Monday, 19 December 2011

Brian Clarke launches new flagship boutique

This month saw the opening of luxury menswear designer Brain Clarke’s new flagship boutique just off Marylebone High Street. Here you will see high quality tailoring using cloth produced by the mills in Scotland and Italy. Clarke takes the classic heritage look and adds his own contemporary touch.

For his SS12 collection he takes his inspiration from the nineteenth century young academics:

A softer modern bib front on Clarke’s shirts emulates the traditional starched shirt fronts, and the high standing rounded collars the look that was so popular in mid 1800 Eton College. Tan leather brogues are given a twist with off centre lacing and the Regatta blazer is available in double as well as the traditional single breasted.
For the present colder winter months he updates two traditional coat styles:

The classic rugged pea coat shows its softer side with faux fur.

The sheepskin coat‘s cheeky ‘Delboy’ reputation is replaced with an edgy and trendier look by Clarke’s design of a slimmer fit, unfinished edges, double breasted and detachable hood.

As a teenager Brian loved to interpret street fashion and create his own style. The next obvious step was to take this creativity and learn how to make his own designs. So he registered at the London College of Fashion to study how to design light clothing and pattern cutting. After completing his studies, Brian worked at Berman’s & Nathan’s theatrical costumiers. Here he worked on costumes for Colditz, Superman and all the BBC series, but promises his own collections will not include wearing underpants over tights! However, it was when he worked as assistant designer/pattern cutter for Katherine Hamnett that he really became hooked on fashion.

After a few years Brian eventually decided to go it alone and started styling and designing clothes for pop videos of numerous bands: Jackie Graham, David Grant, Imagination and Spandau ballet to name a few. He also set up a pattern cutting, sample making and small production service for emerging designer labels which included Stephen Linard, Duffer of St. George, Joe Casely Hayford and Nigel Hall. An opportunity to work for one of the leading young fashion companies in Japan became available, providing Clarke with more hands on experience in fashion design.

Clarke’s new boutique also provides in-store bespoke tailoring.

26 Paddington Street

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Pringle pre-fall 2012

Whilst we’re busy hunting down the perfect outfit for this winter, something to keep us warm but also looking cool, those designers have moved on to their pre-fall 2012 collections and some are ready to tease us with their new designs. I say tease because no matter how good we’ve been Santa won’t be bringing them to us this Christmas. But all is not lost as they say good things come to those who wait. Here’s a great collection that hopefully will come our way soon:

Alistair Carr, Design Director for Pringle of Scotland, brings out his first Pre-Fall 2012 collection for the brand.

Carr has turned to Pringle’s own rich brand heritage for inspiration, looking at knitwear as outerwear, their iconic intarsia design and the classic twinset. But then adds his own twist.

He takes the twinset concept a step further by not only matching the sweater and cardigan, but the whole outfit.  Trousers and skirts are in matching geometric patterned knits with jackets whilst knitted dresses are double layered in contrasting colours of wine with peony; and bottle green with burnt orange

Pringle’s intarsia designs have a makeover with a bold woven jacquard print on a satin trimmed smoking suit, cocktail dress and skirt.

And the token classic twinsets in the collection feature a textured star embroidered design, rather than the smooth signature argyle pattern.

The colour palette is deep and rich wine, bottle green and navy with accents of acid brights. These brights are more dominant in the graffiti print used on stretch twill utility pieces.

For the outerwear, the casual parka is made in luxurious pony skin with fox and mink fur trimmed hoods.

Shoes are in collaboration with Chrissie Morris.  

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky 

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Versace for H&M

Thursday 17 November is the day when around 300 H&M stores worldwide will open their doors to queues of eager men and women waiting to get their hands on the affordable Versace for H&M collection.

But firstly, those hands will be given coloured wristbands to wear. The colours will represent time slots of 15 minutes of focused serious shopping.  To stop bulk buying and give everyone a chance to purchase there will be a few rules such as only one of each piece.

