Thursday, 25 March 2010
From 2005-2008, Alexandra Kaegler studied fashion and textiles at the University of the West of England and has built her signature style on minimalism, structure and strong clean lines.
In Jun 08 she presented her first A/W09 collection during graduate fashion week in London. With her love of structure and architecture, it is not surprising this collection was inspired by the architecture of the soaring recently restored Antwerp station and its colour scheme of brick red, black, grey and cream. The materials used were wool/cashmere bonded Teflon, laser cut leather sequins and cotton bonded plastic embedded with a print – all choices to create stiffness and strong silhouettes to mimic the structure of the station. The key words for this collection and her subsequent collections are: simple sophistication, minimalism, attention to detail and cut, and the construction of forms.
For her SS10 collection, she brings more opulence and richness to her designs whilst still keeping true to simplicity and the perfect purity of line. Exhibiting the new collection in September at the pop-up showcase hosted by micro-boutique hotel 40WiNKS , she explains that the inspiration for her latest collection came from the belle époque period (1890-1914)and Ballet Russe combining both with the haute couture of the 1920-40’s. She mixes the high stand collar and intricate detailing of the belle époque man’s military jacket with the elegant fitted tailoring worn by the women.
Fluidity and exoticism inspired by the Ballet Russe is seen in the use of luxurious fine silks, silk/cottons, organza and feathers and are complimented by a rich more opulent palette of petroleum, ecru and gold.
Attention to detail in the hand stitched button holes, pleats, French seaming and panels create elegance and simplicity.
This young label is based on the respect for tradition and captures some of the lost and forgotten craftsmanship. Alexandra’s focus is on creating Alexandra K as “a very small, very exclusive house ...going back to the great traditions of luxury French couture – reviving traditions with a contemporary slant”. She explains” I envisage my house as a craftsman’s workshop, rather than a clothes factory” Her prime need of designing fashion is to please and attract; consequently this attraction must never result in uniformity which Alexandra describes as “the mother of boredom”. In order to satisfy her love for architecture and clear-cut designs, Alexandra wants to employ quite a different technique in fashioning clothes from the methods in use – “I want them to be constructed like buildings and bring an air of excitement back to fashion.”
For more information visit her website on www.alexandrakaegler.com
Sunday, 21 March 2010
You’re getting dressed for an evening out – you’re looking good and feeling great!! You are wearing the perfect outfit with the most wonderful high heeled shoes. High heels instantly give you that feel good factor, making you feel glamorous and feminine with legs that look a mile long. What is not to like about high heels??
Ah yes the blisters they cause, the way they lodge themselves in to pavement cracks and how they find the tiniest uneven surfaces to get you toppling over. They are a mischievous pair and really need to be brought to heel (no pun intended). So how do you get from A to B without ruining your shoes or your feet? Even Cinderella lost her glass slipper at the end of the evening, and running home in bare feet is not the ideal solution.
One way Cinders could have tried was to mimic the New York commuters and wear trainers – but then you run the risk of someone seeing you in all your splendour with these monstrosities covering your feet. Would Prince Charming have been impressed? I think not.
This is where our own Fairy Godmother and new designer Janan Leo waves her magic wand.
Janan decided she no longer wanted a painful hobble enroute to a party, she didn’t want her feet to be in agony before she even hit the dance floor, and the graceful lady she is, she certainly didn’t want to mar her chic look with clumpy trainers.
So she set out to design a ballerina style pump which was both comfortable and beautiful, and would fold up to fit in to a little purse ready to just pop in to your handbag. But how do you carry your heels when wearing these flats I hear you say. Well Janan’s little purse cleverly stores a larger carrier bag that comes complete with a shoulder strap -problem solved.
It took over a year from the first idea to the official launch in May 2008. During this time Janan came up with the brand name CocoRose London and developed her fashion design skills at the London College of Fashion
Why stop at just rescuing the feet of party animals?? Savvy Janan realised other situations would also benefit from her concept of folding shoes and started to extend her range with these in mind:
The understated black satin Expresso Rush design is perfect for the office environment and commuting to and from the office.
