Friday, 26 February 2010
Mondays are always marked by profuse drear and gloom. I hate Mondays.com. With Fashion week wrapping up pretty soon, I didn't think there would be much to excite so early on in the week. Evidently, I was wrong.
On this not-so-ordinary Monday night, IDOL took a toddle over to Oxford Street. Dress Me Jessie clung to her vintage bowler sitting atop her head; the wind was particularly vicious this night. With a retro checked shirt and knotted up tee, she propped her 80's leather jacket over her shoulders. I arrived a short while later. With antique Afghan rings adorning my fingers, I pushed up my Soho bought, geek chic specs and waved my arrival. We sauntered over to Berwick street, to a teeny tiny hole in the wall, Machine-A Boutique.
Once known as Digitaria, this old gallery space holds exclusive designers who have been hand selected by the creative director Stavros Karelis. Each collection has a common goal, to obtain a reaction and to stun. There is so much faith and belief in the designers that he houses. Machine-A is committed to promoting and conceptualizing their aesthetics and the bold identities that they acquire. Upon arrival, the tall, almost empty windows of the space exhibit odd but interesting spectacles. White, faceless mannequins wearing bondage straps and not much else. It begs the question of what's inside. With absolute curiosity, we enter.
We walked in to the chatter and buzz of conversation; laughter; cackles and Warboy. No, not some schizophrenic figure of my imagination, but the DJ. His Nu Rave beats were just about audible. As we shimmied through the narrow opening, the walls instantly drew in on us. People multiplied tenfold. The first room was stuffed, inch to inch with Hoxton's finest. In one corner sat two huge industrial waste bins, filled to the brim with bottled cider and lukewarm beer cans. A pasty, block fringed, red lipped girl shoveled and replenished the empty ones.
It was hot inside, shoulders rubbed and body heat shared. Girls wore oversized vintage leather; tassle detail coats with fringing; red feather lashes and hair whipped up on top of the head. They gassed away with an air of nonchalance, chugging away the free tipple. The men were vampish. Mysterious. They wore their hair long, straggly and disheveled. They donned long coats and full-haired beards. We even spotted an OMFG Edward Cullen lookalike. He was positively mouthwatering.
Once the initial rush had subsided, we pushed and shoved our way through to the end showroom. Here, lining the walls, were the newest pieces from Gemma Slack A/W 2010. An LCF graduate, Gemma's designs are both sculpture and art. Her first collection had heavy goth influences and was crafted using unconventional materials such as untreated leather and human hair. A really rustic and organic approach to design. Her 2010 offering continued the use of alternative materials, but instead of the harsh, edgy structural pieces of collections past, this time we saw a more feminine silhouette. Fabrics are light and sheer and draped provocatively. She has also introduced some hard-lined tailoring in leather coats, which are belted and cinched at the waist, honouring the female figureline. But don't be fooled, Slack re-delivers punch with some very bold accents. Leather straps and gold studs, cut out sections and nipple clamps all detail her collection. It reminded us she of who she is.
Hanging on the opposite wall were the hotly anticipated offerings of Gabriella Marina Gonzalez. Entitled 'Victorian Sci-Fi Surgery' this collection is exceptional. Consisting of a pure white bodysuit, knee pads, thigh belts and muzzle-esque headwear, Gonzalez really breaks the mold here. The dark leather and gold studs added a really dark edge to her work. But what deserves a specific mention, are the shoes. Fantastically high, teetering platform wedges in a thick black suede were showcased on top of a distressed wooden cabinet. They are immense. If just for these, pay Machine-A a visit.
Downstairs on a brilliant white wall, was a film showcase by Asger Juel Larsen under the name 'ANDROID'. Styled by Paul Joyce, Machine-A's buyer, it unveiled the most recent additions to Larsen's work. His graduate menswear collection was known for its iconic chain mail top, inspired by medieval warfare. With his new collection, he continued the element of battle and contemporary armour. Similar to Slack, Larsen has a penchant for utilising alternative raw materials that most would shy away from. He plays with volumes an proportions and in his predominantly black medley. Along with PVC, rubber and leather panels, there are shredded jerseys with countless metallic chords and cables; cowskin overcoats and arm pieces; sheer lengthy sweaters; all twinned with chunky industrial patent boots. This collection is hard and stark.
We spent the evening drinking, chatting and in constant awe of our surroundings. Both exhilirating and intriguing, the showcase let us marvel unparalleled, raw, undoubted talent. Hat's off to Machine-A; it was nothing short of refreshing.
