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 –

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

Style: Cristina Sabaiduc, Martina Spetlova and Jayne Piersons SS13 at London Fashion Week

Guest post by Caner Daywood

Not to sound like one of my screen ideals, Carrie Bradshaw, who waxed on about ‘Vogue’ being her Mecca (circa Season 4 just in case) but for any fashionista from London the idea of finally going to London Fashion Week is akin to Charlie finding the last golden ticket and going to see Willy Wonka.

London Fashion Week (LFW) is truly unique to the others in as much as the sense of abandon and the fearless rebellion of the designers is much more at the fore and much more celebrated here. For me fashion has been one of my greatest comforts ever since I was about 4 when my father placed my first metallic gold bow tie around my neck combined with a ¾ length wool-combi Dior jacket from Harrods. So being invited to go to LFW and view a series of collections was something I leaped at – fashionably of course.

The collections I saw were captured in fashion films in courtyard of Somerset House and showcased pieces from Cristina Sabaiduc, Martina Spetlova and Jayne Piersons’ SS13 lines. The whole environment in the cinema was quaint, modern and crammed full of models dispersed amongst a myriad of uber-chic, uber-stylised fashionettes. How lovely.

After a slightly late start – it is fashion after all, so to be ‘fashionably late’ is actually quite vogue – the first fashion film began and I managed to wedge on my 3D sunnies for Cristina Sabaiduc’s The Meeting Place. Cristina’s film…. well to say it was pretty obscure is slightly downplaying it. I ADORE more abstract art, like I even watched that horridly indulgent Melancholia film and am constantly pressed to watch Bergman, but the rolling film of girls randomly fluttering their eyelashes didn’t tell me loads about the culture of Sabaiduc’s brand or even anything about the clothes. However, when the clothes did appear I partially understood what Sabaiduc was aiming for with her ‘exploration of dualities’ as the combination of urban surroundings with the natural colour palette of the clothes was evident and strong. The clothes seemed very loose, almost free in their tactile quality of light and fabric, but the psychedelic nature of the film, made in collaboration with artist Jo Holland, left me (and the guy besides me who said, ‘Was that weird or just me?’) wondering if the art had any true meaning and more to the point if I cared.

The next film instalment, BRAVE by Jayne Pierson, was much more up my alley, in terms of the styling by Danielle Rees and Pierson’s design. Just before the film I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Jayne Pierson where she told me about her inspiration for the show loosely based on The Brave New World and Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the contrast between the inner self and the familiar experiences leading back to home. Pierson’s film was far more accessible than Sabaiduc’s and the fashion was more alluring to my own style palate as her high-end fashion shimmered across the screen in a cut-scene where the child (or more accurately Jayne’s own child) transforms into a beautiful laser-cut clad, Alexander McQueen-esque warrior with the matching McQueen-esque AW12 visor to boot. What a fashion spectacle to behold! Pierson’s vision for the film was very natural and ethereal and the clothes echoed this in their purity of colour and intricate design. Her models and the collection itself represented bravery and strength with back-combed manes and helmet-like visors which gave the impression of a modern-day, angelic Valkyrie. Pierson is not new to this fashion game and it shows. Her idea of ‘surreal harmony’ in fashion is both enticing and irresistible to the style veterans amongst us who would wear her pieces with pride, like say Daphne Guinness (who Pierson told me she likes as well) or even me – yes I could rock those visors with an everyday outfit and feel Pierson’s ‘mystical-future aura’ anytime.


The final showcase in the series was by Martina Spetlova whose collection consisted of energetic lines and a unique use of woven leather, which made her looks seem the most ‘ready-to-wear’ of all three. Spetlova’s film was much more linear and obvious too with no arty gimmick it was just gorgeous patchworked or pleated fabrics captured brilliantly by a floating camera with bursts of block colours. Spetlova’s collection was vibrant in terms of colour usage with deep greens and strong reds interpolated with intricate laser-cut pleating which I likened to other designs seen from Krizia or Peter Pilloto and also alludes to the oriental trend that is huge right now. Spetlova’s two looks she displayed after the film, beyond being easy to wear (I would die for a pair of those over-sized shorts) and exciting in their fashion-forward quality, underlined the talent and serious potential longevity of Spetlova’s fashion career.

So, I came and I conquered London Fashion Week and it was everything and more than what I expected, from the beautiful creativity of the collections and designers to my wonderful goody bag. Although I often feel slightly alien-like and ostracised for my individual style by the ‘Topshop/Highstreet-clone’ massive that pervades society – that day I wore a rabbit/fox combi gilet and Etro bow tie – at LFW I felt like I belonged in this universe of sci-fi visors and lasercut pleats. And that is what the best fashion offers us all.

Twitter – @BowTieBoy_CD

Style: Yifang Wan (& contempt) at London Fashion Week

Before we get stuck into the meat of this, a disclaimer: My opinions on fashion are not to be trusted.