For the collection, Versace have turned to their archives and brought out some classic designs and patterns which are the essence of Versace.  Which is a great idea; after all if you’re buying a Versace for H&M you’ll probably expect and want it to be easily recognisable as a Versace. This collection will not disappoint.

For Women:

The collection is bold, glamorous and will definitely turn heads. Famed colourful prints such as the Miami palm print can be seen on cute pleated skirts, leggings, sleeveless tops, jeans and velvet bomber jackets.

Gold studs form their iconic Grecian motif trim brightly coloured silk shift dresses, pleated skirts and leather jackets.

The short Grecian style dress appears in silver and gold shimmering metallics whilst shift dresses are adorned with flirty fringing or covered in multi coloured sequins forming the Versace prints.

It’s not all bright colours though as black also features as simply adorned black crepe dresses, studded leather dresses and jackets, and studded silk pleated skirts and tops. Accessories include high heeled laced boots, belts and bags.

For Men:

There’s a choice of the classic black or eye popping pink in suit jackets and trousers. Metallic wing tips adorn the collars of turquoise shirts, and the pockets of a black tuxedo jacket have metallic trims.

The colourful Versace palm and the black & white optical prints grace t-shirts, fine knit cashmere sweaters, velvet bomber jackets and jeans.  If this may be too much you could always keep the pattern and colours under wraps with just the underpants.

Heavy gold studs trim leather jacket s and leather trousers. One quilted leather jacket has the classic Greek motif which also appears on the sides of black cotton shorts and a black rolled sleeve t-shirt. Accessories include beanie hats, scarves and shoes.

And if that isn’t enough, they have a few pieces for the home including pillows and a bedspread in the multicolour floral Japanese fan print.

I predict this collection will be flying off the rails on Thursday and there will be a few fashionistas taking time off work to be first in the queue. And for those of you who don’t live or work near the chosen H&M stores, there is always online.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Monday, 7 November 2011

Designer Pudsey Collection

Pudsey bear has always been stylish with his golden fur coat and polka dot bandana worn over one eye. But this year Pudsey decided to move away from his signature capsule wardrobe and agreed to strut his stuff in a few couture creations especially designed for him by twelve talented high end fashion designers. The only stipulation Pudsey made to the designers was the bandana stays!

Here’s what some of the designers had to say about working with Pudsey:

Katie Hillier: “It was brilliant and so much fun, I love teddy bears and to have the opportunity to work on such an iconic teddy was amazing! I'm so honoured to have been able to be involved in such an important project.”

Hillier’s Pudsey has the laidback Bohemian chic look. The fur has been replaced with faded blue denim trimmed with coloured stitching and the bandana is a patchwork of baby pink ditsy floral and polka dot patterns. Adding textures are clusters of multi sized patterned buttons and the scattering of coloured opaque flat beads on the bandana and chest. You have to agree, he’s looking as cute as a button in this outfit. 

When asked whether Pudsey was enjoyable to work with, Giles Deacon said: “Yes Pudsey was great to work with and not as much of a diva as I had thought.” Pudsey may not have a diva temperament, but definitely looks the part with this glamorous silver leather futuristic look. Deacon’s Pudsey star quality shines through with the leather bandana twinkling away with hand stitched Swarovski Elements crystals. To add to the diva drama is the long sweeping leather fringing – great for making a shooting star entrance.

Liberty: “Liberty is thrilled to take part in the designer Pudsey initiative and to support BBC Children in Need. It’s great to see talent and creativity joined for such a worthy cause.” Ed Burstell, Managing Director, Liberty London.

Of course the Liberty Pudsey is not afraid to mix patterns and colours. Getting in touch with his feminine side with an array of ditsy florals, he’s going for the soft pastel colours on the body whilst adding a more dramatic black background to his floral cardigan. His bandana is still a key piece with the use of the bright orange.

