Monday, 24 September 2012

London Fashion Week SS13


Fyodor Golan (Designer duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman)
Vibrant Royal blue with pristine white makes a dramatic entrance. The tailored and structured styles restrict the models movement but look chic and elegant embellished with peplums, lattice designs, beads and sequins. One white porcelain corset is adorned with broken Victorian patterned china.  Midway, the colour palette changes to oranges and ambers with lighter fabrics of loose flowing chiffons and organza fabrics in prints of swirling autumn leaves. Collaborations included the organic face sculpture jewellery by Yunus & Eliza and architectural hats by Zara Gorman.

Zoe Jordan
A relaxed carefree collection of short skirts, crop tops, t-shirt dresses in pale pinks, blues and tangy oranges with the more tomboy slouchy tees and joggers.  Prints range from a subtle cracked stone to the brighter sunset stripes. Standout pieces are the poppy red suede maxi dress and the stunning but oh so impractical red suede bikini.

Corrie Nielsen
Nielsen’s collection blossoms into deconstructed floral sculptures of petals, sepals and stamens in the form of voluminous ruffles, peplums and large loosely tied knots. Sleeves varied from the wide bulbous to slit like pods keeping the arms held securely to the side. Usually opting for darker colours, this collection sees shades of vanilla, peach and blush. Headwear by Emma Yeo showcasing her SS13 Lucidus Lilum collection inspired by the Japanese mountain Lily continues the floral theme.

Krystof Srozyna
Architectural elements are the key feature. Prints of viaduct etchings stretch the length of trousers and sleeves elongating the arms and legs, and ornate Greek columns adorn the lapels of short jackets and hug the sides of pencil skirts. Shoe collaboration is with Italian shoe designer Daniele Michetti

Felder Felder
The collection shows a fragility as the confident and sexy leopard print has really changed it spots into a print of broken butterfly wings. The chiffon fabric flutters lightly, some embellished with clusters of chiffon butterfly wings whilst thin soft leather and suede tailored pieces keep the collection anchored. And no girl should be without the Bailey’s bottle holster!


Ji Cheng
Inspired by tea this is a sweet blend of Eastern inspirations and Western tailoring. The high side slit of the mandarin dress is there but not the collar, preferring an asymmetric cut. The colour palette is neutral with accents of green tea and the tailoring is softened with an infusion of gauze reminiscent of the muslin tea bag.  As a nod to the Chinese tea pickers, the models wear conical shaped hats made of bamboo.

Jasper Garvida
It’s the 60’s with a touch of the Mary Quant and the Vidal Sassoon hairstyles. Colour palette is monochrome black and white with accents of silver and beige. Patterns are abstract leopard print and geometric designs, some embellished with tiny round mirrored pieces radiating a disco vibe. The key feature which definitely couldn’t be ignored on the day was the oversized shell like discs adorning one dress and skirt – especially as they clashed noisily with every move the models made.  Not to be worn for a clandestine rendezvous.

Omar Mansoor
More renowned for his glamorous and elegant evening wear, Mansoor has taken a walk on the edgier side and created a boho daywear collection.  What is not different is his attention to detail. Here he concentrates on intricate and delicate lace work and fine knitwear layering.

Bernard Chandran
You do a double take at the Bernard Chandran show as the front and back of each outfit contrast with each other in cut and design.  You see simple on one side, detailed on the other; short length on ones side, long on the other– reflecting that there are two sides to every story and especially love.


Ekaterina Kukhareva
Think Brigitte Bardot in her heyday 60s and her St Tropez lifestyle. Colours are bright pastels and patterns geometric shapes and stripes. From swimsuit to maxi dress, all are of finely knitted jersey in different weaving techniques including pleats and ribs. This is definitely a capsule wardrobe to carry on the fun from beach to evening.

