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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Romina Karamanea

I love Romina Karamanea: not only is she a fabulous and edgy designer but she's also engaged in sustainable practice. Just don't tell the hyped up fashionistas...

Written by Amelia Gregory

Illustration by Rob Wallace

JW Anderson’s Autumn Winter 2010 collection was a celebration of the understated. Opening the rather quiet menswear day at the BFC on September 23rd, buy information pills the designer’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection unleashed models dressed as Liberty sponsored waif and strays.

All Photography by Matt Bramford

The collection was luxe hippie, medicine a perennially popular look that rarely translate into the everyday, unless you happen to be a rock star from years’ past. Nevertheless, it is wonderfully pretty, especially when the boys came highly reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s flowery rock attire crossed with the early portraiture of Walker Evans.

Following his video presentation earlier during the week. JW Anderson choose to unleash his recent expansion into faery-esque womenswear onto the menswear catwalk, drawing a few raised eyebrows from a front row settling in for a day of uninterrupted menswear.


Inspired by the photography of William Gedney the collection captured a sense of youthful naive freedom last seen in the work of Sally Mann at The Photographers Gallery.

Illustration by Rob Wallace

A nod to American Youth subcultures, (everything is a nod these day, a rehash, a reminiscence) the clothes arrived as bleached out dreamy tie dyes combined with floral print trousers for the boys and long sheer skirts fitted underneath fisherman knits for the girls.

The collection, a homage to youthful runaways on the Great American Road trip was heavy in the literary romanticism in which JW Anderson excels.

For the finale, the models (beautifully styled by Robbie Spencer) sauntered to the youthful dissatisfaction of Jarvis Cocker’s Pulp, underneath the eery green light provided by lasers more commonly seen at Fabric.

Illustration by Rob Wallace

JW Anderson’s Autumn Winter 2010 collection was a celebration of the understated. Opening the rather quiet menswear day at the BFC on September 23rd, website like this the designer’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection unleashed models dressed as Liberty sponsored waif and strays.

All Photography by Matt Bramford

The collection was luxe hippie, look a perennially popular look that rarely translate into the everyday, cialis 40mg unless you happen to be a rock star from years’ past. Nevertheless, it is wonderfully pretty, especially when the boys came highly reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s flowery rock attire crossed with the early portraiture of Walker Evans.

Following his video presentation earlier during the week. JW Anderson choose to unleash his recent expansion into faery-esque womenswear onto the menswear catwalk, drawing a few raised eyebrows from a front row settling in for a day of uninterrupted menswear.


Inspired by the photography of William Gedney the collection captured a sense of youthful naive freedom last seen in the work of Sally Mann at The Photographers Gallery.

Illustration by Rob Wallace

A nod to American Youth subcultures, (everything is a nod these day, a rehash, a reminiscence) the clothes arrived as bleached out dreamy tie dyes combined with floral print trousers for the boys and long sheer skirts fitted underneath fisherman knits for the girls.

The collection, a homage to youthful runaways on the Great American Road trip was heavy in the literary romanticism in which JW Anderson excels.

For the finale, the models (beautifully styled by Robbie Spencer) sauntered to the youthful dissatisfaction of Jarvis Cocker’s Pulp, underneath the eery green light provided by lasers more commonly seen at Fabric.

Illustration by Rob Wallace

JW Anderson’s Autumn Winter 2010 collection was a celebration of the understated. Opening the rather quiet menswear day at the BFC on September 23rd, pharmacy the designer’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection unleashed models dressed as Liberty sponsored waif and strays.

All Photography by Matt Bramford

The collection was luxe hippie, a perennially popular look that rarely translate into the everyday, unless you happen to be a rock star from years’ past. Nevertheless, it is wonderfully pretty, especially when the boys came highly reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix’s flowery rock attire crossed with the early portraiture of Walker Evans.

Following his video presentation earlier during the week. JW Anderson choose to unleash his recent expansion into faery-esque womenswear onto the menswear catwalk, drawing a few raised eyebrows from a front row settling in for a day of uninterrupted menswear.


Inspired by the photography of William Gedney the collection captured a sense of youthful naive freedom last seen in the work of Sally Mann at The Photographers Gallery.

Illustration by Rob Wallace

A nod to American Youth subcultures, (everything is a nod these day, a rehash, a reminiscence) the clothes arrived as bleached out dreamy tie dyes combined with floral print trousers for the boys and long sheer skirts fitted underneath fisherman knits for the girls.

The collection, a homage to youthful runaways on the Great American Road trip was heavy in the literary romanticism in which JW Anderson excels.

