Archive for the ‘London Fashion Week’ Category
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.
Friday 17th September – PPQ started out as a fashion/art collective in the early 90s. In 2000, Amy Molyneaux joined, fresh out of the fashion course at Central Lancashire University and partnered with Percy Parker to launch the first PPQ fashion collection. Today, PPQ is a successful fashion brand and a poster child for all young, aspiring British designers. They launched their S/S 2011 collection in the main catwalk space at Somerset House during London Fashion Week.
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Friday 17th September – Korean-born designer LiLee came to London to study at the London College of Fashion. She graduated with an MA in Fashion Design Technology earlier this year and her press show with LCF drew the attention of ASOS, who signed her to adapt that collection to create a diffusion line, which will be on sale in October. Success had continued with her selection as one of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch, where she presented a distinctive collection.
“The inspiration comes from a lady, walking with her dog in the 1930s,” LiLee explained. “I wanted to express a sporty look but keeping the elegance and femininity.”
See full coverage of her Ones to Watch catwalk show below.
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Friday 17th September – Spanish designer Krisia Robustella made her London Fashion Week debut with a Baywatch-themed show and a collection entitled Beautiful Beach.
Friday 17th September – Georgia Hardinge‘s collection during the Ones to Watch show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout.
Friday 17th September – After debuting last season at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition, Charlotte Taylor was picked as one of VFS’ Ones to Watch and made her catwalk debut.
Barely six weeks after the last London Fashion Week, it seems that it’s already time to prepare for the next one. The application deadlines for the Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden and the BFC’s NEWGEN and Estethica schemes are coming up at the end of this month.
In the meantime, pop-up stores are…well, popping up all over the place. The British Designers Collective store is at Bicester Village until May 7th, the Environmental Justice Foundation store is open at 57 Carnaby Street until May 3rd and, around the corner at 10 Newburgh Street, Sketchbook Magazine are hosting a series of events until April 18th.
Rounding up our London Fashion Weekend experience…
We spoke to Eleni Sardi from greenmystyle.com in the courtyard who pointed us in the direction of Estethica, a BFC initiative sponsored by Monsoon which highlights sustainable and ethical fashion. “Sustainable is the way forward,” Eleni told us. “Recycling fabrics and materials, recycling silver and gold for jewellery, using fabrics that are natural and not going for things like polyester which aren’t biodegradable.”
Below: the Estethica exhibition space; sponsor Monsoon; designs by Merryn Leslie, Michelle Lowe-Holder, Nyonyo & Yayra, Partimi and White Tent, from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion; Henriette Ludgate; Makepiece; Elvis & Kresse Arts.
Thanks to a very kind introduction from Irish jewellery designer Maria Collins, we found ourselves in the designer show rooms, talking to Zoe Jordan from Irwin & Jordan. Most of the designers exhibiting at LFW studied fashion but Zoe’s first career was in finance – she traded bonds and equities at HSBC and Credit Suisse before deciding to leave the City behind and found Irwin & Jordan with her friend, brand consultant Georgia Irwin. We asked her what the experience has been like making the move from the trading floor to a fashion design studio in Mayfair. “I’m not going to lie to you – it’s been quite hard,” she exclaims. “Not having a design background, it’s taken a while to get the style just so, to the stage I’m happy with it.”
A hint of the suited-and-booted style prevalent in the City can be seen in the palette of collection – there are lots of muted blues and grays which convey a classiness that sits nicely in the stately surroundings of Somerset House. “Very classic and traditional but with a bit of a twist,” is how Zoe describes it. “Our signature look is heavily influenced by Savile Row-style men’s tailoring. The fabrics are a mix of Italian sand-washed silks and jerseys, with houndstooth, birds’ eyes and herringbones. We also use jersey mixed with lace or sequins, taking something that’s quite dressy and making it more casual and throw-on, with lots of draping – more nonchalant, quite ‘London’ in its look. It’s got that tomboy glamour to it – quite transeasonal, day-to-night, bridging a few gaps.”
Overall, it comes across as a strong, coherent collection which isn’t really all that surprising, given that traders are known for their strong characters and attention to detail. Commercial awareness is also evident when speaking with Zoe – a lot of effort has been put into ensuring that the quality is up to scratch. “There’s no point in going for the big guys unless you’ve got the production right and you know it works,” Zoe told us. “And then it’s building up the press so that someone’s going to come and buy your stuff rather than the label next door that they don’t know.”
Some of that press is already on its way – fashion trade weekly Drapers selected Irwin & Jordan as one of their “Six of the Best” from the Exhibition at LFW. We look forward to catching up with Zoe once the dust has settled on LFW to find out how the week went and what’s next for I&J.
One of the reasons we’re so keen to cover VFS is the fact that a young designer called Charlotte Taylor is exhibiting there. Charlotte studied at St Martins and, after graduating, worked at Luella. Last June. She decided to launch her own label but, while most new designers seem to lock themselves away to design their first collection, Charlotte opened a digital doorway into the process with her blog.
When we were describing the HNT concept to people, saying that we wanted to launch a blog/webzine/whatever that focused on new designers, they would invariably ask us “Like who?” and Charlotte was the example we used, so we were delighted when our intrepid roving reporter was able to interview her.
“The blog was set up, in the beginning, as a marketing tool to launch the label before any designs were actually seen,” Charlotte told Jack. “I’ve built up a readership over time and that’s how Vauxhall Fashion Scout got interested – Susie Bubble wrote about me on her site and she was one of the panellists.”