Wednesday, October 1, 2008

London, Je T'aime

Agyness Deyn. Photo Credit: leairbag. C.C. License.First thing's first: your resident style devotee took a much-needed holiday after London Fashion Week - apparently missing the only sunny week in ages. Apologies for going missing.

Speaking of holidays, if you happen to be in the French capital before 7 October, and if you also happen to have a British Fashion Council pass at your disposal, then you'll want to check out the stash of UK designer goods at London Rocks.

The pop-up showroom is opening to show off the hottest British talent during Paris Fashion Week. Think displays from Erdem, House of Holland, Louise Gray and Todd Lynn conveniently located near the Louvre and the catwalks. Does all the London love mean that Paris will start plastering pictures of Agyness everywhere, too?

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Spotted: London Fashion Week, Day Five

Vivienne Westwood. Copyright LondonNet. All Rights Reserved.Vivienne Westwood, London loves you. Because who else can pack Pamela Anderson, Dita von Teese, Jourdan Dunn, Alexa Chung and Daisy Lowe into one room during fashion week?

Viv, your Red Label collection looked great. And you proved last night at Naomi Campbell's Fashion for Relief that your dancing's not half-bad, either.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Drool, Spend, Repeat

Naomi Campbell at Fashion for Relief. Copyright LondonNet Limited. All Rights Reserved.Naomi Campbell might get a lot of negative attention for her little lash outs, but the girl can seriously put together a good charity event. Her celeb catwalk show and auction tonight not only featured work by all (no really, all) the best designers, but also had enough big names to make even Mischa Barton gawk from the front row.

Just to get the details straight before the name dropping commences, the programme was called Fashion for Relief, it benefitted The White Ribbon Alliance (designed to keep pregnant women, mums and babies healthy in developing countries and around the world), it was at the BFC Tent, and tickets could have set you back about £650. The show ran an hour and a half late, but the first two rows got gingerbread men to eat, which were tasty.

Now for the celeb lusting. Estelle opened the show, did a little dance at the end of the runway, and was followed by 64 other models including Tyson Beckford, Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn, Cheryl Cole, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Sculfor, the Sugababes, Daisy Lowe, Erin O'Connor, Lizzie Jagger, Kimberley Stewart, Jacquetta Wheeler, Jade Parfitt, Alice Dellal, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, Tamara Beckwith, Tamsin Egerton, Terri Seymour, Roisin Murphy and Naomi herself.

Show highlights: Chanel Iman strutting with Naomi. Tyson Beckford walking around in a motorcycle helmet. Vivienne Westwood nearly breaking into a jig. Seeing designers from McQueen to Lanvin to Prada on some of the most gorgeous specimens around.

After the runway show - introduced by Trudie Styler, BFC chairman Harold Tillman and Sarah Brown - came auction time. The first item up for bids didn't take such a shabby total. Turns out a Zac Posen couture peacock-feather gown, worn by Mama Campbell, can fetch £25,000 fairly quickly.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spotted: London Fashion Week, Day Four

Avsh Alom Gur Runway Look. Copyright LondonNet Limited. All Rights Reserved.The celeb news is light for the moment, but wait for tonight, when Naomi Campbell stages her Fashion for Relief charity auction and catwalk show. The invite promises "special guests", which roughly translates to "special spectacle".

Suzy Menkes was on hand again at Avsh Alom Gur's Vauxhall Fashion Scout runway presentation. The Ossie Clark designer's personal label was something like '50s machinist babe (read: industrial playsuits with headwraps, see left) meets Camden girl on holiday.

And to rewind a bit, Giles drew an impressive crowd at his show last night. Emma Watson, Daisy Lowe, Mischa Barton, Tamsin Egerton and Jamie Winstone were just a few of the faces watching Agyness Deyn's first London runway show this season.

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You Sweet Little Thing

Muffin. Photo Credit: moriza. C.C. License.There’s a place my fashion-assistant friend and I call The Muffin Room. It’s not a big place, just the lobby of the BFC Tent next to the Natural History Museum. In the morning, The Muffin Room serves…muffins, along with gooey pastries, champagne and fresh fruit to people on their way to the shows. The thing is, no one usually eats the muffins in The Muffin Room, because no one wants to be that person.

