Friday, July 31, 2015

Toga // Fall 2015 //

Yasuko Furuta, the designer behind Toga, studied at the École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode, or ESMOD as an acronym. Despite the label being on my watch list for three seasons I didn’t know this. A quick Google search, and an ELLE.com article later I scrubbed up on my knowledge. Toga was first displayed in 2001, 14-years-ago, at Tokyo Fashion Week in Japan. The labels fans include Katy Perry and Chloe Sevigny, who have both worn her multi-buckle ankle boots. Susie Lau of stylebubble.co.uk often wears and preaches about the Japanese label. There is a lot to love about Toga. 

For the label’s first on-schedule show, Furuta showed at The Wapping Project Bankside, right by the Topshop Show Space in the Tate Modern. For Spring 2015, Topshop had moved to a warehouse on Grey’s Inn Road. Around the corner, the Toga presentation was held at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel. Once again, this vanishing act was performed and the Toga presentation reappeared near the Topshop Show Space at the Tate Britain, by showing at the Chelsea College of Arts. Before or after the Topshop show, the fashion crowd can mosey on into the Toga presentation and enter a world, slightly less commercialistic and far more visceral than many other shows during the week. 
Photo Credit: style.com

For Fall 2015, Furuta looked to the 1970’s. Blatant examples would be the checkered, flared taffeta trousers, and matching tops. One brown, yellow and blue pair were festooned with delicate embellishing at the ankle, for some extra pizzazz. Heavy eye make-up, and frizzy up-do’s were also worn. 

The first look resembled a fashionable Darth Vader ensemble. A navy belted trench over a navy dress. Cross-body, an olive green sash jacket-worn-as-sash finished off the look. Another look also had the outerwear turned into accessory look. A shearling-lined aviator jacket was made into a bag. These multipurpose garments could be considered wacky by some, practical by others. I’m somewhere in between. However, it is this chaos that Furuta’s designs are synonymous. This season I found calm in the chaos. Yes, a huge double-breasted pearly white fur overcoat was paired with a satin turtleneck and pink trousers and it may have been slightly complicated. The outfit looked better and more personal with the full-to-the-brim styling. Cream trousers with embellishments, milky brown sweater, cross-body bag, fur pelt, black satin sash, lots of accessories. In theory that sounds like a fashion experiment gone wrong. In person it was beautiful. The Toga woman may be leading a chaotic life but she is rather composed. 

In my review of last season’s collection, I wrote that I preferred to look at the outfits as singles rather than as a whole. Clearly, my naiveté (and my primarily minimal inclinations) clouded my judgement and revisiting that collection, my thoughts had percolated and I realised I loved it far more than I did ten months ago. Looking at Fall 2015 through a different lens than I did last September, I appreciated the collection far more. Toga was a tentpole on the Sunday of LFW. For Spring 2016 it will embellish the Tuesday with its amazingness. 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gucci // Fall 2015 & Resort 2016 //

In 2014, Kering announced that then Gucci creative director Frida Giannini and CEO Patrizio di Marco would be ending their ten year tenure at the Italian brand. Giannini was to remain at the brand until the autumn/winter 2015 womenswear collection was presented but that was stunted in early January when it was announced she had left the brand already - a month early. With five days until the anticipated menswear show, a new face had to step to the fore; Alessandro Michele. Having worked in the design team, alongside Giannini, Michele had 5 days to complete the menswear collection along with the in-house team. Finishing what his predecessor had started, Michele presented his menswear collection to critical acclaim. Blending the lines between genders, the collection was lauded by fashion’s elite. The new reign at Gucci had begun and it was oh so refreshing. 

Following January’s display, the newly appointed creative director had 20 days to finish what was to be Giannini’s last womenswear collection. Michele had an industrial, metal runway installed at the show space. The music purred eerily and the new Gucci girl emerged. She was certainly nerdier than Giannini’s high-power glam but it was a distinct and nice change of pace. The collection was young and spirited. She wore midi-length skirts and short-hemmed dresses. Her shirts were sheer and her dresses fashioned with ruffles. Pussy bow blouses and glasses and berets. Everything was undeniably romantic. You can see thirties and forties vibes but Michele was quick to rebuke nostalgia. “I don’t want to be nostalgic,” he said to LOVE (on sale now). Michele is "in love with modernity” but does say it can “come from the past”. 

