Wahoooo! Summer is finally here. No really, dosage it is. Seriously I don’t care how damp and dreary it is outside that office window, summer is most definitely here. I’m toasty warm and looking at shorts, t-shirts and dresses ranging from ethereal to barely there. Skipping round London in the increasingly cold weather this can be hard to believe, but that’s how it goes. Here’s a little look at some of the summer outfits I’ve been looking at…
Held eight stories up in Holborn with a stunning view out over the Thames to the Oxo Tower, Ada showed her latest collection. A quick chat with the designer revealed a charming, intelligent woman and in her own words ‘geeky’. Who else would be so inspired by maths and formulas that they borrow text books from libraries? Well if that’s where inspiration comes from, long may it last. Ada is not just a lovely person but also incredibly talented. Three dimensional sculptural pyramids burst forth from the intelligently structured garments.
Even the prints were inspired by fractal geometry and swept across many garments from a particularly stunning floor length bias cut 1930s dress with backless detail to a leather minidress complete with a chiffon front panel. Hard seaming was juxtaposed with soft fabrics and details. The jewellery carried the same prints as the dress and were another hard counterpoint to some of the softness. Look out for more on Ada’s ethical collection in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
Armani called and off to Bond Street I went. Giorgio showed some great pieces with open weave jackets and low-breaking double-breasted jackets for the men, soft and light in beige, grey and smoke. T-shirts emphasised the lightness with sheer elements. Maybe this is a way to get the ‘heavage’ out without looking like a modern day medallion man. The shoes and accessories were simple and classic, from a soft leather briefcase to a brown woven leather shoe catching my eye in particular. Suede and salmon skin belts helped to further soften the tone. All very simple and invoking a cool Italian summers evening.
On the far side of the partition was the womenswear. Strong tailoring was paired with sheer blouses in varying shades of blue and deep purple. Skirts were long and flared slightly to the hem, though I will admit it was the shoes and accessories that stood out. High perspex wedges with wooden platforms excuded both freshness and class. Chunky cuffs, twisted silver necklaces and amulets of large dark blue/black stones hung on leather and fabric. Powerful, yet clean and sophisticated.
Illustration by Stéphanie Thieullent
Emporio, the delinquent nephew of Giorgio, was my next visit. There may have been a similar colour palette across the brands, but that’s pretty much where the similarities ended. No Giorgio man is ever going to be seen in a chainlink bondage harness. The use of sheer panels as highlights was also shared, this time showing off what one imagines will be gym-honed biceps. The highlight for me was a double-fronted crock effect suit. Hiding underneath the croc, a layer of leather gave the hint of something more to come.
Draping and ruffles were mixed with simple clean lines in womenswear. A grey and purple halterneck knee length dress particularly appealed, not to mention vertiginous heels. A dainty black chiffon bow, gave the vampiest pieces a demure side. Combining both the soft and the sharp, a draped jersey dress was teamed with a pale grey cap sleeve tailored jacket. It’s youthful and energetic but with a business edge.
Showing menswear for the third season Paul opened London Fashion Week with a strong summer collection including short suits, lightweight long coats, and intricate print details. The menswear of this brand is growing on a season by season basis and whilst the formalwear is available in stockists such as John Lewis and Austin Reed, it’s hoped the casualwear and the odd catwalk piece should start hitting the shops soon.
Illustration by Natsuki Otani
Snake & Dagger
This London based denim company are growing stronger and stronger. Having trained in Japan, they hope to bring a more traditional feel to the denim market. The quality of the denim and the range of finishes are exquisite and the designers behind the brand bring together the best of their training and the city of London to create a unique look.
Wherever you thought you were going to buy your Christmas party dress, forget it. Scrub that idea now. Go straight to Aqua and get yourself sorted. This Christmas’ collection ‘Out to Sleigh’ is affordable glamour at its best.
The pieces are daringly cut but clever and in no way trashy. More importantly, whilst you’ve been eyeing up that dress on the high street for the last three weeks so has every other girl in your office, but it’s unlikely you’ll be in the same number if you visit Aqua.
Having previously shown in India, Morphe is thankfully launching in the UK. Playing with shape and form, the pieces are both dramatic and cutting edge. Born from countless hours of work, the statement pieces are surprisingly easy to wear, if somewhat out there.
However, the true gems in the collection include a one shoulder dress with silver trim along the neckline. Creating more than a simple point of interest this is a brand to watch as they develop their continued success in India.
This was a fantastic collection from a burgeoning menswear designer. In particular, the asymmetric leather biker jackets were right on trend. Using differing leathers as well as digital printing, Asher showed a dynamic and contemporary collection.
Most certainly one to watch. Eleanor graduated this summer from the University of Westminster. Her work with fringing has to be seen to be believed. Genuinely unique and fresh, I can only hope the future holds big things for Amoroso. This is one young designer who definitely needs to be nourished.
There were more…far more people that I saw during the press days. From the sublime to the ridiculous and everything inbetween. Trying to contain yourself when browsing all these wonders is a challenge, as is trying to get enough photos and remember everything. But I can safely say S/S 2011 is going to be a very, very good season.
All photography by Nick Bain
- Guilt free designer shopping
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: James Long
- Montreal Festimania 2011: Festival Mode et Design Review – Highlights of Montreal Fashion Week A/W 2011
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Menswear Day Catwalk Review: Cassette Playa
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Osman (by Naomi)