Monthly Archives: September 2009

Steve J and Yoni P Presentation @LFW

Everyone at London Fashion Week seemed to be clutching an invitation to Steve J and Yoni P’s ‘Puppet Theatre’ presentation and even the great Diane Pernet popped in to check out the duo’s new collection. 

Their innovative presentation, held in the Korean Cultural Centre, was inspired by the Eastern European marionette culture (I’ve witnessed it in Prague and it’s terrifying).  The atmospheric ‘puppet theatre’ was full of lifeless but cheekily well-endowed puppets sporting strategically place fruits and solitary pieces hung on rails,  illuminated by light and shadows.

Steve J and Yoni P

As for the new collection, there were ‘let’s go boating’ soft tailored jackets, structured dresses with two-tone lapels and detailing, pretty 50s-inspired underwear as outerwear, screen printed tees and khaki shorts for guys. 

Steve J and Yoni P

The show was set up as a ‘still life’ with models staring ahead and draped over chairs, serenaded by harpist Serafina Steer.  Many of the models had branch markings ‘tattooed’ on their arms and faces and some had their fluffy angel hair and hands tainted with red dye.

You really need to see it to understand, so check out a clip of the Puppet Theatre presentation…

Video by brightonART

Their Autumn/Winter 09 collection is also worth a look – it’s full of cosy tartan smocks, Aztec print cardies and purple day dresses.   Stockists: My Sugarland and supersweet.

Fred Butler’s new head candy at LFW

My first hint that London Fashion Week was just a few hundred metres away as I left Charing Cross station was spotting a pretty girl with an even prettier (and NEW collection) Fred Butler kaleidoscopic head piece complete with a shiny present bow. 

Our paths separated at Waterloo Bridge, as I crossed over the river to Blow Presents… at Royal Festival Hall, but I was excied to know that there was more Fred Butler goodness to be found at the exhibition.

Fred Butler

Fred has single handedly revived the stale old craft of origami and fabric yoyos and each season creates vibrant, avant-garde and sculptural accessories that are surprisingly wearable.    The origami hat and cape in irridescent white remind me of a kind of East End snow queen and the colour-bursting kaleidoscopic neck ruff is so spectacular, it feels like something out of a dream.

Fred Butler

The bright origami ‘scarf’ (for want of a better word) snakes itself around the body and also incorporates the snow queen material. It makes me think of my crazy patchwork quilt by designer Kaffe Fassett (which Fred will undoubted know), handmade by my very talented mum.  I’ll post a pic soon, so you can see how important the craft element is in Fred’s work.

Featured here are the larger collection leaders, but there are also a range of exquisite head pieces and no doubt some necklaces for you to add on your Christmas list – I know I will be!

Fred Butler accessories are stocked at Kabiri and the Autumn/Winter 09 collection can be viewed on her website.

Kabiri – 37 Marylebone High St / 18 The Market, The Piazza, Covent Garden / Selfridges concession store

Vauxhall Fashion Scout at LFW 09

I wish I’d got to see more Vauxhall Fashion Scout shows this season – I did catch Bryce d’Anice Aime and Romeo Pires – but sadly you can’t be everywhere at once. 

The Bryce show was absolutely packed with people even standing on the ledges to get a better view.  I loved the kind of hush-hush, secret society vibe of the Freemasons Hall – such an interesting venue!

Bryce d'Anice Aime

 Bryce’s Spring/Summer 10 collection combined chic, 50s Parisian style with a contemporary ‘London body-con’ look and futuristic detailing.  This season’s woman has grown up and is a sophisticated bombshell with a whole lot of attitude.

  Bryce d'Anice Aime

The collection was divided into 3 different styles – he kicked off with sheer structured dresses, a panelled bodysuit adorned with some fierce Lady Gaga-esque fabric spikes, all in a palette of black and gold-spun beige.  The next look was a lot softer and more playful with two-tone dresses featuring a gorgeous bold circle print.  They still had the obligatory statement shoulders and the spikes ran through the collection.  The last instalment focused on the black body-con dressand skirt suit in stretch satin with beautifully draped red chiffon. There were also flashes of glittering pillarbox red on the skirts and leggings.

