Friday, 17 February 2012

London Fashion Week Day 1 - Bora Aksu, Maria Grachvogel, Ada Zanditon, Zoe Jordan, Jena.Theo, Ora Kiely

London Fashion Week began in its usual flurry of madness. Wandering into Somerset House to collect my press pass I was greeted by the obligatory over keen street style photographers, desperate to get shots of the fashion press, bloggers and fashionistas with their recently painted faces, crazy coiffed hair and exciting outfits. Obviously being dull I walked straight on through only being stopped by ‘Sunglasses Hut’ (I think) to photograph my rather gorgeous glasses. They’re specsavers own brand – the look of disappointment on the photographers face was rather hilarious. First on the agenda was the press room... which has got smaller AGAIN! After distributing the tickets to my various wonderful journos it was time for the first show. Bora Aksu I always expect sexy, yet feminine tulip dresses with structured bodices and piping with a smattering of fabulous prints. This collection was completely different and totally refreshing!

FROW: Kate Nash – Looking rather slim and with new black and blonde hair and looking cute as a button. Also was a rather fab looking gentleman in Louboutin stiletto boots, a Hermes belt and huge sunglasses. (Why the fuck are so many dude wearing heels this season?! Stripper heels and woolly socks?? Sort it out.) Possibly also that blonde pussycat doll whose making a comeback.
After a quick catch up with a rather hung-over Lewis Clay, still wandering round London from a wasted night before, a coffee with my favourite journos it was time for Maria Grachvogel at The Savoy. Hanging out in the back street waiting to be let into the show I thought of all the hookers that have been dumped out the backdoor.... far too many American B-Movies.
The show was gorgeous and themed around a very popular 20’s theme yet the divine prints I was expected were missing and I felt slightly cheated.

Back to Somerset house and time for Zoe Jordan – a ready to wear collection in the new embankment galleries show space – starkly lit, smaller and more intimate. Really great collection – perfect for most age ranges. (Speaking of age ranges.... I have seen too many under 10’s on front row this season. Are children the new ‘it’ accessory or is fashion week an excuse to save on child care?)
Then a film presentation by Ada Zanditon – fabulous but slightly un-nerving. I still haven’t got over ‘The Woman in Black’.

The next presentation was Ora Kiely – a 20’s themed disco with plates of biscuits, free flowing champers (not prosecco!) and cakes on plates. The collection was displayed on girls dancing cheerily with suited men – really original and thoroughly enjoyable. Take me to the 20’s!!
Finally after a quick look around the Tatty Devine launch which was gorgeous as expected it was time for Jena.Theo. Subtly sexy jeans and rock’n’roll separates – great end to the first day!

Bora Aksu
The show started nearly on time – a London fashion week first! The show is based around ‘In the realm of the Unreal’ and the stories heroines ‘The Vivien Girls’ – brave and virtuous.
The show began with soft colours and a fantasy theme with lace partial face coverings, structured knit creating bows and drapes with a feminine touch. Waists were tied and belted and the colour palette was soft with dusky pinks, grey and black with an occasional flash of red and burnt orange, mainly in lining that peeked through split skirts as models walked.
Detail and ruffling was everywhere including on the back of hems which was an interesting touch, playing with the huge season’s trend for mixed length skirts. Cropped jackets and capes were layered over the feminine garments and textured prints featured strongly in antique florals which were also featured on the hosiery.
Necklines were demure as were the hems, the collection innocently feminine and avoiding the sexy styles that Bora Aksu has often used in the shows. Staying within trends the dip dye look hit the runway but with a textured print used for a slight twist. Sheer, draped chiffon layers were also added to many of the dresses and in slightly structured sleeves. As the collection evolved colour became more obvious in a fuchsia draped dress worn with a milk maid style head covering and toting black shiny buttons. Black neckties added a darker edge to the outfits as did black lace face masks. Clashing scarlet and burnt orange together was a theme as was a bold pairing of orange and pink which hinted at an oriental colour scheme.
Although this collection was totally unsuspected and completely different from Bora Aksu’s previous collections it was stunning and portrayed the themes of innocence, fantasy and bravery beautifully.

