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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week S/S 2011: best Jewellery Designers at Somerset House

My favourite bits of jewellery at Somerset House for S/S 2011: Tatty Devine (of course), ethical designers LeJu, Mawi, Phillippa Holland and newcomers Phoebe Coleman and Cabinet 4 Buba.

Written by Amelia Gregory

frances conteh – lfw – ss11 – jenny robins
Carmen Secareanu On/Off by jenny robins
Illustration by Jenny Robins.

I didn’t make managed to take in the whole of On/Off exhibition this year because I was inevitably racing between shows when I passed through. And I always forget that it finishes a day before the other static shows.

Iris Serban by Chris Morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Cecile Bahnsen
Two designers that I really warmed to were graduates of the RCA that we’ve already covered. Cecile Bahnsen is a Danish designer who works with complex textile combinations inspired by modernism and resulting in delicate laser cut dresses and geometric shapes galore. I loved the batwing oversized coats, cure apparently a reference to her teenage years in the 90s.

Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters
Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters.

Frances Conteh
Frances Conteh could be found next door – delightfully colourful in the face of so much tasteful monochrome. Another RCA graduate who specialises in beautiful knitwear, she produced a range of slim fitting graphic dresses and oversized patterned coats in a yummy palate off citrus flavours. Stunning stuff.

Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory

Carmen Secareanu
Hailing from Romania Carmen Secareanu creates strangely shaped garments inspired by “angels or birds”. Her stand was buzzing when I passed, with lots of people trying on her bulbous big shouldered black jacket replete with massive over-sized cuffs. Do garments get larger as models get slimmer, I wonder?

Carmen Secareanau photo by Amelia Gregory
Carmen Secareanu- lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Carmen Secareanu by Jenny Robins.

Iris Serban
Another Romanian designer, Iris Serban plays with subtle broken prints, beading and ruffled textures like the carefully laid out pages of a very old book, rendered in all shades of beige.

Iris Serban photo by Amelia Gregory
iris serban by chris morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Laura Theiss
My fifth and final On/Off tip is the work of Lithuanian born Laura Theiss, who first trained in business so she should be good at this fashion malarkey. She’s another knitwear designer and graduate of Central Saint Martins, and divides herself between the UK and Germany. She specialises in the combination of different yarns and colours to create unusual textures and feeling.

Laura Theiss by Ella Masters
Laura Theiss by Ella Masters.

I’m sure I may have missed other talent, but hey, if you close a day before everyone else what do you expect?

Carmen Secareanu On/Off by jenny robins
Illustration by Jenny Robins.

I didn’t make manage to take in the whole of On/Off exhibition this year because I was inevitably racing between shows when I passed through. And I always forget that it finishes a day before the other static shows. But here is the best of what I saw…

Iris Serban by Chris Morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Cecile Bahnsen
Two designers that I really warmed to were graduates of the RCA that we’ve already covered. Cecile Bahnsen is a Danish designer who works with complex textile combinations inspired by modernism and resulting in delicate laser cut dresses and geometric shapes galore. I loved the batwing oversized coats, medications apparently a reference to her teenage years in the 90s.

Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters
Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters.

Frances Conteh
Frances Conteh could be found next door – delightfully colourful in the face of so much tasteful monochrome. Another RCA graduate who specialises in beautiful knitwear, side effects she produced a range of slim fitting graphic dresses, price massive mohair cardigans and oversized patterned coats in a yummy palate of citrus flavours. Stunning stuff.

Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
frances conteh - lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Frances Conteh by Jenny Robins.

Carmen Secareanu
Hailing from Romania Carmen Secareanu creates strangely shaped garments inspired by “angels or birds”. Her stand was buzzing when I passed, with lots of people trying on her bulbous big shouldered black jacket replete with massive over-sized cuffs. Do garments get larger as models get slimmer, I wonder?

Carmen Secareanau photo by Amelia Gregory
Carmen Secareanu- lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Carmen Secareanu by Jenny Robins.

