A Blush of Rose

 Spring & Summer 2017

 London Fashion Week Spring & Summer 2017 part 4


 Beauty, Grace & Style 


 Tata Naka (Image credit for first seven looks to First Review)

Twin sisters Tamara and Natasha Surgurladze hail from Tbilisi, Georgia originally and founded their label Tata Naka after graduating from Central Saint Martin's College, London in 2000 using their childhood nickname Tata-Naka as a monica for their brand recalling how many friends where not able to tell them apart. Upon graduating Barney's of New York dedicated a whole wall to their inspirational designs and they have been worn by Cameron Diaz, Meena Sauvari 

and Sarah Jessica Parker and her most well known alias Carrie Bradshaw in Sex in the City. Its the unique sense of life and energy in the pieces that makes them stand out. The Spring and Summer 2017 collection was themed around the beautiful Holiday Island of Capri and its romance blending influences of the Roman era ruins and mosaics with the glamour of the 20th century Italian film industry. Indeed at their collection launch in a SoHo townhouse there where several ladies, family friends who had an active part in the film industry during that era. As always the twins created a light party atmosphere at their presentation with laughter in the air.  

It proved to be a goldmine of inspiration for the pair as look after look of beachwear from swim suits to beach suits and dresses to take you from pool to party came into view. Early looks in the collection comprised of white dresses created in a variety of styles tailored around the figure sitting off the shoulder, on the shoulder or working the cold shoulder asymmetrical trend that looks set to continue. Above the print dresses using ancient tile mosaics inspired by the Roman era and the villa St. Michele harmonise the collection with the history of the island. Centre above a deep marine blue contrasts with an athlete dancing showing the Tata Naka sense of fun, life and vitality. 

Proceeding next, three beautiful dresses offer party dress options with the two off the shoulder looks suiting formal as well as casual events and the halter neck dress a great day wear or more casual piece. The Octopus symbol, the ancient representation of sea live and hints of maritime adventures plays across the surface of the fabric and above in the centre in raised golden embroidery makes a statement on the sweater style  top matching the dress. To the right one of my favourite pieces of the collection I would like to give a home to, the Octopus swim suit is a piece recalling the sea that you can wear swimming anywhere to recall the hot shores of the Mediterranean. 

Above to the left a swimming suit style easy dress highlights the care free ease of time spent on the shores of the Mediterranean island during the relaxing days of Summer. The rich umber colour of the outfit also recalling the light of early sunrise and sunset evokes the ceramics found around Capri who's shapes and curves influence much of the collection. A swimsuit top encrusted with beading and threadwork channels some of the historical aspects of design on the island. Lose wide leg trousers and a soft jacket top make a relaxed day wear option for spending time by the coast or just relaxing on through the summer. The white dresses above continue to play with curves and shape around the figure and whites are always a smart addition to your summer wardrobe. To the right you can see how floral prints and bold colour mosaic squares add an extra hint of the floral life to be found around the island. They also hint at contemporary crafts that you can find for sale across Capri and natural bright wildlife that you can see across the cliffs and coastal terrain. 


The print dress above to the left adorned with prints of fish designs recalls the maritime heritage of the islands in the form of a beautiful light dress with tied front sash. It's an easy to style piece that also gives a small nod to the Jet Set image of Capri as a care-free haven. Another loosely tied shirt dress emphasises the casual options amongst the looks, while playful mermaids appear at the shoulders of an open collar top that could also be matched with jeans and leggings. The close-up detail of fish scales makes a cheerful print design on a flowing shirt dress and swimsuit and in harmony with the aquatic life around the island. To the right Roman dancing girls provide a pretty chorus of colour and that sense of fun I keep talking about with this pair Tamara and Natasha. Using simple off the shoulder style or straps, these looks have character but the prints aren't over powering and you will make a fun statement wearing them. Teamed with a woven straw, fabric or denim bag they are perfect for pleasure wanders in the sunshine and can also be dressed up with designer and vintage purses too to up the glamour factor for the evening.       