Eugene Lin
Here Lin chooses to express the erotic but twisted manipulation of the Greek goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite as each try to persuade Paris that they are the fairest one.  He cuts his pieces to appear distorted as if in a state of undress. Trench coats are deconstructed into dresses, playsuits and tops with strong emphasis on belted waists. Panels of wild and chaotic digital prints on body con dresses and leggings mimic the goddesses’ tense and erratic mood and show the golden apple – the start of all the trouble.

Luna Sky
Inspired by the sophisticated lifestyle of the 50s Luna Sky features evening gowns and cocktail dresses with Swarovski crystals, sequins, delicate lace and fringe detailing. Her love of the Japanese cherry blossom Sakura is there as laser cut flower details, some sparkling with crystal stamens. Lemon yellow and peach may have been popular in the 50s but it was the more defined blue and teals that caught my eye.


Craig Lawrence
Using cutting edge materials such as Japanese Kyototex metallic yarns in his knitwear techniques, Lawrence enables his garments to glisten as if wet.  This season he adds long optic fibres to help create the reflective light for a phosphorescent underwater world- Some curved and stood out like a sea anemone, others softer like swaying sea grass.  Column tiered dresses mimic the fluid shape of the glowing jellyfish and the textured knits the spiky urchins. These pieces were made to be in the spotlight and outshine all others.

Pam Hogg
It’s ShowTime!  Pam Hogg’s pieces are not the most wearable for your average girl in the street, but that doesn’t mean her collection is not to die for.  Titled ‘Save Our Souls’ the show started with a model clad in bandages followed by nurses flimsily dressed to give any man a heart attack. The style changed to a combination of futuristic nurse and air hostess look with zips galore, and from clinical white to a rainbow of metallic colours. There was also a bit of the Showgirl glitz with sequins and tulle. At the end it was Hogg’s love of the Victorian crinoline skirt that wowed everyone. Here in its skeletal state baring all that is underneath. Save our souls? I think we’re doomed.


Nova Chui (Designer duo Nova Chui and Jeff Archer)
This is one glorious way to show off your holiday snaps! Using images from their travels, the designer duo created digital enhanced landscape prints for their fabrics.  Scenes of mountains, forests, streams and sunsets are brought to life in vivid colours. Scrunched and ruche neon organza adds texture but also a camera filter effect as it partly covers the prints. These prints add fun and ensure that the minimalistic and classic look of the collection is not taken too seriously.

This season the Ashish girl is a maths geek and so a fashion prime number. There’s a numeric print on oversized wonky boyfriend shirts and denims. Sequin tops are completely backless revealing her sexy side.  Trousers are half and half: one leg sequined whilst the other is matte; one leg skinny whilst the other is palazzo style.  The achieved style is a random just thrown together look but as a maths geek, is it calculated?

Jena.Theo  (Designer duo Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis)
The title may be Hell’s Angel but this collection is heavenly. Prints of tattoo designs and the odd spider add a touch of toughness, but nothing to overwhelm the elegance and femininity of the collection. Corset style tops of ethereal organza and digital prints look soft and feminine.  Glass beading and sequins bring glamour to diaphanous latex and fine leather as well as the usual silks. A quirky sense of fun is shown in the cowhide short skirts. Of course the denim is there and although you’d need a slim figure, am loving the skinny fit denim jumpsuit. Hand-rendered tattoo print and abstract works are of the artist O.Two

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

Monday, 10 September 2012

Michiko Koshino SS13

Michiko hosted her SS13 launch party last week in her own spacious Queens Park London studio. Originally a shop, the studio was now stripped back to bare brick walls and more interestingly open steel floor grating on the top floor, creating the right atmosphere for her modern utilitarian collection.

Models wearing the collection mingled with the guests but most of the pieces were displayed on one long rail suspended in the middle of the top floor. For closer inspection you had to traverse the open grated floor to reach the rail, not so good for stilettos or for vertigo and acrophobia sufferers.  However it gave a sense of openness and a great bird’s eye view of downstairs.  And with a glass of champagne in hand to give me courage it wasn’t as scary.

The colour palette is of muted and neutral shades: khaki, beige, grey, black and white, with Michiko putting emphasis on the cut and style. This is urban street wear where the feminine figure is not forgotten as blouses and jackets cinch in to the waist for a flattering shape.

