Saturday, 6 March 2010

Paris Showroom Day 2

Image 1
Image 2

Image 3

Image 4
Image 5

Image 6

Arriving at the showroom this morning to excited designers full of anticipation about the day ahead. A quick look round the stands and a few coffees and croissants later and the doors flew open and a trickle of press and buyers made their way around the space. To avoid the steadily increasing crowds a certain assistant buyer and I slope off.

We pound the streets of Paris to get to as many showrooms as possible, not to stray too far from what we know, first up was The London Showroom. Seeing the collections up close and speaking to each designer in between mouthfuls of Laudree macaroons (image 1) was a pleasure. David Koma had his collection of zip embellished dresses in a room upstairs (image 2). Swarmed by buyers I snatched a few pictures and a quick chat before we were distracted by a selection of incredible Louboutins. 

The great thing about walking from showroom to showroom is getting lost, you turn into a street filled with beautiful architecture (image 3), find a shop full of vintage fashion magazines (image 4) or even better you find yourself amongst a giant rabbit outside the Kenzo House (image 5).

The aptly named ‘Brits in Paris’ listed many exhibitions including Zipzone and Tranoi where I got the chance to handle Eudon Choi shoes (image 6). The beautiful khaki and navy peep-toe boots are needed in my wardrobe. Unfortunately the shoes are all sample size three, never going to fit on the end of my stems, just had to appreciate looking at them.

Tomorrow I’m going to stay closer to home and with the Fashion Scout designers and yes eat a few more croissants!

Emma Drinnan

Friday, 5 March 2010

Paris Showroom Day 1

Piecing together our fragmented French and a few 'Allo 'Allo quotes we finally got through the trauma of the Eurostar and the Metro and arrived at our compact apartment. Just enough time to drop our bags, and hang our clothes (I should have rolled not folded) as we rush out to see the space for the Fashion Scout Showroom.

The beautiful art gallery space on Rue de Archives in Le Marais region which was Anne Valerie Hash’s old showroom is stunning. Sunlight bursts through the French doors and the library of art is fascinating. One sculpture I’m not so keen on was the creepy life sized batman, took me a while to get close enough to take a picture.

Fashion Scout Director Martyn Roberts drove a full van over and a staggering seven hours later seemed tired but perky when he arrived. It was all hands on deck- stacks of plinths; unassembled rails and boxes of pre-hung garments were delivered. The space was as you would imagine bare and after many trips up and down the stairs and much deliberating the space started to take shape.

By 4pm most of the designers started to arrive, lots of air kisses, steaming, lighting adjustments and re-merchandising the key pieces and finally the celebratory wine is out. The day has passed with excessive speed, I feel absolutely exhausted but the space looks incredible. No dinner for me - just sleep, have to pour out the bag to find the paracetamol. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings and who comes to visit the space.

Emma Drinnan

Thursday, 4 March 2010

LFW: Una Burke Exhibit

Una Burke is the exceptionally talented designer who exhibited in the foyer of Vauxhall Fashion Scout throughout London Fashion Week. On display was a beautifully sculptural, vegetable-tanned leather headpiece, featuring slices of flesh-coloured leather curving around the contours of the head and bolted together with bronze nails. The stunning, and highly complex piece, is part of a conceptual collection entitled, Re.Treat, which is based around a series of eight human gestures associated with the healing stages of human trauma. Many of the pieces within the collection are reminiscent of prosthetics and medical braces, with a carcass-like form which is broken down into sections. Arm pieces, leg, neck, head and shoulder pieces sit as wearable items of armour-like art, and can be interpreted as art or as a fashion accessory.

Exquisite in both form, texture and colour palette, Burke’s pieces showcase her immense talent and technical ability. If you missed the exhibit, see more of Burke’s designs here.

Posted by Fiona Anderson

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

LFW Trend Alert: Alabaster Skin

Backstage at Horace, image by Marsy Hild Thorsdottir

Backstage at Jasper Garvida, image by Lilijana Pajovic

On the catwalk at David Koma

On the catwalk at Iris Van Herpen, image by David Coleman

It almost felt like ghosts from decades past were emerging from the historic walls of the Freemasons’ Hall over fashion week. But the glowing creatures were just models sporting a haunting new beauty trend, pale, ethereal skin.

In the wake of the recession fashion retreated. Understated glamour using simple, sophisticated design trumped conspicuous and exaggerated style. These new ideals combined with the current Twilight and True Blood induced vampire craze produced a beauty equation for plain almost deathly complexions.

“Pale skin seems really popular this season. I think the days of orange, tanned skin are gone,” Rachel Wood, Benefit makeup artist, told The Fashion Scout backstage. “The look is innocent and ethereal, with a bit of iciness. Great for anyone living in England! Think Kate Beckinsale in Pride and Prejudice.”

