Teatum Jones AW17: Bodies in Motion

We are living in an era when we are on the precipice of great change and we’re yet to discover where the chips may fall. It seems the triggering of Article 50 is imminent, the long term consequences of which are difficult to predict. We devour the news with compulsive veracity, in anticipation of some new calamity committed by the Trump administration. The leaders of the current wave of right-wing populism may shout about the dawn of a brave new world, but much of their poisonous rhetoric belongs in the dark ages. With increasing international uncertainty, it is comforting to know that some things remain constant. Fashion continues to strive forward, creating and innovating, despite our politicians trying to drag us backwards. However, in these turbulent times, it’s not enough just to make pretty clothes. Art should contribute to social and political discourse and Teatum Jones’ latest collection, entitled ‘The […]

Roksanda SS17: Flow and Ebb

Roksanda Ilincic is renowned for her use of vibrant colour and inventive tailoring. SS17 was a departure from the architectural shapes of the past, with billowing swathes of fabric marking a new direction for the Serbian born designer. The colour palette was muted, but still dynamic; Ilincic combined rusty red, ochre, blush pink, copper, sunflower yellow and purple to dazzling effect. Inventive sleeves have long been Roksanda’s calling card and this season was no exception. Beautifully draped from the shoulders, the sleeves were contemporary, yet also harkened back to the poets of the Romantic movement. The models were accompanied by a recording of pianist Lubomyr Melnyk, known for his ability to play “continuous music”. The undulating, flowing piano perfectly complimented the movement of the diaphanous clothes. Ilinicic has a gift for creating pieces that make a statement, but are still feminine and wearable. Although […]

Vegans in Vogue

Vegans have become a hot topic in the last couple of years. The popularity of ‘clean’, plant based food, promoted by the likes of Ella Woodward, and some high profile vegans including Beyoncé, Natalie Portman and Ellie Goulding, has made the vegan lifestyle trendy. The argument for a diet with no animal products is compelling, however when something becomes fashionable, there’s a danger that it will eventually fall out of favour. I’m not a vegan, but I see the validity of the argument. The fashion industry has a lot of answer for in terms of harming the environment and fur was over the AW16 collections. A staunch advocate of ethical fashion is Stella McCartney who never uses fur, feathers or leather in her clothes. She’s admitted that designing without leather is challenging, but McCartney’s brand has […]

Changes: H&M Studio AW16

Fashion is a contrary business, continually evolving and often breaking it’s previous rules. The last ten years or so have brought about massive change, due to the influence of social media and e-commerce. The industry used to be a closed shop, only allowing accredited insiders through it’s doors, but it’s now more open and democratic. Those without tickets can watch the shows streamed live online, and street style is a big influence on designers. The outsiders are not only allowed in, but have an effect on the clothes strutting down the runway. Even the most basic formula for how trends emerge is changing. It once trickled down from the high-end labels to the cheaper stores, but now the high street is leading the way and creating trends of its own. Topshop Unique is one of the hottest tickets in […]

Teatum Jones AW16: When Irish eyes are smiling

Teatum Jones recently won the prestigious Woolmark Prize, which is not only a stamp of approval from the industry, but also provided a $100,000 cash injection. Previous winners have been Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent. As always, Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum’s starting point was a compelling narrative. Their AW16 inspiration was Agnes Morrogh-Bernard, a heroic English nun, who moved to Ireland in the 1890s and established the Foxford Woollen Mills in County Mayo. Morrogh-Bernard helped the local people overcome the crippling famine that had wreaked misery and destitution on their community. AW16 had a sense of venerable textile heritage, with some of the fabrics manufactured at the Foxford Mills, as well as luxury mills in England, Italy and France. The collection was optimistic, with vibrant colours, hyper feminine shapes and amplified geometrics, inspired by ceramic tiles and rural Irish embroidery. It […]

