Friday, 25 February 2011

LFW Round Up

Here at Fashion Scout we are both excited and sad to see the end of London Fashion Week, which routinely seems to rush by faster than you can say "Can I get a street style photo of you?". This season has been amazing for the exposure of both the debuting and returning emerging designers who've shown in the exhibition and catwalk space. In fact this week has been particularly eventful as not only did we celebrate our 10th season as London's largest off schedule event, but for the very first time at Fashion Scout we saw Men's Ones To Watch and were thrilled to see it gain an equally enthusiastic reception as our Womenswear initiative.

To round up, as we delve straight into Paris Fashion Week preparations, we've selected some of our favorite images captured around the Fashion Scout venue throughout the week. See you in Paris!

 Natalia Ilina
 Lucas Seidenfaden

Thursday, 24 February 2011

LFW Day 6 MENS - Ones To Watch : Asger Juel Larsen

Asger Juel Lersen provided a show-stopping finale for our week of spectacular shows. His collection of daring, audacious garments and jewellery is exactly what we love to see from innovative designers using their creative genius to shock and excite us. Each look was bold, with some styling producing a wearable concept and others creating a work of art.
The collection entitled ‘Uncle Sam’ had a variety of American flags in washed out burgundy and navy, then in black and white leather. The use of the stars and stripes in combination with the dark theme makes reference to Asger’s negative perception of the American Dream. The use of leather, zips, chains, steel, long spike studs, crucifixes, high collars, straight jackets and bones threw the audience into Camden high street or an old Victorian work house.

The first look consisted of a long, black over coat with an extended asymmetric collar covering the lower face. There were swathes of leather whipping from one shoulder and the model wore a top hat appliquéd with large crucifixes. The hat had a chain hanging down and around the chin, which was a common feature on hats in the show. There were garments that wrapped around the body engulfing the torso in leather and fastenings. Then there were pieces that left little to the imagination with thighs and midriffs on show through corseted gaps in leather and denim. The show contained a happy medium between avant-garde costumes and wearable items such as large cowl neck knitwear and bronze washed jeans. The accessories highlighted the Native American chief influence with their Aztec necklace and feathered headpiece. A small splash of colour was found in the boots where Asger collaborated with ‘Underground Footwear’. The huge sack-like, back-packs were a highlight of the show and a desirable, trend driven piece this season.

The models had religious or tribal tattoos, some real; others painted on. This added to each character’s defiant grunge quality. They would all have been at home as a character in a gothic but glamorous and possibly homoerotic play, likewise a Tim Burton film.

Words : Charlotte Summers
Images : Lucas Seidenfaden

LFW Day 6 MENS - Ones To Watch : Mr Lipop

Mr Lipop’s debut at London Fashion Week saw a collection of distinctly British inspired designs that are incredibly refined for a designer of Tom Lipop’s years. Tom’s work indulges a minimal aesthetic where less is definitely more. Clean tailoring and attention to fine detail in the seams, collars and pockets married with uniform colours of beige, black, navy, and wine red give Tom’s work a purity that is self-assured and effortlessly cool. Tom achieves this aw-inspiring coolness by mixing his skillful tailoring with baggy jerseys, luxurious fur trimmed hoods, drawstrings, rolled up trousers and hints of the bare male body beneath, altogether revealing the versatility and wearability of his clothes. This styling accessorized with rucksacks emanates an urban feel.

Models marched down the runway in stunning black sunglasses by Cutler and Gross with long trenches and parker-macs flying behind them and the occasional black beret to evoke a nostalgic sense of espionage in a glamorous by-gone era of defined masculinity. One model wore a black woollen polo neck pulled up to conceal half of his face resembling the infamous James Dean portrait.

Tom is pushing the boundaries of tailoring and craft with interesting and innovative cuts. He boldly develops garments to transcend their established identities. For example, a suede shirt and a trench will elegantly transform into a wrap coat, displaying his skills and confidence. Tom experiments with age-old originals by shortening or lengthening shirts, cropping and ruching trousers and employing a range of materials and textures. He contrasts delicate chiffon shirts with hard leather coats, sheepskin, wool and jersey. However, he never gets brazen, always refined.

Words : Amy Lockwood
Images : Lucas Seidenfaden

LFW Day 6 MENS - Ones To Watch : A.Hallucination

Following their popular London Fashion Week debut last season, A.Hallucination displayed their latest delights this afternoon during the very first Ones To Watch Menswear showcase.

