Friday, 18 September 2009

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Getting Organisation-ized: the third mentoring Salon

It may be hotter than Bangkok here in London but it didn't deter the designers from our third mentoring Salon - they arrived in force with humidity defying coiffures (thank God for hairspray) to hear guest speakers representing a variety of different organisations that all have something to offer emerging designers.

First up, Annabel Lui from Knowledge Connect. Knowledge Connect is a programme that connects small to medium sized businesses to the experts at London's universities, further education colleges and research and technology organisations. If successful you can receive £3,000 - £10,000 as a grant that pays for an expert’s time working on your project. 

Next Jason Caine from the Centre for Fashion Enterprise. The CFE is based at the London College of Fashion and is a business development programme that works with early stage fashion companies in London. They have assisted designers such as Richard Nicoll, Hannah Marshall, Marios Schwab, Basso & Brooke and Julia Clancey. 

Thirdly Paul Alger from UK Fashion Exports. The organisation can help designers to obtain grants to exhibit overseas through the Government's Tradeshow Access programme. As the export division of The UK Fashion and Textile Association they give help and advice on how to achieve sales in overseas markets.

Lastly we heard from Chris Hall and Wendy Smith from the Fashion and Textile Museum which runs a series of inexpensive summer courses and short courses teaching key skills such as Illustrator, Photoshop and Kaledo Style. In addition there are courses in handbag and shoe design - sounds fun! 

They also have space in the shop at the museum for designers to retail their work - which is well worth a visit when attempting to purchase gifts for stylish (i.e. picky) individuals. HK

Main image: Chris Hall from the Fashion & Textile Museum and Martyn Roberts, Director of Vauxhall Fashion Scout.

"Mmmm spicy" - the nachos are a hit...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Vogue, Cubed: The second mentoring Salon

Tuesday 9th June saw the second in the popular new series of Vauxhall Fashion Scout mentoring Salons - and this time we turned our attention to the topic of Public Relations.

Jessica Bumpus, Fashion Features Editor for UK and Katie Curran, Senior Account Director for Cube PR were able to present the subject from both the point of view of the journalists and of the PR.

Designers learnt what PR means, what makes a newsworthy story, how to approach the press, what can be done relatively simply in-house, and what to expect from a public relations agency should you decide to sign with one.

Thanks to everyone for braving the tube strikes - we were fully booked again! Bob Crow and his cronies are no match for our great speakers and the promise of a free tipple or two...   HK

Chris Kelly from Theatre de la Mode and Fashion Scout's Anna strike a pose.

Main image: left to right.
Jessica Bumpus (Fashion Features Editor, Katie Curran (Senior Account Director Cube PR), Martyn Roberts (Director Vauxhall Fashion Scout).  

Images courtesy Eddie Blagbrough.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Scouting for talent - designer applications are open for Sept 2009

Portfolios at the ready: Vauxhall Fashion Scout are on the look out for young, creative designers...

Applicants are judged by a selection panel of industry experts on their creativity, quality, and business development.

All designers who are invited to show with Vauxhall Fashion Scout have the costs of their shows subsidized by sponsorship programmes with Vauxhall Motors, Sony Viao, Toni&Guy, AOFM & Benefit. This programme enables Vauxhall Fashion Scout to have the highest standards of equipment and production in a great location, all at an affordable price for designers.

Top hair and make-up brands and teams are also provided free as part of the show package, along with personalized advice, a year-long mentoring programme, professional front of house and backstage teams, show DVD, VIP goody bags and much more...

Designers are also able to apply for the high profile Merit Award or to be part of the Ones To Watch show. The winner of the Merit Award will be lucky enough to have their entire show paid for!

If you think you have what it takes contact for an application form. Good luck!

Home Improvements

Vauxhall Fashion Scout has moved house! From September we will be at the Freemason's Hall in Covent Garden - super close to the BFC's new home at Somerset House. We timed it - it's less than ten minutes walk away. In heels.

Freemason's Hall is a stunning Grade II listed building built in 1927 - 33 with a gorgeous Art Deco interior, a huge catwalk space and a brand new Presentation Room where designers can show films and installations. 

Have a look at our new place!


Thursday, 21 May 2009

Vauxhall Fashion Scout's new round of mentoring Salons are up and running!

Tuesday night saw the first in the new series of Vauxhall Fashion Scout mentoring salons for emerging designers, funded by the LDA.

Sixty fashion designers packed into the Castle Pub in Farringdon to hear a brilliant talk on the topic of sponsorship by our guest speakers Jenico Preston of the British Fashion Council and Simon Ewart from General Motors.

The wine flowed, platefuls of nachos were hungrily consumed and (fingers crossed) everyone who attended will be able to use their new-found knowledge to attract sponsorship- be it financial, products or resources.

Over the next few days we'll be posting all the images of the Salon here and on our Facebook site (search for "Vauxhall Fashion Scout") - so keep checking back to see who was there!
Polaroids: Yumi Yoshinaga

Pens at the ready...

Jenico Preston (right) and Simon Ewart (middle) meet the designers.
"Free drinks you say?!"

Friday, 1 May 2009

Vauxhall Fashion Scout has a new website!

The new website for Vauxhall Fashion Scout launches today! Keep checking back to read our latest news (like the Britain's Next Top Model tour which is off to Newcastle tomorrow), biographies on designers, complete with images and information for press and buyers, information on designer applications, including those for the exciting Ones to Watch show, the latest schedule updates, and watch our selection of catwalk videos.  Our brand new London Fashion Week location close to the BFC's new home at Somerset House will be revealed soon... HK. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Highlights from London Fashion Week February 20th-24th 2009

The Fashion Scout blog is a pioneering concept by Vauxhall Fashion Scout: the first fashion week venue in London with its very own dedicated live blog! Covering news, reviews, backstage gossip, live catwalk illustrations, street style and more. In the spirit of Vauxhall Fashion Scout's pledge to support the best new talent on the catwalk, the journalists, photographers, and illustrators on this blog are all students or recent graduates who show exceptional promise in their respective fields.

As the dust settles we can look back on an amazing week, catwalk highlights included Fashion Scout Merit Award winner William Tempest's debut show (pictured), Avsh Alom Gur's dramatic eveningwear collection inspired by the economic climate and "The King and I",  and the exquisite tailoring and near-architectural structuring at Hemyca.

And, in other news:

  • We papped the fashion public in their best threads outside the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue in London's South Kensington. Are you in our street style hall of fame?

  • Check out the stunning fashion illutrations by 3rd year London College of Fashion students, drawn live at at the side of the catwalk during each show.

  • We chatted to some of the famous face in attendance at the shows, including Jasmine Guiness, Colin McDowell, Sophie Anderton, Diane Pernet, and many more. Read our vox pops here.
We'll continue to bring you news from Vauxhall Fashion Scout over the summer and in the run up to September's LFW - so keep checking back!

Hannah Kane

Image: David Coleman

Friday, 6 March 2009

Inside scoop: Benefit's make up trends for AW09

Benefit Cosmetics was one of the proud sponsors for Vauxhall Fashion Scout again this season – After the success of S/S 09 last year, I just couldn’t wait to see the key trends and make-up looks that will be hitting our streets this A/W!

As public relations officer, most of my time this season was spent backstage checking out the A/W make-up trends and setting up interviews with press. Heading up the make-up team was the lovely Rachel Wood from Benefit, who talked though all the key looks and trends for next season. Working across some fab shows including Alexandra Groover, Harriet’s Muse, Hemyca and Ones to Watch, there were definite make up trends evolving...

The two key looks for A/W are a) polished and natural and b) extremely dramatic. For the natural look, Rachel explained it's all about getting the right base this season and keeping the eyes and lips as neutral as possible. Rachel used Non Fiction foundation (1) even on darker tones to create the look of a silent film star. Rachel buffed the foundation into the skin using the Benefit mini Buffer Brush (the one that comes with Bluff Dust) and really worked it into the model's complexions. To finish the look, Rachel applied a touch of Benefit Erase Paste (1) under the eyes and onto the cheekbones in a V shape and finished with a touch of Benefit Powderflage around the eyes, nose and chin for a hint of natural brightness. Sometimes Moon Beam or High Beam were blended into the foundation to give it an illuminating effect.

