Last week I managed to get a final look at Blow PR‘s SS09 collections before they get bagged up and sent back to make room for the new stuff.
Blow has become known as the go-to PR for nurturing fresh talent and as well as promoting the now-established Basso & Brooke, Ashish and Manish Arora since their early days, also looks after some of London’s most promising bubbling-under names. Touring the showroom is like entering a ‘what’s cutting edge now’ exhibition. Elaborate samples are hung around the place as casually as a loveworn denim jacket and there’s a little story behind each piece or designer. The lone pair of work-of-art shoes with exquisite carved heels? Why, those are the Raouda Assaf for Basso & Brookes that garnered more column inches than Jourdan Dunn at the SS09 shows. The funfair-fabulous frock hanging like an exotic lantern? A Manish Arora special of course. A sequin jacket with bunch-of-banana-shaped shoulders? A highlight from the Jo-Jo & Malou collection – fun, fun, fun! I also loved the Smiley bags by Disaya and the big-as-a-house plastic party dresses by Craig Laurence – you could literally wrap yourself up like a present!
I was somewhat surprised to see a rail laden with rather elegant tailored trousers and silk blouses in sedate office-friendly colours (below). Was it someone’s drycleaning? No, it was the collection of Delia Covezzi – “Something commercial for us that we’re trying out. What do you think of it…?” (I think it bridges the gap between commercial and creative very well – clearly the bug for new designers to create wearable collections yet with strong, unique handwriting is catching on.)
Alongside the grown-up tailoring and statement pieces, Blow also looks after a number of streetwear labels including Nobody jeans who are celebrating their 10th anniversary this year with a
jeanius genius bespoke idea that I can’t reveal quite yet. My favourite collection of all however was Little Shilpa, the work of Mumbai-based designer-slash-stylist Shilpa Chavan who rummages around for found trinkets and reimagines them as beautiful romantic accessories – I’m sorry but how lovely are her pin-on epaulettes?