Edeline Lee’s Collage of Everyday Life

18.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images courtesy of Simon Melber

The world is a scary place at the moment. And this season, fashion has taken notice. Designers have been either making open political statements through their clothing or indulging in an escapist mode by presenting bold garments which express their need to run away to distant lands. British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee is very aware of it, and that’s exactly why her Spring Summer 2020 collection was a light, brightly coloured burst of joy. 

This season, the designer wanted to inject a bit of optimism in her clothing, as past season’s fall-winter 2019 presentation had such a tough subject matter (she had been inspired by professor Mary Beard’s feminist manifesto, Women & Power, where Lee made the case for the runway as soapbox). 

“I feel like we need a bit of optimism right now and so I felt like I needed something light which could contrast the darkness of everything that’s been going on at the moment,” she said. 

Following up from her experiential presentation of last season, this time Lee collaborated with Sharon Horgan, the Irish actress and writer who starred and co-wrote Catastrophe and created HBO’s Divorce, for a presentation which verged on the line between theatre and runway. 

“Sharon and I are friends but not only that. I am such a big fan of her work, her voice and the way she talks about the human condition is so acute and real and to the skin,” she says.

And the clothes she presented exuded exactly the same vibe, they were real clothes for real women, which featured simple silhouettes – ranging from a series of white shirts and brightly coloured midi dresses in a palette of greens, blues and reds, to a series of brightly coloured striped numbers, to finally, a series of dresses made in her signature jacquard.

“In the show in a way what we’re trying to do is juxtapose the lightness of the clothes to these real-life moments which are acted out by a series of actresses, who sort of stop and get distracted by real-life passing by and then they stop and go back to their intimate realities,” she says. “It’s sort of like a play on a juxtaposition of these different versions of life.”

Sitting in one spot over the course of 15 minutes you would be able to experience every skit presented by the actresses almost as if eavesdropping on conversations of everyday life. 

Lee’s collaboration was a refreshing take on a runway experience – and it definitely helped her in trying to represent who her woman really is and making people understand who she’s making her clothes for and the audience she’s making it for. Collaborations like these are a fun way to get the point across and are also more memorable experiences in a month where editors see an enormous quantity of shows.

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London Fashion Week Day 3: Natasha Zinko, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Margaret Howell, Osman

16.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover Image:  Preen by Thornton Bregazzi SS20 by Tom Warabida

Urban sustainability at Natasha Zinko x DUO

Images by Tom Warabida

At last, it seems like fashion has finally taken notice of its toll on the planet. Indeed, the theme of sustainability is finally being embraced in every fashion city and is a big theme at the core of this season’s spirit.

For SS20, Ukranian-born but London based designer Natasha Zinko brings forth her efforts of working to reduce the companies wastage footprint by re-using and repurposing all the textiles, including vintage pieces, presented in her new collection. This season, the designer has also created pieces crafted from old aluminium cans, sourced from the Alutrade Recycling Centre who has donated 500lbs of aluminium.

This season’s collection was co-ed and the was show was presented in a private street in central London. The collection was boldly maximalist and featured a number of urban-inspired looks which gave away 90s vibes. Oversized jumpsuits were covered in floral prints, whilst pyjama inspired looks were given a bolder edge through the use of a palette of neon tones ranging from greens, yellows, pinks and purples. Patch-worked paisley bandanas in different colours were sewn together to create mini-dresses, bras and oversized trousers, whilst a number of black, tougher looks were also present. 

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Harajuku girls

Images by Tom Warabida

The duo at Preen always loves to start a show by presenting the audience with the books stacked on their bedside table, a list of references which inspire and influence the collection from start to finish.

Citing books such as The Promised Neverland and cult films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, this season was all about Japan.

Punkish Manga girls covered sweaters, hoodies and t-shirts and were paired with the brand’s signature floral printed skirts. Quilted coats and trousers also featured heavily this season and were a refreshing addition to the roster of looks. However, like Natasha Zinko, the duo also presented a collection whose focus was to use re-use and repurpose all past materials.

And this could certainly be seen through the collection’s standout looks, which were a number of asymmetric ruffled dresses featuring cut-out panels and mismatched layers of floral prints, which gave away an air of romanticism and which will for sure be seen all over Instagram by next season.

In order to add a bit of toughness to the overall romantic vibe of the collection, the looks were paired with men’s combat boots, leather shoes and satin lace-up ballerinas.