For the dramatic/vampish look Rachel created a dark brooding eye - oversized and smokey - using Babe Cake liner and Town Car Cream Eye Shadow, blending the edges until it disappeared into the skin. She then brushed a touch of Snow Bunny or Nugget Lust Dusters on top of the shadow to give it a touch of shimmer texture. Strong lips were also a big hit this season- Flirt Alert and Frenched lipsticks in flaming red were popular with various designers as was Sangria lip pencil which is this season’s hot pick colour of dark plum.

The make-up this fashion week was outstanding, and I'll definitely be attempting some of these looks for my next night out!

Persephone Walton – Clark
Modus Dowal Walker PR

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Maid for fashion: the life of a Vauxhall Fashion Scout intern

Dressing the models, meeting the designers and getting a first look at the collections was what initially encouraged me to email Vauxhall Fashion Scout last August for work experience in September.

Returning this February for my second season I was already aware of what the job entailed, namely long hours (working from 5.30am until 10.30pm on the last day), a lot of hanging around in between the shows, cleaning, emptying bins as well as sweeping up cigarette butts and making sure the toilets are clean.

However, the not-so-glamorous jobs are definitely outweighed by the adrenaline pumping duty of making sure the models are changed into their second outfit in time for their return to the catwalk, as well as being able to touch and get a close-up look at the clothes before any of the audience.
Another bonus of working backstage is that it has enlightened me to exactly what preparation and hard-work goes into the shows, from watching the make-up artists and hair stylists work their magic and create fantastic creations every time, to seeing the final transformation of a tall, attractive girl, into a catwalk sensation.

If all the cleaning was done and there were enough dressers we were able to watch a show, this rarely happened, but I was lucky enough to watch Emma Bell and my favourite of the week, William Tempest (where I managed to see Emma Watson and Sophie Anderton).

My aim in life is to follow in the footsteps of Colin McDowell and Hilary Alexander and become a great fashion writer. This past week has given me a behind-the-scenes glimpse of fashion shows that I will hopefully soon be reviewing, as well as leaving with a few contacts.
All in all the hard work, lack of sleep and catching post Fashion Week flu has definitely been worth it, bring on September, when I get to do it all over again. Laura Chatterton

Image: Laura Chatterton

Monday, 2 March 2009

The rat in the hat: Q and A with Charlie le Mindu

One of the most controversial shows this fashion week was the hat and headress show by 22yo hairdresser and wigmaker Charlie le Mindu, showing (excuse the pun) on the fringe of LFW. His full face headress made from rat and mice carcasses has caused a storm in cyberspace, but we know the genteel Frenchman as the creative tour de force behind Vauxhall Fashion Scout designer Emma Bell's amazing catwalk hair. So who is Charlie le Mindu?

The Fashion Scout: Where are you from in France and how do you find yourself here in London?
Charlie le Mindu:
I'm from a village near Bordeaux, where I lived with just my grandmother, called Castelnau De Medoc. Then at 18 I moved to Berlin for 3 years which was great, but since January 2008 I'm here in London - the city that I really love and finally understands my work... There is more for me to do here and also more interesting people to work with.

FS: When did you decide you wanted to be hair stylist?
: I was saying to my mum at 6 years old I wanted to be hairstylist. I started at 13 in my uncle's salon of my uncle, which i left really quickly because I hated it, and went to work at 14 in a salon in Bordeaux where just punks were coming to get their hair done.

FS: Who or what inspires your creations?
I don't look to any magazines or any catwalk shows for that, more to do with crazy shapes that I invent myself then also lots of singers inspire me such as Grace Jones or Khima France from Kap Bambino.