This was the appetiser to Gucci in the, clearly talented, hands of Alessandro Michele. Like Massimo Giorgetti’s “Pilot Episode” at Emilio Pucci, this collection was a glimpse into the new Gucci. This rebirth couldn’t be more timely as I haven’t been inspired by a Gucci show since fall 2012, if not before that.
 In June, Michele presented his first collection—Resort 2016— that he designed entirely. Chanel took us to Seoul, South Korea. Dior hosted their show in Theoule-sur-Mer. J.W. Anderson shuttled a number of editors to Cambridge. The jet-set arrived in Palm Springs. Michele had his turn to host a spectacle and he chose Chelsea, an artsy neighbourhood of New York City. Actress Dakota Johnson, and directors Sam Taylor-Johnson and Gia Coppola were front row at the show, in a garage which opened to a grand, decadent carpet. Designer solidarity was also in play with Alexander Wang and Joseph Altuzarra front row. The offering would have to be something special for such a star-studded runway. Once again, Michele delivered. He did what he perfected for fall. Gender-blending geek-chic with masculine, and feminine edges. 

Appearing in stores in November, the Resort collection was comprised of 62 impressive looks that brought a Tumblr teenager raiding her grandmother’s (or grandfather's) closet to mind. Some things were a tad oversized. Certain looks looked like they were taken directly from the past but oozed modernity, something that Michele seeks in his clothing. Alexandra Elizabeth’s russet cropped bomber-cum-cowboy jacket with its red collar and bottle green and purple accents was paired with a red and white skirt, the white being lace. Earlier in the collection a lilac and purple lace dress with a pleated skirt and a floral neckline took to the runway. The floral embroidered neckline was something we saw in his previous collection. As was the pleating. Look 34 was an 80’s-inspired full lurex outfit. Lurex was used in the fall 2015 collection in a similar way; a pleated skirt with a cinched waist. The correlations between the two collections remind me of an Instagram theme. One picture carries onto the next. They’re slightly different but maintain some of the same components, being that texture, colour and/or filter. I think that is a good thing that is perhaps slightly poetic.

They say don’t judge a book by its cover. Assuming that the new Gucci girl is intelligent and sensible with a dash of naiveté doesn’t seem too far from being wholly incorrect. The girl is precocious, experimental. She’s sexy. I’ve gathered all those thoughts from the Fall 2015 and Resort 2016 collections. They’ve told me a story and that’s something that not a lot of runway shows can do. It’s lasting and impactful. 
On Monday, Kering issued their results for the first half of 2015. Gucci’s sales for Q2 were up 4.6% in comparable currencies. This increase in sales was an improvement from Q1. Positive sales must be a relief to Michele, though they will not come as a surprise to many. The new creative direction has obviously been taken to nicely.

Presently, Michele is working on his Spring 2016 womenswear collection for the historic brand, to be shown during Milan Fashion Week in September. His stamp is firmly placed on the house. His reign is already more memorable than his predecessor. He had to work under extreme conditions to produce his first two collections. 5 days for menswear, 20 for womenswear. When asked by LOVE how he managed it, the designer had a simple answer: "fashion doesn’t need time, it needs a vision”. Mr. Michele has that vision Gucci was lacking.

_____
Photo Credits: Runway images: style.com/Ad campaign: fashiongonerogue.com

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Calvin Klein Collection // Fall 2015 //

Different brands conjure up different connotations. For me, a brand like Ralph Lauren is a glamourous, all-American womenswear brand with timeless classics. Chanel I would associate with its iconic tweeds and fantastic show pieces. Calvin Klein Collection, designed by Francisco Costa, is the label I associated with minimalism. This wasn’t necessarily a good things as over the years I felt the label became very dull and boring, churning out the same things season after season. Costa defied that minimalism for Fall 2015 and gave us something anarchic and much-needed. 

