Style: Big Fashion Week Adventure

Guest post by Nadia Ramoul 

Maddeningly coinciding with the half term holidays, Fashion Week hits London like a luminous bomb. It mushrooms over the city as the streets fill with the colourful, fierce and ludicrously heeled. They land like glamourous aliens, supping on espressos and peering over neon shades, mixing jarringly with bemused families on day trips. Narrowly, they miss stumbling into the roads with ill-timed catwalk turns and exuberant selfies (did I just use that word? Puke). The city heaves and sighs through Vogue smoke, the families take cover and sharp-eyed photographers stalk lines of waiting fashionistas to pick out a lucky few to pose in the manner of their idols.

Fashion Scout at Holborn’s Freemason Hall provides cutting edge designers with a platform to showcase their work in front of London’s hip young things (and yours truly). Shows range from the demure to the bizarre and music is used as a powerful, juddering force to accentuate and underline. It’s loud, really loud, causing slight changes in tone to be transformed into whooshing crescendos of noise, forcing you to pay attention.

timurkim3

Being pretty much half the height of the glossy giants and fashion bloggers that surrounded me (don’t wear Vans to catwalk shows, kids!) I could only pay a limited amount of attention, vision obscured by elaborate headpieces and slender shoulders vying to see and be seen. My iPhone was held constantly aloft over my head in the manner of a Biblical weapon that would at some point come crashing down on the head of my only son. Naturally, the pictures from every show were a streaky mess but praise be to Instagram for transforming them into something passable.

timurkim1

Timur Kim’s collection stood out for me as something uncanny and intriguing, giving a sleek twist on Americana from a Dallas-esque past, with luxurious fabrics in patchwork and lose Little House on the Prarie gingham-ish dresses. “American Pie” blared through the speakers elevating the loose trouser suits and tousled hair of the models from a stylish look to a sad statement evoking a lost past. (Or did it? I don’t know.) Despite my compromised view I found the collection inspired and thought provoking, and Kim himself a cheerful fellow as he ran exuberantly down the catwalk to thank the crowd.

Belle Sauvage

Belle Sauvage

The other show I found particularly impressive was Belle Sauvage, which was what I envisioned fashion shows being as a child. Brash, crazy and loud with silly hats. This is what I want from fashion. There was a true drama about it, making it an event, a true spectacle with electro-doom music, fringe-visors and beautiful rave baroque prints. The models were transformed into doom fashion warriors from the future, oozing stern camp and genuine menace, as a performance, I absolutely loved it.

 

Belle Sauvage

Belle Sauvage

Highlights included the rich reds and purples of the fur collars, the sharp angles in the tunics and the kaleidoscope acid prints that adorned most of the collection. It was fun an of the moment, not too serious, an 80’s vision of the future maybe, in which sun-god headdresses and flowing robes become the norm. I kind of wish it was.

bellesauvage2

 

There is something heartening about fashion week. While there may be themes occurring on the catwalks, the people waiting to see them are an extravagant and innovative bunch, throwing together the sublime and ridiculous to amazing effect. Last fashion week I felt a cloying seriousness over everything, this time around it was drenched in good humour and fun. For that I am eternally grateful.

If you’d like to see more of my attempts at fashion photography my Pinterest board is at http://pinterest.com/nadiaramoul/lfw/

Style: London Fashion Week AW13: Fashion Scout’s “Ones To Watch” and the Zeynep Tosun AW13 Show

Zeynep Tosun opening shot

February. Forget Valentine’s Day cringe hype – this month is all about the other three little words – LONDON FASHION WEEK. No need to bring chocolates or presents just make sure you are immaculately attired in your vision of “fashion” and definitely equipped with an iPhone, camera, cigarettes and that ubiquitous fashion ‘blue steel’ glare *practices in the mirror one more time*.

side effts of cipro

I was lucky enough to attend a couple of the shows hosted by FASHION SCOUT at the Freemasons Hall and found them so thrilling and evocative that I had to share my thoughts with you. The first show I visited was the catwalk collections of the three exciting, emerging designers YeaShin Kim, Patrick Li and Yulia Kondranina who were labelled as Fashion Scout’s “Ones To Watch”. YeaShin Kim was the first to display her designs which were creative, whimsical and exquisitely colourful with an excellent attention to detail, not to mention flamboyant and awesome hats like this one below.

YeaShin Kim Hat

YeaShin managed to mix several fabrics, 60s style inspiration and clashing patterns with these fantastical hats which enhanced rather than distracted from each look. She expertly ensured that none of her looks felt overwhelmed by her explosive use colour or style which is an extremely hard thing to do, and definitely something to applaud.

The next to parade their collection was Patrick Li whose use of geometric patterns and unique folding/ layering of garments was subtle, sleek and elegant. Although in mostly dark hues in comparison to the vibrancy of colour by YeaShin Kim, Li found a way to add some sparkle to his simple dresses with the sprinklings of glitter brilliantly adorning the layered folds and cutaway in the dresses which was innovatively done and well executed.

Patrick Li Glitter look

The final designer to showcase at “Ones To Watch” was Yulia Kandranina who was my favourite of this show because Yulia’s collection seemed to me the most visually provocative, contemporary and design-led. The artistic way this Russian designer used fringing was superb as shown below with this great dress/jacket piece – N.B obviously to be worn with towering heels so as not to have slip over the waterfalling tendrils of white strings.

OTW - Yulia fringing

Yulia then followed this simple monochrome fringing with intricate, lattice weaved fringing in flashes of brilliant colour which accentuated the beauty of the design and it’s showmanship whilst also complimenting the contours of the female figure, as shown in the close up below with my blurry iPhone camera skills.

OTW Yulia look - close upOTW - colourful fringing

A quick Itsu lunch, Sobranie cigarette and iPhone charge later I was privileged to attend the fantastic show for Zeynep Tosun’s AW13 collection. Zeynep Tosun is the name on the tip of everyone’s tongue at the moment and this showcase of her beautiful, resplendent work definitely made me start yapping my big gob about how fantastic her design, vision and pieces were.

Zeynep Tosun AW13

Tosun took the great staple trend of luxe leather and embellished it with decadent gold, a smart use of organza, a splash of sequins and even garnered outfits with some Victorian style neck ruffles. This was a sensational homage to baroque art/fashion and the epitome of style decadent and indulgence. Gahh I just love a good embellishment – who doesn’t!

Zeynep tosun collarZeynep Tosun Leather

It was the perfect way that Zeynep intermingled velvet, digital, graphic swirly patterns and even sheer and velvet into one whole seamless collection, that still managed to have a uniform voice of OPULENCE and style, which really cemented her name in my mind as a fashion force to take note of. For my shaky but still viewable video of Zeynep’s show take a look here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3FfIrKXhj8.

Till the next fashion show/moment – CD xo (@BowTieBoy_CD)