Thursday, 20 September 2012

London Fashion Week – a mad dash in a day...

Last Friday I went to the first day of London Fashion Week. I didn't have as much time as usual and it was the only day I could go, but I still managed to squeeze in three shows and a mad dash around the exhibition. Over 100 designers are exhibiting this season and I'll introduce a few of my favourites soon, including some amazing up and coming shoe designers and a fabulous Disney tribute!

This was my first fashion week as a freelancer and I must admit it's not quite the same by yourself. For starters, if you are waiting in line for a show to begin you haven't got much else to do but listen to other people's inane chatter! Speaking of which I learnt one very important lesson  – I might be a journalist with a blog but I am definitely not a 'blogger'.

I know it's like most things in life, (politics, religion..) where a small minority ruin a group's reputation for everyone else, but seriously, when did desperately seeking attention by dressing in the most unflattering clothes possible become a good thing? You might think your hair cut is 'edgy' but to most of us it is quite simply a bowl cut. And ugly shoes? Why oh why?! I am all for a bit of outlandish fashion, but it is possible to achieve it without completely losing sight of what is flattering. And the most amusing thing about these so called bloggers was watching them seek each other out to take photos for their blogs in the name of 'street style'! Hilarious.

Right, now that my little rant is over (apologies, I must be getting hungry), let's get back to the shows. Zoe Jordan was first on my list and it was held at Mercer Studios. Zoe studied architecture at Newcastle and is known for her androgynous designs that combine feminine swagger with a boyish insouciance.

Her Spring/Summer 2013 collection referenced Tina Chow, the African desert and a touch of eighties high school varsity. Loosely translated that meant a versatile collection in a colour pallette of muted greys and browns, livened up with with bright shades of fuchsia and orange. Favourite pieces included bright shorts that I wanted immediately for my imminent holiday, some very cute dresses and skirts, and fabulous slim fit blazers that prevented the more typically girly items from becoming too saccharine.

The photo below is a nice example of her very wearable separates – ideal summer shorts that would look great with a simple white vest and a jumper that you could just throw on with jeans.

Next up was Corrie Nielsen. I was a big fan of her show last season, mainly due to her incorporation of tartan which I just can't resist. This season had a very different feel to it, inspired quite aptly for spring, by the the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.

It was very easy to see how some pieces will filter down into the high street, but other more abstract pieces were a little far-fetched. I can't say I was the biggest fan of the coat with the sleeves attached down to the wrists that made the model resemble a walking sleeping bag....

However some of the dresses had beautiful shapes and I particularly liked the tulip shaped cream dress (second picture below), but I'm afraid my dodgy photography hasn't really done it justice!

Last but not least was Bora Aksu's show. Bora Aksu has been based in London for 15 years and set up his label after graduating from an MA at Central Saint Martins. His signature style is a real contrast that he describes as "romantic with a darker twist."

His SS13 collection was inspired by Queen Victoria's grand-daughter who became the Queen of Romania in 1922, and the way that she embraced traditional Romanian culture without losing her Englishness. This inspiration led to some quite dramatic regal headwear which to be honest I found a bit distracting, but also some incredibly beautiful dresses – delicate floral prints and very feminine shapes that were often given a structured formal twist with the addition of neat collars and belts.

A standout accessory for me was the pair of printed tights in the last picture. Their semi-transparency and floral designs will make them ideal for that winter to spring transition.

That's all for now but I will post more about some of the talented designers I met at the exhibition very soon.

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