When the first model came out in an animal hyde, black coat with large buttons, a leather dress underneath and leather skin-tight trousers I was flummoxed. That flummoxing immediately turned to delight as I realised this was to be the best Calvin collection yet. Zlata Semenko’s blush coat was given a tough, unexpected edge with its black buttons and leather trousers. Other blush looks were given a toughening with black, grommeted belts. Ribbed wool was frayed, patchwork was in sharp shapes. There was a lustrousness to this collection, both metaphorically and physically. This collection shone bright in a usually forgettable week. Physically, silver and shiny black accents were placed on accessories and the outfits. Patent leather shoes were light reflective. 

Lou Reed and Molina’s polaroids inspired Costa for the collection. Transporting us to 1960’s New York, specifically the Lower East Side, this collection showed a darker side, and that times are changing (like they were in the Lower East Side in the ’60’s). His Resort 2016 collection did present an indication that this new direction for the Calvin Klein Collection brand may be here to stay. For that, I am grateful. 

Caroline de Maigret, said “it wasn’t the image I had of Calvin Klein. It was very rock and roll”. This statement echoed my thoughts. This wasn’t the Calvin Klein I had usually just watched the livestream of and clicked out after a few minutes. This collection piqued my interest. In fact: it stunned me. 
Photo Credit: style.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chanel // Fall 2015 Haute Couture //

Who better to erect a stylish Parisian casino called Le Cercle Privé in the Grand Palais than Karl Lagerfeld. Bring Vegas to Paris pour couture, Kaiser Karl style. Who better than Karl Lagerfeld to have Oscar winner Julianne Moore, actresses Kristen Stewart, Jemima Kirke, Lily Collins, Vanessa Paradis (and her daughter, Lily Rose Depp), models Baptiste Giabiconi and Lara Stone, and singers Rita Ora and G Dragon prance along the runway and take a seat at poker tables. The star-studded line up, presumably the front row, were bedecked in stunning Chanel ensembles. I was truly enamoured by this unique spin on the front row.


In crystal embellished tweed suits, pussy bows, harlequin embroidered skirt suits models perused the casino and flaunted the Fall 2015 couture collection. Well-off customers, the ones who will be wearing this collection, were in for a treat. These are the clothes boyfriends will buy for girlfriends, husbands for wives and girlfriends for themselves. It was a classy affair with sharply tailored jackets and coats. Flowing tulle and satin combinations were a highlight. Also, Look 37, an entirely embellished dress with a jagged hem was divine. Modelled by Fei Fei Sun, look 41 was a black patent leather jacket which juxtaposed with the soft frou frou skirt. 

As per couture tradition, the finale look was bridal-wear. This season it came in the form of a pantsuit and was worn by Karl’s favourite, Kendall Jenner. The epaulette shouldered, double breasted blazer was equipped with four pockets, four buttons and a signature Chanel camellia brooch. The wide legged trousers ended and revealed square toed, Chanel Nevadan-desert cowboy boots. A sweeping embellished-tulle train completed the look. 

This offering was Karl’s strongest couture collection to date. It was a collection that displayed the power of the Chanel woman. She is a vitalising, empowering woman just like Mademoiselle Gabrielle. The sheer beauty of this one was captivating. 

Collage Images: style.com
Other: chanel-news.chanel.com

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ashley Williams // Fall 2015 //

Ashley Williams’ press release for her Fall 2015 show read like an empowered girl’s Tumblr blog. Citing the Beastie Boys 1985 track ‘Girls’ and Sky Ferreira’s 2014 hit ‘Boys', it-girl Chloe Sevigny, Jennifer Lawrence, the groupies of The Human League, and Lana Del Rey as inspiration—there should be a Tumblr blog out there devoted to that. If a press release can get me excited prior to the show, (which is usually a rarity considering they just give the details of the collection) what’s to come is sure to be stellar. I was right. Ashley Williams ode to the megababe was everything I needed on the final day of London Fashion Week.

Britain’s own megababes, Georgia May Jagger, Alice Dellal and Immy Waterhouse all took to the runway, emerging from a keyhole shaped catwalk—a glittering background to the show. Alexa Chung and Pixie Geldof were perched front row at the BFC Courtyard Show Space. Megababes everywhere. 

