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Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Four: Holly Fulton

This girl cannot go wrong - oh no... This new A/W collection was art-deco on speed! There was some extreme bejewelled dresses - in the most zingiest canary yellow and jet black, all teamed together in Holly's signature heavy use of print. If you didn't think you could pile anything else in the mix, try adding tweed, tassells and beading.

The dresses has shown a huge improvement even on the success of last season. The attention to detail was second to none, with the most cute leather cap sleeves and intricate but hard studding details. Despite the shocking and obvious colours used, the prints really done the talking right now: some were truly stunning and simply beautiful, some were strangely unusual but eye catching at the same time. Using baroque swirled patterns, with the more vibrant art-deco, geometric designs was a step in the right direction.

The gentle use of colours made for some simply stunning but elegant looks: with pale turquoise and pink were thrown together with oodles of beading. Towards the end of the collection Fulton went on overdrive and managed to toughen it up - snakeskin shift dresses exposing miles of leg, hard metal rivets around hem and necklines - it was altogether so different and so supercharged compared to last season, Holly Fulton really done herself proud, I loved it.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Four: David Koma

David, David, David - Oh how I love you. This was my hot pick for this LFW - I completely fell in love with his S/S line so was so excited to see the transition into Winter.

Koma gave us experimental, he gave us a little crazy and he gave us stunning. I loved every single item, I literally could not take my eyes off any of it. A running repetition of circles, dots and pom poms - the collection quite literally went full circle.

The first looks were unforgiving, heavily body-conscious and form fitting - teamed with the most shocking jet black with the most seductive leather circles that were dotted up and down the torso, managing to draw the eye right in and around the body. Waists were separated off in a bondage-style leather, styling down to tight pencil skirts that elongated the legs. To help make the skirt stand out against the busy top halve, the skirting detail was surrounded in punched out leather, once again in circles, the punched out detail was further layered, with a nude slip under.

The structure to all the outfits were typically David Koma, which by no means is a bad thing. In fact it makes him who he is - his lines and fitting is so strong and well defined. Dresses were introduced with a striking facial print that took up the entire bust area, and mixing with the now signature circle embellishment. The gradual introduction of a fiery red suddenly bought the fun back into a more classic-hard collection. Not only were the outfits heavy already in texture with the leather cut-outs and embellishments, we then entered into the pom pom.

The sheer sound of adding a pom pom to an outfit makes it slightly more ridiculous - but not here. Koma managed to make everything fall into place simply. The fur pom poms managed to match the outfits and theme but they didn't look out of place - they were fun and playful and added some extra drama and texture but still kept the female figure the focus.

The bright, acid yellow fur coller caught my eye - even as mad as it may seem. When teamed with the sheer elegance of Koma's structure and design you really cant bring the attention away from that - despite the madness of the accessory.

This collection did not disappoint, at all. I loved every single morsel of it, I love you David Koma and I fully intend on being a Koma girl.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Three: Temperley London

This show was an absolute treat to view - one of my favourites for sure. This collection was as glamourous as it gets, no hippy chic that Temperley normally turns out, there was such a mature, sexy look going on.

Dresses were verging on almost from the Victorian era - with perfect shawl collars that were pleated over pleats, massively high necklines and everyones favourite: the peter-pan collar, in a sumptuous sheer chiffon. There were peplums over shoulders and ruffles creating new and interesting lines to an otherwise simply designed dress.

An element of Haute Couture was there, with lashings of tulle with inserts of the lightest black lace that had the most amazing contrast compared to the nude it was teamed with. Some were decorated in Gothic but sexy lace or some were expertly scattered with glittering embroidery. Some pleated skirts were decorated with flashes of colour between the pleats - there was so many fabrics and textures to take in on first sight, but it also showed just how much work had gone into creating the more grown-up Temperley look.

