London Fashion Week – Day 4

17:30 Reem Alasadi, On|Off Exhibition, Science Museum

What Reem – the line which takes the same name as the designer – desrcribes of this era’s fashion trend is probably true for her collection as well. “Fucking chaotic”. But of course in a nice way. A sophisticated level and pleasant mixed style, romatism and quirkiness; a reinvented victorian cropped jacket with a pair of what I can only imagine Iraqi sandals.

The level of details; the intricasy of the craftsmanship; the fabric the collection uses rival the genuine couture houses. Although not all pieces received top notch level of tailoring, the silouette and the creativity is undoubtedly plausible. A self-taught designer and a very articulate business woman, we had a small interview with her and had permission to try on a few pieces!

Kawai: Fashion inevitably recycles idea, what is so special about the era we are in now that we haven’t seen before?

Reem: Fucked up chaos. I mean look at this! (Points to her rapey looking white top)

Kawai: Do you believe in trends?

Reem: I don’t follow trends. But no matter how trendy you are everybody inevitably gets influenced by bits of it.

Here are some of her pieces:

An elephant...scarf? Neck decorating piece? Jacket?

An elephant...scarf? Neck decorating piece? Jacket?

Kawai gets to try on an insane feathery cape. Mixed fabric of expensive feather, murano lace, tulle and with a felt lining. This pretty much spells the "fucking chaotic" philosophy for Reem.

Kawai gets to try on an insane feathery cape. Mixed fabric of expensive feather, murano lace, tulle and with a felt lining. This pretty much spells the "fucking chaotic" philosophy for Reem.

This is how the front of the cape looks like on catwalk. Reem AW08

This is how the front of the cape looks like on catwalk. Reem AW08

19:45 William Tempest, Fashion Scout Merit Award Winner.

A new talent’s show being attended by some of the most influential journalists in British Fashion: Colin McDowell and Hilary Alexander. You know this is going to be a heavy show. And this did not disappoint.

The show opened with a few futuristic shoulders that give the impression of a space invader suit.

Space invader shoulder

Space invader shoulder

Recurrent themes include origami hems, beautifully folded and tailored. Neat and tidy 3D shapes. And then again origami lengthy and reinforced pockets folded on the side of a knee length A-line skirt with a corset lined tube top.

Beautifully executed origami hem adds edginess to youthful feminity.

Beautifully executed origami hem adds edginess to youthful feminity.

The collection includes a lot of printed fabrics, purple and acidic pink, on what I imagine to be gabardine. Lovely jacket, almost the only short and officious fitted jacket in the show. William worked perfectly around this fabric and attained a symmetric V shape on a bit of tie-dye.

The V-Shaped tie-dye jacket on gabardine.

The V-Shaped tie-dye jacket on gabardine.

Gone backstage and chat to the Grandad of William Tempest (oops!) more photos later. Check out William’s full collection here.

LONDON FASHION WEEK – DAY 3

Sunday morning 8:30am I’m already in the Press Centre at the BFC tent in Natural History Museum.

SD card is still in Work Laptop! But the nice people at Canon lent me (or basically just gave me) a card…

9:15 Betty Jackson: First solo show in 1981; won British Fashion Designer of the Year in 1985. Once a visiting professor at the RCA; current trustee of V&A and an MBE and CBE. Has she shown design fatigue?

The show kicked of with bouncy Ambience music and a short homespun woollen wrap tied as a huge bow in front. It looked so sloppy that I suspected if an accident happened to the piece shortly before the show and Betty had to hide the flaw with this hideous…scarf/cape/wrap/thing.

More work could have been done to the cape to make it look tidier.

More work could have been done to the cape to make it look tidier.

The show was pleasant. Afterall 28 years of experience the show won’t go wrong massively. Some old ideas has resurfaced here, 70s look, large and loose trousers. Cropped cashmere/merino wool short sleeved jumper that won’t make a woman with even a small belly happy.

There are some interesting pieces however. Velvety full length dress with squared and heavily padded shoulder was quite surprising. The buldging folding on the side was clean and tidy.

An overall dress that captured a little bit of femininity with the 90s over-the-top shoulder and careful folding on the sides. Not a dress for the faint hearted though.