The Met’s Fashion Candy Party had super-sweet treats that were apparently good enough to eat. Cranberry jelly shaped like a puzzle piece, anyone? How about a big fluffy marshmallow in that peppermint-and-Ketel-One cocktail? (You know it’ll go down well with your octopus fishcake.)

One hostess wore a dress glammed up with strings of orange jellybeans, and huge pink lollipops separated the smokers outside from the cleaner-lunged guests waiting to get inside. But still, the cupcakes waiting to unleash their sugary goodness mostly went untouched. “I really wanted one,” said a jewellery buyer, “but I was like, ‘Are these fake? No one’s eating them.’”

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Spotted: London Fashion Week, Day Three

Chanel Iman at Nicole Farhi. Copyright LondonNet Limited. All Rights Reserved.The London Fashion Week reception at 10 Downing Street might have drawn Naomi Campbell and Matthew Williamson, but Nicole Farhi didn't do so poorly for herself at the Royal Opera House this morning.

Here are just a few of the front row offerings: Suzy Menkes, fashion director of the International Herald Tribune (and the recipient of a possible tongue stick-out by Marc Jacobs). Kate Lanphear, US Elle style director (looking chic in YSL). Designer Jasper Conran, who showed his latest runway collection Monday.

Oh, and there was Chanel Iman, looking gorgeous as usual.

Check back tomorrow for highlights from The Met's Fashion Candy Party. It's yet to be seen whether guests will actually eat the chocolate jewellery.

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Check the List

Jourdan Dunn at Nicole Farhi. Copyright LondonNet. All Rights Reserved.Most people hate waiting, but when you get a large crowd of skyscraper-heel-wearing fashion-show followers standing in a 150-strong queue, you have a bit of a situation. Such was the case at the On/Off 10th Anniversary Party, where a selection of editors from, let's just say, big magazines, were left standing in the cold for 45 minutes puffing Marlboro Lights.

And since Rhys Ifans doesn't seem to be with Kimberly Stewart these days, there wasn't even that to watch.

On the bright side, Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn and Ali Michael were all looking smashing at Nicole Farhi this morning. And tonight there'll be another party at The Met, so time to buy some plasters and keep on with it.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

Party Like a Frock Star

Photo Credit: Bramus! C.C. License.It was the Vendome in Mayfair. It was late. People were getting crabby or giggly, depending on whether or not they had started sampling the Moet. When PPQ stages an after-party on opening night of London Fashion Week - and brings on Andy Weatherall, Kevin Rowland, The Charlatans' Tim Burgess and The Horrors as guest DJs - the scene is going to be big.

While Daisy Lowe bobbed in and out of the club, and while Roisin Murphy strutted in wearing a suspiciously linebacker-ish black jacket, the queue stretched halfway down the street for a party known to be a fashion-week spectacle. Tonight is the 10th anniversary party for the On/Off design branch, starring Rhys Ifans' band The Peth, so check back tomorrow for pictures and all the latest.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Spotted: London Fashion Week, Day One

Peaches Geldof. Photo Credit: Life in LDN. C.C. License.At Ossie Clark: Alexa Chung, Jade Jagger.

At PPQ: Peaches Geldof, Henry Holland, Alexa Chung, Kimberly Stewart, Daisy Lowe (sans Mark Ronson).

Check back tomorrow for pictures, trends and more gossip.

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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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Friday, August 22, 2008

Modernist designers like Turkish music, hate conspicuous handbags

Andrew Jones and Abdul Koroma of Modernist. Copyright Modernist.Abdul Koroma and Andrew Jones, the unlikely business partners behind the line Modernist, became friends by default as some of the only men working at an Italian design house. Next month will mark their third time presenting at London Fashion Week after entering the Fashion Fringe competition in September 2005.

Abdul and Andrew took a break from their latest collection and gave us the rundown on everything from their advice for Beyonce to the music scene in Turkey.

So the two of you met at MaxMara in Italy?

Andrew: Right. Abdul was fresh out of university and got his placement in July.
Abdul: We just became friends because we had no other option but to be friends.

How would you describe your partnership?
Abdul: It's the alchemy of two opposites. We don't compromise. We blend our styles together.

