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Snow PR SS12 press day

16 Nov

I recently popped by Snow PR‘s showroom to get a closer look of their client’s SS12 collections. I was fortunate enough to see the collections at LFW but I always love seeing my favourite pieces close up and seeing the prints, details and embellishment; it’s almost like gaining a whole new perspective and appreciation for the collection. 

Own The Runway – Low priced label On The Runway didn’t show at LFW and is completely new to me. The shoe collection blew me away. The term on-trend really makes me cringe but that’s exactly what they are. With such an overwhelming choice, it was so hard to choose favourites. Glittery, animal print, platforms, chunky heels, lace ups; I want them all!

PPQ – This collection was one of the highlights of LFW. Although I adore the quirky PPQ crest print, I really liked the cute, pastel pieces in lightweight tweed and silk. 

Joanna Hynes – As exquisite up close as it was from a distance, a really strong debut collection. One to watch. 

Jena Theo – The duo who won Fashion Fringe back in 2009 count Hilary Alexander as a fan and it’s easy to see why. Their show is always one of my favourites during LFW and their pieces are as stunning in person as they are on models strutting down the catwalk. 

LFW – Jena Theo SS12

18 Sep

One of my personal highlights of LFW is the Jena Theo show, I’ve been a big fan since they won Fashion Fringe back in 2009 and love their signature soft, billowing silhouettes in luxiourious fabrics and use of denim. Their “Fatale” collection was clearly inspired by the seductive, dark side of Hollywood, film noir and Vivien Leigh resulting in another stunning collection. Working with London-based O.Two on handpainting techniques, the blue-greys of the collection blurred into golden yellows and soft sepia almost like a sunset. They also incorporated geometric prints into their effortless luxe aesthetic. On the denim front, the look was super skinny with cut out details to contrast with the oversize billowing fabrics. Having recently announced that they are going to launch a denim line, I’m really excited to see Jenny and Dimitris expand their label, their future is looking very bright. 

* Images

Jena Theo and Eudon Choi at Young British Designers

18 Aug

You’ve heard of Young British Designers, non? Whilst initiatives like NewGen and Fashion East give young designers a platform to be seen, YBD gives them a platform to be bought; let’s face it, that’s equally important for young designers. They are passionate about brave design, new talent and nurturing young British design talent. As the first dedicated retail environment solely focusing on young talent, their perfectly edited collection showcases the best of fashion’s new school. Now in their third season, they are adding two of my favourite young designers – Jena Theo and Eudon Choi – to their impressive 40-strong roster.

Jena Theo‘s third collection is inspired by Norse mythology and the band of celestial figures known as Valkirie. Featuring sumptuous silk jersey and soft denim in their signature geometric cuts and voluminous shapes. 

Eudon Choi‘s collection is heavily inspired by the equestrian world, with quirky saddle bag pockets and leather harness detailing. I’ve fallen in love with the Werner jacket, isn’t it the most beautiful statement coat you’ve seen?

See Africa Differently – Africa Fashion Week

17 Aug
About a week ago, the lovely guys at Comic Relief invited myself and some fellow bloggers to Africa Fashion Week as part of their ‘See Africa Differently‘ campaign. The campaign is fairly unique in that the aim isn’t to communicate the famine and poverty across the continent but rather to highlight a different side to Africa: the arts, theatre, music, trade and investment. This really resonates with me, my mum is from Kenya and the stories I’ve heard about her childhood and adolescence are of beautiful cities and beaches with rich colours and culture…and the tastiest mangos on the planet! The memories she has are completely at odds with the war-torn, impoverished continent I see on the telly and in magazines.  It’s difficult to put those two images of Africa side-by-side when the media shows images which give us such negative connotations of the continent which are hard to shake. 

Africa has, of course, inspired both designers and collections. Burberry Prorsum’s resort 2012 collection is littered with references, from the ankara fabric to the bold colours. It’s a pity they denied that any inspiration came from Africa. I think it’s plain to see where the inspiration for the collection came from. It’s such a shame that, for whatever reason, Burberry was hesitant to disclose it’s source of inspiration. Perhaps it’s due to the negative connotations about Africa, hopefully once you’ve seen what I’ve seen you will be more open to African fashion. 

I went along with no preconceived idea about what to expect which I think is the best way to approach something like this. I walked away a few hours later blown away and so inspired by what I’d seen. There were so many outstanding collections and pieces, so this will be a very image heavy post. I hope this post changes your perception of Africa and shows a glimpse of what lies beneath the images of famine and disease that we see in the media. Beyond the stunning designs, I felt like I saw part of the real Africa – culturally rich and brimming with talent. Fashion is only one facet of this campaign, if you’re interested in hearing more, please check out the See Africa Differently website and the Twitter and Facebook pages. 