There was also alot of different eras going into this collection - there was some 70's glamour in the shape of big and fluffy tulles, layering of chiffon and so much super shiny silks. Then there was almost a 20's flapper-esque style to it, dresses fell to an elegant, but sexy ankle length or floor skimming in layer upon layers of white organza all beautifully finished with glittering black stars or beautiful black stems.

A strong, powerful and beautiful collection - which manages to make the new improved Temperley woman seem in control.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Three: Richard Nicoll

This was my surprise hit of this LFW - Ive always been keen on Richard Nicoll but never a huge fan - his luxe sportswear and obvious see through editions have never suited my own personal style, but the A/W collection really made me stop and stare.

The show was fluid and comprehensive - the colour sequences were soft, and gentle and moved swiftly and smoothly from one another - even though each item could quite happily work alone. Gentle mustard's flowed into a dull lime which merged to a soft olive then onto beige and then a burst of the tangerines and the bright blues and metallic. There was a real air of calm around the show - and it was all a little understated but in a whole fresh, new way.

Coats and jackets were once again in the form of leather bombers that were almost waffle-like in texture but in a real luxe and expensive material. There were high, raised coller Parkas with a strong metallic lining that literally jumped out and grabbed your attention.

The designs were simple but done with real understated styling and exaggerations: T-shirt dresses that just swooped over you with voluminous sleeves, exposed zips and hood less jackets. Trousers still oozed the sporty theme by being elasticated at the ankle. Despite the overly softness of the look, there was still a hint at the more harder edge with high-shine gold lamé sweatshirts; over shiny pencil skirts and heavy elasticated chiffon tops that were gathered at the neck and wrist – making a superb contrast to the flowing and elegant silk dresses.

This was a real eye-opener for me - a nice change.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: Osman

A show I was nervy to see - not because I wasn't a fan, I've always liked the way Osman works so hard with the Minimalism aspect of his designs. There is always something clean and pure that comes from his lines. Was really excited to see what looks Osman was going to bring out this A/W as despite being a pure craftsman, I always worry as most of his designs are for the more statuesque of us (not me)

The collection was visually stunning and as clean and pure as the silk used. Colour palettes were rather summery and optimistic compared to some past seasons: Heavy white mixed with the brightest turquoise, the same shocking orange played out again, limes, and vibrant red. A play on texture was gently introduced with gradual furs, working their way up the arms. Every single item to walk the runway was as tailored and structured as they come - no loose, and flowing aspects in the garments.

Skirt lengths are the same as the growing trend, for the hem hitting bang on the knee and have a gradual flare. Trousers were extremely structured and showing a long, straight and lean pleat down the front - these trousers are great for the shorter lady as the help you seem alot taller, something that hasn't happened before Osman. The pieces were alot more 'woman' friendly.

Leather shift dresses were helped along with more rockier and hard zips. Working the nude trend and going against the rules by teaming with pink was a nice colour shock change. Once again, it's always nice to see someone who works so genuinely hard at construction and the way the clothes fit. A very welcome addition was the fold-over, cuff shoes which were stunning to look at.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Three: Mulberry

I think just about everyone and their mother knows who and what Mulberry is. Pretty much known for their amazing handbags as they are their clothing - for me, they are more of a staple than a 'one-to-watch' Enjoyable all the same mind. Always putting on a good show, and a celeb filled audience will always attend.

Supremly decorated in a kinda old English garden theme, this little special and very secret garden was surrounded by giant, over the top coral flowers. This was a really wearable collection, I could happily see everything item shown, in my wardrobe. Carrying on the SS11 trend of the 70's, there were alot of slim-line trouser suits, prim and proper shirts with attractive collars and High waisted skirts that had a life of their own to flare out. Hemlines were still either going supremely short or floor skimming long - The former with long, ribbed socks (delectably English) and the latter, in draping chiffon.

The colour palette was kept really neutral, in earthy chestnuts, silvery grey, mustard/khaki greens. Some elegant and feminine pinks and deep berry colours broke the earthy textures up. Some metallic materials bought a much more vivid look to the runway - a little more evening. Some pretty textured black looks gave the collection a more streamlined look and the little printed dresses with heavy knits were a perfect, typical 'Mulberry' look.

