Blow PR – the hit factory

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?

I’ve got very beautiful lips*

Lulu Guinness showed off her lovely lips in bag form at the first proper press day of the season. I’m glad to see the perspex lips clutch is back for another innings, in fact the lips have become something of a permanent fixture and ss10 will see the introduction of a clutch of neon er, clutches. For aw09 though we saw sleek patent lady-bags, black-on-black flower pot bags (to celebrate Lulu’s 20th anniversary) and the cutest kitty-shaped bag I’ve ever seen. I literally snatched it off the PR’s shoulder to take it’s picture.

(*With apologies to Alison Steadman)