Irwin & Jordan on…RED CARPET GLAMOUR

Q: What is your definition of elegance?

A: Timeless Red Carpet; glowing skin, glossy hair, red lipstick and some vintage diamonds earrings.

Q: What is the best thing to wear to a black tie?
A: White tux trouser suit, like our S/S11 one. Cool alternative to the black dress.

Q: A wedding?
A: I love a hat. Victoria Grant has some amazing creations, she made my hat for my wedding.

Q: What items should every girl have in her closet?
A: Superga pumps, J Brand jeans, James Perse tees and an Irwin and Jordan tailored jacket and flatcap.

Q: What is your definition of style?
A: Style is Graceful and elegant with a timeless appeal.

Tata Naka…on ELEGANCE

Q: What is your definition of elegance?

A: Elegance is an attitude. It is a way of being; how you carry yourself and reflects in everything you do, not just your clothing or which brand you are wearing. An “elegant item” can look trendy or edgy or tacky depending on the manner of the person wearing it.

Q: What items should every woman have in her closet?

A: One pair of crazy, beautiful shoes, a little black dress, a great bag and statement real jewellery.

Q: What is the key to choosing a Little Black Dress?

A: Good cut and impeccable fit and a luxurious fabric – the rest depends on your personality.

Q: Who is the most elegant woman you know?

A: This is not an age of elegance as we would think of it so our idea of elegance goes back to Jackie Kennedy and Wallis Simpson and more recently Carolyn Bessette Kennedy.

Q: What accessories should every woman aspire to own?

 A: A really beautiful, classic bag – whether it is a Chanel or a Hermes. And with age, some diamonds would be good!

S/S11 Shows: The Best of

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON CATWALK SHOW

SUNDAY 19 SEPTEMBER 2010, 6.30PM

BATTERSEA POWER STATION

 THEMES: 70’s, shipwreak  COLOURS: Matthew’s usual jewel tones with mixtures of khaki and metallics  FABRICS: Feathers, silk, tufty raffia appliqué, sequins, and of course chiffon.

I have waited a long, long time to go to a Matthew Williamson show so the question I was asking myself as I sat amongst Sienna Miller, Poppy Delevigne, Cat Deeley and Olivia Palermo was; will it be worth the wait?  Well ladies and gentleman, indeed it was!  All the ingredients were there for a successful show; Sienna front row, eye-popping colours a-plenty and a backdrop to end all backdrops.  Matthew is back.  After a few seasons where he seemed to be trying to change direction, it was great to see the Williamson we love parading down the catwalk but with added twists to keep it modern and fashion forward and just…pretty!

As I left the Vauxhall Fashion Scout building to head to the show location at Battersea Power Station, I hopped in a cab thinking the driver would know where to go.  Alas he did not and started freaking out when we got to the dust-filled grounds of the venue which he likened to the Sahara Desert.  Post-Cabbie meltdown, I exited to see the Power Station in all its glory and could see right away why we Fashionistas had the trek to South London.  The catwalk itself was enclosed in a massive tent with open sides where the models where entering the catwalk so we could see the collection against the ruined façade of the towering and glowering plant in the background. 

The clothes I hear you ask?  The clothes were divine as always.  From the petrol sequin dresses, flapper style purple and white fringed dress, the flowing gowns, metallic embroideries, bustier tops and high waisted flares, peacock feather hemlines, foil printed mini dresses and the huge wooden platform sandals with long multi-coloured bags, everything just screamed want (or as I will tell my Credit Card – NEED).

The collection exhibited a 70’s theme with the fringe detailing, wide high waisted flare trousers, and that relaxed glam look associated with the decade but with a modern twist of metallics, sequins, and feathers.  The idea of a shipwrecked girl, toughened up by her time stranded on a beach worked really well as the main theme of the collection as well as sitting well alongside the ruins of the Power Station.

It’s reaaally hard to pick a favourite piece from the collection, I loved various detailing to all the outfits, but I would probably have to say the foil printed mini dress as well as the long sea-green chiffon dress were at the top of my list swiftly followed by the amazing bra top and high waisted flare trousers.

