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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: bStore

bStore always put on a good show, right? Well here's our view - with illustrations by Alexandra Rolfe!

Written by Gavin Mackie


Illustration by Joana Faria

If I ever meet Jean Pierre Braganza in person, physician price I might give him a little squeeze. His A/W 2011 show on Friday leaps right into my top 5 – and I’m writing this at the end of a very long and pretty stressful Day 3.

One of my favourite things during fashion week is getting to see interesting buildings that I never knew existed and wouldn’t normally take the slightest interest in. Braganza’s show was to take place at the ‘Show Space’ – part of one of those centuries-old hotels with Baroque interiors and branded soaps. Me and Amelia skipped the queue and sneaked inside to find the most beautiful chandeliers and lots of OTT dressed punters. The actual room in which the show was to take place was equally as decadent, save for the make-shift catwalk that looked like it could topple at any second – and the tiny gap down the side of said catwalk through which we all had to squeeze. ‘I predict a bottle neck’ I thought as we entered, and my premonition came true on the way out.


Illustrations by Krister Selin

A little wait ensued while it was ensured that every inch of carpet had somebody to occupy it, so I took a few snaps of the room and got a bit excited about the juxtaposition of this past interior and Braganza’s future aesthetic.

On with the show with bangin’ beats and gorgeous models wearing more gorgeous clothes. Masculine tailoring appeared first, dynamically cut and decorated with a transfixing splatter pattern in tonal greys. This pattern was set to become a theme, appearing in both menswear and womenswear. After only a few pieces I instantly thought that Braganza’s collections are always meticulous and polished – rich, full fabrics are combined with unique cuts and expert craftsmanship – the entire collection was technically faultless.

Models appeared one after the other, pausing a third of the way down the catwalk so we could all get a good look. I like this set up – much better for pictures (and I’ve really struggled with pictures this season – bloody A/W and it’s sea of dark colours).


Illustrations by Krister Selin

Branganza took the collection forward concentrating on luxe materials that have high aesthetic value: rich and heavy knits, leather and mohair; add a science-fiction influence and you’ve got a real fashion forward collection.

Geometric cuts featured patches of contrasting materials. Nautical stripes in monochrome contrasted with the smoothness of jersey; gents wore Cuban heels with their military tailoring with contrasting sleeves. Braganza has an incredible ability to combine leather architectural pieces with beautifully elegant silk frocks – sounds hideous on paper but as a collection it was completely coherent.


Illustration by Joana Faria

I usually can’t get it up for a predominantly black collection, but with Jean Pierre Braganza’s vision of the future I most certainly can. Bursts of lipstick red shook things up a bit: a gent’s suit with a synched back and skinny trousers that finished with points; embellished onto a mind-blowing shift dress; on short skirts. But it will be Braganza’s black that I remember this collection for: leather sleeves for gents and cutaway dresses in leather with a hint of bondage that oozed sex appeal for the ladies. Eyes peeled folks, this is what the future looks like.



Illustration by Joana Faria

If I ever meet Jean Pierre Braganza in person, stuff I might give him a little squeeze. His A/W 2011 show on Friday leaps right into my top 5 – and I’m writing this at the end of a very long and pretty stressful Day 3.

One of my favourite things during fashion week is getting to see interesting buildings that I never knew existed and wouldn’t normally take the slightest interest in. Braganza’s show was to take place at the ‘Show Space’ – part of one of those centuries-old hotels with Baroque interiors and branded soaps. Me and Amelia skipped the queue and sneaked inside to find the most beautiful chandeliers and lots of OTT dressed punters. The actual room in which the show was to take place was equally as decadent, prescription save for the make-shift catwalk that looked like it could topple at any second – and the tiny gap down the side of said catwalk through which we all had to squeeze. ‘I predict a bottle neck’ I thought as we entered, and my premonition came true on the way out.


Illustrations by Krister Selin

A little wait ensued while it was ensured that every inch of carpet had somebody to occupy it, so I took a few snaps of the room and got a bit excited about the juxtaposition of this past interior and Braganza’s future aesthetic.

On with the show with bangin’ beats and gorgeous models wearing more gorgeous clothes. Masculine tailoring appeared first, dynamically cut and decorated with a transfixing splatter pattern in tonal greys. This pattern was set to become a theme, appearing in both menswear and womenswear. After only a few pieces I instantly thought that Braganza’s collections are always meticulous and polished – rich, full fabrics are combined with unique cuts and expert craftsmanship – the entire collection was technically faultless.

Models appeared one after the other, pausing a third of the way down the catwalk so we could all get a good look. I like this set up – much better for pictures (and I’ve really struggled with pictures this season – bloody A/W and it’s sea of dark colours).