Any hints on what your Spring/Summer 2009 collection might be like?
Andrew: We got the idea of a bride's trousseau. It's the polar opposite of last season, which was really dark.
Abdul: There's no witchcraft…we drew on some new baroque and rococo. We like the idea of hard and soft. We're using neoprene with duchess.

Name another designer collection you love.
Abdul: I really liked the Prada winter collection with all the Perspex and fake fur.

What trend should die now?
Andrew: Print handbags.

Whose style has caught your attention?
Abdul: The actress from Don't Look Now. Julie Christie.
Andrew: Probably Beyonce. Even Tina Turner quit dressing that way.

On a more personal note, where do you go for a good bite to eat in London?
Abdul: Home in Shoreditch.
Andrew: We go to the same places. I'll say Bistrotheque.

What's your favourite vacation spot?
Andrew: Amsterdam or Berlin. I'll say Amsterdam. I've never been to either place.
Abdul: My bedroom - I like to sleep. No, Cinque Terre [in Italy].

Name your favourite artist on your iPod.
Abdul: I like some really random Turkish artists. Servet Kocakaya is good.
Andrew: The Kills and Feist.

And your favourite movie?
Andrew: Probably 9 to 5 with Dolly Parton.
Abdul: Don't Look Now.

What's your biggest vice?
Abdul: Probably smoking. And tidying up. [Ed. note: This is a vice?]
Andrew: Not tidying up.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gavin Douglas Likes Dior, and M&S

Gavin Douglas Runway Look. Copyright Gavin Douglas.If Britain's style scene were a classroom, then Birmingham-born designer Gavin Douglas might be the teacher's pet. After graduating from Northampton University, he secured help from the Prince's Trust to start his own fashion label. In quick succession he won the London Fashion Forum's Young Avant-Garde Designer of the Year award, a spot at the V&A's Black British Style Exhibition, and a prestigious Fashion Fringe sponsorship.

That last nod entitled the glamour-loving designer to show his collection at London Fashion Week in February 2007. Did we mention his collaborations with Superdrug and the Royal Opera House? We assume he also eats his five-a-day, every day.

We caught up with the very busy Mr Douglas as he prepares for his next London catwalk show. He filled us in on everything from his fascination with Dior to his favourite treat from M&S.

Any hints on what your Spring/Summer 2009 collection might be like?
I've looked towards the renowned Maasai tribe who are based in Eastern Africa. I've also explored the social and cultural forces of this tribe and looked into their lifestyle, distinctive customs and dress. I'm creating a collection that is both new and fresh without the obvious connotations.

Did you always know you'd be a designer?
When I was at high school I realized that my career definitely had to be in an area of design. I excelled in my graphic design and art qualifications and they were also my favourite subjects.

You spent time in the Middle East working for Beirut-based couturier Elie Saab. What was that like?
Working with Mr Saab and his team was an amazing experience. I had the opportunity to see first-hand exactly how the entire atelier works together to create their couture garments. I was also able to watch the collection grow from concept, to design, to toiling and then onto the complete sample. Seeing the beading work in process and the lengthy time and intricate detail that goes into each piece was incredible. I also enjoyed taking in the beauty, culture, history and also the food of Lebanon.

What's the best garment you've ever made?
It's difficult to single just one garment as being 'the best'. I have a favourite piece from my Fashion Fringe collection. It's a peacock feather all in one bodice with hand-sewn sequins. It was inspired by a Victorian trapeze artist called Miss La La, and it received a huge amount of press. It was also worn by Kelly Rowland at one of her concerts.

Name another designer whose work you love.
I have always been a fan of [Dior designer] John Galliano's work. He is such a creative genius, and his work is truly inspirational.

What trend should die now?
Each to their own, I say.

On a more personal note, where do you go for a good bite to eat in London?
The Lane (Osborn Street, E8)

What's your favourite vacation spot?
Strawberry Hill, Kingston, Jamaica

Name your favourite album on your iPod.
Estelle, Shine

And your favourite movie?
Set It Off

What's your biggest vice?
A chocolate profiterole dessert from Marks & Spencer or a packet of Haribo Strawbs!

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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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