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PPQ DOES THE MODERN DAY TIARA

For spring/summer 2015, PPQ presented clothes to wear to 'the coolest party of the fashion season', finished with high gloss hair taken to a creative extreme READ MORE...
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'KNITTING FOR JULIET' COMPETITION LAUNCHES IN ITALY

Knitwear designers studying in Italy are invited to enter the Knitting for Juliet competition launched by Fashion Ground Academy of Italian Design READ MORE...
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NICHOLAS ROSE'S FULL COLOUR LIVING

It was not possible to walk past Nicholas Rose's luminous, contoured lamp shades at 100% Design the other week, I felt like a moth drawn to a flame. READ MORE...
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LFW: BACKSTAGE AND BEYOND AT PAUL COSTELLOE

think we could all use a dose of soft, pretty and innocent right now. Paul Costelloe brought his unabashed femininity to the runway READ MORE...
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CARMEN DELL'OREFICE TO OPEN SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK

Carmen Dell’Orefice...if this is what being in your 80s looks like then I'm looking forward to it! The legendary model, who once declared to Vanity Fair, “If I die, it will be with my high heels on”, is set READ MORE...
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#UNLOCK ART FILM SERIES ENDS ON A HUMOROUS NOTE

The film series, #UnlockArt, produced by Tate and supported by Le Meridien, concluded with the release of the last of eight films, What's So Funny?, decided by an online poll READ MORE...
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MADE LONDON RETURNS TO MARYLEBONE

The Design and Craft Fair, MADE LONDON, returns to One Marylebone 24-26 October to present the very best in contemporary craft and design. Showcasing over 120 READ MORE...
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October 21, 2014

LFW: PPQ Gets Glittery with Toni & Guy

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For spring/summer 2015, PPQ presented clothes to wear to 'the coolest party of the fashion season', finished with high gloss hair taken to a creative extreme by the Toni & Guy session team, resulting in a 'modern day tiara' of glitter-painted straight parts. (And I should note that only the model in the tinsel-tinged dress was actually dressed as these were backstage photos taken well before the show!) It was a truly original look of irridescent glitter held in place by gel, tinted by the dramatic deep purple lighting of the Mayfair club venue.

Although it takes a competent hand to execute with style, the idea could be borrowed to create your own version of the look for a night out. 

If you want to give it a go, here's how the Toni & Guy created their unique, sparkling tiara:

  1. Using a label.m Pintail Comb, part hair down the middle
  2. Spritz hair with label.m Blow Out Spray or label.m Volume Foam and once dry spray with label.m Hairspray
  3. Use label.m Titanium Pro 50 Styling Iron straighten hair and add label.m Shine Spray for an extreme gloss
  4. Mix irridescent glitter with label.m Gel and with a tint brush apply a thick coating 2 cm from, and on either side, of the middle parting

And be sure to wash it out before laying your head down on your pillow! (Or don't, you could pretend the tooth fairy visited you in the night.)

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September 28, 2014

LFW: Backstage and Beyond at Paul Costelloe

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I think we could all use a dose of soft, pretty and innocent right now. Paul Costelloe brought his unabashed femininity to the runway in his SS 15 collection of throwback dresses, skirt suits and coats, but his 'Angels' had just a bit of Bardot impurity to keep things fun. The look was 'ethereal and ladylike with a 60s twist' with nude faces and the hair manipulated into a wild beehive, sometimes tamed with a black velvet bow. 

The Toni & Guy session team, lead by Cos Sakkas, were a sight to see at work, whipping up the models' hair into a frenzy that made perfect sense once it was pulled into place. 

Want to get the look? Use these techniques and products:

  1. Prep hair with two layers of label.m Volume Mousse, blast dry and then work label.m Resurrection Style Dust from root to tip section by section
  2. At the nape of the neck twist hair and pin into a bun to act as an anchor for the rest of the shape
  3. Backcomb the top section of hair and pin the sides of the hair tightly back adding ends into the bun
  4. Create a side parting through the front and tuck behind ear securing with a bow and finishing with label.m Hairspray

Here's the Toni & Guy team in action, along with some shots from the show which I got to watch afterward. It was held at Simpson on the Strand in a beautiful room befitting the lovely collection:

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Speaking of blondes...this week I got to try the new label.m Brightening Blonde collection consisting of a shampoo, conditioner and balm. I'm always looking for ways to keep the brassy tones out of my blonde but naturally brunette hair, and after using the three products I noticed a difference in the colour immediately after blowdrying. There was an overall lift, and the different tones in my hair seemed more defined. Also, I love how the shampoo and conditioner work when using them in the shower - some shampoos don't feel moisturising even when they're formulated to be, but the Brightening Blonde made my hair feel soft immediately, and the conditioner was also surprising in that it was rich enough that I only needed the same small amount I used of the shampoo - usually I have to use two to three times that amount to get my hair smooth (probably helped along by the very moisturising shampoo!). The balm is lovely as well, and unlike some other products that might dull your colour when applied, this one doesn't compromise colour for softness - it keeps things light and bright. So I can happily say that Brightening Blonde is is a great range for blondes!

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September 18, 2014

LFW: Backstage at Jean-Pierre Braganza with Toni & Guy

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This is what 'sex on a motorcycle' hair looks like! Well, it does to Jean-Pierre Braganza. For his SS15 show, 'Architectonic', he asked the Toni & Guy session team to create 'dishevelled, very beautiful, soft, flowing, long hair' to complement the strong look of the clothes. Some of the designs reminded me of drapey origami, while others incorporated motorbike engines in print. The makeup was created by M.A.C. with artfully lined eyelids in a shape that looked like a bird's wing when closed. The clothes, hair and makeup combined to create one the most beautifully complete runway looks I've seen. Edgy yet very wearable in the real world.

If you want the 'Ethereal hippy girl meets biker culture' look and there is no motorcycle to be found, here's the technique:

  1. Create a deep side parting, prep the hair with label.m Blow Out Spray and blast dry. 
  2. Take label.m Curling Tongs 28mm through the ends of the hair to create slight movement but not a curl
  3. Tuck hair behind ears with the top of ear peeking out for a fashion edge
  4. Sweep hair to the opposite side of the head over the forehead, finish off with label.m Hairspray

You can watch the video to see how it's done by the Toni & Guy team, lead by Global Creative Director, Sacha Mascolo-Tarbuck:

Here are my photos from the very energetic JPG backstage at the BFC Courtyard Show Space at Somerest House:  

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And the man himself, Jean-Pierre Braganza:

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Fans of JPB might want to add this to their Christmas list or keep it in mind for style-conscious family and friends: label.m's latest designer collaboration is a variety of gift sets featuring Jean-Pierre Braganza's bold and beautiful signature prints, including a gorgeous scarf in black, white and crimson: 

Label

July 07, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Orlebar Brown with Toni & Guy

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I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight of the neighbours, the street. Downstairs, the Toni & Guy session team were busy creating the 'groomed beach chic' look under the guidance of Silje Vincent. Silje explained that working with the models' individual hair texture was the best way to achieve the look. As you can see, the result is a polished style without any fussiness; it makes the guys look like they just have great hair. It worked particularly well on the models who had longer hair to work with, and it would move nicely with a breeze running through it on the beach (not that I'm thinking about it too much or anything).  

Here's how you can get Toni & Guy's groomed beach style, using the label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer and label.m Cutting Comb:

1. Prep hair with label.m Volume Mousse, label.m Blow Our Spray or label.m Sea Salt Spray depending on the hair texture (I have the label.m Sea Salt Spray which is great for adding texture to fine hair and perfect for a 'day at the beach' look)

2. Finger dry hair for tousled separation with label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer

3. Using a label.m Cutting Comb move the hair either off the face or across the forehead, which ever suits the face

4. Finish with label.mSouffle or label.m Power Paste for separation and

Label.m must have products: Volume Mousse, Sea Salt Spray, Blow Out Spray, Souffle, Power Paste.

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Paddy Mitchell gets styled.

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Aside from surprise parties, I don't think I've ever seen a room filled with so many excited, smiling people. It's a nice change from the usual 'I'm over it already' attitude you tend to see at the collections. You really know how to make a splash, Orlebar Brown. (You'll see why as you scroll down.)

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Dogs! Everyone was happy because people love dogs! A particularly beautiful specimen accompanied each of the tailored beach shorted models, including a massive Great Dane. In case you're wondering, the dog carer/trainer was right there the whole time and gave them water every 15 minutes, then after a while the models were told to put on flip-flops and take the dogs for a walk around Covent Garden to the delight of the neighbours. What a scene that was.

