Friday, 20 February 2009

Catwalk review: Ones To Watch

Surely you could feel the buzz that came from the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue this evening as the first day of London Fashion Week came to a close with the eagerly anticipated Ones To Watch show – the clue was in the title.

Martyn Roberts, co-founder of Vauxhall Fashion Scout commented before the show, "the Ones To Watch show is a great opportunity for exciting young creative businesses to take their first big steps in front of an international audience" and what an audience it was, including editors from British and Japanese Vogue and fashion week veteran Hilary Alexander.

As our fluency of ethical fashion progresses, along comes Edinburgh College of Art graduate, Lu Flux to help readdress the issue. Hailing from the Isle of Wight, Lu opened the show with a young collection of both mens and womenswear looks using British fabrics. The collection had a distinctly English feel as herringbone plaid was artfully clashed and used to line pockets. Key colours were ivy and faun and the knitted leggings for men are sure to keep the boys warm come next season.

Next up was Central Saint Martins graduate, Kumiko Watari with her migh-T by Kumiko Watari collection. Based on the idea of “the excitement and fear of pushing towards the unknown,” what we do know is that we all need a pair of trompe l'oeil leggings in our wardrobes. Reminiscent of Royal Copenhagen china, Watari showed a wearable collection of desirable jersey pieces with animal and hot air balloon motifs.

Breaking up the more store friendly collections was Studio_805. The brainchild of Leeds born Andrew Bannister, the nine looks presented were essentially sportswear in graphic red and white chequered prints. Walked down the catwalk to an anarchic rock music theme, one the most appealing looks was Bannister’s own; a pair of pleated trousers in a McDonalds print.

Closing the show was Royal College of Art graduate, Alice Palmer who presented a collection of feminine knits in gauges of all scales in an austere colour palette of white, black and taupe. Shoulders and hips were formed into acute points and body conscious fine knits skimmed the hips and thighs. The styling had a medieval leaning, with models wearing knitted bonnets akin to chain mail and the attention to detail on the trousers were worthy of note.

The Ones to Watch show next season will definitely be one to be seen. Dal Chodha

Images: Eddie Blagbrough

Click image to enlarge:

To view video of the show courtesy of Toni&Guy TV click here.

Catwalk review: Kling by Kling

Kling by Kling presented a spectacular gathering of weird and wonderful garments in the foyer at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. Ghostly models holding, then releasing black balloons effortlessly glided through a sea of photographers. With strong influences of graphic design the collection used garments as the basic canvas for the designer’s signature graphics. There was a mixture of elements from the circus with the top hats, balloons and clown-like make-up to a very fashionable bed-time look with leggings, stripy shirts and ties all executed in a dark, morose palette.

As for the accessories, the headwear came in all shapes and sizes from top hats to Aladdin-style plaited turbans. Shoes were reminiscent of their last collection ‘Virus’ with baubles attached to the heels - adding a peculiar edge to the look. Some of the models wore sunglasses, but of course in true Kling by Kling style they were also worn around the neck. The monochrome palette infused with small, splashes of bright, almost neon purples and reds matching the sapphire blue lips of the female models. A truly wondrous and successful display of this emerging talent. Emma Shiggins

Images: Eddie Blagbrough

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Hilary Alexander at Vauxhall Fashion Scout!

The Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander is quite taken with London Fashion Week. She’s so taken in fact, she missed three days of New York Fashion Week to ensure she could make the nine am start on the first day. “London is a fantastic place to be,” she admitted whilst admiring the homely media centre and eagerly anticipating the Ones to Watch show. “I am always fascinated to see new designers. It’s all part of that fantastic melting pot that helps new designers get to a bigger audience.” We couldn’t agree more. Louise Hemmings

Catwalk review: Alexandra Groover

Alexandra Groover’s colour palette may have been exclusively black, but the absence of colour worked in the collection’s favour. Surprisingly the mood was playful, with Groover avoiding the gloom that could so easily have overwhelmed such a collection. Her Californian roots were apparent; an evening gown with a segmented hood was inspired by shellfish whilst a dress made of long strips of jersey perfectly imitated the movements of a jellyfish. Felted wool and knitted jersey worked alongside crepe-back satin, allowing the absence of colour to work on multiple levels.