Thanks to Fashion Mongers for use of Bryce d’Anice Aime catwalk images.

New Designers at London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 10

It’s all GO at London Fashion Week and I’ve made it my mission to check out all of the best new off-schedule designers that are soon to be the next Marios, Emilio or Louise – Gray or Goldin, both pretty fab in my opinion!

I missed the ioannisdimitrousis show on the first day, as I was still working away – freelances can’t make such outrageous demands, y’know.  But from what I’ve seen, his Spring/Summer 10 collection, he has continued his fishnet knits and added disc sequins, flower embellishments and contrasting panels, aka stripes.  But he has really embraced the spirit of Spring with his fresh take on monochrome and delicate silver and the collection features cropped tuxedo jackets, romantic button-down skirts, checked shirts and modified summer dresses.  There’s something Chanel Cruise collection about this dress – I love it! 

ioannis

So, my first show of the season was Blow PR’s catwalk show at Royal Festival Hall.  Blow always pick up on the most imaginative emerging designers and I was just dying to see Charlie Le Mindu’s hair sculptures in ‘real life’.

First up was a quick guest appearance from Joe, of Blue Peter fame (I’m sorry, I don’t know who he is) modelling… some clothes – best ask someone else about that one.

Charlie Le Mindu opened the show with an amazing Eiffel tower headpiece and from there we had hair-covered giant lips (think a Lulu Guinness purse after a blowdry), a plaited hair burka, hair-covered sunglasses and .  There was even a tufty fringe of hair on the amazing Tuk for Charlie Le Mindu brothel creeps!  Kap Bambino were responsible for the amazing soundtrack and I know that L7 was definitely played, but I forget what else, as I was so astounded by the models.

Charlie Le Mindu

Next up was Gemma Slack with her superheroine-inspired second collection of badass leather, proper studs and metal armour plates.  Cones play a massive part in the collection, from Gaultier-style cone bra tops (complete with pierced nipples) and circular skirts to a futurist metal e-collar and oriental hats.

Like the Motley Crue soundtrack would suggest, her vision comes from 80s hair-metal girls and fetishised comic book characters.  Gemma’s girl is unapologetically sexual and powerful and of course has an incredible cutaway bikini for lounging ’round the pool on Sunset Strip…jealous, moi?

Gemma spent two years as an apprentice to Gareth Pugh and it’s clear that the experience has made her into a bit of a perfectionist, creating really well-formed, striking pieces.  I could go on about her for ages, but I’ll move on…

.Gemma Slack

 Up next was Lina Osterman with a sophisticated, gothic and well-tailored collection.  It was her first catwalk show since graduating from Central St Martins and it also showcased her new jewellery collection featuring chunky silver rings and dirty metal chains.

Like many Swedish designers, Lina is more interested in design than colour and used a palette of black, navy and a momentary flash of white.  The collection features cropped blazers, belted coats, skin-tight jeans with studded knee-pad details.  Lina has developed a darker edge from the simple deconstruction aesthetic of her first label Pudel and the faces half covered with net and bowl cuts (styling by Robbie Spencer) add a subdued goth rock element.

Lina Ostram

Iris Van Herpen finished the show with an exquisite, fluid and complex collection.  Iris explores the movement of the human body, focusing on waves and radiations surrounding it.  She interprets how these lines may appear through the incredible manipulation of leather and ponders a future where we can actually see them.

This would explain the great energy of the pieces, from endless spirals and almost tribal marks to uniformly abbrasive ‘metal shavings’.  Iris also referenced Burmese ornamental neck rings, metal animal skulls and the concept of waves attacking and protecting the body.  The beige and gold dress was breathtakingly detailed and the oil-slick black pieces really expressed Iris’ rather fearful vision of the future.

 Iris Van Herpen

So, after such a great and varied show, I went to check out what was going on at Blow PR Presents…Juniors downstairs.  The kids were having a blast, getting their hair and make-up done, putting together their own outfits even crazier than those in the East End and being snapped by We Are Photogirls.  Future fashionistas in the making, for sure!

