Monday, 23 February 2009

Vox Pops at William Tempest

Name: Colin McDowell
Occupation: Creative Director of Fashion Fringe and Senior Fashion Writer for Sunday Times Style Magazine, Chairman of the Costume Society of Great Britain.
“I thought it was really nice, very sweet, very fresh, very skilled, and I loved the prints. But my car... it’s parked outside and I have to dash or I will get a ticket!”

Name: Jasmine Guinness
“Incredible! As we knew it would be. The colour, the fabric, the print; it was all just brilliant. Such a good show"

Name: Heidi Middleton
Occupation: Designer of Sass & Bide
“We’ve heard so much about him in recent months. We’re very excited to see his collection. There’s just so much energy coming from this city. We are very excited to be here.”

Name: Sophie Anderton
Occupation: Model
“I’m going to be wearing one of his dresses to the British Fashion Council party tonight. I’m going to grab him later to do a quick fitting once the show is finished. What I love is the mix of old Hollywood glamour with the rock and roll influence and even the tie dye. He’s so talented and just such a lovely guy as well.”

Words: Louise Hemmings
Images: Katie Coxedge

Catwalk review: William Tempest

All eyes were on Vauxhall Fashion Scout on Monday night as Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner William Tempest's collection debuted in front of the assembled international press and throng of celebrities. Among the famous faces on the front row were Emma Watson, Jasmine Guinness, Hilary Alexander, Colin McDowell and Frances Corner, the Dean of LCF, from which Tempest is an alumni. The atmosphere was electric.

For Autumn/Winter 2009 Tempest took inspiration from the courts of Tudor England, taking historical costume details such as exaggerated collars, shoulders and hips, and making them utterly modern with razor-sharp tailoring and the use of hyper-real digital photographic prints of photos taken at Hampton Court Palace presented on georgette silks, Duchess satins and silk moires.

The level of skill in the construction of the corsetted dresses and tailored jackets, and the sculptural detailing belies the designer's years. Tempest strikes the perfect balance between wearability and creativity. Watch out fashion: a storm is coming. Hannah Kane

Images: David Coleman
Click to enlarge:

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

Interview with Blow PR Pop Up Show designer: Gemma Slack

Gemma Slack is one the trio of designers that The Fashion Scout caught up with to ask her first what was running through her head before her first show at London Fashion Week. As with the other Blow PR designers Craig Lawrence and Komakino, it was a combination of excitement and nerves - but Slack deemed the last minute rescheduling as a blessing in more ways than one "it means I’ll only be scared for like five days rather than six months."

There are a plethora of influences that have fed into the collection, the umbrella theme however is religion versus technology, and the notions of the protection and solace they offer. These are all embodied by the strong "Joan of Arc-esque" character that she has manifested, a creative process that she has
perfected "I decide who it is, so it is not necessarily anyone who really existed, its just this person that I think all the ideas kind of encapsulates, it’s a bit geeky." Like Lawrence, Slack also formed part of the Gareth Pugh elite, the Fine Arts student transferred to London College of Fashion where she honed her skills during an internship she did alongside her degree. "I got a lot of confidence to do that from just get thrown in at the deep end." In ten years time Slack humbly exclaimed "Hopefully I’ll still be doing this...Hopefully I’ll still be making clothes and people will let me have another show." Kelly Davis

Image: from SS09 collection

Live catwalk illustration at Harriet's Muse

Illustrated by Lindsey Kinsella
3rd Year Fashion Illustration BA Hons
London College of Fashion

Behind the scenes Polaroids: round 2

Polaroids by Yumi Yoshinaga

Interview with Blow PR Pop-Up show designer: Komakino

Komakino will be another of the designers to take the place of Spijkers en Spijkers today at 3pm. The Fashion Scout spoke with Federico Capalbo, one half of the husband-and-wife design team to see how they were feeling about the opportunity to show at London Fashion Week for the first time. "We are pretty excited actually. We are busy working on some of the outfits, trying to sort everything for tomorrow, so a bit nervous." Capalbo and his wife Jin formed the brand Komakino in September 2007, the menswear label draw inspiration from "Soviet and fascist has basically inspired us since our first collection."