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July 04, 2014

Showstudio Illustrates the Men's Collections SS15

Showstudio_john-booth_juun-j-paris-fashion-week-illustrationJohn Booth's collage interpretation of looks at Juun J in Paris

Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series on their tumblr. Whereas New York kicks off the women's collections, it's where the men's wraps up, so these are being conjured up right now. So far we've got London, Milan and Paris, interpreted through a variety of media and perpectives. (Just a thought after browing the Showstudio homepage, something I do often - Is there a better site for conveying the visual excitement and energy of fashion? I don't think there could be. If there is, please show it to me!) 

Here are a few that stood out to me, and if you see an illustration you love, you can buy the original from Showstudio's online shop

PARIS by John Booth, London-based illustrator and textile designer: 

Showstudio_john-booth_paris-fashion-week-illustrationDior Homme

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Henrik Vibskov

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Paul Smith

 

MILAN by Marie Cunliffe, London-based womenswear designer:

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Frankie Morello

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D-Squared2

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Bottega Veneta

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Prada

 

LONDON by Eduardo Mata Icaza, Marseilles-based illustrator: 

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Alexander McQueen

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J.W. Anderson

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Jonathan Saunders

June 20, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Matthew Miller with Toni & Guy

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Yes, this is a men's fashion post. And it feels right. This season's London Collections: Men was my first ever thanks to an invitation from long-term London Fashion Week sponsor Toni & Guy to go backstage with their session team to cover the looks. My aesthetic preferences in both fashion and home decor have been shifting from the slightly fussy to pared-down and minimalist (the design of the blog is going to be overhauled to reflect this and it can't happen too soon). More gender neutral. Sometimes you need a palate cleanser and men's fashion seems to be the melon sorbet. 

I was able to attend three shows with Toni & Guy, the first being Matthew Miller, a British designer known for his structured tailoring, performance fabrics and engineered digital prints. The mainly navy pinstriped collection was inspired by WWII demobilisation suits which had a look of being taped up, sometimes with printed messages, and up close I caught some frayed edges on the lapel of an all-navy blazer which took the structured tailoring into a more casual territory suited for guys of the models' ages. Flower garlands - like memorial wreaths? - worn around the neck and wrists gave the outfits colour and organic texture. And then there was the hair which finished the look. Some of the models were cropped super short and therefore needed no styling, while others got the full seriously slick military treatment from the Toni & Guy team - headed by Chie Sato - who used their own army of tools and products to create "40's/50's military young boy with a twist".  

Want to create the look? Here how's Toni & Guy did it, using their session kit which included the label.m Diffuser, label.m Pin Tail Comb and label.m Pro-Advanced Straighteners:

1.This look works best for straight hair. Use a mix of label.m Extra Strong Gel and label.m Gel and apply product on comb and move through hair from roots to end.

2.From either the left or right side take a section of hair from the corner of the head to create a side parting. 

3. On the opposite side, depending on hair density, take a horizontal section to create an undercut look. On both sides of head comb hair until completely slicked back and then start drying the sections with a diffuser (and if possible a setting net - you can see one being used below.)

4. When dry, move to top part either combing to the side or forward and dry with a diffuser (again using net if possible). To make hair nice and flat use straighteners from corner to end of the hair to create texture and so that ends are completely straight. To finish, use label.m Hold and Gloss and blast with cold air for maximum shine.

I love the options this technique gives to a style that is short underneath and long on top; you can slick the top down on the side or wear it longer in the front depending how you're feeling that day. 

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February 24, 2014

Favourite AW14 Coats from New York and London

LFW_CHristopher_RaeburnChristopher Raeburn's outwear uses the latest techno fabrics to resist the elements

There were so many great coats showing in New York and London (and now in Milan), so I decided to focus on favourites from the first two fashion weeks. Most of us can't afford to shop the runways, but I've always gone with coats as the one piece worthy of investment, if you're going to splurge. Something I noticed with the collections thus far is the explosion of colour, not just in the liberal use of every shade of blue, but shocking oranges and lots of vivid multis which was a real surprise, especially for New York, which tends to favour the head-to-toe black look. 

