Wednesday 9 March 2011

LFW Diary AW11: Lu Flux

A designer whose charm and wit transcends the constraints of fashion design, Lu Flux has been pioneering ethical fashion on her own terms for several years, fast becoming a firm favourite of mine. If like me, fashion with heaps of character is your bag, than you’ll find the eponymous Lu Flux label to be bursting at the seams, offering quintessentially British eccentricity neatly compacted into delectable wearable delights.
Having been introduced to Flux's work through her SS10 collection; the cleverly titled Eco Life of Riley really caught my attention and imagination: featuring costume bluetit suits, eclectic patchwork detailing, jarring graphics and hand-crafted raffia goods made in conjunction with SOKO Kenya (as mentioned in my Lalesso GOTW post on Friday).
Revered for her trademark wide shapes, it was business as usual when I saw Flux and her beautiful AW11 collection, Sea and be Seen at Estethica, where she has exhibited twice previously. Inspired by the eternal, alluring mysteries of the deep blue sea, silhouettes are loose and lean, accentuated by opulent velvets in rich burgundy and aqua marine shades, purposefully designed to sit awkwardly on the body with adroit manipulation of fabric resembling giant clams and anemones – subtly bringing the murky sea to life.
Working in collaboration with artist and illustrator Dan Arnold, Flux has utilised intriguing drawings of ‘mind-boggling deep-sea beasts amid the inky waves’, which are digitally printed onto jersey, and blown up-from their microscopic habitats to be quilted onto heritage Harris Tweed and of course the sumptuous velvet, which features oh-so heavily. A thoroughly regal affair that screams “high quality”, this season Flux’s knitwear is sponsored by Jamieson + Smith of the Shetland Islands who create beautiful yarns from the wool of purebred Shetland Sheep.
Key garments include the ‘Kelp Cardigan’ in grey with oversized white polka dots reminiscent of ethereal clouds and the ‘Fin Dress’; an oversized shirt with ruffle detailing, repeated in differing variations throughout the collection. I particularly loved the shoes with their oversized buckle details and patchwork colours reminding me of swashbucklers! Partnering with Green Shoes - the ethical, hand-made shoe company based in Devon - for the third time Flux’s footwear scores a hat-trick utilising the velvet from the collection to add corresponding finishes to shoes, bags and belts.
To put a finer point on the beauty and detail of this collection, Flux has done fashion journalists and bloggers a great favour by teaming up with her long-term collaborative partner Neil O’Driscoll, to create a short film which brings to life the aquatic motifs of the collection in a velvet-draped den of iniquity.

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