Janan’s thoughts turned to the blushing brides. Were their blushes also caused by blushing aching feet? She set to work on creating the ivory satin Spring Snowflake so the bride could still enjoy the festivities after a full day on her high heels. Janan didn’t forget the rest of the wedding party’s tootsies and came up with beautiful pastel colours in leather style designs for bridesmaids and guests alike.
A more quirky design is the cream and black spotted Dalmationd design with its red satin bow – enough to put a spring in your step when shopping.
And we all want to travel in comfort and style – Janan came up with these first class designs and colours for just that reason - the pewter coloured Portia or deeper gold Cinnamon Sunflower designs.
Keeping her Urban Cinderella in mind and being inspired by the concept of style, convenience and practicality, Janan also designed a new, reusable, lightweight shopping bag called the Strawberry Bag. So called because it actually folds up in to a smaller strawberry shaped bag!
Her beautiful flats and Strawberry bags can be bought through: www.cocoroselondon.com, and also in leading boutiques nationwide, in Japan and very soon, Italy.
Friday, 12 March 2010
Tennessee based Prophetik kicked off the London Fashion Week catwalk shows at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, Freemason’s Hall, Covent Garden. And what a kick off!!!
At the beginning we are lulled in to thinking of a carefree southern country theme when violinist Anna Cwad starts playing toe tapping music, with ex-Paramore Jason Bynum joining her on guitar. Then the band Man Raze shatters this illusion with their fusion of punk and pop rock. Not surprising as their drummer is ex-Sex Pistols Paul Cook and their vocals/lead guitar is ex-Def Leppard Phil Collen. And let’s not forget their bass guitarist Simon Laffy from Brit glam rock act band Girl.
With Man Raze raising the tempo, the show began for ethical designer Jeff Garner’s A/W10 collection titled “Southern Shores”. His inspiration came from the American Civil War and sees hope and romance alongside strife and uncertainty.
Main colour palette in true Civil War colours were blues, greys with a touch of red.
The menswear saw layering and serious looking ¾ length coats, waistcoats, vintage buttons, riding boots and peace silk neckties.
For the women, the designs ranged from jodhpurs, ripped leggings, military jackets and capes to full on Little House on the Prairie style dresses. In-between were mini dresses and long flowing dresses both teamed with flat heeled riding boots.
At the end of the show, the music mellowed as Jeff Garner appeared looking the part of the Southern gent taking a stroll with his Southern belle in her striking long red velvet bustier dress.
Garner’s collection is proof that no fashion look has to be harmed in the making of ethical clothing.
Prophetik is a sustainable men’s and womenswear label using environmentally friendly materials such as organic cottons, hemp, flax, Greenspun (recycled bottles) and organic pigment dyes. One of their signature dresses “the Elle” is made from silk and organic cotton that elephants have painted in collaboration with the AEACP (Asian Elephant Art Conservation Project), which helps to raise funds for an elephant sanctuary in Thailand.”
Photos taken by Tony from Griffin Technology on his iPhone
Thursday, 11 March 2010
This was Korean designer Doii Lee’s first catwalk show at London Fashion Week and it didn’t let her down.
The collection titled “Walk in the Forest” was inspired by her favourite Russian fairytale “Baba Yaga”.In this fairytale a wicked stepmother sends her lovely step daughter in to the forest to visit her aunt, Baba Yaga, the witch.
In Doii’s walk in the forest story, she passes through an intoxicating rose maze. Copper haired models wore layered chiffon dresses and glittering sequined dresses - all in the designer’s exclusive illustrated print of large pinkish red roses. Red patent high heeled shoes with patterned fabric tied around the ankles in large bows matched the vividness of the designs. White faux fur trims and linings added softness to some of the stiffer sequined fabrics. The first outfit on the catwalk immediately caught our attention – long straight chiffon dress with a kick flare hem, draped with a long trailing shawl covered in the sequined rose pattern and lined with white faux fur.