An overall dress that captured a little bit of femininity with the 90s over-the-top shoulder and careful folding on the sides. Not a dress for the faint hearted though.

It is a Betty Jackson show, so you won’t miss her printed fabric classics. Recurrent theme being high-waisted but loose and cropped trousers tied with a bow mixed with a mini merino cardigan as discussed above.

Accessories:

1) Looped and looped long earrings that touch the collar bone.

2) Beautifully crafted thin strapped backpacks of different shapes and sizes.

All in all, the show was good but lacked the spice that makes you feel fully satisfied.

The aforementioned cropped merino cardigan with typical Betty Jackson art print fabric seen here as loosely fitted trousers.

The aforementioned cropped merino cardigan with typical Betty Jackson art print fabric seen here as loosely fitted trousers.

Little crafted bags with smaller pockets lightly attached to the bigger one on the back is a recurrent item in the show.

Little crafted bags with smaller pockets lightly attached to the bigger one on the back is a recurrent item in the show.

10:30 Falguni and Shane Peacock.Mumbai fashion duo almost annoymous in the European circuit. After their first show in London last year in September, Harrods started to stock their dresses. Emerging Dolce and Gabbana!

Utterly jaw dropped at the sheer quality and detailed embellishments on all of their dresses. Insanely chaotic decorative embroidery but cooperated extremely well. In fact if weren’t for the top craftsmanship and the sharp desinger instinct at the add-ons the dresses would have looked boring and tedious.

The cutting and design of the dresses themselves didn’t let the embroidery take all the limelight. Exotic huge bare backs comes in slitted diamond shape or kite shapes. Golden zips gives dresses a strong and hardened edge.

So many different fluidy type of fabric have been used I have difficulty listing them all. All in all, perfect match of fabric, lovely and orderly blend.

Getting used to the cutting edge and creative ideas on bold colour and bold tailoring, this show featured typically sexy dresses in lovely details.

Getting used to the cutting edge and creative ideas on bold colour and bold tailoring on the LFW main circuits, this show featured typically sexy dresses in lovely details. Bulky side pockets that don't compromise the body hugging shape of the dress.

A surprise to see rather busty models in a show, the dresses heavily celebrate the curvaesous and the sexy shapes of women. Perfect evening gowns to grab attention.

Lovely painted fabric triangular shaped jacket with egg-shaped sleeves and hem.

Lovely painted fabric triangular shaped jacket with egg-shaped sleeves and hem.

A shockingly sexy gown with an ample train. Fabric used round the breasts and the back are nude. Gives you the impression that the model is wrapped round the chest by an X shaped cut and baring the breasts.

A shockingly sexy gown with an ample train. Fabric used round the breasts and the back are nude. Gives you the impression that the model is wrapped round the chest by an X shaped cut and baring the breasts.

General:

Had difficulty sneaking into the Betty Jackson show. If I didn’t stop at the door and looked at the PR I probably would have gone through much earlier than I finally did. Got asked for ticket and obviously I didn’t have any and the PR shocked me by saying “Stand By is upstairs”…

When seated I saw her!

Margy Kinmoth and daughter at the Betty Jackson show!

Margy Kinmoth and daughter at the Betty Jackson show!

Margy produced The Secret World of Haute Couture for BBC3. I watched it twice on the BBC iPlayer and I admired what Margy has done here. Tracked down the billionairess who are secretive about their identity. And then moved on to interview prestigious designers such as Karl Lagerfeld – who almost never gives interview and John Galliano.

Well done Margy!

To be honest I have no idea there are shows in the Science Museum. I saw these promoters in white laboratory coats carrying huge white umbrellas that says “ON|OFF” – a name I recognised to do with young fashion but had no idea what exactly it is. Anyway, walked past a PR who doesn’t really know who I am or what I do. Got into the boiling museum and a gentleman urged me to “Go that way. THE SHOW IS THAT WAY!” After a minute with the bouncer, who gave me a hard time, asked me for tickets and “by invitation only” blah blah. I got into a half empty show, thinking it’d be shit. It’s in fact, by far, the best show I have ever seen! Dolce and Gabanna in the making?

LONDON FASHION WEEK – Day 2

12.30 John Rocha – CBE for his contribution to fashion; British Fashion Designer of the Year 2004.

Good Show. Playful but kept his feet firmly on the ground for femininity and seriousness. The ready to wear collection has been injected with doses of quirky styling. A bit victorian, a bit 60s, a bit futuristic.