Thursday, 25 February 2010
Wednesday, 24 February 2010
In more recent years, the Burberry Fashion Show has been hailed the climax of LFW, it’s the show were the fashion elite congregate to showcase their fashion knowledge, basically if there is only one fashion show to attend in London it’s the Burberry Fashion Show. Christopher Bailey has brought the chic back to LFW and it was dearly needed, with many of our London designers opting to showcase their collections in either Paris or New York, there was a time when many fashion journalist was doubting the credibility of LFW, those so called doubts are dead and buried and one of the designers we have thank for that is Christopher Bailey.
Unlike SS10 Christopher has chosen not to highlight the classic trench coat that we all associate with Burberry, for AW10 we are introduced to the many different styles of sheep skin jackets, super long leather boots and fox fur. There was no sign of the classic Burberry logo; the show was refreshing, chic and elegant. Christopher dominated his colour pallet with rich greens, deep mustards and splashes of navy. He keep a strong military look throughout matched with narrow skirts, from the show I can tell that the bags and shoes are going to create a fashion stampede , you’ll find me right at the front.
Simone La Rose
Onwards from my Ring like screening, I headed down to Regent Street and finally found my way to some back street I can't remember the name of for the Maaike Mekking Presentation.
I assumed, I don't know why, I'd see a few pieces on stands or something along those lines, what I did not expect when I strolled in, was a live demonstration of the collection, accompanied with model, mirror and flesh body suit.
But that's exactly what I got. The empty space was packed with creatives donning vintage faux fur and worn skinny jeans, all sipping cups full of some alcoholic substance I could not locate the whereabouts of . They congregated towards a large corner towards the back, so I pushed through the herds of tousled haired and geek glasses to find myself standing in front of a slightly stoned looking model, wearing not a scrap of make up, but a flesh coloured body suit covered in black geometric shapes, apparently deliberating over what garment to wear next.
Automatically, I was hooked on this surreal visual presentation. Had this performance gone on for the next 3 hours, I would have stood and watched the whole thing accompanied by the crippling pain my heels were inflicting upon me. But alas, I was an hour late, and therefore saw about 20 minutes of the presentation, so I made sure I watched intently.
The model stood on a sheep skin rug in the corner, a long white mirror lent against the wall, whilst a chair sat to the side. The rug with laced with folded pieces of the collection, littering the sides. Along the window, was some sort of piping acting as rails, where more lengthy, structural pieces hung on display.
The model moved slowly and deliberately, almost trying to tease the audience and keep them curious over her next moves to hold their attention. She crawled across the rug picking up pieces, unfolding them, staring at them and then either trying them on, or placing them carefully back on the floor. She also walked up onto the window sill and worked her way around the garments, moving them, stroking the fabrics and generally drawing our eye to each one.
Back on ground level, the model made a significant point of removing items of clothing or putting them on in a very specific way, at one point struggling slowly out of a top, lying on the floor and extending her legs in the air to get into some jeans and even placing a lace transparent dress over her head to make a ghostly image of a bride.
The collection featured a subtle palette of neutral colours, consisting of nudes, creams, beiges and camels, combined with blacks and denim. The garments ranged from jeans, leotard bodies, cropped jackets to more intricate pieces like the floor length lace dress, to other floor skimming garments and those with a more detailed, unusual cut where the fabric seemed twisted and positioned to add sculpture to the shape.
The presentation was accompanied by a indie like singer with a mic and keyboard, and a large projection covering one wall in images of half naked models sitting by windows or hand in hand. Occasionally poetry or writing flickered across the wall, but never long enough for me to note who it was by. Both complimented the night beautifully.
Eventually, the model appeared to grow bored and wandered away from the rug, glanced back once more and then disappeared into the crowd. At which point, everyone burst into applause (by the sounds of it, all as impressed as myself) and out of the cheers emerged Maaike along one of the cups I was lacking and the model in her other hand.
Maaike's collection's can be viewed at her site www. maaikemekking.com whilst her interview with IDOL can be read at http://idolmag.co.uk/?p=470.
Wednesday the 23rd was a surreal evening for me. LFW, launching IDOL the mag and various antics which probably didn't help, had taken a toll on my health and I had to literally drag myself to the front door and carry myself to the Marko Mitanovski Screening and Maaike Mekking Presentation. Once I got my self-pitying arse there I was intensely glad I'd made the effort to trek in the rain and cold for what turned out to be an artistic and unique evening.