Donning PVC, pink shearling, sheer skirts and Swarovski crystals (a collaboration we often see), the Ashley Williams girl is a “hot sensation”. She is "the one you want to hang out with”, “the hard one at the back of the bus”, “the pretty one at the make-up stall”, “the one you want to have your back”. Intergalactic allusions came with labels reading “moonwalk”, highlighting the applications for one-way tickets to Mars that are now available. Other spellings on the clothes were “Improve your image: Be seen with me”. Enough said?

Look 11 was a black PVC coat with pink shearling accents. Fingerless gloves and point toe heels with gold studs completed the look. A zigzag-effect sheer skirt with a leather waistline was paired with a black sweater with an illustration of a a crazed man. The final look was worn by the aforementioned Alice Dellal. It was a one-shouldered mini dress with a Jessica Rabbit-esqe emblem and arched typography;  “Improve your image: Be seen with me”.

Whitney Houston’s 1992 classic ‘I’m Every Woman’ sprung to mind when watching this show. The clothes evoked the right amount of swagger that I believe that song possesses. And as Houston used to belt “I’m every woman, it’s all in me,” - that was this collection. It’s for every woman.
Photo Credit: style.com

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mary Katrantzou // Fall 2015 //

Victoriana and futuristic tech were amalgamated for Mary Katrantzou’s Fall 2015 collection. Horror vacui is the "fear of empty space”. The Victorians were obsessed with fully furnishing their abodes with decoration, from top to bottom. When you look at the tech aspect of the collection you see plastic, sponge pyramids (the runway was a bright pink carpet with these pyramids), embossed blocks, plexiglass. The surface decoration is how Katrantzou operates. It is present in all her collections. She tells Tim Blanks of Style.com that she is "offended when people call me a maximalist,” because she works with surface decoration mixed with purist lines and shapes. This idea greeted you when Jamie Bochert emerged wearing a grey top and skirt, with a flared hemline, that featured a band of pink pyramids. Mica Arganaraz came out in a peplum top and flared ankle-length trousers. A yellow band of pyramids adorned her hip. 

Winter’s stylish parka was served, courtesy of Ms. Katrantzou. A mix of red, pink and purple, the coat was equipped with a plastic lined hood. A tapestry-esqe fur coat was also available. Irina Kravchenko wore a coat with a navy fur top with brown leaf-motifs, a pink strip separating the top from an olive green skirt with hexagonal plexiglass accents. 

The flared skirts present through out the collection were a highlight. As models kick-walked, the full effect of the gorgeous flare was shown. Look 32, worn by Mica, was an army green top with a contrasting black floral print. Her grey skirt featured a layered, ruffled skirt with the same print. Jamie Bochert took to the runway once more in a similar look, the finale look. Her electric blue strapless bustier featured the same print. The black skirt featured the blue print. A lovely look closing out a splendid presentation. 

Mary Katrantzou is London’s finest, possibly best established designer. She will be a household name in the next few years, if she isn’t already. Vogue and the British Fashion Council awarded her their Fashion Fund of £200,000. The grant will be used to provide the necessary infrastructure for to help take her to the next stage of her business. This funding is amazing. It will be very interesting to see where the future takes her brand. “Mary Katrantzou is one of our standout designers of the moment,” Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, said. That she is. 
Photo Credit: style.com & nowfashion.com

Thursday, July 23, 2015

David Koma // Fall 2015 //

Designers have been drawing on different historical epochs for Fall 2015. In New York, Adam Selman looked to the bad girls of the '60’s. J.W. Anderson, in London, was inspired by '80’s Berlin. Hyper-coloured 90’s showed up a Moschino in Milan, and in Paris, Miuccia Prada blended every decade from the '50’s to the '90’s in her Miu Miu collection. From micro-minis to conservative silhouettes, David Koma, during London Fashion Week, looked to the ’60’s for his collection. Held at the BFC Courtyard Show Space in Somerset House—the only show hosted their on the Sunday—Koma had 33-looks to show and we were in for quite the treat. 

