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Blink London reviews Pre Fall 2016 collections: No21

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Actually, the name of this label is so much more entrancing when spoken in its mother tongue… Numero Ventuno. That’s No21 to those of us sadly lacking in Italian language skills (yup, that’s me). Out of all the pre AW’16 collections I have to say that this one was perhaps the biggest surprise and now is top of my favourites list.

It feels modern and yet elegantly vintage. Kind of debutantish- but if she had a really naughty streak and a kind of careless nonchalance. You know those girls who may have had very little sleep and are all dry shampoo and pale skin, but still look utterly fabulous? Well, that’s the No21 girl as far as this collection is concerned. I think it’s that combination of plaids with lace, the frills and bows, that slightly longer mini length, the socks with the strappy shoes…

It’s beautiful and sweet, but with a dark undertone to it which is utter perfection.

No21 pre AW 2016, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

No21 pre AW 2016, images with thanks to Vogue Runway

No21 pre AW 2016, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

No21 pre AW 2016, images with thanks to Vogue Runway

No21 pre AW 2016, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

No21 pre AW 2016, images with thanks to Vogue Runway

No21 pre AW 2016, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

No21 pre AW 2016, images with thanks to Vogue Runway

No21 pre AW 2016, pre Fall 2016, image with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

No21 pre AW 2016, image with thanks to Vogue Runway

All images with thanks to Vogue Runway.

Did you catch our review of the Erdem pre Fall 2016 collection too? And from there you’ll find our other show reviews too.

Blink London reviews Pre Fall 2016 collections: Erdem

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

I hope that you enjoyed our Preen show review yesterday. Don’t forget to check out the review post of the Altuzarra pre Fall collection too. Now we take a look at the collection from another of London’s leading design lights, Erdem.

We have been huge fans since discovering this fabulously floral driven label soon after its launch. There’s lots more Erdem oriented Blink London posts if you’d like to take a look. We have adored watching how Erdem Moralioglu has evolved his very romantic, decorative, vintage feeling take on womenswear. In this pre Autumn Winter 2016 collection the beauty quotient is increased above and beyond all of the previous gorgeousness that we have utterly admired from this label.

The lightness and the texture, the movement and the delicacy, occassionally delineated with sharp cut black elements. There is a youthful brightness but also a deep sophistication to this collection which gives us the same feel that Erdem’s previous floral heavy seasons, but without that motif being used quite so boldly.

I’m not quite sure why but these shots also make me think of Sophia Coppola’s ‘Virgin Suicides’. Maybe that’s just the grouping of the girls, the lighting, the colour level or the poses- but as that is one of my favourite films from a style perspective, that is a very good thing.

Erdem, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Erdem pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

Erdem, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Erdem pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

The addition of the clever, clean-cut tailored looks that are scattered through this dress-driven offer, really helps back up the linear sharpness too. We especially adore that brilliantly bi-coloured trench.

Erdem, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Erdem pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

Many thanks to Vogue Runway for these images.

Blink London reviews Pre Fall 2016 collections: Preen

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Preen, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

I hope that you enjoyed our look at Altuzarra. Next in our series of pre-Fall 2016 show reviews we look at a perennial favourite of ours, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi.

This collection brings with it the energy, bold graphic approach and splashes of colour that we adore Preen for. In addition to all of those signature elements of subtlety blended with crisp, clean strong shapes, of a vintage backdrop sharpened up with bold pattern this collection also brings with it a somehow more complex, more theatrical, more eclectic softness that I absolutely love. I want to be the Preen woman.

Preen, pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

For more show reviews and inspiration, just click here.

Blink London reviews Pre Fall 2016 collections

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

After our series of fashion forecasts we are back to the realities of fashion’s future instead of our more conceptual views. Let’s get back to looking at our highlights from the pre Fall collections that dropped at the end of last year. We started off with that fabulous frock from Bottega Veneta that served to sum up some of the biggest directions all in one look.