Illustrations by Krister Selin

Branganza took the collection forward concentrating on luxe materials that have high aesthetic value: rich and heavy knits, leather and mohair; add a science-fiction influence and you’ve got a real fashion forward collection.

Geometric cuts featured patches of contrasting materials. Nautical stripes in monochrome contrasted with the smoothness of jersey; gents wore Cuban heels with their military tailoring with contrasting sleeves. Braganza has an incredible ability to combine leather architectural pieces with beautifully elegant silk frocks – sounds hideous on paper but as a collection it was completely coherent.


Illustration by Joana Faria

I usually can’t get it up for a predominantly black collection, but with Jean Pierre Braganza’s vision of the future I most certainly can. Bursts of lipstick red shook things up a bit: a gent’s suit with a synched back and skinny trousers that finished with points; embellished onto a mind-blowing shift dress; on short skirts. But it will be Braganza’s black that I remember this collection for: leather sleeves for gents and cutaway dresses in leather with a hint of bondage that oozed sex appeal for the ladies. Eyes peeled folks, this is what the future looks like.

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Joana Faria and Krister Selin’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustration by Joana Faria

If I ever meet Jean Pierre Braganza in person, decease I might give him a little squeeze. His A/W 2011 show on Friday leaps right into my top 5 – and I’m writing this at the end of a very long and pretty stressful Day 3.

One of my favourite things during fashion week is getting to see interesting buildings that I never knew existed and wouldn’t normally take the slightest interest in. Braganza’s show was to take place at the ‘Show Space’ – part of one of those centuries-old hotels with Baroque interiors and branded soaps. Me and Amelia skipped the queue and sneaked inside to find the most beautiful chandeliers and lots of OTT dressed punters. The actual room in which the show was to take place was equally as decadent, save for the make-shift catwalk that looked like it could topple at any second – and the tiny gap down the side of said catwalk through which we all had to squeeze. ‘I predict a bottle neck’ I thought as we entered, and my premonition came true on the way out.


Illustrations by Krister Selin

A little wait ensued while it was ensured that every inch of carpet had somebody to occupy it, so I took a few snaps of the room and got a bit excited about the juxtaposition of this past interior and Braganza’s future aesthetic.

On with the show with bangin’ beats and gorgeous models wearing more gorgeous clothes. Masculine tailoring appeared first, dynamically cut and decorated with a transfixing splatter pattern in tonal greys. This pattern was set to become a theme, appearing in both menswear and womenswear. After only a few pieces I instantly thought that Braganza’s collections are always meticulous and polished – rich, full fabrics are combined with unique cuts and expert craftsmanship – the entire collection was technically faultless.

Models appeared one after the other, pausing a third of the way down the catwalk so we could all get a good look. I like this set up – much better for pictures (and I’ve really struggled with pictures this season – bloody A/W and it’s sea of dark colours).


Illustrations by Krister Selin

Branganza took the collection forward concentrating on luxe materials that have high aesthetic value: rich and heavy knits, leather and mohair; add a science-fiction influence and you’ve got a real fashion forward collection.

Geometric cuts featured patches of contrasting materials. Nautical stripes in monochrome contrasted with the smoothness of jersey; gents wore Cuban heels with their military tailoring with contrasting sleeves. Braganza has an incredible ability to combine leather architectural pieces with beautifully elegant silk frocks – sounds hideous on paper but as a collection it was completely coherent.


Illustration by Joana Faria

I usually can’t get it up for a predominantly black collection, but with Jean Pierre Braganza’s vision of the future I most certainly can. Bursts of lipstick red shook things up a bit: a gent’s suit with a synched back and skinny trousers that finished with points; embellished onto a mind-blowing shift dress; on short skirts. But it will be Braganza’s black that I remember this collection for: leather sleeves for gents and cutaway dresses in leather with a hint of bondage that oozed sex appeal for the ladies. Eyes peeled folks, this is what the future looks like.

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Joana Faria and Krister Selin’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustration by Joana Faria

If I ever meet Jean Pierre Braganza in person, viagra I might give him a little squeeze. His A/W 2011 show on Friday leaps right into my top 5 – and I’m writing this at the end of a very long and pretty stressful Day 3.

One of my favourite things during fashion week is getting to see interesting buildings that I never knew existed and wouldn’t normally take the slightest interest in. Braganza’s show was to take place at the ‘Show Space‘ – part of one of those centuries-old hotels with Baroque interiors and branded soaps. Me and Amelia skipped the queue and sneaked inside to find the most beautiful chandeliers and lots of OTT dressed punters. The actual room in which the show was to take place was equally as decadent, save for the make-shift catwalk that looked like it could topple at any second – and the tiny gap down the side of said catwalk through which we all had to squeeze. ‘I predict a bottle neck’ I thought as we entered, and my premonition came true on the way out.


