Friday, 3 September 2010

An interview with Kirsty Ward

Although this is her first season exhibiting with us, Kirsty Ward is no stranger to Vauxhall Fashion Scout; last season she teamed up with Ones To Watch designer David Longshaw, creating bold blue and brass accessories for his AW 10/11 collection. For the SS 11 showcase, Kirsty will be presenting her latest jewellery range as well as her own womenswear label… She has even had time spare to craft yet more jewellery for David!

For People who are unfamiliar with what you do, describe your Signature style?
I like simple vests, basic shapes and staple wardrobe garments: Deep down there’s the minimalist in me but I create statement jewellery which adds something extra.

What has been the inspiration behind your latest collection?
My inspiration comes from an eclectic mix of 1980’s ‘Bad taste’, tinsel, lametta and the work of Feliks Topolski… The use of textural fabrics, tinsel and towelling was inspired by Topolski’s rough sketchy line drawings, whilst the colour palette stems from 80’s ‘Bad Taste interiors’ so there’s a lot of peach, mint green and pastels.

Describe you favourite piece from the collection?
My work is constantly evolving and so my preferences are constantly changing too, but at the moment it’s this dress that’s made out of wax cotton, which has got lots of different layers, heavy tinsel-inspired embellishment at the bottom and boning inserted into it in places, creating something quite sculptural.

On completion of your MA you went to Italy to work for Alberta Ferretti for over a year, what sparked your decision to leave and start up your own label?
Italy was great… I learnt a lot working for Ferretti and it was very interesting to see how it worked on the big scale.  I decided to leave because I got enough out of it and came back to England to start up on my own label. I didn’t necessarily want to start up on my own straight away, so collaborating with David [Longshaw] at first was great. From doing the jewellery for David at London Fashion Week last season I got a really good response so thought ‘I can do this’…

What made you decide to create jewellery as well as clothing?
I am trained in fashion design not jewellery design, so the jewellery making was initially more of a hobby. I just started experimenting with different shapes, textures, materials and unusual bits and pieces I would come across in hardware shops. I now have created a sort of ‘signature style’ to my jewellery by taking something quite ordinary and mundane, and using it in an unconventional way, which I think injects a bit of humour into my pieces.

Does the style of your womenswear line influence that of your jewellery ranges or are they mutually exclusive?
I think they work well as separate pieces but when I design for each season I always have a concept in mind, which is applied to both. For my S/S ‘11 womenswear collection, I’ve actually applied an element of my jewellery to the garments by embroidering the fabric with metal and beads.

How would you describe your working process?
At the start I always have a plan in my head but then certain things turn out differently. Mistakes can happen, which can sometimes change the shape or design for the better… My work is constantly evolving.

Were you interested in fashion when growing up?
I’ve always been into fashion, but I guess it was when I started studying it that I created more of an interest and developed different tastes. I think the first thing that really got me into design was when I realised that I didn’t really like anything that was on offer in the shops and I never had the accessibility into high fashion and designer clothes so I just started making my own.

Where would you love too see your garments and accessories stocked?
Well my jewellery range will be stocked with Young British Designers when it launches later this month, and so I would love to continue with that and possibly have my women’s wear line stocked with them too. And I suppose other stores that support new emerging designers such as Browns, Liberty, Dover Street Market, and 10 Corso Como in Milan (I absolutely fell in love with that shop when I was doing my BA) would also be amazing.

 You have collaborated in the past with previous Vauxhall Fashion Scout Designer, David Longshaw, are there any other designers you would love to collaborate with?
Yes definitely, I love to collaborate with all sorts of creative people. But in a dream world it would be Helmut Lang!

Who would you love to dress?
I would love to see a real girl on the street wearing one of my garments; some one who actually likes it and went out and bought it. But I also have a bit of a thing for Anna de la Russo; she’s amazing!

Have you got any big plans for the Kirsty Ward label in the near future?
For now my aim is just to keep on developing it. This season will be my debut Womenswear collection since my MA, so I am just really excited to show with Vauxhall Fashion Scout and to see how it goes!

Sarah Barlow

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Prophetik: A Documentary with Jeff Garner

As Fashion Week approaches Jeff Garner of Prophetik stars in an insightful documentary about his label. The short film explores his concept, some of the beautiful organic processes used as well as a glimpse of what goes on backstage!

We are already anticipating a fantastic show as last year the models strutted down the catwalk to a live rock act including members from both Def Leppard and the Sex Pistols! After watching this we are even more excited for this seasons show which takes place on Friday 17th September 2010 at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue.

