Wednesday, 27 February 2013

London Fashion Week AW13


Lug Von Siga – Mirror
Mirrors are the inspiration for designer Gul Agis, especially the Ottoman superstition of hanging them backwards. Like the Ottoman craftsman who decorate the back of the mirror, she uses plush black velvet and ecru wool embossed with an embroidered print to team with her ‘mirror’ of silver and gold metallic leathers . These leathers are also embossed with a raised design to add more of a 3D effect.  For a softer look, the mirror changes to diaphanous overlay panels of crisp organza. Not forgetting the superstition of broken mirrors, shards of mirror create a glamorous decorative yolk on a structured grey dress as though defying the seven years bad luck myth.

Timur Kim – Caviar
Titled Caviar, white t-shirts paired with silk taffeta skirts sported the Caviar design whilst a wallpaper print of the same design covered blue silk satin prom style strapless dresses and tea dresses.  But mainly the prints where inspired by the ornate motif ceilings of the Hermitage museum in St Petersburg and came in a variety of colour ways and patterns.  Teaming with cropped jackets of different patterns but of the same colour tones was surprisingly easy on the eye. A collaboration with Oliver Sweeney brought matching coloured and patterned oxford shoes, a fresh change from the sky high heels usually worn which I’m sure the models appreciated.

Belle Sauvage
This is East meets the dark romantic Gothic and Renaissance West.  Faux fur capelets and collars in black and rich shades of red, purple and magenta. Silk patterned shift and tunic dresses are trimmed with black lace on hems, collars and sleeves. Chanel type suits are given the Gothic touch with rich Baroque prints. Patterns include red tigers, black panthers, Baroque style jewels and chains plus the faces of Renaissance women with flowing blonde and red hair. Bringing a touch of lightness is the cameo print of a D’Artagnan style cat.

Runway Collective introduces two up and coming designers:

NIAN by designer Nihan Buruk
Clean linear silhouettes given a punk edge with hanging chains on trousers and a futuristic look with curved louver ridges reminiscent of gills. Neutral palette of black, white and greys with a bold accent of red.

Janucha by designer Jale Hurdogan
Here Miss Prim 1940’s goes a little grungy wearing chunky knitwear with lace trimmed dresses. Even for the evening she combines a chunky knitted hooded capelet and long fingerless knitted gloves with her feminine sequined lace cocktail dress.

Nico Didonna – The Modern Jazz Era
Taking the 1950’s mellow and cool style of jazz, Nico interprets the calming and rich qualities into his collection. Sharp tailored trousers are given a fluid grace with a matching long skirt piece covering the sides and back whilst simple silk tops drape around the body as though a just thrown on like a shawl.  The stand out piece was the black and white gown with panels that twisted slightly as though hugging the curves of the body - so Audrey Hepburn chic.


Carlotta Actis Barone
Think black and white 1930’s Hollywood lounge glamour with pleated skirts (long and short) in diaphanous floaty chiffon, nipped in waists and structured shoulders in faux leather.  Monochrome colour block panels and geometric slashes of transparent fine nets in between the thicker jersey, wools and faux leather were inspired by two artists.
The geometric works of Italian visual artist Manuela Corti (Carlotta’s mother) and the soft cubism/Art Deco style of Tamara de Lempika. Feminine, sexy and glamorous in the strong independent woman mould.

Zeynep Tosun - Reign of the West
A true AW colour palette of mustard, rust, red, gold, cream and black. Fabrics are warm cashmere, velvet, silk crepe and embroidered leathers.  High necklines of Victorian ruffles showed over stiff collars and chokers.  Worn with leather skirts with embroidered swirl patterns and ornate belts this was an opulent side to the Victorian Wild West. The upper part of the cowboy style boots are attached to the bottom with only a strap given the impression you can remove and wear as a shoe.

Bernard Chandran – Dovima On A Date
Chandran’s muse for the collection was Dovima, the supermodel of the 1950’s. An era when head to toe glamour was expected and achieved on a daily basis.  Pieces were ladylike with cropped jackets, below the knee narrow skirts with fishtail hems and tapered pants. But those demure high necklines revealed a sexy side with keyhole backs, leather panels hugged the front like basques and fur trims just gave some modesty to sheer panels.  Emerald beading added sparkle forming a branch like pattern, whilst crystals surrounded the neckline and cuffs making wearing jewellery moot.  The smooth and silky Balaclava replaced the retro 50’s headscarf look updating to a more futuristic style. 