As the show ended I grabbed a quick photo of those on the front row and ran to the buses which would take us back to the main venues.  Drama of the show over?  NO.  As I was heading to the bus a helicopter decides to land about 200 yards away from me throwing dust all over me, hair and bags everywhere and nearly blowing me back over the other side of the Thames!  I will be having words with the helicopters passengers…yes I am talking to you Sienna Miller!  Well at least I fitted in well for the next show Pam Hogg with it’s Caveman theme.  Hmph.

HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK:

-Jewel tones

-Pops of khaki

-Metallics

-Feathers

-Sequins

-Bustier tops paired with high waisted kick flare trousers

-Long flowing dresses

-Long wavy, unkempt hair.

CRAIG LAWRENCE PRESENTATION

SATURDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2010

SOMERSET HOUSE

THEMES: ‘Siren Mermaid’s’ COLOURS: Mint green, aqua, silver, white FABRICS: Kyotex metallic yarn, cotton tape.

Seductive.  The one word which is best used to describe Craig Lawrence’s S/S 11 collection.  We trotted up the winding staircases at Somerset House to the Portico Rooms to check out what this Ipswich born designer was bringing to the fashion world next season.  And thank god he didn’t disappoint.

Having witnessed his masterful abilities with yarn and all forms of weird fabrics (foil last season), I was intrigued as to where he would go for his next collection.  A relatively new designer, and winner of the BFC NEWGEN award 4 season’s running, Lawrence kept the layering and draping techniques from his last collection, but used different fabrics and shades to encapsulate the seductive and elusiveness of mermaids.

As we arrived we were blessed with Bloody or Virgin Mary’s and cakes, yum!  As we walked around the room I began snapping some photos of the models.  What is great about having a presentation is that the models can stare directly at you and your camera, and you get to see the detail and the intricate beauty of the pieces up close.  We were also treated to a film of the collection which was styled once again by Katie Shillingford which played in the background.

The knitted and hand woven dresses came in silver, white, aqua, mint green and dark green and presented a slinky silhouette with the floor sweeping knitted numbers.  You could literally hear the dresses swoosh as the models walked.  My favourite piece was the short green stripy knitted number which I wanted to rip off the model and run away with!  Don’t worry, I didn’t.

HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK:

-Look out for hand woven knitted pieces pulled and draped in all different places

-Slinky silhouettes

-Fishtail plaits as sported by the models

-Low backs (Key Trend Alert).

FELDER FELDER CATWALK SHOW

FRIDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2010, 4.45PM

BFC CATWALK SPACE

THEMES: Rebellious downtown girl, Easy Rider  COLOURS: Mixture of black with exploding shades of nature, rich fuchsias, vivid ocean and nightsky blues  FABRICS: Signature leathers but with romantic chiffons, organza’s and feathers.

The spring/summer 2011 collection, inspired by an imaginary rebellious muse fascinated with the spirit of the ‘60s road movie Easy Rider and The Doors legend Jim Morrison, featured lots of whimsical skirts and dresses in vividly bright hues, as well as items with their signature edge – think skinny black trousers, see-through tops and ruched leather leggings.

The models stomped down the catwalk to a soundtrack of I Blame Coco’s version of Steppenwolf’s Born To Be Wild (famous for its use in Easy Rider), which had me dancing in my seat!  The twins still had their classic black palette but this collection saw them going in a different direction with their dazzling sequinned mini dresses, romantic chiffon blouses, embellished tight-fitting and floaty sequin dresses…the list goes on.  I absolutely loved their mixtures of fabrics, colours and the way they constructed the garments.  Hard became soft and soft became hard with the floatiest chiffons and structured organza’s given a printed hologramatic bone motif and leather being worked into a 3D exoskeleton giving it an architectural, graphic pop.