To request a ticket for the Prophetik after-show party please contact

Lara Angol

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Grazia interviews Merit Award winner Eudon Choi

As one of it's top Stories Grazia Daily has featured an exclusive interview with our Merit Award winner Eudon Choi! 
The designer discusses how he started out, his plans for the future and gets us all excited for his upcoming and first ever solo show with Vauxhall Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week S/S 2010!

Click here to see the full interview

Lara Angol

Vauxhall Fashion Scout Designers Win BFC / Elle Talent Pad

 Eudon Choi

David Longshaw

Earlier this morning the BFC announced the names of the six winners of their Talent Launch Pad initiative. We were ecstatic to see that amongst the chosen few are two of Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s very own designers: Eudon Choi and David Longshaw !!!

The Talent Launch Pad offers the winners invaluable opportunities as they build their profile within the industry. The initiative gives these young designers access to some of the UK’s top stockists, as well as stylists, photographers and creative directors.

We asked our designers how they felt about winning…

David Londshaw – “I am so excited to be one of the winners for ELLE’s Talent Launch Pad.  Showing at Ones-To-Watch with Vauxhall Fashion Scout last season has really allowed me to launch my label and this award will raise my profile even further.”

Eudon Choi – “Already it has been an amazing season and Fashion Week hasn’t even begun! I was completely blown away after winning the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit award this season, the exposure that has given me has already proven to be invaluable and I could not be more excited about having my first solo show. To top it all off I have now been chosen for the ELLE Talent Launch pad and could not wish for more!”

At Vauxhall Fashion Scout we are more than thrilled to have played a part in supporting these growing talents and foresee big things for each of them.  Eudon Choi’s catwalk event will take place on Saturday 18th September during London Fashion Week and David Longshaw will be exhibiting in our Paris showroom during Paris Fashion Week.

For more information about venues and dates please visit

Lara Angol

An Interview with Young British Designers Online Boutique

This week I had the pleasure of meeting up with Julian Whitehead and Debra Hepburn, two of four founders behind brand new online boutique ‘Young British Designers’. Bursting with enthusiasm, they told me all about this exciting new venture set to launch this September, just in time for London Fashion Week. Budding British designers, listen up…

Firstly, describe what ‘Young British Designers’ do?

We are an online boutique and we do exactly what it says on the packet, creating a business focused solely on naïve British talent. We’re not saying you have to be young; we simply look for British based designers that are in the early stages of their career. Not only do we support talent that is, for the moment, unheard of we also look at those reentering the design world. Designers such as Felicity Brown for example, that have worked in the industry under bigger labels and only recently begun to launch collections of their own.

You describe the site as a “stage”, a platform for new designers, what is it that makes you so niche?

We are the stepping-stone between events like Vauxhall Fashion Scout and huge buyers like Net-a-Porter. Once a new designer has shown at LFW, perhaps for the first or second time they are still ‘emerging’ and looking for the next step. Based online, we reach audiences globally but unlike other online boutiques we focus only on great British design talent, attracting those who love and appreciate just that.

Who is the ‘Young British Designer’ customer?

Our customer wants to make an individual style statement. Today more and more people endeavor to pioneer their own look, in doing this they want to wear strong innovative designs.

Those with a specific interest in British design are not a mass audience. It’s a special group of people. In a sense ‘Young British Designers’ is a risk, but there is too little risk-taking going on in the world!

How do you select designers for the online boutique, will you be attending London Fashion Week S/S 11 for this reason?

We are constantly scouting for young design talent whether it is during Fashion Week, online or a designer approaches us directly. Though when someone is going something fantastic it’s obvious and we snap them up! Of course we will be keeping our eyes peeled this season as well as catching what our current designers have in store for S/S 11.

How does the relationship between the online boutique and each young designer work?

Once a designer features on our site we aim to form a sustainable relationship, supporting them as they progress and become more widely known. We act as a launching pad and hope to grow with our designers until they are in their fourth collection or so, producing stronger work with every season. Having had a sneak peak of a few S/S 11 collections they already appear to be going from strength to strength!


As we chatted I stole a glimpse of the website which is set to launch early this September. It was inspirational to discover this is not just another online boutique but a platform bringing the “emotion back into fashion”. A personal blurb accompanied each designer’s product list and it quickly became clear that this is not just about shopping but about promotion, as Debra Hepburn exclaimed;

“We’re not just talking about the clothes, we’re talking about our designers. Where they’re from, their inspirations and how wearing their clothes makes you feel”

Masterminded by advertising gurus Stuart Jackson and Debra Hepburn and brand experts Julian Whitehead and Adriana Wheatley ‘Young British Designers’ is a refreshingly personal online shopping destination. With such pride taken and support given any budding British designers stocked on the site will inevitably thrive.

