Design

Bringin’ down the house



Menswear took over the last day of fashion week and gave it a whole different spin. For starters, there was a different crowd, none of the tension of the womenswear press/buyers, just a jolly bunch of laid-back dudes (and the menswear market being smaller meant there was less of a battle for seats). Fashion East took over a house around the corner from the main event showing a film by Sibling (three knitwear fanatics who between them have worked with Giles, Markus Lupfer and Bella Freud. Highlight: the great oversized twinsets) and installations by Katie Eary (fantastic collection inspired by Animal Farm), Jaiden rVs James (‘exploring the dark side of the human psyche’ – who knew these clean-cut boys had it in them?) and Martine Rose (loved her puffa-collared shirt)…

SIBLING

KATIE EARY




JAIDEN RVS JAMES




MARTINE ROSE






Bringing back the backpack




Adorning the shoulders of everyone from Kanye to Style Salvage Steve and Susie Bubble, there’s no doubt the backpack is making a comeback. Well that’s what I decided the minute I happened upon the new Eley Kishimoto x Eastpak range which is jollying up the Eastpak Carnaby Street store and window display right now. After an intensive trying-on sesh and grilling the poor (but extremely accomodating) shop staff for a good ten minutes I gleaned the following. The backpacks are printed in the now-iconic flash print (I have the flash print upholstered chair and am still gutted that I never bought the flash print Globetrotter suitcase) and cost a very reasonable £60. Each product is a limited edition of 1000 (I’m guessing that means 1000 in each colour – red, blue, black?) and comes with a special edition Eley Kishimoto Eastpak enamel pin.

Now what do you do if you don’t like backpacks? Well there’s a whole host of other flash-y stuff. There are messenger bags and small shoulder bags as well as pencil cases and wallets (although they are a bit ‘ouch’ at £50 each). There are also three skateboards retailing at £350.

I’m going back for mine on Saturday and will be rocking it all through fashion week as it will be perfect for my LG laptop and inevitable gathering of press packs, passes and general paraphernalia that tend to mount up throughout the days. Well done Eley Kishimoto and Eastpak, I think this is a perfect partnership.






Millinery madness



Milliners are like buses, nothing for ages then a whole procession of them arrive at once. Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy were for a long time the only hatters worth knowing. Philip Treacy’s fashion shows were a huge fanfare with fabulous models like Susie Bick and Grace Jones cavorting on the catwalk, dynamic music and an overall party-party atmosphere. Meanwhile Stephen Jones has been busying himself for years, nay decades, without quite so much pomp, yet fashioning hats season after season for Galliano, Dior, Comme and a fleet of other designers to boot. This month he is curating his two-years-in-the-making exhibition, Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones and there is certainly a buzz around it. But there’s also a buzz around millinery in general.

When I saw Grace Jones at the Roundhouse last week it was an all-round gobsmacking experience. From the people-watching (Judy Blame wearing a bra…on his face) to the music (I literally swooned during La Vie En Rose) to the showmanship, but the star attraction was the Philip Treacy hat-fest – a different one for each outfit change. But the end of the noughties has coralled in a whole new generation of bonce-beautifiers…

Justin Smith Esquire is an ex-hairdresser whose star is on the rise. His vintage-referenced hats have more than a touch of English eccentricity about them – how special are these bespoke numbers?

I love the theatrical grandeur of Louis Mariette’s fanciful adornments. Not only does he make hats but also jewellery, belts…even eyepatches dammit!





Piers Atkinson makes sometimes-macabre-sometimes-cartoony hats. Last season he did a Mickey Mouse ears theme including a neon headpiece in collaboration with Darren West. This season I’m loving his brilliantly bonkers stuffed-toy hat. I’d wear one! Atkinson tells me he has two hats in the V&A exhibition and is currently working on the hats for the Ashish show so I’m hoping for colour and maybe a bit of sparkle.


Finally, my favourite. Soren Bach is another hairdresser-slash-hatter (how many more are there I wonder). I saw these amazing multi-coloured fur hats a few seasons ago at London Fashion Week and have never forgotten them. I think they were from his RCA graduate collection but I’d love to see more from him.



Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Jones opens on 24th February at the V&A