Friday, 13 November 2009


The first appointment of the day was at Felicities’ Designer Showroom where I saw many great designers. First up was British label Migh-T designed by Kumiko Watari. Whilst I don’t really buy into T-shirt brands personally I absolutely loved the kooky prints and reincarnation of the much loved garden gnome whose familiar effigy featured heavily throughout the collection. I loved the vintage feel of the brand which I would attribute to the washed out jersey fabrics and prints.

In addition to the great T-shirt range key pieces for me included their cute cotton short sleeved blouses with vintage inspired florals and quirky repeat patterns which for me made this one of the better brands I’ve discovered so far at SS10 press days.

Another great brand showcased was that of Harriet’s Muse created by design duo Craig Spellar and Cheryl Partingdon who funnily enough both used to lecture me at uni. What I like most about their brand is that it’s designed for women to bring out their racier and more adventurous sides, whilst still retaining their modesty and personal sense of style.

Harriet’s Muse was a collection of versatile and sexy pieces ranging from casual jersey pieces to bone-corsets. A rather understated range with a colour palette of black, grey, cream and navy.

Next up was Ada Zanditon’s collection the other half of which I saw on Wednesday at Estethica.

Another new designer to me was Jacob Kimmie whose 'La Ville Sauvage' collection centred around his study of orchids. Made from luxurious silk and chiffon Jacob’s collection was predominantly black interjected with purple hues and orchid prints.

What I liked most about Jacob’s collection was in addition to the highly wearable orchid pieces there were also a couple of standout show stopper garments. The first of which was a beautiful lace and organza prom style dress with the most exquisite appliquéd petals.

The second garment I loved was a patent gold leather halter-neck waistcoat which was divine. I loved everything about it from the great cut to the stud and pocket details. Reminded me a bit of Michael Jackson circa the Bad album– amazing!

The last designer I fell in love with was located right at the back of the showroom and was Afshin Feiz whose SS10 collection is entitled ‘Don’t Have to be Beautiful but it Helps’. What I loved about his collection of dresses were the laboriously beautiful and intricate hand detailing that went into them. I think it was clear from viewing the quality and finish of Afshin’s collection that he had cut his teeth at several couture fashion houses; John Galliano, Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix.

Influenced by love and romanticism I loved the combinations of textured fabrics and complimentary colours that ran throughout his work which I felt brought me back to the 1940s where garments were much better constructed and designed to hug and highlight the figure creating an amazing silhouette.

What really bowled me over about Afshin’s work was the hand pleating techniques used. If you look at the jacket for example it is so well made its just stunning. Lastly I loved his sculptured sequin skirt which had been made using hundreds upon hundreds of sequins which were stacked up to create extra volume around the hemline and around the pockets. This skirt was so beautifully made and so superb up close that I truly believe it would be better suited as a work of art hanging in a fashion museum if not only due to its weight.

Other great stand out items I saw were these amazing platform shoes by Lako Bukia which I could so imagine on someone like Lady GaGa. Taken from his ‘Emotions’ collection Lako explores the divides between the good and kind emotions within people and the darker more sinister emotions.

Lastly one item that caught my eye was a black and blue handbag by Darkest Star. What I liked a lot about this bag was that it was inspired by orchids and I thought the combination of print and pleating techniques was brilliant. It reminded me of really complicated and intricate origami that I’ve always wished I could do.

Next up on my itinerary was the Iriquois press day located not far from Barbican station. Upon entering their first floor showroom I instantly fell in love with Never, a jewellery brand that uses antique and vintage trinkets within their pieces.

I fell in love with this brand first off because of the beautiful way that the collection had been displayed (that’s my obsession with chandeliers rearing its ugly head again) but also due to my love of vintage accessories. I think it’s such a great way to capture the beauty of antique jewellery not always by restoring it, but looking at how it can be incorporated into modern design. Not to gush, but I absolutely loved this jewellery and since seeing it will be pestering my relatives to get me a little something for Christmas!

A new designer to me whom I really liked was Olanic. Designed by Niki Taylor, the collection really caught my eye due to the large mix of fabrics and textures ranging from metallic foil-leather to silk chiffon to lurex.

I loved the imagination that went into what should have been simple jersey and cotton pieces such as this grey jumper which was livened up with a smattering of beads and studs and had fantastic pleats to adorn the shoulders.

