The reception was hosted by Susie Bubble, seen studying one of the textural sorbet outfits
Last autumn I saw some of Fred Butler's SS12 presentation at London Fashion Week. I had to be quick despite this being the collection I was looking most forward to, because my evening train back to Newcastle was leaving across town in just over an hour. To walk into the Portico Rooms at Somerset House, see this thing of pure joy, and have to rush through it was just cruel. I took photos of the three outfits being modelled, after stopping to take in each one in - you can't not smile when doing this! - then ran off just as more models appeared in high-inducing oufits, but I was already late and I left with a whimper (and I mean literally, people looked at me). So I tried to take a shortcut to Kings Cross which wound up being a longer way, and missed my train by 20 seconds. Swearing and some self-flagellation followed. When I returned home I was so excited about the photos and posted a teaser for the presentation, then my hard drive crashed a few days later, obviously a punishment for not getting onto the main post sooner. After five days in the IT hospital and being told to write a eulogy for my laptop, our local guy saved it and the hard drive was recovered, but there was no guarantee that everything would be there. This drawn-out tale leads me to today, when I finally, and purely by chance, found my lost Fred Butler and Craig Lawrence photos which I thought were gone forever, my record of the best of what I saw for spring at LFW.
And technically it's still summer, eh? Not that it matters, Fred's clothes and accessories aren't bound by seasonal restraints; colour is celebrated simply because it's a new day and one must get dressed in something, so why not make it happy? Her palette takes shape though unusual forms that must be the result of manipulation, playing around with soft textiles and rigid materials like perspex, and whatever she can sculpt to create things that are joyful, sunny, and different, but not simply for the sake of it. Her style is tightly honed and elegant in its own way. I took a pass on the last LFW as it wasn't a good time to be away from my family, and when I saw what I missed, a salon showing of her AW12 collection, it just stung. If you love pastel harmonies, you will melt like blue bubblegum ice cream on a summer day (that is, unless you're in England!!)
This is the video for Fred Butler SS12 followed by the photos, and it's well worth clearing an hour to watch her videos on Vimeo, they are one of my few go-tos for daydreaming and you can see why:
Fred has a knack for making things that leave you desperate to run your fingers over them. But I didn't touch the model's feet or forearms.
She must not have seen what she was wearing, otherwise she'd be smiling.
Photos © The Swelle Life