Next we take a look at Altuzarra

Altuzarra pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Altuzarra pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

Altuzarra pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue, fashion trends, fashion show review, fashion blog, Blink London, Lucy Williams

Altuzarra pre Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

I absolutely adore the boldness, the powerful mood, the absolute womanliness of this collection. Yes there is a vintage feel with a Forties flavour, but more than anything this feels like the perfect expression of modern femininity. The angular detailing adds a decorative touch while remaining really striking, adding an element of texture and movement to these otherwise rather starkly sharp cut shapes. Utterly effortlessly sophisticated.

Watch out for more reviews coming up, and in the mean time for more inspirational posts, click here.

Blink London reviews Pre Fall 2016 collections

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

The fashion industry is a constantly forward-moving entity, permanently shaping the future in the image defined by a select set of highly creative minds. That sounds pretty heavy right? Well, it is heavy from the perspective that this is a global business that is worth a huge amount of money to many, many people. In direct contrast, this is light as a thought, fleeting as a feeling, as fluid as satin. This is the stuff of dreams turned in to reality. Fashion’s influencers delve deep in to their psyches to divine how we’ll be feeling in the year ahead and how we will want to express that in the most visible way possible- through the way we dress. These are some of the reasons why I never, ever, ever tire of this amazing industry.

Now I can be sure that my fashion passion is absolutely continually fuelled as the inter-season collections are becoming more and more significant and diverse. Even though this has been the case for several annual fashion circuits, I am still usually caught by surprise when the pre Autumn collections pop up on Vogue Runway. Well, it’s just happened again but this time I was more prepared, readier to do a little bit of time travel into next July and August. Over the next few posts I’ll be sharing my highlights from these recent pre-Fall 2016 collections with you.

Kicking things off, here’s my one favourite look from Bottega Veneta.

Bottega Veneta pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

Bottega Veneta pre-Fall 2016, images with thanks to Vogue

I chose this single image from their collection as it sums up many of the things that are looking strongest across many of the pre-Fall collections:

  • maxi length
  • still a 70’s feeling
  • large scale geometric colour blocking
  • lots of shades of red
  • a softly smart feeling

Watch out for more posts featuring our choices from some of the key collections. For more inspiration in the meantime, take a look here.

Fashion Forecasting for the year ahead…

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

So, as 2015 draws to a close, our thoughts turn to the year ahead. We have already seen what fashion’s biggest labels think we should be wearing for Spring Summer 2016, as well as a little preview of Autumn Winter 2016 through the pre-collections which have just been shown. Elle.com shared insight in to what inspired some designer’s Spring 2016 collections which is lovely to look at against what actually hit the catwalks. The fashion forecasting houses are way past 2016 already of course, as are most fashion designers, but before we shoot too far in to the future there are some very interesting changes afoot in the world of fashion which we have been pondering…

Missoni pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Missoni pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Where is Raf going and what is going to happen at Dior? How long can Gucci sustain their new geeky chic direction and what else does new creative director, Alessandro Michele, got up his sleeve? How will Balenciaga‘s appointment of Demna Gvasalia, formerly of Vetements, impact on the brand’s aesthetic? Will we all be 3D printing our own clothes any time soon? How will the high street compete with the growth and diversification of the online shopping experience?

Gucci pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

Gucci pre-fall 2016, from image Vogue.com with thanks

And perhaps most importantly of all, what on earth will the Kardashians do next to in order to keep hold of our undivided attention? Well, I think their impact on the global psyche was very well reflected in the utter fashion mayhem caused by the H&M x Balmain collaboration. Crikey, that Olivier Rousteing knows how to work his celebrity smothered intagram account with supreme skill, featuring his Kardashian/West/Jenner bezzies on a regular basis. Not that long ago the general high street fashion shopping populous would most probably been totes unaware of Balmain as a brand, and now they are knocking each other to the ground for this collab collection in a mosh pit style frenzy!

Kendall Jenner modelling Balmain x H&M. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

Kendall Jenner modelling Balmain x H&M. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

Well this leads us on to another interesting question. Who on earth can follow up that H&M collaboration? The joy of these collabs is not lost on me. I am a proud repeat wearer of several bits bought from the Stella collab, the Marant collab and the Margiela collab (although no one was injured in my purchasing of those items). I came across this interesting article putting some odds on potential designers who may or may not be under official H&M consideration. Who will you put your money on?

