Sunday, 22 February 2009

Catwalk review: Victim

Mei Hui Lei’s Autumn/Winter 09 collection did not disappoint, models were let loose, strutting amongst the perching spectators, so close in fact you could literally smell the old, vintage trimmings, ruffles and lace that the models were adorned in. The collection encapsulated a sense of romance and Victorian glamour. Models were drenched in beads, pearls, sequins and sparkling diamonds; long sleeve gloves with intricate ruffles and stitching. Legs were wrapped up in ripped and shredded tights, tied with strings and their height accentuated by killer platforms and thigh high boots adding a touch of sex appeal to the look. The intense layering of the vintage fabrics gave the garments life and movement. Colour was kept to a predominantly monochrome palette with elements of pink, burgundy and red. It was the detailing of this collection that made it a hit.

As for the make-up, models sported pale looks spiced up with red Geisha style lips that matched their glossy red nails and huge, backcombed hair appearing fairly spooky but elegant.
The finale of the show saw the diminuitive Mei Hui Lei stomp past the long-legged models standing draped in her designs, dressed in luminous pink and gold ruffles where she was applauded immensely by the satisfied crowd. Emma Shiggins

Images: Eddie Blagbrough

An Illuminated View on Blogging

“I think that the most creative designers all come from London but it’s almost the step sister of other fashion cities,” laments Diane Pernet from her blog A Shaded View on Fashion, “I don’t know understand why people keep passing London by; so many fashion buyers don’t come.”

London might not be getting the attention it deserves but blogging certainly is, and Pernet can’t help but think that this is a good thing: “it makes fashion more democratic because before it was something kept for 250 people who were privy to going into the show. It created a certain distance between fashion and the general public. Now having a blog means that anybody everywhere can see what’s going on.” Long live London, and long live blogging. Louise Hemmings

Image: Katie Coxedge

Review: Olanic

It was shoulder-to-shoulder waiting in the Vauxhall Fashion Scout foyer for the Olanic presentation. Once the lights dimmed and the pop music was turned up, the inspiration for the show was immediately clear. The theme of the collection entitled 'Mirror Mirror' was clearly portrayed in a mixed media video and the clothes presentation. The video featured a montage of images reflected in mirrors interwoven between clips of models demonstrating the symmetry of the collection.

With the video playing in the background, one by one models appeared on stage wearing mini-dresses featuring tulip-shaped skirts, cape-like draped tops and cinched waists. The black colour palette was mostly matte, but did offer a pop of reflective shine in the form of precisely placed sequins and shattered mirror pieces - reminscent of the work of sculptor Andrew Logan. Accessory wise, a beautiful clutch made of the same smashed mirror pieces caught our eye. For the most part it was a very wearable collection that would befit anyone young-at-heart for a glamorous night on the town. Lisa Tumbarello

Main Image: Simon Armstrong
Additional Images: Eddie Blagbrough
Click to enlarge:

Live catwalk illustrations

Illustrated by:
Kyuah Chae at Nico-D

Anastesia Vodennikova at Hemyca

Catwalk review: Louise Amstrup

Currently reeling from opening Copenhagen Fashion Week this season, Danish born Louise Amstrup was nothing if not enthusiastic backstage, exclaiming "it's mad but I'm so excited!" The inspiration for her AW09 collection was suitably Tina Turner in Mad Max 3, "the idea of a strong woman in a post apocalyptic world." Naturally the focus was on shoulders and hips, and was anything but mad.

Amstrup defined her femme warrior vision this evening with strict leather sleeves jutting out from chiffon tops and geometric panelling adding a stern silhouette to leggings and jackets. Severe pleat details were contrasted with draped chiffon ruffles in a colour palette of mainly grey, black and taupe - with the occasional burst of acid yellow and orange. Further contrast came in the way of the printed panels inserted into dresses and skirts. The prints, created by layering plastic bags over a scanner, were inspired by the photorealist paintings of Gerhard Richter. Plastic bags never looks so luxe. Dal Chodha

Images: Eddie Blagbrough
Click to enlarge:

Backstage at Olanic and Victim

Images: Simon Armstrong

Vox pops: round 4 outside HEMYCA

Name: Nicky Hambleton-Jones
Occupation: Stylist
What did you think of the show?
"I loved the show, the cream coat and the red floaty dress which was
made for me. I loved the edgy tailoring, it's wearable and it's sexy,
it embraces the female form which is brilliant. Wearable for any age,
you could funk it up or be really classic with it, amazing pieces you
can keep in your wardrobe, they are timeless. I am wearing them today,
loved the label for three years now, I did a shoot with their stuff
recently and I just absolutly love it, it's just great."

Name: Robert De Neit
Occupation: Art Director, What Magazine
What did you think of the show?
" I really loved it, the structure and the shape. The shoulders were
amazing, it was really good, I was really in love with it."

Name: Tiffany Hsu
Occupation: Buyer, Feathers Boutique, London
"I'm here to see Louise Amstrup and I also saw Ones To Watch on Friday. Vauxhall Fashion Scout is good for fresh talent"

Words: Gemma Winter and Dal Chodha

Street style round 5: outside Louise Amstrup

Name: Victoria Bolton
Occupation: ASOS Assistant Buyer
What direction do you see British Fashion taking in the future?
"I see designers becoming niche, branching out and generally being more individual"

Name: Hiroko Skinner
Occupation: Housewife

Name: Fiongal Greenlaw
Occupation: Menswear Designer
What inspires your style?
"I am a real traditionalist, these are 1950's trousers, I'm bored with skinny jeans and usually I wear trousers right up to my belly button."

