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