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London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Christian Blanken

Featuring some gold lame and sequinned leggings, we review the 'Nine' S/S 2011 collection from Christian Blanken in the Portico Rooms at Somerset House. With beautiful illustrations by Gareth Hopkins.

Written by Florence Massey

Illustration by Gareth A. Hopkins

As I have found with all the Portico Rooms shows, this site pills they never start on time. I arrived too early again but on this occasion, had the pleasure of watching Blanken being interviewed outside on the balcony, and the models (slightly last minute?!) being taught the walk timings.

Christian Blanken’s sport luxe approach to fashion has always intrigued me – before this weird jogging bottoms with heels trend came along, I thought him very clever to be able to make casual(ish) clothes look very special. However, therein lies the problem – its still just very sports luxe. He followed the trend this season of sticking to neutral and block colours – white, grey, black and the occasional gold lame looking dress or top. Favourite pieces for me included the floor length white dress with silver edging, and all the gold spangly numbers.

Illustration by Gareth A. Hopkins

True to form, innovative and technologically advanced fabrics featured at the forefront of his designs. Using inspiration from 1920s and 1930s (although I couldn’t see it) and designer Claire McCardell (famed for clean, functional designs), I feel that the collection played it very safe. His signature clean lines, and the mixture of luxury fabrics and textures with a sportsy feel are all there, but nothing earth shattering.

Interestingly, for ‘Nine’ he included three of Britain’s most prominent Olympic hopefuls – Jodie Williams, Tasha Danvers and Vicki Barr who all did a sterling job at modeling the clothes.

All photography by Amelia Gregory

To be honest, I am slightly disappointed. I expected more from the designer. As you can see from the photograph above, it was a very neutral colour scheme with the odd pair of black sequinned leggings (I like very much) and gold lame dresses/playsuits.

The stains which myself and others in the front row noticed on some of the clothes, and the typos in the press release didn’t help.


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