Name: Jen Deighton
Occupation: Art Director Toni and Guy
What inspires your creativity?
"Often I am influenced by the predicted trends of the season i.e. shape, silhouette and texture,"

Image: Yumi Yoshinaga
Words: Janis Furneaux

Catwalk review: Hemyca

As the lights dimmed and fashion babble quieted down the first model took to the runway, hair slicked back, metallic paint around her eyes and strutting in time to the Arctic Monkeys' "505". Already in possesion of a fierce reputation for exquisite tailoring and near-architectural structuring, perhaps the brilliant garments shouldn't have been a surprise. Even so a heady mix of leather, lace and body-skimming, thigh circling attire caused those watching to break into rapturous applause.

Lace panels slid down the backs of heavy and huge-shouldered tops, PVC snuggled up to the collars of coats and voluminous harem pants accentuated tiny waists beyond belief. And it didn't stop there. There were full-length, red satin skirts and structured, layered, tiered backs of dresses. There were beautiful pelise-like coats and PVC gloves. Blouses were knotted at the front, sleeves were bell-shaped and shoulders were either exposed in bandeau-styles or protected in triangular shapes that could have stepped straight out of the 80s. After the incredible reception the show recieved, designers Myra Nigris and Helen Clinch were over moon, telling The Fashion Scout "we really love this collection and just wanted it to be fun". Hemyca is a amalgam of the seemingly disparate, managing to combine power and femininity in every single garment and pulling it all off with perfect aplomb. Emma Hopkinson

Main Image: Eddie Blagbrough
Catwalk Images: David Coleman

Click to enlarge:

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

Vox pops: round 3 in the Off Schedule Media Centre

Name: Simon Ewart
Occupation: Vauxhall Consumer PR Manager
Why Vauxhall Fashion Scout?
"The reason we support this is because it has such a varied mixture of design and ultimately, it's about style. It's the biggest off schedule venue aside from London Fashion Week [BFC tents] and going forward, obviously we want more talent and also to confirm the Vauxhall Fashion Scout as the place on the map for real emerging talent."

Name: Monica Cattorini
Occupation: Director for Istituto Marangoni, London
How should graduates view this economic climate?
"This economic climate could also be very good for students, we should be positive! It's my first time at Vauxhall Fashion Scout and I'm here to see Hemyca. They have worked with our students on a project before so we are here to support them."

Images: Katie Coxedge
Words: Dal Chodha

Street Style round 4: outside Nico-D

Name: Joe Miller
Occupation: Stylist

Name: Tim Quayle
Occupation: Features Editor of Drama Magazine
What's the next best thing in fashion?
"Zaid Ghanen"

Name: Olivia Forbes
Occupation: Lingerie Designer

Name: Kate Forbes
Occupation: Costume Designer
What is your must have item for next season?
"It's such a mish mash, there isn't a single particular look anymore."

Images: Yumi Yoshinaga
Words: Janis Furneaux

Backstage at Hemyca with Rachel Wood

In midst of fashion mayhem, make-up artist Rachel Wood holds court with her treasure trove of Benefit cosmetics. There may be models and pre-show paraphernalia strewn everywhere but she remains unfathomably calm, cheery and exudes a sense of complete control. In between other make-up artists scurrying over with questions and details to check, she talks about the big trends for A/W 09. "Gold and burgundy lips" she confides "are huge for the season." Her passion for Fashion Week is obvious and infectious, and her top tip is Benefit's brightening powder, brushed under the eyes for a perky complexion, and her personal mantra is "It's all about black eye-liner." Emma Hopkinson

Catwalk review: Nico-D

Nico-D opened day three of London Fashion Week at Vauxhall Fashion Scout showcasing both his men's and women's collections. The menswear favoured classicly chic Italian tailoring, yet subtle quirks confirmed a British influence. The palette was neutral with strong lines, sharp tailoring, chunky knits and sheepskin coats hinting at a hidden softer, more tactile side. As the show progressed the glamour factor increased exponentially with shiny trousers and sequin-covered jackets lighting up the runway.

The womenswear was an entirely different affair with a host of mini-dresses and drop-crotched jumpsuits in fluid fabrics and an altogether more vibrant colour scheme consisting of fuchsia pink, plum, electric blue set against more black sequins. A delicate balance was struck between showing off the female form with streamline silhouettes and playful voluminous sleeves, and collars on cinched-in jackets. The wearability of the collection was demonstrated by versatility of adjustable necklines and hemlines. Kelly Davis

Main Image: David Coleman
Catwalk Images: Eddie Blagbrough
Click image to enlarge:

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

Model interview: Luise Hauschild

"I really like London, the people are cool, polite - not like in Berlin! The weather has been really good too." enthuses softly spoken German born Luise Hauschild, commendably three and half hours early for her appearance in the Victim show at 7pm this evening. Signed to London's D1 Models, an agency for an excellent reputation of signing girls with a "good attitude", Hauschild has already walked this week at Central Saint Martins where she loved the creativity displayed by the students, both on and off the catwalk "the people looked really great." Hannah Kane
Image: Leigh Keily

Live catwalk illustration at ioannisdimitriousis

Illustrated by Jade O'Shaughnessy, BA Hons Fashion Illustration, Third Year, London College of Fashion.

Vox pops: round 2 outside Horace

Name: Fiorella Bellagotti
Occupation: Executive Book Moda Magazine
What are your predictions for next season?
"Well I think there are new ideas from the young generation, they are
getting better and better. More metropolitan, using sustainable
clothing, working against the elements and pollution, making them
available for everyday use."

Name: Shelley Pick
Occupation: Writer for Fashion Calender, New York
What did you think of the Horace show?
"I liked it a lot, especially the idea how the clothes cross gendered,
it should have been done long ago. I adore the leggings and jeans with
the rouched torn front, it was a great look - and great music!"

Words: Gemma Winter
Images: Katie Coxedge