For more fashion inspiration to get your brains swirling just like ours, look here. If you’re after shopping news in particular, then you should look here.

The BBC invite you to go back in time…

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

I’ve been contacted by Wall to Wall media. No, they haven’t offered to make my very own reality TV series (which would be called ‘One women and her obsession with fashion and felines’ obvs). They were in fact asking for my help in recruiting some participants to take part in a very exciting upcoming TV programme all about life in Victorian London. This is not a sponsored post, but in the spirit of full disclosure I am…

  • a) interested in putting myself forward to take part and
  • b) loved ‘Back in Time for Dinner’ which Wall to Wall also made, but mostly as I have a very soft spot for Giles Coren

There, now that’s out of the way let’s get into the thick of this new programme’s raison d’etre. The aim is to transport people back to Victorian East End London to experience living in a tenement at that time, in as true and honest a way as is possible. Just to paint a fuller picture for you, here’s an actual picture of a Victorian East London tenement…

East London tenement living. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

East London tenement living. Image swiped from Pinterest with thanks

So this is pre Welfare State, pre female suffrage, pre most home comforts for the general populace (including indoor plumbing), pre touche eclat and pre epilady. Although it will undoubtably be a challenge, if you do take part I think you will have a newly minted appreciation for pretty much anything and everything that you take for granted in your life, let alone a unique insight in to this amazing city of ours during a very formative period in its history.

BBC Victorian Living History Series needs you

I am so very tempted, plus I think I’d look good in a pinny and a mob cap…

Liberty London launches The Chesham Cabinet Collection

Friday, December 11th, 2015
Liberty London's Chesham Cabinet Collection, Arthur Liberty

Liberty London’s Chesham Cabinet Collection, Arthur Liberty

The other week we were delighted to be invited to Liberty Interiors new collection launch. The Chesham Cabinet Collection has been inspired by some of the world’s finest ‘cabinet houses’ and dolls houses.

Queen Mary's Dolls House, Windsor Castle

Queen Mary’s Dolls House, Windsor Castle

We met with some of the Liberty London designers who told us how they were so inspired by the scale play and intense detailing, craft and workmanship found in these amazing dolls houses. They translated that inspiration in to a stunning collection of new interiors textiles designs translated across velvets, linen, wallpaper and even Scottish made, luxurious woollen blankets.

It was wonderful to see the mini room sets created by the Liberty team, but my absolute highlight was being able to see the original, hand-painted artworks for these designs, painstakingly created by Liberty’s textile designers. No computerised design work here!

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection. Close up

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty London artwork for the Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Liberty Interiors Chesham Cabinet Collection

Thanks so much to the Liberty Interiors team who were so generous with their time. Wonderful to be able to see the whole creative journey behind these stunning new designs, and wonderful to see how such a recognisable heritage brand continues to innovate.

For more interiors inspiration, just look here.

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015
Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

On Monday I was invited to preview the Alexander Calder exhibition at Tate Modern. It’s hectic at Blink Towers, what with launching Bella Illustrations and a couple of very exciting design projects we’re working on (top secret!) but nothing was going to stop me from catching this show. I am a mid century design nut, and as such this is a key exhibition to see- as is the Eames exhibition at the Barbican which we’re hitting up later today. So, pretty much I am in mid century inspiration heaven right now!

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

This exhibition is wonderfully spacious. Not just in a literal way because I doubt these rooms will rarely be this empty, but more kind of emotionally… That’s because calder’s work is so spaciously airy, both occupying space but also working so wonderfully with empty space in between the elements of his work. I have always adored the mobiles that Calder created, but there is so much more to his work too. It was a joy to discover his simplistic, bent wire forms as well as those works that feel like 3D paintings, emerging from a wall mounted canvas.