Erdem: “It’s wonderful to work with Children In Need. It’s a great cause.” On what Children in Need means: “It means helping to make a difference that affects the futures of many children.” A message encouraging the general public to support BBC CiN this year: “No matter how big or small your contribution is, every bit counts.” This delicate lemon botanical print is straight from Erdem’s SS12 collection and works well with the powder blue eye button. A great spring look.

Henry Holland: “I think anything I can do to make a difference to help the lives of children in the UK can only be a good thing. Children in Need is such a great cause and Pudsey is such an iconic character - I loved the idea of putting the House of Holland stamp on him.” 

Holland decided to punk up Pudsey combining his tartan print from his SS12 collection with leather paws and ears. The bandana goes dark but keeps its iconic dots and looks striking against the pastel colours in the tartan. A chunky chain and padlock around Pudsey’s neck finishes off the punk look.

Patrick Grant: Grant’s Pudsey has the sartorial heritage look. The tailoring is of course bespoke Savile Row and handmade in Norton & Sons workroom. The plain black wool bandana is made of Melton cloth from Hainsworth in Yorkshire. The dashing black and red tartan is of wool and cashmere woven by Locharron in Selkirk and originally for the E. Tautz AW2009 collection. Pudsey loves the fact it’s been recycled. In fact he’s chuffed to bits to be stuffed with discarded wool, cotton, linen and silk scraps from the tailors’ board in their Seville Row workroom.

Jonathan Saunders: A patchwork of intarsia geometric prints covers Saunder’s Pudsey in colour ways of blues, oranges and browns. The bandana is ‘eye catching ‘in sky blue and orange.

Mulberry: Less is more for the Mulberry Pudsey. No patterns or embellishments here, just smooth tan leather teamed with black leather bandana and paws.

PPQ: PPQ’s Pudsey is dapper in black with a grosgrain ribbon bow trim adorning his neck and a pale gold silk bandana encrusted with pale blue stones.

Pringle of Scotland by Alistair Carr: Pringle have gone for pure cashmere with 1 carat diamonds to finish off Pudsey’s cardigan

Louis Vuitton by Kim Jones for Katie Grand

This design is still under wraps, but all the bears from the Designer Pudsey Collection will be exhibited at Liberty in London from 7-19 November.

The collection will be auctioned to raise money for BBC Children in Need. Details of the auction can be found on

As a great emporium for innovative and eclectic design, Liberty is the perfect place for the Designer Pudseys to be exhibited while they are under auction. Plus you’ll be able to buy postcards of all the designs as a keepsake.

Sarah Monteith, Director of Marketing and fundraising, BBC Children in Need says: "We are absolutely delighted to have such prestigious designers turn Pudsey couture. And to have Liberty exhibit this one-off collection, allows everyone to view a piece of fashion history. A truly inspirational fundraising initiative."

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Introducing Mrs Sweeney

After years of receiving requests, Oliver Sweeney has finally been persuaded to create a women’s range and lovingly called her ‘Mrs Sweeney’.

Maintaining the high standards of their men’s range, Mrs Sweeney is produced in the same family run factory in the Marche region of Italy.  This first collection is inspired by the signature looks of the men’s line and uses the brand’s decorative nailing on the outsole with flashes of the lime colouring.

Within the range is:
Antonella - a lightweight oxford shoe with a low cut upper and a tamponatta finish. This tamponatta finish is a colouring technique where layers of colour are applied by hand over time. It is the factory owner’s daughter Simona who has hand painted every shoe individually making each pair unique.  The light colours of purple and blue with a dull sheen bring a flirty feminine look making these flats ideal for dresses such as the tea dress.
Ornella - the knee high riding boot in grey or brown, also crafted in a tamponatta finish.
Graziella - the only court shoe and high heeled shoe in the range, making a bold statement in a rich rust colour.
Sophia - the ankle boot with brogue detailing and a nod to the Jodhpur boot. In rust or tan.
Valentina - a light derby shoe with a waxed aged upper leather in royal blue, rust or tan.