Brilliant cushiony accessories dominated the show. Pumped and stuffed pillow alice bands. Fur alice bands. Double pillows formed a V-shaped around the neckline. An excellent combination of quirkiness and elegance. Sounds horrific but completely wearable.

Puffy exaggerated alice band.

Puffy exaggerated alice band.


V shaped neckline with two puff collars on the side fitted to an otherwise tube top peplum dress.

V shaped neckline with two puff collars on the side fitted to an otherwise tube topped peplum dress.

Another ongoing theme is sewed on wavy embellishment on flexible see-through material on a peplum. The reinforced rim on the peplum gives a nice contrast to the frivolous and fluid tulle/chiffon used on the skirt.

An attempt to capture the sewed embellishment on the tulle/chiffon bit of the peplum. Look closely and you'll see pleated rope making a wavy mark.

An attempt to capture the sewed embellishment on the tulle/chiffon bit of the peplum. Look closely and you'll see pleated rope making a wavy mark.

Ingenious tweed swimsuit like maillot, perfect fine ruffles on the entire front. Loosely fitted morning gown like coat/wrap. Impressive.

Beautiful and extremely complicated and detailed tailoring is this bathing suit maillot accompanied by a loosely fitted coat.

Beautiful and extremely complicated and detailed tailoring is this bathing suit maillot accompanied by a loosely fitted coat.

Accessories:

1. Princessy victorian collar with chiffon pleating held together by an elasticated ribbon as removable collar.

2. Pea shaped oversized black leather clutch box complete with round the side bold silver zip.

Mens collection is definitely manly and barbaric. Started off with a buff, big and warm; oversized, shapeless and ruthless fur coat that reminded me of a bear. Then a furry Germany SS coat with a thin belt above the waist. Impressive tweed suit that has mocked tailor mark as details.

A bit blurred. But it is the SS coat I was talking about.

A bit blurred. But it is the SS coat I was talking about.


A genuine Nazi black winter overcoat. See the similarity!

A genuine Nazi black winter overcoat. See the similarity!

1445 – Basso and Brooke, Press Office “Blow” at Goodge Street

1530 – Basso and Brooke, Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury Ballroom.

Failed to get in, more later.

General: Got interviewed by the Daily Mail, photographed by Elle UK and the stylescout (again!).

LONDON FASHION WEEK – Day 1

20th Feb, 2009: Friday

13.05 Noir/Bllack Noir.

First show – Danish designer. A must see. For my love of Scandinavian fashion.

The show opened with BFC chair giving a little speech about “ethical clothing” – basically making materials for sustainable farming and good for the landfill etc – should you decide to bin your clothes. That is daunting isn’t it. So 30 years down the line (should you be so incline to be sentimental to your clothes) your clothes have disappeared into a pile of excrement on your wardrobe floor.

Anyhow. Danish show, of collection Bllack Noir, opened with 20 Avril Lavigne looking girls strutting down in outfits purchaseable at NewLook. Perhaps the teen department of NewLook. Tedious tailoring. Completely unimaginative. On the bright side this collection used no Size Zero models.

Professional photos make these girls look more mature than reality. Seeing a show with your eyes is different from reading it on paper. A) You see the texture B) There's no beautification with light C) If it bores you it bores you.

Professional photos make these girls look more mature than reality. Seeing a show with your eyes is different from reading it on paper. A) You see the texture B) There's no beautification with light C) If it bores you it bores you.


Photo courtesy: The Guardian website.

Photo courtesy: The Guardian website.

The light dimmed and lit. Noir now. Unimaginative, unimaginative, unimaginative. Terrible mix of fabric on outfits that look just plain awkward. Velvet cropped jacket/cape thing with a cotton t-shirt and some tight leather pants? Other models looked raped – bare backs with bit of ripped and untidily pleated silk draped around with a rope in the middle. Poor tailoring. The only up side is the leather Afghan scarf. Other than that I’m unimpressed.

Noir's Afghan scarf in leather. Not so much creativity in terms of design. Good concept in terms of modern trend vs a classic material though.