A nice, dare I say it, safe collection, there was nothing here I wasn't expecting. I like that about Mulberry - guaranteed satisfaction every time and easy to wear - each time, every time.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: Jonathan Saunders

I'm going to try really hard not waffle on about Jonathan Saunders, but daily, my love for this man and his designs, grow. His SS11 collection blew me away, so much so, I have the photos up in my study, so a little part of my was a little apprehensive about what the colour maestro would bring this A/W.

He didnt disappoint me, the collection was mature and confidant but displayed some absolute works of art and showcased his colour skills perfectly. Obviously, the colour skills that Saunders consistently portray is one of his strong points and personally, I can never get sick of the combinations and the different ways he incorporates them into an outfit. A big player for the more sophisticated parts were the use of navy and Burgundy - using them on both high slit skirts and bomber jackets, two trends that are constantly playing this A/W, whilst flashing us surprising colour matches of green, nude, black, claret, brown and blue gave us a more young-spirited side.

Colour shocks made way for the younger part of print to shine through. Graphic abstract prints, in a wide selection of ultra feminine pinks, held their own against the flippy and flowing hemlines of a chiffon heavy dresse. There was some superb, eye-catching details such as the bold, over sized red mohair coat, that was teamed with the kinda print that would make your eyes go funny - Bright sea blue with the grassiest green abstract printed top, dared to be teamed with the more cute and subdued red and white Bird print skirting. The sheer difference between each and every item on the runway, played with my eyes as well as my mind - which is a gift that Saunders has. Never before has the saying not to team different prints together has seemed more wrong.

As simple as the design work of the clothes seemed, the beauty is that they are so wearable. But despite being too commercial, the key is in the artistic direction each and every piece takes. Some show stopping pieces were the heavily sequined items: Claret chiffon and black sequins was a key piece, and the construction of each item, made the collection as a whol,e flow seamlessly. The skills, the fabric choices and the colours were a deliberate, if not clashing, way that Saunders has worked and an exact reason why I love him so.

*photos courtesy of London Fashion Week*

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: House of Holland

I am such a big fan of Henry Holland - exuberant and fun are just two of the words that I always use when describing his work. There was nothing shy and retiring about Henry's A/W collection: this was bringing the traditional , older women to the young and hip.

Mixing the old tweed with the young light silk that was printed all over with the kitsch bingo balls and budgies - it was new and inventive, fresh but without looking unwearable. Blouses were tailored like the old granny fit but were loud in their print and colours, there was a massive juxtaposition between every model that was walking.

Skirts were once again featured in that, sometimes difficult mid-shin length, full of box pleated tweed, but vamped up with the help of a wee bit of silk slip beneath - almost humorous to look at, the base style was really quite old fashioned and vintage but the printing, colours and over styling was comical and fun and very Henry Holland.

Bomber jackets were the coat of choice for this winter but with no throw back to 80's. It was an old classic with a new twist, adding some neon and patent additions. Leopard also reared its very OTT face again, in the form of sleeves, collars, and elbow patches.

There was some very cute and may I say, clever use of embellishment: Henry took the signature 'grandma' jewellery piece: the pearl, and instead of wrapping it round as jewellery, it draped itself on the actual clothing: as a hemline or a bust detail. The pearled detail was a nice added touch adding depth and told more of a story.

My favourite items were the crochet work - made to be almost like those patch-work blankets that Grandma did indeed 'used' to make. The colour use- the knitted patches, and the fact they were embellished,  was a much needed eye-opener to Henry's work. Not only can the designer be fun, but there is also some real ground-breaking ideas there. One of his best collections yet - by far.

*photos courtesy of London fashion Week*

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: John Rocha

One my favourite shows on day two was John Rocha. This was visual heave and can only imagine what some of the pieces were like to touch - it was texture, texture and more texture.

