Friday, 29 January 2010

Hand-Crafted Menswear by Brian Clarke

Brian Clarke admits fashion is in his blood. As a teenager he loved to interpret street fashion and create his own style. The next obvious step was to take this creativity and learn how to make his own designs. So Brian registered at the London College of Fashion to study how to design light clothing and pattern cutting. After completing his studies, Brian worked at Berman’s & Nathan’s theatrical costumiers, honing his bespoke tailoring skills. Here he worked on costumes for Colditz, Superman and all the BBC series, but promises his own collections will not include wearing underpants over tights! However, it was when he worked as assistant designer/pattern cutter for Katherine Hamnett that a passion for fashion really got to him.
After several years of hands-on experience, Brian eventually decided to go it alone. His first independent forays found him styling and designing clothes for pop videos for numerous bands- Jackie Graham, David Grant, Imagination and Spandau ballet to name a few. He also set up a pattern cutting, sample making and small production service for emerging designer labels which included Stephen Linard, Duffer of St. George, John Giuliano, Joe Casely Hayford and Nigel Hall. But an eye for a strong commercial presence was to reveal bigger ambitions. Brian soon had his own flourishing line, stocking many of the capital’s trendier boutiques. It was then he decided to open his eponymous store in London’s Soho stocking his own name label.
The store was more than just a shop; it rapidly became a social institution for slick dressers from the worlds of film, music, art and the city of all whom were looking for the inimitable BC style. It was an instant winner and encouraged others to tap into Brian’s design talents. Deals from Japan notably Dep International - soon followed. This is when Brian had to make an agonising choice of keeping his store open or go to Japan and accept the deal to work for one of the leading young fashion companies there. Brian decided to take the offer in Japan where he could accrue more experience in fashion design. But he never gave up the idea of continuing with a London store and now he’s back after five years ready to open his new store in the West End early in the New Year. In some ways he’s come full circle, employing the artistry of the bespoke skills he learnt at the beginning in his stylish and subtle tailoring. It’s what he does best, and his return to fashion is not a moment too soon
For his spring/summer 2010 collection, Brian has used mainly crisp cotton and linen in cool blues, stone and white. For his dark dinner suit he has used a blend of wool and silk, and for the guys who don’t do plain – a broqueted jacket in black.
Brian has applied to show his new collection at next year’s London Fashion Week in February, so don’t forget to visit him there. Until his store opens, you can buy by contacting Brian via his website:

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

New collection "Damsel in a Dress" brings affordable couture to the high street

This new label is the brain child of Alison Mansell and draws its inspiration from the female form

embodied in the works of feminine chic. Each piece in the collection has been carefully designed to embrace feminine curves and carefully couture cut to fit.

The collection offers the wearer luxury timeless pieces at affordable prices.

Damsel in a Dress is a brand that is very much romantic at heart with a poetic outlook on life. It attracts women that are confident, vibrant and individual who embrace the feeling of wearing beautifyingly elegant clothes with such delicate attention to detail.

We love their colour twist on the classic mac - neon orange in luxe satin, and the way the 1930's Schiaparelli print is splashed over their seamless dresses.

Each item will be made in a limited edition and will feature exclusively at the following John Lewis store from 8th Feb:

Oxford Street London









Something to look forward to on these cold wintery days - roll on 8th Feb!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

New Designer - Ruti Danan

As an assistant of Alexander McQueen, new designer Ruti Danan perfected the art of tailoring and styling. By the time McQueen went to work for Givenchy, Ruti was ready to set up her own label.
Her latest couture collection was inspired by the tale of Solika, a beautiful Jewish girl who in 1834 refused to marry the son of the Moroccan king and was beheaded because of the refusal (he didn’t take rejection well). These designs transform the wearer in to modern day Solika but this time without losing her head (thankfully). Ruti has dedicated the collection to her mother who is also called Soulika.
Ruti uses luxurious feminine fabrics to create her designs such as gossamer sheer chiffon, radiant silks and fragile delicate lace. This collection sees lots of this feminine lace in either black or soft pinks and creams.
Her dresses are cut on the bias, with no side seams, -one piece is used and the dress is created on a dummy. The way the dress is cut enables her clients to wear a size smaller – an instant solution to dieting for that special evening!! Each dress is hand made from start to finish ensuring the exclusivity of her designs. This exclusivity of each garment attracts A-list supermodels, pop stars and actresses. Celebrities who have worn her one-off designs include: Kylie Minogue, Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell and Elle Macpherson. Thandi Newton appeared in a Ruti body skimming black lace sheath dress in the opening sequence of “Mission Impossible II”.
Ruti offers her clients a made-to-order service. By taking her design collections as a starting point, Ruti adapts the style for the client’s particular occasion and body shape, thus ensuring the dress is a perfect fit and also unique. Her dresses are frequently worn to premiers and galas, while her wedding gowns are sought after for their fresh, contemporary appeal.
The September “Pop-up showroom” hosted by the micro-boutique hotel 40WiNKS saw Ruti Danan launching her new silk chiffon Cami Scarf accessories. Ruti describes the cami scarf as "a romantic and sensual scarf decorated with dantel and crystal brooches, perfect for evenings out and nights in." And continues with "It is an accessory that can be worn in different styles for every occasion. These are timeless, vintage designs, which have the power to mark an entrance with subtlety and individuality." The scarves are cut on the bias and stitched with vertical seams giving the illusion of an underworld fantasy of flowing water. There are 16 different styles, one camisole and the cami flower fascinator. Colours include: black, white, ivory, pink, yellow, red and blue.
If you cannot afford a Ruti Danan Couture dress, then invest in one of her cami-scarves. The Cami-scarf collection can be purchased at Kohsamui, 65-67 Monmouth St, Covent Garden and Basia Zarzycka 52 Sloane Square.
See her collection on website
For the cami scarf see website


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