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Teatum Jones, AW16 at London Fashion Week

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

The Teatum Jones AW’16 collection shown on Saturday night was, in my eyes, their best yet. As recent winners of the International Woolmark Prize it’s clear that Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have hit their creative stride in spectacular style, garnering the recognition that this label has long deserved. After seeing the show I can absolutely see why the Woolmark judges chose Teatum Jones as their winners. This design duo have always been very textiles innovation focussed, specifically developing most of the fabrics for each collection. With the inspiration for this collection coming from the Foxford Woollen Mill, they delivered stunning pattern and texture through their attention to textile detail which perfectly blended historical reference points with Teatum Jones’ view of modern elegance.

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

Teatum Jones, AW16 collection at London Fashion Week, Blink London, fashion blog, catwalk show review

I caught up with Catherine Teatum after the show to gain some more insight in to the collection.

Blink: Is this AW16 collection an extension from your Woolmark prize collection, or was the prize collection an extraction from your plans already underway for AW16?

Catherine: The human story is what comes first so there wasn’t an order of creativity as such. That poignant human story then wholly influences patterns we looked at and fabric textures we want to create. So both IWP and mainline FW16 evolved at the same pace and because we have discovered new and innovative ways to use merino wool in our collections, it naturally spread across both. This is something that we will continue to do. We’ve unlocked the magic in this simple and natural fibre and we are excited to pursue those investigations.

Blink: The reference points for this collection feel very much about your Irish family background. How did Rob’s influence dovetail in to the story?

Catherine: The story was based on a woman Agnes Moirrogh Bernard whose life’s ambition was to use wool as a powerful symbol of hope for those less fortunate. She just so happened to be based in Ireland very near to my family home! Both Rob and I travel to the mills together and the process of creation is experienced together.

There a very beautiful thing between two creative people who know what the other is thinking and doesn’t question it – trust.

Blink: How did you come across the story of Agnes and the Foxford mill?

Catherine: My dad recommended that we go to visit it. Initially he took me there on a day out together last August 2015 and I was instantly captured by Agnes’s story. I went back a month later and spoke to the crafts people at the mill and then Rob and I travelled there several times throughout the development process. 

Blink: The colour palette felt far richer and brighter than I might have expected from the historical woollen reference point. What was your inspiration?

Catherine: Teatum Jones creates bold, exquisite fabrics that are married with modern, relevant shapes. We feel that AW16 was probably our most competent example of that to date. The inspiration to create these fabrics was inspired by the natural and unstoppable spirit of the Irish people in the story. Coupled with the incredible diversity in landscape textures that you find in Ireland.

Blink: The colourful sand catwalk pathway was beautiful. What was your inspiration behind that?

Catherine: We felt the sand was a poignant way to tell our AW16 story. Sand never stands still, it constantly evolves and each time the models walked and created a new impression in the sand, that seemed to perfectly reflect the journey of Agnes and the Irish people of Foxford that she worked so hard to provide a future for.

Blink: How do you think winning the Woolmark prize impact on Teatum Jones?

Catherine: It’s given us the opportunity to really pursue our textile innovation and development. To really discover what’s the next level of possibilities of wool. It’s also given us the opportunity to be physically present in store for every single one of our retail partners’ launches.

Blink: The knitwear in this collection seemed to play a stronger part than previous seasons. Was that a conscious intention?

Catherine: The rural Irish women would hand knit everything and it’s a skill that was passed down through generations. We wanted however, to create a collection of knitwear that hit every single wardrobe stoppable desire that our women needs and only use the finest merino yarn to create a these knitwear pieces.

Here’s some of my highlights from the show so that you can get a closer look at some of the stunning detailing.

For more from London Fashion Week, just look here. For more interviews then look here.

Valentino’s Spring 2016 campaign, shot by the legendary Steve McCurry

Friday, January 29th, 2016

 

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Apologies for the low res images but my only recourse was screen-shooting these from the Valentino website– but I HAD to share them with you. These are from Valentino’s breathtakingly beautiful Spring Summer 2016 campaign, shot in Kenya. The collection was inspired by Africa and so this location is obviously the perfect way to highlight that- but what is more special even that the location is their choice of photographer, Steve McCurry.

I don’t believe that McCurry has ever taken on a fashion campaign before, but my goodness he was the perfect choice for this one. McCurry, who is best known for his ‘Afghan Girl’ National Geographic cover, has been working as an editorial photographer for over thirty years, travelling the world and capturing iconic images of people from diverse, deeply challenged, difficult environments, always managing to show us the subtle and striking beauty of his subjects and their surroundings.

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog

Valentino SS16 campaign, shot in Kenya by Stephen McCurry, fashion photographer, National Geographic Afghan Girl, Blink London fashion blog
This has been taken from an article in WWD by Bridget Foley:

In describing Valentino’s African excursion, McCurry speaks not dispassionately, but with the specificity of an artist-clinician with a task at hand, while the designers invoke the language of pure idealism. “With this collection and campaign we wanted to speak about a different culture,” Chiuri says, noting that the European notions of beauty are rooted in classical Greek ideals. “We really believe that [cross-cultural understanding] improves our cultures…and with fashion it is possible to open eyes to learn something.”

Valentino, we yet again salute you. For more fashion inspiration, just click here.

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.

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties by Anna Buruma

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

You know I am totally in love with Liberty London right? You might also know that I am a Mid Century design fan too? Well I have discovered the perfect book to blend those two passions in to one.