Fusing function with fashion was a key theme behind the design duo’s AW 11 collection. Pockets came in an assortment of sizes, colours and fabrics, all stylishly placed onto woollen pea coats, heavy weight shirts and knitted jumpers, whilst fur collars, suede elbow patches and knitted panels provided additional detailing. The palette of brown, blue, grey and burgundy was similar to that of their SS 11 collection but appeared in slightly darker hues creating a perfect look for autumn.

After a successful collaboration last season, the pair has yet again joined forces with bag designer Jarah Stoop, to create a series of smart messenger bags and satchels. My favourite; a leather back-pack complete with buckles and straps that descended down and across the body forming a bag-belt-braces combo. Mixing a contemporary utility aesthetic with a conventionally smart style is a feature that has effectively become the signature of the A. Hallucination brand.

Words : Sarah Barlow
Images : Lucas Seidenfaden

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

LFW Day 6 MENS - Ones To Watch : C/BRUERBERG

 Named Oslo Fashion Week’s ‘Debutant Of The Season’ in 2010, Camilla Bruerberg’s AW 11 collection was a strong graduation for the budding designer. The first look to emerge was a boyish bomber jacket which featured a both haphazard and detailed collage of trainers in varying perspectives. Images of soles and perferations littered the surface, whilst below, slick black polyester tracksuit bottoms tucked into colourfully printed socks referenced chav culture. A train of boxy t-shirts, from slightly over-sized to poncho-like with volume, each flaunted Camilla’s sensitivity to knitwear. Many of these played with the stripe and contour, a classic in menswear design. Though by alternating thickness in the weave of each individual stripe, from piled to sheer, Camilla impressively achieved a graphic boldness despite the delicacy of the knit process. 

Chunkier less sensitive knits appeared in both the collection and the styling. A jumper in a jumbo weave was almost painterly in it’s composition, reminiscent of an artists palette smudged with colours. The same thick knit was seen braided in the hair of one model. A long sleeve top with grey woven cuffs popped, printed all-over with a blurry geometric motif resembling a dated arcade machine graphic and washed out like a child’s favorite spaceship bedsheets. This was overlaid with a white chiffon, so skeletal it looked sprayed on, in keeping with the contrast between the bold and the slight. 

Throughout the show models sported trousers in a casual tracksuit bottom silhouette or legging style. Treading the catwalk shoeless, they wore playful socks printed to appear as though they were trainers with each look. When asked, the young designer confirmed ‘the collection was inspired by childhood. The naive contrast between childhood and grown ups’ and revealed ‘sneakers we’re actually a source of inspiration for the print and colours’. Overall a happy and tactile collection.

Words : Lara Angol
Images : Lucas Seidenfaden

LFW Day 6 MENS - D.GNAK Catwalk Review

D.GNAK showed at VFS for its second season today. Designer Dong Jun Kang has created a collection that is wearable but classic. Named ‘Crack’ his A/W11 collection is inspired by ‘the sorrow of parting’. Wool, tweed and other natural fabrics as well as meshed fabrics gave the tailored pieces an understated luxury to the classic designs. Corduroy trousers and sharp jackets were features, while the show stopper was the Sherlock Holmes cape coat, shown in various colours and fabrics. D.GNAK prides itself on producing traditional tailoring with a contemporary twist.  Jackets had raw edges and exposed finishes illustrating the theme of ‘parting’. The detail added to the classic cuts gave them a unique spin on an old favourite; toggles, buckles and pockets were present throughout. Shearling was another discreet but unique detail used to adorn the jackets. The colour palette used was a refreshing mix of mustard, wine, deep blue and warm browns; creating a youthful look. Finally, accenting the collection, models walked the catwalk with brightly coloured leather satchel-come-backpacks.

Words : Louisa Kilburn
Images : Rowan Papier
Illustration : Andy Bumpus

LFW Day 5 - FAD Catwalk Review

F.A.D (Fashion Awareness Direct) celebrated ten years of supporting young creative talent with a successful show that saw a refreshingly diverse range of womenswear and menswear.

F.A.D is a charity that has been helping budding designers in the transition from education to the fashion industry for a decade now by awarding the winner and two runners up with £2000 and £1000 and unique industry placements. Protégées go on to work in top fashion industry designer roles or set up their own label, testament to the importance of the work that F.A.D is doing.

