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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011, Catwalk Review: Fashion Mode No.2 James Hillman (by Helen)

In the second of my Fashion Mode Show reports, it's all about the men. James Hillman shows the audience at Fashion Scout; sharp suited men, dressed exclusively in black - the colour of crude oil.

Written by Helen Martin

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd.

Bora Aksu is one of the most unassuming and down to earth men I’ve ever met, find let alone in the land of fashion – which is why it is so bizarre that his shows attract such a high level of celebrity interest – I can’t for one moment imagine that he courts it himself…

Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Amelia Gregory
Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It was only after I’d planted myself down in the front row that I realised I was in the thick of a celebrity pap fest. Twiggy was busy giving vox pops to my left and Marina of Marina and the Diamonds fame came stomping past inches from my nose in a bid to find a spare patch of front row action. I kept my head down, information pills so it was only after the show that I realised I’d been sitting only a few bodies down from ex Sugababes’ star Keisha Buchanan, as she stood for an awkward and heavily photographed air kiss reunion with Girls Aloud’s current fashion darling Nicola Roberts, whose incredible thinness was enhanced by the halo of flashes going off behind her. I could hardly leave the venue for the ensuing scrum. Memo to self: try to avoid sitting in the thick of celeb land next time.

Marina by Artist Andrea
Marina by Andrea Peterson.

Last season Bora took a step away from the Somerset House action to show at the considerably smaller venue at Victoria House, and in reflection of this step down his collection seemed slightly lacking in confidence. But for A/W 2011 he was back in the big tent, and proving once more that he is at the height of his powers.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd.

Gun metal grey is a favourite Bora colour, and the collection flew off the starting blocks as it meant to continue, with a gorgeous bustle-backed party frock in metallic fabric and wool, highlighted by a slash of emerald green at the waist and in the underskirt – a colour that was to take second place only to his beloved grey this season. Bora staples: lace, sheer chiffon, cable knit and corsetry lacing were all present and correct, bound and wound around the models in cunning arrangements. Playful inspiration was found in the form of tuxedos and bow ties, Bora playing with proportion, placement and tromp l’oeil effects. As usual some of the dresses called to mind a suit of armour, contouring the female form. As the collection progressed the models heads became evermore bound in black gauze, encasing their delicate features. At the end the models grouped in an army to take their final turn on the catwalk – a trend that was to be repeated throughout the week at various shows.

Bora Aksu has an extraordinarily clear vision that keeps getting stronger and stronger: feminine without being too girly, clever without being unwearable, recognisable without being samey and just damn innovative every time. He is without doubt one of the most individual and idiosyncratic designers working in the UK today. Roll on S/S 2012.

You can read Georgia Takacs’ review here and Jemma Crow’s review here. Or you can check in with my intimate interview, posted last September. We’re big fans, what can I say?

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd.

Bora Aksu is one of the most unassuming and down to earth men I’ve ever met, viagra approved let alone in the land of fashion – which is why it is so bizarre that his shows attract such a high level of celebrity interest – I can’t for one moment imagine that he courts it himself…

Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Amelia Gregory
Twiggy at Bora Aksu. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

It was only after I’d planted myself down in the front row that I realised I was in the thick of a celebrity pap fest. Twiggy was busy giving vox pops to my left and Marina of Marina and the Diamonds fame came stomping past inches from my nose in a bid to find a spare patch of front row action. I kept my head down, discount so it was only after the show that I realised I’d been sitting only a few bodies down from ex Sugababes’ star Keisha Buchanan, as she stood for an awkward and heavily photographed air kiss reunion with Girls Aloud’s current fashion darling Nicola Roberts, whose incredible thinness was enhanced by the halo of flashes going off behind her. I could hardly leave the venue for the ensuing scrum. Memo to self: try to avoid sitting in the thick of celeb land next time.

Marina by Artist Andrea
Marina by Andrea Peterson.

Last season Bora took a step away from the Somerset House action to show at the considerably smaller venue at Victoria House, and in reflection of this step down his collection seemed slightly lacking in confidence. But for A/W 2011 he was back in the big tent, and proving once more that he is at the height of his powers.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Donya Todd.