Later on, I hit the exhibition, drank some Chambord and champagne in the media lounge and caught up with some of the ELLEuk.com girls of past and present taking street style pics and making good use of the Toni & Guy Blow-Out Bar.

Next stop, Steve J and Yoni P presentation followed by the Bryce d’Anice Aime show…more to follow!

Fashion folk and spottings: V.V Brown, Diane Pernet, Kate Nash, Paloma Faith, Katie Jane Garside, Caryn Franklin, Brix Smith-Start, Portia Freeman, Michael Tempranillo, Dani Stahl, Johnny Make-up, Jameela Jamil, Tommy Ton,  Angela Buttolph.

All images (expect ioannisdimitrousis) by Neily Alimohamadi/cheriecity

A.P.C…easy as YMC

Following the pre-recession trend of investing in simple, classic pieces, London fashion has gone back to basics. Luckily, the leaders of the utilitarian revolution have set up camp in London, just in time to supply us with some natty autumn knitwear.

British label YMC (You Must Create) opened their new loftspace a few days ago in Soho and French fashion house A.P.C (Atelier de Production et de Création) have made themselves at home close to Dover Street Market in Mayfair’s most minimalist neighbourhood.

YMC store front

YMC has been delivering well-made classics with a twist since 1995, but is having a bit of a ‘moment’ right now, with devotees Alexa Chung, The Horrors and Claudia Schiffer championing the label.  Their Spring/Summer 09 collection was awash with twee embroidered knits, sailor girl dresses, patterned playsuits and a multitude of stripes – mixing folk and prairie chic with a good old dose of Northern Soul.  The store is now stocking their Autumn/Winter 09/10 collection, but if birdwatching chic isn’t your thing, then it’s still worth a gander round the shop.

YMC inside

YMC’s loftspace is like an old curiosity shop with victoriana artefacts, retro gym equipment and some creepy taxidermy.  You’ve got to be impressed by a two-headed crow, but I can imagine A.P.C owner Jean Touitou’s gallic lip curling at the sight of such antiquated articles of yore.  

A.P.C’s new London flagship store is a much sleeker affair, and has just been officially launched, despite being already open this summer.  The interior is just as unfussy as A.P.C, with smooth wooden shelving and plenty of natural light.

A.P.C

A.P.C are best known for their innovative denim, but their Autumn/Winter 09 collection is all about checks, bright statement colours and marine-inspired tops – so, not that far away from YMC, then.

While a £100 plaid shirt doesn’t feature highly on my new season wish list, it’s good to know that it’s now a lot easier to find a decent winter coat to go with the H&M coral angora mitten I’ve got my eye on!

A.P.C  35a Dover Street, Mayfair, London

11 Poland Street, Soho, London W1

Carnival time!

The UK summer may be coming to end, but the Notting Hill Carnival brought one last glorious day of sun-drenched partying.  Westbourne Grove’s bijou designer shops were boarded up for the bank holiday weekend as hundreds of thousands of people joined in the second biggest street festival in the world.

Carnival swan

Notting Hill Carnival was formed in 1959 by the Trinidad and Tobago Caribbean community and has seen up to two million visitors since.

Sunday is known as the ‘family day’, but on the Bank Holiday Monday, the streets of Notting Hill are filled with the best soundsystems, barbeques and of course the procession.  The food is usually pretty good and generously sized, with most of the stalls selling jerk chicken with rice and peas and fried plaintains, coconuts and barbequed corn.

Tips for the best time at carnival:

Notting Hill residents make a killing at carnival by selling cans of beer from an icebox and charging anything up to £5 to use their bathroom.  So to avoid mild exploitation from these million pound townhouse Delboys, chill your supermarket-bought cans and locate the nearest portaloos – if you can do it at Bestival, you can do it in the city!

Scour the net to find out about all the parties and afterparties, as some require signing up or a flyer invite.  Liquid Nation had a brilliant recession-busting party this year that had a flat rate of £2.50 for entry, drinks (including cocktails) and BBQ. 

Don’t try to plan too much, as you find something interesting on the way round or can’t get through the crowds in time.  If you’re meeting up with friends, avoid trying to find each other on the small streets around Talbot Road – go for the larger areas around Chepstow Road.