I am not very cool. I have a completely un-ironic love for 80’s hair metal and festive jumpers and wear hole-ridden shoes that should have been taken out and shot many moons ago. I’m more likely to discuss amphibian husbandry than the latest Prada and wear jeans with elasticated waists if I intend to go a bit nuts on pulled pork and beer at Bodean’s. Chic, no? I’m here all night.

Alls I know is that ‘blue and green should never be seen’ and that horizontal stripes will make a big gut look bigger. But in an attempt to broaden my horizons, I ventured to London Fashion Week to report for OhDearism – armed with some useful tidbits of info from a friend both wise and stylish – in the hope that I could emerge with some nuggets of insight.

Like David Attenborough among creatures exotic and rare, I endeavoured to blend in and observe…

Yifang Wan

My first stop was Yifang Wan at the Freemason’s Hall, who my learned friend informed me is fresh outta St. Martin’s and has been impressing crowds with utilitarian pieces inspired by timeless Japanese fashion. She uses muted colour palletes that symbolize bold naturalism and practicality with clean lines, statement pieces of jewelry and jersey fabrics. Inspired by the gothic style of Gareth Pugh injected with martial-arts styling, Wan creates large yet streamlined and theatrical silhouettes that flow in fluid, unforced lines.

Still with me? I’m barely with me. Sounds pretty cool though right? But let us plug away.

After a wait in a rather hefty crowd, those of us with invites got ushered in and asked to go “anywhere but the front row”, for that was where the real big hitters were to sit, all huge, enviable talon nails, dip dye and the odd frozen botox botch-job. You think I jest? No. Of the faces that bobbed opposite me, a considerable number were frozen in masks of horror, wide-eyed fury or disgust. I couldn’t tell which but the conveyed feeling was not one of comfort. I’m quite sure that was not the intention. Or maybe it was?

But I digress…

No good goodies

Maddeningly the front row had the only seats with goody bags. Dang. Equally maddening was the fact that when confronted with these treats, the sour-faced chosen ones nonchalantly shoved them beneath their chairs as though repulsed. Is this normal behavior? When confronted with free stuff do you not gleefully delve inside? We never did discover what treasures lurked within and it is a question that will plague me for longer than it should.

What? At least give them a cursory look

Scrubs for ninjas

The clothes to me looked extremely martial arts-y; loosely structured jacket-and-trouser combos with some models carrying rather vicious looking pieces of wood like ancient weapons. Everything was very angular and completely monochrome, draping around the models. Some pieces were held together with large wooden belts, square and bold with leather buckles, accented against chunky jewelry.

While the all-black outfits were pretty interesting and glamorous, the all-white pieces to me looked like hospital scrubs and didn’t have anything like the same impact. Hospital scrubs for ninjas perhaps? As my friend informed me in his notes, the collection isn’t ready-to-wear. Though not overly flamboyant, the sheer size and angular nature of the pieces would make your average gal on the street look like they were impersonating a religious figure or about to karate-chop you in the face wearing a pair of goth curtains before being hauled off by stern men in similar white attire.

More cold than cool

While I can see the appeal of these designs, I was left a little cold by the heavy atmosphere of people trying to act so unexcited by an event while trying to soak up as much of it as possible by photographing every conceivable thing, as though visable enjoyment would get you ejected from the building. Call me naïve but surely after lining up for a good 40 minutes for something, most folk would be a teensy bit pleased when they got inside? Not so here.

With patrons flipping through their myriad fashion week invites like the worst kind of to-do lists, noses scrunched up in disgust, the whole thing felt like an exercise in forced aloofness. This didn’t sit well with me at all. The atmosphere was unfriendly and heavy, the proximity of being near such a pit of sneering indifference made the air thick with bad feeling and it was a true relief when it was time to leave.

At the lighting returning to normal, the chosen ones leapt up, discarded the free spoils and wafted away into the Holborn sunshine, leaving the rest of us to look about the place like bewildered creatures crossing a busy road. “Was that it?” “Yes. Off you go.”

My friend and I were ushered out before we could pilfer one of the many disgarded full goody bags and exited, not entirely sure how we felt about the whole thing. As we retired to the familiar confines of the Dog and Duck to digest our fashion week adventure, we mused over the audience more than the collection; the people who had made a supreme effort to stand out and be admired themselves, yet seemed to regard their peers and the work of Yifang Wan with screwfaced contempt. This stuck out for me considerably more than the clothes and left a taste in my mouth that hasn’t quite gone.

For those wondering, my learned friend is called Caner and goes by @BowTieBoy_CD on the Twitter. He is far far wiser in these matters than I.

Twitter – @NadiaReads

Style: McQ AW12

While the menswear at McQ AW12 was beautifully tailored, this collection was really all about the girls. Taking the label’s dark romantic heritage as a starting point, Creative Director Sarah Burton invited us into her stunning winter fairy tale vision. As the models crunched over golden leaves, we were presented with a collection that started with severe military outerwear and progressed through embroidered velvet skirts and dresses to the grand finale of tulle ballgowns.

This was the first time the McQueen label has shown in its hometown and the first ever catwalk show for the diffusion line McQ. Still riding high from an amazing 2011, Burton showed us a brand that is confident and strong; in keeping with its heritage, but looking to the future. Only six years old, McQ is their affordable line but the stunning detailing in embroidery and embellishment, and precise cutting showed that affordable can still be luxury.

The New Look shaping in the ballgowns showed a significant departure from last season’s main line collection, which was more architectural. This season was all about  exploring the balance between hard and soft femininity. The last two looks were matching black and white tulle ballgowns with lace overlay in winter florals and brought to mind the evil sorceress and the princess from a fairy tale. As the last model, Kristen McMenamy, made her way back, she grabbed a rope from under the leaves and followed it to a little hut in an illuminated forest at the back of the runway. Was this the woodcutters shed? As she left, we heard dance music coming from backstage. At McQ the happy ending wouldn’t be complete without a good party.

All pictures from

Style: Peter Pilotto AW12

Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos’s vision for womanity in 2012 embraces classic silhouettes brought into the digital age with futuristic prints. With a colour palette of greens, blues and black, this was a natural progression from their SS12 collection, which used aquatic imagery and scuba inspired textures for a surreal take on the print trend.

The collection has already received several positive reviews, with Vogue UK labeling it a, “highly desirable, wearable and intelligent collection.” Pilotto and De Vos certainly know how to please their audience, finding the perfect balance between being fashion forward and being wearable.

With clever structuring in feminine flared hems, capped sleeves and body-con draping, the collection managed to find a new modern day sensuality, while geometric cut-outs around the chest, shoulders and arms were more about making interesting shapes than playing peak-a-boo. The pair cited Japan and other Asian references as their inspiration for the collection. This could particularly be seen in the swirling floral prints, not to mention the Japanese trucks projected onto screens in the background.

At times, I thought I could see a hint of the decadent 30s trend that has been a huge hit on catwalks around the globe this month (see the grey cut-out halter dress above). Although of course this was retro vision of futurism, more Metropolis than The Artist. Peter Pilotto’s printed parkas and rainbow furs are sure to be a huge hit next winter, although with the weather as it is, I would really like to have them now please!

All pictures from

Style: Central St Martins MA show A/W 2011

Top London design college Central St Martins is renowned for producing unique, cutting edge design talent from its MA course tutored by the inimitable course director Louise Wilson OBE.

Many go on to influence and inspire leading figures in the fashion world, and some have become the biggest names in the industry today, including Christopher Kane, Alexander McQueen and Richard Nicholl.

With this in mind, attending the CSM MA show genuinely feels as though you are witnessing the birth of the next big thing. Attracting an impressive front row including Daphne Guinness, Marina Diamandis and blogger Bip Ling, this is the show that can launch the careers of the young designers, as it has done for so many before them.

It was a night of success for MA graduates Phoebe English and Viktor Smedinge, who jointly won the L’Oreal Professional creative award, and a £5,000 cash injection to help launch their brands. This was not the first time English impressed, having previously won both the Ungaro Bursary and Chloe award.

English’s collection was dark, slick and sexy, revealing a series of full length black dresses, seemingly created out of long black hair, which cascaded down the models body, wispy and loose.

Black patent panels were seen too, often to create the upper armour of the dress, or to form straps or belts, cinched in at the waist to add definition to the silhouette. These textures were played with in a number of different looks, some creating shorter pieces, or to add emphasis to shoulders. The overall look was comparable to a raven, with heavy feathering and hair similar to that of a bird. Creative and unique, it was quite clearly a stand-out collection from the graduate.

Viktor Smedinge’s collection was also deserving of the award, showcasing a number of pieces with rolled detailing at the hips, hems and pockets, drawing comparisons with paper scrolls. The sand coloured coats, trousers and skirts were attached to simple silk black dresses, adding a modern touch to the classic piece. Each garment was cleverly constructed resulting in an elegant, and thoroughly wearable collection.

Others that caught our eye included Marta Marques’ and Paulo Almeida’s distressed denim looks, an update of the nineties classic appearing in the form of tunic tops and dresses, occasionally dyed black, and paired with black corduroy tops.

Rejina Pyo’s two tone silk dresses stood out, in eye-catching shades of black and coral, lemon yellow, electric blue and watermelon, tumbling over models bodies, creating a sleek and fluid silhouette. The collection made a powerful statement as models carried giant totems down the runway, or blocks in their mouths, providing a contrast with the beautiful dresses on display and lending an almost religious, ceremonial tone to the collection.

All in all, as anticipated the Central St Martins grads did not fail to impress, presenting some stunning collections that could easily be seen on the shop floor or in the Newgen exhibition next season, proving once again, British fashion talent is where it’s at.

Gallery of Phoebe English and Viktor Smedinge and images from Arts Thread blog.