More styles are explores with differing colour themes and a soft granite grey echoing the islands rocks used in the design of a dress and also a light Spring-Summer coat. Dresses showing the waist with their sash tied tops are perfect for the hottest days. As as ever the twins brought out a collection showing their bold use of colour and fine attention to detail in cut and styling. For me their hall marks are fun, sophistication but never taking themselves too seriously. Below you can see a shot of the Canforna Capri sandals that where made famous by Jackie Onassis in the 1960's.          

With subtle colourful ceramic jewels these light shoes are lightly crafted around the feet and and extra way to express colour and Capri is famous for it's leather sandels worn since before roman times. I'd be very happy to be dancing across the sands in Capri this Summer.             

Belstaff -  Time to hit the trail for an adventure!            


Temperley London 

Alice believes in colour and uses it to translate dream-like ideas into a wearable fashion reality. Boldness and femininity go hand in hand very overtly with soft fabrics and shapes continuing the established soft long-line approach that Temperley has built it's reputation around over the last two decades.          

Isa Arfen - beautiful design for girls itching to explore.

This was at least my interpretation of the Isa Arfen muse this season as the models that we saw played out their characters in an abandoned warehouse space in East London. Coming on day five this was one of the most anticipated shows of the closing day of London and well worth being here for if you havn't been billeted to Milan by your editor. After climbing to an attic that had become a home Isa Arfen's muses the collection revealed to be well worth the hike and created an buzz.     


TOGA Archives

TOGA is one of the brands that fashion looks to for an insight into what conceptual designs look like for the new season. TOGA is the concept of japanese


Belstaff are a heritage brand that is serious about bringing itself as bang up to date and into the 21st century as you can imagine. They certainly have the knack of creating clothes that express the feel of the Great Outdoors taking inspiration from the brands origins as an outfitter for the RAF and Royal Navy.

This season saw more than a nod the to the era of 1950's America and brought to mind images of seminal James Dean pictures of beautiful youth, leather clad on a classic motor bike ready to take on the expanses of the American West. This season saw the Spring Summer line also include a capsule collaboration with Liv Tyler that broadened appeal still further to the female buyers of the uni-sex brand. With a large flagship store now installed on London's New Bond Street Belstaff looks here to stay.             

Belstaff X Liv Tyler             

Easy style - a look from Belstaff X Liv Tyler             

Belstaff focus on adaptable styles in this collection looking at options for both casual and semi-formal looks. A utilitarian denim dress above to the left is comfy and well tailored with plenty of scope to accessorise and could easily find it's way into the travel case. To the right, the cream mid-calf dress blends 'Broderie Anglaise' and 'Prairie Girl' style with a contemporary feel. Offering easy dress-up potential with smart shoes, a jacket and clutch purse to wear for drinks in the Summer or just as easily be take out on hazy summer days in the country, it ticks the staple box. We've nearly all had a checked lumber shirt in the wardrobe at some point and Belstaff showed a cropped short sleeved version with a white shirt peeking out from underneath with ruffles giving a vintage feel to the retro bohemian vibe. Faded worn-look denim jeans with sewn badges taken from the aviator jacket add a playful retro twist to the look. A relaxed blazer dresses up mid-calf jeans and a half striped jersey just a touch for a very versatile work/play look. Relaxed would be the key take-away motto for this collection 'easy rider' style.    

One of my two favourite looks from Belstaff X Liv Tyler including the denim dress above.             

All looks in this row Belstaff X Liv Tyler             

Liv looked to have grasped the core of the Belstaff identity and came up with some female-friendly shapes in the form of printed fabric jump suits that work well with an interchangeable selection of the jackets from Belstaff X Liv Tyler. The jackets are all light enough for summer but do give wind and rain protection that the northern hemisphere summer weather asks us to think about. Cape-style wide sleeves, a leather jacket and a variation on the raincoat are stand alone separates that speak for themselves and styled to sit comfortably on the figure. It's innovation but not a huge style leap to confuse the brand.      

