Wednesday 11 November 2009

SS10 PRESS DAYS: Part Four

Yesterday there were several press days dotted around W1 so I ventured into Central London to take a look at yet more beautiful summer clothes– even though it was pissing it down with rain. The first on my list was that of House of Gods held within a cool record store on Poland Street. Unfortunately I was in and out of this press day because the staff were quite rude. First off there was no one in the foyer to greet guests so I dutifully waited for a while and giving up I signed in and began looking through the collections. When it came to taking photos I looked around for ages trying to find someone to ask and when the lovely security guard finally found a member of staff she was really dismissive and unnecessarily rude and implied that talking to me was a gargantuan waste of her time. While all the ‘fashion cardboard cut outs’ were offered copious amounts of champagne, beauty treatments and were shown round and talked through all the collections like wide eyed toddlers I was left alone to bimble around with my bottle of tap water and a scowl firmly planted on my face. Not that it is at all excusable in the first place (although you might be forgiven for thinking that as a blogger I didn’t qualify for the same treatment as all the stylists and journalists) I was there in an official capacity and not as a blogger so I was at least expecting one member of staff to politely come and say hello, but alas this didn’t happen. Rude, inept and arrogant staff aside there were a couple of designers worthy of a mention.

First up as I walked round was Auds, a contemporary accessories label which I would categorize as being in the same ilk as Tatty Devine. Think lots of kitsch Perspex jewellery in bold text in the form of rings, brooches, necklaces and bracelets.

A designer who caught my imagination was Yang Du whose offbeat designs were great fun. Commonly described as a ‘surrealist’ designer Yang’s designs I felt were highly wearable and would look amazing on the right woman. I think the plainer shift dresses would be great for a professional/ office look whilst the kooky pieces are perfect for anyone who wants to express their playful character through fashion.

Whilst not at all a fan of Religion I saw a beautiful one-shouldered asymmetric dress which was beautifully constructed. I loved everything from the linen material to the rainbow colours pared down with grey highlights. I believe this is the first item of Religion clothing that I would have no qualms about buying and hanging in my wardrobe.

After the bad start at House of Gods I moved on to the Hobbs store on Regent Street which had been closed especially for the SS10 collection preview. Whilst I had no idea what to expect once inside I was pleasantly surprised to find there were lots of items (both clothing and accessories) that I would happily wear. The new collection is split into three sections; Mainline, NW3 and Heritage + Artisan.

The first of the three was located on the first floor and was what anyone would expect from Hobbs with lots of outdoor inspired coats and separates which had been brought bang up to date with beautiful bright colours, classic patterns and luxurious fabrics such as silk and fine wool. As was explained to me this is a new direction for Hobbs encouraging their original consumer to experiment with colour, pattern and layering to modernise their wardrobes.

The next section I perused was that of NW3, a range aimed at a slightly younger consumer, which was bursting with bright colour. Talked through the range by the accessories designer, I was really impressed with how wearable and fashion forward the pieces were, none more so than the grey pinstripe suiting playsuit which I thought was absolutely genius!! I don’t think I would be bold enough to wear it which is perhaps why I was in awe that Hobbs had dared to design something so new and out of the brand’s stereotypical comfort zone.

Other great items were all of the accessories which blew me away. Brilliant patent handbags and satchels– great as everyday work bags. Absolutely loved the monochrome brogues (which also came in beige/gold colourways) and the array of hats and purses that had been embellished with pearls had such a beautiful vintage feel to them.

Still on the subject of accessories I absolutely loved the brightly coloured Perspex ladybird and toadstool brooches, these are so my style that I can’t wait to buy one next summer.

Upstairs on the way out I perused the Heritage + Artisan collection which sees all fabrics sourced, produced and processed within the UK. This was a truly great collection, with an expected higher price point, but I believe the extra money is worth it for the attention to detail and sheer beauty of every garment.

Peppered with very traditional English patterns such as tapestry esque florals combined with Irish linen this great collection brought the more traditional Hobb’s hunting jackets and jodhpurs into the 21st Century with lots of embellishment and severe puffball skirts.

After Hobb’s I dashed round to Saville Row for the Purple PR press day. Having not visited the Purple HQ before I wasn’t too sure what to expect and was pleasantly surprised by the high calibre of clients showcased. Among the designers of note was Luella, whose beautifully crafted polka-dot heels caught my eye.

A new designer to my radar that I liked very much was Aggugini whose collection comprised of many elegant evening dresses all created in rich fabrics such as silks and chiffons printed with everything from snakeskin to check and gold lame. An absolutely beautiful collection which I believe is aimed at women in their thirties.

Also showing was the work of PPQ which was predictably lovely and made me want to play dress-up. I loved the heavy use of pattern throughout the range and was really impressed by the pleating present on most of the garments.

DKNY was alright, not a brand I’m overly fond of as for me it falls into the ‘American bland’ category that best describes designers such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors who just aren’t adventurous enough with their colour palettes among other things for my taste. What I did like about the DKNY range was the chain detail bags which I thought were quite simple in design but had a really high impact and were very classic in that they were transeasonal.

