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Anna Skodbo

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Monday 19th September – We first encountered Anna Skodbo a year ago, when she showed her debut Phannatiq collection as part of the 2.0-10 Collective in East London. Last season, she exhibited at Vauxhall Fashion Scout and subsequently became part of the Felicities Presents family.

“It’s been going from strength to strength,” she told us. “I’ve got a few stockists now and received a lot of really lovely press coverage. It seems to be going in the right direction.”

This collection was inspired by Hackney Wick area of East London, which Anna describes as her muse. “The inspiration comes from what I see, so every time you go there, it’s a different colour combination and it directly influences my collection.”

Phannatiq is stocked at 123 Bethnal Green Road in London, Shoreditch Muse in Dubai and online at BENGT Fashion.

 

Written by Myles

September 22nd, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Sini Moilanen

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Sini Moilanen showed at Alternative Fashion Week in April 2010 and exhibited at Vauxhall Fashion Scout last September. This year, she was back with a collection called “Birds of Prey”. As Sini put it, “it’s based on carnivores that hunt other birds for survival”.

She told us that things are going well. “I’ve got more stockists. I’ve got PR now. I’m moving to a studio from my living-room, which is nice! I think it’s getting more professional now. I’ve had to work full-time on this collection for the past few months.”

Last season, Sini showed at the Zip Zone trade show in Paris and she’s going back again this season. “There were actually more buyers in Paris than in London,” she told us.

Tramp in Disguise is stocked at Beyond the Valley, British Designers at Fashion Capital, Not Just a Label, Offset Warehouse and BYELF.

Written by Myles

September 22nd, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Sini Moilanen

Tze Goh A/W’11

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Friday 18th February – This season, Central Saint Martin’s graduate Tze Goh was selected as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch and presented his A/W’11 collection on the VFS catwalk.

Written by Myles

February 18th, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Fashion ComPassion launch

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Thursday 18th November – Fashion ComPassion is a new venture, founded by Ayesha Mustafa. We caught up with her as she launched the project at the Home & Harvey Gallery on St James’s Street in London and asked how the venture came about.

“I’ve always wanted to work with social enterprises,” she told us.”That goes back to my childhood because I’ve seen my parents do a lot of charitable work when I was growing up in Pakistan. When Iwas 17, I worked with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. They actually pioneered microcredit and their founder, Muhammad Yunus, won a Nobel Prize for it. I saw the impact of giving the poorest of the world capital and a dream and a job, and that completely stayed with me for the rest of my life.

I did different things, worked in different corporate jobs but this was a dream of mine. Recently, I was working for Pepsi in marketing and I was doing a good job there and I though ‘Okay, if I can market the best brands in the world, why can’t I market something I’m very close to?’. So then I got onto this journey of discovering brands that are high-end, high fashion and have a social conscience. At the moment, I’m featuring four, all from the developing world – Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa – and they have a very similar social mandate, which is to really empower women in marginalised communities. They teach them skills, to enhance their creative skills. The women can work from home so they’re not tampering with any social norms. They pay them money per piece, which is quite high compared to what they would get if they were to work in a factory, and they also give them a share of profits. More than that, they instil an idea of their self-worth and their creativity and the women feel really empowered. It changes the way men look at them, the way their families interact with them.

“What I want to do with Fashion ComPassion is open more markets and make sure that these brands have a future and more people see them because they truly are works of art. I want these women’s messages to be heard and people to know that they’re really like us – they’re as creative, they’re as smart but they just don’t have a platform and I want to create that for them.”

“All our products are hand-made and it takes about five weeks to make them because they don’t start until we order. It’s completely bespoke. I’m wearing a burqa dress [see left] which is in green. Somebody else ordered it in white so it’ll be manufactured to the lady’s measurements and she can put a different trimming on it if she wants.”

Currently, Fashion ComPassion is selling from their website but they plan to partner up with other charitable organisations and, eventually, with retailers. You can view the full range of products on offer through their website.

Written by Myles

November 19th, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Posted in Fashion ComPassion

Zoe Jordan S/S 2011

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Sunday 19th September – Last season, we found Zoe Jordan exhibiting her Irwin & Jordan label in the designer showrooms but this time around, things have moved on. After waiting our turn in a queue of buyers and journalists we finally got a chance to ask  her what’s been happening over the past few months.