Koma, who assumed his position at Mugler at the beginning of the year. When I think of Mugler, I think sultriness. Obviously, there is a correlation between David Koma and Mugler. Sensual and sexy pieces are created seasonally. I feel as though David Koma has commercial element of his brand and that’s not a bad thing. Opening with a lantern sleeve below-the-knee-length zipper dress, this began the black and nude coloured section of the collection. A leather mini with nude illusion panels and yoke was a party-ready look. Look 9 was a nude dress with two circular cut-outs at the waist. Black sleeves and a high-neck rounded out the look. Look 16 was a black and navy striped turtleneck paired with a leather mini-skirt with wool panels. A marigold eyeleted A-line mini is on my red carpet wish list. Look 20 was a nude and marigold striped turtleneck, a recurrence in the collection, paired with a nude mini skirt with a ruffled hemline which boasted black lining. A disco-ball in mind, Looks 29, 31, 32, and 33, featured a reflective crystal embellished dress which glistened as the cameras flashed in the photographer’s pit. Any winter party or red-carpet needs can be found in this collection. 

David Koma has yet to fail me. He is on a career high at the moment. His Mugler collections are fantastic. His celebrity fan-base is ever prospering. His Fall 2015 collection was fabulous. He designs outfits for sporty party-girls. This is was no exception. Sensual brilliance.
Photo Credit: style.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

OSMAN // Fall 2015 //

Osman Yousefzada’s Fall 2015 collection was an experiment of sorts. The London-based designer restricted his colour palette to three hues. Red, white and black. The purpose: to let the texture do all the talking. With a muted palette, the show gave Yousefzada a chance to work with textures that may have not been cohesive with his aesthetic, had he not limited himself to the use of black, white and red. Commercially, retailers are probably smiling widely being able to offer their customers basic-hued, eclectic staples that will last forever. 

The show was held at the Topshop Show Space at the Tate Britain in Millbank. The models had a lengthy catwalk to conquer and it was lined with fashion editors, bloggers and stylists. “It’s an amazing space and I’m very excited to be here showing my new collection,” the designer told Topshop’s YouTube channel. The OSMAN woman is an urban woman who is transported to places far and wide because of her clothes.

Look 7 was a pleated skirt, worn with a marble printed jacket with fur accents. Sheepskin-accented point toe boots accompanied the look. Look 9 was a mesmerising long-sleeve gown shimmering with crystal embellishments and a neck tie. This look has yet to make it to a red carpet and I feel betrayed by the world’s stylists. This is the most stunning gown from the RTW season. In the red section a fur cape-style coat with two big buttons was styled with flared. cropped trousers. Another look that stood out was an eyeleted turtleneck with lantern sleeves that was paired with a printed skirt. Look 38 was a red turtleneck sweater, enriched by the silk skirt it was worn with. When the black looks came down the runway, things took a sinister turn. The clothes were as menacing as they promised. The black eyeleted lace top styled with a patent skirt was fit for a villain. A stylish, OSMAN-clad villain. 

Like Barbara Casasola, Yousefzada is a designer who hadn’t shown on Manic Monday. Previously, he presented his collections on Tuesday. For Fall that changed, front and centre at two in the afternoon, straight after the Burberry Prorsum show. Did he put his mark on the week. Of course he did, and it was unforgettable.
Photo Credit: style.com

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Barbara Casasola // Fall 2015 //

Brazilian designer Barbara Casasola is one of my favourites. At London Fashion Week, the designer presents clothing that is sensual and very wearable. Women are lucky to be in her hands. Seasonally, there will always be something from Casasola to quench the thirst for easy and long-lasting outfits that will forever remain a wardrobe statement. Switching to Manic Monday from a pleasant Saturday show, all eyes were on the Brazilian with the international fashion pack front row. 

The spontaneous and playful spirit we saw for Fall was presented to us in the form of relaxed silhouettes, flowing pleats, soft tailoring and fringed pieces. The collection was very airy and floaty for Fall. Opening the who was a white contrasting-waist pleated maxi-skirt and black ribbed turtleneck. The look was aproned by a black micro-pleat, colour-block hem tank top. Another look that displayed simplicity was Look 14. A bordeaux trouser-suit with a collarless, wool blazer and front pleat trousers. The electric blue ribbed turtleneck contrasted wonderfully with the deep hue. The use of electric blue carried through the entire collection; much of the footwear and outerwear featured the colour. A raspberry hue, bordeaux, black and white were also on Casasola’s colour palette. Looks 23 to 26 were an experiment in colour. A black canvas—trousers, tops, dresses—were enlivened with the use of multicolour fringe. Red, blue, pink, green and white bursted from the seam, and kinetically enhanced. Closing out the collection was a black and white, silk and polyester blend, exposed shoulder, pleated dress. 

