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 […]

Ekaterina Kukhareva SS17: Nereids

Ethereal lightness and sports-luxe aren’t adjectives that often sit together, however Ekaterina Kukhareva’s latest collection married the two aesthetics to a lovely effect. The presentation was set against the art deco background of the Bronte Restaurant, which reminded me of a 1930s cruise liner. Entitled ‘Nereids’, after Greek mythological sea nymphs, Kukhareva’s delicate ruffles suggested undulating coral and drifting jelly fish. The pastel colour palette was punctuated with olive green and splashes of squid-ink black, which added balance to the sugary prettiness.  The tailoring was slouchy and relaxed; whether it was the luxe pyjamas or the full length gowns, the collection had all the breezy whimsy of a sunny day by the seaside. The sea will be a huge trend come spring next year, and many designers made oceanic references in their collections. However, Ekaterina’s spin on the trend was unique to her elaborate, yet wearable look.  

Judy Wu SS17: Curve

One of the things I love about London Fashion Week, is having the chance take a close look at the clothes and talk to designers about their work. Judy Wu’s latest collection was a beautiful combination of sports-luxe and exaggerated femininity. Entitled ‘Curve’, Judy took inspiration from architecture that blends structure with generous arcs and contours, mimicking the female body. The pieces were beautifully constructed, with classic vintage-like tailoring, complete with nipped in waists and boxy, elegant jackets. I loved the skirts layered with petal-like layers of chiffon, that gently fluttered in the breeze. Judy’s zingy colours served as a palette cleanser, which will be most welcome come spring time. Technically, a fashion journalist should analyse a collection with cold impartiality, dissecting the designer’s work without personal bias. When I’ve written for other publications, I’ve tried to apply equitable journalistic integrity. However, when writing on my […]

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 […]

Street Life

When I started going to London Fashion Week, I dressed for the benefit of the street style photographers who swarmed around Somerset House. Sometimes my look would get a lot of attention, which gave me a fleeting feeling of validation. But it was a bogus compliment because later the same day, I’d rock up at a different show in the same outfit and the LFW paps ignored me. When I go to fashion week now, I dress for myself and I don’t worry about the endorsement of a bunch of strangers. Sometimes they take my picture, sometimes they don’t. Either way is fine by me. On a side note, I think the street style photographers have a harder time getting their shots, since Fashion Week HQ is in the Brewer Street car park in Soho. The junction between Lexington, Brewer […]

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 […]

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, […]

Judy Wu SS16: Ode to the Power Woman

There are some designers who’ve been on my radar from the beginning of their careers. I’ve been a fan of Judy Wu since I saw her first line, hanging in the showroom of a PR firm I was working with back in 2013. Since then, Judy has gone from strength to strength with each collection becoming more assured than the last. Named after the Greek goddess Gaia, Wu’s SS16 offering was an ode to feminine strength and Mother Earth herself. Sports luxe details were coalesced with undulating pleats and vibrant prints. The faux sweatshirts tied around the waist added to the sense of movement and physical fitness. There were flashes of rose gold and silver that injected nonchalant glitz and contrasting texture. Wu interrogated easy going fluidity, which is a new direction as much of her previous work […]