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties, Anna Buruma, ACC Editions, mid century design, design book, book review, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties by Anna Buruma was issued in paperback in December 2015 and I have just managed to get my hands on a copy (thank you ACC Editions). When I think of Liberty, of course I think of the florals, arts and crafts style, soft and pretty designs and something quite whimsically romantic. Well, this book reveals how Liberty responded to the trends driving forward design in the 50’s and 60’s. It’s a wonderful surprise to see how they incorporated the mid century style so effortlessly into the Liberty lexicon. The images in this book show the designs, but also their application in many cases, giving a fashion history fanatic like me a wonderfully rounded view of Liberty during this excitingly creative period.

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties, Anna Buruma, ACC Editions, mid century design, design book, book review, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties, Anna Buruma, ACC Editions, mid century design, design book, book review, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties

It all makes perfect sense when you think of Liberty’s location at the head of Carnaby Street. How could that be the fashion hub of London’s Sixties scene without Liberty being impacted? This book shows us how Liberty has been a creative driving force throughout its history, charting it’s beginnings to give us context and a deeper understanding of the brand, and then revealing how Liberty responded to the mid Century Modern movement for both fashion and interiors. It’s a joy and I’m sure it will become one of my most regularly referenced sources of design inspiration.

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties, Anna Buruma, ACC Editions, mid century design, design book, book review, fashion blog, Blink London

Liberty and Co in the Fifties and Sixties

For more posts about pattern just look here.

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Overview

Friday, January 15th, 2016
Blink London's fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond, fashion trends, sustainable fashion, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog, fashion consultancy, Lucy Williams

Blink London’s fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond

I hope you’ve found our series of fashion forecast posts good food for thought. It’s interesting for me to see how these things that have all been percolating in my mind for some time, are now frequently popping up in many of the conversations I am having with clients. That is the kind of synergy that makes the world of fashion the exciting, reflective, forward-moving, innovative place that I adore. So to summarise this series we have one last word for you to add to your future fashion lexicon…Contemplation, Blink London's fashion forecast, 2016 and beyond, fashion trends, sustainable fashion, fashion news, Blink London, fashion blog, fashion consultancy, Lucy Williams

We end with ‘contemplation’. We encourage you to take a moment to really consider that every action has a reaction; and sometimes in ways you may previously have never imagined. For us contemplation not only represents a slowing down in thinking, but also in responding. No more knee-jerk, bandwagon-jumping speedy, throw away, careless fashion. If you add up all of our seasonal forecasting statements from this series I think you will end up with a collection that is far more significant, grounded, innovative and creative leading your customers to respect and treasure you and your products so much more. What could possibly be better than that?

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.

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Authenticity

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

In our last forecasting post we talked about the all-encompassing importance of passion. Your collections must be built from a place of altruism, created out of clever cooperation, intended to be seasonally resilient, and feel energised by your passion. Behind everything though must be our next forecasting focus. Next we talk about authenticity.Authenticity, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

This is how you stand out from your close competition. This is how you respond to the seasonal trends in your own unique way. This is how you build a loyal customer base. This is how you create a consistent brand identity, fit out your shops, create your advertising campaign, set the tone of your management style, communicate across your social media channels. You will have utter clarity if everything comes from a place of authenticity.

Of course you must have a brand statement that is fully formed and well defined so you understand what your authenticity is. What is your raison d’etre? What drove your business to be created in the first place? What is the unique need that you alone fulfil? Of course this should evolve over time as markets change, as your business develops, but the heart of what you stand for, your purest authenticity, should remain the same at all times.

In addition to what authenticity means for a brand, we must also look at the absolute importance of the authenticity of how your product is created. Part of this can be rooted in your brand identity (the tradition of where your brand was born), and expressed through the craft employed in making your product- which in turn informs your brand’s identity. But in a more tangible way, the expression of care that comes with a product that has been crafted using authentic techniques, authentic materials, developed from authentically historical reference points is so very important. Not only does this ensure that you are delivering something unique, you are also delivering something of value that encompasses all of those key forecasting directions that we have already identified.

The way forward is not about more for mores sake. It is about doing less but doing each thing better, with more care, more consideration and more honour. There is a joy in that which will give you and your customer untold pleasure.

This is the final part of our series of predictions. I do hope that you are feeling inspired. We are and we are very excited to see what the next round of collections have to offer.

Fashion Forecasting from Blink London: Passion

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Our next statement of intent for 2016’s fashion direction is ‘passion‘. All of the other focus words that we have featured in our 2016 fashion forecast need the energy that passion brings to give them depth and longevity. So I suppose what I’m saying is that passion is all pervadingly important in everything you do…Passion, fashion forecasting, 2016 fashion trends, Blink London, fashion blog

passion

ˈpaʃ(ə)n

noun

strong and barely controllable emotion. A strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. A person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire. A strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything: a passion for music.

We truly believe that the passion with which you designed a product, made a product, retailed a product, bagged up a product is what makes the critical difference. Your engagement in what you’re doing; the care, attention, emotional investment in your role within the fashion industry is critical, ensuring that what you do resonates with your intended customer.

The power of passion in your approach should never be underestimated. This will protect you from the sloppy, lazy, it-sold-through-last-year-so-lets-do-it-again trap. We are innovators, creators, sensory stimulators and path-finders and in order to do any of those important things successfully requires absolute passion at its heart.

We hope that you’re enjoying our look at the future of fashion and please watch out for more. If you’d like to see more inspirational posts, just click here.