An intriguing offering with a less sexy flare than last season. However, the clothes still radiated an undeniable sensuality. Barbara Casasola is another woman, designing for woman. The results are impeccable. The fluidity and craftsmanship made this show a standout, on a day largely dominated by bigger brands, and in a week where there was a lot of memorable moments. 
Photo Credit: style.com

Monday, July 20, 2015

HEMYCA // Fall 2015 //

Morten Tyldum’s Oscar-nominated film ‘The Imitation Game’ raked in $220 million globally. The film had a number of enticing aspects. Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley were the leading stars. It was a World War II film depicting the breaking of the German intelligence Enigma codes and focused on Alan Turing, a homosexual mathematician and logician. In London, not-so-distant from the filming locations, two designers sought inspiration from the empowered women of Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. Myra Nigris and Helen Clinch, designer duo behind HEMYCA were inspired by the film and titled their collection ‘Decrypt’, with the subheading of Generation Overload. 

The empowerment of a woman struck a note with the women for Fall. This feminist stance in fashion was seen also at Claire Barrow during London Fashion Week. The women of Bletchley Park had a design named after them. They were the code breakers who helped support, decrypt and crack the enigma code. The garments being named after the women was employed as a tribute to strong women. 

The collection was stunning. Models stood on erected podiums and smouldered for the myriad of photographers, including myself. Storm grey, black, pale blue and oxblood contrasted with the black and grey print design. There were long sleeves, pleated skirts and modest hemlines. Nothing was overexposed and the collection produced “a second skin whilst giving support and strength from inside out”. The clothes were about sensuality and feminine elegance. I loved the prints, especially on the trousers or triangular ones on dresses. 

The London-based luxury womenswear label is fronted by women designing for women. Womenswear is surprisingly male-dominated. Anna Wintour said recently in an Oxford Union talk that she wishes there were more female designers. Thankfully, there is Nigris and Clinch to answer that prayer. The duo are also shining the light on their atelier. The open-air terrace of Broadgate Circle is where HEMYCA will take residency with an interactive installation and pop-up show. From the 6th to the 24th of July, the public are available to go behind-the-scenes of the fashion industry with “a series of talks, demonstrations and digital displays, housed within a visually captivating, temporary structure”. Inspirations, the start-to-finish process of making collections, the atelier; where made-to-order garments will be made: this will all be on show. This is all still running until Friday the 24th 

You certainly don’t have to be a cryptographer to decrypt this collection. Everything was beautifully, and logically, laid out in a fashionable way. The clothes embodied refined elegance. “What you choose to wear represents your identity,” read the press release. That statement is of the utmost truth. A woman’s individuality and ability to stand out and be unique and “free from the data mass”. With these clothes, a woman can do just that. HEMYCA is her platform to channel her true identity. 
Photos are my own
Disclaimer: I have been asked to talk about the installation and pop-up shop, though it is not paid advertorial.

Friday, July 17, 2015

London Fashion Week // Spring 2016 // Provisional Schedule //

Above (schedule): londonfashionweek.co.uk // Below: thefashionspot.com

The provisional schedule for London Fashion Week has arrived, courtesy of the British Fashion Council. The above listings are subject to change.

Zandra Rhodes is returning to the schedule to open the five-day event. Rhodes hasn't appeared on the official schedule in many years. 

Gareth Pugh, who returned to London Fashion Week last season for his 10th anniversary in the business, returns this season on Saturday 21 @ 20:00. He will provisionally be showing at the BFC Show Space in the Brewer Street Car Park. Aspinal of London will also return. Last season they presented their collaboration with Étre Cécile. 