At first, the collection seemed heavy - in look and feeling. There was some heavy-duty work here: heavy, knitted and well worked wools, tufted threads and furs, textured tweeds, clear pristine see-through chiffon and shiny silks - there was so much to look at on each and every model. Jackets were fuzzy almost, but they weren't fur, it was real, genuine craftsmanship, re-working wools and fabrics to give off this animal like texture. Dresses verged on ponchos, and lines were designed diagonally, in opposite directions which almost played on the eyes to look at.

Despite being predominantly black and rather Gothic-like, there was an element of lightness coming through in the shape of silk Georgette's, wispy sheer bottom halves, and the odd spatter of glitter yarn that added a much need spark. One of my favourite items had to be the heavy metallic silver buckle platform boots - gorgeous to look, easy to walk in and added so much more to the collection than most shoes.

There was an element of simple to the collection but with the amount of textured fabrics there was nothing ordinary about looks.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: Jaeger

Initially, this collection wasn't a favourite of mine when I first watched the live-streaming, but I have been going back through it and decided that the its a good, sturdy collection. Based around working wear, it was really wearable and stream-lined. I like it.

This season was all about the business: and doing it in serious style and pizazz. The structure throughout the show was really strong and well tailored. There was a real feeling of colonial England, but was bought bang up to date with the wide selection of colours used: Once again the flamed orange and mustard colour came up trumps (pretty much like every show seen) but they were mixed well with the more traditional rich navy and jet blacks.

The coats were truly sublime to look at and I can imagine fitting you like an absolute glove. Extra long or copped there was literally every kind of coat you could want. The drama was added in the form of the collar again. With over sized pockets and lapels, full of curve and dominant use of buttons and belts to bring the looks together. It was clear to see that the coat was the main focus whilst playing down the rest of the outfit with some supremely well fitted and slim legged trouser in a a more laid-back tonal colour.

Skirts were tastefully worn either just below or right on the knee, with a little 70's flare. Peeking out under the widely textured skirts, were one of my favourite things about the show: the colour pop tights/socks teamed with the stacked heels. Once again the knits came out in full force - big, bulky and chunky, teamed with multiple of layers, but all pulled in together with a slimline belt to get away from the dreaded weight gain some knits can add. Another modern fresh touch was the silky, chiffon tops that again bought in some much needed fresh colours.

I'm now a fan, and can safely see alot of these style being worn over and over again.

*photos courtesy of London Fashion Week*

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: Betty Jackson

A welcome flash of colours from the always splendid Betty Jackson. Rocking the catwalk from the start with rich crimson and bright Scarlett it was almost refreshing to see a beginning that wasn't filled with so much black.

The use of knitwear was obvious: different styles and ways of incorporating the knitwear was one of the high points with this collection. The obviously woolly and bobbly long red dress was a real joy to look at, and lead us nicely into what we could expect. The knits themselves were not subtle, they were larger than life, created in voluminous shapes and almost over the top. Jackets seemed almost cocoon in their state but were teamed with a straighter, more leaner bottom halve. As well as mixing shapes, Jackson managed to mix the knitted textures both in appearance and weight: most of the coats/outerwear were big, bold and heavy looking knits, and when the eye shifted down there would be a more subtle, fine, lighter knit.

An almost oriental flower print was continuous throughout the collection, but more surprisingly was the use of sheer fabrics. not very seasonal to say the least. It was interesting to see how Jackson would incorporate an otherwise 'Summer' looking outfit and making it more cosy, and one of my favourite outfit's was the simple floral tea dress that was literally being eaten up by the mammoth, dark crimson, coat.

The attention to detail is what made the collection more eye-catching than most - Waist lines were smoothed down and gently falling into subtle pleating, there was no heavy or dramatic lines and the delicate, angel like shift dresses were adorned with diamond-like beading.

This was a clever collection and highly wearable in every way - Betty Jackson, I love what you do.