Her palette may have been dark, but Groover’s future is anything but. Louise Hemmings

Images: David Coleman

To view video of the show courtesy of Toni&Guy TV click here.

Sony VAIO announced as sponsor of Vauxhall Fashion Scout's Off Schedule Media Centre

Vauxhall Fashion Scout has itself a hot new sponsor this season in the form of Sony VAIO. It's a match made in heaven - the super sexy, sleek notebooks look right at home in the Off Schedule Media Centre, and the cutting technlogy contained within certainly makes the journalists lives easier! Fashion Scout International Director Martyn Roberts commented "it's great to have Sony on board, allowing us to offer the latest and most stylish technology as part of the media centre. London has a global appeal and the Sony VAIO notebooks will mean images and words can be transmitted instantaneously.”

In for a penny, in for a pound, Sony VAIO will also support Fashion Scout Merit Award winner William Tempest by sponsoring his show on Monday 23rd. Tempest will has collaborate with Sony to design an exclusive clutch bag for the super light new VAIO P-Series lightweight laptop. "I am thrilled to be collaborating with Sony on the launch of its VAIO P-Series laptop. It is such an exciting opportunity and fantastic that my label has been recognised by a world leader in product innovation"

 said Tempest.

Seasons of lugging around this old beast of a computer has given me a wonky back - I know what I'm asking Santa for this Christmas! Hannah Kane

Image: Vauxhall Fashion Scout Co-Founder John Walford gets up close and personal with one of the shiny new Sony VAIOs.

Street style round 1: outside Julia Smith

Name: Rena Smith
Occupation: Fashion student
Describe your style: "Urban Punk and constant reinvention"

Name: Haruki
Occupation: Stylist Assistant and intern with Alexandra Groover

Name: Hana Kitazaki,
Occupation: Fashion Assistant to Kamiko Watari
"I'm here to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere"

Patricia (designer) and Zahra (designer's assistant), both here
to see Kangst.
Describe your style: "loud!"

Name: Kirstin
Occupation: Writer
How would you describe your style? "A real mixture; eclectic and vintage with a Japanese twist but my New York roots mean I am very put together." (i.e. carefully considered!)

Name: Yuji Teramoto
Occupation: Student
Favourite item of clothing? "My vintage leather jacket!"

Words: Janis Furneaux
Images: Yumi Yoshinaga

Click on images to enlarge

Live catwalk illustration at Julia Smith

Illustrator: Victoria Lyons - BA Hons Fashion Illustration, Third Year, London College of Fashion

Catwalk review: Kangst

A perusal of the press release at the Kangst show indicated that the show would be heavily influenced by a retro perspective of the 21st Century, a homage to Barbarella perhaps?! While the eighties space-aged princess has a spot in every self-respecting fashionista's heart, it is safe to say that tin foil metallic has had its heyday. At least for now. The raising of the lights dispersed any such fears with designer Jade Kang's beautiful creations, the silhouette was an entirely feminine hourglass affair with knee-length and maxi dresses in an autumnal palette.

It's safe to say that the overall story was one of stark contrasts, with the buzzword without a doubt "texture". The collection was playful in its combination of fabrics, successfully combining lush crushed velvets with delicate chiffon, busy crochet with shiny satin, and what looked like faux fur with paisley. The finesse with which Kang married the dense with the light achieved a subtlety which given the juxtaposition of the fabrics was no mean feat and, thankfully, no silver hot-pants or moon-boots in sight. Kelly Davis

Main image: David Coleman
Catwalk images: Eddie Blagbrough

Click thumbnails below to view full size

To view video of the show courtesy of Toni&Guy TV click here.

Catwalk review: Julia Smith

Kicking off fashion week at Vauxhall Fashion Scout was Julia Smith's "Mrs White'" AW09 show, a diverse collection of masculine tailoring and elegant feminine dresses, all crafted from natural and sustainable fabrics. Luxurious hemp and silk/charmeuse was contrasted with rough hewn hemp finishes, soy and raw edged sheepskin.