Refined Elegance at Osman

Images by Tom Warabida

Bold and romantic body wear, a myriad journey of sorbet hues across a candy sky, poisonous gypsum like polka dots, in ying-yang circles, splattered across ruffle tiers. This was the introductory phrase of the show notes, which had been carefully placed across the seats of Osman’s private presentation.

This season the designer showcased his SS20 collection in a private salon manner just like in the 1950s and presented a limited number of elegant and well-made looks inspired by the elegance of women always on the go.

There was an option for every woman in the crowd, ranging from soft suiting in pale tones of yellow and green to African inspired coats and jackets and mini dresses in a myriad of ruffled layers of tulle. The protagonists of the collection were a series of mini dresses featuring poet-looking balloon sleeves in a chinoiserie-like Parisian wallpaper print.

However, a mini dress in black ruffled organza which resembled a dark flower in bloom stole the show. Barely-there sandals and a series of brightly coloured rococo mules accompanied the looks.

British Boyish Minimalism at Margaret Howell

Minimalists rejoice! If you were thinking Margaret Howell was going to steer away from her signature style, then you are very wrong. Once again, Margaret Howell delivered a beautifully made collection returning to the Rambert Dance Company Showspace.

Yet again, the designer presented a co-ed collection which riffed on Britishness and exuded an air of boyish chicness. Fans of perfectly tailored trouser suits and high-waisted trousers will exult in delight this season, as the collection featured a number of chocolate-coloured pieces that won’t disappoint. 

Stick of butter fans will also rejoice, as the designer presented a series of crisp, midi dresses and shirts in a delicate buttery yellow palette. Stand out pieces of the collection included an antique pink blouse with a ruffle-y collar paired with over-the-knee shorts, teal pleated skirts and taut shirts in linen and a series of olive-coloured looks worn by male and female models alike.

The looks were paired with a series of studded clogs in chocolaty tones, as well as leather sandals worn with socks. 

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London Fashion Week Day 2: Ports 1961, Marques Almeida, Toga & Rixo

15.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Karl Temper’s debut at Ports 1961

London Fashion Week Day 2 started with a bang as Ports 1961 set their newly re-launched and re-designed brand with a fantastic show at Tate Modern. The brand, renown for its minimalistic heritage has now been rebranded, from logo to collection, under the watchful eye of newly appointed artistic director Karl Temper. Breaking away from its previous minimalistic codes, Temper introduced us to a bold, maximalist collection. Tribal prints with slight nods to Matisse, covered pleated dresses, skirts and trousers, whilst triple-stitched trouser suits were presented in a varied palette of baby blue, terracotta and mustard, an interesting power alternative to the usual day-to-day workwear. Standout looks included a cue to a budding trend to come as a very cool mix of zebra and cow print covered a series of coats, trousers, a knitted two-piece set and a silky dress. Chinoiserie floral patterns covered silk panels on coats and shirts, adding a touch of etherealness and femininity. Chunky jewellery and bi-colour studded sandals accentuated the overall eccentric art-mom vibe of the collection. Definitely a great start for a first-time stylist turned designer. 

The power of community at Marques Almeida

Images by Tom Warabida

Multiple screens welcomed the guests at the Marques Almeida show. “If you had a daughter, what would you want her to know?” This was one of the questions posed by the designers to the M’A girls, the diverse group of young women featured in the video installations screened before the show started. “If I had a daughter I would want her to know that it’s ok to be who you are and to be super unapologetic about it,” said one of the girls. And indeed it was this empowering message that inspired the collection and wants to push the designers to create a strong community which aims at inspiring the youth. This season, the designer duo was inspired by a mix of rebellious icons, from slightly 50s freakish Hollywood actor shots to Riot Grrl zines and Bikini Kill. This duality of sensitivity, femininity and toughness was evident as different materials and colours were contrasted throughout the collection. Floral printed tight tops were styled with oversized denim frayed trousers, whilst oversized taffeta dresses in pink, acid green and blue were styled with a series of bold accessories, either tough or feminine, ranging from latex gloves to feathery kitten-heeled shoes. 

Fashion as an indulgence at Toga

Images by Tom Warabida

Set at London’s iconic Royal Institute of British Architects, the Toga show was a play of artistic temperaments. Every season, Yasuko Furuta, the designer behind Toga, defines her collection in three words, and this season these three words were “wrapping, re-development and efficiency,” words which she said connoted an ambience of not prioritising productivity in a world that does. Yet, how do you do that in this world which seems to be moving at an ever-changing and faster pace way of living? Slow down and indulge in the unnecessary details. This was the overall message conveyed by the collection as a range of romantic details accentuated the looks: big vinyl flower brooches accessorised perfectly tailored business suits, whilst urban items such as the now-very-popular bike shorts were updated in bold floral brocades. Beach sandals were re-interpreted for the city and paired with long, flowing formal dresses, whilst highlights of the collection were for sure the bold overcoats which gave an edge to the more minimal looks. 