A teal skirt and jacket suede suit with light blouse looks good on most complexions but particularly stunning on the red haired model. Light but able to shield the early breezes of spring or cool nights, it's a perfect day-to-evening look adding a twist of prettiness with the pussy-bow tie at the neck. The white sleeveless belted shirt dress strikes the balance between utilitarian and feminine while a more overtly masculine adaptation next to it brings silver trousers together with a biker jacket adaptation featuring the stars and stripes. Footwear also features across the collection from boots to basketball trainers and sandals with a comfort factor looking notably present. To the right comfort fit jeans and a soft satin vest transition a day time look for an evening adventure of escape, rucksack included.            

A defining combination of red motorcycle trousers and black and white lumber check woolen coat (on the wish-list) again show Belstaff transitioning their masculine brand key-notes into a more gender neutral style. This light coat is warm enough to keep you cosy but thin enough to pack away easily too when you're on the move. Desert colours captured a key part of the collections' mood and to the right sand and rock colours appear in coats, skirts and trousers. The biker style signature mixes it's vibe with cool urban wear in the long trenches and tailored skirts and shirts that are likely to appear in cities around the world next season. There is a definite trend within the collection that many pieces could be bought in isolation to work with garments clients already have, which in the current economic climate is a good asset to have in itself and subtly speaks to the practical utilitarian feel that the label conveys.             

How popular all in one bike-suits will be amongst clients next season may be a little debatable but in terms of selling the concept of freedom, the open road and open sky is, it illustrates the brand identity very neatly. The Belstaff personality is bold, confident and international like's it's clients and as I mixed and spoke with the guests at the presentation, it was apparent that this brand has hit the bulls eye in terms of channelling it's chosen market. Olivia Palermo joined us to see Liv's new work and network with industry friends, saying a quick hello to me, and highlighting that Belstaff has some serious momentum behind it now and is somewhere where the right people in fashion want to be seen. The look furthest to the right with it's layered dip hemmed skirt and soft leather jacket, shows that they can capture 'something for everyone' appeal without losing the key brand themes. Although the collection perhaps leans more towards the Belstaff girl this season, there's plenty to keep the faithful happy from 'Team Belstaff'.                 

This season's collection saw the Temperly girl and her style tribe headed for the Summer festivals opening with a midi dress in prophescy print bringing Alice's customary bold flare to the catwalk with a waistcoat and vintage scarf adding the hint of borrowed from the boys while looking ultra-feminine. The muse is dreaming of sunsets and beach parties and Temperley's customary long flowing shapes engaged a fiesta spirit. The V-neck Papaya in lush vibrant red with flemenco fringe detail hints at parties on distant shores with the long lines channelling a Moroccan 1970's nostalgia influence brought up to date with Alice's style and designing techniques. It's easy to see why her clothes are a dream for editorial shoot sessions as the detail is openly captivating to the eye and adds a touch of magic against any setting. Center above bias cuts and peplum detail frills in bright tropical colour create a desirable Summer party look showing that Alice has broad scope beyond print design and create looks speaking purley in colour. The Rust coloured fairyqueen playsuit looks like a dependable party hit with the desert coat of many colours sitting on top making a bold texture and colour contrast. The top and skirt combination to the right shows the maxi dress style works very well in blouse form as part of two complimentary pieces.            


This season's colour palette is soft enough to allow contrasting patterns such as the almond mix of the top and desert mix of the charm skirt and hermia jacket to blend without over powering the wearer. The sound tracks of the summer playlists are referenced in the 'mix' colour themes neatly blending the audio and the visual into one. The Chimera dress close fitting and sexy is a playful piece to add to the wardrobe with the contrasting charm trench it captures the dream like qulaity that Alice's girl is embracing on her journey this season. Again there is mix and match scope for buyers who want to put together a more reserved version of the look. There's little as carefree as denim and the jumps suit center above captures the feel of ease that a happy traveller has. If you wanted to wear this on a summer evening I would suggest going out with a light denim jacket, any colour, or a large pashmina to keep wrapped up in the early hours. It's a charming piece with embroidery detail reminiscent of north Africa and India and a thousand desert adventures.