Smith took inspiration from the 1920s, a period in sartorial history when clothes adapted to the changing roles of women in society. The silhouette became looser, and this was reflected in Smith's beautiful floor length digital print shifts (patterns reminiscent of those intricate spirograph images created as a child) adorned with hand painted botanical embellishments. Among the many show highlights we were particularly taken with a stunning, sweeping navy silk corset dress paired with a sailor-inspired knitted silk and button cap. The model's jaunty salute made us smile. Hannah Kane

Images: David Coleman

Click thumbnails below to view full size.

To view video of the show courtesy of Toni&Guy TV click here.

Back to black: interview with Yasuhiro Takehisa, stylist at Alexandra Groover

Once upon a time a uniform of all black was more of a style statement than a sign of being well and truly credit-crunched. So all hail Alexandra Groover, whose collection is black, black, black and has nothing to do with the doom and gloom of the depression. Groover’s stylist, Yasuhiro Takehisa explains that the black backdrop allows for the emphasis to be on the shape and structure of the clothes. “Young designers have to exaggerate everything they do in order to stand out,” explains Takehisa. Could this mean we’re doing a Winehouse and going back to black? Yes please.
Louise Hemmings

Vox pops: round 1 outside the Julia Smith show

Name: Caroline Baker.
Occupation: Fashion Director at The Mail on Sunday's YOU Magazine.
"I'd like to see space travel, really sexy outfits as a new trend set this season."

Name: Simon Ewart
Occupation: Vauxhall Consumer PR Manager
"I really liked the geometric and patterned shift dress. There was so much variation."

Name: Denis Chick
Occupation: Director of Communications for General Motors UK and Ireland.
"It's really important for us to get into the youthful arena" commented Chick who attended with his lovely daughter Bethany, stressing that Vauxhall is a design led company.

Words: Katie Coxedge

Top gear: the Vauxhall Agila

Blaze red, lemon grass, cosmic black, Moroccan Blue, steel silver and sugar white; you've heard of matching your shoes with your handbag but what about matching your lipstick with your car? Vauxhall's small and stylish Agila is not only available in an exciting range of colours, but also comfortably seats five and has flexible luggage space (perfect for all those fashionista friends and all their shopping). Then there's the electronic engine immobiliser, speed-sensitive power assisted steering, tiltable steering column and remote control central deadlocking (that's central locking to you and me). Impressive, even by Jeremy Clarkson standards. Louise Hemmings

Country casuals: the Off Schedule Media Centre at Vauxhall Fashion Scout

Just a short walk from the hustle, bustle and general fabulousness of London Fashion Week lies the Off-Schedule Media Centre, a safe haven where the glamorous can rest their tired feet, kick their beautiful yet demonic shoes off (its fashion week - comfort is not a consideration) and recharge their batteries. Literally.

In stark contrast to last season's Bedouin theme, guests are welcomed to the bosom of a warm country kitchen. Set designers are responsible for evoking a feeling of nostalgia, and the rural ambience is enhanced by wooden beams, comfy chairs adorned in chintz throws and woolen blankets. The obligatory rustic kitchen table is the heart of the space and will be a base for many a journalist this week, allowing them to type up their latest review, check emails, or grab a caffeine fix with their colleagues. Anyone fancy a cuppa? Kelly Davis.
Image: Simon Armstrong.


It's less than an hour to go here at Vauxhall Fashion Scout! Ready for the first show Julia Smith at 1.30pm there's cocktails being mixed in the foyer, goody bags are being furiously packed, models are being groomed and (very) last minute adjustments are being made to the frocks. 

The runway is finished, cocooned in protective plastic, and burly looking men are preternaturally shimmying up ladders and sorting out the lighting meanwhile legions of glamorous Vauxhall Fashion Scout assistants dressed head-to-toe black are readying the invitations.

Of course, we'll be the first to bring you reviews and catwalk images. Stay tuned! Hannah Kane