Lu Flux Spring/Summer 2012

For Spring Summer 2012 Lu Flux draws her influences from the expectations of a tropical British Summer and then, the reality. The idyllic Polynesian collection oozes summer fun, complete in candy colours and Hawaiian imagery. “A-Lu-Ha” clings to the anticipation of a scorching summer in the mind’s eye of Britain. Then, as forecast, there is an interruption with a downpour of British showers. The hope for paradisiacal blue skies, endless days of sunshine lying on a pure white sandy beach complete with grass skirts, Tiki masks and leis is crushed by rain, to be replaced with jam making and macramé potholders at a car boot sale in a field in Kent.

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As expected Lu has incorporated her trademark pastiche of patchwork, which includes a dress made from vintage silk scarves in a collage of round Suffolk puffs – a traditional decorative technique consisting of gathered circles of fabric sewn together at their edges.

 (V-neck with somerset points)

A modern twist on the Hawaiian shirt sees crisp laser cuttings of hibiscus flowers and Tiki-masked warriors dancing round campfires teamed with elegant laser cut crepe de chine Tahitian grass skirts. Tiki masks emblazon teeshirts and apron dresses, appliquéd with even more patchwork puffs and embroidered Hawaiian mementos embellish pockets.

The collection sees the introduction of macramé techniques using reels and reels of silk thread sponsored by Alchemy Yarns. Alchemy creates luxury hand painted all- natural yarns which subtleties cannot be commercially re-created nor made by a machine. Each yarn type responds uniquely to each individual colour value, making nuance, sophistication and intense colour magic. The silken straw in the collection is knotted in complex sequences and echoes the grass skirts of dancers at a luau.

From dresses to raincoats this sugarcoated collection demonstrates at its best the ever-present playfulness to Lu Flux. “A-Lu-Ha” SS12 travels beyond last season’s inky colour palette and heavy fabrics towards a delicate hued potpourri of soft silhouettes and floral fancy.

(Shark Teeth Dress)

Lu Flux exhibited the new SS12 collection “A-Lu-Ha” in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House during London Fashion Week from 16th – 20th September 2011. The collection will also be exhibited at Rendez-Vous Femme during Paris Fashion Week from the 29th September – 2nd October and at the Zeniya Inc showroom at Tokyo Fashion Week from the 18th – 31st October 2011.

MODELS Georgie & Joey Carr

PHOTOGRAPHER Damian Ucieda Cortes    ASSISTED BY Emma Crichton & Neil O’Driscoll

MAKE UP Sonia Bhogal  ASSISTED BY Mao Kamiji

HAIR Mitsu Enokida ASSISTED BY Misaki Nakamura

STYLIST Ceska Dvorak

ASSISTANCE Amy Wright, Chloe Forestier-Walker, Katie Early, Lucy Strawson, Ramona Kohldorfer & Stacey Bevan

Silvia Beccaria. Amazing fashion collars!

Silvia Beccaria is among those designers whose works really impressed me at Somerset House during London Fashion Week. Silvia is an Italian fibre artist. She creates her own manufactured products with manual looms of diverse capability while using traditional fibres enriched by unusual insertions that are untraditional to weaving customs.

The materials, used for her contemporary jewellery (latex, plastic, rubber, and etc.), chosen for their  consistency, elasticity, transparency, and colour, are interwoven by the weft, but at the same time they are free to move so to create a three dimensional effect which is exactly like that of the antique ruffs and which also constitutes their glamour.

I was absolutely surprised when Silvia showed me her amazing collars made of balloons!!! When I saw them I could not even recognise balloons, I though that collars were made of leather hearts or petals. Here they are:

Silvia “is a representative of “Fibre Art,” a name which has designated the artistic production characterised by the work of natural and/or artificial fibres. The artist uses a hand weaving technique and plays with it in total liberty.

Having hands and mind in perfect harmony, going against the rules, and yet at the same time being careful with the heredity of the antique technique, she looks into the past, though expressing herself with the contemporary language of research and experimentation.”

“Through the years, she has indeed ideated non-conventional fabrics woven with silk, wool, linen, cotton, other materials such as plastic tubes, bubblewrap, metals, paper, aluminium and rubber foil, obtaining original and unique effects from the material itself. The material, whether it is wool, rubber, paper, metal, or plastic, is thus the linguistic instrument Silvia uses to conceive and give life to her idea designed and created at the loom.”

“The material and the loom guide her and translate what her heart and mind suggest and allow her emotions and her frame of mind to be visible. From her experiments, dress-sculptures are born. These are conceived to be used daily as wearable art or “objects” of wearing apparel which have nothing to do with fashion. Her pictures and nettings reveal personal poetics which fold the material to the needs of the language.

Hand weaving is a passion that this artist from Turin discovered at a very young age. She was absolutely fascinated to see the weave grow through her hands as she started off with just a simple thread.  After graduating in philosophy, she began a course of study and an in-depth examination of various weaving techniques varying from contemporary tapestry to common fabrics. She then went on to specialize in the design of hand looms under the guidance of Martha Nieuwenhuijs known textile artist.”