For the finale, the models (beautifully styled by Robbie Spencer) sauntered to the youthful dissatisfaction of Jarvis Cocker’s Pulp, underneath the eery green light provided by lasers more commonly seen at Fabric.

Romina Karamanea skirt by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

For the past two seasons the good PRs for Romina Karamanea have ensured that there has been a ridiculously long queue of baying fashionistas gathered outside the venue before they will let anyone inside. And so it was that I found myself being battered around on the steps of the Freemasons’ Hall on Tuesday evening: it was late in the week and it wasn’t really what I wanted to deal with. My ex flatmate, for sale a stylist that I used to work for at The Face – we fell out – elbowed her way through with a bit of a hissy fit. I was seriously considering just calling it a day and going right home. But then security announced that it was “too late for stars” meaning that the complex sticker system on invites was about to be ditched, and the PRs next to me agreed that the most important people were at the front anyway – that would include me! love it when I feel less of a pleb – and it all looked good to go.

Romina Karamanea pants by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

Ushered into one of the gorgeous upper halls I was seated only three chairs down from my nemesis, who of course refused to acknowledge me. Which is just fine, our relationship never recovered after she moved out of my house and refused to pay her outstanding rent. But it did make me smile. Oh happy days. A funny little girl in latex stockings was placed between us and quickly presented me with her card and a badge. I had to spend the whole show trying to take photos around her as she leaned into the catwalk to take hers, but in the grand tradition of fashion week poseurs she sure was good at attracting attention.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina-Karamanea-by-Lisa-Stannard
Romina Karamanea by Lisa Stannard.

For this season Greek born, Central Saint Martins trained Romina looked to abstract expressionism for inspiration, though as her press release cheekily says, basically “the designer had popped to see her artist friend Hermes for a glass of wine.” Three colour stories of white, bluey green and red explored passionate brush strokes and the patterns of natural phenomena and geology. Opposing structures morphed into one garment, voluminous swathes of chiffon colliding with cleanly structured tailoring. It was a big collection that included a smattering of menswear but my favourite pieces were undoubtedly the final ones, glorious rich red undergarments topped with sweeping patterned dresses. Utterly divine.

Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria
Romina Karamanea by Joana Faria.

I wasn’t aware that Romina Karamanea was an advocate of sustainable design until I found a leaflet featuring her work in the basement at Esthetica, where the Centre for Sustainable Fashion had a corner stand showcasing some of the designers they work with. This organisation was set up by the London College of Fashion, with the aim of “challenging and provoking the established fashion system to work towards the goals of promoting human well being and respecting nature’s limits, whilst creating beauty and style.” Fashion designers are invited to attend workshops and one to one mentoring sessions about how to implement sustainable design practices and apparently Romina is one of their ambassadors, which is very exciting news.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina-Karamanea-by-Lisa-Stannard
Romina Karamanea by Lisa Stannard.

But a line in the first paragraph of her blurb immediately made my heart sink just a tiny bit. And not just because of the bad grammar. “Each piece is designed to be loved and kept forever getting better over-time, hopefully like the wearer.” Along with the notion of upcycling (now a far trendier way to say recycling in fashion circles) and making the most of factory waste – both of which I hasten to add are admirable choices when it comes to making fashion – creating clothes to be worn for a long time has become a bit of a get out quick clause for designers. It’s an easy statement to trot out because high fashion is invariably all about luxury and has a price tag to match. Not many people who invest in designer pieces are likely to throw away their purchases every season.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

But let’s just stop and think a bit more here. The reality is that these designers continue to show new collections, and we are inevitably urged to delve deep and create ourselves a new wardrobe each time a new season comes around. I only very rarely buy new clothes myself but I can’t claim to be completely removed from the process because I also get really excited about new creativity on the catwalks. It’s an innate human excitement that you can’t take away, but it’s how we deal with that feeling that counts. Of course I am against throwaway mass produced fashion, but sustainability cannot be achieved merely by saying that people should treasure clothes forever, not whilst producing a new collection twice a year with no deeper links to sustainable practice.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Reading on, I applaud Romina Karamanea‘s efforts. She is careful to fully research her supply chain, reduce fabric waste, utilise low impact digital printing techniques and organic cottons. She’s an edgy designer with a big following who can really affect people’s perception of working in a sustainable way. But it’s interesting that none of this information was on the press release for the catwalk show, or on her website: after all, who wants to be pigeonholed? It says a lot about how we still perceive an ethical imperative in design.

Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Romina Karamanea SS2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

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One Response to “London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Romina Karamanea”

  1. [...] Check out the full review & pictures of the show on Amelia’s Magazine. [...]

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