Felicities Presents:

Basharatyan V – Broken Angel
A colour palette of black and white with a bold accent of crimson red. The collection shows two sides to this angel, one side is down to earth structured tailoring whilst the other spreads its wings with flowing long skirts and wide sleeves.

Vita Gottlieb – Without A Doubt
Inspired by two French poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, the collection has a dark romanticism with colour palette of burnished gold, copper and black. There is also a hint of medieval style with the lurex looking chainmail like with tiny ridges.

Beautiful Soul – I Love Ladybirds
Designer Nicole Wood likes to take inspiration from happy memories, of ladybirds and flowers found in her grandma’s front garden. The flower for this season is the blue Hydrangea on lilac, black and peach backgrounds. And if you look closely you’ll see the red ladybird.

The collection is more ongoing rather than seasonal, concentrating on the fruit and veg prints they do so well. Using 100% silk the pieces won’t keep you warm but the bright pop colours of red, green and purple chosen are hot. The thin quilted vest tops will give some warmth are reversible with a print one side and pop block colour on the other. 


Nina Naustdal – Gold Collection
Although well known for her embellished Swarovski couture gowns and cocktail dresses, there was not a crystal in sight on her AW13 Gold Collection. However inspiration was taken from raw diamonds in natural and colour ways of emerald and amber with one bold print reflecting the iridescence of precious jewels. Animal print was also present  looking more exotic and wild in a kaleidoscope of colours,  but also tamed  as the background of  an equestrian style  print. Fabrics included silks, chiffons, velvet and leather panel detailing.

Heohwan Simulation – Editorials in 68
May 1968, Paris saw protests and strikes on a grand scale by its young students and workers; a revolution that was cultural and sexual as well as political.  Korean born designer Hwan Heo creates a collage print on silk of the political and fashion editorials of that time. As though starting a new revolution of their own, the black and white prints spring to life with splashes of neon yellow and blue.  However it wasn’t the print that was the forefront of this rebellion, but the tailoring.  Lines were clean and strong with crisp folded panel detailing; oversized jackets had seriously dropped shoulders and large zips made a statement. The polo neck, the uniform of the 60’s Beatniks, was there quietly supporting the collection.


Maria Grachvogel - Reflection
Inspired by the quiet calm of winter woodland landscapes laid bare.  Artwork is of stark dried branches, decayed leaves and negatives of deconstructive botanical prints. On paper it sounds cold and harsh, but on silk chiffon, satin, velvet and wool it’s a warmer and softer story.  Texture was a key feature with degrade wool creating the illusion through a black and cream mix, and the rich jacquard pattern creating a vintage embroidered lace overlay. Wedge ankle boots in artwork printed leather and glossy patent are collaboration with Atalanta Weller (Photographer: Christopher Dadey)

Ashish – Working Girl
Last season the Ashish girl was a young maths geek. This season she is all grown up and working.  Her new work attire is not inspired by the office, but from manual workwear: the high visibility yellow vest with reflective tapes, aprons, boiler suits. Prints are of checks, tartan and the black and white distinct pattern found on the Keffiyeh (Arab headdress). She is the best dressed labourer on the building site. Her sweaters may have added plastic pockets and silver reflective straps, but they are of luxurious  mohair.  And that tartan blanket she wraps around herself to keep warm on her tea breaks is sparkling with sequins.  

Ziad Ghanem – Candy...Darling?
Last but definitely not least was Ziad Ghanem’s colourful eclectic collection. As usual, Ghanem choose larger than life characters and a mix of sizes and ages to model and compliment his rich and opulent pieces. Styles varied from the brightly patterned tight maxi skirts teamed with the high necked flouncy silk blouses to the voluminous ball gowns.  Surprisingly this bold and bright theatrical collection was quite wearable and if I ever receive an invitation to a Grand Ball, I’ll be on the phone to Ziad for that graceful taffeta pink mermaid gown with boat neckline and those over the elbow pale pink patterned opera gloves 

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

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