Wednesday, 26 September 2012

London Fashion Week SS13 Round Up

Although to most people the word September instantly brings to mind dark afternoons, umbrellas and hair-ruining winds, to me it can only ever mean one glorious thing - Fashion Week! As last season I got the chance to work backstage at a London catwalk show, I was so sure that this season I'd be able to do the same, swan in and snap up a backstage job just as easily - how wrong I was. But despite not being lucky enough to be a part of the fashion action this time, there is no better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning than by oohing and ahhing over countless runway photos. Although I must say that this time round London didn't wow me quite like it did back in February, however this just meant that the crackers really shone through!




If you are not properly acquainted with Ashish Gupta's work yet, there is only one thing you really need to know - the man loves sequins. For this season he took a spin on what to me is the very tired trend of 'geek chic'. At first I sighed, but then I watched the show and I ate my words. When I thought no more could be done with this trend, Ashish proved me wrong with his signature slogan sweatshirts, denim dungarees of mixed washes styled askew and slouchy one-sleeved evening dresses, all with a heavy dousing of sequins, naturally. And the styling was perfect - mismatching ankle socks, oh-so-uncool reeboks and the return of the scrunchie.




In the past, this twin-designed brand has been full of a youthful rock'n'roll vibe, but this season showed that they can design for the more sophisticated woman too. Sure the leather jacket was still there, but chiffon billowed from underneath it in pastel shades of yellow and pink. And although I wasn't as keen on the sporadic splashings of leopard print, that can always be overlooked when a slouchy butter yellow blazer is thrown on top.




Henry Holland has long been a favourite of mine, forever designing for the London girl. At the moment I'm a sucker for the 90's grunge trend and Holland answered my prayers by perfecting it in his SS13 collection. An eclectic mixture of prints: from the typical 90's check and charity shop-esque florals to a rainbow of tie dyed pieces filled the runway, all topped off with a jewel encrusted beanie hat, no less.




Aggugini was actually a designer I had never heard of until that Sunday morning I spent browsing through the shows, but he originally caught my eye for the patterned dungarees. I love a good pair of dungarees. Also in the collection were button down shirts and pinafore dresses that made me very reminiscent of my childhood. Saturating most of the garments were minute detailings of nautical imagery inspired by Hemmingway and trips to Cuba - these too made me reminiscent, but of the time I tried to learn to sail. As a whole I fell in love with the collection, perhaps discounting the evening dresses bearing octopus tentacles though.

Next post will be my review of the stand out collections from New York Fashion Week.

//Keep smiling x//

Saturday, 15 September 2012

The V&A: Craig Lawrence and Alexandra Shulman

The V&A is renowned for drawing flocks of people from all over the country to see its outstanding fashion exhibitions and events, so when I saw there was a free catwalk show to attend to and an evening with none other than the British Vogue Editor all in the same day, there was no question about it. Within seconds I was booking my tickets without giving it a second thought.

First up in the afternoon was the catwalk show in the museum’s Raphael Gallery by Craig Lawrence, who was the current subject of the V&A’s Fashion In Motion event. He’s a British knitwear designer who, although maybe being the least well-known designer ever to be chosen for the event, has actually designed six seasons for Gareth Pugh and his ever-growing fanbase includes the likes of Tilda Swinton, Lady Gaga and Bjork.
Lawrence studied at Central Saint Martins where he developed his trademark of using yarns wrapped in metallic foil which appears in nearly every piece he creates. It’s this unconventional use of materials, such as metallic yarns, sweet wrappers and bin bags, that make his collections so distinctive.
On July 20th it was no different and a textural explosion was sent down the runway in a colour palette of sugary pinks and luxurious golds, balanced out with neutral blacks and beiges. Lawrence had once again created extremely bold and brash shapes in a very feminine way. ‘Fluffy’ and ‘shiny’ are trademark of Lawrence’s work, which was evident when a dress made entirely of sweetie-pink pom-poms sailed past, followed by a gold foil dress that rustled only like a giant Quality Street wrapper could.

In the evening there was the much anticipated talk in the Lecture Theatre with British Vogue Editor in Chief, Alexandra Shulman, where she appeared in conversation with journalist Francine Stock. The talk was created to celebrate Shulman’s 20 year career at the magazine, and also to promote her new novel, ‘Can We Still Be Friends?’ We were focused on a whirlwind history of pivotal Vogue covers from throughout her career at Vogue, before delving into questions about her new book.
She discussed putting an M&S shirt on Amber Valetta on one cover, Kate Moss in the style of David Bowie on another; catastrophe covers (apparently group cover shots sell the worst) and occasionally we stumbled across covers that she couldn’t even remember doing! Ms Shulman has never shied away from a controversial cover and instead embraces the idea, which is why British Vogue has become the daring, occasionally tongue-in-cheek publication it is today.
Her journalistic career started at GQ, so it’s no surprise that Shulman’s priorities lie in business and breaking journalism first, and fashion second. However it becomes quite clear early on that she has the personality cut just right to be at the helm of a leading fashion magazine - her blunt retorts and straight to the point answers are almost a mandatory trait to be an Editor in Chief, yet apart from that she plays to none of the 'Devil Wears Prada’ stereotypes that were expected.

Alexandra Shulman on the left, and Francine Stock on the right, questioning the idea of putting Bono on a cover
-Bad quality as this one was taken on my phone-

Keep smiling x