Richard Nicoll went all-out with electric blue, and I love two-tone coats with contrasting sleeves and upper lapels:

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Jil Sander Navy showed sporty looks with vibrant colour blocking on seasonal darks:

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I'm always surprised to like what Tommy Hilfiger is doing, but who could resist these oversized, textured knits: 

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There were many collections that featured a single coat, cape, or jacket (I think I may have included a dress in there) that I particularly loved. If  had to pick one to wear every day, it would be Rachel Roy's wool biker-style coat in that gorgeous blue:

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Belstaff's cozy plaids didn't conform to the continuing volume trend, but the mitts sure did! 

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Photos: Style.com 

September 20, 2013

LFW: The Florals, Pastels, Textures and Shoes

THE PASTELS

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London Fashion Week tends to have some sure hits when it comes to the can't-get-it-anywhere-else details and also perfectly collection-matched, fantastic shoes. So I've grouped together some of my favourite pieces from the shows for which there's a lot of overlap, as many were textured/pastel/floral. The thing I've loved about LFW when I've attended is the exhibition where collections that have already showed can be inspected up close (or until then you might see the current season in its place) so you can witness the glorious detail for what it really is. (However, I once found out the hard way that one especially exquisite designer's rep doesn't appreciate too many questions and just may be a bit paranoid that you're asking not out of gleeful curiousity but with the intention of stealing techniques! I thought that was rather paranoid, especially as the collection on display at the time was currently in stores, as next season's was showing later that day, and could be investigated at one's leisure; I don't think people attend LFW with their names on visible badges and then attempt to rip off by specifically asking about fabrics, etc! Especially when it comes to a designer who is so special no one could really come close anyway; it would be like finding out what paints and brushes Leonardo da Vinci used and then attempting to recreate the Mona Lisa. Contrastly, the next designer room I visited, which was another favourite for indulgent detail, invited me to touch the clothes and were generous and encouraging with the questions and even invited me to next season's show (which in the end is up to the PR team who handles the guest list and you never know what will happen with that, but the gesture was redeeming!) Either way, I respect the rules with each designer; I had just wished that the people of one of my most loved hadn't left me feeling dirty!) 

I wish I had some information to accompany the photos as I'm sure there are interesting collabs and other neat tidbits to note,but I've spent all of my time on the collages and have come up short on research time now that I'm on my way to the London Design Festival. But at the very least we can do some safe oggling at a distance!

THE SHOES

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THE TEXTURES AND DETAIL

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MORE TEXTURES

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THE FLORALS

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Photos: Style.com

July 24, 2013

Fashion Film Festival to Launch at London Fashion Week

SMC Silent Cinema 1Derek Zoolander would make his best 'prune' at hearing this news. 

St Martin’s Courtyard will be transforming into an open air movie theatre to showcase Silent Cinema, a Fashion Film Festival. A full sized cinema screen will pop-up for three nights during London Fashion Week in September showing iconic fashion films for free, a rare opportunity for the public to enjoy a Fashion Week event.

The St Martin’s Courtyard Fashion Film Festival will open on Sunday 15 September with a salon fashion show in the courtyard followed by the first screening, and will run until Tuesday 17 September. Choose between tongue-in-cheek fashion comedy Zoolander, fashion industry favourite Grey Gardens, or catch a glimpse behind the scenes of American Vogue in The September Issue.

Silent Cinema is beautifully simple: you wear wireless headphones to watch great films on a full size cinema screen. 100 free tickets are available for each screening through a prize draw. If you’re not one of the lucky ones to win a pair of tickets, be one of the first to arrive on the night and there will be a number of tickets available for each screening on a first come first served basis.

To guarantee one of the best seats in the house, you can book in advance for dinner and a movie at one of the St Martin’s Courtyard restaurants. Contemporary Thai restaurant Suda, British café /restaurant Bill’s and Italian enoteca Dalla Terra will all have headsets for al fresco diners.

A cinema experience wouldn’t be the same without treats to nibble on whilst watching the film. Enjoy Thai snacks from the Suda usherettes, posh sweets, ice cold beer and hedgerow fizz cocktails from Bill’s bar, and free gourmet popcorn for all.

St Martin’s Courtyard is Covent Garden’s newest shopping and dining destination with a unique mix of fashion, beauty and lifestyle boutiques and flagships and six international restaurants.  Many shops will be open until 7pm for a pre-screening shopping spree and many of the restaurants will be offering late supper deals after the films finish.

