Thursday, 18 February 2010

New designer - Lisa Gibson

Lisa Gibson is so new and fresh as a fashion designer that her first collection was shown in Bournemouth graduate fashion week and more recently at the pop up fashion show held at the prestigious 40WiNKS boutique hotel in Sep 2009. This graduate collection is titled “abstract nature” and is inspired by Lisa’s love of all things nature.

Her appreciation of nature was nurtured whilst growing up in a small village in Staffordshire where she was surrounded by luscious green rolling hillsides. Art and crafts was her first passion which grew to include fashion when she went on to complete an art and design course. Through this course she learnt about textiles and the fashion history. Her work experience at a small craft business provided inspiration to create surface patterns and textures for unique and individual fashion pieces. Lisa then completed a three Year BA course in fashion and textiles at Wiltshire College Salisbury, a Bournemouth University Partner college where her graduate collection was put together.

The basis of her graduate collection is the machine embroidered fabric she created and the use of simple shapes with intricate seaming detail. Lisa's "abstract nature" collection includes:

Bubble skirt and embroidered top-

This cream wool skirt is made up of panels to give a bubble shape, in the middle is a machine embroidered panel inspired by textures and patterns from a tree knot.

The top is made up of a plain machine embroidered fabric with hints of colour throughout; around the neckline are small roses for a delicate finish.

Black bubble dress-This soft black wool dress has curved seams all round to create a bubble shape. The slightly puffed sleeves, made from machine embroidered fabric, give the dress a delicate look. Great for cocktails!

Trousers, top and jacket-

The soft tan leather jacket‘s shape was inspired by shapes developed within flora and fauna.

The luxurious silk jersey underneath has a flowing drape around the bust and a delicate tangling print creeping up the side.

The 7/8th length trousers are in a two tone memory fabric - black and bronze, a hint of both colours is apparent when moving in the trousers.

Rose dress-

This very delicate looking piece is made all from machine embroidered fabric taking the rose shape as inspiration; great for day and evening wear.

Rose crop top and skirt-

The rose crop top is also inspired by the rose shape; this piece is organic looking.

The skirt has a slight bubble shape, made from a japur silk which has a slight shimmer giving the fabric a more luxurious look. The skirt also has 2 embroidered panels at the side so these 2 pieces are very elegant looking worn as a set but also look striking when worn separately. Team the top with Lisa’s black/bronze trousers for a softer rock chick look.

Grey silk jersey top and trousers-

This long top in luxurious silk jersey has gathers all down the sides to give a beautiful drape across the front; the top also has machine embroidered fabric around the neckline and down a short sleeve, giving a delicate, and eye catching look.

The trousers are in a black silk satin which gives them a beautiful sheen, they are high waisted with a slim leg.

Lisa states: “I now have an even bigger thirst for fashion; always looking at the latest trends, keeping up to date with the fashion magazines, but always trying to make myself and my pieces personal to me yet individual.” Can’t wait to see her next collection which she is now creating ready for the spring/summer!!

To buy any of these pieces or order specially commissioned pieces, contact Lisa through her website:

Monday, 15 February 2010

40 Winks - the London microboutique hotel favoured by the fashion industry.

Have you ever wondered where people in the creative and fashion industries choose to stay when they are looking for some place fun and different? Well read on:

Looking for a place in London to shoot your fashion photos or to showcase your designs? Then 40WiNKS may be the answer to your dreams.

Situated in East London, on Mile End Road and a short walk away from Stepney Green tube station, this 1717 four storey Queen Anne townhouse is the home of interior designer David Carter and is the perfect setting for fashion shoots and showcases, providing an enchanting and luxurious backdrop. Outside shoots can be taken in the small fairytale ”Secret Garden”, whilst indoor there is the choice of: the dark and sumptuous “Green Room”; the light and dreamy “Music Room”, the theatrical and eclectic “Palazzo” kitchen and even the glamorous and opulent gilded bathroom .
David has been welcoming fashion and celebrity shoots to his home for over nine years, but recently he has played host to 40WiNKs first “Pop-up showroom”. David explains “The concept of these showcases is to provide somewhere eclectically different and glamorous for new designers to show their collections whilst supporting them in their efforts to promote their work to a wider audience.” The first showcase exhibited the collections of 6 designers:
Alexandra Kaegler, whose detail to pleats, French seaming and panels create elegance and simplicity. Her collection is inspired by the belle epoque period and ballet russes using fine silks,silk/cottons, organzas and feathers in a rich palette of petroleum, ecru and gold.
Lisa Gibson shows her graduation collection titled “Abstract Nature” which was inspired by the love of all things natural. The elegant and striking collection’s colours are black and muted colours of greys, brown and cream.
Ruti Danan already has a following for her body skimming evening dresses in gossamer sheer chiffons, radiant silks and fragile lace. She is now launching CamiScarf, her new range of silk chiffon cami scarves which are the perfect romantic accessory to an evening outfit.
Katherine Wardropper exhibits pieces of her 3D jewellery. Using a developed “Sculptural Fabric Technique” she hand constructs 3D patterns to create neckpieces, brooches, hairpieces, belts and earrings which echo the reflections of swirling wedding cakes, Victorian lace and bejewelled snowflakes.
Atelier Annick fuses handmade traditional patterns from Cote D’Ivoire with the classic European styles to create luxury handbags that are unique and elegant. Annick Adjo’s SS10 collection titled “Riviera Glam” was inspired by the opulence and artistry of the French Riviera; combining treated raffia with luxurious Italian leather for the day tote and Italian leather in gold for the evening clutch.
Rosalie Eustace of Timothy Foxx mixes traditional British tweed with an eclectic range of fabrics from around the world. Her collection shows funky miniskirts with colourful silk panel slits and traditional blazers with quirky patterned linings and silk cuffs. Rosalie has kept the tweed’s reputation as eccentric but has updated it to a youthful and fashionable eccentricity.

