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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week Menswear Day A/W 2011 Presentation Review: SIBLING

Knitwear label Sibling takes us on a pub crawl of the East End's glorious boozers, featuring their trademark embroidered motifs and Kiss panda masks. Illustrations by Abi Daker and Rachel Liddington…

Written by Matt Bramford

Fair+True and Reluxe by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, viagra healing just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, viagra I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I quickly got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t ever heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I utterly loved their stuff. The AW 2011 pieces were gorgeous, brightly coloured, hand knitted accessories and clothing. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their Spring 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

Hemyca Dress. Photo via Not Just A Label.

I was also introduced to Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. It wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress by Fritha Strickland

I expected to be impressed by the show rooms, but I didn’t expect to be blown away. I left both the Esthetica and Eco Luxe exhibits with my brain whirring, my bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. I hope that as ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  that one day ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms, but showcasing alongside all the other designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is the norm, not the exception. One day indeed.

Fair+True and Reluxe by Andrea Kearney

The EcoLuxe exhibition was held at the ultra chic One Aldwych Hotel, illness just across the road from Somerset House. Fresh from Esthetica, sales I wondered if the designers holed up over at One Aldwych would be able to compete with the level of talent I’d witnessed over at Somerset House, website but my questions were quickly forgotten as I descended the staircase at the hotel and saw what waited for me.

Inevitably, there were a few brands and designers showcasing work that didn’t really float my boat, but I also saw some beautifully crafted clothes that really excited me. Here are just a few of my favourites.

I was excited to see that Fashion Conscience, my favourite ethical online retailer, had a stand. I quickly got chatting to their PR rep about how to encourage more mainstream use of ethical design principals and how to close the gap between the high end ethical and the affordable everyday ethical. Fashion Conscience, in my humble opinion, are beginning to fill this gap, but there is still some way to go. The Fashion Conscience stall was showcasing the work of two of my favourite labels, ReLuxe and Fair+True:

Reluxe oozes cool. The designs are fresh, colourful, relaxed and crucially AFFORDABLE. They use recycled fabrics which means many garments are completely unique, or in limited supply due to the limitations of the fabric. I have fallen in love with this slightly bonkers neon striped skirt and am just waiting for pay day to purchase it (don’t beat me to it!) Brands like Reluxe and Fair+True (below) make me excited and hopeful that ethical businesses CAN make it in to the middle market mainstream, can be affordable and can have mass appeal. YES.

Knitted Skirt by Reluxe. Photo via Fashion Conscience.

Fair+True are a brand new Fairtrade company that also make lovely, brightly coloured sporty brights that I would love to wear. All pieces are fairly made in the UK or Africa or created from sustainable and organic fabrics. LOVE.

Fair + True by Fritha Strickland

I hadn’t ever heard of Lowie and I’m most disappointed by this because I utterly loved their stuff. The AW 2011 pieces were gorgeous, brightly coloured, hand knitted accessories and clothing. I adored their Turkish socks, ear muffs, cloche hats and cardigans. Their Spring 2011 collection was also beautiful with some really interesting shapes and details.


Turkish socks by Lowie. Illustration by Faye West

I liked the moody colours, tailoring and detailing of HEMYCA‘s clothes. Their focus is on fine tailoring, with an emphasis on the waist, which I always love. Ethically, HEMYCA has an ‘Organic Tailoring’ range and manufactures all their garments in London, promoting local businesses and cutting down on carbon dioxide emissions.

Hemyca Dress. Photo via Not Just A Label.

I was also introduced to Sanyukta Shrestha’s wedding accessories and dresses. It wasn’t until I saw models wearing the dresses online after the event that I truly appreciated their beauty. In fact I had a mouth a-gape, heart a-flutter moment when I saw this floor length, pleated dress with low cut back. It’s made from 100% organic silk and organic fair traded cotton sateen. If I could get married again (to the same man, I hasten to add!) it would be in this dress. Oh my. Head. Over. Heels.

Sanyukta Shrestha Wedding Dress by Fritha Strickland

I expected to be impressed by the show rooms, but I didn’t expect to be blown away. I left both the Esthetica and Eco Luxe exhibits with my brain whirring, my bag stuffed full of promo material, a camera full of more images than I knew what to do with and having talked at a million miles an hour to so many interesting and inspiring people. Eco Luxe has doubled in size since last year in what I assume  is a reflection of the increasing acceptance and awareness of ethical design. I hope that as ethical design and shopping with conscience become more mainstream,  that one day ethical clothing designers wont be sectioned off in their own separate rooms, but showcasing alongside all the other designers; proving that fashion with a conscience is the norm, not the exception. One day indeed.

Illustration by Rachel Liddington

After a very early start Frowing at JW Anderson on menswear day, approved it was time to head to the Sibling presentation – one of my most anticipated shows during fashion week. Taking place in the Portico Rooms again, by the time myself, illustrator Gareth and contributor Nick got there the room was already heaving. It was a similar set up to last time – mannequins formed a circle around the room with a film showing on loop in the centre.

It was fab. This season’s collection is absolutely inspired. Whimsically titled ‘Darn The Boozer,’ A/W 2011 takes us on a pub-crawl of the East End, stopping off at my favourite drinkeries. From the Golden Heart to the George & Dragon, the collection is a whistle-stop tour around local boozers, with different pieces for different places. The Golden Heart describes itself as ‘a real British pub’ and that pretty much sums up this collection – the best of British boozer motifs embroidered onto sweaters in Sibling’s staple style.


Illustration by Abi Daker

The Golden Heart gets the Sibling treatment to kick things off, with embroidered hearts in a tattoo motif as well as emblems knitted into sweaters with spider-web elbows. The Red Lion gets a look in on the way, in the form of a crew neck sweater with an enormous embroidered lion design, featuring different textures and tones of red. The Bricklayer’s Arms is represented through an insignia zip jacket with pockets. My favourite boozer – The George & Dragon – is our last stop. A Fair Isle knit features typical geometric patterns, spiced up with Saint George on horseback woven into the mix.

George, the knight, further inspires my favourite piece in the collection – a bright red knitted sweater with added shoulder details and tan leather buckles, and I’m already working out how I’ll be able to buy it when it hits the shops. This quirky detail is also used on grey scarf which looks a bit like a neck brace, in the best possible sense.

Accessories this season include Kiss Panda knitted masks – completely unwearable but another fab artist collaboration following on from last season’s marriage with Tim Noble and Sue Webster. They’re the conception of Pure Evil, and a jumper also features this playful design – far more wearable and definitely one for the wish list.

The film, by Willem Jaspert & Stephen Langmanis, showed chavvy boys having a pint and a fag outside The George & Dragon itself. I’m not sure these ruffians are Sibling’s target audience, but the aesthetic really worked.

Other bits and pieces include lust-worthy ‘love’ and ‘hate’ gloves. Really should start saving…

Look out for illustrator Gareth’s take on this and more coming soon!

All photography by Matt Bramford

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