But it is the brogue which makes the most impact, especially as it is bang on trend this season with the androgynous look.
Emilia has a relaxed lived in look with burnished suede or aged leather uppers.  In burgundy, brown or blue suede and burgundy leather.
Caterina is a heavier brogue with the chunky St Moritz rubber sole, great for the winter weather. In blue or grey.
Simona has the seriously polished look in bordeaux or tan with leather sole. Great for those mannish sharp suits or a tailored dress.

Available soon on

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Monday, 24 October 2011


Personal Stylists Camilla and Milda take the hassle out of shopping for clothes & accessories and bring confidence, creativity and warmth to your wardrobe, fulfilling all your fashion and retail needs. 

After you've had an extensive wardrobe overhaul with invaluable styling advice, they use their extensive knowledge of the fashion and retail world to locate pieces that will make you feel great in all situations. 

For work, an event, or just a weekend away, guarantees you'll be dressed in your own personal style and have the confidence to make it work, bringing out the true fashionistas in you!  

Sunday, 25 September 2011

London Fashion Week SS12 - MENSWEAR


Shannon keeps his signature sportswear orientated staples but this time with a more formal edge and fitted silhouette giving a more grown up appeal. However after saying that there are still the fun touches of youthful playfulness energising the collection:  White polka dots on knee length shorts, digital prints and the rows of chunky tassels adorning the bottom of shirts, shorts and middle of tops.

Classic navy and white was the main colour palette with block colours of bright orange, greys and shades of blues.

Shirts and jackets are in the usual Shannon mix of wide strips of colour blocks but this time he introduces a patchwork of small squares in the colourful Madras check. Love the blue madras patchwork check bomber jacket with its plain navy sleeves and the blue madras patchwork check shirt with its white yoke. Both worn with slim jogging pants.

Shannon keeps a boyish charm and adds his own version of eco-friendly by using a mix of different hair combs to create headpieces reminiscent of the Native American headwear.

Footwear by Swear was plimsolls with raised platforms and two tone block coloured soles.


Titled ‘Rebellious Decadence’ this collection is a mix of sharp edged tailored suits and rich bohemian style casual wear.

Suits are double breasted in pale cool colours of greys, stone and blues in cotton linens, whilst single buttoned jackets are in the deeper tonic jacquards. All worn with digital stripe printed jersey tops and kick flared trousers.

The decadence really hits its peak with the casual wear - printed silks, short suede shorts and luxury knits.

Making a statement is the silk pyjamas in pink and orange patterns worn over a digital striped jersey top and under a chunky knit cardigan with a gorgeous pair of pink patent tassel loafers, Bedtime has never looked so good.

The prints have a Kashmir and Moroccan influence in their design and use burnt oranges, teals, sky blue, purples and raspberry hues.

Bag of the season is a printed Maroc leather shopper rolled and belted to form a harder hand held piece.

Shoes are coloured and/or patterned. The loafers range from the more conservative navy leathers, the cool light grey patents to the more vibrant patents in bright orange and pink. And then there are the attention grabbing multi coloured patterned cotton Derbys.
Words of warning, if one of your silk or knitted pieces goes missing, look in your girlfriend or wife’s wardrobe.


Titled ‘Massai Punk’ here Mara warrior meets dangerous street chic in a wild eclectic blend of Massai ornaments fused with Punk culture and digital prints.

This collection of both men and womenswear was bright and colourful.  The guys were more subdued with the main colour palette of black trimmed with colourful digital prints: A black blazer trimmed around the lapels and pockets, skirt flaps over trousers trimmed on the hem, and digital printed belts adorning the legs of shorts and around the chest of jackets. Black leather bondage straps were worn as ornate braces or as detail to black jackets The first male model wore an American black and orange nylon baseball jacket which was like a cuckoo in the nest, neither warrior nor punk, although the baseball cap was decorated with African inspired patterns and bondage straps adorned the wrists as bracelets and decorated the shoes. The Massai Punk shone out as a pair of multi colour low crotch shorts worn with a black leather gilet and a wide round beaded collar Masai necklace.