Gun metal grey is a favourite Bora colour, and the collection flew off the starting blocks as it meant to continue, with a gorgeous bustle-backed party frock in metallic fabric and wool, highlighted by a slash of emerald green at the waist and in the underskirt – a colour that was to take second place only to his beloved grey this season.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Alia Gargum
Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Alia Gargum.

Bora staples: lace, sheer chiffon, cable knit and corsetry lacing were all present and correct, bound and wound around the models in cunning arrangements. Playful inspiration was found in the form of tuxedos and bow ties, Bora playing with proportion, placement and tromp l’oeil effects.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

As usual some of the dresses called to mind a suit of armour, contouring the female form. As the collection progressed the models heads became evermore bound in black gauze, encasing their delicate features. At the end the models grouped in an army to take their final turn on the catwalk – a trend that was to be repeated throughout the week at various shows.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Bora Aksu has an extraordinarily clear vision that keeps getting stronger and stronger: feminine without being too girly, clever without being unwearable, recognisable without being samey and just damn innovative every time. He is without doubt one of the most individual and idiosyncratic designers working in the UK today. Roll on S/S 2012.

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read Georgia Takacs’ review here and Jemma Crow’s review here. Or you can check in with my intimate interview, posted last September. We’re big fans, what can I say?

Bora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia GregoryBora Aksu A/W 2011 by Amelia Gregory
Bora Aksu A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.
Hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Ankolie

Whilst in the press lounge I had a natter with a benefits investigator and a lady who runs an art gallery. The benefits investigator did the media bits as a relief from fraud and because ‘the people are always so friendly.’ This is true, buy information pills somewhat surprisingly. I have met some super and interesting people at LFW, order and this man was no exception. A delight to chat to. All three of us were heading for the Fashion Mode show, ed but I was faffing about with Toni and Guy etc. so didn’t walk with the investigator or art lady. But I saw them opposite me in the audience and it was obvious, although we had talked mostly about high class fraud, investigator man, liked his threads. And why not? I love it that Charlie, my boyfriend, loves his clothes, and he’d be all over watching a male fashion show, like the one at Fashion Mode: James Hillman.

hillman

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Illustration by Ankolie

Most men, I want to say ALL MEN, look great in a well cut suit. Boys turn to men, and previously bland chaps, turn to hotness. Is it the shoulders? Is it the old school charm? Or is it because it’s almost rare to see everyday, thus special and alluring? It’s a shame, because men look fantastic when they’re wearing something cut correctly. Why not embrace the suit more? Have you not seen Mad Men, with Don and err Don? In real life Jon Hamm looks like Bon Iver in the middle of his woods escapade. In Mad Men, he is all that millions of women desire. I don’t think it’s the 50s ideologies of man protecting woman, whilst woman looks perfect and alert. It’s just a suit looks NICE.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

So, James Hillman shows that men look good dressed in black clothes, cut well, particularly suits. The collection is all black because James used crude oil as his inspiration for his designs. Embracing the concept wholeheartedly, he studied the distillation of crude oil, learning that different temperatures produce different iterations of oil. Each fabric thus, represents a different tier in the crude oil process. The heavyweight oils are represented with heavyweight woollen cashmere mixes and reindeer leather. Whilst the lightweight oils are represented in rip stock and lightweight wax cottons.

Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia Hillman - Amelia

LFW A/W 2011 James Hillman Collection. Photography by Amelia Gregory

The deigns are sleek and sharp. Whilst the pockets and necklines are detailed, with for example; reflective fabric; pock and crepe pocket panelling; high neck or collarless necklines, all the pieces retain luxurious simplicity. I still have issues with man bags, but the rest of the show was hot to trot. This was confirmed by a man, by the investigator. I saw him at the end of the show. Statement on James Hillman follows: “I don’t normally go in for men’s fashion, but I loved that. I would wear all of that. Hmmm…may need to investigate this James Hillman further.” Indeed. And spread the word.

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One Response to “London Fashion Week A/W 2011, Catwalk Review: Fashion Mode No.2 James Hillman (by Helen)”

  1. [...] FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE This entry was posted in Fashion and tagged Amelia Gregory, Amelia's Magazine, Ankolie, James Hillman, LFW, LFW Autumn/Winter 2011, Men's Fashion. Bookmark the permalink. ← Amelia’s Magazine FASHION POSTS from LONDON FASHION WEEK A/W 2011: No.6 LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

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