Illustrations by Krister Selin

A little wait ensued while it was ensured that every inch of carpet had somebody to occupy it, so I took a few snaps of the room and got a bit excited about the juxtaposition of this past interior and Braganza’s future aesthetic.

On with the show with bangin’ beats and gorgeous models wearing more gorgeous clothes. Masculine tailoring appeared first, dynamically cut and decorated with a transfixing splatter pattern in tonal greys. This pattern was set to become a theme, appearing in both menswear and womenswear. After only a few pieces I instantly thought that Braganza’s collections are always meticulous and polished – rich, full fabrics are combined with unique cuts and expert craftsmanship – the entire collection was technically faultless.

Models appeared one after the other, pausing a third of the way down the catwalk so we could all get a good look. I like this set up – much better for pictures (and I’ve really struggled with pictures this season – bloody A/W and it’s sea of dark colours).


Illustrations by Krister Selin

Branganza took the collection forward concentrating on luxe materials that have high aesthetic value: rich and heavy knits, leather and mohair; add a science-fiction influence and you’ve got a real fashion forward collection.

Geometric cuts featured patches of contrasting materials. Nautical stripes in monochrome contrasted with the smoothness of jersey; gents wore Cuban heels with their military tailoring with contrasting sleeves. Braganza has an incredible ability to combine leather architectural pieces with beautifully elegant silk frocks – sounds hideous on paper but as a collection it was completely coherent.


Illustration by Joana Faria

I usually can’t get it up for a predominantly black collection, but with Jean Pierre Braganza’s vision of the future I most certainly can. Bursts of lipstick red shook things up a bit: a gent’s suit with a synched back and skinny trousers that finished with points; embellished onto a mind-blowing shift dress; on short skirts. But it will be Braganza’s black that I remember this collection for: leather sleeves for gents and cutaway dresses in leather with a hint of bondage that oozed sex appeal for the ladies. Eyes peeled folks, this is what the future looks like.

All photography by Matt Bramford

See more of Joana Faria and Krister Selin’s illustrations in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
ORLA_KYELI_by_Joana_Faria_2

Orla Kiely LFW A/W Collection, order illustration by Joana Faria

Initially I got stuck in the lift with a delivery man, information pills and then a very tanned lady. Apparently you are not supposed to use the lift at London Fashion Week. I don’t normally use the lift (thighs), sick but to be honest, I was unsure as to how to get to the Portico Rooms, where Orla Kiely was showing her short films, and there was an arrow towards the lift. Anyway, tanned lady assisted me in getting in and consequently missed her lift and was forced to take the stairs. She was lovely. I entered the little room to find three sheds, twig trees, pretty stools, lots of stuffed birds (real?) and strange bird/nature music, wafting.

Orla_Kiely_by_Matilde_Sazio

Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illusration by Matilde Sazio

I wish I could say that I wafted around the room, and I tried to put be exhibition faced, but I had to move around people, twigs in my hair and face and then birds – just there. *SQUAWK* Perhaps now would be the time to say I am scared of birds.

orla_kiely_by_avril_kelly

Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illustration by Avril Kelly

A dyed, dark haired boy with a strong side parting came up to me, straight backed and carrying a tray of champagne. Luckily for him the tray had little grooves so the stems came out the bottom to avoid spillage. Sadly for me, I couldn’t see how to access le bubbly. “How do I… ah, thanks”. I clutched my champagne at its stem. Although I saw most people holding their glasses around the fatter bit. I was told this was wrong to do by a man at a ‘ra’ party when I was 15. I also thought this was wrong/bad etiquette/heats liquid with hand warmth? But it does look better, holding champs at the fatter bit…rearrange hand. I smiled at a lady who had a few people round her and was smiling in my direction. She saw me though, and it vanished. Denied! I later heard her say she was the Editor of a Homes magazine and she got her photo taken amongst the twig trees. My time at BBC Homes and Antiques, as an intern, came rushing back to me.

Orla_Kiely_Bag_by_Matilde_Sazio

Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illusration by Matilde Sazio

I meandered about. LOVED the girls in Orla Kiely outfits, plastered to the walls. Although Orla Kiely heavily reminds me of women in Clifton (affluent part of Bristol), and Bath, sauntering about, I think her designs look excellent on younger women. With 60s influences, and pretty detailing, they’re perfect and easy to wear creations, that are FAR from some of preconceived ideas. Most of the aforementioned women only ever really wear the bags, to be fair. And to see the full outfits, with the pretty shoes, natural colours and high hemlines, I was in lust with Orla! Less the birds.