FS: What's your signature cut?
CLM: I think lot of people knows me as doing massive double quiff like a Teddy Boy or the "Plonk-on" shaved side and a really short bowl haircut that looks like a wig. But I will say that my most famous wigs are the Cone wigs.

Do you have a permanent salon? Or are you doing the pop up salons at the moment?
Yes I'm working from home in my cute flat in Shoreditch. Also I'm going to people's houses and every Monday doing haircuts in Tatty Devine. I'm going to start again some club to do hairstyles at night, maybe Collapsing New People at the Macbeth.

FS: What's the idea behind the pop up salons?
CLM: I start doing that in Berlin because the first reason is that Berlin day life is boring and I wanted to have to people from the nightlife coming to me to have their hair done. Also I will never work in a salon again in my life because I think it's so not interesting. At least with the pop up salon I work with different people everyday in my life which is really fun.

FS: How did you get involved with Emma Bell?
CLM: I got to work with her because I do lots of shoots with her friend Alexis Knox who is a stylist for tonnes of magazine. And Emma Bell said to her that I was the only one she wanted to have as Hair Director for her show.

FS: So what hair did you do for Emma Bell this season?
CLM: It’s quite romantic, kind of Italian and Romanesque, it’s very sexy. It’s not as crazy as usual.

FS: Did you enjoy working at Vauxhall Fashion Scout?
I really like to work there as Hair Director- there's really good space to feel comfortable and all people from the venue are really nice.

FS: Whose hair would you love to have a go at?
CLM: I would love to do Cher a wig, I think she is so funny! And so trash!

FS: What does the future hold for Charlie Le Mindu?
CLM: I've just done my first wig and hat collection at fashion week but I prefer that everyone knows me more as an amazing hairstylist than a wigmaker. Yes, one day people will wait out front of my door to get their hair done.

Interview by Hannah Kane

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Moving on up: interview with Vauxhall Fashion Scout Directors Martyn Roberts and John Walford as LFW ups sticks to Somerset House

With the latest news that the London Fashion Week tents are pitching up across town at Somerset House next season, the foundations of both On/Off and Vauxhall Fashion Scout have momentarily been shaken, but not stirred it seems as we put it to both Martyn Roberts and John Walford of Fashion Scout International, the organisation behind the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue.

Roberts whispered, "we are excited and nervous about moving as we have grown in this venue since we started…but anything that changes is great", and there is no reason why he should be anything but excited as this season, the Vauxhall Fashion Scout noticed a surge in attendees at many of the 22 shows. "When we started six seasons ago, we had to put our interns on the seats to fill them but this time, we're lucky if we get them in the bloody hall at all!" laughs co-founder, John Walford. He remains upbeat about the move, "Vauxhall Fashion Scout isn't rooted here at Baden Powell House, we've had a great time and it's a fantastic venue and we'll be very sorry to leave but the challenge is to always keep moving and changing."

For many designers it often seems that the venue needs to speak as loudly as the clothes, however both Roberts and Walford disagree, "we don't look at the building exclusively. It may be the most beautiful, but the catwalk may be quite small. Ultimately we always look for something that will benefit the designers," Roberts replies. Walford's concerns are more poignant, "at Somerset House, there is a local thriving community around it and I think it's great to have fashion involved in a community rather than being in a sterile playground" he concludes. Dal Chodha

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Catwalk review: FAD Competition

With names on the front row like The Telegraph,, Elle UK and Look magazine, and with Grazia girls dotted about the place, the pressure was on for the fourteen design students chosen to send their work down the catwalk. The brief was simple: two outfits each, based on retro-futurism and space tourism. The garments had to enhance and respect the wearer and, of course, look like the cat's pyjamas (not literally). After a sensational show full of immense structure, a library of fabrics and all manner of shapes, colours and styles, one winner and two runners up were chosen and announced.

In third place was Birmingham City University's Camilla Kennedy, with her incredible pyramid-structured silver coat and simple red jersey jumpsuit, cinched in at the waist with a wide, black padded PVC belt.