Noir's Afghan scarf in leather. Not so much creativity in terms of design. Good concept in terms of modern trend vs a classic material though.

14.30 Eun Jeong

Second show – Designer Eun Jeong Hong from Korea. Just won a fashion award “Fashion Fringe” and presented a trophy by Donatella Versace. Prize money of £100,000 for her first solo show here and now.

According to Eun Jeong, the minute she won the Fashion Fringe sponsors were flocking to her. L'Oreal has set out some goodie bags for the front rows. Music was rather relaxing as opposed to adrenaline pumping. A refreshing start.

According to Eun Jeong, the minute she won the Fashion Fringe sponsors were flocking to her. L'Oreal has set out some goodie bags for the front rows. Music was rather relaxing as opposed to adrenaline pumping. A refreshing start.

Superb. Started with music that didn’t pounce my heart out and you already know it’s going to be a different show. Pieces are supremely creative; tailoring is flawless, exact and exquisite. Eun Jeong has certainly shown great ability at casual sporty and romantic. Evening wear contains surreal haute couture elements.  Eun Jeong has successfully spiced up her ready-to-wear collection. Authentic!

Finale, tried my best to capture as many pieces as possible with my applausing hands and as unprofessional as possible camera.

Finale, tried my best to capture as many pieces as possible with my applausing hands and as unprofessional as possible camera.

Harem pants – lots of. One piece Harems that have their top half mimicking a sailor’s overall. Harem pant shaped trousers that wrap around the bum in silk with loosely fitted legs with bulging pleated see-through. Eun Jeong has even made boyfriend unfriendly Harems exciting!

Excellent coats. Perfect execution of mutating a pea coat into a massively hooded masterpiece. The hood is so intensely big it can also serve as a shoulder cape. Dark flower carnations with sequins sewed into the inner hood. Pea coat has a low cut breadth and big round buttons to spice up the fluorescent pink knee length coat. Intensely mind blowing.

Shocking acidic pink coat with 3D floral studded inner hood.

Shocking acidic pink coat with 3D floral studded inner hood.

Evening – a bubbling and bulky white tube topped full length dress that pounce along the catwalk like a winner.

Training gown. Severly bubblish but haven't lost the frivolous fluidity. Excellent fabric manipulation. Applause.

Training gown. Severly bubblish but haven't lost the frivolous fluidity. Excellent fabric manipulation. Applause.

Eun Jeong is the one to watch.

General Note: I felt coronated when the press pass jumped on my neck. The pass protects and guides me through inaccessible areas. I had no ticket for any of the catwalks. So I had to rev up my confidence – I belong here! I was still better off than most – there was a “Press” queue for the catwalks!

In between shows Champagne are flowing. Oh the much needed alcohol. You do need a bit of high to chat to these fashionistas who may look a bit daunting. Erin O’Connor! Tall, elegant, super nice. Outrageously brilliant outfit spotted here:

Crazy style here. Totally original and self-expressive.

Crazy style here. Totally original and self-expressive.

Fag outside the tent – got photographed twice! Once for a “trend prediction website” and London Lite!

Sneaked backstage for Eun Jeong’s show. Reassured the PR I wasn’t going to cause trouble, will take a few pictures then leave. First time back stage! The pieces were packed away at an incredible pace – 10 minutes after the show all pieces were already hanging in black bags on the rack!

Next door was CSM’s backstage. Sneaked in and the pieces looked incredibly 3D and amazing. Tried to get a ticket from the CSM students puffing away outside and got directed me to a tutor (who stands next to a Punk from the 70s who wore a whole pack of eye shadow) and to no avail. Tried to get in for the CSM show again but security is so tight – no fucking way.

As close as I can get to any Central Saint Martins pieces. CSM backstage.

As close as I can get to any Central Saint Martins pieces. CSM backstage.

Wrapped sleeved jacket is still the jacket to have. Note. Note. Note.

–>Already looking forward to the shows tomorrow.

John Rocha at 12nn. Looking forward for more elegant classics ala Chanel and some neo-Calvin Klein with more shapes.

Nathan Jenden, 1500 at W1. New Galliano?

Basso and Brooke, 1600 near Tottenham Court Road. Won 2004 Fashion Fringe and showing independently since 2005. Creative juice has yet to run out, last AW’s show was as shocking as ever.