Ann Rose – My two stand out pieces are real head turners, aren’t they? The dress is stunning. The pleating, ruching and body-con shape are very much in line with what party dresses on the high street look like, while the side train gives a unique twist and an edgy alternative to dipped-hem dresses which are everywhere at the moment. The print of the second piece really stood out to me, the simple shape showed it off to perfection. 

Ozora – Ozora’s collection was also very, very glam. The rich purples and golds looked so sumptuous, such a regal colour combination. The billowing shapes reminded me of Jena Theo’s signature cut, this was a very good thing as they are one of my favourite collections of London Fashion Week. The exquisite gold printed dress with the purple sash was my absolute favourite.

Adopted Culture – This was one of the most colourful and fun collections of the day, more African-inspired than some of the other collections but still very contemporary and covetable. How amazing are the headpieces? 

Adaora’s – Oh the beauty and drama of this collection. Let me tell you, there were audible gasps from the packed room when some of the pieces came out onto the catwalk. This collection really reminded me of Corrie Nielsen’s autumn/winter 2011 collection, with it’s Victorian references, voluminous shapes and sheer drama. The red and gold coat is my stand out piece. 

Maze Couture – The devil was in the detail for this collection, I was captivated by the intricate embroidery and beading. 

JB Afrique – The collection was so young and playful, displaying the perfect fusion of African prints and contemporary evening wear. I love the peplum detailing, candy colours and sheer panelling. As you can tell from the images, the pieces moved so beautifully down the catwalk, the wisps of sheer fabric delicately fluttering in the model’s wake. 

J by Jak – Printed fabrics are a huge part of traditional African fashion and were clearly a focal point of this collection. The pieces themselves weren’t up my street but I loved the detailing in the prints. 

London Fashion Week – Jena Theo AW11

21 Feb
The next stop on my super hectic first day was Jena Theo at the new On/Off venue – Mercer Street Studios. While it was much closer than the previous venue at Victoria House, I don’t think it had the same capacity which resulted in a bit of a scrum outside and a squeeze inside. While it may not be pleasant outside, it results in a buzz of anticipation inside. I’ve been going to Jena Theo’s shows for a couple of seasons now and adore the voluminous shapes, slouchy layers and opulent fabrics which lend themselves well to their soft silhouettes. However, the punchy, pulsing music and lasers before the show set the tone for a collection that was slightly harder, more rock than previous shows.

Black was definitely the new black, though there was a sprinkling in whites and neutrals to prevent a completely mundane black out collection. All of the Jena Theo signatures were there making this an instantly covetable collection but there were a few surprises punctuating the collection – most notably the huge denim duvet coat. It was a bit controversial, people either loves it or hated it. My thoughts? Well, it may not be overly practical but I loved it, statement coats are definitely necessary in a cold, snowy London. The collection as a whole had a few critics, but I’m a fan. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a certain aesthetic. The beautiful billowing silhouettes and luxe fabrics make for beautiful collections season after season. London fashion doesn’t have to be controversial and ‘out there’, simple, understated collections have a more lasting impact.

* Images – London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week – Jena Theo Spring/Summer 2011

18 Sep
My first encounter with Fashion Fringe alumni was last season, their flowing silhouette and billowing designs blew me away. I did think that the Autumn/Winter collection did look pretty summery and I was keen to see what their Spring/Summer 2011 collection looked like. Today I found out, the Fashion Fringe alumni had a very Arabian Summer in mind for next year. C663 neutrals, brights and gold made up the colour pallette, which was combined with artfully draped and floaty silhouettes. Being fortunate to see the show, I saw the beautiful movement which images can’t always capture. I thought the collection was luxiouriously elegant, I loved the brights and their signature floaty silhouette which is the epitome of effortless chic. I would kill to have the penultimate look (the flowy pink dress) in my wardrobe.

Jena Theo Autumn Winter 2010

26 Feb

Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis, the duo behind Jena Theo, first made their catwalk debut at Fashion Fringe in 2009. Their first show at London Fashion Week was very pretty. The collection was inspired by the French resistance, silent movies, the glamourous Fifties and icons Ginger Rogers and Marlene Dietrich. I loved the oversize aesthetic, lots of billowing, volumionous shapes which you need to see walking down the runway to properly apprecite. I’m already coveting the oversize boiler suits, jumpers and high waisted trousers as well as the kaftan dresses.

* Source – Zimbio