“A dove guides her along the right path” – the digital prints now were of flying white doves on orange/peach light chiffon or heavily sequined fabric.
“A garden full of glorious sunny memories” Main colour palette was cream with a touch of blue, green and pink. The print of potted plants was hazy as if faded by the sun. Here we saw a loose fitting sequined egg-shaped coat with a sexy kick at the bottom and cuff. The contrasting print on the collar of polka dots added to the glamour.
The story and walk becomes darker, she is in turmoil –mid greys or rich browns are added to the mix. The print is busier and again vivid. The patent shoes colour changes from carefree red to serious black, but still with the patterned fabric tied around the ankle.
“Her heart sank”- black and grey dominate and the designer’s prints are of lace and netting. Black lace features on the sequined evening dresses, black fur on the coats.
“But she knew she was a protected one” – the colours here were pale gold and black. Here we saw a sequined gold and black patterned trench coat with plain light grey lapels, tie belt and pockets. A short sequined gold and black patterned dress was given the 20’s vintage look with a drop waist and a wide band of scalloped gold lace around the hem.
“My skeleton friend is always with me” – again black and grey dominated for the new print of lace skulls.
“Then the goat queen of the forest is on her side” – honey blonde models came out wearing prints of the goat queen in creams, white, soft browns with a touch of light blue. A padded egg-shaped coat, plain but for the print and teamed with silver grey fur leg warmers. Other outfits lined or trimmed with white faux fur gave a Cossack appearance.
“Divine roses blossom along the dark path of the forest “- Proving anything can look glamorous, a duffle style coat was given the luxury make over with a sequined print of roses along the path of the green forest, lining and trims of light grey faux fur and with the hem longer at the back.
Chiffon dresses were long and short, some with a few of the signature sequins, some decorated with small hanging hearts down the back and some with their hems longer at the back. All were colourful and patterned.
Dresses in heavier fabrics were completely embellished in sequins making Doii’s print designs even more dazzling.
My favourites were the coats: all statement pieces proving you don’t have to wait to take your coat off before making an entrance.
Doii states that the lady who wears Doii Paris becomes a diva. The last model came out in a black sequined coat and large hat with fringes so long they reached her shoulders. Not representing the end of the story but in true diva style, this piece wanted to take centre stage.
Photographs were taken by Christopher Dadey. For more of his work see www.christopherdadey.com
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
The stage for Orla Kiely’s presentation at London Fashion Week was two impressive make shift rooms decorated in the 60’s style with brown and beige designed Orla Kiely wallpaper in the living room and dark & light blue in the bedroom. The furniture was 60’s vintage and a modern retro looking TV showed the collection on screen. Models sat or stood in above the knee dresses and skirts teamed with shoes and mid calf navy socks.
Patterns for the wallpaper and dresses were inspired by Ivon Hutchins’s abstract art and the photography of Erwin Olaf, and captured the essence of falling autumn leaves.
The title of the collection was "Tuesdays Child". Main colour palette was autumnal – creams instead of whites, various shades of browns, burnt oranges and navy. The obligatory grey and black could be seen on some pieces.
Fabrics used were mohair and silk crepe teamed with traditional checked wool and wool jacquard,
The models wore their hair in a serious bun and makeup was kept simple, providing a good contrast to the cute collars and fun update of the 60’s retro style.
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
The style may be bohemian for the husband and wife design duo’s (Suzanne Clements & Inacio Ribeiro) latest collection, but this is bohemian with decadent glamour,thus the title "Haute Bohemian" They chose to look back to the 70’s around the time when Yves Saint Laurent created his Russian collection
The footwear was to die for – all embellished with sequin patterns. My favourites were the long boots in soft leather slightly slouchy and gathered at the top.
Sequins also adorned dresses, trousers and cardigans along with crystals.
