Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our Five With: Betty Jackson


Internationally renowned fashion designer Betty Jackson has an impressive resume. When she was chief designer at the fashion collective Quorum, in the '70s, she worked with legends like Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell. Second, her work in fashion earned her an MBE. And finally, she delivered a knockout runway collection this season, with the Telegraph's Hilary Alexander gushing backstage that she'd 'redefined feminism'.

Now, she talks to LondonNet about how it all came together, and where fashion is going now.

What was the jump-off point for your latest collection?
We always start with colour and fabric, and we wanted to be quite optimistic. One of the main fabrics is mohair, which is the lightest fabric in the world. It looks bulky but really isn't. And then we wanted to mix all the prints up.

Besides some bright prints - anemone-print, wood-grain - you have some darker influences. What was that about?
It was a bit more to do with Tim Burton and all his animations, and sort of more surreal. We wanted to pull all of these odd elements together.

How do you think the economy will impact the fashion community?
I think everybody's spirit is different. I think we will get through it. It's going to be a hard time, no question, because it's probably going to be deeper than anything we've had before, but it just means you have to work harder. You have to concentrate and do what you do best. We're fairly upbeat.

Who are some of your favourite up-and-coming designers?
I think there's a lot of great talent. I love what Richard Nicoll is doing, I love what Danielle Scutt is doing. Christopher Kane is already established and does beautiful, beautiful things. What Giles has achieved in a very short amount of time, it's fantastic.

People tend to be really uninhibited here, don't they?
Well, yes. There's also all the music and theatre, and wherever you want to go, it's an inspirational place.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Be Our Guest

Modernist Spring/Summer 2009 Fashion Show Invitation.London Fashion Week is almost here. That means people who want to see what they'll be wearing next spring are clamouring for invites to shows like Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Luella and Christopher Kane. There's always the underlying pressure to outdo the competition, even when it comes to the invitations themselves.

The prize for best invite this season goes to Andrew Jones and Abdul Koroma of Modernist. Their upcoming collection is based on a bride's trousseau, and these send-outs have made the post very ladylike indeed. Feast your eyes on their offerings - and don't try to zoom in for the show details, sneaky, because I didn't learn Photoshop for nothing.

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Monday, August 4, 2008

The Line-Up

London Fashion Week Catwalk. Photo Credit: Julianne.hide. C.C. License.London Fashion Week is just more than a month away, and now the well heeled can get a slightly clearer view of their cross-city dashing to see the shows.

The provisional catwalk schedule went out today, and it looks like Dublin-born designer Paul Costelloe will kicks things off early on Sunday, 14 September. Ossie Clark, PPQ and Peter Jensen are also lined up for the first day of madness, with Luella and Marios Schwab getting runway-ready for Monday.

Donatella Versace-trainee Christopher Kane will tell everyone what dresses are supposed to look like on Day 3 of Fashion Week, while Agyness Deyn's buddy Henry Holland will have to wait until Wednesday.

The week ends with Topman's MAN show on Friday evening, but the highlight of the week might come from Vivienne Westwood. She's come back to London for the second consecutive season to show her commercial line, Red Label, and who can really get enough of the Viv?

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Friday, June 20, 2008

(Zandra) Rhodes Scholar

Zandra Rhodes has a purse named Paris. To be specific, a purse named Paris that looks like a black stuffed dog. It’s unclear whether its namesake is the city or the Hilton sister.

But on to more important things. Miss Z was on hand for the opening of
the Fashion and Textile Museum’s new Little Black Dress exhibition, a collection of more than 60 modern and vintage frocks from designers like Christopher Kane, Dior and Biba. Ironically, Zandra was not in fact wearing an LBD to match Paris, but when you’ve made fans ranging from Freddie Mercury to Princess Diana, you wear what you want. She looked fabulous in stripes and had a huge Andrew Logan cuff that seemed like it weighed more than what many women are trying to diet off.

In between raving about Charles James (who designed her favourite dress in the exhibition and “invented the Dior look before Dior”) and reflecting on the influence of celeb mags on sales, Zandra offered a fortune cookie of wisdom to UK designers today.

“English designers stand much more chances to be the innovators,” she says. “We manage to survive and keep things going. That’s why we’re still original. We’re still an island.”

Hear that, Louise Goldin?

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