60s psychedelia at Rixo

It seems like this season 16Arlington wasn’t the only brand who took inspiration from the 60s and its free, fun, atmosphere. Rixo, the British brand famous for its printed silk dresses and midi skirts popularised by Instagram’s it girl community, staged its SS20 presentation in a relaxed garden where models of all ages lounged on the grass, blowing bubbles and dancing around to a rock and roll soundtrack. Taking inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s style and featuring her vocals as the soundtrack to the presentation, the collection featured soft sixties silhouettes, psychedelic prints and florals featured on maxi dresses and mini dresses, and silky feel good flares perfect from morning to night. 

The collection will also be available to buy the moment it debuts at the Rixo store at 94 Kings Road. 

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London Fashion Week Day 1: 16Arlington and the power of Italian Groove

13.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images courtesy of Giovanni Rombaldoni

In the flamboyant yet conservative heyday that was 1960s Italy, a young woman with a short blonde bob shocked the Italian audiences by singing and dancing to songs that are still considered to be part of today’s pop culture patrimony. 

For this season’s SS20 presentation, British Luxury brand 16Arlington decided to celebrate and take inspiration from this still-iconic woman, pop legend Raffaella Carrà. 

Delving into the funky imagery that accompanied all of Carrà’s music videos, performances and more, the British-Italian duo produced a fun collection full of sewn struzzo dip-dyed feathers, hand-dyed chiffon draping, jazzy fringing and groovy beading. 

The duo presented a collection that was definitely fun to watch and will be fun for anyone to wear, as it encapsulated the spirit of the 1960s party girl. Delicate chiffons were juxtaposed with an ombre coloured palette, whilst gunmetal leather hot pats contrasted bold optical printed patterns. Psychedelic prints inspired by the 1960s king of prints himself, Emilio Pucci, appeared on a lame 3 piece trousered suits, perfect the maximalist working girl who wants to get her groove on. 

Original 1960s sunglasses from Oliver Goldsmith and shoes by British brand Dorateymeur complemented the styling and world created by the designers.

Who wouldn’t want to dance the night away wearing these clothes? 

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A Chat with 032C Creative Director Maria Koch amidst the launch of Buffalo London by 032C at Browns East

06.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

032c is more than just a magazine, it’s an entire solar system, and the constellation of projects that make 032c so special revolve around Joerg and Maria Koch. The husband and wife team are Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director respectively, and alongside Fashion Director Marc Goehring are the living, breathing embodiment of the 032c sensibility. A magazine that eschews the zeitgeist and charges directly at its own interests, 032c manages to be both genuinely counter-cultural and also extremely current. Their latest issues features both a Kristen Stewart fanzine and a call-to-arms in praise of solidarity from German sociologist Heinz Bude, a characteristically surprising and delicious mixture.

Alongside their bi-annual print publication, 032c also mount exhibitions, run large-scale events, co-own the ultra-cool 24hr REFERENCE festival, and consult with any number of big-name brands. Each member of the team also takes on a myriad of projects individually, and its hard to imagine how they find enough time and energy to fit it all in. In some ways it all seems to work because of the real sense they give off of truly practicing what they preach – somehow Maria and Joerg embody the ethos of the 032c workshop without ever feeling self-important or cliched. Every decision they make and each idea they bring to life feels like a natural and organic progression from the one before, adding to the dense and rich world they have created. 

032c have dabbled in apparel for a long time, ever since they started noticing that fans were bootlegging their own merch featuring the iconic logo (the name 032c is the pantone reference for the virulent red of the magazine’s cover). In the early days they simply put out small drops of tees and other basic pieces, produced in black or white with a bold logo as the only adornment. Unsurprisingly collaborations soon followed with everyone from Stüssy to Sade, to more recent hyped launches like their limited-edition adidas GSG-9 boot. The 032c brand alone is enough to shift a huge number of units, never mind the fact that the pieces they collaborate on have always exemplified their innate style, and intuitive understanding of what their audience wants.

A fully-fledged 032c Workshop Ready-to-Wear line launched at Pitti Uomo in early 2018, followed by a London showcase last November entitled COSMIC WORKSHOP, which saw the launch of their first ever womenswear pieces. Maria oversees the RTW arm of 032c, drawing on her experience working with brands like Jil Sander and Marios Schwab to lead a team of around 20 that includes patter-makers who are also experts in craftsmanship. Having worked on unisex pieces before AW19, Maria felt like womenswear was the natural progression of their ever-expanding output. 

