Tuesday, 21 February 2012

LFW Diary AW12: On|Off at the Rook + Raven Gallery

On Thursday I attended perhaps the most visually exciting and bizarre pre-LFW event of the AW12 season, On|Off’s ‘Stoboscopic showcase’ held at the Rook + Raven Gallery.
An exclusive soirée held in conjunction with Land Rover, this preview celebrated the best of On|Off’s forthcoming Paris line-up in the format of an intimate one off evening showcasing fashion, film, performance and art. Highlights included exclusive live performances and DJ sets from:
Amanda Lepore ft. Charlie Le Mindu
Martin Creed ft. Matteo Molinari
Natt Weller ft. Lee Lapthorne
Ryan Styles ft. Yang Du
Irina Lazareanu ft. Raphaelle H’Limi
Brendand Courtney ft. Bronwen Marshall
Early Morning Rebel and Marques Toliver
With just 80 guests the evening was a blur of striking visual art with performance artists as diverse as Amanda Lepore – the world’s most famous transsexual and an effervescent fixture on the New York scene, for those who don’t know – Ryan Styles and while not strictly performance, there is something overtly theatrical about the designs of both Charlie Le Mindu and Yang Du which were brought to life through dance and mime.

With several video projection screens set up and performance areas dotted around the Soho gallery, guests huddled together and were taken aback when a performance would spring up to their left or directly in front of them. I had the pleasure of seeing Marques Toliver up close and was genuinely blown away.
A gifted violinist and emotive vocalist, Toliver’s story is amazing - he cut his teeth supporting himself through busking with his violin and working in a vintage store in Brooklyn before travelling to the UK as part of Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson’s band, and is perhaps my best discovery this month!

Also on the evening the On|Off Visionary Award winner for 2012 was announced. Judged by On|Off founder Lee Lapthorne, Editor-in-Chief of LOVE magazine Katie Grand and model and Rankin’s other half Tuuli to name but a few, design duo Cunnington and Sanderson were the victors.
"I'm really thrilled to be asked in the selection for On|Off. I've always respected their taste in designers and think they have a completely unique vision, which is interesting and slightly subversive. This year's winner, Cunnington and Sanderson are new stars in the making. Their presentation was professional and thought provoking. I wish them the very best of luck for the future." – Katie Grand

Two lethal Corvoisier cocktails were served, one long; with apple juice and ginger beer and one short; with triple sec and a dash of lemon juice. I remember one being called a Sidecar and I distinctly recall overindulging in both.

A star studded evening, fashion heavyweights Zandra Rhodes, Jane Shepherdson and Dr Frances Corner OBE, Head of London College of Fashion, were out in full force making this one of the hottest dates in the LFW calendar.
*Images throughout courtesy of On|Off and Canoe PR.  

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