Blush and bronzer were absent from the majority of shows this season and replaced with matte foundations and ghostly highlights. Death warmed over at Studio 805, David Koma and Horace where model’s skin was one-dimensional. Models at Iris Van Herpen’s show where glowing white using an icy accents. Jasper Garvida channeled alabaster skin tones of the 1920s in his Art Deco inspired show.

To achieve this look, apply a good moisturizer before smoothing a matte foundation over skin. To keep coverage from getting to thick or heavy, polish with a stippling or buffer brush. For an ethereal luster try a brightening powder like Powderflage from Benefit. Wood recommends using it under the eyes and around the contours of the face for a natural gleam. If your skin is not in the right condition to be centre of attention, Benefit’s Hello Flawless powder can help hide spots, soak oils and even out tone.

Not only is the pale, ethereal look easy to achieve, it is the perfect base to compliment current beauty trends. “Natural, pale skin paired with that bushy brow is just so ‘classic country living’,” says Wood. “Plus pale colouring is a great skin tone to match the strong red and coral lips that are all the rage this spring.”

The ghostly look of natural, matte skin is classic and chic. Grab the sunblock this summer and grease up to prevent your skin from expiring out of fashion.

Words: Maggie Dolan

Talulah Riley chooses Tempest for the Baftas

Tempest strikes again, and this time it was the turn of St Trinian’s star, Talulah Riley, who was spotted wearing one of Tempest’s adorable pewter and silver cocktail dresses from his AW10 show at this year’s Baftas. With a seriously plunging neckline and flattering, geometric panels, the star clearly has her finger firmly on the pulse of fashion, shunning the sub zero temperatures and torrential rain, all in the name of looking fabulous. Talulah, we salute you!

Posted by Fiona Anderson

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Daisy de Villeneuve's illustrations from the Merit Award winners' shows are live on

As you may know, here at The Fashion Scout we love fashion illustrations, and as well as our own team of dedicated London College of Fashion artists, top illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve popped in to guest illustrate live from the front row at the Merit Award winners' shows - current winner Hermione de Paula, last season’s winner David Koma, and Feb 09 winner William Tempest.

Click here to see her fantastic sketches live on, as well as hear her thoughts on the collections.

Posted by Hannah Kane

Radio One delves behind the scene at Vauxhall Fashion Scout

The lovely people down at Radio One have made a brilliant, behind-the-scenes video of all the hair, make-up and styling prep before a Vauxhall Fashion Scout show.  With some great interviews and gorgeous shots, the video gives a real snapshot into the hustle, bustle, and utter mayhem that goes on backstage! 
Posted by Fiona Anderson

All Walks Beyond the Catwalk - Interview with Debra Bourne

The All Walks live photoshoot space in the Vauxhall Fashion Scout foyer. Image: Marsy Hild Thorsdottir

 Founders Debra Bourne,  Erin O’Connor Caryn Franklin

Curvy models at Mark Fast SS10

Founded by Caryn Franklin, Debra Bourne and Erin O’Connor, the award winning campaign All Walks Beyond the Catwalk aims to expand upon the imagery coming out of London Fashion Week by celebrating individuality amongst professional models.  Last season saw the campaign 'Size Me Up' featuring All Walks models ranging between sizes 8-16 and ages 18 to 65.  Shot by Erin O’Connor after a masterclass with photography legend Nick Knight, each model wore designs from eight of Britain's hottest designers, including Fashion Scout's William Tempest and David Koma.  This season All Walks took up residence at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. Debra Bourne talks to Emma Drinnan about style, individuality and the next generation of designers.

Launched last May, All Walks started when Suzanne Ringwood from B-eat (The national eating disorders agency) wanted to engage the fashion industry in a conversation about body shape.  Erin O’Connor set up the now highly regarded Model Sanctuary to actively promote model health, and Franklin was Fashion Editor of i-D magazine as well as being a style and fashion expert. With a background in body psychotherapy and PR, Bourne had worked as the Executive Fashion Editor of Arena magazine.  “We wanted to create an initiative to help London lead the way in inspiring women in a positive way about their bodies.  It’s important to challenge the parameters of beauty.  When we shot our campaign, everyone was included.”

This season, All Walks Beyond the Catwalk was based in the foyer of the Freemasons’ Hall, whereby a live photo-shoot was set up for anyone to take part in.  Participants were invited to pose with a piece of square card, each emblazoned with a letter which, when all placed together, spelt out 'Everybody Counts’, the title and also primary message, of the project.  Available to all shapes and sizes, the project was fun, original, and met with a great response from the public.