First stop was the Marko Mitanovski Screening, which we came to be informed over by the stylist of the film, Claudia Behnke (who we are soon to be interviewing). We've also already featured Marko's S/S collection in our 'Tragic Fairytale' fashion story which will be published in the mag shortly.
Unfortunately, I hadn't been made aware that we were also watching several other designers films, of which I would have loved to have known as I didn't manage to catch names or collections. However, I will post up a few pics from other films alongside this and do my research to find out who they were.
Marko's film I found most intriguing and able to connect with over all. All the films had a dark instrumental piece played over, which reminded me of white noise and The Ring, and had me half expecting the model to crawl out of the huge, projected screen. Marko's was just as eery but had a much more musical element to it rather than just deep, disturbing sounds. The strings and drums created a sense of drama and mournfulness, and the film, in black and white, added to the depth of darkness. The model, Wei-Chiung Lin, who we met whilst there, wore one of Marko's most elaborate pieces, a corseted dress which hugged the models hips and thighs before fanning out life a fish tail further towards the bottom. Upon examination, (the garments were on display) we discovered the intricate pleats covering the entire skirt section, were cut from a very thin leather, which unless touched, could almost be mistaken for satin. The train of the skirt cascaded across the floor adding to the theatrical design of the dress. On top the model wore what could be described as a neck piece, which had been elaborated and constructed so it obscured the body up to the waist and fore arm, hiding the model in a umbrella like structure, again, produced from tiny pleats of fine and we imagine, incredibly expensive leather. Later we see the outfit alternate to the entire dress, which had been hidden by the 'collar piece' and reveals a black lace, high neck top, reminiscent of a Victorian widow. Wei also wore pvc like gloves, which were elongated and pointed on the fingers, producing visually disturbing characteristics to the hand gestures and making all movements seem much more haunting. Other accessories were the head piece, a pair of black, fabric looking antlers and protruding, attached eye brows. The headpiece added almost a sense of confusion to the audience, if you wish to visually disturb someone, seeing something they don't understand often does that, and a model teamed with pointed fingers and antlers creates an unusual display which the audience doesn't necessarily understand and provokes intrigue and mystery to the concept.
The outfit was set against a ruined brick wall, occasionally Claudia flashed up in the background, wearing a collar and white antlers, and a stand featuring another garment was sometimes present next to the model during the film.
This combined with Wei's broken movements, dark lighting and shadows and the use of camera work by director Daemiane, creating distorted footage reminiscent of those Grudge and Ring type films, completed the atmosphere for an overall haunting yet irresistible short film that you couldn't draw your eyes away from.
The piece reminded me of one of those really good horrors, not the ones where directors compete with who can show the most blood and guts, but those real chilling ghost stories where you are terrified to carry on watching but are so intrigued by the film you can't not. The derelict location and bareness of the walls, added to mystery of the piece, as you constantly strove to understand the concept of the film, yet little is given away as the entire focus is on the model herself and emphasised by her lack of surroundings. I left feeling like I wasn't grasping something right, and curious to find out more about the collection and the inspiration behind it. I am quite sure, that Marko's intentions behind the film, and collection, was to leave a sense of haunting amongst it's viewers, and that's exactly what he achieved. A day later, I am still plagued by the sound of the violin, droning over a model with a blood drenched mouth and dark yet beautiful imagery.
The video can be watched here at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD9Ojv4qGdc
See Marko's collection for S/S 10 here at http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/show.aspx/full-length-photos/id,8501/Page,2#/imageno/26
Tuesday, 23 February 2010
After the show I headed upstairs for the Rachel Freire presentation entitled Future Noir. I came across Rachel’s work a while ago and some of her creations are very “Pan’s Labyrinth” and are very striking. She has created pieces for Beth Ditto from Gossip, Little Boots, Charlotte Church, Saint Saviour from Groove Armada and Pete Burns. The presentation featured a catwalk show of the new collection and a virtual photoshoot in collaboration with latex designer Lady Lucie.
Later that afternoon I returned to the Freemason’s Hall to see Alice Palmer’s new collection. Using the inspiration of a bat again, namely Batman, Alice Palmer gave the knit dress an edgy facelift. She incorporated structured bat ears into the designs to create patterns. Sticking to a colour palette of mainly black and grey the collection garnered ohhs and ahhs from the crowd – a particular crowd favourite was a puckered, spiked bolero. I could easily rock anything from that collection. It was on point. Trust me you won’t look at a knit dress in the same way again…
Last night I attended the Ioannis Dimitrousis presentation held at the 'member's only' Hopsital. I love a good wander around Covent Garden and if it involves the collection of an incredibly promising talent I wasn't going to say no, even with the heaven's pouring and me minus an umbrella (fool).
