Over this recent fashion week (16th to 21st September 2011) I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take up a free lance position as assistant to the editor at access-fashion.com. The role meant that I had to go to a number of shows and events in order to write reports to be published on website a few weeks prior to LFW. Although i have been commissioned to write a number of articles for the publication, i have not been asked to write about every show i went to so i will take the chance to do so here, as some of them were truly spectacular, the ones that i have been asked to write about have been abridged – i will post the finished product on here once they have been published. Although I only attended three days of Fashion week (Friday, Saturday and Wednesday), this suited me perfectly as i was originally only interested in Menswear day (Wednesday) as this is the area that i hope to build a career in – The editor took this into account and ensured that my schedule was packed for this day.
Corrie Nielson – 10:00 am – The Old Sorting Office
A graduate at the school of Galliano and winner of Fashion Fringe, Nielson is slowly becoming a name talked about in all the right circles. A boyish waif of a woman, the garments that she masterfully conjures are far from ordinary – a plethora of luxury fabrics, flattering cuts and understated detailing, a hint of a Japanese and victorian references and draping in all the right places. Emphasis on female masculine dressing, embracing the 19th century men’s dress – ultra tailored dandy-esque jackets with shirts spilling through in the place of ascot scarves. Front row seats provided the perfect observation point – seeing in detail the structured peplums, textured bandeau dresses and artfully crafted satin tailored trousers, along with smatterings of chartreuse and other sumptuous fabrics- the finished collection was both individual and elegant.
Caroline Charles – 11:00 am – BFC Showspace
Caroline Charles’s apparent ease and talent at highlighting all the subtleties of the female body was shown repeatedly in the artfully mastered dropped waist cuts and flattering necklines. Two piece, tailored skirt and trouser suits were colour blocked in hues of mint green, sahara orange and midnight blue. Great Gatsby–esque straw boaters trimmed with grosgrain ribbons were the perfect accompaniment to these structured suits; the collection also included over-sized sun hats secured around the neck and finished with subtle yet intricate floral embroidery detail and wide-brimmed panamas in pale shades.
Despite waists being tailored and cinched in by skinny belts and sashes, dresses were still fluid, polished with capped sleeves and subtle pleats upon hemlines that fell on or over the knee. Simple black ankle length turn ups were accompanied by cotton blouses, nipped in at the wrists and trimmed with crisp lace, while gingham two piece suits, again defined by ankle-length turn ups and boxy structured jackets, were paired in contrasting colours of navy and red. During the transition from day to evening wear, barefooted models floated down the catwalk in sheer, graphic print dresses with bell sleeves and loosely fitting wide-leg pant suits. Eveningwear boasted an air of decadence and predicted a balmy ‘Indian summer’ – the obvious eastern influence was prominent in the abundance of extravagant jeweled chokers and the liberally scattered diamante beads adorning shirts and dresses, clustering at the necklines and cuffs.
Jean Pierre Braganza – 3:00 pm – BFC Showspace
‘It started with a trip to Cornwall. All blue sharp sky with rushing fluffy clouds. Smashing waves and bracing rock” JPB set’s a crisp background on which the crashing waves are depicted in clean but refracted prints upon garments with fluid lines, the jutting cliffs become angular cut-out tailoring and the bracing rocks become the strong shoulders and sharp tailoring.While JPB’s collection definitely draws on Art Deco for inspiration, it is translated in an austere tone; angular dropped waist dresses in monochrome, grey muted graphics adorn blouses and a marl boiler suit create an urban edge. Long- line suit jackets and structured Tuxedo dresses are in a (Palette – Black white grey and beige and pops of red and burnt orange), while Wrap dresses showcase elegant draping, designed to liberate the female form.
The JPB signature Harem pants are paired with striking graphic print blousons in a welcome pop of vibrant red and burnt orange, alongside Glittering dark jewels around jutting necks and embellished sheer panels on severe body-con dresses, create a sense of subtle yet tough decadence.
Regenerate Japan – 7:00 pm – The Reading Rooms, Soho
My first fashion week event was a pop-up shop fundraising for the red-cross Japan called ‘Regenerate Japan’, – this event was far closer to my heart than most as my best friend, Daniel Stewart, was the event co-ordinator. As i live with Daniel i knew all the ins and outs, ups and downs of the project (from the time that we were going to have a designer sleeping on our sofa to having arguments with Fed-Ex delivery men over the multiple boxes of couture dresses they had to deliver – we live on the eighth floor and there is no lift), so knowing the nature of his boss (unprofessional, devious and extremely manipulative) and knowing all the stress and rubbish that he had put up, it was always my intention to attend the event, just to congratulate and surport him, as from where i was standing (and the designers, other people involved within the event and interns) Daniel basically organised the whole event, so when Access-Fashion asked me to cover the event at the same time i was extremely pleased.
Held in the Reading rooms in Soho (quite a small venue), the first thing that hits you is how elegantly and tastefully the layout had been designed – with over 20 designers including Eley Kishimoto, Cabinet by Tomoko Yamanaka, Misa Harada, Sae Miyazaki, C/Bruerberg, Maria Seveyna, Lucchese Boot Co, Eva Evanovich, Alice Palmer and Louise Amstrup, it would’ve been easy for it to look like a jumble sale, however it looked more like an up-market boutique. ‘The abundance of cherry trees, sushi and cherry liquor made for a nice touch – the staff/interns were amazing and very hospitable, met on arrival (when you could beat your way in throug the door) by two ladies wearing intricately designed kimonos you were immediatlly offered drinks, designers lurked around their collections protectively but were happy to answer any questions, Nadia Minkoff and the ladies from Lucchese were particularly lovely- the atmosphere was very upbeat.
Through a small doorway was the Japanese midnight garden was a tea ceremony held by Jing tea ( they also provided fabulous goodie bags full of rare teas, including one that opens into a flower when hot water is added). Nat Weller and Finlay Kemp turned up for a hour long d.j set but by that time the brunt of the guests had left which was a shame as they did play some good classics. There was also a lovely but slightly pointless walk through of models in the kimonos which lasted about 15 minutes to the 2 hours that they had spent getting ready – however people seemed to enjoy this as cameras were a clicking furiously. I was told that the event organizers were Ben Charles Edwards and Freya Olsen – while Ben Charles Edwards was a constant and welcoming presence, Ms Olsen was no where to be seen all night, surely a good host ensures that their guests know exactly who they are? Funnily enough i did find out who she was later when she appeared in a lift rather drunk and struggling to walk straight, on approach she then asked Daniel to make her another cocktail and retreat to the outside steps to join Nat Weller for a cigarette. I look forward to hearing how much the event raised for the tsunami appeal.
All Images- Source: http://www.vogue.co.uk