Friday 17 June 2011

Brand Of The Week: Harold Kensington

Images throughout courtesy of Harold Kensington/ LCF and Catwalking. The above are photographed by Sean Michael. All images below are photographed by Christopher Moore.
Entitled ‘Samburu Gathering’, Kensington’s eye-catching autumn 2011 collection consists of strong rouched stripe detail dresses and sophisticated separates topped with thick boiled wool coats, complimented by unfinished swathes of draped fabric in bright, block colours. Capturing my imagination to the full, Kensington’s models sashayed down the catwalk looking like far-flung nomadic tribal goddesses, oozing luxury, class and elegance.
Created on what one would expect to be a tight, student budget, ‘Samburu Gathering’ is fittingly ‘inspired by the turmoil and depression of the 1940s, mixed with African tribal stripes and layering’. An intriguing collection that incorporates Kensington’s love of photography juxtaposed with different interpretations of the humble stripe, my favourite look would have to be the first to hit the catwalk; an 80s silhouette luxury woollen burgundy coat and canary yellow/ stripe detail blouse paired with the 'Bodi' high-waisted two-tone blue and baby pink trousers with a slightly dropped crotch and side buckle detail.
What really impressed me most about this collection was the level of attention to detail and superior intrinsic design that shone throughout, being particularly evident in the accompanying accessories. The bags were divine: coming in a variety of low-slung and shoulder designs, each made in red/ yellow or red/ blue leather, complete with studs on the base to rival the finish of any top designer. Shoes were painted (with stripes naturally), wooden block platforms with leather and metal detailing, that followed through beautifully in a variety of chokers and cuffs.

Speaking of his collection Kensington says: “My initiative explores projects that create new possibilities of fashion through the discovery of forms and mediums it exists in. I have the ability to reinvent fashion archetypes and basic shapes to create interest; this is a vantage point in an industry where it is central to stay relevant. I feel it is imperative to grow, revise and realize my ideas through recurrent analysis and critique to enable a suitable/wearable product for the Kensington woman, also to define idiosyncrasy as a contemporary luxury designer.

With the notion of novelty as a brand value I pull references from an extensive research pool covering cultural, historical and contemporary influences to form a body of explorations shaped by design process as well as my opinion. My style is informed by oversized fit translated into refined wearable womenswear; delivering a quality assured/luxury collection amidst the exploration of new surfaces, fit and creativity.”
Aged just 21, BA Fashion and Technology graduate Kensington currently works for Holly Fulton as a designer and pattern cutter, and with an ambition to design for a luxury fashion house such as Lanvin in the future, I have every confidence that the world is Mr Kensington’s oyster.

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