LFW Feb 09 – Day 5
My day started with a lovely chat with Hannah Marshall upstairs in the exhibition area.
Hannah, a fellow Make your Mark ambassador, has had her work featured in the likes of British Vogue, American ELLE, Grazia and The Independent . The luxury British label’s A/W 2009 ‘Armour’ collection was garnering a lot of attention from the press, and importantly from buyers. With a collection of edgy tailored garments the body contoured pieces resembled a female suit of armour, reinforcing curves. The Hannah Marshall woman this fall is powerful, provocative with flashes of flesh and possesses a slight fetish side. Key colours in this collection are taken from black with midnight ink (think black beetle shell) and steel grey options. Hannah was thoroughly enjoying this fashion week and was in prime position to see all it had to offer including the trail of celebrities as they traipsed through including Kanye West, Sienna Miller, Daisy Lowe, Tess Daley and Nicola Roberts to name a few.
Upstairs in the exhibition area I also came across uber-cool brand Super Fertile. With a PR agency from LA the London based designer is working to promote her relatively unknown Selfridges stocked brand.
Created by superstar MIA’s sister, Kali Arulpragasam, the concept for her third world bling is creative consciousness. Be sure to look this brand up if want to make a political statement with your accessories, whilst still looking fresh and approachable.
After my exhibition reckie I went to watch the show for Peter Pilotto’s Fall 2009 collection. It was a press packed event, with Hilary Riva, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, the Sunday Times, Vogue and others members of the fashion elite lining the front row.
The inspiration for this collection was something of a natural phenomena…in essence the Big Bang theory in all its awe and wonder. The atmosphere and vibe was simply cosmic and magical from lights up on the runway. Rich prints expanded from tones of navy blue and green as star-sparkling beading in rich golds and silvers adorned the shoulders, hems and full body of the models. The collection was highly energetic and volcanic, with its options of short and tough jackets, dresses and skirts and tops.
The styling for this collection was absolutely fitting for this distilled moment in time, not drawing attention away from the draped silhouettes, moreover drawing attention to the spirit of these clothes, their unique positive spirit. Indeed in these recession times, this collection was just what the powers that be ordered. Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos’s multicultural roots (Half-Austrian/Half-Italian, Half-Belgian/Half-Peruvian) may have subconsciously contributed to the skilfully colour clashes in this collection, the pinks and reds, the softly draped dress with the wool sleeves.
I caught up with the back stage designers after the show and their sheer satisfaction was evident. I have become a personal fan of the brand and having heard that they actually studied at Antwerp’s prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts (an institution I am aware of because of my friend Roger Szmulewicz, founder of Fifty One Fine Art Photography gallery in Antwerp) I was even more enthused by the duo’s offerings.
Backstage at Peter Pilotto
I took the time to catch up with the onsite MAC team who were doing a fantastic job in the Press and Media section making over press, buyers and celebrities such as representatives from Vogue, Elle, Fashion TV, Tess Daley and Peaches Geldoff.
With the hotly anticipated Hello Kitty range, MAC will be the first ever makeup brand to collaborate with the H K and the 5th March launch is sure to be bananas! I will definitely be trying to wangle a ticket to the party!
MAC is actually the official make up brand of London Fashion Week and provided the makeup for a record breaking 46 shows in total including Vivienne Westwood, Marios Schwab, Peter Jensen, Betty Jackson and Ossie Clark. The artists in the MAC section came from all across the UK including Nadine (Birmingham) and Damien (Soho’s Pro store) for the fashion week and had all the gossip on the latest makeup trends and the clothing label’s who topped the charts when it came to runway makeup.
In the makeup circuit the most talked about runway makeup came from the circus themed Ashish show. The brand livened up fashion week with its use of lipstick, namely the blue disconnected lips, and was unarguably seen as the most cutting edge of them all, alongside Vivienne Westwood (of course).
I caught up with Lois Moorcroft from the London branch to talk about key make up trends for S/S 09. The inside track on these is that it is all about pastel tones created through the use of bright colours muted by white and greys. Intense black smudges eyes, as seen at the Harriet’s Muse show, is the way to go and skin will be hydro luminous, i.e. humid, dewy and poreless in appearance.
After that I did a mini interview with BFC guest Sola of Mahogany Model Management, who had been invited to the event in the wake of his petition to boycott London Fashion Week due to their lack of use of models of colour. Sola’s campaign ‘Black but Invisible’ has garnered a huge deal of press including BBC, ITV and more.
The campaign is striving to put the onus on fashion designers and the BFC to place more emphasis on their use of models of colour and take more responsibility for the issue. Sola has put forward some suggestions to the BFC, as rather than simply complaining about an issue, he is keen to offer practical solutions which can be implemented over time. Always on the ball and relevant you will definitely be hearing more from Sola and about his campaign. The interview will go up shortly on the Fashion Capital website so stay tuned and look out for that.
Well folks, that is all from me! Although there were lots of questions this year at the beginning of the fashion week; about how the lost day of shows would affect things, whether buyers would skip London for Milan, and how the presentations would go down from designers who typically do runway, they have all been well answered. Admittedly, some buyers may have been noticeably absent, and slightly fewer models were used in some key shows, but this was not blatantly apparent and in any case, given the financial climate these differences were inevitable and required in some cases. In fact, the fashion week, backed by the British Fashion Council, has fulfilled its purpose, provide designers with a platform to exhibit their collections to key stakeholders including celebrities and press, serving as a 3-dimensional catalogue for buyers (nationally and internationally) , and promoting British fashion design worldwide. In that sense, nothing has changed.
Some of the cool people I caught up with this fashion week x
I hope you have enjoyed my day-to-day blogs and stay tuned to my regular ones on Fashion Capital too!