Feather detailing will be a key S/S 11 trend with Felder Felder using them as shoulder detailing, on skirts, and on jackets.  The colour was a welcome boost in a schedule of shows where natural colours were the main order of the day so their petrol colours were top of my lust list.  That’s not to say there wasn’t the well-known black, leather Felder Felder staples.  Along with see-through mesh tops, bra tops, leather jackets, leather trousers, there was a standout black piece with a bra top and organza skirt which had me oohhing and ahhing.

The Felder woman is a rebellious soul.  She is born to be wild!

HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK:

-Black mixed with exploding shapes (think 70s disco)

-Feather detailing

-70s inspired pieces and colours

-Sparkles

-Collarless jackets

-Full-blown surfer frizzy hair and you’re good to go!

ELLIOTT J. FRIEZE CATWALK SHOW

SUNDAY 19 SEPTEMBER 2010, 12.30PM

VAUXHALL FASHION SCOUT

THEMES: Mrs Practchett’s confectionary in Boy: Tales of a Childhood  COLOURS: Powder shades of Lemon, Blueberry, mint  FABRICS: Superfine wools/silks, cotton/silks, duchess satins and digitally printed chiffon.

Last season saw the launch of Welsh born designer Elliott J. Frieze’s debut Women’s and Menswear collection at London Fashion Week with acclaimed models Jaquetta Wheeler and Amber Le Bon both gracing the Catwalk in his designs.

This season saw Elliott’s inspiration drawn from his friend and muse, Actress, Anna Popplewell.  Anna’s style mixes with competitive sports, equestrian Fixtures, childhood reading and a progressive reinvigoration of classic mein, saw a collection filled with beautifully structured and colourful pieces.  Jumpsuits, waistcoats, ruffles, blue satin dresses and shirt dresses, blue check dresses, high-waisted navy trousers, cropped jackets, structures shoulders, defined waists, defined cuff details, silk neckties, and sunglasses galore where the mix of the collection.  The long hemlines we are seeing this A/W season are still going to be dominant next season but Elliot added a sophisticated, youthful take on a classic shape.  Even the music itself was sophisticated and sensual yet youthful with French classics echoing around the catwalk (my favourite soundtrack on the week).

The finale piece – which got its own section in the show when the lights went down and up again as the beautiful Anna Popplewell (of Narnia fame) – was sent down the catwalk to the dulcet tones of Marilyn Monroe singing ‘When I Fall in love’ wearing a beautifully constructed silver blue duchess satin ballgown with defined waist, shoulders and bust.  Heaven.

The collection’s palette portrays “Mrs Pratchett’s” array of confectionary in Roald Dahl’s “Boy: Tales of a Childhood’.  “Represented by the powder shades of Lemon and Blueberry sherbet, hard-boiled peppermints coupled with vibrant shades of fruit nougat for trimmings” along with his Quentin Blake illustrations inspiration, it really was a collection with everything in it and thank god – unlike a lot of S/S shows – it wasn’t safe.

HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK:

-Powder palette

-Elegant drapery (KEY TREND ALERT)

-Silk neckties

-Waistcoats

-Structured jackets (especially Mac-style)

-Blue lips

PROPHETIK CATWALK SHOW

FRIDAY 17 SEPTEMBER 2010 , NOON

VAUXHALL FASHION SCOUT

THEMES:Midnight Garden’  COLOURS: Ivory, indigo, oatmeal, lavender, copper, sea foam, raspberry and coral  FABRICS: Sustainable fabrics such as hemp silk, linen, ramie, organic cottons and reclaimed leather.

Prophetik is an eight-year-old, all-sustainable fashion lifestyle brand designed by, Jeff Garner from Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee.  Employing recycled bottles transformed into fleece, herringbone hemp, peace silk, linen and hemp jersey, Jeff injects style and soul into a unisex line.

Botticelli’s Venus took centre stage for Prophetik’s S/S 2011 collection entitled ‘Midnight Garden’.  The collection provoked mystery and innocence with beautiful flowing Southern ball gowns trimmed with beaded leather ropes and delicate lace, tailored jackets and waistcoats decorated with antique buttons, pin-tucked tea dresses, hooded tunics and long-hemmed bloomers. 