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Written by Myles

September 28th, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Yunus & Eliza

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Sunday 19th September – Also on the Elle Talent LaunchPad were Yunus & Eliza, with an intriguing collection of jewellery and wearable sculpture. We asked Yunus about their background.

“We’re pretty new to it all, been going for about 18 months now,” he told us. “This is our first show. It’s been part-time for a long time and, just recently, full-time.

“We both come from a fine artist’s background so we were both involved in sculpture. I was a fine artist, doing painting, mainly, and illustration, and we kind of met by accident, really. I did an apprenticeship at Foundry, doing large bronze sculpture and restoration and Eliza came in with a small horse sculpture that she wanted cast in bronze. She didn’t know how expensive it was going to be so she was, like ‘Err, how about I get involved in the process and maybe cut the price a bit.’ I was happy to teach her and we started playing around with some ideas.

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Written by Myles

September 28th, 2010 at 11:31 am

Laura Theiss

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Sunday 19th September – We first saw Laura Theiss at Alternative Fashion Week back in April. At London Fashion Week, she was exhibiting at the On|Off exhibition.

Laura was born and grew up in Lithuania. “I’ve been knitting since I was five years old. I studied business and that helps a lot in fashion. Then I studied Fashion Design at St Martins. I graduated in 2009.”

We asked her how this, her second collection differed from the one she showed at AFW. “This collection is a bit more sellable. I still try to keep my signature ethnic style but this time, I wanted to be more futuristic so I’ve used metallic, shiny elements. My inspiration comes from Chinese legends about aliens so it’s a combination of ethnic and futuristic.

“We designers, we’re like journalists – we take a story, we research and translate it to our collection so it’s like the clothes are telling the story. Crocheted ribbons and tassels but metallic, 80% cotton and the rest is metallic. Most of it is hand-knit, with only the finer pieces are factory-made to my patterns.”

We asked what the reaction has been to the new collection. “Surprisingly amazing. As a designer, you never know, you get paranoid shortly before the show about what people are going to say, what the press are going to say but I’m really happy. There’s a been a really good reaction. People like to see traditional knitwear made in new ways.”

Laura’s collection is targeted at 18-25 year old girls and is priced in the £300-700 range. It’s currently sold at Beyond the Valley in London and Debut in New York, and you can see the full collection at lauratheiss.com

Written by Myles

September 28th, 2010 at 11:05 am

Eudon Choi

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Sunday 19th September – Eudon Choi is hot property this season, having won the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award and been chosen for the Elle Talent LaunchPad. We asked him how he’d got here.

“I was a menswear designer initially, working at a very high-end design company in Korea. I decided to come to London purely because there are two very good Masters courses here, at the Royal College of Art and Central St. Martins. I got accepted to the Royal College of Art so that’s where I studied. I then worked as a senior designer at All Saints and Twenty8Twelve, and then I thought ‘I’ll just do my own thing’. So, I started my label and this is my third season. Last season I got chosen for Ones to Watch by Vauxhall Fashion Scout and I secured six very good stockists, and then I won these two awards, which is fantastic!”

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Written by Myles

September 28th, 2010 at 10:22 am

Catching up with Charlotte Taylor

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Sunday 19th September – Last time we spoke to Charlotte, she was planning a trip to Costa Rica so we asked her how it went.

“It got cancelled because of the volcanic ash disruption,” she told us. “So I went to Ibiza instead. But I’m still planning to go to Costa Rica in November.”

However, it seems that she’s had plenty to keep her busy since launching her label at VFS back in February. Her debut collection is being stocked by two online retailers. “One of them was through VFS – that was Young British Designers – and the other one is Coggles,” Charlotte told us. “It was really nice to start off with a couple and just find my feet, deal with the production, get all that sorted. I spent a lot of time going around to different factories. It was really important to me that I got on with the people. Everything’s getting made in East London in a little family-run factory. It’s quite important to me [to manufacture locally] because my stuff’s quite strongly associated with bring really British. It wouldn’t be as good if I went and got it made somewhere else at this stage. Also, it’s good to be able to monitor it – if something goes wrong, I don’t have to fly to Istanbul to change it.”

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Written by Myles

September 27th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

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.

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Written by Myles

September 27th, 2010 at 4:27 pm