This month the Autumn - Winter collections of 2010 - 2011 have been shown in three of the four main fashion capitals New York, London and Milan. Paris is still to come in March.
I've had a wonderful time at London Fashion Week and London Fashion Weekend and I've received so much kind help that I have launched a 'Thank You' Page in this site. Thank you!
Here are my catwalk reports, collection reviews and assorted other discoveries that I've made. An interesting aspect of LFW is the Estethica exhibit that showcases British based talents. I thought this was a really exciting part of the exhibition that runs along side the catwalk shows.
As it's my base, I begin with London. I've been running round LFW, taking in catwalk shows, the Somerset House Exhibition and the very exciting Estethica event. It's wonderful to see that British Fashion has so much to offer in so many different ways. I was also delighted to be at the BFC New Gen Award ceremony to see some bright stars of the future get recognition.
London Fashion Week 19th - 24th February A-W 2010.
Catwalk Report Maria Grachvogel Friday 19th February.
In a hall filled with light Maria Grachvogel unveiled a high glamour collection for Autumn - Winter 2010. In the front row Hillary Alexander, Erin O'Connor and Yasmin Le Bon sat alongside clients and fashion followers for the dramatic opening of the show. As thunder and lighting echoed around the hall the Maria Grachvogel woman of Autumn - Winter 2010 emerged confidently to take centre stage.
This collection showed classic tayloring at it's best. The clothes are for a modern, confidant woman with an eye for defined lines and employ the skillful use of the silhouette. There was a strong reference to Hollywood in the 1940s and models looked like Screen Goddesses on vacation, heading off to business meeting or making a Red Carpet appearance.
What I found interesting was that Maria used colour in two ways. There where very exciting classic pieces in bold colour using Black, Dark Gray, Red, Green and an amazing Saffron and there where pieces that used an amazing printed design. Swirls of Blue and and Green flowed over the models in a generous silhouette. The collection was unified by the continuation of strong design themes and formed a cohesive collection of grown up style. All of the pieces exuded movement that was cleverly emphasized by lots of rippling details and ruche. The fourth image below shows the angelic kaleidoscope print motif that she also used in several beautifully flowing print pieces.
These are five of my favourite pieces from the collection and I have to say it was a very difficult decision to get down to these five. There are also two fabulous Saffron coloured dresses in the collection that would look great worn in the day or the evening.
Catwalk Report JENA.THEO Friday 19th February.
These two designers have followed their success at Fashion Fringe in Covent Garden in September 2009 with their Silent Modes collection for Autumn - Winter 2010. Jenny Holmes and Dimitri Theocharidis launched a collection that was inspired by Silent Films, the French Resistance and the 1950s. I felt very lucky to have seen the first catwalk show from these designers on the main schedule and it full of special pieces. Here below are three of my favourites.
What I really loved about this collection was the fluidity and movement in the lines of pieces. I also liked the knitwear themes too. Comfortable but keeping long flowing lines. This collection like Maria Grachvogel's really seemed to ring with echos of old Silver Screen Icon glamour. I think this could be strong trend for later in the year and I'm going to keep my eyes open for more designers working this theme is different ways. It's a look most women enjoy and can make everyone feel great.
I think these young designers are really exciting and I recommend everyone look out for JENA.THEO, they also organise good parties! The after-show meet up was at Sketch in Conduit Street and I took a little time to unwind there after a hectic day at the shows and met the throng of JENA.THEO supporters. I hope to see a lot more from them in the future.
Catwalk Report Mulberry Sunday 21st February
Mulberry launched it's fabulous Autumn - Winter collection in the beautiful Orangery at Kensington Palace. This collection was influenced by the film 'Valley Of The Dolls', a famous neighbour at KP and the prowling Loopy Leopard. This mix of influences combined to create a collection that was dynamic, sparkling and hugely fun. The collection used luxurious fabrics to create very comfortable clothing for the day and the evening. The Mulberry girl of Autumn - Winter 2010 will be slinking along in any one of a number of effortlessly chic pieces. The beautiful creations from Emma Hill that graced the catwalk won huge applause and we where given seductive feline masks to take away for later.
I liked the colour themes for this collection. I think it's important to bring strong colour into Winter wardrobes. Colour is good for the spirit in the dark days of winter! Key Autumn colours are Black, Plum, Grape and Camel. These are set off by stunning Bright Blues, Oxblood and Metallic tones. Mulberry will be sparkling through Autumn - Winter 2010. The Loopy Leopard inspriation adds an original twist and I love the way Mulberry have used this to work a new bag trend into the collection.