ORLA_KYELI_by_Joana_Faria_1

Orla Kiely LFW A/W Collection, illustration by Joana Faria

I had a little chat with the champagne boy, as I had no chance of speaking to Ms Editor, she wouldn’t appreciate one of my own designed business cards (they’re amazing). He said the films had been on rotation since 7am, which is fiiiine, but the soundtrack (i.e. birds), was a tad repetitive. We discussed our day. He asked if I was in ‘the business’. I replied: “Mmmm, writer.” I felt bad for not asking him if he was in the business, but as I sat on an Orla bench, decided that he was a poet who had escaped Burnley.

Orla_kiely_2_by_avril_kelly

Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, illustration by Avril Kelly

I saw that the films were being shown in the sheds. I considered leaning on the side of the shed, as no one seemed to be sitting inside them. But instead decided to sit inside, on a stool, in the shed. It felt like one of those watch places you find on walks. Then: ARG!! A MASSIVE stuffed OWL was looking straight at me. Out the shed.

ORLA_KYELI_by_Joana_Faria_3

Orla Kiely LFW A/W Collection, illustration by Joana Faria

The video was purposefully flickery and sweet, with the models in greens and creams, wandering about their vintage filled houses. I won’t lie; I wanted the house/clothes dearly. They looked so contented, slightly robotic, but perfect.

Orla_Kiely_A-W_2011LFW_A-W_2011-Orla_Kiely-4LFW_A-W_2011-Orla_Kiely-2LFW_A-W_2011-Orla_Kiely-3LFW_A-W_2011-Orla_KielyLFW_A-W_2011-Orla_Kiely-1
Orla Kiely LFW A/W 2011, photography by Amelia Gregory

It seems that lighter, floatier fabrics took hold for Orla Kiely’s S/S 2011 collection, as Orla said: For ready-to-wear, there is silk organza mesh partywear; sheer fabrics have played a large part in the collection. Some prints also have abstract references to apples and pears. Within bags and accessories, I have designed leather backpacks and my debut sunglasses range.” But, heavier fabrics have returned for A/W, with beautiful, thick coats, short, wool dresses and A Line skirts, knitted skirt suits and 70s influenced belted loose jersey dresses and bell sleeves. All worn with black socks and ankle strapped shoes. Thick knit long cardigans or 60s trenches also feature, whilst the make up is subtle, allowing the deep teals, greens and light browns to take the focus. And of course promoting the simple, pretty, easy to wear, natural style of Orla Kiely.

I was transfixed by the video for a little while – the music was quite liable to do this – and then, although tempted to sit and drink more champagne on a pretty stool, I wandered off out the correct door.

Joana Faria’s Illustrations can also be found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration, available here.

Illustrations by Alexandra Rolfe

It was a mighty long trek from the main fashion activity at Somerset House to 33 Portland Place for my first show of the A/W 2011 season. As it was bStore, visit this site and as 33 Portland Place is stunning (the location for much of the recent filming of The King’s Speech), healing I thought it much worth the effort. Amazingly, arriving at 6:23 for a 6:30 show I still managed to be first in the queue. Which luckily meant I was first to get a cocktail when the doors finally opened.

bStore were obviously out to put on an intimate and relaxed show for ‘friends’. The cocktails were stunning (well done – best Mojito I have had in ages) and the drawing room we were all ushered into to settle into the evening definitely set the tone. As the room filled it also became obvious that the gathered audience were bang right-on bStore target; urban gentlemen and ladies in the up-to-date yet classically English look that bStore helps to promote. I especially favoured the lovely American woman who had had a little too much to drink, tottered on me and my bags and then had to prop herself against the wall as her ‘heels were far too high’ (if you are reading this, you know who you are!).

Cocktail downed and people watching over, we made our way into the show area. Tightly packed and with live band playing (as with the cocktails, very good) we all took places throughout the two rooms that made the runway circuit. bStore got this location just right, the slightly disused English club room feel suited the brand to a T.

Unfortunately, this is about where the amazing parts of the show came to an end. In dim lighting the first model came out, but he was halfway around the circuit before most of the audience realised the show had actually started. I believe there were two reasons for this: (1) as the lighting was so dim, the model was literally walking in shadows, and (2) the model didn’t look any different to the assembled crowd, it was hard to tell audience and model apart. The parade of models followed as we squinted in the dark to see what was on offer. Muted ochres, burgundies and black on clothes kept to the signature bStore look. Slightly tailored English, slightly American grungy, with the same proportions bStore has been following for a number of seasons now. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually a big bStore fan and there was nothing here that was awful. Most of it was immensely wearable and if it was my first bStore encounter I would have been more ecstatic (but still squinting, why were there no lights? It’s a fundamental part of this process, surely?). But knowing what bStore offers, this show didn’t really bring anything new to the brand and left me feeling a bit meh. Competent? Yes. Enjoyable? Yes. Groundbreaking? Nope.

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