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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Alice Palmer

Alice Palmer presented Into the Void at Fashion Scout on Tuesday 22nd February 2011, featuring minimalist monochromatic knitwear accessorised with amazing jewellery by Karen-Ann Dicken.

Written by Amelia Gregory


Illustration by Jo Cheung

So after a rollercoaster six days, capsule for sale Menswear Day and London Fashion Week drew to a close with hip-store Kokon To Zai’s label, KTZ, and what would be my final show of this season. I absolutely loved what they did last season, and I couldn’t wait to see what they’d come up with next.


All photography by Matt Bramford

A heavily policed front row meant me and illustrator Gareth took seats on the second, but I managed to get on the end so that my pictures would make it look like I was Frowing all along. I was bloody exhausted and feeling very sorry for myself, and I couldn’t help but wish that they’d just get on with it and stop papping people wearing pig masks. My legs wobbled and I struggled to keep my eyes open, but when the music started and the first look appeared, I quickly forgot my woes.


Illustration by June Chanpoomidole


Illustration by Thomas Leadbetter

Memphis-inspired fashion? I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. A pumpin’ soundtrack blasted from the PA system as gorgeous models (more women than men, but who cares?) sashayed up and down the length of the BFC tent. Stripes were a plenty on figure-hugging dresses with sweetheart necklines that feature extra flaps in that Pop Art/Memphis splatter pattern. Vibrant primary colours made black dresses playful: such a sophisticated, considered collection expertly styled by wonder-styilst Anna Trevelyan.

A whole load of other influences filtered into this power collection – the womenswear referenced power dressing from the 1980s (think Dynasty) and Mondrian’s prints; the menswear also digging up the eighties with (faux!) fur lapels and broad shoulders.


Illustration by Abby Wright

I have to admit, I did prefer the womenswear – it was far more wearable for fashion-forward ladies and it oozed sex appeal with dresses cut above the knee and details in all the right places to emphasise the curves. The menswear featured striped balaclavas topped with pom-poms, acrylic brooches which referenced the womenswear, over-sized imposing puffa jackets and graphic-print trousers. But it’ll be the womenswear that cements Kokontozai’s place as one of London’s hottest design duos.


Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Huge orb-like creations were worn on wrists, picking out patterns from lapels. And, oh, the cuts! Dynamic pieces of fabric were layered onto classic tailored pieces to give them a seriously sexy aesthetic. This was a collection that was playful but sophisticated at the same – a really difficult challenge to pull off.


Illustration by Valerie Pezeron

I loved EVERYTHING about it. I can’t put it into words, so just have a look at the pictures. Oh, and read Amelia’s more comprehensive and articulate review here!

You can see more from Jo Cheung, June Chanpoomidole, Abby Wright and Lesley Barnes in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!


Marnie for Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011 by Tigz Rice
Marnie Scarlet for Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011 by Tigz Rice.

Ziad Ghanem‘s Never End, salve Never End, troche Never End was one of those hotly tipped shows that all my contributors were desperate to go to so I was promised performance catwalking at its best. What I hadn’t expected was to land a prime seat right opposite Boy George, looking remarkably svelte next to Daniel Lismore.

Boy George and Daniel Lismore. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Boy George and Daniel Lismore. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

I remember the allure of Karma Chameleon, back when a dodgy video was sufficient accompaniment for pop songs of such genius. Colour by Numbers was actually the VERY FIRST album that I owned, given to me by my aunt on good old cassette tape.

YouTube Preview Image

But then, ah, the show!!! This collection was inspired by a horror video game called Silent Hill and the work of Romantic painter John Henry Fuseli, and it explored themes of gothic romance. The press release states that the same garment viewed in a dark, gothic context by one viewer will be interpreted as romantic and liberating by the next.

Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011 by Jessica Holt
Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011 by Jessica Holt.

The show opened with a stunning piece of performance, as a red-headed model appeared in gothic Tim Burton-esque make up, black skirts tumbling as she grew before our eyes into a 12 foot monster burlesque bride waving great green feathered fans. Thereafter followed a series of printed, billowing capes and tightly corseted dresses, all accessorised with veils, reddened eyes, cracked cheeks and Joker smiles. Apparently Ziad asked each model to choose their own favourite horror film make up for the show.

Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011 by Jamie McGregor
Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011 by Jamie McGregor.

Androgynous models wore chiffon and beaded dresses, a spooky ghost couple trailed still more netting behind as they faced the photographers together. Amidst the drama cleverly made outfits showcased traditional haute couture skills using bias cut vintage silk chiffons and duchess satin that flowed around the body.

Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars
Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars.

A white faced creature smeared its face with black paint and make up took a turn towards our feathered friends: blue winged eyes echoing the giant bird prints on winged dresses. Out stepped a ballet dancer on pointe, edging down the catwalk in frilled lilac, her skull face shrouded in grey. As she retreated backwards a series of busty ladies swept down the catwalk in eminently wearable multi coloured chiffon dresses: amongst them walked transvestites, burlesque artists and a giant lady in grey. I particularly adored the bustle backed electric fuchsia number that emphasised every womanly curve.

Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars
Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011 by The Lovely Wars.

Taking the art of the catwalk to fantastical heights, Ziad Ghanem proved that his shows really are worth the hype, with or without the added bonus of an 80s pop idol in a fabulous yellow fedora. You can read more about his unique selection of models here.

Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryZiad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Ziad Ghanem A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can also read Florence Massey’s review of the Ziad Ghanem show here.

Alice Palmer A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou
Alice Palmer A/W 2011 by Maria Papadimitriou.

Glaswegian Alice Palmer makes extravagantly shaped knitwear. Now based in London, medical she demonstrated her ‘polyhedra knitting’ skills to the max with her Into the Void collection. The press release cites the minimalism of Anish Kapoor, side effects the eccentric dreams of flying machine enthusiast Gustav Mesmer, who invented an Umbrella Helicopter, and Black Sabbath as diverse influences, but you’d be hard pushed to identify them in anything more than the loosest of contexts.

Alice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 by Gilly RochesterAlice Palmer A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester
Alice Palmer A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester.

Abstracted shapes in monochrome and muted gold were the basis of Into the Void, extended and furled from the body in stunning 3D folds like the skin of an exotic ridged lizard. Large dangling flaps resembled the armoured scales of a dinosaur as they capsized down low cut backs, or heaved forwards like ruptured innards. Hair was layered high on top of the head, and eyes pronounced with winged eyebrows in severest black. Tight fitting dresses with a geometric pattern like rippling water were amongst the most desirable in terms of wearability.

Alice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void All photography by Amelia Gregory.Alice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void Daniel Lismore photography by Amelia Gregory.Alice Palmer A/W 2011 by Emmi OjalaAlice Palmer A/W 2011 by Emmi Ojala
Alice Palmer A/W 2011 by Emmi Ojala.

I was particularly captivated by the amazing spike jewellery which came bobbing seductively past me at eye level on wrists, and around necks, and dangling in great stacked globes off fingers. It was created by Karen-Ann Dicken of Oread Jewellery, a fellow Glaswegian who trained at the Royal College of Art. For this catwalk show she lent her Geo designs, made from steel, silver, semi-precious stones and cubic zirconia.

Alice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryAlice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Photography by Amelia GregoryKaren-Ann Dicken geo necklaceKaren-Ann Dicken geo necklace in steel
Geo necklace images courtesy of Karen-Ann Dicken.

Alice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void. Rebekah Roy. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Alice Palmer A/W 2011 Into the Void stylist, the lovely Rebekah Roy. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can view more work by Emmi Ojala in my first book, Amelia’s Anthology of Illustration, available here.

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