Joining the line-up for Spring are Edeline Lee (who has previously shown on the digital schedule), knitwear-whiz John Smedley, jewellery designer-turned-womenswear designer Natasha Zinko, and the Anthony Vaccarello-designer and Donatella Versace-mentored Versus (which will be arriving on British shores on Saturday @ 21:00). Former Mulberry creative director, Emma Hill, has her new venture Hill & Friends launching on Sunday morning. Peter Jensen will be presenting his collection on Manic Monday in the morning. That afternoon, Brazilian Alexander Lewis will make his LFW debut.

NEWGEN-supported designers returning this season are Molly Goddard, Faustine Steinmetz, 1205, Claire Barrow, Danielle Romeril, Ashley Williams and Ryan Lo. Lo, Williams and Paula Gerbase's 1205 all have catwalk sponsorship. Steinmetz, Goddard, Barrow, and Romeril will show presentations at the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall. Additionally, Marta Jakubowski and Sadie Williams will have exhibition sponsorships.

The Spring 2016 season of LFW will be moving from Somerset House to the Brewer Street Car Park in Soho. London Fashion Week runs from 18 September-22 September. 

Valentin Yudashkin // Fall 2015 //

Russia, all 17 million (and counting) square kilometres of it, has harboured many a fashion designer. Plenty of them are extremely talented. Georgian-born David Koma grew up in St. Petersburg and is now the creative director of Mugler, as well as designing for his eponymous label. Timur Kim also hails from The Venice of the North. Ulyana Seergenko’s fabulous couture burgeoned in Russia. Stylist-turned-designer Vika Gazinskaya is a street-style star who boasts stockists enviable of any designer. Yulia Kondranina has show at London Fashion Week as part of the Fashion Scout schedule to much acclaim. Another designer—who presents seasonally at Paris Fashion Week—is Valentin Yudashkin. I was cordially invited to his show to be held in the Imperial Ballroom of The Westin Paris - Vendôme. The grande room was lined with a reflective catwalk and was dimly lit by the huge chandeliers and stage lighting. As 70’s music began to boom, a model pounded the runway in a crimson pantsuit. The blazer, a tad longer than usual, was accented with gold buttons, and styled with floaty flared trousers. 

A sparkling metallic blue lurex jacket contrasted well with the black lapels and metallic pink pockets. Look 11 was a dark grey cropped jacket with padded shoulders and intricate embroidery and crystal embellishments. Look 19 featured an entirely encrusted, leaf-motif, bomber jacket. That was a standout. Something that didn’t work in this collection was the velvet. Copious amounts of it doesn’t always sit well with me. It’s a tricky material to work with as it is, and this collection didn’t have the perfect execution that’s needed. 
The finale gowns, there were many, were stunning. There were feathers, florals, crystals, chiffon, delicately worked silk fashioned into florals and tapestry-esque structures. Being perfectly honest, the eleven gowns shown at the end of the collection were, for the most part, as formulaic as the components were, more original than anything I’ve seen in the past few years from Elie Saab. 

A talented designer with some lovely wares; this collection was food for thought. Like the grandiose setting, the clothes were particularly extravagant: but they weren't entirely cohesive.

Photo Credit: style.com

Thursday, July 16, 2015

J.W. Anderson // Fall 2015 //

Zooming up and down the runway, up and down, up and down, to the electronic new wave soundtrack of the Human League, models at the J.W. Anderson show transported us back to 1980’s East Berlin at the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall. The party girls and the club scene in that area were on Anderson’s mood board for Fall 2015. A 1981 classic hit combined with a historic event in 1989, the decade - like any other - is a constant source of inspiration in fashion. However, leave it to J.W. Anderson to put his spin on the epoch. 

The brash eclecticism of this collection is what makes it so appealing. As Godfrey Deeny said of the 1980’s when speaking to Style.com, “anything could happen in fashion. You could throw lots of colours and shapes out”. That is just what Jonathan Anderson did in this collection. The J.W. girl traversed through the club scene at the time with clinquant jackets, tassels, cocoon shapes, padded shoulders, lurex, and nouveau cowboy-boots. Firmly slicked back hair did not compete with the graphically printed metallic lurex; or any of the looks for that matter. Citing the “naïveté” as something he loved about the girls, the styling of the collection was slightly haphazard and that added to its allure.

