Somewhere over the rainbow, namely at Charing Cross Hotel, Josh & Nicol presented their LFW A/W 2013 collection. The Promise of the Rainbow is a colourful collection with inspirations including birds of paradise and the Wizard of Oz. A distinctive rainbow-style fabric dominated the collection and in my mind, the pieces are split into two camps: black, elegant, gothic garments contrasting against bright, green-palette, rainbow prints with a tribal feel. The black pieces sport conspicuous zips with sections of floaty, translucent fabric. In some of the garments these two different threads meet and the fresh, colourful print is mixed with the sexier black, tying the pieces together.
Held in the Betjeman Suite of the Charing Cross Hotel, the venue was, although a day too late, Valentine’s Day appropriate, with candles leading the way through the corridor and up the stairs. Named after a former Poet Laureate the room came complete with chandeliers, marble pillars and a sculpted ceiling, which provided a stark contrast to the goth-rock feel of the black garments and the flamboyant prints of the rainbow inspired togs that made up this collection.
Josh & Nicol is a luxury fashion brand established in 2010, Ufuoma Ekpecham is the brands’ Creative Director and believes that “there is nothing more beautiful and sophisticated than a woman that dresses to suit her body shape.” The designer went on to start the label after winning the Planet Africa Red Carpet Dress Challenge in Toronto.
There is free champagne, orange juice and wine, which is handed to me in my front row seat. After a day of queues and bobbing heads blocking my view, this is a welcome change. The show starts late, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. I chat to a friend of the designer who has made her way all the way from Brussels to attend, and will leave the next day. This show feels much more personal to me, close-knit friends and family seems to make up the audience, as well as journalists.
There are references to Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the program and although initially I couldn’t see any sign of Dorothy, the yellow brick road, or red glittery pumps, I speculate that the collection has drawn inspiration from other elements of the story. The green print is perhaps a nod to the Emerald City and the green-tinted glasses that the characters must wear to enter. If I remember correctly, in the original novel, the Wizard and Dorothy fashion a balloon from green silk, which perhaps could be something the designer has taken inspiration from for the colourful print design. Or maybe, the film version with Judy Garland’s rendition of Over the Rainbow was part of the inspiration to inject colour and life into the fabrics Either way, this collection whisked me away from the bustling streets of London, like the cyclone whisked away Dorothy. Sadly though, reciting, “there’s no place like home,” didn’t work for me, and after this show finished, I had an hour and a half train journey to get back to Bath, my first day of London Fashion Week over with a colourful and stylish bang.
All photography by Jessica Cook
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