Sunday, 16 September 2012

#LFW - Day Two

Day 2 at London Fashion Week and the madness is only beginning. Here are a few highlights from the mania of Saturday:

The packed Daks show which started the day seemed to be put together in two distinct parts: silky whites and tough blacks, only separated by a few dashes of mustard and touches of the Daks signature check here and there. It seems that with Spring/Summer 13 we may have a season unfortunately void of colour as monochrome emerges as a key trend, and although this might sound depressing, it rather serves to give power to the importance of shape and cut. Daks SS13 collection oozed fluidity and sophisticated minimalism, beginning with a selection of beautiful white dresses which use layering techniques to marry silky fabrics with more crisp ones. Many of the pieces also featured cross-hatching surface techniques which were apparently inspired by abstract expressionist art. One of my highlights of the show was definitely the orange-brown shorts/shirt combo, which added to the 70’s feel of the collection. This same separates look was replicated in the black second half of the show which also featured lots of billowing oversized bottoms on trousers and jumpsuits. It was interesting to see the AW12 key trend of leather carried into the realms of Spring/Summer, as the show closed with black and brown sleeveless tops and pencil skirts. The star of the show, however, was without a doubt the cape coat in their trademark check – uh-may-zing! (see below).

House of Holland
For a much more upbeat, youthful and vibrant show, turn your attention to the magnificent House of Holland. Ever since Henry Holland emerged as thedesigner  best friend of super-cool supermodel Agyness Deyn, House of Holland has been the hipster go-to brand for every young London fashionista out there. So it wasn’t a surprise to see Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof, Nicola Roberts and Kelly Osbourne in the front row for yesterday’s show. With metallics, crazy tie-dyes, dip-dyes, checkerboard prints and florals, what more could you possibly want from a show? The collection began in a more subtle palette of autumnal maroons and greens and somehow quite smoothly moved into a set of very in-your-face  hippy tie-dyes of blues and pinks on a bright yellow base in which you can definitely see the 90’s inspiration. In terms of shapes, Henry seems to have covered it all as well, with maxi dresses, midi dresses, two-piece suits, crop tops, mini-skirts and stick-to-the-skin tight trousers. My favourite piece has to be the tie-dye printed shirt, but then again I am always a sucker for the shirts!

Issa London
In the evening with Issa London it was all about maximum lengths, in an amazing collection of maxi-dresses, jumpsuits and kimono shaped two-pieces. This was a show that, like Daks, can be split into two main distinct categories, although they weren’t presented chronologically so this time: tropical prints vs. block colours. The prints are to-die-for, with some interesting toucan/rainforest designs which remind me of the illustrations in some of my old children’s books, moving into to leaf prints in a range of pink hues and an absolutely gorgeous deep green one, and then some very busy oriental –looking floral designs. The block colour dresses are all brilliantly bright coloured jersey maxi dresses, most of which featuring knot-detail halter-necks for a beachy vibe, whilst some of the others instead display a revealing plunge-neck shape. The emerging monochrome trend makes a slight appearance mid-way through the show with a few more maxi-dresses and a quite stunning all-white jumpsuit – but for me this show was all about the prints.  

Friday, 14 September 2012

#LFW - Day One

Although the London Olympics have drawn to a close, it’s nice to see that we haven’t all lost our spirit and sense of patriotism. Today London sprung alive once again, buzzing with British pride and relaxing back into the familiar feeling of having the eyes of the world upon it. What is the sport in question this time, you ask? Fashion at its best, as London Fashion Week kick-started with Antoni & Alison this morning. Yes, 2013 may seem a world and a half away right now, but fashion freaks are always two steps ahead of the game, and right now Spring/Summer 2013 is the sole focus for all. It’s very overwhelming, I know, and with so many names and shows it can get a bit confusing, so I’ve broken it down for you – here’s a small selection of just the best bits so that you can get your fill of the action.  

Antoni & Alison
With flashes of magnetised picnic-blanket checks and fun doodle print flower designs, the Antoni & Alison show began LFW with a squeal of youthful excitement. With easy-to-wear silk chiffon t-shirt dresses, the designer duo has succeeded in creating the ‘zip up and go’ pieces which they always aspire to create. Many of the designs seem to draw upon modern contemporary art pieces for inspiration with colourful blocks blending into each other like paint splodges, reminding me of my A-level art days and those countless school trips to the Tate Modern. In fact, even the on-going doodle theme which features in many of the pieces remind me of the scribbles of the likes of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. If the eye-popping colours didn’t wake the audience up for this 9am show, then the marching brass band that closed the show certainly would have. All-in-all the show, which marked the 25th Anniversary for the label, made for an aptly playful start to LFW SS13. After all, isn’t that playful experimental vibe the very essence of London style? I think so.

Eudon Choi
For upcoming talent, the star of the day has to be Eudon Choi. Originally from Korea, where he worked with menswear, Eudon moved to London and began tailoring his tailoring expertise to womenswear, establishing his label in 2009. His collections, as a result of his menswear training, are all about crisp cuts and transferring masculine shapes to wearable feminine pieces. Eudon apparently drew inspiration for the SS13 collection from the 1968 science fiction film ‘A Space Odyssey’ which looks to the ‘future’ of the year 2001. Perhaps this futuristic vibe is where the crazy texture combinations have been drawn from, which seem to characterize the collection, mixing the shine of pvc fabrics with sequin embellishments, crystal studs and fur. The futuristic theme is certainly where the floaty silver metallics have come from, and I love the giant silver satellite dish which formed the backdrop of the runway. You could definitely see Eudon’s attention to detail and love of strong tailored masculine shapes in this powerful, sport chic show.

Fyodor Golan
So we’ve seen inspiration drawn from modern art at Antoni & Alison, Filmography at Eudon Choi and with Fyodor Golan we also saw literature drawn upon, specifically the book “Blue Tattoo” by Margot Mifflin, which tells the legendary story of Olive Oatman, a girl who was brought up by the Native American who killed her family and kept her as a slave. The collection by Fyodor Golan attempts to capture Oatman’s transformation and journey, beginning with simple designs in a striking cobalt blue (presumably taken from the Blue of the facial tattoo that Oatman was branded with by the natives) and developing through to Native American-inspired blue/white wave patterns and then into more complex and quite stunning amber printed gowns. In many of the pieces you can also see hints of a Victorian Silhouette (the book was set in the mid 1800s), and this is particularly obvious in the pink statement gown which plays with excessive ruffles and a top-heavy imbalance which stole the show and stood out as a piece that was fascinating to look at, even if not wearable.

sass & bide
I love love love sass and bide, and the Australian label didn’t disappoint with their show this evening. Like Eudon Choi, sass and bide have mixed up their textures too, bringing feathers, sequins, metals, beads, chiffon and tassels into the mix. This was the show for big names today, with a front row starring twiggy, Delilah, Alison Mosshart and Poppy Delevigne who was there to support her younger sister Cara who was walking the runway alongside the likes of that Topshop girl, Jourdan Dunn. The collection displayed sharp tailoring, clean cut lines and even an even cleaner colour palette with monochrome deisgns featuring heavily. I love that they’ve continued their usual theme of interesting necklines with cut-out shapes and metal necklace styles.

I’m also VERY excited to see what PPQ and Felder Felder had to bring to the mix this evening, but unfortunately without being actually there (if only!), I have few resources to go by, but I hope to bring you an update on those ones tomorrow when photos of the shows come up online.