My friend, Toria Brightside recently started a new agency, Vauhaus. I visited Leeds for the launch event and ended up getting invited to London Fashion Week.
Toria was invited to cover shows for some magazines and thought it would be more fun and helpful to get a small team together, that sounded like a great idea to me and this is my contribution and account of the events.
I met Toria at Oxford Circus on Thursday afternoon, overloaded with far too many bags of clothes, shoes and equipment. After a quick cigarette and an excited chat we met up with her friend James, dropped off our stuff and started getting ready to attend our first presentation.
What we wore: We went to a new collection promotion by Carlotta Actis Barone at the Wolf and Badger in Mayfair . We enjoyed complimentary champagne and nibbles while browsing the lovely clothes and watching models parade around in the designer’s S/S 14 line. The silhouettes were elegant and the models were gorgeous, though it would have been nice to see some of the pieces in a colour other than beige. I was also interested in some of the pieces already on sale in store.
Next we headed to Carnaby Street where the streets were flooded with people to watch and almost every shop was offering promotions and fashion week treats. The highlight was definitely Eleven Paris where a lively crowd was dancing to a set by New Yorker Larry Tee. We chatted to Larry, filmed and photographed the crowd and were treated to a set of photobooth pictures in funny hats.
We finished off the evening with a free shot and went back to get some rest so we could appreciate the first set of shows.
In the morning we went to Fashion Scout for the Ones to Watch showcase.
What we wore:
While in the queue (which we had to rejoin after each show) we were photographed for a variety of blogs and magazines and were also presented with goodie bags containing a magazine, Bodyshop eyeshadows, popcorn and coconut water (which I’m pretty sure no one at the entire event could actually bring themselves to finish)
Helen Lawrence presented a contemporary collection featuring hotpants and acetate skirts, paired with really wearable pieces, including jumpers and asymmetrically cut shorts. She contrasted pops of colour such as fluorescent yellow, baby pink and sky blue with a muted pallet of black, khaki and grey. All overlaid by black rubbery scribbles.
The next day I spotted some of her collection in display in the main hall.
Hannah Williams showed a consistent range of white, lilac and grey with strong shoulders, boxy but elegant silhouettes and a variety of 3D details.
This collection was the most surprising for me, as I perceived the garments one way as they came down the catwalk and a totally different way when I saw them up close in the static exhibition. I’ve often wondered why people reference the wrong materials when they review designers’ work, but it must just be because garments can look completely different on the catwalk.
I initially thought the look was achieved by embossing spongy neoprene but after a closer look, I realised they were moulded out of liquid latex. The edges were quite raw looking and the design on the bag was reminiscent of an old wall carving that had stated to erode. The effect had a certain element of imperfection that I found beautiful.
Renli Su was probably my favourite from this showcase, with casual but interesting layered combinations. Knits featured heavily and the range had a bucolic nomad feel, finished off by delicately knitted bonnets and hoods, oversized neck pouches and large blanket-like sashes.
I enjoyed looking at these close up:
The next show was hosted in an upstairs room at Fashion Scout Freemasons Hall with a catwalk framed by intricately carved wooden arches and an incensy aroma. It was very crowded but we managed to find a good spot so we could see the outfits. A track with a French sound and music box elements set the mood for the beautiful and feminine collection by Yeashin. Youthful, doll-faced models with flowing hair came out looking like dolls or modern Disney princesses. They wore short A-line dresses of satin and pleated chiffon with ruffle trim, lace trim hats and bow details.
The final collection of the day was by Bernard Chandran. He mixed a variety of metallic colours and glittery fabrics in a striking collection combining Asian, retro and contemporary influences. It was dominated by dresses, which only made the beautifully cut tailored jumpsuits stand out more. Key details included contrast panels in glittery square-patterned fabric, flared out sleeves/legs/peplums, fullness in unusual places, crystal encrusted harnesses and coloured 3D spirals. My favourite feature where the harnesses and I loved the ball-gowns, the giant glittery headphones were a nice touch too.
In the evening we decided to check out East Block where Larry Tee and Roberto Piqueras were DJing, stopping off for some extravagantly prepared but not so balanced cocktails at the Night Jar on the way.
We had heard it was going to be a crazy night so we dressed appropriately.
Consequently, Tori had to explain what was good about latex to this man on the tube.
More about our London adventure in the next post!