“Since 1993 she has been elaborating didactic projects in which weaving is utilized as an instrument of rehabilitation and education.  She collaborates as a consultant within facilities for psychologically disabled people, convicts, minors at risk, and she also works with disabled teenagers as a weaving technician in the social-educational day centre “Il Mosaico” in Fossano (CN). As of 2002 she has taken care of the planning regarding several jobs linked to weaving art for the Contemporary Arts Museum – Educational department of Rivoli.

Silvia designs and produces contemporary jewellery, wearable art and contemporary tapestry. She takes part in exhibitions in Italy and abroad. “

The Designer Exhibition during London Fashion Week 2011

Mara Hoffman is a New York fashion designer whose line, Mara Hoffman, launched in 2000. Hoffman studied fashion design and graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London. Mara Hoffman has evolved from collections featuring hand-dyed couture pieces to her current collections which concentrate heavily on original silk prints. Her line encompasses everything from swimwear to cashmere coats. Hoffman pulls her inspiration from nature, world travel and fantasy. I took a photo of the designer’s top with beaded neckline at Somerset House.

James Long. The design of the neckline features a recognisable detail of James Long AW11 collection. The belts in the same style can be found in this collection as well.

Michael Van Der Ham presented his collection with creatively designed necklines. This is my lovely garment from his current collection.

At the exhibition I found a detachable collar designed by Simone Rocha. It looks very simple, but really noticeable.

VILSHENKO is an eponymous line of Olga Vilshenko – a peerless designer whose formative years were steeped in quality craftsmanship due to a long-standing family legacy in garment manufacturing. The designer is committed to creating striking yet tastefully constrained pieces. Her unique aesthetic – marrying classic construction, minimalist silhouettes and rich detailing – was honed at the Institute of Fashion and Art in Russia and London’s Instituto Maragoni. At the exhibition, I caught sight of the vest of the V-neck with a V-shaped collar that looks separate. I like the way Olga Vilshenko applies traditional Russian patterns to contemporary garments.

IZMAYLOVA is the fusion of two entrepreneurs who have put their passions to work to create the ultimate cult remix and brand experience. Creating a women’s wear label that represents combination of couture craftsmanship and wearable elegance in a graceful design that is built to last. The Izmaylova brand – is defined by its authentic Russian heritage fused with modern interpretation. A recognisable icon: the trademark logo, an amalgamation of the old and the new, a fusion of traditional logos and architecture with a modern flair, a modern interpretation of the iconic, distinguished Russian Faberge Imperial Egg. At the exhibition, IZMAYLOVA presented many elegant dresses, some of which had nice necklines to complete the elegant look.

Canadian-born Thomas Tait completed a three-year technical diploma at La Salle College (Montreal) in 2008. He then graduated with an MA in women’s wear from Central Saint Martins in February 2010, making him the youngest student to ever complete this course. Thomas Tait’s autumn/winter 2010 collection was selected by Central Saint Martin College of Art and Design to be featured in London Fashion Week 2010. Thomas Tait’s spring/summer 2011 debut collection was shown in Wilkinson gallery in east London.

Tait’s most recent accomplishment, his AW 2011/2012 womenswear collection, demonstrated a strong focus on the combination of structure and fluidity, lending the garments and footwear a clear and unique design aesthetic. Thomas accepted sales requests for the first time this season (AW 2011/2012) and as a result will be exclusively sold in some of the world’s top stores such as 10 Corso Como, Browns and Louis Boston.

All the coats put on display at the exhibition had the same band detail around the collars.

 

The Designer Exhibition during London Fashion Week 2011

“In 2008 the Christopher Ræburn label was launched. Inspired by the challenge of creating ethically-aware men’s and womenswear, Christopher Ræburn has become known for his utilisation of re-appropriated military fabrics to create garments that are functional, intelligent and meticulously crafted. Ræburn’s collections are highlighted for their intelligent design, high quality and extreme attention to detail.”

At the exhibition, Christopher displayed his sporty clothes, and I took photos of a jacket that has a loose detail at the neckline. There were also sporty squirrels which I loved so much!

“Founded in 2010 the Felicity Brown‘ label was set up by brother and sister team Henry and Felicity Brown. After graduating from the Royal College of Art with a 1st class honours in Textiles, Felicity went on to design for Alberta Ferretti, Loewe, Mulberry and Lanvin.

In February 2010, ‘Felicity Brown’ showcased their debut collection at London Fashion Week. The collection consisted of 7 styles in total and went on to receive international recognition from publications including Vogue Italia, British Vogue and Elle to name a few. ‘Felicity Brown’ produces 2 collections annually and is stocked in 15 countries worldwide.”

I took photos of ‘Felicity Brown’s multilayered and pleated collars and collarless necklines which look really noticeable.

“The art brand of NOKI customisation is a statement against mass produced fashion branding where the mere taking, diy style of a second hand garment and re-working it into an ethical ‘one-off’ piece of clothing, creates the NOKI art. This alone is paralleling the original essence of fashion, being couture. It’s a case of NOKI – couture the throat of ready to wear. The full NOKI silhouette involves the NOKI rock frock and the sob-suffocation of branding mask, this has become known as the uniform of the NOKIETTE – the all new culture jammer grand slammer. NOKI is world famous, some might say inter-con-ta-mental, for pioneering the fashion movement of customisation. For the record it is much closer to the philosophies of culture jamming coined by the American author Kalle Lasn, the founder of Adbusters magazine.”