Looking for a place to stay in London? Want something different and glamorous but affordable? Again 40WiNKS may be the answer to your prayers.

David Carter decided earlier this year to put his two guest rooms to good use and so transformed his home in to an affordable glamorous micro-boutique hotel as an alternative for visitors in the arts, music and fashion industries who wanted something different from the normal hotel chains. It is more of a home from home rather than a hotel, providing an easy going atmosphere where you can use the kitchen’s facilities day or night (no room service) and chat with David whilst relaxing and enjoying the decor. They do not offer lunch or dinner but can provide continental breakfast, but hey as creative photographers, stylists, designers, models, you probably have places already in mind where you want to eat and drink. If not, David can recommend. If you do miss a bit of pampering, 40WiNKS can arrange for beauty therapists and reflexologists to visit the hotel.
The first of the bijou bedrooms is a small single decorated in black and white stripes and has a rate of £90 per night. The second bedroom is a large airy shabby chic double with a rate of £130 per night. Both share the gilded bathroom.
If you prefer to be waited on hand and foot with your own ensuite, then this is not the hotel for you, but if you prefer the company of other like-minded creative people in a relaxed and eclectic setting, then this will suit you down to the ground.
Reservation details can be found on

New Designer - Aamaya by Priyanka

London based fashion label Aamaya by Priyanka was launched by up and coming designer Priyanka Lugani in April 2008 and specialises in exclusive beach wear and evening wear for women.

Although a British national with Indian heritage, Priyanka was raised in Germany and has taken the best from this mix of diverse cultures to create unique creations and distinctive designs by working with eastern materials and using western tailoring. Due to Priyanka’s background in design and luxury branding and her family‘s long standing involvement in the textile industry, Priuyanka’s priority is on quality and luxury for her label’s fabrics and textiles. So she chooses her fabrics from India and the Middle East and compliments them with French lace and for her autumn/winter collections she teams them with fine European furs. The result is vibrant, decorative clothing that portrays an image of playful yet glamorous femininity.

Priyanka’s Autumn/Winter 2009/10 collection sees a move away from the vivacious prints and shades of her previous collections to concentrate on delicate detailing and luxurious furs. Lines are sleek with a touch of embellishment. Block colours mainly used are off-white, deep stone blue, smokey stone, chocolate plum, dark chocolate with the occasional accent of reds. Pryanka says of her collection: “We are trending towards luxurious wardrobe staples with veiled details. Basics such as cashmere sweater dresses are best complimented with feminine accents of fur and netted beads.” She sees her collection worn by women who enjoy luxury but needs their self-indulgence to be functional so her collection is designed to be paired with leggings by day and sky-scrapper heels by night. With this as her focus, Priyanka has created a collection which shows a sophisticated yet frivolous quality but still offering wear ability with a frisson of Hollywood glamour.
For her Spring/Summer 2010 collection, Priyanka returns to her vivacious prints and statement shades. She uses soft pastels and creams for her day wear. And for her evening wear, she chose a soft muted gold shade embellished with Swaroski beads arranged in an intricate Asian inspired design which contrasts well with the simplicity of the dress shape. Her Belini evening dress whilst free of embellishments shows richness in the use of fabric and colour. This collection exudes femininity with its delicate decollage and elegant tailoring whilst the technical touches demonstrate a real command of all things couture.
Aamaya By Priyanka was launched at the stylish London venue China White, and has since attended showcases at Soho-based nightclub Maya and at the Wimbledon Fashion Week. A number of her pieces are due to be featured by Drapers. Her collection is stocked in Trilogy, Coco Boutique, Sixty 6 and Peppermint Grove. You can visit her website for more information and to view all her collections.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Chinese New Year versus Valentine's Day

14th February has a double celebration this year. It is not only Valentine's day but the start of the Chinese New Year - the year of the tiger. Who will win in the celebrations- The tigress versus Aphrodite?

Chinese New Year v. Valentine's Day

Items in this set are follows.
In the Tigress corner:
Warehouse animal print tulip skirted silk dress from
Layly dress in palace tiger lavendar from
Diane Von Furstenburg asher tiger print dress from
tiger striped harem pants from
Love Moschino tiger print pencil skirt from
KORS Michael Kors "Flora" peep toe pump from nordstrom .com
Tiger stripe pointed tpe flats from
Suzy Smith London Netty bow detail shopper in tiger print from

In Aphrodite's corner:
ASOS broken heart print bandau dress from
Heart sequin dress from
Moschino Cheap & Chic black cotton and gold lurex-knit heart mini dress from
Lipsy heart print bandeau dress from
The Livlavone love dress from
Love Moschino patent round toe wedges from the
Luichiny spade pump in grey from
Ed Hardy diddy handbag from

And the result??
It's a draw with the Asos tiger printed puff heart drop earrings from - just proving you can be a loved up tigress.


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