Felicity Bagget's menswear came in at second place, being both highly wearable and imminently intersting to behold. A white coat with a high collar and masculine structure stood neatly next to some beautiful grey tailoring, fulfilling all of the brief's criteria.

The eventual winner, Anna Belen Merono (Nottingham Trent University) was announced by Dolly Jones of and Paul Costelloe - who gave a touching and funny speech about what it means to be a designer. Her uber-futuristic designs wowed the judges with their simple lines and lovely prints. First up was a clean black and white number, knee-length and with long sleeves. It skimmed the outline of the body, carefully concealing what was underneath and barely hinting at a hidden sexuality. The second was a floaty acid-coloured dress partly covered by a black armour-esque shoulder piece. Her collection both drew attention to and protected the wearer and wouldn't have been out of place on any number of high-profile catwalk shows. The perfect blend of science and art. If the award speech was right and these designers are "people of the future", then it's a future that Fashion Scout is very excited about indeed. Emma Hopkinson

Images: David Coleman
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Raising your awareness of Fashion Awareness Direct

Tonight’s FAD Charity show caps the end of an exciting A/W ’09 fashion week at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD), now in their 8th year, has given 14 aspiring fashion students the chance to compete for a £2,000 prize and top industry placement. The designers were asked to explore ideas of retrofuturism and space tourism in this year’s theme of ‘Urban Holographic.’ An esteemed panel of judges will decide the winner at tonight’s 7:30pm show.

Although FAD and Vauxhall Fashion Scout are taking center stage with the designers tonight, there are others at hand who have aided the development of FAD. One of those organizations is City Fringe Partnership (CFP). CFP supports designers, manufactures, wholesalers and retailers within London’s and creates links to enable businesses to meet the fast turnaround, short-run, and design-led demand of London and the export market. CFP commissioned FAD to join its ‘FashionAble’ programme to work with local students to show how the fashion industry can be a viable route to employment. Leigh McDevitt the Fashion Manager at City Fringe Partnership says, “CFP has always been impressed by the way that FAD sparks such enthusiasm and commitment from the students. With involvement of the industry and prestigious education institutions, FAD raises student aspirations about careers in fashion.”

Another partner with City Fringe Partnership and Fashion Awareness Direct is the London Development Agency (LDA). LDA provided £2 Million in funding to CFP in 2007 to support their fashion endeavors. LDA also supports the British Fashion Council to ensure London retains and grows its place in the international fashion market. In a recent article, LDA Chief Executive, Peter Rogers, expressed the necessity of investing in London’s fashion market as the effects of doing so are felt across many sectors from retail to tourism. Lisa Tumbarello

Catwalk review: Emma Bell

As much an experience as a catwalk show, guests were greeted in the foyer of Vauxhall Fashion Scout with cartoon-esque cupcakes that were as delectable as they were kitsch. The audience were then ushered to their seats. The lights went down and the dulcet tones of a violin filled the room, slowly becoming recognisable as the childhood classic How Much is That Doggy in the Window. A giant dog then appeared on stage with a glitter encrusted cane and high-heel shoes - the canine impersonator took off his head to reveal performance artist Scottee who joined the fiddler singing an ever more aggressive rendition of the ditty.

This opening did not dwarf the show which featured Big Brother twins Samanda and club promoter/DJ, Jodie Harsh. The models donned baby-doll faces with ensembles ranging from garments made of Perspex cut-out hearts and gingerbread men, chunky knit dresses adorned with banana motifs, South East Asian-inspired print leggings and the occasional hamburger and palm tree - and a dog tooth print for good measure. Metallic quilting aided voluminous silhouettes exaggerating hips to massive proportions, there were also cones which provided protection for arms, shoulders, boobs, bums and crotches. Contrasting the matte prints Bell used shiny metallic PVC which came in the guise of drop crotch jumpsuits. The palette was colourful as ever with pastel neons, bright yellow and blue. All of which was topped off by dog head pieces a nod to Emma Bell's experience of animal cruelty in her recent travels to East Asia. Kelly Davis

Images: David Coleman
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