Alongside the womenswear, a special collaboration with fellow German style icons Buffalo Boots was also previewed at the COSMIC WORKSHOP presentation. The collaboration sees the iconic Buffalo platform integrated with “archetypal elements of classic luxury footwear”. For one style the weighty buffalo sole elevates a riding-inspired jodhpur boot, complete with leather uppers and traditional fastenings. Another look sees thigh-highs that reference fetish and club-wear realised in the materials of heritage leather labels. According to the brand statement: “It’s streetwear on steroids meets old world craftsmanship, because more is more, contradiction is beautiful, and we didn’t grow up to leave our youth behind.” 

Today this collaboration launches alongside an exclusive capsule of the COSMIC WORKSHOP womenswear with a special installation and event at Browns East. The RTW collection hangs above a floor-level vitrine in which the boots are encased, almost like relics in an archaeological site. Translucent white plastic curtains hang in bands around the space, making it feel like the inner sanctum of the kind of Berlin club you would never make it in to. After a preview of the installation and the pieces, we sat down with Maria at Browns Eeast yesterday to talk about the collection and the collaboration.

Maria is full of energy and an un-sentimental kind of nostalgia when she talks about how the Buffalo project came about. “It really felt very natural […] because when I was in my teenage days I was like a rave kid, like a classic Berlin hardcore rave kid, and everybody would wear Buffalos and my parents never, ever would support that ugly shoe, so it wasn’t possible! But at the same time I was very much in to dressage riding, and so somehow this is actually really these two worlds of my teenager times.” Maria herself is wearing the short jodhpur boot and is clearly delighted with the end product, which she manages to make look at once very tough and very elegant. In person the shoes very much embody the contemporary mood, where cross-pollination of subcultures is becoming the norm. Yesterday’s Horse Girl is today’s Party Girl.

Elaborating more on the idea of the Browns East installation as a club space she notes the parallel design elements like the hanging plastic and flashing lights, which mirror the AW19 Cosmic Workshop presentation. “I really always liked this club-feel where you get lost and have a warm feeling and at the same time an idea of melancholia. You know this is a very, very interesting feeling, and we tried to achieve this a little bit downstairs [in Browns].” This carries through to the fabrication of the clothes and boots – when asked about their almost protective feel, she counters: “You know, I feel at the same time they’re very, I think, tender and soft and translucent. Or like, transparent you could say. And then yes you have the strong leather pieces, so there’s really this mixture, it’s really this club vibe.” This emotive approach to the design process is highly captivating, and speaks to the sense that everything 032c creates lives inside a very real world. The person who will actually wear these pieces, and how and where thy will wear them, has been truly understood and catered for.

Emotional connections aside Maria is pragmatic as well as creative, and that is what makes the whole enterprise so viable. She understands that you can create art as a fashion designer, but, “to describe fashion as art is a weird scenario because it’s produced, it’s produced to fulfil this certain product requirement, and to sustain in a commercial market, and this is not where art is coming from.” The workshop and the rest of the team clearly think carefully about how they approach their projects; how to make them thrive in a truly practical sense that still retains the artistic vision. 032c describes itself as a ‘Manual for Freedom, Research and Creativity’ and this triad ethos is as much a part of the RTW as it is the magazine, “this magazine is really like a huge research lab […] when I have the freedom and the proper research, [creativity] is then somehow the outcome.” This is the wholistic approach to everything they create; the editorial, fashion, research and consultancy teams all co-exist in the same space. The end-product for each team has been adapted through exposure to the others, and this results in something robust and sustainable. Commerce is not the only end-goal, but its key role is acknowledged.

In a pressurised industry undergoing a huge amount of change, working from this three-pronged foundation seems to be key to keeping 032c ahead of the curve. When asked about how the RTW collection will develop Maria is very candid about how they are grappling with the traditional seasonal model. “This is the big question […] I’m not really interested in the full collections, I feel, maybe the stores will tell you this, first of all it’s boring and it’s not really sustainable to do a 120-piece collection that nobody needs. And we felt it’s good to have strong, a very strong classic collection every half a year and then do what we do with the apparel as well, some drops.” Maria wants these collections to be not just desirable but also necessary, and wanted, and it’s a savvy way to keep them from ever feeling superfluous to the other 032c outputs. She is insistent that conversations with Browns and their other retail partners are a vital part of their process, allowing them to be flexible and reactive to practical elements like budget changes as well as her own inspiration. Putting the time in to researching what the market needs leaves more freedom to create, outside of the rigors of showing and selling on-schedule in an endless loop.

