26 February 2012

Blonde Ambition

At a very early age, I've always been fascinated by different hair textures and how they can be manipulated to create limitless looks. This maybe because I was never blessed with the perfect hair where it just stays put and obeys my commands as my fingers graze through them. So in this way, (not so much Sweeney Todd) I've really been into hair, and even wearing them? Yep, if executed correctly. Now fast forward to modern times, everyone's been to Bleach London and either dip dyed or just had on some temp bright color that lasts a few washes; regardless, I find their choices of color and treatments very amusing. And yes, I've done the whole bleach blonde thing just two months ago and let's just say I should've took it further, but there's always next fashion week to look forward to that. In the mean time, I'd just have to stick to my blonde Margiela goat hair gilet. After seeing Raf Simon's A/W 12-3 menswear where he tucked actual dip dyed human hair extensions on the back and underside of shirt collars, the idea of wearing an entire coat (or sleeveless if it's too much) with hombre or some form of dyed human hair could look quite insane, like a quasi-Meadham-Kirchoff runway moment (cue the glitter please!) has in fact crossed my mind. It's an alternative to fur, it's modern, it's fun, it's...mental but hey I never took fashion too seriously and why start now! This would solve the problem of not sporting damaged hair whist still pulling off the trend with an extremely personal approach. That's just me.

25 February 2012

Buckle Up

It's still only the twenty fifth day of the month, yet even though this is the shortest month of the year, the winter cold and fashion weeks make it feel like one of the longest ones. Since we've still surprisingly not hit the March mark, lets jump back to another LFW show review. Central Saint Martins graduate David Koma once again delivered an interesting message. I was instantly captured by the shoe design which were sculpted greyhounds as the heel, which reminded me of those actual hounds that guarded the front door of giant mansions as a keep out warning. Koma apparently sought inspiration from Louis Icart's Deco greyhound paintings and Thierry Poncelet's portraits of dogs in aristocratic attire. As for the general shape and form, it seemed to be derived from twenties-era menswear and sixties minimalism. The first half of the show, the pieces were dark and tough, with cut outs layered over sheer fabrics and armor like structures around the collar and clavicle. What really hit the spot for me was how David tucked the gathers underneath the shoulder blades and only in the front half portion of the skirt just inches above the crotch which completely morphed the profile silhouette. The use of the metallic buckles around the torso was a nice touch too, especially how some were used as cut out details echoing the actual ones from the first half. In the nicest way, I think these girls looked like chic air stewardesses which explains the title of this post.

Photographed by Nathan Moy
Special thanks to David Koma's PR Team for providing me with front row seats.

24 February 2012

Tags vs. Blags

I'm going to take my time and slowly unload my LFW show reviews as there are about eighteen or so more. But shows apart, I must say one of the best things about this week is getting the chance to meet interesting and inspiring people, especially those who have been in the industry for some time, they're the ones who really got the know-hows of the biz. It's true that there can be a lot to gain from fashion week, but blagging your way into a fifteen minute show is pointless. Fashion week is a trade-only event, so students or just fashion fans (according to LFW officials) don't add to the business. So to change that, think of yourself or your talents or connections as a commodity... 

What is it you can offer to designers that makes them want to give something back to you. I often get asked whether my blog "Style Niche" got me into fashion week. This is an incomplete question  but I understand the direction of which it came from. Here's the big mystery solved: I attend fashion week at two separate parts. One is to attend the shows and go backstage to examine the clothes and details further, the second part is to attend BFC exhibitions and showrooms within Somerset House and around London. The access to both are very different, one is at the discretion of the designers (having that tag around your neck does not mean you get to enter shows), however, the LFW tag allows some to view certain showrooms and exhibitions. So you might wonder, how is it I got access to shows? The answer is both simple and complicated (I know that's an oxymoron, but sometimes they exist for a reason), the truth is I go to shows due to personal encounters with the designer or their PRs. Apologies if that was my answer but it is not professional to disclose business and private relations to the world. Blogging is not a full time job for me, so I never entered a show as a blogger. However, if one truly wants to go to fashion week, there are many students, photographers, bloggers or simply fashion fans who have a great time dressing up and taking pictures and meeting people around Somerset House and not going into shows.... And who knows! You might just meet the right person who knows someone who can get you into next seasons' shows.

22 February 2012

Three of a Kind

This year at the Top Shop Venue for Fashion East we have James Long, Marques’Almeida, and Maarten van der Horst. All three designers may be new, but with their distinct past collections and stand out statements allowed them each to have scoop up their own cult following. But before I delve into analyzing the details and cuts of the clothes, let's just take a quick moment to celebrate the fact that this show takes place at the TS Venue where champagne and canapes are bound to manifest and find their way into our concave stomachs. I often find arriving early at shows is some form of luxury, in this case you get to relish in the first picks of bite sized scones top with rose puree, or mini prosciutto and olive sourdough burgers; in other times if not seated at the front or second row, you get to scoot your away to the edge of a bench and the aisle view is almost just as good and as wanted as the front row ones.

Back on the issue, Fashion East started off with originally menswear designer James Long who featured his master tailoring skills in these womenswear pieces accompanied with rose silk prints contrasting to tailored coats and pocket hole details. Sculptural, sharp, chic. Following next is Marques who gave us high street with what looked like frayed neon denim underneath the black, the models had an attitude that kept the audience wanting to more. The greatness of this collection is its femininity and masculinity almost hitting back-and-forth for I can see myself wearing most of the pieces here. Do note the great textured calf-skin leathers on the shoes and accessories. Finally closing the show is long anticipated Maarten van der Horst which I might say did surprise me as this season's inspirations were totally unexpected from his previous Hawaiian printed ruffle highlighted looks. I hope that in a few more seasons Maarten would have found his niche or design DNA, nonetheless it was a strong collection. The entire look reminded me of a Mongolian or Kazakhstan princess clashed with Russian folk dresses. The color scheme kept the focus on the details and the superb layering of textures which included stunning hand-knitwear gave the garments architectural glory!

21 February 2012

Mardi Gras

I think it goes without saying that this afternoon's Meadham Kirchoff AW12 show was worth the wait and was categorized as one of those shows that people would later refer to as 'saving the best for last'. Edward and Benjamin understood how important anticipation can do for their pre-show (it's all about the build up), so other than simply offering a vast array of scrumptious canapés and mini niçoise salad cups, the sound track looped Horror Rocky's Sweet Transvestite whilst polka dot light show and confetti had to be some sort of hint/preview as to what we'd all be dealing with. Before you knew it, the show began in a bang and a change of song, and out marched swiftly from head-to-toe decked out in a killer look. Meadham Kirchoff is like the essense of London Fashion brought to a whole new level. As much as these looks may seem unwearable, actually by dissecting them seperately they could still be very much marketable; and hey, a show isn't a show without a little wow-ness! The hair, the accessories, the shoes, the make-up, the get-up, all working in symbiosis complimenting each other. Each model strut and stomped with fierceness and marched around the room like a dark harlequin about to commit her crime at Mardi Gras (please excuse my direct interpretation), the story the clothes told was dramatic yet poetic, but above all it was transporting. If Ed and Ben were authors, they took us straight to the climax. The highlight was when one of the models who before removing her pastel stripped and cherry fruit dyed fur coat whisked her arm and showered the audience with glitter dust, prompting the entire room to "OOooo" and "AHhhh" at the silver sparkles. Personal favorites were the hand-dyed fur coats with eye-shaped prints and the gold and silver layered tinsel trousers. Hands down, my favorite show and the epiphany of LFW A/W 12-3!
the perfect show way to end LFW...

Photographed by Nathan Moy
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