Monday, 19 September 2011

Felicities Presents

Tramp in Disguise
CC Kuo
Beautiful Soul - Photography by Magdalena Golembiewska
We caught up with each designer involved in the Felicities Presents event. 

Victoria Loomes on Phannatiq 
Presenting her second collection, Anna Skodbo – the diminutive designer behind Phannatiq – explained that “the collection is inspired by London, mainly Hackney Wick. I love the broken bits of the city, street art, rust…everything.” This love is translated into surprisingly delicate prints that are laid over subtle tie-dye and bleach effect fabrics, across expertly draped garments. “The urban landscape changes according to who has been there last, street art is never ending. This time there happened to be a lot of pink so that’s why I incorporated that into the collection.”

There’s an urban grittiness to Anna’s designs that’s wholly intentional, and captures the raw and edgy aesthetic for which her favorite city is famed. The relaxed shapes, dipped hems, slouchy hoods and dropped armholes suggest a casual sporty vibe, an aesthetic that is in sharp contrast to the sense of modern femininity that runs through the whole collection – a juxtaposition that you feel encapsulates Anna’s persona to perfection.

All the pieces are made in the UK, from the printed tights and leggings to the statement dress that was the centerpiece of her presentation. Floor sweeping chiffon folds were printed in the collections’ signature print, the sheer and lightweight volume balanced by a leather bodice with shaped interwoven straps and unexpected popper fastening details. “It was my attempt at doing something more dressy”, Anna explained. Well judging by the results, she should try a few more…

Samantha Farr on Tramp in Disguise 
Hypnotized by psychedelic prints it was hard not to be drawn in. As I wandered over to the Tramp in Disguise collection the intricacy of intense digital prints became apparent. While stood gazing at the pieces displayed, talented designer Sini Moilanen was kind enough to talk me through her SS12 collection. 

Inspired by birds of prey, like hawks and eagles, aspects of these creatures were distorted and reconstructed upon feminine dresses in delicate silks and cotton. The intensity of jewel colours, in blue, green, pink and purple reflected the flecks of colour found in the feathers of theses beautiful creatures. The Greek goddess Atemis and the ancient Egyptians along with their bird headed god Horus acted as a muse, offering divine inspiration as the designer created her iridescent garments.

One turquoise dress stood proud with its tulip skirt, layered like feathers. The dress was pixie-like as the hem of the short skirt ran into chiffon. Sini herself wore a pink and purple dress based on the hawk’s eye. Hundreds of beady eyes stared back at me as we spoke. Next to us, hung a kimono style dress in chiffon that fluttered with a green digital feather plumage. The light material that joined the sleeves to the body caught gusts of breeze and floated like wings.

Rosanna Cole on CC Kuo 
Fashion moves across us. We gather inspiration from people we pass in the street, our friends or even faded photographs of family members from iconic decades. In a similar way CC Kuo, found her starting point for SS 12 amongst her mother’s wardrobe. One particular dress became the muse of the collection.

‘I found a little black dress a few months ago,’ says CC ‘and also her vintage jewellery which reminded me of 60’s fashion icon - Twiggy.’

CC’s collection is very wearable: trousers, a sheer shirt, an elasticised shift in light weight fabrics and each matched with modern and very chic tailored jacket. The sheer uplift of the juxtaposing solid blocks of colour and layered jewellery print (her mother’s vintage jewellery) embedded the retro feel from which the collection was rooted.

She feels it was her mother’s wardrobe that instilled her love of fashion and perhaps encouraged her path.  ‘My mother always dresses so pretty and she really likes to dress herself properly. Similarly, the woman who wears this collection is also ‘stylish,’ says CC. A woman who ‘appreciates the edgy, sophisticated style and believes in herself.’  

Amy Lockwood on Funlayo Deri
Funlayo Deri is inspired by the masochistic world of architecture: rigid structures, buildings and hard straight lines. She takes her inspiration, studies it through meticulous tailoring, texture and handcraft and subverts it on itself. Her garment constructions are essentially deconstructions of her interests as hardened, masculine buildings become soft, dresses with fine tailoring that compliments the female form. This is highlighted by a silk shift dress with cut out sections around the neckline; windows and lines in the building she has constructed. Folds beneath the bust continue the rigid architectural theme but cascade into flowing lines.

Funlayo Deri is interested in contrasting opposites: The hard and architectural against the feminine, stiff and soft, edgy and delicate. She achieves this by employing a range of techniques and fabric, from stiff organzas to delicate satins, and experimental textures. Funlayo Deri pays great attention to detail with an emphasis on hand craft (a hobby of hers), minute detailing and elaborately constructed fabric. She states that things that require her to give them a second look intrigue her and she aims to earn this reaction in her clothes. Indeed, the inspiration behind her last collection was ‘labour of love’. (Funlayo points me to a knee length fitted pencil skirt, adorned with layers of folds that she individually hand-stitched. Her wide, unblinking eyes say it all). This focus on binary oppositions and interesting contrasts is a manifestation of her eclectic cultural background and experiences. Funlayo was born in Nigeria, studied international business and worked for a bank in Switzerland. She now divides her time between London and Budapest.

Madeleine Ayers on Beautiful Soul
Notting Hill based designer Nicola Woods is the mastermind behind the Beautiful Soul range at the Felicities Presents designer showroom. I spoke to Nicola this afternoon to talk about the event and her new SS12 collection entitled: 'Summer Breeze'. The collection consists of heavily Japanese inspired prints designed for the first time by Woods herself, fondly named after member of her own family with a quintessentially British twist. A fusion of east and west if you like.

The brand, being multicultural in it's design and ethos has appealed to buyers from opposite ends of the globe, says Woods. She took one order “from Tokyo, which will be phenomenal”

How has the response been to todays Felicities Presentation at Vauxhall Fashion Scout?
It's great...I've taken two seasons out of London Fashion Week in favour of Paris purely because my budget wouldn't allow me to do both so this is a really good way of being re-introduced into LFW. I love the feedback; it's the first season i've designed my own prints, so just for people to be able to touch, feel and then feedback it gives me energy then for the next sleepless night and weeks worth of effort.

This is your SS12 collection on display here isn't it...
Yes, I have two collections. I have the kimono collection where I recycle vintage kimonos, but I also have this collection which is Beautiful Soul London and this is my second season.