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern, mid century art, London, art exhibition, Tate, fashion blog, Blink London

Alexander Calder at Tate Modern

The forms are fluid yet strong, bold and simplistic but also wonderfully complex in the way that they change as you move around them and they move in space too, as shown by my rather wobbly, speeded up view of this kinetic sculpture moving very subtly in the ambient breeze within the gallery. The shadows of these works are as much part of this exhibition as the work itself, adding a further impression on the gallery walls and floors. As you move through the exhibition, starting with those groups of work that I knew less and moving towards the Calder signature style that I know best, so I knew that the mobiles were coming up, but nothing could quite prepare me for their beauty. My oh my oh my…

Firstly there’s the scale to consider, and even though these are utterly light and delicate some of the mobiles are actually quite large. Next is the fact that the elements on the mobiles are hand painted or hand crafted so there is a subtle level of texture that you can see as these move in the light. Then there the fact that these have been suspended with such care, grace and balance. Something that at first sight is rather simple perhaps become utterly enchanting. I decided to post videos of these two large mobiles to try and share with you the movement, subtle though it is in these clips, as that is what this work is all about. Calder called them ‘preforming sculpture’ and this is descriptive perfection.

This exhibition is open from today until 3rd April next year so you have no excuses! Book yourself a ticket ASAP. All the details can be found on the Tate’s website.  For more inspirational events featured on the Blink London blog, take a look here.

Bella Illustrations, the newest addition to the Blink London family

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015
Bella Illustrations, fashion illustrations, fashion drawings, Blink London, original artwork, Etsy

Bella Illustrations

We have a new baby! Not a literal, actual being type human baby. We have a new Blink London business baby! Please welcome our brand new brand, Bella Illustrations. When you are looking at something rather lovely, feel free to say “Oh yes, that reminds me of those fabulous Bella Illustrations fashion drawings.” and as your friends look enquiringly at you, congratulate yourself on having the inside track on this new source for original and limited edition fashion artwork.

I must give my family kudos for inspiring me to launch Bella Illustrations because as a fashion designer, these are just the tools of my trade, but they assure me that these are things of beauty that deserve to be shared. Over the past 20 years I have been working out my best way of expressing my design ideas, and this is the result. These are drawn with absolute love, dedication and passion for the fashion world and my place in it. My favourite work days are my drawing days and so to have a legitimate excuse to have more drawing days is an absolute dream come true!

Bella Illustrations, original artwork, Etsy shop, BellaIllustrations, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion designer, Blink London

Bella Illustrations, original artwork

I’m offering some one off, unique, original fashion drawings that are mostly monochrome but detailed with skin tone to help the silhouette of the designs shine out. These above and below are on the Bella Illustrations Etsy shop right now, in our ‘Three Looks’ series.

Bella Illustrations, original artwork, Etsy shop, BellaIllustrations, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion designer, Blink London

Bella Illustrations, original artwork

I’m also creating some limited edition drawings which are inspired by vintage fashion looks. These are drawn up and then printed on to heavy cartridge paper. I then hand colour these with watercolours so actually each one is still quite unique- and there are only ever 5 of each drawing produced.

Bella Illustrations, limited edition fashion drawing, Etsy shop, BellaIllustrations, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion designer, Blink London

Bella Illustrations, limited edition fashion drawing

This one, with the embroidered bodice and full tulle skirt, is inspired by a 1950’s Balenciaga design. And the look below is also from the 1950’s but is a Dior design. The next may well be a 1970’s suit although I’m also being tempted by something far more historical like a 1920’s flapper dress or a heavily detailed Victorian frock…

Bella Illustrations, limited edition fashion drawing, Etsy shop, BellaIllustrations, fashion drawing, fashion illustration, fashion designer, Blink London

Bella Illustrations, limited edition fashion drawing

Oh, and are you wondering about the name ‘Bella Illustrations’? Yes, I am Lucy to all of you and to everyone in my life- aside from to my family. Bella is a family nickname, given to me by by big brother. As this is a far more personal aspect of my business it felt natural to give it a far more personal name. I do hope that you like it.

Please take a look at my Etsy shop to see more of what I’m doing. It’s the only place online where you can buy my work. There will be more one offs and limited editions being added regularly, so keep an eye on things. I’m also creating some custom fashion drawings to order too (yay, more excuses to draw!!!). If you’d like to see more from Bella Illustrations, including some ‘artwork in process’ images, follow Bella Illustrations on Instagram too.