I also liked one of the garments which was a (you’ve guessed it) brightly coloured sequin embellished dress.

The last designer who caught my eye at Purple was Richard James whose brightly coloured floral separates were beyond amazing. If he made clothes for women I would absolutely love to dress head to toe in these vintage effect prints.
My final stop of the day was the Relative Mo press day held within the grandeur of Somerset House. Packed to the rafters with high end designer collections I felt privileged to be in the company of clothing by some of my favourite labels: Christian Dior, Giles, Issa and Erdem to name but a few. Situated in both the Navy and Portico Rooms, the first designer I came across was Tibi.

What I liked most about the Tibi collection was how the pieces embodied American laid-back cool whilst being fun and chic. I loved the splashes of colour present throughout the collection and the continuity of pattern. My favourite pieces were a bubble-hem front pleated skirt in white with blue mock-croc print, an embellished lilac suede mini skirt and a silk and dress with sequin embroidery and appliqué.

The next designers I came across were Poltock + Walsh whom I hadn’t heard of previously. I loved the designer’s sharp tailoring skills juxtaposed with innovative textile sculpture and pleating techniques that I hadn’t seen before. I just thought this collection was absolutely beautiful and I would love to own several of the dresses. These designs are edgy, eye-catching and best of all hand constructed.

Another collection I absolutely loved was that of Brit designer Emma Cook. I love the woodland animals theme that she had going on and instantly fell in love with her brown owl shaped linen dress, which is beautifully constructed.

Another animal featured in Emma’s designs was the fox, whose facade appeared on both a frill detailed vest top and a patterned woollen cardigan. A really witty and ultra feminine collection that makes me wish I was a millionaire!

Other great designers on show were the mighty Hervé Ledger who as everyone knows is one of the hottest dress makers in Hollywood right now having started one of the hottest recent trends in recent years with his bandage dresses. Other than his legendary design skills what I love most about Hervé is his ability to continually refresh and update such an iconic garment which has seen many incarnations all over the high street. Amazing.

Nicholas Kirkwood, a designer of shoes which I have long coveted was showing his latest range of sexy and somewhat futuristic footwear. Featuring strong colours, python skin prints and stud detailing these heels could definitely be described as fierce. If you’re tall like me and often prefer flats there were also some sexy patent lace ups that make me think of jazz and tap dancing–fantastic.

Next up was a great favourite of mine; British Fashion Council award winning Erdem. Loved the beautiful floral structured shift dresses and jackets. What I thought was great was that there were only 12 items on display yet due to the varying cuts, sleeve lengths and necklines I believe that they appeal to all women which is why I love Erdem, he designs clothes for real women.

Another British fashion designer showcasing was Christopher Kane, whose collection mainly consisted of checked items in pastels and earth tones.

Louise Goldin's collection was amazing. I loved the combination of metallic and pastel coloured threads and the quilting techniques. Highlights included a gold and pink knitted dress with an inbuilt conical bra evocative of Madonna circa The Immaculate Collection.

I really liked the lace frill detailing on a halter neck dress and mini skirt in grey and white respectively. Also loved the warm summery pattern on a linen skirt and dress.

Another great designer I saw was Julien MacDonald. I Really liked the ankle high checked mesh boots in black with open toe and buckle detailing, The highlights for me were the sculptural shoulders on a couple of jackets with the bronze in particular really standing out.

Giles was also flying the British flag with his collection of cocktail dresses which were stunning, as always. Loved the shoes as well but not sure if they were Giles designed.

Nathan Jenden was a designer whose collection I was really looking forward to seeing and was very excited about. With beautiful splashes of colour on floating fabrics such as silk and chiffon this bright feminine collection looked like the theme might have been insects. Loved the variety of textures and patterns embellished with buttons, crystals and other treasures.

Another great showcasing was Eley Kishimoto whose pattern heavy collection was a delight to see.

One of my favourite shoes designers Charlotte Olympia showed a stunning SS10 collection. Loved the bright pop colours, animal prints and snakeskin. With sexy court shoes, strappy sandals, platforms and ankle boots there’s a great pair of shoes for every occasion.

A great highlight of the press day for me was that of Issa whose collection was situated in one of the last rooms occupied by Relative Mo. With lots of hand sequined detailing and embellishments this great collection was immaculately constructed and finished to perfection.

As I was looking through the rails I noticed what originally looked like sun hats draped over the top and then realised that they were visors with really wide brims– perfect for poolside glamour.

Last but by no means least I found staff packing away the Christian Dior collection, but luckily I was just in time to take a few snaps of the shoes– exquisite.

Other great pieces I spotted were this beautiful laser cut leather jacket in olive green by Graeme Black. Whilst I’m not sure I would wear it I was really impressed close up with the level of craftsmanship and detail that went into it.

Fell in love with these patent black stilettos with chrystal and plastic embellishments, I think they’re fantastic.

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