For a chance to get hold of a pair of tickets, visit www.stmartinscourtyard.co.uk/fashionfilmfestival and enter your details. Winners will be contacted one week prior to the screening. There will also be tickets available on the night. For live updates and further ticket giveaways, follow St Martin’s Courtyard on twitter @smccoventgarden.

February 26, 2013

Fashion Week Favourites: London

DuroOlowu

Duro Olowu returned to London this season to show his scrumptiously chic A/W collection (he's been showing in New York for the past two years). One of my most favourite designers and a very warm-hearted man to boot, through his clothes he shows us seemingly endless ways to wear texture, colour and print at its most joyful, and those ways are becoming more and more refined and sophisticated without stifling one bit of his infectious exuberance. I can only imagine how special you would feel wearing one of his garments. (When I met Duro last autumn his lovely wife was with him and looked fantastic wearing one of his exquisite jackets.)

Sisterbysibling

Look beyond the no-pants, high top trainer, face-eating-muff styling by Katie Grand and you'll see some very gorgeous knits from this sister line of the knitwear house Sibling, appropriately named Sister by Sibling. (Sometimes I feel the need to explain why catwalk presentation can be odd, for the non-fashion readers. Like my Dad. "Why isn't she wearing pants? Who goes out without pants?" "No one, dad. But you notice the sweater, right? And the hat?" "No, I'm wondering why she's not wearing pants." "Never mind, Dad.") Anyway, massive scarves in a gorgeous slubby texture are appealing in a primal way - don't we all seek that kind of assured comfort in the cold? The short sleeves of the fair isle and rosette sweaters balance their chunkiness and make for a cute shape. And they may even look good with pants. 

ClementsRibeiro
I love the sporty look of  Clements Riberio's striped cashmere sweater with the floral mini, and the slightly punky hair that keeps it from looking too preppy. These outfits stood out from the earthier muted tones that dominated the second half of the line up. 

 MichaelvanderHam

Michael van der Ham's usual choppy asymmetry was only to be found in the zig zag of the models' hairstyle this season. The patchwork mashups were (mostly) gone, with the outfits more finished and refined. And if the models look to be even more miserable than usual (actually, with the exception of one, these were the least sour looking of the bunch) it's because van der Ham's inspiration was a 'tough girl - moody and dark.' Ok. But some actually looked like they were in pain. 

PringleofScotland
Pringle of Scotland has pared down their knitwear range to focus on their signature styles, the loveliest of the bunch being the pure white gilet and skirt in an ottoman rib knit that makes you want to run your fingers over and over just as much as wear.

OrlaKiely

I always look forward to the Orla Kiely presentation in what has been her fashion week home away from home for the past several seasons, the Portico Rooms at Somerset House which she would transform into her preferred fantasyland at the time, and always on the Friday. Sometimes there would be live models (which of course I loved, they pose for you), sometimes there would be cardboard cutouts, and other times it was superimposed paper girls on the walls. I've skipped the past two seasons because fashion week takes a heck of a lot of energy, and I just haven't had it for the past year. So I was surprised to find out that Orla moved out of Somerset House and instead set up office, literally, for her fashionable, anachronistic secretaries to show off their new knit dresses, embroidered cardigans and smart handbags between typing and taking phone calls. 

Photo source

Click the image to watch the video of the girls at work (at fashion156.com):

Orla_show

Another reason I love the presentation format:

206551
Sophia Webster showed her new range of shoes in pastel birdhouses in a pastel forest

BoraAksuPhotos: Bora Aksu

I so look forward to inspecting the intricate details of Bora Aksu's clothes up close in the exhibition hall, post-show. The Turkish designer's signature approach involves techniques with the textiles to create all kinds of interesting textures, and mixing knitted elements with both delicate and rigid materials, like chiffons and lace, and hard leather. You can see some details from a past season here.

Fred_butler
Photos: fredbutler.blogspot.co.uk

And undoubtedly the most joyful of presentations come from Fred Butler where you instantly feel validated for your enduring childhood attachment to colour and your desire to celebrate it now in a big way. Which Fred does every day. This season Fred took a more commercial approach and set up a pop-up shop (complete with Fred Butler-esque cupcakes by Pomp de Franc) to allow guests to interact with the goods.

Fred does a film each season and I use them for a little daydreamy escape whenever things are too gloomy in this world of ours:

 

Photos from Style.com unless otherwise credited

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