I had been emailing back and forth with Alice Smith a few days before the Alice Lee A/W 2012 show, trying to get a preview finished before London Fashion Week began. As a huge knitwear fan, Alice Lee is one of the names that I get excited about – a must-see show for me on the Vauxhall Fashion Scout schedule. With the preview live, all I had to do now was turn up for the show, and enjoy.
All photography by Amelia Gregory
So it was to my great frustration that 5 minutes before the show began I found myself stuck in traffic: I had an awful sinking feeling that I wasn’t going to be able to review the show, but after racing into the grand salon room at the Freemasons’ Hall I found that I wasn’t too late, and that although the music had started, the first look was not yet out. Phew.
And for me, it was a good start. An off white knitted cape, with a super cosy roll neck, split right from the top and paired with dark cream knitted leggings. For S/S 2012, the collection was made up of similar cream and off white hues, in modern body con dress shapes, so it was great to see a change in shapes they were producing. The second two looks were also cream coloured, the first of which was made up from a knitted jacket with leather and faux-fur details, which I will lust after for a little while. The intricate weave of the jacket showed a great attention to detail, and helped to show off the skills of husband and wife team, Lee Farmer and Alice Smith respectively.
Alice Lee by Catherine Meadows
Another colour that Alice Lee like to work with is black – which is always key for an A/W collection, but they didn’t play it completely safe, and brought in flashes of bright red and cobalt blue. Blue was used as an accent or detail to lift black outfits. It worked as a contrast line to the neckline of a black knitted dress, but was better as a fun detail to longer sleeves of a lovely black roll neck jumper, which also had strips of the blue run through the chest. A bright red knitter jumper and asymmetric skirt came in the middle of the show, reminiscent of the pop of red that they also used for S/S 2012.
Alice Lee by Rosa and Carlotta Crepax
Most of the collection was made up from dresses and knitwear separates, which is what Alice Lee do very well. They also do layering really well, and the middle outfits had knitted coloured sleeves poking out from the bottom of knitted jumpers and dresses. This wrapping up effect was also channelled in the model’s hair styling – which was wrapped fully around the models face, only exposing the mouth. The accents of colour in the clothing were also mimicked in the hair, which had strands of blue and red attached into it. I’m not sure how the models managed to walk in reasonably straight lines with limited sight, especially in those high wedge heels, so well done to them.
The last look was finished with a striking head decoration, a black, white and red rose head piece that came down all the way over the face. Some of the dresses were worn with woven coils or tubes around the shoulders and neck, that were stitched with leather, and it was eccentric additions like these that kept the knitwear collection modern. It also gave a nod to the futuristic influence that we had seen in the S/S 2012 collection, but this time in a much more earthy and autumnal colour palette.
This collection may not have broken any fashion boundaries, but it did show what Alice Lee do best – and that is extremely well crafted knitwear. Alice Smith had told me that one of the influences behind the collection was to give a feeling of being protected and armoured, and these designs live up to that. They are perfect for wrapping yourself up in this winter, and with the edge of leather work woven through the intricate knits, thoroughly modern.
- Alice Lee: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Preview
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Ones To Watch
- Central Saint Martins: Ba Fashion Graduate Show 2011 review. Knitwear.
- Gyunel: London Fashion Week A/W 2013 Catwalk Review
- Bernard Chandran: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review