one or two viewing sessions of The Sound of Music as we were greeted by a girl in a white dress and satin sash as the show began. Okay, so the sash was pink, and not blue, but girlish dresses did seem to be amongst Aksu’s favourite things for next Spring/Summer.
The femininity presented at Aksu’s show was not all young and frilly, however, with wonderfully tailored pieces (cropped jackets, high necks and puffed sleeves) giving an assured and womanly aspect to the collection. The head wear veered between youthful oversized bows and grown up Sunday-best hats (both by milliner Misa Harada).
Aksu’s colour palette was spot on for the season; with frosted peaches, pistachios and lemon tones gracing the runway at the start of the collection. With talk of pastels (from candy colours right up to neon hues) being a big part of our warmer-month wardrobes next year, Aksu’s collection looks set to be bang on trend. Personally, I’m a little hesitant to go all out sugar-sugar with my own attire next Spring, so I was relieved to see daring combinations of purple and black further in to the show.
The striking thing about many of Aksu’s creations was the Art Nouveau style embellishments that drew attention to the contours of the wearer. Ribbon like piping ran across the garments, mapping out curves and acting like the leading in a stained glass window; it was a technique that allowed Aksu to bring in panels of new colour and texture.
There has been much talk of ‘the modesty dress’ this London Fashion Week, the term referring to a trend for enveloping unforgivingly skin tight body-con dresses with billowing translucent over dresses. The double dresses were seen at Issa, Graeme Black, Aquascutum and, of course, on the Bora Aksu catwalk. Aksu’s take on the modesty dress involved anything from pink chiffon capes cinched in over dresses to Grecian style draping of fabric pieces that concealed choice areas.
The stand out piece, for me, was a bubbly black party frock. A bustier front over a body of black mesh was both modest and sexy in it’s half revelation of back and shoulders, but this simplistic top soon burst out into an eruption of petal-like layers in the skirt. The movement of this skirt was flighty and fun, being especially voluminous at the back. Can you spy my favourite frock at the rear of the model queue?
Romantic and whimsical, Aksu’s fairytale collection was the epitome of Spring/Summer 09 style. In a show backed by floaty folk and violins, ruffles and pleats took centre stage and won our hearts.
Watch highlights of the show for yourself here. And look out for our profile of Aksu and People Tree in our forthcoming Issue 10!
Written by Sarah Barnes on Friday September 19th, 2008 3:19 pm