CAT Footwear provided a heritage work boot style for Martine Rose’s SS12 collection. It was a customised adaptation of the signature Sequoia work boot with mustard yellow laces adorned with brightly coloured enamel painted jewels.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Friday, 23 September 2011

London Fashion Week SS12 - Day Five


Titled ‘Mechanical fAILURE’, this collection’s aim was to form an expression of defiance in an age of retraction.

It was a high contrast of fabrics, shapes and colours coming together. Neutral shades of khaki, black and beige with the richer yellows and iridescent purples. Crisp cottons and wool with taffeta silks. Sharply tailored serious shirts with the more flirty voluminous short trousers and skirts.

Knee length jodhpurs created movement with their 3D folds imitating a propeller whilst the bunching up of fabric on taffeta skirts and dresses created the illusion of light fluffy clouds. All were paired with no nonsense tailored blouses which gave a grounded and edgier feel to the whole look.

The only failure present here was in the title.


Although the collection is titled ‘A Fairy Dance’, inspiration came partly from the traditional Manila shawl of Madrid. In the 18th Century, beautiful hand embroidered silk shawls made their way from China and featured peonies, pagodas and dragons. However soon the patterns changed from their Chinese essence to accommodate the Spanish taste of birds, butterflies and roses.

Palomino’s collection is a mix of these patterns, from oriental patterns of pagodas on bold red gowns to the laser cut white appliqué butterfly and floral motifs on black gowns. 
But a fairy dance feel was there in the lightness and the ethereal movement of the fabrics, the cobweb sleeves and bodies adorned with floral embroidery and the wonderful flora and fauna headpieces by Angel Amor.


Israeli born Inbar took her SS12 inspiration from the theme of nightmares and hell of her own hometown which was destroyed by fire this year.  Focusing more on the fear which is mixed with happiness at a large gathering such as a wedding, her collection was not as darkly gothic as I expected. In fact the colour palette was gold, white, dusty pink and pale green with only a smattering of black.

Creating a Goth like royal court, the first models wore voluminous gold and silver brocade faux leather jackets and coats over frothy tulle skirts.  No straight lines here but wavy zip fasteners and undulating padded sleeves.

The darker side appeared in tulle strips wrapped around metallic faux leather and lace dresses like bandages, whilst diaphanous metallic embossed lace dresses clung to the body in uneven folds giving the impression of scarred tissue.

It was the honeycomb tulle dresses that fascinated me, loved the fullness, the texture, the look and how they bounced as the models walked. A white floor length tulle dress wound its honeycomb self around a model like a giant swirling meringue.  Thinking that this was the finale dress as how could you top that? To prove me wrong, a golden faux leather dress appeared with a floor length honeycomb skirt instantly reminding me of a beautiful 3D bell decoration you hang up at Christmas. This dress needed respect as it bounced and moved to its own tune, and the model had no option but to move slowly providing us with a great opportunity to see the intricate laser cut perforation designs. 


Not titled ‘A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing ‘ but ‘A Wolf in Lambs Clothing’, it was every little girls dream from the runway with arches made of pastel coloured balloons, the gaggle of little ballerinas pirouetting in the middle and the bigger girls in blonde wigs and pastel satin baby doll slips playing with lipstick and powder puffs.  

The models emerged in childlike inspired clothes, blue pinafore dress with large multi coloured buttons layered over a multi coloured checked dress with tie, red skirt with heart shaped pockets and a smiley face heart shaped bib , pink leotard with bloomers peeping through.

Slightly more grown up was the next procession of models in 18th century French court inspired garments – baby blue coat dress embellished in gold brocade but with cheeky powder puffs peeping out of the breast pockets, and a baby pink leotard with short cape attachment and blue lacy blouse underneath.  There were cheeky elements in the guise of a white crystal embellished bustier style leotard with fluffy skirt and a baby pink cardigan with peek-a-boo holes revealing a sequined bra underneath.  

