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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Daks

The designer shows their AW11 collection at Somerset House and brings a very English country feel with it on Saturday 19th February. Illustrations by Jaymie O'Callaghan!

Written by Jemma Crow

I’ve always had a personal love of Betty Jackson’s clothes, web this web she was one of the first big designers that I got my ticket to see and there’s something that resonates there as an old friend I suppose. Jackson’s collections do always leave me in complete awe too; true they’re not always the most controversial but but that doesn’t mean you can call them boring.

And boom out walked the first model to a mix up of Neil Diamond’s “Girl you’ll be a Woman soon” and David Bowie’s “John I’m only Dancing” wearing a fusion of camel (thought it was gone last season well it’s back) and red. Instantly it’s a hit!

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11
Illustration by Lisa Stannard

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Bryony Crane

It definitely was a collection that allowed us to be our most womanly, abortion full of midi length skirts and dresses in the aforementioned respectable reds (a colour I’ve always loved but never really worn for some strange reason) but Jackson mixed up the ladylikeness of the whole thing by teaming ever look with white tights or thigh high socks. Now that’s certainly not an accessory that all of us can pull off without looking like a doll or a small child but when teamed with a midi leaving just the calves on show (i.e. the thinnest part of the leg) then I think we can all work it. Or try at least.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

Moving through the collection though Jackson showed a different side to the look with 90’s-esque grungy striped knits and fleece jackets. Yep I did just say fleece! Do you remember the ones you were made to wear as a small child walking through parks? Well this is nothing like that thank god; in fact this is posh fleeces in long line jackets but still I say wear with caution, it looks good on the catwalk but real life may throw up some slightly different conclusions.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

Now there was a neutral element to some pieces too. It wasn’t quite a full camel look but more of a darker shade of pale in the shape of mohair coats and cinched in dresses with waist belts. On the opposite end of the scale was the black lace maxi skirts and chiffon dresses and lace jumpers. Maybe not such a practical choice for every day as Jackson paraded them worn with nothing underneath….I’m sure that would be a no so attractive occasion for cold nipples to do their worst.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Bryony Crane

A definite thing to note from Jackson for winter though is that this season is going to be a bright one. Others have shown us variations on mulberry and dusky pinks but there’s no doubt that red is a key look too. Wear it with pride and white tights with platform patent shoes. Slightly reminiscent of childhood dressing but then maybe that’s why it’s such a perfect combination.

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Lisa Stannard

Betty Jackson at London Fashion Week AW11Photography by Jemma Crow

And of course what would a catwalk show be without it’s celebs; we got ours in the form of none other than T4’s Jameela Jamil who’s quicly becoming part of the fashion A List as Alexa Chung rose to the dizzy heights from the same path. But that girl has the longest legs I have ever seen. Wearing a super cute tangerine mini lantern dress and leopard print heels all I could stare at were her legs. But at least the paparazzi were pleased.

Jameela Jamil at Betty Jackson London Fashion Week AW11Illustration by Bryony Crane

Thanks very much to Bryony Crane and Lisa Stannard for their illustrations. More of their work can be found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration
LFW Paul Costelloe AW2011 by Krister Selin
Paul Costelloe by Krister Selin

And it’s off! In fact it was Paul Coselloe that kicked off the eponymous London Fashion Week for AW11 and he didn’t disappoint. Well how could he with Janice Dickinson on the front row! With a modernised version of “In The Mood” as his soundtrack he sent his daughter down the catwalk to start the show in a loving fatherly way. Aww sweet. But I digress; lets get back to the clothes: mini dresses in bright pink hues, order glitzy jacquard mixed with bobbed pink wigs and very wearable men’s suits were the call of the morning interspersed with some mustard suits and patterned palazzo pants. The opening look was a quartet of emerald green swing dresses, a style Costelloe is famous for and knows he does well. And its safe to say (after New York Fashion Week too) that Mulberry, and its various guises, is the colour to be seen in. Teamed with oversized checks and damson tights its perfect for next Autumn moving on from the 70s colours of Summer. It looks like the earthy tones are here to stay but this time there’s more to them than variations on beige.

LFW Paul Costelloe AW2011 by Krister SelinIllustration by Krister Selin

On the side Costelloe has mused about designing airline uniforms (is there really a desire to that?) and the not so subtle hint in his collection was perhaps the boxy swing suits with bracelet sleeves and flirty mini skirts. Who knows maybe we’ll see the staff of BA sashaying down the walk way in a Paul Costelloe burnt orange suit set. Then again maybe not quite what he had in mind…. in all seriousness though congratulations to Costelloe who has opened LFW for his 10th year and still brings wearable pieces straight off the catwalk that still have a fashion appeal. What a perfect opening to a very busy week, and of course Janice Dickenson waving to her friend as he took his bow was a not so subtle closer.

All illustrations by Krister Selin and more of his work can be found in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

Illustrations by Jaymie O’Callaghan

Daks was always going to be a good old English Heritage show and I think some of the looks may be my favourite of the season.
In particular one thing to definitely note for A/W 2011 is silk skirt with bum covering jumper and tan leather waist belt. Oh so simple but very effective. Imagine a cosy retreat in the good old English countryside sitting around a log fire and you’re pretty much there.

Although the colours were mostly muted I loved the splash of snooker table green on a chunky jumper interspersed with navy trims. This wasn’t really a collection for trousers; it was all about the skirts. Special commendation goes to the lovely lovely full versions in slightly quilted materials (think Barbour jackets) worn with tucked in round neck jumpers and again the trusty leather waist belt. It really was a feminine figure Daks was accentuating and it played to the best of their ability.

The boys were well catered for too as fisherman knit jumpers and long chunky scarves were all in the repertoire created by Filippo Scuffi who learned from the brand heritage designs to create a familiar feel to this AW11 collection. In fact it was probably why the checked capes and traditional tweeds felt so comforting, drugs like an old friend, price they’d been around us before.

The show itself was quite a change from last season too, discount where I’m reliably informed that spectators had to move forward several rows to fill the venue but this year there was none of that. Standing room only was allowed at the catwalk in Somerset House; what a turnaround for the classic brand.

In fact I had high hopes for the show even before I saw it. When the invite arrived in a slick black envelope with a lux gold inside I was very impressed and the black and gold patterning on the invitation itself made me feel very special. What do you mean everyone got one?! So when you’re planning your next country house retreat make like Daks and you’re sure to look like something out of a fashion editorial. When there’s a colour palette of Navy, Green, Brown and Neutral undertones it’s always a fashion win.

And it seems the general consensus is that Daks has done good. Exploring their heritage and updating it for the 21st century is something they can run with again, and for a brand that started out in 1894 with bespoke tailoring that’s a big achievement. And with the instantly recognisable ‘House Check’ running through in a series of blanket capes, shirts and skirts its sure to get them noticed.

And as a brand that I would have never associated with liking myself before I am a convert; ok so maybe not an actual convert at designer prices but I will be channeling them on a tighter budget I promise. A lovely positive start to the Saturday shows.

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