Crucially though, all of this careful consideration allows her to sustain her motivation in the face of the punishing fashion calendar. “This newness, makes me somehow not sad, but a little bit, it feels heavy. I don’t think wow the new collections I feel, phew!” – everyone is exhausted right? – “Yes! But I’m not at all exhausted from fashion, I’m exhausted by the rhythm, and by what it is now. So, I feel, we’re in to just figuring out what the answer should be to that.” If anyone is capable of figuring out the answer to the big questions, it seems more than likely that it’s Maria and the rest of the 032c team.

As we say goodbye Maria reveals yet another undertaking, as if all of this wasn’t enough for one woman. She and Joerg have recently moved out of the much-envied brutalist church they rented for years and bought a place of their own for the first time. With the new house comes a garden. “I really started to study what these plants want from me”, she ponders, “what do I have to do to make them happy?!” It’s comforting to think of this incredibly prolific woman taking the time to ponder the needs of her vegetable patch, even after all the demands that her work must place on her. Something so grounding and elemental seems like exactly the right tonic to working in a world driven by ideas and innovation. “It’s very rewarding.”

To shop the collection visit, Browns Fashion.

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LFW: Fashion East SS2020 Showcase

18.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last week  three young designers under the Fashion East Initiative presented their SS2020 collections. A small tribe of Londoners and British fashion school alumni who each spoke with very different voices.

Saul Nash SS2020
Saul Nash SS2020
Saul Nash SS2020

The newest designer to the bunch was British dancer and choreographer Saul Nash who opened the showcase and his section of the evening with a group of models standing on the runway. Followed by a dance performance upon the guests being seated. This performance helped to show off Nash’s construction abilities in creating functional pieces with technical fabrics, curved zippers and mesh. From steel grey nylon pants, to light blue tracksuits. Each piece was made with an awareness of comfort and sensitivity towards movement. 

Robyn Lynch SS2020
Robyn Lynch SS2020
Robyn Lynch SS2020

 Irish designer Robyn Lynch presented a solid coloured men’s collection inspired by the sport uniforms worn throughout Irish communities in earlier decades. This was brought out through a selection of cable knit sweaters, terry cloth shorts, t-shirts and cropped sweatpants all rendered in a palette of mint greens, lilac and cornflower blues.  

Mowalola SS2020
Mowalola SS2020
Mowalola SS2020

Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi showcased her second collection with Fashion East that was inspired by her experiencing the woes of romantic love for the first time, “I’ve just fallen in love for the first time and I feel as if no one talks about the horrific side, the dangers of love, losing control of your emotions and feeling like your crazy. It’s like a horror movie. So this is as if I’m in a black Woodstock Festival and someone has been murdered,” she explained. And henceforth this included looks with gunshot wounds placed against large lip prints, religious symbols in colourful halter necked suits, skin tight pants,  revealing bodices, jumpsuits, and coats made from leather, cotton and cowhide fabrics. 

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Fashion East Fall-Winter 2019

19.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last weekend passed this year’s first Fashion East showcase which featured a list of three intriguing London based emerging designers, in showcase of their Fall Winter 2019 Collections. The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

Central Saint Martins graduate Gareth Wrighton was one of the three talents to showcase. Wrighton presented a 22 look collection in collaboration with stylist Ib Kamara titled “Smooth Criminal.” The collection was inspired by a four month residency the designer previously took in Johannesburg with Kamara and South African photographer Kristin Lee Moolman. It cohesively spoke to the stories of political coups, warring dynasties and feuding families caught in a violent power struggle. The looks included flaming hair, bullet accessorised mini dresses and sweaters with burning forests. The collection in itself was nothing short of a political statement. 

Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

In 2017 Designer Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault launched their South London label Charlotte Knowles London after also completing their masters at Central Saint Martins. Designing for a feminine and strong woman, in the AW19 collection, Knowles explores femininity and ready to wear in a way which disrupts traditional boundaries. Boundaries between the vulnerable and the combative, the human and the natural, the intimate and the public and the strange and familiar. The collection featured wool and technically crafted fabrics, made in soft pastel colours from form fitting, to minimal to fluid.  This was the designers’ final showcase with the support of the Fashion East Initiative .

Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

The final collection was that of Chinese CSM trained designer Yuhan Wang whose collection was inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of femininity and their connections to western culture. She explored the lines between beauty and strangeness , softness, delicacy and sensibility. In her second season showcasing for the Fashion East initiative, Wang’s pieces were made in silk satins, lace, velvet and tulle in ripple technique to flounce around the female form. She presented sheath and tea dresses in a 3 Dimensional way where her ruches and other artistically danced around the body. “ I think of it as the push and pull we experience as women. The constant dialogue between our inner and outer worlds,” says wang.  With soft colours of blue, lilac and primrose yellow, the designer pieced together a cohesive collection which told an impactful and interesting story. 

Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

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Fashion East SS19 Showcase

18.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Charlotte Knowles, Yuhan Wang and A Sai Ta were the London based designers chosen to showcase at this year’s Fashion East SS19 showcase.  The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

One of the first talents of this year’s show was the fruit of Central Saint Martins graduates Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault, who launched their brand Charlotte Knowles in 2017. The designer duo presented a collection for a strong, confident and futuristic woman which focused on refined pieces with intricate details. The woman they presented was one who celebrates her femininity as she proudly strut down the runway in, halter neck bikinis, mesh slips and cut-out pieces of bright colours accented with an abundance of straps.

Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Chinese born designer Yuhan Wang who is also an alumni of the Central Saint Martins womenswear program brought forth a collection which was inspired by asian femininity and its ties to western culture. The SS19 collection was entitled Women Indors. She explored the line between coverage and exposure; delicacy and sensibility as she played peekaboo with techniques of drapery paired with sheer fabrics to create pieces which celebrated the female form in a fun yet sensual manner.

Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Designer A SaI Ta who previously launched his label Asai with Fashion East in February 2017 for his SS19 collection, dives into the roots of his British-Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and reinterprets this as a second generation Londoner. Ta uses fabric manipulation and pairs this with his sharp pattern making skills to create a collection with disrupts familiar visual codes by creating sharp intriguing forms of the modern day female silhouette with inspiration from military culture. After graduating from Central Saint Martins the designer gained experience at The Row and was sought after for a position at Kanye West’s Yeezy just a year into completing his MA.

Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

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Growing up as a goth in the British Midlands: Twin meets Supriya Lele

27.06.2018 | Fashion | BY:

What does it mean to be British? This is one of the biggest questions facing British people in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. What does Britishness look like? It’s a difficult one to answer given the influx of immigrants, cultures, and customs in British society over the last forty years. It’s something Supriya Lele confronts with her work.

Supriya is a British fashion designer with Indian heritage. Her work is influenced by her British identity and Indian cultural heritage. The way she works with drapery recalls the sari. The colours she works with refer to her own background, growing up as a goth in the British Midlands. Her work is inspired by architecture and sculpture, which she believes are integral facets to fashion design. Her work caught the attention of Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy’s incubator program for emerging talents. With three seasons at London Fashion Week showing as part of Fashion East, the British Fashion Council awarded Supriya NEWGEN sponsorship. This September, she will debut her standalone show at London Fashion Week. Twin caught up with her to discuss identity, launching a brand and “growing up as a goth in the British Midlands.”

When did you know you were meant to be a fashion designer?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I always knew I was meant to be a fashion designer, I began by studying architecture, and then subsequently wanted to study sculpture before last minute changing to my undergraduate degree in fashion…I think these three areas are quite linked. I was always really interested in fashion and it has always been an important part of my life, and this has been a very natural process.

Surprise LeLe AW18 | © Chris Yates

There are also parts of your work which refer to your childhood “growing up as a goth in the British Midlands”. For you, is storytelling an integral part of your designs?

Haha, yes the “goth,” aspect or subversive aspect to my work is important. I have been exploring my cultural identity since I completed my Masters at the Royal College of Art- and that involves exploring different memories, or parts of my family history which have informed my personal viewpoint and design handwriting; I think storytelling is a big part of that.

Your work features contrast: masculinity and femininity; your Indian heritage and British cultural identity; lo-fi fabrics and the air of luxury– is your work defined by contrast or the balance between the contrasting elements?

I always enjoy the tension between high and low and I like to play with that in my work. I would probably say that the balance between the contrasting elements is what I enjoy- finding that middle space or exploring that tension is what is exciting.

Surprise LeLe AW18 | © Chris Yates

It was reported that your first presentation with Fashion East came at a time when you hadn’t yet worked out how to sell the collection. Is this true?

My first presentation with Fashion East was when I showed parts of my Masters Collection from the Royal College of Art- most of this had been created on the course without sales in mind; so it was more that the actual collection was not ready for sales. It was more an aim to present my ideas and vision in that context, and introduce myself to the industry.