*photos courtesy of London Fashion Week*

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day Two: Charles Anastase

I do love everything Charles Anastase does - my favourite thing about his collections, is the air of innocence that is always played throughout. This A/W collection really moves on from his signature look, this is where the Anastase women grows up.

On first sight, the runway was dark and somewhat mysterious. We were presented with some really well made and tailored fitting pea coats, and a-line designs. The fabric choices, even from the outset, were a thing of glory: there was wool, tweed, velvet, silk and heavy knits - there was nothing about this collection that seemed simple. The heavier fabrics gave the collection a nice grounded more mature, almost stately appearance, but the heavy made way for the much more whimsical and lighter fabric choices of the slips, teddies and jumpsuits. There was some real genius moments in the collection: I especially loved the different fabrics used whilst being mixed with the texture differences on the almost scalloped embellished dress and top.

I thought that there was a heavy 70's influence still lurking around - I'm not sure if it was static style frizzed hair, the massive platform boots that were just amazing, or if it was the super wide-legged trouser. The addition of some metallic helped lend to the trend that has run since SS11.

We were given form fitting dresses again, in the way of a heavier knit, that was kept as close to the body as possible - perfect for winter and in the most eye-catching rich, exuberant cranberry colours. The knitted innocence, made way for some flirty silks: the silk all-in-one with the astronomical thigh high boots was something that added a little more interest and kept the signature Anastase girl look. Delicate pink slip dresses were covered up in the more masculine knitwear and the collar, which has never really gone away, was featured heavily in jewels.

I like the collection - it was certainly clever, and a natural progression for the Charles Anastase women I think. I would quite like to see more use of an accessory - to add something a little more daring into the mix.

Scribbles London Fashion Week Day One: Jasper Garvida

Finishing Day One, was my absolute favourite: Jasper Garvida. Already known as 'the one to watch', Jasper's designs are not only innovative, but stunning visually. They are real, actual pieces of art: in both workmanship and design.

The new A/W collection was as equally stunning as the S/S11 collection, if not miles better. The looks were dreamy, and enchanting. Each item was interchangeable throughout, but all carried along the same theme of contrast. There was so much going in the collection, so much to look at, so much colour to examine and texture to investigate - it was as if two worlds were coming to one.

Jasper is known for his print choices, but this Season, there was a real strong oriental theme feeding through - whether it was a play on the key illustration, or the rather haunting female face. As always, and as expected with Jasper, the tailoring was brilliantly well cut and structured - creating strong, dramatic lines but this season the outfits were softened and made more feminine with the drapery and choice of lengths within the skirt line. Jasper has managed to move his style on, whilst still managing to keep the essence and the talent he has shown us previously.

Along with the superb, and amazing tailoring work, the hand-embellished and textured pieces were out of this world. They commanded attention, and stole every look: Jasper managed to do what a lot of designers fail to do, and that is to team it with the more understated, but not letting go of the strong styling and structure lines. The almost prickly textured pieces made the most amazing juxtaposition between the soft, drapery and lace work that was shown alongside: playing well to his inspiration of the story 'Soie' there was a balance between what was soft and what was harder and the more fiery.

Colour schemes were another play between two worlds: we were handed the oriental, emerald greens, midnight navy's and a crimson seductive red and matched them with the softly softly rose pink and gentle creams which managed to bring a feminine air to the runway. My favourite thing about the collection was how Jasper is one of the few designers to get their balances perfectly right, whilst combining several different style and genres at one time. The looks were streamlined and well made, they were soft without being too gentle and managed to vamp the looks up with the growing trend for slits on the skirting: not just one main slit, Jasper showcased the double split, up each leg. To add even more subtle sexiness, there was exposed backs, different shoulder cuts and necklines that added a certain peek-a-boo sensuality to the looks.

I loved this collection and it was my favourite throughout the whole day - Jasper Garvida is my one to watch, and I can only hope that this kind of styling and design works carries for a long time to come.

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