For our final London Fashion Week Backstage Access installment , Twin decided to venture to Simone Rocha’s eagerly anticipated A/W 13 showing, a nostalgic yet modern collection in shades of bubblegum pink, cream and lemon as well as leopard prints, accompanied by those infamous brogues. Originally inspired by the designer’s Irish and Chinese grandmothers, the result was anything but old fashioned.
With a week’s worth of womenswear and menswear shows kicking off today, a new crop of fresh design talents will be making their London Fashion Week mark.
For this season, expect to see the collections of David Koma, Holly Fulton, J.JS Lee, J.W. Anderson, Michael van der Ham and Simone Rocha on the runway, as well as Christopher Raeburn, Thomas Tait, Nasir Mazhar, Sister by Sibling, Huishan Zhang, James Long, Lucas Nascimento, Tim Soar and Palmer//Harding presenting their unique designs in installations and exhibitions.
Helping them flourish in the fashion capital is the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN initiative, founded in 1993 and sponsored by Topshop. The scheme offers young creatives a platform to showcase their designs at Somerset House, as well as offering financial and business support.
With past recipients including Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Meadham Kirchhoff, the future is looking more than bright for this next generation of fashion talent. After all, there’s nothing like a new kid on the block to shake things up.
For her debut feature film, Irish director Alexandra McGuinness has created a bacchanal of fashion and fast-living reminiscent of Antonioni’s Blow-Up and Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Inspired by the story of Odysseus’ sailors losing all desire tfor home after tasting the fruit of the Lotus plant, Lotus Eaters, follows a clique of privileged sybarites living an increasingly decadent and vacuous London existence.
Among them is Alice, an ex-model and struggling actress who is jaded by her friends hedonistic lifestyle, tired of the unbridled excess and the white-noise of the morning after. Her path negotiates the fracturing relationships of her friends as she struggles to find a life that will make her happy.
Shot in black and white and featuring a host of hot young fashion designers such as Simone Rocha, alongside nascent acting talent like Antonia Campbell-Hughes and singer/songwriter Johnny Flynn, Lotus Eaters is more than just a beautiful film, it’s a paean to contemporary London.
But while the backdrop of local cafés and boutiques immortalises the capital’s vibrance, the overall effect is more fantastic than real. Like Evelyn Waugh’s Bright Young People before them, McGuinness’ lotus eaters belong to a perennial epoch of youth, where despite beauty and riches, all that glitters is not gold.
The times they are a-changing. The third issue of Twin is all about ambition: We ask Immodesty Blaize, Sloane Crosley, Simon Rich and Kristin Hersh to consider the meaning of female ambition, mega-model Dree Hemingway takes a ride in Simone Rocha’s winter collection, musician Alison Mosshart reveals the secrets of life on the road, set designer and artist Gary Cardsculpts an irresistible gang of bijoux-loving sloths, grande dame of fashion photography June Newton discusses life after Helmut, and Gia Coppola – the granddaughter of Francis Ford and niece of Sofia who’s next in line for Coppola fame – shoots an exclusive photo diary.
Hot out of the Central St Martins MA fashion oven like a freshly baked monochrome cupcake, young Simone Rocha is a star of the future. We love her.
How old are you? I am 23.
What’s the inspiration behind your MA collection? Irish travellers, the mourning traditions of the Aran islands in the West of Ireland and masculine tailoring.
If you could do a collaboration with anyone, who would it be? The artist Louise Bourgeois.
How was it doing an MA at St Martins? Its reputation for ‘tough love’ is legendary. It was tough but fair, hardcore but worth it.
What has been your career high to date? Showing at Somerset House during London Fashion Week as part of the CSM MA fashion show.
Being Irish, does the mighty little Green Island itself influence your work? Yes.
Why????? It’s everything from the people to the places…I’m inspired by my grandmother’s graveyard in Birr Co.Offaly and Meath Street in Dublin. To me Ireland is home, and home is where the heart is and if you put your heart into something it’s going to make much better work.
Who would you most like to see wearing your clothes? Me, my mates, Chloe Sevigny.
Where would you like to show London, Paris, Milan or New York? Why? Right now London, I think it’s the best place for a young designer to show at the moment. It’s the best starting platform.
What is your ideal outfit on a man? Depends on the man.
What music are you listening to at the minute? Hank Williams,The Slits,The XX.
Who or what is your greatest inspiration in your work? Art and family.
What’s your favourite word? SCUM
Favourite books? Pony Kids by Perry Ogden, 20 Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xiaolu Guo and The Barrytown Trilogy by Roddy Doyle.
Favourite film? In the Mood for Love.
Death row meal – starter, main, desert and drinks? My mother’s roast dinner, champagne and Jamesons whiskey for desert.
If you had to be on a desert Island for the rest of your life, and you could bring seven things what would they be? Book,pencil, pen, paper, discman, cds, batteries(for the discman) and Jamesons.
Your six dream dinner party guests – alive or dead? Dad, mum, Max, Caireban, Celo and Fayzer.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Most likely still living in London, summers in France, my own label, designing, showing, selling, wearing beautiful clothes, hanging out with my dachshund Rufus…