The Hidden: Georgia Hardinge AW16

There are certain cliched phrases that I try to avoid, primarily because they make me shudder. However, ‘classic with a twist’ often comes to mind during Fashion Week. Although I find the expression is loathsome, it succinctly epitomises the work of some rather brilliant designers. Georgia Hardinge has always balanced wearable clothes with conceptual originality. Her AW16 collection, entitled ‘The Hidden’, was inspired by last year’s meteor showers. On first glance, one might not have noticed the galactic theme in this paired back, sporty collection. But with every step the models took, the shimmering stars nestled in amongst the pleats and subtle sculptural details came to light. Colours of the night sky were represented by shades of inky black, midnight navy, cobalt and magenta. Clever pleats and meticulous tailoring make Georgia’s clothes as desirable as they are interesting. To classify such a […]

Judy Wu: Flying High

Judy Wu‘s shows have become a highlight of London Fashion Week, and I always look forward to seeing what she’ll do next. Judy continues to celebrate strong women, and her AW16 collection was inspired by the female pioneers of aviation, Amelia Earheart and Amy Johnson; the latter being the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia. Since she launched her label in 2013, Judy has produced wonderful coats and the outerwear in this collection was no exception. The jackets, capes and coats in muted colours had a classic military feel, whilst maintaining womanly softness. Interlaced with the flight theme, were subtle references to the the powerful sexuality of the dominatrix. Wu steered away from cliched rubber masks and whips; instead bondage was expressed with utilitarian straps, PVC bustiers and harnessing details across the shoulders. Sexual allusions were balanced with billowing fabrics […]

Victoria Beckham AW16: Straight Laced

In our society obsessed with labels, people find it hard to accept that someone can progress and move on. Victoria Beckham left The Spice Girls and her role as WAG-in-chief long ago. Her self-assured, eponymous label produces collections that are chic, understated and women friendly. Beckham’s clothes are hardworking, look good on a feminine body and are great for working women, providing they have the spending power to buy into brand VB. Victoria Beckham’s AW16 show in New York focused on the idea of a re-worked corset. Thankfully, she dispensed with boning and created body-sculpting pieces in Prince of Wales check, houndstooth jacquards and skinny knitwear. The collection married boyish charm with womanly aesthetics; the masculine outerwear provided balance to the hyper-feminine theme. There were also voluminous skirts that gently swelled below the body-sculpting tops. After the show, Beckham said that she […]

Cristina Sabaiduc: Practical Innovation

I was sad and surprised to read that Jonathan Saunders’ eponymous label is shutting down. From the outside, it appeared that Saunders’ was going from strength to strength. He’d secured backing from financier Eiesha Bharti Pasricha and his last show at London Fashion Week was confident, well received and expensive to stage. The closure of Saunders’ label confirms how precariousness of fashion industry. Despite the challenges of starting a luxury brand, there are still innovative, emerging brands setting up shop. I’ve recently got to know Cristina Sabaiduc, a new designer who originally hails from Romania. It’s always exciting to get involved with a label in the early days. I think Cristina has a bright future, with luxurious, statement making clothes that are firmly grounded in practicality. Cristina started her career by knitting ball gowns from scraps of fabric and she explained how […]

Teatum Jones SS16: Fierce Femininity

The Teatum Jones show is a highlight of fashion week, Catherine and Rob (Teatum and Jones respectively) are always guaranteed to bring something interesting to the table. They scooped the International Woolmark Prize in July this year, further testimony that TJ are on their way to becoming formidable players in the industry. Their SS16 collection was inspired by Libyan peace activist and the first female African president, Leymah Gbowee. Women of towering strength and principled dignity are often a jumping off point for Catherine and Rob. The clothes are beautifully tailored for the feminine body, but rarely traditionally ‘sexy’. However, there were flashes of sheer fabric, exposed shoulders and backs. The strategic reveal was sensual and subtle, anything but vulgar. There were suggestions of African inspired prints and a few pieces in berry red that made bold, […]

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