This was in fact the first time I had viewed his work and it immediately became apparent to me that he has a strong love of beading, embellishment and all that glitters. His love of shiny and attachable objects is evident in his previous collections, particularly in S/S 10, where knitted transparent dresses where covered in sections of large sequin like discs. This use of knitwear is another trait of his, present in the majority of his collections and becoming somewhat of a trademark.
This season, the knitwear vs embellishment took the shape of 6 dresses. True to his style, the fabric was thin and knitted, transparent to the point where in the areas where there was no layering, the body can be seen underneath. However, the A/W 10 collection was very focused upon building shapes using layering, and the dresses all had areas where the fabric seemed to be built upon it's self to create big shoulders, alien like protruding shapes from the hips, back and waist, and maddona-esque pointed chest area. The fabric itself was spun with shinning colour running through it, which catches the light and shimmers at certain angles. Some of the dresses even glow dark, demonstrated when the lights went out leaving me incredibly confused until I saw what appeared to be a floating, glowing, silver dress before me.
Many of the dresses had some sort of embellishment on them in certain areas, particularly on the built up, protruding features such as shoulders and hips. Glass beads, black glossed beads and others in colours such as emerald green and sapphire like blue hung from the neck line, adorned straps and generally added a more fantastical element to the futuristic like designs.
I was generally fascinated with the use of layering to bring sculpture and the alien/futuristic technology influenced (I assume) feel it brought to the pieces. The use of metallic and glittering strands of thread within the knit wear added to the sense of fantasy, whilst the figure hugging shapes accentuated the sculpted areas and drew attention to the revealed flesh left on display.
The catwalk prince has returned to us with yet another dazzling show, expanding his design range that now includes embroidery. The new face of Halson is not feeling the pressure of having to work with and answer to Halson’s new creative director Sarah Jessica Parker, as his own fashion house is still giving the public what they want. His catwalk presentation was filled with cropped jackets, coloured fur, body harnesses and mental work, enhancing the body shape with cut out silhouettes. Marios chose a muted colour pallet from navy to minks, with hints of purple and rich greens and of course black.
Monday, 22 February 2010
Dominated by shades of black with flashes of ruby reds, the Berardi show was another example how woman can be chic and sexy. Using black sheer chiffon mixed with luxurious velvet fabrics Berardi did not disappoint, similar to Roland Mouret his collection has become a must have for every woman’s wardrobe. Hits of heavy coloured fox fur coats over narrow dresses, belted at the waist this AW10 has become grown up and sophisticated, it one of those collections that serious minded woman can wear with confidence and ease.
Simone La Rose
really see why. Out of all the fashion shows I had viewed this week, Roksanda
has been the most grown up and sophisticated. She never fails to impress me.
With a full collection of soft blouses, high waist skirts, feminine coats and
fox furs. Her colour pallet ranged from grey, champagne peaches, deep greens,
navy mixed with black in light weight fabrics with heavy fox tail furs around
the neck that gave the collection instant glamour. The collection screamed woman
should not just be grown up but we must also dress up.
The Chris Kane fashion show theme was based on the good girl gone bad theory, with lace shirts and leather skirts and slash sleeve jackets. The latest fashion king of Scotland surprised the fashion public with this take on the Erdem traditional embroiled flowers look. It was a shock for most how similar the collections crossed paths, still the embroiled flower will make a huge statement this AW10.
Saturday night I went to the Jacob Kimmie show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. Arriving I was greeted by some friends of mine from Felicities PR and shown the way upstairs in the Freemason's Hall. I got chatting to another girl whilst waiting and when I said I was from IDOL Magazine, a foreign woman near me grabbed my arm and said 'Oh, you're from IDOL? That's doing really well!' I have no idea who she was but the fact she's heard of IDOL got me a lil (lot) bit excited!
The show started, and although I was standing, I had as good a view as the front row :) The collection was monochrome and beautiful. White furs, black lace, beautiful face masks and braided her, I was totally in love. Definitely off to buy some white tights now too!
One unexpected addition to the catwalk was, erm, a baby... A model in a lace and netting bridal type dress carried the little one down the catwalk with her. Cute? Cruel? All I could think of was how scared the poor thing must be with all the flashing cameras! All in all though, fantastic show from a relatively unheard of deisgner. I think he'll go far.