Look 2, worn by Alexandra Elizabeth, was a multicoloured fleece worn with emerald green velour trousers. The aforementioned cowboy boots, with a deadly point toe, and a grey clutch completed the look. Looks 30 and 31 were charming pieces of a similar style. 30 was a knit, printed-top and trousers combo in exuberant shades of red and blue. 31 was a knit jumpsuit in orange and brown. Both were cinched at the waist with belts and styled with mismatched earrings and cowboy boots. 

Making it onto top 10 lists at the end of fashion month can be tough. Hundreds of collections have been viewed by the fashion pack, and the usual suspects usually stick out like a sore thumb due to their production value. J.W. Anderson has become one of those designers who’s making top 10 lists. It’s not because of a crazy spectacle, but instead it’s his sublime clothing that captivates audiences. Style.com declared Anderson “the most influential designer working today”. Vogue.com were also enamoured, listing it on their top collections of the season post. I too would rank this collection in my top 10 of the season. It was a dazzling array of colour, texture and everything in between. 
Collage Photos: style.com
Others: nowfashion.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Maison Margiela Artisanal // Fall 2015 //

Between style.com, Now Fashion and The Fashion Spot, I enjoy fashion week images from different sources. Now Fashion provides me with atmospheric shots, Style.com gives me the catwalk images and eloquent reviews. On The Fashion Spot, you can enjoy the running commentary of members. Since I’m not in Paris for couture week, I’m living off the amazing photos that are coming in. One comment on the Maison Margiela Artisanal collection caught my eye on tFS. “Oh wait, it’s cool to like this brand,” it read, along with an emoticon that can only be described as ‘typical’. Eclecticism can be great but not for eclecticism’s sake. That I hate. For me, Maison Margiela is a beautiful mix of the aforementioned and wearable beauty. Personally, I don’t like this brad because it is cool to. I like this brand because I seek gratification from fabulous clothes, like the ones that John Galliano presents each season.

For his Fall 2015 couture collection for the house - steeped in history, shrouded in mystery - the designer returned to Paris, decamping to London for his long-awaited return to fashion in January. Seeking ideas from all around the world - China, Britain, Madagascar and France - this collection was a global mix of brilliance. Chinese mud silk met British tweed. Madagascan raffia was used and added a certain rawness to the collection. Impressionist prints and expressionist make-up juxtaposed wonderfully. Cobalt face paint was daubed in a vertical streak on the models’ faces. Magdalena Jasek, with a white streak adorning the side of her face, glided down the raised skate-park-esque runway - to the sound of Marvin Gaye’s ‘I Heard Through the Grapevine’ - in a stunning floor length coat. The back of it revealed a bunched cobalt backpack. This was inspired by Yves Klein, a pioneer of the nouveau réalisme post-World-War-II movement. Klein is famed for his use of the popping colour. Gracie Simmons’ insanely detailed cobalt bustier put the party in the front but it was just as captivating from behind revealing a French-style tapestry.

The collection felt synthetic. It felt like a laboratory experiment. And a glimpse inside Galliano’s lab is as good as it gets. Look 8 was a structured black cropped jacket accompanied by a green shimmery skirt with tinsel like material furnishing it. One jacket fashioned into a one shouldered top over a sparkling dress had, what resembled melted glass on its bodice. Smashed mirrors were embroidered, by les petite mains, on dresses. A questionable creation from fashion’s mad scientist was a burlap sack made into a dress, embellished with a bird of paradise motif. Never has a potato sack looked so fashionable. 

The mariée wore a fantastic floor sweeping, heavy gown with puffy hems. A cloudy headpiece and silver face paint completed the look. This look was a testament to Galliano’s talent. Also it was haute couture and there will be someone out there who will buy this questionable yet magnificent piece of art. 

This collection is, by far, my favourite of the week. It was unique and unmatchable. Everything was detailed with its own idiosyncrasies - see a dress which from the front revealed exotic plants and from behind a coat. With five collections under his belt at Margiela, John Galliano is bringing back his sartorially-inclined stamp on Parisian fashion and what a pleasure it is to see unfold. 
Collage Photos: style.com
All other: nowfashion.com