Speaking of Mulberry bag trends the new Alexa bag is already sold out in the UK and the leading lady of the moment at Mulberry, Alexa herself, was on hand at the Orangery later that evening to launch the after-party. A gathering of Mulberry devotees danced the night away to the tunes of rock band Delphic and you don't need to be a mystic to see this will be a sell-out line when it hits the stores later this year. Check out the pics below.
Emilia Fox having a giggle with a Loopy Leopard. Cool refined style, Alexa Chung. Caroline Seiber looking effortlessly glamorous as ever.
A very stylish trio, Pixie Geldof, Jade Parfitt & Jasmine Guinness. The most handsome couple of the evening.
Party revelers move to Delphic rhythms.
Collection Review Mary Katrantzou
This collection really caught my eye due to the bold use of colour. The collection was influenced by the works of Fragonard and also showed the influence of later French Royal history.
Above all I loved the attention to feminine details like ruffles that created an effect of flowers and live itself really growing within the clothes. The theme of vibrant beauty at play, that many of us have seen in Fragonard's work, is very evident in this collection. This is a collection that will bring a lot of colour and youthful French chic into Autumn - Winter 2010.
Collection Review Burberry Prorsum.
Burberry produced, what was for me, an ecclectic collection that would suit a wide variety of tastes. The classic Burberry Trench was rejuvenated once more and my absolute 'must have' from the collection is probably the Blue Trench featured below. Here are my top five pieces from Autumn - Winter 2010 at Burberry. I'm leaning more in the direction of their Bohemian-esque pieces as well as a bit of 'Combat Chic around Town'.
Look 1. Look 2. Look 3. Look 4. Look 5.
I love the use of Rucing and deep colour. I think that the Black Trench Coat that combines these two elements in very clever. Christopher Bailey said that part of his inspiration of the collection came from an Aviation style piece from the Burberry archive and I think that fourth look above fits a beautiful Plum-Berry skirt to an Aviation jacket with neat inspiration. Time to raid the wardrobe of any high flying guys that you know.
I think that Burberry put together a very stylish flexible wardrobe for both Occasion-ware and exclusive Day-ware that suits women at work and play, as Ms Angela Ahrendts shows us herself.
The Estethica Launch and London Fashion Week exhibitors.
As London Fashion Week launched on Friday 19th, Somerset House also launched the Estethica exhibition.
I was delighted to see the Autumn - Winter collection from By Stamo (Elizabeth Ampatielos) who I was lucky enough to be introduced to at a Greek New Year Party. I instantly fell in love with a classic draped silk chemise in Midnight Blue. By Stamo was showing two lines for Autumn - Winter 2010. Her 'Classic Line' is themed 'Combat Dandy' (see below) and is very much the type of day and evening wear with a lot of style and character that I like.
However her creative genious really is unleashed on the 'Confusion Line'. Here two different looks are blended together to produce one whole outfit. This look is really interesting as it does challenge the way that you look at Fashion and why we wear some things for some occassions and not others. Dress codes asside Stamo makes me think we should all experiment a bit more.
Another designer that I spoke to was the lovely Georgia Hardinge. Georgia has launched a collection for Autumn - Winter 2010 called CAGE that explores the themes of bondage, contstraint and entrapment. The collection uses bold and conceptual silhouettes that create well structured clothes that are both comfortable to wear and glamourous to all eyes that light upon them.
I was very captivated by several pieces from this line. Here are a just a few amazing pieces.
Piece 1. This dress actually made me change my Piece 2. Structured dress detail illustrating Piece 3. Beautiful red Swirl Dress is working layers.
mind about one-shoulder dresses. Blue Heaven. themes of construction and restraint. My dream outfit from this collection.
Piece 4. Triangle pocket jacket. Piece 5. This purple dress uses a square Piece 6. The Jada Dress is sheer high glamour
I can't help thinking it would look wonderful on Lady Ga Ga, cut material with amazing effect. It is and I would love to see someone wearing this
or worn to a show piece event by any of us. called the 'Cube Dress'. on the red carpet.
I'm really glad that I discovered Georgia's work this London Fashion Week and it's thanks partly to the Estethica event that I did. I think her work is chic and contemporary and we are lucky to have such a strong home-grown talent. I strongly recommend that you have a look at her web site www.georgiahardinge.co.uk . I'm looking forward to seeing more from Georgia in the future.
Among the other designers I spoke to at Estethica was a lovely young lady called Sia. More to come shortly.
London Fashion Weekend 25th - 28th February 2010 in association with Elle Magazine.