Embellishments are of the Military style with ribbon medal brooches adorning shirts and shorts.

The print used is an array of uneven faded spots as though the child’s potato paint method was applied.

Key pieces that stood out for me were:

Gossamer layered white blouse – shorter at the back slide and cinched in at the waist, draped longer and the front and fastened with one garter clip. Worn with grey skinny jeans in the faded spot print

Double zipped biker style jacket - the sleeves unzipped to allow you to change them in to elbow length by buttoning on to the shoulder.

Marl grey jersey dress – simple t shirt style with a little ruche to flatter the curves.

For more information visit

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

Monday, 3 September 2012

Buy My Wardrobe – Luxe-recycling revolution

Last week saw the launch of Buy My Wardrobe’s new online luxury marketplace. To celebrate the occasion Kal Di Paola, the founder, hosted a party with her team and invited not just press but also faithful clients: the buyers and the sellers. And where better to celebrate than at the chic and contemporary Vanilla Bar on Great Titchfield Street where it all began four years ago. Here Kal started her first designer recycling event. Initially it was just selling some of her own wardrobe which she no longer wore but was in good condition and of high quality. Experiencing the excitement these reduced designer prices created amongst women who couldn’t afford or wouldn’t buy full price, Kal realised the potential of making this in to a regular event and including other fashion conscious women who had closets full of designer clothing no longer worn.

With these events becoming successful it was a natural progression to expand to online. The concept of the website is not to just buy and sell glamorous second hand pieces (or using the new buzz word pre-loved), but also to build a trusted community where the buyers and sellers could also network and follow each other.

How it works:

Firstly you become a member. This is quite simple for a buyer status, just visit and register your name and email address. 

A seller membership has to be pre-approved to ensure the quality of the goods. You must register but also advise what type of seller you want to be: individual; business or VIP.

Individual - selling clothes exclusively from your own wardrobe.

Business – selling clothes from your own pre-loved fashion business

VIP - if you’re super busy and want the team to take care of everything i.e. manage profile and orders.

You will then be sent an invite code and asked for a few more details.

Once you are a member you can:

Check out other members profiles to see what they are selling, their style and size and if it matches your own flare.

Follow other members - this way you get to know the person and see them add new products.

And of course Buy Buy Buy or Sell Sell Sell!

The online marketplace is not replacing the Buy My Wardrobe events, just giving you an option on how to sell or buy.

The events are great fun and are like entering Aladdin’s cave with so many treasures on display. The plus is that it is a great social event and you can see the clothes up close and try them on. But you do have to find time to attend, queue up to make sure you can scan the place before anyone else and also you are more prone to get caught up in the excitement and impulse buy. And if you’re a seller, you have to organise the taking and bringing back of your precious cargo.

For unorganised and lazy me, the online marketplace is perfect as it is always open and that means I can leisurely look through all there is to offer any time of day or night. Another plus is when you’ve found something but still want to look around, you can add to your basket for 15mins and no one else can take it. 

The launch party was a glamorous affair with most guests dressed in designer outfits. And the Buy My Wardrobe team were no exception.

Kal wore a stunning 50s style red lace dress with bracelet length sleeves by Tracey Reese, teamed with red soled classic black Christian Louboutins.

Merchandiser Marijne went all Hollywood glam with a low back beaded Parker dress in the roaring 20s style soon to be all the rage when The Great Gatsby movie is released in autumn.

PR manager Alex chose the Glamazon look with her floor length black Sass & Bide dress embellished with colourful Aztec designs on the empire line bodice.

Marketplace manager Vicki sparkled and purred in a knee length subtle animal print sequinned dress by Amen in shades of bronze, gold and cream, and teamed with snakeskin LK Bennett court shoes.

With all these glamorous pieces, there was no sign of pretence at the party, more of camaraderie as these savvy stylish women glowed and shared the knowledge of how to dress designer without breaking the bank.

To buy online or find out details of future events visit

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