The knit dress to the right channelling the dip-dye look of the 1970s is an easy wear flattering style that you can take anyway. Options for casual wear or matching with a smart jacket either the Hermia denim piece here or something else to dress up the look are plentiful. This denim jacket with it's embroidery detail and sash tie waist reminiscent of silk night gowns adding the feel of luxury evening elegance to the the look. Taking a step closer to formal wear the outfit to the far right of chimera pattern blouse and royal pink skirt with peplum waist detail are perfect cocktail party glamour pieces with glimmer and shimmer.     


Beautiful houses in naive cartoon style adorn the print of the dress and skirt above to the left showing a cheerful curiosity and memory of travels. The soft colours echo the pastel walls of houses in sunny lands and the nymph dress to the left with it's peplum detail will also pack well for travel. The pistachio top and nymph skirt make another easy combo for evening drinks or parties in the summer adding colour and character to your wardrobe. These are confident looks with the floor length chimera dress almost telling a story across the surface of it's fabric making a bold melody across the figure but not over powering. If you wish for a jacket or wrap to go with this, I would suggest a single colour piece that would emphasise the beautiful design work. The ruffle dress to the right using the same design themes but a different cut from the repertoire show Alice has found huge potential scope within her themes.

To the right the white dress is a first in a series that uses design motifs that perhaps reference bronze age Greece and Knossos. Like the outfit second from the left it's a teeny bit more suited to cocktails or a summer evening dinner but wherever you feel happy you can wear a dress that speaks to you. Alice shows here that she's well aware that some of her clients will be looking for more conventional form and shape but with the quality of sewing and finish that isn't always around on the high street. Pin tuck flare detail at the lower sleeves and in the length of the skirt offering more volume echos the Spanish traditional style of dress.   


The headlong romanticism of the Armour shirt dress and lysander waistcoat in white above with it's hints of red embroidery cannot be denied. It's pure Alice magic at it's best. Fringed crochet style embroidery hints at traditional lace craft and warm summer days exploring markets. The peplum dress in white with it's muti-coloured patterns again sees Alice and Temperley possibly reaching out to capture the romance of echos of bronze age pots and paintings. The black mix print of the wildflower dress and the chimera top and fable shorts and coat dress add a stronger presence for an evening wear look and with hints of luxe sleepwear in the silk shorts and robe look. Somehow a travel themed summer collection from Temperley wouldn't be complete without a kaftan and the jacquard print piece with sash tie at the front in black, magenta and green in precise geometric design channels to the heart of contemporary luxury.  


A slightly more reserved look it offered by the dress far to the left in the throne ruffle dress in crystal mix print. For parties, dinners, dates or engagements in front of the camera this will stand many clients in good stead.  Suited to more formal occasions pieces that will also suit more with a swing in her stride took us all along with her.

The fluid lines of the tie dress in royal pink have a shimmy and sway that breathes the romanticism that Alice looks to capture in her designs. With elongated rara skirt detail and embroidery at the shoulders and sleeves it's another romantic dream piece. To the right the fantasia dress takes hints of island home spun from far away places and transforms it into high ready to wear with the help of the Temperley wand.

To the far right a piece that has gone on my wish list (I know I shouldn't talk in the first person but slip my editor cap off here for a few minutes). The gold dot dress in royal pink is a simple piece playing with hints of empire line and 1970's Bohemia to create a romantic memory of Alice's nymphs dreams from the other world.           