All gloriously over the top and very  sugar and spice even down to the wedge shoes which were trimmed with metallic frills top and bottom and looking very much like slices of cake.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

London Fashion Week SS12 - Day Four


Titled ‘Autour d’un Point’ after Frantisek Kupkas’s painting of a succession of small shapes which form abstract circles. This season’s collection sees circular shapes of metallic adornments over soft fabrics, bold geometric shapes merging with animal prints to form an abstract pattern, metallic circular embellishments and sequins overlapping to create the illusion of 3D studded pattern on oversized pockets, pauldrons and belts. Not overly keen on the sequined belts and pauldrons, but the oversized metallic pockets bring dimension and interest to the little black dress and glamour to the long simple jackets.  The black and white abstract print is a breath of fresh air as an alternative to wearing a pure animal print.

Also inspired by Diana Vreeland, his muse for the season, and for her ability to blend hard and soft elements, his collection plays on all things contrasting- light and shade, day and night, hard and soft.

Like the painting the colour palette is contrasting black and white with metallic hues of silver and gold.  

This collection seemed to have something for everyone, the more structured dresses, soft blouses with oversized frilled sleeves, tailored trouser suits, a 60’s take on space age wear with metallic embellishments and a tribal nod from the abstract print. 


Images courtesy Chris Dadey

After a long day running from show to show and queuing for hours, you may go in to a Ziad Ghanem show feeling exhausted and agitated, but you’ll come out feeling invigorated and on a high!

Titled ‘Matka Joanna’ the collection’s inspiration came from the Polish film ‘Matka Joanna od aniolow’ (Mother Joan of the Angels). Here is good and evil in a tale of a nun processed by demons and where love and sacrifice is her only salvation.

OK the inspiration doesn’t sound like something that will lift your spirits but Ziad uses fine art performers as well as models. These performers know how to work that catwalk and work it they did!  The gorgeous singer Miss SaHHara sashayed in a silk flower print evening gown dramatised with the red colour bleeding, and even more so with red drips painted down SaHHara’s shoulders.  Dominatrix and fire performer Jessica Love Dougher showed tough love in a see through corseted dress and g string.

Here temptation abounds in burlesque curve enhancing corsets and diaphanous silk organza body skimming silhouettes worn with nothing underneath. One little black dress although body skimming, looked quite demure and ordinary compared to the rest of the collection, until she walked past and showed a long row of loosely tied laces exposing her back and derrier.

The colour palette was monochrome representing good and evil with splashes of blood red, pinks and peaches.

Bringing innocence in to the collection was Ziad’s little niece wearing a white bridesmaid style dress, although she gave a little diva toss of her hair as she walked off the stage- bless! 

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

London Fashion Week SS12 - Day Three


Korean born Newgen designer, Jackie Lee graduated from Central Saint Martin’s in 2010and launched her label the same year. This year she looks to the 1920’s style of dropped waists and boyish straight silhouettes for her SS12 collection.

For her fabric, she has taken inspiration from her niece whilst she was eating candy floss. It was not the fluffiness of the candy floss itself that caught her eye, but she became fascinated by the look and feel it had on her niece’s clothing. She replicated the effect and created a high shine embossed film on to her garments.

Expecting candy floss pink to be in the colour palette, it was not to be as monochrome black and white dominated with accents of cobalt blue and peach. I suppose it would have been too sweet and girlie for her sleek and androgynous shapes.

A few styles where a bit too clinical looking but most looked ideal for a hot summer’s day. I could imagine the peach top with plunging black neckline worn over a white shift dress looking stunning for a lazy warm hot day at Wimbledon or cricket.


Originally a print brand only, Japanese designer Rira Sugawara’s Dans La Vie has now evolved in to a full blown label.