The first piece out on the catwalk was my favourite, with its long flowing looseness and leather rope detailing, LOVED IT!  The collection and the presentation had a Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ ethereal feel to it with Jeff’s use of elegant silhouettes and offish-white pieces.  The live Southern Bluegrass band The Hogslops –from Jeff’s native Leipers Fork – added an extra theatrical element to the proceedings, I felt like I was at a Ho-down! 

But back to the clothes.  As the models walked down the Green Turf catwalk (yes green turf), we were greeted with beautiful, almost other-worldly pieces.  The womenswear collection was filled with whimsical, floaty dresses and ball gown dresses with varying necklines and straps whilst the menswear was more focused on layering with neckerchiefs, exquisitely tailored jackets and waistcoats decorated with antique buttons.  The sustainable fashion theme was also relayed in the colour scheme with references made to the elements earth and water; earth based dyes hailing from indigo, dried indigo leaves, madder root, iron, marigold, and logwood where mixed with sea blues and greens really showcasing the beauty of Earth’s natural resources.

HOW TO RECREATE THE LOOK:

-Sustainable fabrics

-Earth or water colours

-French plaited whimsical hair

-Tie Dye

-Defined shoulder detailing such as box or balloon shoulders

-Cravats

-Waistcoats (male & females)

-Think of a Tennessee Williams heroine.

Julien MacDonald on…MAKING AN ENTRANCE

Q: What are your tips on making an entrance at a party?

A: Turn up with a supermodel such as Natasha Poly or Lara Stone.

Q: What are your show-stopping outfits of choice?

 A: Anything that sparkles.

Q: How would you describe the ‘Julien MacDonald’ girl?

 A: Fun, intelligent, glamorous and a world traveller

Q: Who is the most stylish person you know?

A: Elle Macpherson, Bianca Jagger, Olivia Palermo, Naomie Harris…

Q: Style is…

 A: Personal, controversial, challenging, fun…

PROPHETIK on Sustainable Fashion

Q: Why is sustainable fashion important to you?

A: Sustainable fashion is vital for the future generations in the concept that consumerism will never be curved. Our current societal status has created an addiction cycle to product, marketing, and purchasing that is very strong at driving the desire of “things” that one does not truly need. Therefore the task is even more important, to create a paradigm shift in fashion, in manufacturing of goods in an ethical and sustainable manner to avoid the negative impact on the earth and in nature.  Otherwise our rivers will catch fire again as the Ohio River did back in the 80’s with all the oil residue from the industrial plants. We should strive to gain local community production, however no one wants waste in their backyard, so then what happens to all the waste? It ends up in someone else’s backyard that charges a small fee, then it creates a domino effect until one day there is no green left….but what if the waste smells like roses and biodegrades in a day? Then everyone can put waste in their own yard and even create more growth by fertilizing their own soil and actually spending less in the long run and end up drinking Mint Juleps on their front porch.

Q: What pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe?

A: A beautiful ball gown that births the spirit of the princess that has been buried deep within after years of society attempting to make the woman more masculine instead of celebrating the beautiful femininity that defines the boldness and uniqueness of a lady, thus creating the perfect scene to allow men to be gentlemen again, enabling them to treat a woman with the utmost respect and dignity celebrating her rare beauty and gift.

Q: How can woman achieve a glamorous look on a budget with sustainable fashion?

A: Patience is a virtue…discover a piece of sustainable fashion that connects and save up for it, rather than ask fashion designers to take short cuts in production and quality to make a beautiful piece of art cheaper or affordable.  Nix the Starbucks and you got yourself a new sustainable dress each month on the savings and there will be much less impact on the environment and on your body.

Q: Who is the most stylish woman you know?

A: The pregnant woman. Her energy exudes life and love and therefore she willingly pursues her own fashion and identity versus the trends of the day driven by marketing.

Q: Style is:

A: The essence of self. It defines what the soul is desiring to say. Speak loudly and boldly and never look back, blazing the path of living in the moment and the adventurous soul of the unknown.

 

David Longshaw on PATTERN & PRINTS

Q: What inspires you when designing pattern & prints?

A: Each season I create a short illustrated story. I then transform the illustrations into prints – sometimes I might take an aspect of the illustration and repeat it in to a pattern. Other times I use the whole illustration and scale it up from the A4 drawing to 1metre or larger and have it digitally printed on to fabric.

Some prints I keep in their entirety as much as possible so the image is clear- others I cut in to.  

Q: What should women keep in mind when buying pattern & prints?

A: You have to be comfortable wearing the print – the whole point of print and wearing it should be to have fun – to wear something more interesting than just a plain piece. 

You can be bold with them 

 Q: Can you mix them?

A: It depends – you have to consider if they’ll work together. Maude goes for clashing prints to draw attention to herself but somehow it works.

 Q: Who are some of the most stylish women you know? 

A: My girlfriend – but then she’s a fashion designer as well so I can’t take credit for that & Maude the fictional fabric mouse (Editor-in-Chief MAUDEZINE) I created at St Martins – she has an amazing eye and no fear when it comes to dressing – she’s like Isabella Blow, Daphne Guinness, Alan Bennett, Anna Piagi and a bag lady all rolled in to one.  

Q: Expert tips on how to dress for a party?

A: Wear my dresses, trousers, vests… Basically anything I’ve designed… Alternatively – just have fun, dress up: a lot of people wear similar clothing for day& evening – but it’s more fun to dress for the occasion. 

Edith Silk TopEvelyn TrousersEscaping Emily DressHolly WaistcoatCelia ShirtSkinny Mabel Trousers

From left-right, top-bottom: Silk Top £135, Trousers £320, Dress £450, Waistcoat £65, Shirt £295, Trouser £245

All available to buy online at www.youngbritishdesigners.com

How To Make Your Own Look Book

 A Look Book (or Style Book) is something every true fashionista should have. It is a collection of what is inspiring you; clothes, colours, fabrics, designers, models, runways shows, celebrities, people, films, music…anything which you like the look of get it in there! I first started my Look Book last February at Fashion Week. Since then I’ve ripped anything out of magazines and stuck it in my lookbook. Like a scrapbook, the Look Book will show you what you’re loving and what your style really is. So go on, make one!






I also pop any fashion shoots in magazines which I love into one of my handmade envelopes which I got with my paper.

 
This is one of the stationary sets I bought when I was in Camden Market. I bought them
in a few colours so when I finish this set I will move on to the next colour. Inside there is handmade paper for my cutouts, and envelopes for my Season Trends, Photoshoots and a Randoms Envelope. All which make up my Look Book.

LFW REVIEW: And Let the Madness Commence

….that was my thoughts to the opening number: speechless. With catwalks playing it a little bit safe show-wise as well as collection-wise for next season, along comes Ziad Ghanem literally with a bang and two fingers up to every fashion restriction & convention known to man. You could hear the buzz in the Vauxhall Fashion Scout building in anticipation of the show: even Boy George was taking photos of the collection. As opening numbers go, this was the best one this season – something the cheers & gasps from the audience will attest to – as a beautiful but garishly made-up model used burlesque feathers & literally grew taller & taller before shooting down the catwalk. With the terrifying accompanying music, it was rather quite frightening.

The video game ‘Silent Hill’ inspired the many horror themes & characters who took to the catwalk. This was not just about the clothes, it was about the show. The music consisted of a mix of Marilyn Manson’s “The Beautiful People”, an orchestrated version of “Personal Jesus” and even The Apprentice show theme tune! Ziad chose a surprising range of models; boys as girls, transgenders, a possessed ballet dancer, & a large lady who unveiled herself before walking (I was surprised her breasts didn’t manage to burst out of the ballgown she was wearing).

You could see just how much thought had went into the collection which consisted of silk chiffon free flowing gowns – displayed beautifully by the ballet dancer on her points spinning down (and back up) the catwalk, sensual silhouettes were in play with ruffled crepe, & delicate brocades which emphasised the female form whilst the black lace, corsetry and embellishment added darkness to the collection. I LOVED the see-through long mermaid tail black embellished dress & the tie-dye blue chiffon crepe maxi but my stand-out image from the show was the corpse-like bride & groom who took to the catwalk showering us all in confetti.

Truly the best way to end my time at LFW: and surely will be thee show that everybody who was lucky to attend will be raving about for some time to come.

LFW REVIEW: Back in Black

REVELATION:REVOLUTION was the theme of the Todd Lynn show which took place in the BFC showspace at Somerset House. With the sheer commercialism & materialism that was surrounding the BFC showspace, inside Todd Lynn’s collection focused on revolt – from the French revolution of the 18th century to disorder in today’s global climate. Periods of enlightenment which lead citizens to take their future in their own hands and create change – aggressively. With this in mind the models took to the catwalk and presented us with a dim view of the future with fur & leather collars which covered the face (a nod to an apocalyptic future and disease ridden land); dark colours invaded the catwalk to a rocking apocalyptic film inspired soundtrack.

Futuristic androgyny was a key trend throughout with masculine shapes & tailoring prevailing consistently in the collection alongside next seasons exaggerated necklines, long coats (with high structured collars), leather jackets up to the neck and back of the head, cowl high necks (another key A/W11 trend), white fur (key trend), draped angles structure, long leather structured gloves (which are on my A/W11 list), Todd Lynn signatures of black leather, neutrals, blood red…all emphasising a dim view of the end of the world. The shoulder detailing is a massive trend this season; at Todd Lynn shoulders were softened with curved construction, or obscured completely with habit-like collars veiling the face.

The stand-out pieces were the long coats with exaggerated neck & side detailing, battered tender skin jackets, the Bonaparte coat in double stretch felt with black leather = a A/W11 must-have, the lead leather & lead wool rib waistcoat & matching trousers (note the mixed materials once again = key trend). I wanted to grab the 4th look of Hochecoat in Ecru double stretch felt for the LFW weather but my inner rock chick was LOVING the leather skinny leggings with black wool polo neck – yes people, beware, the polo-neck is back!

LFW REVIEW: Lip Smackingly Fabulous

The ‘Kiss me Quick, Squeeze me Slow’ theme of the show was perfect for what paraded down the catwalk. Paying tribute to the powers of love, romance & the magic of seduction, Holly Fulton was the designer who was always going to inject fun into our A/W wardrobes.

Sumptuous textures were out in plentiful: bespoke hand-woven tweeds in Fulton’s signature bold yellow, ivory & black; velvet, snakeskins, Mongolian fur trims & of course embellished shift dresses. I am absolutely coveting the floor length leather & silk mix lips motif maxi dress (leather/silk mix = key A/W 11 trend) and the psychedelic ‘hand & gun’ prints on the palazzo pants were right up my street. This season Fulton experimented with tweed with Coco Chanel’s time spent in Fulton’s native Scotland with the Duke of Westminster being her inspiration. The opening tweed number was a beautifully constructed bumblebee black-and-yellow tweed flippy skirt with a beaded trim shift top: a great expansion on Fulton’s design direction. Still in play were her Art Deco detailing on 60s silhouettes & as always, jewellery was an integral part of her collection; crystal embellishments that included coral fringing, mirrored pieces, clutch bags in an array of colours & materials and I had a fashion aneurism when the velvet dress with neck embellishment hit my viewline.

Fulton’s architectural pieces were also still present with the coat with disembodied lips sipping from the Empire State Building being a highlight & the floor length silk Empire State Building blue & white dress with fur bag & off-shoulder white & grey outline of skyscrapers dress keeping the signature Fulton themes. She did however add a bit of rock ‘n’ roll with her studded leather pants which I thought was a great addition to a collection which focused on easy-to-wear but luxurious with a feel of contemporary elegance.