Style: Haizhen Wang at London Fashion Week – Fifth element gets some AW13 urban realness

Haizen Wang - Look 1

Guest post by Caner Daywood


Walking around Somerset House during London Fashion Week can make even the most humble fashionista feel like they possess Rihanna-esque stardom with the constant throngs of picture-taking paps, street-style bloggers and journalists crowding the place. So walking to the last show at the BFC Show Space for Haizhen Wang’s AW13 collection was like approaching a hornet’s nest with swarms of paps going wild at the sight of the glam-squad fashionista crew in their last endeavour for ultra-vogue-dom. The reason for this pandemonium-chic becomes instantly understandable if you take a look at Haizhen Wang’s work and ever since he won the Fashion Fringe award last year his name is huge . And with Vitamin Water on tap, masses of people vying for seats, bright lights ready, paps prepped, the industrial tones of factory work (remixed by Andy Turner) started to crash out across the runway and the last catwalk show finally began (only fractionally – or should that be fashionably- late).

Haizen Wang Look 2

Haizhen’s collection was amazing and smart in the  way that each part of the music, visors and dark futuristic fashion seemed to fit his vision for AW13 which I  too could visualize and felt included in. Haizhen had  such a unique Gothic , edgy interpretation for his AW13 collection which highlighted some of the other key trends across LFW AW13 shows, such as dynamic layering,  visor headpieces and bold structural outerwear. The whole collection had a certain end of the world, new wave  futuristic feel with the  visor-mesh headpieces from our wonderful chum Maria Piana (whose wonderful warrior jewellery I have gushed about previously) set against the industrial clangs of the textile machines used in the music and the unusual  architectural structure to Haizhen’s layering.

Haizen Wang - super layering

Admittedly the sleeping bag coats will never be for everyone’s taste, however their impression of volume and weight juxtaposed against the puffy, airy nature of the duffle material lusciously layered upon each other showed a great eye for architect and  had a strong visual impact  on the runway.  I likened many of his looks like this to the iconic fashions of Jean-Paul Gaultier in the futuristic 90s film, Fifth Element. If you haven’t seen it a) what is wrong with you? and b) go and watch it now for the brilliant way Jean Paul Gaultier both layers garments inventively on Bruce Willis and exposes flesh seductively at the same time with Milla Jovovich.

Even the leather biker jacket  was updated by Haizhen as he added some depth to his collections’ muted tones with a dusty red bustress shape for his leather jacket.  Although black is huge for AW13 – which is a bit strange to say as black is one of those timeless colours that is always ‘in’ however it is even more ‘in’ next season – Haizhen sliced through reds, greens and cobalt blues to give some attitude and industrial accents to his outerwear, as shown below.

Haizen Wang - look 4Haizen Wang look 5

The statement finale piece for the collection consisted of a metal bodice worn under ribbed  sleeveless jacket with a silky leg-slit skirt . This last look was truly fantastic because it symbolised the essence of Wang’s entire collection in as much as clothes can match the evolving nature of the city’s architecture and for that reason we must always be  ready for what the future holds and must mould our clothes to the city’s urban nature.

Haizen Wang - metalic finish

 AW13 gets us all ready for the future to come which can sometimes be a scary thing, especially if you just caught Chanel 4’s Utopia which I was hooked on.  But for the present London sashays the fashion baton elegantly to our glamorous Milanese partners to see what Italy has to offer. Suffice to say Haizen Wang’s  AW13 urban soldiers seem to be ready for anything . Are you?

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: Zoe Jordan AW12

Zoe Jordan’s inspiration for her AW12 collection came from Andalucia, the region of the designer’s birth. The architecture of her home is reflected in the russets and rusts of the colour palette.

“I design for a woman who is a boy’s best friend and a girl’s confidante. She’s respected by men and women. It’s throw-on and about having a natural confidence,” said Zoe Jordan backstage to Vogue.

Cosy meets sleek and sporty; lace twinned with wool, with chunky knits were thrown over elegant day dresses. The collection has young shapes in mind, with tulip coats and skirts. Wide brim hats over dishevelled plaited hair pulled the theme back to Southern Spain.

I was so impressed with the luxe fabrics and total wearability of the pieces. Expect to see a new shape of coat on the high street very soon.

Highlight: Flat-front tulip wool coats.

WHERE: London Fashion Week at Somerset House // WHO: Holly Valance and Jameela Jamil on F:Row, Poppy Delevigne on catwalk // WHAT: Guests drank Vita Coco coconut water

Images by Jennifer Kettle @ WGSN for OhDearism