You worked with Fashion East for three seasons, what was the best advice you received?

I received a lot of good advice from Fashion East so this is a tough question! I think it was not to worry too much and to be confident in my own abilities.

You’ve been afforded NEWGEN sponsorship for the upcoming season. How does it feel to join the ranks alongside your peers Matty Bovan, Bianca Saunders, as well as previous winners such as J.W. Anderson and Simone Rocha?

It feels really exciting to have my own slot on schedule at LFW, I am really looking forward to it. NEWGEN has an amazing list of alumni, but also the current designers are so strong it’s really great to be a part of it!

What is next for the brand?

To keep pushing my vision forward and to grow my business and brand organically with the support I have.

 

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Behind the scenes at Preen AW18

23.02.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Amber Pinkerton goes behind the scenes at Preen to report on the best looks backstage.

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Preen AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

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Margaret Howell AW18

21.02.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Maya Skelton goes behind the scenes at Margaret Howell’s AW18 presentation.

Margaret Howell AW18 | © Maya Skelton

Margaret Howell AW18 | © Maya Skelton

Margaret Howell AW18 | © Maya Skelton

Margaret Howell AW18 | © Maya Skelton

Margaret Howell AW18 | © Maya Skelton

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Backstage at Gareth Pugh AW18

21.02.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Amber Pinkerton goes backstage to delve into the theatrical, dystopian, violent and beautiful space that is Gareth Pugh’s ever enthralling imagination.

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Gareth Pugh AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

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Marta Jakubowski AW18

19.02.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

Marta Jakubowski AW18 | Amber Pinkerton

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Obsessing over Wade’s world: Mimi Wade AW18

18.02.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

It was a kind of mock-gothic, Hollywood bridal party that only Mimi Wade, with her proven aptitude for taking the fantastically kitsch and making it fantastically sexy, could have pulled off. For AW18, Wade ostensibly stripped back her signature aesthetic but managed to retain a raw, vamp-like glamour even while working across a monochrome base.

Part of a new generation of designers in London adept at creating clans – the likes of Molly Goddard and Sadie Williams have delivered a powerful, unifying aesthetic language too – Mimi Wade has established a strong identity for her women, mixing a sense of nonchalance (this season through bias cuts and frayed hems) with feline sultriness (velvet bows, ruched, deep collars and puffed sleeves). It’s Wade’s World, and we want in.

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

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Richard Malone AW18

16.02.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Richard Malone AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

 

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London Fashion Week Designers to Watch AW18

13.02.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

As London Fashion Week approaches, there are plenty of new names to watch out for. Meet four designers setting a new agenda for the British womenswear scene this season.

Matty Bovan

A Fashion East graduate and Charles Jeffrey contemporary, Matty Bovan is staging his first standalone womenswear show at London Fashion Week this season. His designs evoke an underground utopia, leveraging clashing textures, prints and colours to create a raw and powerful new kind of tribe. A nominee for British Emerging Womenswear Talent at the Fashion Awards 2017, all eyes will be on where Bovan is going next.

Sadie Williams

Having already been listed as one of  Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” for The Arts in Europe as well as a host of other accolades and NEWGEN sponsorship, Sadie Williams has the industry talking. Her unique designs combine folk sensibility with futuristic patterns and materials, rendering a new kind of woman that is empowered, playful and adventurous.

© Sadie Williams

Paula Knorr

This London designer is making waves with her sexy, disco-inspired aesthetic that boldly reclaims femininity and offers a fiery new interpretation. Working across a myriad of high energy fabrics and in bold, powerful shades Paula Knorr‘s designs make you want to stand up and make some noise. Read our interview with the designer here.

© Paula Knorr

Marta Jakubowski

Another recipient of the NEWGEN award this year, Marta Jakubowski offers a refined and confident vision through her bright and precisely tailored pieces. Easily re-imagining familiar staples in new ways, Jakubowski’s geometric tailoring brings fresh energy to womenswear and sets an exciting precedent for a new aesthetic in seasons to come.

© Marta Jakubowski

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A loving tribute to Gabrielle Chanel

11.09.2017 | Beauty , Culture | BY:

To mark the launch of their latest fragrance, Gabrielle, Chanel brings the scent to life with a new pop-up shop on Bond Street.

Running until 24th September, the space will invite audiences to immerse themselves in the history and personality of Gabrielle Chanel; a series of events and workshops designed to unpack her rebellious nature, and how this has been conveyed through scent.