Iris Serban
Another Romanian designer, Iris Serban plays with subtle broken prints, beading and ruffled textures like the carefully laid out pages of a very old book, rendered in all shades of beige.

Iris Serban photo by Amelia Gregory
iris serban by chris morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Laura Theiss
My fifth and final On/Off tip is the work of Lithuanian born Laura Theiss, who first trained in business so she should be good at this fashion malarkey. She’s another knitwear designer and graduate of Central Saint Martins, and divides herself between the UK and Germany. She specialises in the combination of different yarns and colours to create unusual textures and feeling.

Laura Theiss by Ella Masters
Laura Theiss by Ella Masters.

I’m sure I may have missed other talent, but hey, if you close a day before everyone else what do you expect?

Carmen Secareanu On/Off by jenny robins
Illustration by Jenny Robins.

I didn’t make manage to take in the whole of On/Off exhibition this year because I was inevitably racing between shows when I passed through. And I always forget that it finishes a day before the other static shows. But here is the best of what I saw…

Iris Serban by Chris Morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Cecile Bahnsen
Two designers that I really warmed to were graduates of the RCA that we’ve already covered. Cecile Bahnsen is a Danish designer who works with complex textile combinations inspired by modernism and resulting in delicate laser cut dresses and geometric shapes galore. I loved the batwing oversized coats, this apparently a reference to her teenage years in the 90s.

Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
Cecile Bahnsen photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters
Cecilie Bahnsen by Ella Masters.

Frances Conteh
Frances Conteh could be found next door – delightfully colourful in the face of so much tasteful monochrome. Another RCA graduate who specialises in beautiful knitwear, she produced a range of slim fitting graphic dresses, massive mohair cardigans and oversized patterned coats in a yummy palate of citrus flavours. Stunning stuff.

Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
Frances Conteh photo by Amelia Gregory
frances conteh - lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Frances Conteh by Jenny Robins.

Carmen Secareanu
Hailing from Romania Carmen Secareanu creates strangely shaped garments inspired by “angels or birds”. Her stand was buzzing when I passed, with lots of people trying on her bulbous big shouldered black jacket replete with massive over-sized cuffs. Do garments get larger as models get slimmer, I wonder?

Carmen Secareanau photo by Amelia Gregory
Carmen Secareanu- lfw - ss11 - jenny robins
Carmen Secareanu by Jenny Robins.

Iris Serban
Another Romanian designer, Iris Serban plays with subtle broken prints, beading and tasteful cream and beige ruffled textures like the carefully laid out pages of a very old book.

Iris Serban photo by Amelia Gregory
iris serban by chris morris
Iris Serban by Chris Morris.

Laura Theiss
My fifth and final On/Off tip is the work of Lithuanian born Laura Theiss, who first trained in business so she should be good at this fashion malarkey. She’s another knitwear designer and graduate of Central Saint Martins, and divides herself between the UK and Germany. She specialises in the combination of different yarns and colours to create unusual textures and feeling.

Laura Theiss by Ella Masters
Laura Theiss by Ella Masters.

I’m sure I may have missed other talent, but hey, if you close a day before everyone else what do you expect?

Dee-Andrews-Tatty-Devine
Harriet Vine of Tatty Devine by Dee Andrews.

I’m a girl. I quite like jewellery, information pills I can’t help it. Here’s my round up of the sweetest pieces I saw at Somerset House this year.

Phoebe Coleman
Phoebe Coleman was new to LFW this year, viagra 40mg evident in her slightly small simple stand and eager demeanour. But that’s no bad thing! Rather that than some shirty designer who barks at me if I take a photo. It’s understandable that some people get narked what with lots of pesky manufacturers sneaking in to nick their ideas, but I’m only too happy to share my business card so a bit of decorum is always good. Anyway, like I said Phoebe was lovely and chatty. Her first degree was in fine art and she then went onto study jewellery in San Diego, California whilst also producing plays. She’s a big old romantic, so alongside her previous dewdrop collection she has just launched the most darling heart collection at LFW. I love big brash jewellery for making a bit of a noise, but for day to day wear you can’t beat simple gold pendants. So want one. What’s more she’s determined to support local jewellers so everything is made in London.