The collection was divided in to definite sections:
A more masculine tailored section – main colour palette charcoal grey, black and dark plum.
Oversized knits were embellished but in a monochrome tone to create understated classical glamour.
The feminine section showed silk dresses, skirts and tops in paisley and marble effect swirl prints.
One dress and trousers in pale gilded jacquard and cardigans embellished with sequin patterns or bejewelled motifs. The colours were more muted in shades of greens, gold, mustard, light browns and taupe.
The more opulent section showed the heavier brocade for jackets, skirts and coats trimmed with sequins. Main colour palette was black and midnight blue. Nice touch with the leather gloves trimmed with sequins.
This collection shows opulent luxury does not have to be just restricted to eveningwear.
The collection was presented at London Fashion Week in the Portico room, Somerset House.
Monday, 8 March 2010
Although advertised as a presentation, designer Julie Wilkins presentation of her label’s Future Classics A/W 10 collection at London Fashion Week was more like a mini catwalk show. The benches were set out so the models could walk down in between them – so everyone had a front row view!
The inspiration for this collection was: "Cut and paste; the written word and renaissance craft (wo)manship."
Main colour palette was neutrals and black (what else for classics) with a splash of pinks and oranges to brighten the collection.
Lots of long knits with draped hoods, trousers and leggings. Especially loved the denim print leggings. Plainer leggings in black or grey were given a more interesting look with a row of buttons sewn down the front.
Fur covered just the sleeves and hats giving a more playful look.
Long black satin fingerless gloves reaching above the elbow looked great with the layered chiffon LBDs.
This collection is for the woman who likes soft tailoring and knitwear but wants a little design twist to her classical look.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
The young designer for the Sado label is Russian born Carlotta Gherzi (of Italian parents) who brings a modern elegant edge to the label.
The latest collection had great styles which could be worn by real women and not just catwalk models. The main colour palette was black with blue and pillar box red.
Silks dominated the tops, dresses and even leggings which brought out the vividness of both the blue and red.
“Geometrical glamour” is the title of this autumn/winter 2010 collection – this was shown in the silk leggings, tops and dresses which were all pleated in horizontal tiers giving texture and depth.
Black knits wear glamorous with glitter woven in to produce wide sparkly horizontal bands
Silver and red brocade made an appearance for the evening dresses. Particularly loved the strapless silver brocade maxi dress.
SADO's signature is stylish and classical - this season's collection did not disappoint.
Sado's London Fashion Week catwalk show was hosted by Vauxhall Fashion Scout on 20 Feb 10 at Freemason's Hall, Covent Garden.
Saturday, 6 March 2010
With her A/W10 collection titled “Emotions” Lako Bukia wanted to show both positive kind and dark bad emotions through fabric, shape and colour.
The main colour palette is black for the darker side and white for the lighter side of emotions. A few cream pieces appear to show that not everything is black and white.
Fabrics used are light soft flowing chiffon, a stiffer cotton silk and wool.
Geometric shapes are seen on collars, and by way of diagonal zips. The zips are also used as a bridge to join together the stiffer fabrics with the softer fabrics. Some pieces are obvious with the contrast between the hard and soft fabrics. On others the contrast can only be seen once the zip has been undone and then only revealing the hidden soft silk fabric underneath. Zips on shoulders and sides allow the wearer the flexibility of changing her silhouette – whenever the mood takes her.
Lako’s shoes look striking in black or white soft leather with triangular heels. She explains the triangle is a more gothic shape and gives a harder emotional contrast to the softness of the leather.
Not surprisingly her favourite piece is the long flowing chiffon pleated dress in white which is teamed with a little sharp cotton silk back to front cape. The cape has a high collar with long geometric lapels which represent the bad emotion. Once the cape is removed, the dress is free of restrictions and can float on just the good emotions.
Lako Bukia's catwalk show at London Fashion Show was hosted by Fashion Mavericks at the Strand Palace Hotel 20Feb10