The political sensibility of the brand is translated into wearable garments, marrying unfinished details with sleek tailoring. The name Komakino may ring a bell, the title of a 1980's Joy Division track the German word means a Cinema of Shadows - "our collection and our colour palette is always black and white so yeah it matched perfectly our concept I guess." When asked where the design duo hoped to be in ten years Italian born Capalbo said they hoped to still be showing in London or Paris, "[London] is more open to new things and open to discoveries and risk. I don’t really want to go back to Italy to work." Kelly Davis

Image from SS09 collection by Kim Jacobsento

Interview with Blow PR Pop-Up show designer Craig Lawrence

Craig Lawrence is one of the three designers who will be showing today at Vauxhall Fashion Scout at 3pm. The slot was originally meant for Spijkers en Spijkers who had to pull out unexpectedly - while we will all be sad not to see the twins this season it will be quite a treat to see the fledgling talents taking their place. The Fashion Scout caught up with Lawrence to see how he was feeling with just over 24 hours before his first show at London Fashion Week. "Nervous, but it should be exciting I think" enthused the Central Saint Martins graduate.

Surely one of the youngest to be showing Lawrence finished his degree in Fashion Design with Knitwear last summer. The follow up to his amazing graduate show, which consisted of giant Christmas decoration-inspired ensembles, is based around cocktails and sweets. The young designer told of the giant cocktails that he used to have on holiday when he was younger and how he was always bedazzled by the colourful, swirly adornments that garnished them. It is this sense of nostalgia that Lawrence draws heavily on "[the collection is] looking at exciting things from my childhood, last time it was Christmas, this time it’s the summer holidays." When asked where he would like to be in ten years time Lawrence admitted that he hopes to be showing at London Fashion Week twice a year, in between times however, he hopes to explore his penchant for performance art, with his fingers in as many creative-project-pies as possible. Watch out for Lawrence's fashion film which will be showing at the BFC tent tomorrow and will also form the backdrop to his show. Kelly Davis

Image: Chris Moore, Catwalking

Live catwalk illustration at Louise Amstrup

Illustrated by Regina N'Day
BA Hons Fashion Illustration,
Third Year,
London College of Fashion.

The man behind the camera: backstage with Ian Gillett

“Everyone is always jostling for the position,” says photographer Ian Gillett, “and yes, it does get tense but the joy is that you do get a position marked out when you’ve been working over the years.” Gillet’s daughter Katie has started photographing the collections this year, but hasn’t yet secured the same position in the photographer’s pit as her father. “She is at the side, but in a way you can almost be more creative by playing with the angles as you’re not working from a dead straight angle,” he admits. So how does Vauxhall Fashion Scout compare to the rest of fashion week? “I love the atmosphere and everyone is so friendly. The spirit which Martyn and John instil in everybody is amazing. I walked in and I can’t see the red carpet but I almost feel it’s there.” Gillet, we’ll roll the red carpet out for you any day. Louise Hemmings

Image: Alisa Afkhami

Review: Harriet's Muse

And now for something completely different. Harriet's Muse shunned a traditional catwalk show in favour of a concept presentation. The audience sat rapt as designers Craig Spellar and Cheryl Partington allowed us into the personal and intimate world of backstage styling as they dressed four models individually on the runway. The first look comprised a signature corset dress, grey with black stripes and chevrons given a flash of colour with red tights. For the second look the feline model sauntered down the catwalk in a tight black leather pencil skirt, topped with a puff-sleeved leather jacket- soft, feminine lines contrasting well with the biker-chick style. For the third, the model was helped into a billowing, ruffled corset dress - short at the front, long at the back in smoke grey silk - given another contemporary twist as indulgent and rich fabrics were discarded, and previously unwanted fabric is recycled into fashion. The piece de resistance was a black wool and silk brocade Victorian inspired dress, it seems gothic undertones continue to reign supreme as a trend for for AW09-10.

"Reactionary's" message is of incorporating recycled fabrics and patterns due to the present uneasy economy shift. The atmosphere is somewhat more stern and serious than the cheeky light hearted nature of previous shows - a sign of the times. These Cinderella’s got fed up waiting for their ball gowns and made them instead. "Reactionary" proved Harriet’s Muse are aware of the ecological boundaries set for all of us, but celebrates the use of recycling and rejuvenation with a little bit of kinky fun. Katie Coxedge

Images: Alisa Afkhami