Phoebe Coleman By Katherine Tromans
Phoebe Coleman By Katherine Tromans.

LeJu
I’ve written about the jewellery brand LeJu in Amelia’s Magazine before. Back then they were one of only a few ethical jewellery companies but they now have some strong competition. The brand deserves a special mention for breaking out of the Esthetica ghetto and pushing into more exciting boundaries of design than in previous seasons. Loved this huge piece making best use of dyed vegetable ivory.

Somerset House SS2011 Le Ju
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Philippa Holland
Over on the Philippa Holland stand I was captivated by an absolutely gorgeous moveable sycamore ring. It comes in both gold and silver options but unfortunately it’s quite pricey. *sad face* Still, if you’re a money bags this is one beautiful and unique bit of jewellery. Philippa is inspired by the ancient and natural worlds as well as English folklore, so she creates lots of exciting bug pieces that obviously appeal to the fashion forward man – there was one fawning over them when I was visiting. Like Phoebe she’s keen to support British craftsmanship and eschews commercial production practices. Last Christmas she did personal engravings on pieces bought as gifts so let’s hope she does that again… what a fabulous idea for a totally unique present.

Philippa Holland By Katherine Tromans
Philippa Holland By Katherine Tromans
Philippa Holland By Katherine Tromans.

Cabinet 4 Buba
The Buba stand was all beaded and glittery: Ashish distilled into a handbag. This season Lesley Silwood and Euan McDonald have branched out into jewellery for the first time, and this was what drew me in, though I’d love one of their cross strap bags too now that my damn Vivienne Westwood bag is bust. All the beading is done by their own factory in India, which Lesley assured me means that working conditions are impeccable. Loved the big beaded hoop earrings and long sausage necklaces put together in abstract designs. Just fabulous. Even if she looked at me blankly when I told her I was from Amelia’s Magazine. Clearly not a fan then.

Buba-Jewellery-by-Kellie-Black
Buba Jewellery by Kellie Black.

Tatty Devine
Now, you all know I love Tatty Devine. Not only are Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine two of my very favourite people in the whole of fashiondom but they’re so bloomin’ talented. Since they started off the whole acrylic jewellery thing (ten years ago, my word) they have been so incredibly copied by everyone – from graduate jewellers to Top Shop – that it’s become a bit ridiculous. But NONE of them will touch what Tatty Devine can design – because in terms of imagination and innovation they are always about ten steps ahead of the game. Every season I can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with next, and naturally this collection did not disappoint. Expect a continuation of the Future Mystic theme that has just hit the stands for A/W – with huge crystal necklaces and Esoterica a big influence. Look out especially for some amazing hinged glitter bird necklaces and headpieces. We also went to their party, read about it here.

LFW SS2011-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dee-Andrews-Tatty-Devine
Somerset House SS2011 Tatty Devine
Dee-Andrews-Tatty-Devine
Somerset House SS2011 Tatty Devine
Dee-Andrews-Tatty-Devine
Illustrations by Dee Andrews.

Mawi
We did a huge old feature on Mawi in one of the last issues of Amelia’s Magazine so safe to say that I’m quite a big fan – but somewhat miffed that in the course of writing this article I discovered that Mawi has reposted a pdf of that very same interview on a prominent part of her website with absolutely NO credit at all to where it came from. And I don’t even merit a mention on her “Cool Blogs and Websites” list. So yes, I like Mawi’s jewellery. She does big stuff: be warned, it’s quite heavy. She’s not worried about the current trend towards much smaller pieces (you’re in there Phoebe Coleman!) That’s it folks. Suffice to say I’d be more enthusiastic about the new collection if she bothered to acknowledge the promotion we gave her early on, or indeed to give me the impression she even remembers her appearance in Amelia’s Magazine. Love it when that happens. *sigh*

LFW SS2011-photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW SS2011-photo by Amelia Gregory
Mawi knuckledusters for the David Koma catwalk show.

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