Playing with abstract swirls and stripes across the surface of dresses looks in black and white opened the collection offering scope for Summer fun. As the models interacted braiding each others hair and a series of very wearable light contemporary outfits came into view. It's trendy and not exclusively young that gives it a kick of energy that attraacts attention but won't turn away clients across a couple of generations. Lose lines agreeable to different figures coupled with a playful designesthetic including cut-away detail remeniscent of childhood paper games in skirt lengths and and the jacket above center. This look with wide leg clay trousers and black halter bodice is very wearable either in the day, for relaxed work environments or for drinks in the evening.

The black and white dress with dipped hem cut on the bias could be worn vertually anywhee in the warmer months. You could dress it up with a jacket and hat for formal occassions and or with a straw hat and large beach bag for heading to the beach or sunshine walks. There's an early riock and roll era look to some of the collection with pedal pusher trousers and bandeau tops re-styled in Isa Arfen's not-quite offbeat style.      

Slightly oversized jackets sitting losley on the shoulder emphasise the mood of ease of style. All this laid back understated cool was, however, offset by the quiet tension in the room created by the characters and the repetative domestic chores that they carried out. Tense, distracted an almost on the point of the meltdown that many women in the days of confined housewifery expereinced these where trapped souls. Perhaps t's looking too deep but the nostalgia we have for designs of an earlier era conveniently overay the reality of hum drum life that contained many of the women who wore them and perhaps here Isa Arfen was also saying 'don't forget' to us. But back to the clothes. Tthe colour palette is bright with art influences exploring shape and form and in a accessible style. Trousers with pressed lines echoing a masculine style are tamed by colour and echoed in the femine softness of detail and pattern.   

Many style adaptations thoughtfully executed marked innovations in this collection. The dress to the left with it's gauzey ruffles at the sleeves in a reversal of the swirling coloured print theme design shows the hint of challenge in the design ethos. To the right two interesting looks in fern green and printed florals offer muted alternatives.

A double front bow is a fun innovation to the summer top with ties at the breast and at the waist. While the colour palette wandered from bright primary colours through to natural earth tones and saccharine pastels there was a common style threme through the collction itself.

Whether stripping back blooms, shredding peas or shelling nuts and experiencing a domesticity that was anything but bliss the women of Isa Arfen this season had comfort and exploration through their clothes and to take them on dreams beyond their day to day lives. Something that we must be thankful to experience for ourselves in real life.  

designer Yasuko Furuta. The word TOGA in it's roots means sacred robe and Furuta aims to express the sacred nature of clothes through her designs. She's interestsed in energy and transmission of energy with mitichondria the 'energy pack' of the human cell appearing as a motif in several of her collections. This season shapes and forms explored further while still producing the trousers, shirts and dresses that have the sir of international ccontemporary chic about them. There is something of the contemporary art scene here and you could expect to see looks by TOGA archives being worn by gallery assistants in contemporary galleries around the world. Furuta is exploring the different stages of outfit construction building layers of energy and colour to clothe the sacred female figure.   


The high ideals of conceptualism in Futura's work should not distract from the high degree of skill and mastery in the tailoring and construction of the garments in her collections. Center above multi layers of plaid and gingham blouse with ruched elbow detail are carefully cut, studied design styles that play on traditional british country clothes designs. Next to the right an evening outfit is comprised of a black pleated hem and cream silk outer layer. The rippling fabric of the upper garment contrasting directly but in a balance to the skirt. The two dresses to the right over very different silhouetes that will make an entrance in a lesser or more noticable way. All three pieces could make quite a statement on the red carpet or at a party in the summer.    


The look above to the left is an example of the simplified style that TOGA create that is readily wearable for summer by any girl. Accenting the waist and showing the gentle curves of the figure across the shoulders and collar bone it's a quietly romantic look. Trousers and tailoring are strong features of TOGA with a gender neautral approach meaning that both traditional sense and contemporary sensibility is embraced in one. Clothes balance comfort with every ounce of conceptualism that creates a oneness that celebrates the sacred in it's own unique and special way. There's an irony in such a future facing brand being known by the name 'archive' when it points to the future in such a unique way.