From the collection I also really liked the selection of black and cream silk tops which had a really retro inspired quirky print consisting of florals and what appears to be an arm. Reminiscent of the posed arm in the ‘We Can Do It’ WWII propaganda posters I simply loved this print designed by artist Sandy Hutton.

The last piece from the collection that caught my eye was a rather playful mac which I found out had been designed in collaboration with Mackintosh. What I liked about it was that it had been brought up to date and given some much needed kitsch appeal with the addition of 16 bows which lined each side of the jacket. What was so great about the bows was that they were clip on so you could change them depending on your mood, and if you really wanted to you could take them all off and just have stud detailing instead.
Another new designer I discovered was Lu Flux; whose designs I fell head over heels for due to the witty story expressed in the SS10 collection titled ‘The Eco Life of Riley’. Specialising in ethical clothing Lu works with salvaged, vintage and often organic fabrics which she expertly knits, pleats and patchworks into her truly original designs.

My favourite piece from the collection was the feathered dress below which was displayed along with a headpiece used solely for fashion shoots. Clearly referencing the inspiration behind the collection, the ‘humble bluetit’, I absolutely loved the delicacy of the garment in addition to the colours and pattern used.

I also really liked the use of bold graphics throughout the collection which saw arrows being used throughout which I felt gave the garments (which let’s face it are made from old -albeit beautiful- rags) a new lease of life and also helped toughen them up. Absolutely amazing.
The last designer who really caught my eye was Yan To whose collection was cool on first glance, but once finding out more info on his methods the collection became a whole lot cooler. Coming from a corporate advertising background and with no official fashion training I was delighted to be looking through Yan’s first collection titled ‘One’.

A capsule collection of sexy and elegant evening dresses it was upon closer inspection that I noticed they had been distressed. The first dress which caught my eye was a beautiful pink, orange and yellow organza number which had literally been burned with a lighter to create several holes– with amazing results.

Other great items included one of his ’20 Marlborough Light’ chiffon dresses, named as such due to it taking 20 cigarettes to create all the holes in this beautiful dress. I absolutely love that this is how the dress was created and whilst thinking Yan was a madman for putting fire so close to his garments I think he’s also a genius.

The last items I fell in love with were a couple of dresses in the pink, orange and yellow colourway and black that had been spray painted. Whilst it was obvious enough to begin with these garments truly reflected the nature of Yan’s work in that they are not simply garments they are also highly original pieces of art with no two garments ever being the same.
What I and I think everyone of Yan’s customers love about his work is the freedom he has in that he has nothing to live up to, which I think must have helped to him be so uninhibitedly creative. I love the experimentation that clearly runs throughout the collection and I like that all the dresses were halter-neck in order to show off what he believes to be the most beautiful part of a woman’s body. An incredible designer who I really hope gets the recognition and acclaim that he so clearly deserves.

The final stop of the day was the Village Press open day which wasn’t really very good. The highlight for me was being given the choice between hot dogs or roasted chestnuts for my complementary snack, and of course the chestnuts won hands down– all six of them. There was only one item that really caught my eye as I was exploring the three floored showroom and that was a beautiful belt by Kenzo. Made from a silky cream rope I fell in love with the silver buckle which featured a generous helping of different shades of blue gemstones mixed with crystals.
Other than that the only designer I want to write about is Ashish whose SS10 collection looked great. I loved the random mix of styles and influences from 80s to biker to glam.

My favourite item has to be these tie-dye effect tracksuit bottoms with an attached bum bag detail at the side. Reminded me a lot of MC Hammer and Run DMC– sheer genius!!

I also really liked the Hawaiian themed ‘Aloha’ and pineapple print sweatshirt thought this would be great for a trashy 80s dance themed shoot with dancers from Pineapple’s performing arts school– would be a great tongue-in-cheek piss take.

On a slightly more serious note I absolutely loved the black wool and leather biker jacket with stud detailing, super rock ‘n’ roll. Even though it was black I think borderline there were too many things going on but I love that it’s a bit overkill with different textures and appliqué and sequins and quilting. On paper it reads like a nightmare but it’s one of the coolest jackets I’ve seen in a long time.

Lastly I loved the sequined ‘Life Is a Beach’ top, very, very glitzy, kitsch and cool.

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