Mark Fast, the designer who last season was met with a hive of press attention after putting a plus size model on the catwalk, met Hayley, one of his curvy models, through the initiative. And with our very own William Tempest and House of Blueeyes also using unconventional models, it’s hoped that the trend will catch on.  To Bourne today’s fashion industry lacks the personality and individuality that was present in the late Eighties.  Two decades ago, the supermodel reigned supreme, and, as Bourne explains, their personality was their primary selling point.  “Naomi would come down the catwalk and you knew her by first name, she had her own walk and signature style. That individuality has been lost. We are going through this androgynous phase, where models are (much) thinner in a physical sense and are almost non-existent in personality”.

As well as challenging the fashion industry’s idea of beauty, this project “supports young designers to make them aware, from a commercial viewpoint, why it’s an important subject”, and Bourne believes Vauxhall Fashion Scout also play in important part.  “What Vauxhall Fashion Scout do is so crucial, it’s fantastic. The next generation is where all ideas are born, and we are witnessing them at their embryonic phase. They do a lot of mentoring at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, which is invaluable”.

“Fashion images and catwalk imagery are everywhere now, and by default there is a prescribed image of the ideal. The catwalk originally was always an industry tool for a very specific use, but now the images are taken out of context and used in the mass media. We are all part of it, witnessing it and we are trying to engage with it. We don’t have the answers really, but at least let’s talk about it”.  And that, it seems, is exactly what this project has accomplished.  Rather than force feeding ideas to the fashion insiders, it serves as a quiet reminder, and, most importantly, a celebratory, uplifting piece of art, aimed at empowering us all.  We can’t wait to see what’s next from this fantastically positive initiative. 

Monday, 1 March 2010

Live catwalk illustration at studio_ 805 by Hana Termanini

LFW Trend Alert: Big Brows

Backstage at Alice Palmer, image: Kristen Blow

On the catwalk at Sado, image: Doh Lee

Backstage at Orschel-Read, image: Marsy Hild Thorsdottir

Check out those wild 80s brows in Mystic Pizza

Hold the tweezers. The strong eyebrow is back. Throughout London Fashion Week I kept noticing eyebrows, not because they were big, bushy and screaming for a plucking (although at times they were) but because they were there, big, bold and actually quite beautiful.

Rachel Wood, makeup artist for Benefit Cosmetics, worked on ten shows at London Fashion Week and she noticed the brow going big too. “Brows seem to be the feature of fashion week. They are definitely back on the scene, but not perfectly groomed brows. I think that groomed look has gone out the window, it has become a little bit more disheveled, kind of busy and unkempt.”

At Alice Palmer’s “Batman” show brows were done with a strong rock and roll black liner for a graphic feel. David Koma’s models had brows slicked back with Benefit Speed Brow Gel for a wet, just got out of the swimming pool look. For the boys at Orschel-Read eyebrows were channeling the busy, unkempt brow of Robert Pattinson. At the Sado show eyebrows were highlighted with a crowing silver streak shaped over the brow and across the forehead.

So why is everyone letting loose with their brows? Wood links it to the recession and 1980s fashion revival. “I think brows are growing because we’re in a recession and everyone is working really hard and is stressed. They don’t have time for the coiffed; perfect Madison Avenue, mani-pedi type look anymore. And a little 80’s feel is coming back into make-up at the moment. Think Julia Roberts in Mystic Pizza, that bushy type of brow, more feral, more animalistic.”

It can take a lot of up keep to make your eyebrows look unkempt. Wood recommends Benefit Brows Zings shaping kit to feather in little light hairs and She Laq makeup sealer to keep everything in place. Benefit Highbrow, a creamy off-white pencil, can be used to underline the brow - then smudge with your finger to give a luminous highlight for a natural look. 

Words: Maggie Dolan

LFW Trend Alert: Dip Dyed Hair

When the avant-garde diva, Lady Gaga, rocked up to the Grammys in that outlandish, ice queen-meets-intergalactic creation by Armani Prive, not only were we bowled over by the orbital, crystal-encrusted fabulousness of it, but also the dye job she’d had on her usually perfect platinum locks.  Hollywood blonde at the roots, and bright, lemon yellow at the tips, her hairdresser had either made a catastrophic error, or a brand new beauty trend was on the cards.   Well, judging by the army of tinted tresses that headed down the catwalk at Fashion Scout this season, we reckon you’ll all be coveting this look before the year is out. 

Esprit de Corps by Horace worked a messy, grungy ombre effect in cerise, black and salmon pink, and over at girl du jour, Hermione de Paula’s show, flicks of violet and mauve were worked into poker straight lilac grey locks.  And this look’s not just for the chicks either; Komakino showed us how to get the men in on the dip dyed act too.   Sleek, straight hair with precise black stripes, punked up white tints, and mousey browns were contrasted with white tips to give an edgy, striking, and not even remotely girly, look. 
Soft and colour bled, or bold and striped, this trend can be adapted to be as directional or wearable as you like, so expect salons to be heaving with foils and tints galore come September.  Book your appointment now!

Posted by Fiona Anderson
Images: Marsy Hild Thorsdottir, Doh Lee, David Coleman