Lara Angol

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

An Interview With Masha Ma

Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2008, womenswear designer, Masha Ma, has had her graduate collection snapped up by Saville Row’s B Store and grabbed the attention of press world wide, having had her work featured in leading style publications such as Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Pop and French Playboy.

Here at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, we are all super excited to see Masha’s debut show with us this September and as London Fashion Week draws ever closer, all of our designers are busy making final adjustments to their collections. I managed to drag Masha away from her busy schedule for just a few minutes to find out what she has in store for us this season…

Tell me a bit about your latest collection - What has been your inspiration behind it?
A building I came across in the Meat Packing District in NYC initially inspired me. It had all the walls painted white creating this subtle futuristic look. It turned an old industrial building into something quite modern. The collection was strongly influenced by this industrial chic feeling; strong elements such as silver and steel juxtaposed with the intricate elegance found in the draping and finish.

Did that influence the colour palette at all?
Totally: There is a lot of white, ice blue, silver and metallic… It’s all very pastel but sharp at the same time.

For people who aren’t so familiar with your work, how would you describe your signature style?
The label is all about the cut and finishing of a garment: Tailored with a modern arrogance.

You have once stated you have an ever changing silhouette in mind- is this still something you thought about when designing this collection?
I did… the last collection had this glam, cinematic feeling but this season I have moved it forward into a different kind of look. The length has gone very short in comparison to the calf length skirts I had last season. I love to experiment with proportions.

Where would you like to see your brand in the future?
London is a great place to be; there is such amazing support for young, up and coming designers, so I would love to stay here and am hoping to see the Masha Ma label stocked in a lot of London boutiques.
We have also been invited to Paris this season to present our collection at the Louvre during Paris Fashion Week, so I am excited to see how we do there.

You have had quite a lot of success and press attention in China already, is the Chinese Market somewhere you aim for?
The press in China has been amazing. I think I just happen to be Chinese, and they are being very supportive over there. It is definitely a place that we would love to keep appealing to.

And lastly, this is your debut show at London Fashion Week with Vauxhall Fashion Scout are you excited?
Of course! Very excited!

And so are we! And it’s not long to wait now… Masha will be showing her latest collection on Sunday 19th September at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue during London Fashion Week.

Sarah Barlow

Monday, 30 August 2010

Exhibition Review: ‘Yves Saint Laurent’

After his death in 2008, the Pierre Berge-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation and Petit Palais chose to pay tribute to the legendary fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, by collating over three hundred pieces of his work, creating a thematically structured display.

Sunday marked the last running day of ‘Yves Saint Laurent,’ a wonderfully constructed retrospective, held at Petit Palais, Mussee des Beaux-Arts, Paris. We were lucky enough to visit the exhibition whilst in Paris and were completely blown away by the inspirational beauty that was presented to us: A ballroom, featuring an elaborate swooping staircase was stage to an array of couture evening gowns whilst another whole room was dedicated to colour, displaying different shades and fabric swatches. Although black became a signature style of the fashion house, Saint Laurent was also a fabulous colourist, especially after his travels to Morocco, where he discovered the magic of colour.

As well as the couturiers achievements, the showcase also highlighted a brief collapse in Saint Laurent’s career, which was interesting for an exhibition that’s praise to his success. A collection with references to prostitution in pieces such as red satin corsets and platform shoes caused a stir in the fashion world and received much bad press in the early 70s. The media’s negative reactions were displayed at the exhibition with a wall completely covered with newspaper cuttings and quotes.

Yves Saint Laurent established his label with partner Pierre Bergé at the beginning of the swinging sixties (a revolutionary period for fashion) and continued to grow throughout the subsequent 3 decades. The exhibition illustrated this journey as well as focusing on key pieces and trends from each period, such as the famous pop art collection inspired by his meeting with Andy Warhol in ’66, his creation of the ‘Safari look’ and the female tuxedo; a style which Saint Laurent has become renowned for and something which he continued to develop through out his career.

Sarah Barlow and Kusheda Mensah 

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Vivienne Westwood Shoe Exhibition, Selfridges

From August 26th until the 22nd of September Vivienne Westwood hosts an exhibition in Selfridges that catalogues her most ingenious shoe designs from 1973 to present. So, as soon as Saturday rolled around, I made a beeline for the Ultralounge to marvel at the quirky creations. I was enchanted to say the least! There was leather and lace, rubber and fur, buckles, frills, prints and patent, pretty much anything and everything imaginable in a shoe. The exhibition is testament to the fact that not only is Westwood a national treasure but also one of the greatest taste makers of all time. A must see!

Exhibition continues until 22nd of September at the Ultralounge, Selfridges London

Lara Angol