London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Dans La Vie

Japanese print designer Rira Sugawara is Dans La Vie. This was the first time I've seen her clothing collection shown in London, on Sunday 18th September 2011 at Freemasons Hall.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Dans La Vie by Marta Spendowska
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Marta Spendowska.

On Sunday I attended my first ever Dans La Vie show with very little idea of what to expect, but hey, the invitation was a colourful mashup of imagery and in my book that’s generally a good sign. Dans La Vie is diminutive Japanese designer Rira Sugawara and began life in 1999 as a print collection, clearly her first love. Since 2005 she has been presenting a full clothing collection in Paris, Milan and Berlin – now it’s our turn in London.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie (SS 2012) by Barb Royal
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Barb Royal.

This seasons collection was titled My Pop Madonna (Clash Beauty), and her four signature print designs were inspired and sent down the catwalk to music by four iconic female musicians: Madonna (of course), Rihanna, Lady Gaga and the late lamented Amy Winehouse. According to the press release My Pop Madonna (Clash Beauty) was also a response to Rira Sugawara‘s feelings in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake: it wasn’t exactly clear how these two seemingly unrelated strands of inspiration were intertwined, but the results were fun and refreshingly different.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
LFW SS12 Dans La Vie by Kristina Vasiljeva
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva.

Rira Sugawara‘s Dan La Vie label specialises in a kind of glossy collaged look, which was manifested in the very first outfit to hit the catwalk: it featured a striking all over matching print on the blouse and a matching full shiny skirt that looked fit for the wettest of days. The collaged design included all sorts of intriguing elements: a Madonna face and florals mashed up into a striped pattern reminiscent of shifting ground. A cute shorts and blouse ensemble was followed by a wide belted trench that seemed more befitting of the patent fabric and was one of my favourite elements of this collection.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
dans la vie ellie sutton
Dans La Vie S/S 2012 by Ellie Sutton.

A giant floral print entwined with floating cherubs featured on more separates and this was then followed by a powerful pink roses and hearts combo that spread to holdalls and clutch bags. The collection then switched towards the biggest collage design yet, featuring apples, daffodils and what looked like skyscrapers. This was accompanied by some unfortunate pastel lips and then for some inexplicable reason a model appeared with her tits poking out of an otherwise demure beige blouse. Aside from these strange styling decisions there were lots of fun elements to the My Pop Madonna collection, and many of the Dans La Vie separates could easily find a place in the wardrobe of someone with a bold and colourful aesthetic.

Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie SS 2012 review-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dans La Vie S/S 2012. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

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