Held at The Savoy Hotel we walked through the grand front entrance, through a maze of luxury and were escorted to the back entrance.... where the queue continued into a rather dubious looking backstreet. Eventually we were seated inside the beautiful, opulent hall with baby blue walls, high arching ceilings, white decor and chandeliers.
Maria Grachvogel is famed for her stunning, interesting prints and feminine silhouettes. This collection began with a shock – leopard print. Gold and animal print were mixed with wide leg trousers, cocoon shaped coats and skirts with soft draped, satin sleeveless tops.
The leopard gave way to a more ‘Gatsby’ feel including dropped waists, fluid maxi dresses and jumpsuits. The colours started with nude/gold and black – waists again tie belted over shift dresses and many added to with stunning jewelled harnesses and chunky jewellery.
The famed prints made the odd appearance with stunning satin outfits in burnt orange, teal and green with one print looking suspiciously like artichokes. Caped blouses were tucked into highwaisted, pocketed pencil skirts for a glamorous yet chic look. Grey wool worked its way into the show with a tight cut out dresses and sharp bold V necks that contrasted strongly with the outfits featuring satin roll necks.
This collection was beautiful and very wearable although the outstanding prints were missed as this designers range seemed to be commercialised.

Zoe Jordan
The collection began with a rather ‘yee olden days’ western theme, belted, long coats worn with wide brimmed hats over thick textured woollen blue/grey coats with strong piping. The winter ready outwear opened into another show of bright red and orange clashing wonderfully and appliqué over mesh, hinting at flesh. Cut out shoulders and leather elbow pads added a country edge and hat was accentuated by ‘polo’ belts tied at the waist and Jodhpur like panelling in the leggings.  The final outfits were skimpy a-line skirts and had a decidedly 60’s feel with the burn orange weaved delicately into muted knitwear.
Zoe Jordan’s collection was incredibly wearable and versatile – aimed at a range of ages, catering for the Topshop generation and the over 40’s with elegant outerwear.

Ada Zandition film presentation
It’s hard to believe that you are in Somerset House as you walk into a plush mini cinema on the lower levels of the venue. The showing began promptly and began with a panoramic of a beautiful antique looking room with gentle orchestral music and a crackling fire. A woman sits in a gorgeous dresses with an almost pre-Raphaelite, leather floral head piece. After taking a rather large bite of a beautiful pink cup cake and a sip of tea the model proceeds to her sumptuous boudoir where she lays down to sleep. And awakes in a nightmare. Donning a cranberry cloak, jacket with makeup smeared across her face and with new, stunning chunky jewels she runs through the house, terrified by strobe lighting and a pitter-pattering of model feet. She finds a dead woman, dresses in a stunning white print skirt and when stepping outside her home finds a fiery sky. She wakes up again, as perfect as she was before, in a new dress and the camera pans to her beautiful clothes draped around the room including a stunning leather jackets with structured spiking leather sleeves. The video ends and we discover that Ecover are the main sponsor of the brand – squeaky clean! A great example of fashion video.

Ora Kiely Fashion Presentation
Walking into the Portico rooms feels like going back in time, there is a disco ball, a live band and sets of dancers making their way around the floor dresses in the decidedly 20s Ora Kiely collection. Champagne is flowing and the vibe is good. At this point, myself and fellow journalists would happily live in the 20’s. Benches around the dance floor are seats for models waiting for a man to take their fair hand, dressed in delicate plum, cream and with light, feminine prints and dainty peter pan colours. Waists cinched and the collection having modern twists with shorter dresses and a pair of feisty red shorts. This presentation was by far the best presentation I have ever been to. Bravo Ora Kiely – this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening at London Fashion Week.

The ticket for Jena.Theo was gorgeous, deep purple with a silver embossed collection title ‘Heavy Metal’ and heavy metal hair, grunge make up and mental clothes were expected.
However denim specialists Jena.Theo who specialise in combining luxury denim and street style created an understated yet beautiful collection of gorgeous jeans with leather luxe tops.
The collection began with acid wash jeans and tapered hem outerwear in tan. The ready-to-wear element in this show is obvious. The jeans that continued to show featured detailed chain stitching detail that was subtle but created visible and flattering contouring. From acid grey and blue to deep black the super-skinny jeans exuded cool. The jean hems were also tapered with mixed lengths, underfoot straps and zip details which gave them a couture look. Shirts were draped in sheer chiffon and satin before the leather hit the catwalk. Textured leather and sheer panels worked their way into the show before hand cut fringing was added. As well as the leather and gorgeous draping was clean prints developed with the brand by 0.Two. White smoke-like prints graced the satin drapery and fitted well with the super skinny jeans. The collection was entitled ‘Heavy Metal’ and to begin with it was hard to see the connection but by the end there was no doubt that this collection was meant for rock-star-ettes. Beautifully cut, flattering denim and a designer duo to watch out for.

Clashing Orange, Pink and Red

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