To find out more about the workshops and events on offer, and to book your place, click here.

 

 

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Whistles x by FAR AW17

08.09.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For AW17, Whistles has partnered with by FAR to launch a new collection of shoes, all named after iconic streets in London.

Choose from the lace up Burlington boot, slip on Ledbury loafers, slingback heeled Redchurch shoe and tassel detail Chiltern shoes in a range of colour ways – covet this season’s favourite shade of red for a bold finish, or choose tan for a timeless investment.

WHISTLES X by FAR (8)

Founded by twin sisters Valentina and Sabina, along with their friend Denitsa , by Far is an under-the-radar Bulgarian shoe brand that makes dreamy, timeless staples from their headquarters in Sofia.

Leather Block Heel-Red_03

This new collaboration with Whistles focusses on celebrating the brand’s British heritage, offering Victorian-inspired boots, as well as unisex loafer styles.

If you’re looking for a shoe that does the hard work for you, this collection is for you.

The Whistles x by FAR collection will be available in selected stores and online at whistles.com ​from 15th  September 2017.

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Dancing in Dreams: An Interview With Claire Barrow

23.02.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Twin catches up with fashion designer and artist Claire Barrow to talk about her new exhibition, and how fashion can help to fight prejudice during these uncertain times.

How did the collaboration between yourself and Galeria Melissa come about?

I was approached from them a while ago but the installation idea started to take shape towards the end of last year. Melissa‘s shoes are completely recycled, waste free and 100% animal free so I’m really into that. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time to work with larger company with great ethics like theirs and I’m also really into what they do with collaborations. Ow, and the smell of the PVC is really good (all the shoes smell like rubber and strawberries.)

What was your starting point for the project, and what were you inspired by?

I wanted to combine performance and sculpture that also used digital in some way, so I think it started there then the idea grew and it become human size sculptures and digital projections of people performing next to them. I just wanted to do everything at once. So we have digital, music, film, performance, costume, movement.
So, the piece addresses the ‘judging’ of people, and the initial ideas you have of someone before they even speak. So, these ‘people’ (sculptures) will never get the chance to communicate but how can the performers work with them to make them feel animated. Then the fact that the ‘real’ people aren’t really there, but digital also signifies our online communication with friends, feeling less lonely but not seeing them IRL. We are all on our phones and computers too much now that I don’t want to miss that out in my work. I try to use the everyday and this is our new reality.

Claire 2

What were your design references for this piece? Was there particular reason that you were drawn to use pearls and a muted palette? 

I’ve been trying to not use references in my work to much unless I have to explain my idea’s to someone else in the team as I would like the ideas to come from somewhere inside my head or from a drawing I have done. My subconscious will have maybe seen references in the past, or that day on Instagram, but then it will be a distorted version that sticks. I took a lot from my own life and childhood for this project.

I took a train ride over Christmas time past the old British Steel in Teeside, (a steel works that closed a few years ago leading to the loss of thousands of jobs, which is just stood rotting), and the light was so beautiful and metal so glittery I sort of took it from an imagined version of that then also the idea of ‘high glamour’ too, so jewellery and make-up and sparkle. So I chose the pearls and muted palette and crystals in like, ‘powdered’ down version of primary or secondary colours. Different types of camouflage feature heavily too.

What are your hopes for the exhibition, and what are you most excited about?

It was brilliant to work with the team on the video. I cast Sameena who was in the Daniel Wolfe film ‘Catch Me Daddy’ a few years ago and hasn’t acted since. So it was an honour she actually said yes to me!

It’s the first time I’d worked with Joseph Bird to who’s a reasonably new film director and also Taigen and Ken (Bo Ningen) on the music. I’ve been meaning to work with them for years we were just looking for the right project.

The five characters all take on different roles but very much improvise and added their own ideas to each part. I had designed the costumes and given anecdotes from my own experiences to show them which helped form the characters.

claire3

And finally, in such uncertain times, what role do you think fashion has in challenging assumptions and prejudices more widely?

Design wise I think the most interesting work is coming from people who don’t limit themselves to being creative within the fashion system. I don’t see anything particularly progressive happening with bigger brands currently but maybe this will change during times of extreme political unrest if they feel it necessary.

It’s like, they need to stand up for injustice but also to fix problems within their own companies such as material wastage and paying workers fairly. That’s why it’s brilliant to be associated with a large brand like Melissa whom are dedicated to keeping everything recycled and looking after their staff in Brazil.

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Shrimps AW17

20.02.2017 | Fashion | BY:

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Photos by Mafalda Silva for Twin.

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