The Israli born Inbar Spector‘s gothic collection certainly raised eye brows and expectations in an explosion of delicate laces, ask buy more about zipped corsetry and mass of tulle. Her pieces consisted of futuristic and OTT couture-like constructivism with an edgy twist which made her designs captivating.
Taking the nomadic immigrant as her muse for autumn/winter 09-09, there was a mix of energetic movement created by the twisted chiffon, zips and pvc trousers, but there was also a sense of structure. Tight corsets, belted waists and armoured tops, ensured an empowered woman emerged.
one of my favourites from the collection
The last two pieces twisted tulle ballgowns was greeted by whoops of applause. This was a perfect finish for a collection that bursted with intelligently conceived modern gothic pieces.
i want this dress!
After a whole week of hot footing it to fashion shows and cocktail swigging after parties, help we wanted to celebrate the last day in style. Cue an invite to ‘Fash Off‘- a Closing LFW Party at the fancy Beach Blanket Babylon in association with Stimuli magazine.
When we first got there we were excited but we were soon confused at the long queue at the door. After much waiting around we were eventually let in. However I must note that there was a rather annoying PR lady who kept disappearing, information pills then reappearing only to haphazardly look at a chart and exclaim ‘only guess list!’ brushing people aside like flies. I like to think of her as dragon lady.
However when we were eventually in we went downstairs for a much needed drink. It wasn’t until 11ish that things hotted up with Skin spinning some tunes and people dancing along. Amongst those at the party were Daisy Lowe, the model Lara Stone and plenty of Stimuli magazine people. Although I was much more excited about the music and a big fan they had in a corner (perhaps you had to be there!)
sarah and mel lookin’ beauuutiful
sarah’s sexy fan pose
…and it’s mel’s turn
this girl even gets in on the act-gettin’ down and dirty on the floor
what look is that guy trying to go for?! well at least he’s having fun!
skin getting the party started
and the crowd goes wild…well comparatively..
After toasting to this years LFW Sarah, Mel and I parted ways, with fond memories of all things fashion.
There are two Ladyhawk(e)s. Ladyhawke is Pip Brown- a girl with a very good fringe, troche signed to Island Records. The other Ladyhawk is a Canadian Indie band signed to Jagjaguwar. I know which one I’d rather go on holidays with.
A thumping bass beat laced with a drum machine high-hat on the opening track- ‘Magic’- sets the scene, visit this site the rules and the dress code. Simultaneously trashy and wonderful, visit this site Ladyhawke holds court in an underground nightclub, where all the drinks have cocktail umbrellas in them, and nobody’s been to bed for three days. Tracks like ‘Professional Suicide’ offer a master-class in how to write music for a bonding montage in a John Hughes movie, while current single ‘Dusk ‘til Dawn’ sounds like a Natasha Khan at the village disco, complete with swirling lights and synchronised handclaps.
‘Ladyhawke’ is firmly rooted in Kim Wilde territory, and knowingly so. Brown’s aim for the record was to ‘write songs that could make people feel nostalgic even though they were hearing them for the first time’. In this she succeeds- ‘Another Runaway’ could be a Fleetwood Mac B-side, or a solo Stevie Nicks offcut. The synth-based instrumentation nods a head to the era evoked, but stylized production keeps the record on the right side of homage. At just under 50 minutes, the record leaves the listener with a new-wave pop high, with none of the comedown and all of the fun.
Entitled Sometimes ‘You Just Have to Let Go’ this collection is inspired by a Buddha who gave a sermon whereby he just sat still staring at a flower for hours. Finally one of the monks faces broke into a smile. He was the only monk who understood the sermon. That simple realisation of beauty is said to be a significant event of human consciousness. The idea being that sometimes you have to let go of thoughts, decease words, analysis and judgement and just appreciate beauty and love in its simplest of forms. Its a lovely thought process behind the collection that makes you look at the dresses as pieces of purity.
a beautiful photograph by Michelle Heimerman.
As the models strode out in their massive camel coloured heels, there were ruffled layers galore with different silk textures, everything was in neutral pastels. In my book thats playing it safe, however the shades and tones are described by Ashfin as part of his fantasy world.
This fine knitted metallic, chain-mail-hay-hessian type of fabric idea was quite common throughout fashion week, but this was the only knitted all in one i saw! Check out Krystof Strozyna and JW Anderson for more use of this kind of fabric.
Sadly sometimes the shapes verged on plain and unimaginative, however this means they score high on the wearability count. Ruffles encircled some curious silver chain detailing, this is said to represent the things that render us unable to appreciate simple beauty.I really liked the chain as an edging when it was placed nicely. But sometimes its use felt well a little random.
Photography by Michelle Heimerman
There were some oddly placed circluar cut outs with tight silk trousers. Also the current key trousers, peg legged high waisted with bound gathering at the top. These are seen also at Jaegar.
This collection featured some really nice body fitted tight tailoring with tinily cut shapes this is juxtaposed with the pretty floaty fabric. The finale piece was definately my favorite, the way it floats and the movement in the skirt is absolutely beautiful x
Michelle Heimerman. All other photos © 2008 Christopher Moore Limited from www.catwalking.com
Just from the luxurious looking invite (exceptionally large with added cover -sleeve), health I knew Michelle and I were in for a bit of a treat with the Qasimi show. Not only were we being invited to the grand Westminster City Hall, cheap but we were asked to join the rest of the guests at an exclusive half an hour drinks reception before the show.
I’m wondering whether the drinks were a ploy to lull our sense of judgement, generic because there was so much champagne, I almost forgot the real reason I was there!
Michelle and I at the champagne reception
However, a continuous supply of champers wasn’t the only treat Qasimi had in store for us. To prevent their guests from having to endure that awkward pre-show emptiness where everyone sits about trying to guess who’s who in the front row, they employed an attractive pair of dancing violinists to entertain us while the rest of the guests took their seats.
Qasimi’s runway show was just as pleasurable as their pre-show luxuries. Considering they’re relatively new designers, they appeared to have thought the most about the performance aspect of their presentation. Set on Westminster’s towering stage, each of the dark haired models travelled down onto the catwalk before taking up a position on the rostrum.
The spring/summer collection itself was divided into two ready-to-wear and one couture section. A powerful and energetic violin led melody introduced us to chic LA secret agent style belted blazers, pencil skirts, fitted shirts, high-collared tailored jackets and jodhpurs, complimented by riding boots, Aviator shades and sleek hairdo’s.
A change in music indicated a shift in the collection to colonial Indian influenced silk dresses and pleated jumpsuits for the girls, and loose silk bottoms and light sleeveless tops for the boys.
Design duo Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi and Elliott J. Frieze had clearly left the best till last as we were treated to a show stopping performance from the stunning Erin O’Connor, whose sharp high-fashion movements, and elegant silhouette, was exactly what was need to pull off their beautiful crinoline couture gown.
Leaving Westminster Hall I felt a bit like I usually do when I’ve just watched a great theatre production – completely inspired. Clearly everybody else felt the same, as the collection was the only thing on anybody’s lips as we all made our way back to the tube.
Watch some of the show here:
- London Fashion Week: Day Two
- London Fashion Week mid-week round-up
- Cargo’s 7th Birthday ft DOES IT OFFEND YOU, YEAH?
- LFW 09 – Qasimi – Let them eat Qasimi
- Michelle Lowe-Holder: the ethical designer who is reinventing the fashion accessory