This season fifteen finalists selected from colleges and universities across Britain presented two outfits inspired by ‘a physical or fictional place’ under the theme of ‘Escape’. The winner and runners up were selected on their responses to the brief by consulting sketchbooks and also by the outfits working as a mini collection. The show saw a colourful range of outfits encompassing an experimental mix of fabrics. From Lycra unitards with woven leather, drawstring dresses, to floor sweeping tassels, and even velour horns.

The winner was Milly Jackson from Nottingham Trent University for her impressively constructed monochrome dresses. Milly’s dresses were architectural in their form as stiff white fabric held dramatic shoulders and a large swing skirt with witty hints of black and white fabric. The results were pieces that were powerfully feminine and resembled an exotic beetle with a 1960s twist. Milly will be working with Whistles.

The first runner up was Laura Carew-Gibson who presented and striking black Mongolian lambs wool coat with bursts of orange and yellow feathers. Orange contrasted with blue and shredded fabric gave Laura’s designs a fun and festive feel. Laura received a placement with David Koma. The second runner up was Annie Vallis for her earthy menswear. Landscape printed shirts grounded with beige shorts, legging and plastic macs, made for a new breed of eco-warrior. Annie was placed with Jaeger menswear.

Words : Amy Lockwood
Images : Ezzidin Alwan

Exhibition Designer Imogen Belfield

On first glance Imogen Belfield’s stand at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Exhibition could be a display cabinet of rare and precious rocks. Chunks of gold-plated bronze are cast using innovative moulding techniques from paper and fruit giving them an organic man-made form that is unique to each individual piece. The bronze and gold plating is imbued with a range of rich gemstones, porcelain, glazes and metals. Imogen’s material choices are motivated by accessibility because she is keen to have her work available to a wider community. She states that she is particularly drawn to fuchsite (a jade green iridescent stone), which she discovered at an exhibition of rocks and minerals in The Natural History Museum, London. Green fuchsite and heavy gold produce luxurious pieces fit for Cleopatra. This exhibition had a big influence on Imogen in terms of material and aesthetic. She even raided the gift shop for stones which now find themselves integrated into her designs

Imogen uses the stones as a starting point. She aims to retain their natural appearance and sculpts around them to compliment and harmonize the piece as a whole. Imogen states, “I often see jewellery and think that the stones appear to just be stuck on without consideration and look disjointed”… “I like to embody the stones into the piece and make it as a whole”. This gives the appearance of a beautiful and rare product of nature, much like elegantly formed driftwood.

Imogen is interested in architecture, organic architecture, buildings and geometry and she is fascinated by scale. She cites Zaha Hadid and Gaudi as her inspirations. Architecture and her practise as a sculpture filter into her jewellery designs to produce large statement pieces. This combined with her attraction to nature and the organic gives her designs an interesting mix of boldness versus subtlety, and modern versus classic.

As a new designer Imogen is excited to be exhibiting at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout where she hopes learn a lot from the environment and looks forward to gaging people’s reactions to her work.

Words : Amy Lockwood
Image : Ezzidin Alwan

LFW Day 5 - Alice Palmer Catwalk Review

Alice Palmer’s exciting knitwear was once again a crowd pleaser. Her A/W11 collection, named after the Black Sabbath song ‘Into the Void’, had an usual a rock sensibility. The collection of knitwear featured mainly dresses; asymmetric straps and peep holes added a sultry touch of femininity. There were also large knitted jackets, wraps and jumpers. A highlight of the knitwear collection were a pair of white and ruby red leggings. At first glance it appeared the models were wearing stockings, only then did we realise the leggings had a slashed detail at the thigh which gaped to reveal the interior. The collection was made in lambswool and fine silk whilst metallic fabric was also used to give subtle glitter and glam.
After the show I asked Alice what she wanted to achieve with this collection; “I wanted to create really sculptural designs” she said. This she did. Using polyhedral knitting techniques that she has used before, and continues to explore, Alice was able to create 3 dimensional knits of soft spikes, peaks and holes.
Alice explained her inspiration came from eccentric inventor Gustav Mesmer who wasn’t afraid to delve into the unknown. Fascinated by the unknown herself, Alice has used her interests in science and technology to create a collection that pushes the boundaries of fashion that bit further into the future.
Her experimental knitwear was styled perfectly with chain and grip detailed shoes from Camilla Skovgaard. Models wore nude make-up with dark flicked eyes and the overall look was beautifully finished off with delicately structured jewellery by fellow designer and jewellery maker Karen Ann Dicken.
Words : Louisa Kilburn
Images : Lucas Seidenfaden
Illustration : Andy Bumpus