I was delighted to attend the Press Launch of London Fashion Weekend on Thursday 25th September and I had the most wonderful time.
As always there was a wonderful catwalk show presented by the lovely Louise Roe that looked at the trends of the upcoming season Spring - Summer 2010. There where three main looks that have been spotted as filtering through already and these where, Candy Rock, Swallows and Amazons and Vintage Glamour. This was followed by the Spring - Summer 2010 collection of legendary British Designer Betty Jackson.
From looking at these three trends I would say Candy Rock and Vintage Glamour girl could aptly discribe the way that my Spring - Summer wardrobe is already heading.
From the Candy Rock group of outfits I liked the most where an amazing White Leather flower and tulle dress by Jasper Conran and a Powder Blue Haze Dress dress by Herve Leger (below) available at www.02oxygen.com. Another combination outfit that struck me was a Cream Silk jacket by Caroline Charles matched to a pair of Tea Rose Pink trousers by Pepper and Pistol. This series of pieces was completed by a stunning cream knit and sequinned dress by Ioannis Dimitrousis.
Here below are some of my favourite looks that the London Fashion Weekend team put together. I owe a massive thank you to Caroline and her PR team for putting me in the front row and it made it possible to see the pieces well. My pictures don't quite do this justice but I hope you can get an impression of the styles and textures.
From the Vintage Glamour by Shikasuki trends I really liked the 1950's Pink Chiffon dress with Green chrystal necklace. I used to be Green-phobic but I love it now and Light Green can match with many things. A real find was a 1970's Salmon cocktail dress by Mike Benet and my final favourite was a 1960's Black pleated cocktail dress by Jack Brian teamed up with a Box Bag (above). I'd probably seen a Box Bag or two in old films before this show but hadn't realised how fun they look.
If vintage is your thing then I suggest that you head to the Clerkenwellvintagefashionfair.co.uk site and look for the next Fair date. It is held at Old Finsbury Town Hall every other month through 2010 and is always full of hidden treasures.
I'd definatly seen a trend emerging already for very Light Pastels and for lace so I was very impressed with outfits that the team put together for this show and I think you will be too.
Lola Rose of London
As ever there was some amazing shoping to be found and I bought a beautiful necklace made from pink stone and mother of pearl from Lola Rose. Lola Rose always have something to discover. The web site is beautiful and the secret twin of A Blush of Rose I think.
Designer Nikki Gewirtz takes her inspiration from mother nature heself this season and has produced a wonderful array of bracelets and necklaces. They also do a wonderful line of silk Scalfs. Please check them out. I particularly like the us eof jewel hued Butterflies (Cleo & Angel) in their pendants and necklaces and also they use the Dove to symbolise peace and purity in their Jay line of necklaces. Please check out their web site here http://www.lolarose.co.uk/lolarose.html, it's gorgeous!
For gifts I would also suggest checking out biscuittinbakers.co.uk for bespoke party treats and the scent Luminous by Ghost, shimmering and beautiful. These where two of the heavenly treats that came my way, for which I'm truely gratful and I think you will like them too.
Somerset House is always a wonderful place to explore and as always there where hidden gems round many corners. Following the catwalk show if had vintage in mind and bought a beautiful Broderie Anglaise chemise from Anonymous by Ross & Bute.
There where many designers such as Sass & Bide and Lulu Guinness selling wonderful clothes and accessories at very good ticket prices but what I also love are the unique and unusual one off things that you can find from a small boutique in Florence or that last unique sample dress that you just instantly fall in love with. Not to mention the cut price services of Tony and Guy and Elizabeth Arden who are ready and waiting to give you a power makeover and pass on their industry secrets.
London Fashion Weekend is for Fashionista's and every woman who takes a serious interest in her clothes and accessories. I swear, everyone can find a bargain and something unusual and inspirational that you often wouldn't find on the High Street.
You can buy designer clothes for High Street prices and at A Blush of Rose that's one trend that will never go out of fashion! I think a visit to London Fashion Weekend is the perfect way to step into the new season. I'm looking forward to the next one already!
More from London Fashion Week!
Collection Review - Erdem.
This is a designer that I really saw for the first time during this London Fashion Week. I've picked out pieces from him that are really very classic. I can see from this collection and from looking back at others he plays with design ideas but still keeps things looking very neat. The product as I see is stylish clothes with an added twist with his own unique stamp on them.
Here are the pieces that I especially liked.
I'll be looking out for Erdem in September, he's one of the designers that I'd like to see a lot more from.
Copyright Angela Cliffe 2009-2010 (C)