The print theme for her SS12 collection started as Clash Beauty and was inspired by the aftermath of Tokyo’s earthquake in March. The collection has since developed with Madonnas overcoming the situation in the style of ‘My Pop Madonna’ with four musicians and four different prints and Rose’s motif.

The four prints were:

‘Camouflage Madonna’ –the face of a green Madonna hiding amongst foliage and behind orange and black stripes. The musician is Madonna herself and the song chosen was ‘Like a Prayer’ with a dark red cross on the top of a pyjama style top and pants set.

‘Red Angel’ – cherubs amongst oversized red flowers on a caramel background. Here Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ played.

‘Rose Madonna’ – the face of a pink Madonna amongst pink roses, hearts and cherubs climbing ladders. Touches of blue are added here and there. Rihanna sings ‘Only Girl’
‘City Tokyo’- street scenes next to religious figures and green apples being a dominant image. This time it was Lady Gaga singing’ Born this Way’

There was a 50’s vibe with the calf length full skirted shirt dresses and their wide belts and the holiday style shorts and matching blouse sets. Although of course for Lady Gaga there was the not so 50’s style diaphanous blouse with black plasters covering the nipples.
Loved the plastic coating over the fabric used for the skirts and mac.


                         Images courtesy Chris Dadey

The models for Cristina Sabaiduc’s collection started in simple vests and high waisted knickers and then dressed along the way by adding layers which could be adorned and customised to suit the wearer’s needs and create different looks. Initially the garments are displayed on a clothes line.

The soft draping is inspired by Tibet and Ancient China culture with silk and jersey fabrics being used.

The models showing how to layer the pieces was a great idea in theory. However in practice not everyone could see this part and it was a long wait in-between each model walking down the catwalk aisle.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

London Fashion Week SS12 - Day Two


                                  Images courtesy Chris Dadey

Inspired by the tale of Scheherazade who captured the heart of King Shahryar by her storytelling every night for one thousand and one nights and so sparing her life, this collection translates in to a starry Arabian night.

The colour palette was full of Eastern promise from  high contrasting midnight black and silvery star panels to the softer sandy tones of Sahara beige and ivory harlequin patterns. An oasis of light sorbet pinks and pale lime yellows joined the sandy hues whilst the deeper jewelled tones of coral and oriental blue shined against the midnight black.

Hemlines were mainly below the knee and either cut in to geometric zigzag pattern or slit in to panels. The shorter skirts were lengthened with long fringing.

It was not all dresses as the cropped trousers and slouchy boyfriend jackets brought a casual elegance to the collection.

Maybe like King Shahryar, you are left wanting more as the models depart and show the stunning backlines of the dresses. On some, delicate chain racer backs join the top tip of a star panel whilst on others two stars form the corners of low backs. And don’t forget to check out the shoes with the half star shapes.


This poor woman was suffering from a high temperature a few days before the show but ever a professional the show must go on and what a show. This season the inspiration was simple – Asian trees and flowers, but the results were beautiful hand drawn flower prints, the first time Bukia had introduced a print to her collection.  

The show started with flowing grey chiffons grounded by structured white mandarin collars, with only a glimpse of red showing on chiffon shorts and blouses as the oversized flower print. The monochrome returned with an ethereal tree print silhouette on a white background. The red then made its dramatic entrance in the guise of silk satin cropped trousers followed quickly by a red satin bodice teamed with a wonderful pair of wide legged trousers in black and white wide horizontal stripes with the overlap of the large red flower print. These were my favourite until a red and white vertical striped empire line chiffon dress came along with its red silk satin cut away bust and pauldron.


At the Fashions Finest catwalk show was the fashion brand for party-goers, Substance Wear.

The colour palette all black except for a little silver metallic wrap dress. The metallic silver brings a classic style with elbow length sleeves in to the spot light.

Overlay of lace gives texture to the simple black sheath dresses. The lace is sexy with a little tantalising demureness thrown in as it provides a maxi overlay for a short sheathe dress.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky