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VFS Exhibition: Nancy Van Ostren, Yasmin Kianfar & Sini Moilanen

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Tuesday, 21st September – At HNT, we generally avoid making value judgments but we have to confess that we love the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition. Freemasons Hall is a terrific venue and there’s a real sense of bubbly optimism from the designers showing their work.

Nancy Van Ostren graduated from London College of Fashion eight years ago and has worked with Jasper Conran, Burberry and Victoria Beckham. “I wanted to get experience working in the industry, learning how a business is run,” she explained. “You’ve obviously got the fun side but you need to learn the legal side, production, financial – the boring but side! The most important side is the financial side. Anyone can make a collection but to stay in it and keep it going, you need to learn all that as well. So I decided to do that first and just over a year ago I set up on my own.”

“This is my second collection, for Spring/Summer ’11, all inspired by enchanted forest fairytales from when I was a child, like Hansel and Gretel,” she explained. “So there’s the candy colour, sweet, with darker undertones. Also Willow the Wisp, the cartoon, which actually scared me when I was a child, so you have these floaty shapes, juxtaposed against this sharp tailoring, to give those dark undertones.

“I’ve also got military references – the idea of Prince Charming coming to rescue the princess – the waistcoat and the jacket with the epaulettes to give that military vibe, contrasting with the floaty fabrics. The fabrics are cottons, linens and silks. This is actually a linen here [see above] but it’s got a coating to give a silk effect.”

She describes the colour palette in terms of the Hansel & Gretel sweets. “I really love this candy orange! I wanted to mix it up with some pinks and these blues – I call it the blue sherbert – but then have this dark chocolate, almost a muddy brown and all this vanilla. I didn’t want to use black or navy. I didn’t want to be too obvious on that dark tone of he enchanted forest – I wanted that to come across in the cut, the strong tailoring.”

Nancy’s first collection (A/W’10) is stocked at Sugarland in Islington and on Not Just A

Across the hall, we found Yasmin Kianfar who graduated from Central St. Martins earlier this year. She was exhibiting her debut collection of contemporary evening wear.

“The inspirations are 1920s underwear and erotica, with a bit of 90s silhouette – timeless, iconic elegance,” Yasmin explained. “I like simple, clean lines and I want to things that you want to keep, rather than throwaway fashion.

“The fabrics are a mixture of silk and cashmere, contrasting with other fabrics such as lycra to create something a bit more contemporary, with details like pleating and laser cutting to embellish the fabric. I prefer using those sort of techniques as opposed to print, say.”

Yasmin gained work experience during her five years studying and now she’s trying to establish her label and get stocked in London and New York. “Perhaps it’s foolish but I’m quite focused in what I want to do so I’m hoping to carry on and do some collections that are capsule-like and quite focused.”

At the other end of the hall, Sini Moilanen (who we first encountered at Alternative Fashion Week) was exhibiting her latest Tramp in Disguise collection.

Sini moved to England from Finland over ten years ago. After completing a BA Textile Design at Brighton University, she moved to London to study at the Royal College of Art, graduating in 2009 with a Masters in Fashion Knitwear Design.

“This collection is all based on volcanoes,” Sini explained. “It started this summer when the Icelandic volcano erupted and all the ash clouds. So I started designing all my textiles around that theme – lava, ash, smoke, seismographs and volcanic rock.

“The fabrics are silk, cotton, silk-viscose – most of it is digital prints, manufactured in London – and my knitwear is angora, alpaca, fine lambswool and cotton.”

Tramp in Disguise is currently a part-time venture. “I would love to do it full-time but it’s very expensive to do a collection so I do some freelance work to keep money coming in.”

Sini’s creations are stocked in Beyond The Valley and on Not Just A

Written by Myles

September 27th, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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