London designers are known for their youthful experimentation but they’ve becoming equally adept at delivering polished wearability. Day two’s highlights included Lucas Nascimento’s sheer, precision-cut layers (above and below), Joseph’s serene sportswear and Whistles’ luxe leather separates.
Even J.W Anderson surprised with extreme commerciality on his catwalk (combined with clever creativity of course), giving us that spring perennial ‘nautical chic’ his way, involving strategic cut-outs and rope details all accessorised with fetishy floppy leather hats.
On the exhibition stands it was great to finally meet Sam McCoach from Le Kilt, who showed me her collection up close which features some rather sexy little patent straps. Le Kilt is part of the Touba showroom which looks after some of my favourite LFW brands and they always have something new to show.
I also caught up with Charlotte from India Mimi, a new line of understated bags made from vegetable dyed leather, all manufatured in Italy. I love her colour palette for spring 2015 – a mix of warm tans, cool neutrals and Miami brights. Wool & The Gang have a firm following now and continue to build their sustainable knitwear brand. Their handknit beanies are so super-thick and tactile and lend themselves to fun graphics like these initials…
LUCAS NASCIMENTO SS15
JW ANDERSON SS!5
INDIA MIMI SS15
WOOL AND THE GANG
London Fashion Week kicked off with two buzzy new names. Faustine Steinmetz showed as part of New Gen with her first presentation, a clever exploration of couture and branding, set in the suitably arty ICA.
I’m so impressed by this young designer, whose obsession for hands-on labour and figuring things out results in mind boggling textile experiments. On display were denim-look jackets of polyester styled out like Shibori (“It’s not Shibori at all! I actually handpainted it, I just like that look,” Steinmetz told me), and a jeans-n-jacket combo made from unravelled layers of upcycled denim creating a tufty fringe effect. “The final results don’t interest me as much as the process,” Steinmetz admitted. “It’s like when you watch those videos of someone like Jean-Paul Gaultier going tchh tchh tchh [imitates frenzied couturier] before the show. That’s the bit I love!” Look closely and Steinmetz’s models had the best jewellery ever – security tags, and kimbal tags realised in sterling silver, a collaboration with jeweller, Niomo.
Later on, there was an enthusiastic turnout for newbie Hannah Weiland’s Shrimps presentation (top and below), a beautifully styled array of (very real looking) faux fur gilets, jackets, boas and accessories in sunshine yellow and pastel pink. The styling was impeccable, with dainty pearl-like earrings, furry bag charms and fuzzy footwear by Sophia Webster.
I also enjoyed tea and brownies at The Gentlewoman’s reader event to launch the new issue, plus a proper American-style bash (read: generous budget) for the opening of Club Monaco in Sloane Square. Can you tell the brand is owned by Ralph Lauren…?
TEA WITH THE GENTLEWOMAN
COCKTAILS WITH CLUB MONACO
Here’s the latest ‘Ask Alison’ post from retail expert and DRG contributor, ALISON BISHOP who unpacks her physical-meets-digital findings so far from the SS15 fashion show season…
The fashion show is dead. Long live the interactive, digital brand experience now taking place during New York and London fashion weeks, where consumers, influencers and their collective social media clout are the preferred global audience. Continue reading
I can’t normally abide hanky hems, but I’m making an exception for these divine mermaid silhouettes at Rodarte. Also… those bonkers boots!
As usual, the casting, hair, makeup and attitude is spot on. The classic all-American make-up and hair with those busy outfits. The pierced eyebrows!. Continue reading
I’m not all that familiar with Tim Coppens‘ work but I liked what I saw of his SS15 womenswear at NYFW. A little bit Wang, a little bit Tait, it’s continuing on the sports-luxe tip (that’s clearly got plenty of mileage yet) and looks luxurious, technically advanced and just commercial enough. Continue reading
Oh, what a busy year it’s proving to be for London’s Dover Street Market. This month marks its tenth year and to celebrate it’s doing what it does best, collaborating with its fashion friends to create more retail excitement than ever.
Let’s not forget, when Dover Street Market opened in 2004 it was the first store of its kind, a weird and wonderful melange of mega-brands, just-emerging designers and street wear – ever changing and always unpredictable. Twice a year it operates its ‘tachiagari‘, shutting up shop for three days while it installs a completely new vision for the new season.
This year, following its tachiagari in July, it’s shaken things up again by adding a scattering of ‘market stalls’ (complete with striped awnings) selling DSM souvenirs to delight the store’s avid retail tourists. Continue reading
Bella Freud certainly knows how to pick her collaborators. Recent years have seen her work with Christian Louboutin and Barbour and the latest is Fred Perry. You never feel like she has compromised her aesthetic for a quick buck and I think that’s something to be respected in these collab-a-minute times.
Here’s the Bella Freud X Fred Perry AW14 collection, it’s a timely rude girl inspired collection of snug-fitting pique polo shirts, sweater dresses, slogan sweaters (of course) and darling little berets. Continue reading
I love it when designers start off with one product item before slowly expanding into other areas. It’s much easier to get your head around their aesthetic and it gives you a hook to latch onto too. Example: Le Kilt. Samantha McCoach grew up watching her grandmother make kilts and forever inspired, launched her own modern kilt line this year (it’s currently stocked at Dover Street Market). Continue reading
Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…
1. DOVER STREET MARKET LONDON HOSTS ITS FIRST ‘EPHEMERAL’ VUITTON STORE
Louis Vuitton has just opened its first London ephemeral store (don’t call it a pop-up) at Dover Street Market. Stocked with the best bits from Nicolas Ghesquiere’s debut Vuitton collection, this is the first chance to snatch up those covetable (and probably collectible) runway pieces. Continue reading
The Jonathan Saunders for Lyle & Scott AW14 collection is technically for guys, but, well, you know what I think about that sort of thing. I would absolutely wear every one of these jazzy golfy beauties. Just arrived at Oki-Ni, Liberty, Present and Lyle & Scott …