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 […]

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 […]

Amazing Grace

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is unsustainable; we manufacture and consume far too much. In recent months, a number of top designers have left their highly coveted jobs, Raf Simons at Dior, Alexander Wang at Balenciaga and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin. It’s clear that something isn’t working, the yearly show schedule is overwhelming, with the giant houses releasing six collections a year. Where the big guns go, the high street will follow. There’s a slow but sure shift in the way we buy clothes, more people are choosing to invest in key items that will stand the test of time. I’ve recently got to know Lisa Redman, a London designer who creates contemporary clothes in the manner of a heritage couturier. Lisa’s studio in Ladbroke Grove is an Aladdin’s cave of exquisite fabrics and shimmering embellishments. […]

Georgia Hardinge SS16: A sign of things to come

During fashion week, I often think about the logistics and cost of running a successful label. It’s not enough just to produce beautiful clothes; designers have to balance fashion-forward ingenuity with commercial imperative. Georgia Hardinge’s SS16 collection struck the sweet spot between wearability and creativity. I’ve been a fan of Georgia’s sleek aesthetic for a long time, and her latest offering is the strongest so far. Inspired by signs of the zodiac, the collection featured laser cut motifs of Scorpio, Cancer and Gemini, as well as Hardinge’s trademark sculptural details. The pleats deserve their own mention, creating sweeping romanticism whilst maintaining the clean lines synonymous with Georgia’s work. The angelic maxi-dresses in ivory would be a beautiful choice for the modern bride. I have no doubt that Georgia Hardinge’s brand is on the upward trajectory that her talent deserves.

Delpozo SS16

Fashion is often arch, knowing and cynical. This results in edgey collections with complex, multi layered meaning and references.  This is all fine and good, but sometimes it’s pleasant to take a break and enjoy fashion that’s simply beautiful. Joseph Font’s SS16 offering for Delpozo was dripping in old school haute couture values, with a generous splash of fairy-tale whimsy. The collection was inspired Emilie Flöge, Viennese bohemian, fashion designer and muse to Gustav Klimpt. The clothes were shamelessly pretty and feminine. The collection offered little in the way of casual, pragmatic pieces. But what it lacked in utilitarian ease was made up for in dreamy romanticism.

Lucy Choi

This week I had the pleasure of visiting shoe designer, Lucy Choi, in her West London studio. Lucy couldn’t be lovelier and her studio is jam packed with gorgeous shoes. Needless to say, I was like a kid in a candy store. Lucy comes from a line of shoe royalty, her uncle is Jimmy Choo and her sister, Sandra Choi, is the Creative Director of J. Choo Limited. Lucy studied business at university and spent the first 8 years of her career working in the city, before starting out in the shoe industry. She went on to be the managing director of French Sole before setting up her own brand. In three short years her label has grown exponentially, stocking in Net-a-Porter, matchesfashion.com, Harvey Nichols, Fenwick of Bond Street, to name but a few. What I love […]

Ekaterina Kukhareva: Fruits of the Loom

I recently had the good fortune to visit Ekaterina Kukhareva in her London Studio. The Ukrainian knitwear designer studied textiles at Central Saint Martins and worked at Temperly London before launching her own label. Her SS13 collection hit the ground running with vibrant colours and textures, which have since become Kukhareva’s calling card. This dress from her AW15 collection is a great example of Ekaterina’s use of colour, texture and structure. The softly padded skirt gives the knitwear shape and elevates the dress into a potential evening dress. What I find extraordinary about Kukhareva is that she manufactures her own textiles. She has an industrial loom in her studio that she uses to produce her designs. Along with the structured knitwear, Ekaterina makes flowing gowns and skirts that are as light as chiffon. Because she is […]

The Portrait in the Attic

I’ve been a fan of Self Portrait since it’s genesis last year. The collections are bold, edgy but with a feminine spin that makes them flattering and wearable. I’ve invested in a few pieces from the brand, they pack a serious designer punch at a more affordable price. I’ll be turning to Self Portrait for an original take on christmas party dressing, a jumpsuit or a full skirted dress will stand out a mile from the generic, sequined frocks.