Sunday, 27 February 2011

Hail Mary


Last season, Mary Katrantzou wowed the audience of her London Fashion Week show with her intricate prints and strong silhouettes.  While other designers concentrated on a minimal look with little print and colour, Katrantzou was a true patron of London Fashion Week's individuality and creativeness.  Critics of LFW argue that the collections are not as wearable, or more importantly, saleable than it's New York, Milan and Paris counterparts.  Katrantzou takes unwearable and unsaleable clothes to it's limit, using extradionary and at times garish print on lampshade skirts and structured tops.  Yet, somehow, it works. 

This season she softened those strong lampshade skirts into more wearable shapes, teamed midi-length dresses with eye-popping colour, high necked tops (a big trend this season) with surrealist and dada prints.  Last season Katrantzou offered us the view from her window, this season she concentrated on the antiques and collectibles in her room, porcelain tea pots, ethnic tapestries and Chinese bowls.  Styled together it was a myriad of print that pushed its limit, showing an excess with jarring images and shapes in one look.

Yet deconstructed Katrantzou's work is not just one for the collectors, editorials and the Anna Dello Russo's of this world.  Printed cardigans, skirts, trousers and shoes are bold enough to be teamed with plainer clothes for the more apprehensive customer, while a beautiful long-sleeved knee length dress in soft purple flower prints will appeal to the Erdem lover. 

But the highlight of the collection were the short dresses in playful shapes with skirts that jutted out from the hip and tight bodices.  Adorned with a myriad of print they were Katrantzou's show pieces, the ones the critics will be talking about for the next year.  Last season I did not think anything could be as exciting as what she produced, yet Katrantzou has simultaneously made her work more wearable and more thrilling in a single collection.  I cannot wait to see what she does next.


The Week Ahead


Tonight is the Oscars.  I was going to watch it after coming home from work (I work two jobs - one as a waitress and the other interning), but I realised the coverage started at 11:30pm.  Considering that I'm interning tomorrow, may have to give this one a miss.  I just hope Natalie wears something amazing, Colin wins and Banksy turns up (that last one is a bit unlikely).  I imagine there's going to be an awkward dance number between Anne and James, Helena will have toned down the crazy and hence become incredibly boring and there'll be a surprise in the best supporting category - my money is on Melissa Leo missing out and maybe Helena getting it? 

Expect a review of all the lovely dresses and tuxes tomorrow and my opinions on the results.  After all, everybody is film critic.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

How Those Models Walk


I never get bored of seeing models in their day clothes.  A beautiful uniform of ankle boots, black skinny jeans, a statement jacket and designer handbag.

Made In China


Brilliant editorials from Vogue China.  I wrote before that I'm due to get bored of all this colour soon, I think the time has now come.  And it's not even sunny yet. The styling in Aygness's editorial is exactly what I need right now.  

Monday, 21 February 2011

I'm in Fashion, Bitch

It's been a few hours since the show ended but it feels like a world away now as I sit in my warm bed trying to write this post before I succumb to sleep.  It's bizarre to think that so much time and preparation goes into a ten minute show.  I've never been involved in a fashion show on that scale before so I did my job with my phone in hand snapping pictures.  Apologies for some of the terrible quality, but as I ran out the door Sunday night (in an effort to get to Sainsbury's before it shut) I completely forgot my camera.

Interning at Peter Pilotto is an incredible experience, with the studio so small you get to see the designers make decisions in front of you and I really got a sense of the entire company.  As I have absolutely no design/pattern cutting/sewing skills I wasn't required at the studio until late Sunday night.  Almost everybody else had been there the whole weekend - and till late night up to two and a half weeks before - so everybody was bleary eyed, high on Redbull and furiously sewing buttons and hemming trousers.

In truth I had nothing of real importance to do until the taxi came at half five in the morning to take some of the interns to Billingsgate.  There we set up the food. Now I wish I had taken a picture of it because it was a shedload of sandwiches, croissants, yoghurt and fruit pots all from Pret.  Unsurprisingly, the food was finished almost right away, and surprisingly, quite a few models were munching on croissants!

At seven the models started to arrive and were whisked into hair and make-up.  It started relatively calm, with our show being the first of the day we weren't running late so models were catching up with each other, smoking and eating. 

And then it got hectic.  After a run through the models went back to hair and make-up and there was very little time left.  There was last minute hemming, pressing, stitching and new belt holes being made and suddenly the backstage was invaded by photographers so I couldn't walk anywhere without being caught in a photo. 

All the interns had a model to dress.  There was a confusion about one model turning up late and one not turning up at all.  Most of the models seemed a little dazed to be up this early but as the morning went on they were dancing and having fun backstage.  Typically there was a bit of attitude but that was to be expected, and I'm not going to say who.  I will say though, that Tao is stunning and sweet, watching the way she would model for the shoot was incredible.  Ajax, who was also incredibly striking, would shine when she smiled for the camera.

The show went off without a hitch (although a little late) yet it all seemed fairly anti-climatic.  After a maximum of five minutes the models had torn off their clothes (not literally of course!) and had run to their next show and the press swarmed into the backstage to talk to Peter and Christopher.  I was hanging one of the outfits on the rails when I realised Yasmin Le Bon and Hamish Bowles were standing right behind me; I almost died.

And then it was over and the next designer was putting their rails in the backstage and I was falling asleep on the tube.  What an incredible 10 hours!

As for the collection - I have to admit when I saw it in it's early stages I wasn't impressed but by the time it got to the models I was blown away by the beautiful tailoring, oxford shirts and printed knitwear.  The bright green - I want to say charteuse? - fabric had been sitting in the studio for a while and I wasn't a fan of the fabric at all but on the model the dress looked absolutely sensational and stunning with the knitwear.  Although I'm not too sure who could pull it off - someone either with fair skin and blonde hair like the model or very dark skin and black hair, two polar opposites.  The prints - what Peter Pilotto is known for - were incredibly daring, suits and dresses with strong red and yellow chain-like prints, which, when teamed with a cream knit sweaters and cardigans, were quite wearable. 

It was a strong collection, a world away from the ladylike dresses and prints of the summer despite the similar patterns, but there's nothing wrong with growth.  What Peter Pilotto is famous for is still there, the dresses, beautifully cut tops and skirts and strong prints.  But my favourite, rather unexpectedly, was the tailoring.  A surprising conclusion to a rather surprising day.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Week Ahead