NOKI’s display at Somerset House was really memorable. DR NOKI put on display knitted garments, so I took photos of their knitted collars. The first garment in black (left) has a leather belt attached to the collar, which makes the look even more scary.

Holly Fulton at London Fashion Week 2011

Holly Fulton‘s current signature contains lots of geometric pattern lavished onto simply cut garments; big, luxurious, simple shapes with bold jewellery; bejewelled crystallised dresses and an eclectic mix of modern materials with a high end finish. The way of neckline embellishment makes the style strongly recognisable, so you don’t need to look at the label to say that this garment was designed by Holly Fulton.

Embellishment of the following garments includes plastic animals, probably dogs, which make the design of Holly Fulton recognisable as well.

Almost Famous at London Fashion Week 2011

Almost Famous presented its new collection at the Designer Exhibition during London Fashion Week with a variety of different necklines. There was not a particular design direction applied for the neckline design, but different design ideas that I noticed.

Almost Famous was launched in 2002. This British womenswear brand takes inspiration from style icons of the past, giving the collection a vintage feel. The ‘dress’ has become synonymous with the Almost Famous brand, as have the vivid prints, vibrant colours and feminine silhouettes. Following the success of the brand in the UK, in 2006 Almost Famous launched its first stand alone store situated in the heart of London’s Fitzrovia. The store showcases the full Almost Famous range including ready-to-wear shoes, accessories and jewellery. This was shortly followed in 2007 with an on-line store.

David Longshaw at London Fashion Week 2011

David Longshaw, St Martin’s BA (Hons), RCA (MA). Winner of the inaugural BFC/ELLE Talent Launch. After graduating in 2007 David received a flurry of press attention and nominations for International Awards (ITS6, Trieste, Le Vif Weekend, Belgium, Cove Park, Scotland) and had secured a position at Alberta Ferretti before his final graduate collection was even shown. Although very keen to launch his own label he felt it was important to gain more internationally commercial experience, so went to work for Max Mara. David is now concentrating on his own label which he launched during February LFW 2010.

 I noticed these flower details and the printed collar, and an interesting story told by David explains what these flowers do mean.

“For this season I’ve written a story entitled ‘Father Said’ about a girl who takes her boyfriend on a fateful seaside trip. As well as creating the story and illustrations, I’m also working on a short animation of the story, depicting the main protagonist, Sophie wearing pieces from the new collection. The concept involves screening the animation at London Fashion Week, where I’ll be exhibiting for the fourth time with the British Council at Somerset House. My exhibition space will also showcase the garments, bags and jewellery all inspired by the story.

‘Father said’ starts off with all going well. Sophie takes her boyfriend for a road trip to the seaside. The sun is shining, they have fish and chips and walk on the beach then they spot the chance to row to Puffin Island. With all the talk of puffins, as she rows, Sophie suddenly has a flashback to a nightmare she had after reading a sweet book her boyfriend had given her, about a puffin with a disproportionate head, with one eye big and one eye small. She suddenly lashes out with the oars in hand and smashes her boyfriend over the head with me. The blow is fatal…. so, as all rational people do, she rows to shore and buries him – planting flowers over where he lays. For the rest of her life she plans to wear a flower each day in his memory.”

I also noticed the neckline design of this blue dress

David Koma at London Fashion Week 2011

David Koma is a 26 years old Georgian born, London based designer who has become synonymous with the ultra-body contouring silhouette. Creating heavily embellished statement dresses inspired by the feminine form, it is this design element that has projected the young designer onto the international stage.

After studying Fine Art in St. Petersburg and showing his first collection at the age of 15, Koma moved to London in 2003 to take up a place at the prestigious Central St. Martins College of Art. It was here that he channeled his love of fashion and honed his design skills to create his signature look. He completed his BA in Fashion Design and graduated with a distinction in MA Fashion in April 2009 under the mentorship of Professor Louise Wilson, OBE. It was with his graduate collection of sculptural dresses that he won the Harrods Design Award and subsequently attracted some of the world’s must beautiful and successful women in both music and film to wear his pieces. Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Megan Fox, Alicia Keys, Cheryl Cole and Kylie all created media frenzy by wearing his clothes.

His is inspired by the works of Geoffrey Beene and Thierry Mugler and explores masterful, heavy, innovative techniques to create unique embellishments each season. Koma’s fascination with the female form has resulted in a consistent body conscious theme, creating strong, architectural shapes, evoking empowerment to the wearer.

At the exhibition sponsored by TOPSHOP during London Fashion Week 2011, David Koma presented his collection with fur collars and necklines embellished with fur bolls. I also noticed a garment with the mock neck that was stitched to the body of the garment only at the front and stood separately in general.

 The David Koma collection is also shown each season at the london Show Rooms in Paris and presented to the International buyers. UK stockists include Browns Focus and Harrods and the collection is also available in over 20 shops worldwide.