Monday, 27 February 2012

London Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2012


Antoni & Alison
Simple loosely fitted shift dresses became blank canvases for the designers to display their trompe l’oeil works of art. Using digital printing of an eclectic range of objects from biscuits, cellophane, and staples to feathers, buttons and tweed.

Corrie Nielsen
Nielsen blends the medieval Scottish styles with her own signature sculptural forms.
Dramatically sweeping the floor was the deep purple Duchess satin voluminous floor length cape.

Small leather clutch bags in matching tartan fabrics by Sophia Beckford and striking tartan design face laces by Phyllis Cohen

Bora Aksu
Necklines were high with button up collars and pussy bows; chiffon layering brought a hazy fairytale look to the pieces. Colours were soft shades of dusty pinks, greys and creams.
The style became more structured with tailored waistcoats, jackets and capes, and the colour darkened to greys, blacks and silver metallics with splashes of fuchsia, burnt orange and ruby red. Aksu used a Baroque style print throughout the collection, both on tailored and chiffon garments plus the soon to be ‘must have’ tights.


Spijkers en Spijkers
40s style tea dresses were updated with colour block panelling and luxurious fabrics of silk and silk wool blends. Ostrich and bird feathers trimmings brought Hollywood glamour as detachable cape like collars and adorned the front of shoes. Colourful embroidered birds embellished jackets, dresses and shirts.

Bernard Chandran
Instead of his detachable peplums he has been creating for the past two seasons he concentrates on detachable collars. Some heavily embellished, others brightly coloured but most of intricate multi folds akin to Japanese origami.

Fluid fabrics of silk satin, wet look leather and gleaming metallic prints all gave the illusion of flowing water. Tailoring was given a sharper edge with the use of clear plastic over opened shoulder seams. This was gown up glamour with just the fun faux fur jacket adding a touch of quirkiness.

Ashley Isham
Here clean lines and tailoring in the form of black leather cigarette pants and capes with matching shorts. Evening wear saw short dresses glittering with sequins and beads, one of jet beads forming daisy patterns. But his signature draped fluid jersey dresses were never far behind with their Grecian asymmetric style long and short in deep teal, frosted grey and a prints of python and floral.


‘Courtly Love’. Strapless long evening gowns worn with chunky ornate necklaces from Adorn especially designed for Prophetik.

Short day time dresses with full skirts and spaghetti straps that wrap around the arms to leave the back bare.

Hemp wool plaid was new to his collection and gave an equestrian countryside style to jackets.

The finale dress, a white strapless bodice adorned with a vintage pocket watch floated with its trail of black naturally shed ostrich feathers.

Louise Gray
A glorious array of textures, colours and patterns. This collection breaks down into luxurious fabrics of cashmere knits and leather, simple cuts of shift dresses, a-line skirts and sleek trousers given depth through graphic prints and colours. Teamed with printed boots by Nicholas Kirkwood at Pollini and Aztec sun ray hair pieces by Nasir Mazir.

Pam Hogg
Starting quite innocently with a modern take of the crinoline bow peep style dress and bonnet, the risqué catsuits soon came out to play. Firstly in head to toe geometric patterns, then adding patches of stretch chiffon until ending with just the chiffon embellished with cute bows strategically placed. Actress Jaime Winstone contrasted among the sleek catsuits as she modelled a knitted polo neck jumper and matching crinoline skirt.


Designer Mitiam Lehle took her inspiration from a blue curtain and woven shoe leather.
Black oblong leather patches edged with brown leather stitching adorned black trousers and skirts in neat rows giving a beatnik appearance. Leather transformed in to black and brown speckled pheasant-like feather fringing in both short and long lengths. The shorter fringing brought a raw edge to shift dresses and pencil skirts, whilst the longer fringing brought a Wild West boho feel.

The blue curtain became a delicate overlay of skeletal wispy threads kept together by panels for dresses and tops.

Lako Bukia
Titled ‘Broken Mirrors ‘for strong women who are not afraid to face their fears and challenge the bad luck broken mirror myth.

Silver leather was either in geometric patches separated by chiffon or jersey; or on trousers and pencil skirts as a tactile broken mirror pattern design. The finale dress summed up the whole inspiration with its billowing ethereal long skirt and its delicate chiffon top covered in twinkling mirrored shards – showing an Amazonian feminine strength ready to conquer all fears.

Her signature chunky triangular heels were replaced this season for heel made of a stack of broken clear ‘glass’ which glimmered in the light.


Holly Fulton
Inspiration: Lady Chatterley in the Estate’s hothouses. Colour palette was a sizzling affair of hot pinks and bright turquoise. Adding to her graphic signature prints were exotic palm prints and butterflies. Layering and the teaming of the pieces with polo necks brought this steamy collection back in to the autumn/winter vein.

A collection of grunge meets glamour meets Hare Krishna. Ashish gives the sequin street cred as he uses on hoodies and sleeveless biker jackets. An eclectic array of motifs from hallucinogenic paisleys and smileys; the spiritual ying and yang and Buddhas; to the sporty football stripes. Multi layering of the colours and patterns created a spectacular glorious grunge effect.

Aminaka Wilmont
A minimalist and structured collection. A combination of hard and soft: sharp tailoring with soft draping; digital prints of hard gems and crystals and the softer water lilies and molten glass. Leather and fur for outerwear providing a tougher but luxurious look, whilst iridescent thread brought shimmer to knitwear. Overall look was dark and sultry with flashes of colour in the prints.

Jasper Garvida
Think World War II era and Marlene Dietrich. Daywear consisted of shirt dresses in a muted colour palette of khaki, beige and blues. Evening wear was more dramatic in black and embellished with gold buttons, embroidery and exaggerated long fringed epaulette beading.


Topman Design
This collection concentrates on texture and keeps its colour palette black creating a dark sensual and cultural look of the young Robert Mapplethorpe and in keeping with his black and white Polaroid images. The rich textured fabrics include mohair, soft boucle, hi shine PVC, lurex and thick wool. Leather pants taper at the bottom and are rolled up slightly to reveal the leather ankle boots. Mapplethorpe’s photo of the Lily is used as a repeated and distorted print on the silk shirts.

Knotted leather pendants and rosaries by Husam El Odeh adorn wrists and necks and complete the look and mood of the collection.

Oliver Spencer
Inspired by a young Lucian Freud, the collection has an art-house and Beatnik feel as suits of textured rugged fabrics are teamed and layered with the more casual knits. The young 50s baseball jacket is giving a more grown up tailored makeover in wool, but keeping the fun element with contrasting coloured and textured sleeves.

Colour palette: muted khakis, browns, greys with a dash of navy and a pop of burnt orange.
Spencer used models of various ages to show his collection brings sartorial styles to all ages.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky 

Sunday, 5 February 2012

London College of Fashion MA Catwalk Show 2012

It was a bitter cold night outside, but in the grand Raphael Gallery at the V&A things were hotting up as we watched the London College of Fashion’s annual MA Catwalk Show 2012.

23 students from MA Fashion Design Technology showcased their work. The collections varied from the minimalist to the opulent, from the heritage look to the futuristic, from the neutral palette to an explosion of colour, and from the need a few changes before hitting the high street to the wearable right now.

After the show, TV and radio personality Lauren Laverne and young British designer Christopher Raeburn announced the winners of the Womenswear and Menswear: Collection of the Year.

Menswear Collection of the Year went to Tina Elisabeth Reiter.

Titled ‘The Sound of Homeless (ness)’, Reiter was inspired by the feeling of homelessness, the meaning of belonging and the seeking of our roots in an unpredictable globalised world.
For this she turned to her own Austrian roots for the wish of an ideal world thinking of the Alps, kitschy homeland movies of the Austrian post-war years and the feel good film ‘The Sound of Music’.

Her collection takes the heritage of the Austrian folk costume and fuses it with modern menswear.

With no Lederhosen in sight, this collection goes for softer look with loose fitting trousers, full pleated culottes and skirts. Artist smock style shirts with full blouson sleeves are grounded with the more tailored waistcoat and jacket.

Patterns: gingham, polka dots and tweed
Colour palette: Muted browns, black and grey with a pop of peach

Womenswear Collection of the Year went to Hana Cha

Titled ‘Diffusion between Proletariats and Bourgeois’ the collection was aimed to observe the difference in attire in different social classes.

To represent proletariat she chooses thick and stiff fabrics, deconstruction and a mannish style.

For the bourgeois there’s the softer silk, fluid metallics and fluffy wool to capture a more feminine feel. Hana juxtaposes the conflicting styles of both to create something new.
One of her pieces, the minimalist but luxurious gold jumpsuit becomes the canvas of what appears to be a harsh sweeping brushstroke still dripping with black paint, but on closer inspection the dripping paint is a collection of fine tassels.

Colour palette: Rich metallic gold, sombre matt black, deep purple and vibrant deep blue.

The show attracted a host of celebrities and VIPs including: Rt Hon Home Secretary Theresa May MP; Turner prize winning artist Grayson Perry; Chairman of the British Fashion Council Harold Tillman CBE; band members from Niki & The Dove, The Saturdays Mollie King, DH Jodie Harsh and Made in Chelsea star Francis Boulle to name a few.

For details on all of the collections go to

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky