Blink streetstyle: Soho, so chic

Our wonderful “Blinkette”, Asta, was out and about after the Louboutin Press Day (post coming tomorrow!) when she spotted this chic pair in Soho. We just love their looks. The great accessorizing, attention to detail and quirky individuality just sums up what is great about you stylish London ladies.

Click here for more streetstyle inspiration!

Soho, Central London

Knit: Donegal Divas

We have been researching for this month’s reports and the one category that stands out head and shoulders above the others is knitwear. Designers seem to be channeling all of their creativity into this category, much as they did last Autumn. I’m sorry jersey, but you’re just not cutting the mustard. Its all about chunky, cabled variations on traditional looks created in yarns that are hairy, neppy, tweedy and textural.

Classic Aran knits in creamy colours are all delicious, but we prefer these more coloured variations on the trad theme. Click here for more knitwear coverage. Needles at the ready!

Browns

Les Petites

Missoni

Prada

Diesel

Blink Inspiration: Utterly Frilling!

and another possible title was ‘The Hips don’t Lie!’ but we didn’t want Shakira getting litigious on our derrieres..

So, this month at retail, from high end to high street, we saw a flurry of frills, mainly focused around the hips creating a wonderfully curvaceous and voluminous silhouette. Some of the frills slipped from the hips to the hemline, and some others rose up to encompass the whole body. There were various techniques being deployed to create these tiers of fashion joy- from fur and feathers to more classic ruffles. Whether sculptural or soft, this is look we love.

Ashley Isham, Spring '11 collection

Ermanno Scervino

Harvey Nichols

H&M

Lu Flux

Shao Yen, On/Off London Fashion Week

Accesories: Put the Boot In

I think the best term for these would be ‘Fantasy Boots’. Not in the smutty kind of way, but to reflect the amazing level of creativity and imagination involved in creating these high heeled, ankle length beauties!

These are a selection from our Autumn ‘Accessories’ report. There were so many amazing ankle boots to choose from this season, but these represent the creme de la creme in innovation we think. They show a really exciting new thought process around materials, colour and even in-built accessories upon accessories!

Its time to put the boot in, but only ankle deep for Autumn 2010.

Browns Focus

London College of Fashion Graduate Show

Versace

Alexander McQueen

London College of Fashion Graduate Show

For more on ‘Accessories’ click here, or if you’d like to see the full version of the ‘Accessories’ report contact your nearest agent.

New Season style: in-Cape-able to resist!

So, we are into September and its officially Autumn. We have long been considering what to invest in come the new season deliveries, and its now time to start making those dreams a reality. I must admit that a cape wasn’t necessarily on my list of ‘must haves’, but I’m being seduced by all of the variations on this theme popping up from all angles.

Here are some shots from a really broad selection of brands, showing variations on the cape theme. Which is your favourite?

Louis Vuitton

H&M

Daks

Reiss

Knitwear- Autumn in June

Cricky, it seems that Summer has finally arrived..

Well, we say finally, but actually we’ve only been waiting a few weeks here in London as June is usually the beginning of the warm weather. It just feels like we’ve been waiting for ages as we’ve been reporting on Summer product in the stores since April. Fashion sets its own racing pace. Just as Summer gets here the stores are all on sale, slashing prices on product that the general public are actually only just now feeling ready to wear. No one ever said fashion had to make sense!

What we certainly aren’t ready to wear is Autumn product in 32 degrees of steamy heat. That hasn’t deterred retailers from starting to roll out the Autumn 2010 collections. Early on the uptake was Chanel. We spotted this when retailing Sloane Street, contemplating which flavour Magnum would be best to cool us down. This sweater, although absolutely lovely, didn’t help us feel any less ‘glowing’ (ladies don’t sweat you know!). We had just got over the shock when we passed the stunning Louis Vuitton windows which featured flannel slacks and a long haired fur shrug…

Click here for more on knitwear.

Chanel early Autumn 2010 product

Blink Events: Fashion gets Ethical

Somerset House was the key destination for the fashion crowd once again, and this time they were all gathered to celebrate something a little greener than usual, and we aren’t talking about the fact that khaki is having a major fashion moment.

On 22nd April 2010 (Earth Day) Somerset House hosted the ‘Estethica‘ press day. One of the aims of this event was to celebrate eco-friendly and sustainable fashion brands, presenting them as a viable and desirable part of mainstream fashion. Young designers face a fashion industry that must reassess its values, from the perspective of customer pressure and also due to global ecological and economic issues. The desire for transparency means that every brand will soon need to have a crystal clear conscience on the who, what, where from and why of each and every aspect of their product. The BFC and The Centre for Sustainable Fashion, under the ‘Estethica’ umbrella do a great job spotlighting the fabulous brands coming through with brilliant ethical credentials. Here are some of our favourites from this presentation….

Goodone’s A/W 10-11 collection certainly exceeds what recycled fashion is about with their unique designs. Founder, Nin Castle says “We want to push a new level of quality within up-cycling by mixing surplus luxury fabrics with used garments. This season we have introduced new textiles such as cashmere off-cuts and end-of-roll British knits, allowing more freedom of design without losing sight of our strong and feminine look”.

Nina Dolcetti’s beautiful shoes are constructed from off-cuts and unwanted pre-consumer waste. The leather used in the  ‘On Cloud Nina’ collection introduces a series of ethically sourced  vegetable and tanned leathers. The heels are formed from sustainably sourced cork and wood. Even the soles are made with recycled leather. Wonderful!

Michelle Lowe-Holder’s ‘Ribbon Reclaim’ accessories series is another great example of looking at production ‘waste’ as an opportunity to create something utterly desirable. Each piece uses off-cuts from previous collections and ‘end of line’ ribbons.

Tara Startlet’s approach to fashion will keep your conscious completely clear. She specializes in 40’s and 50’s pin-up style clothes, created using recycled and reclaimed fabrics.

When it comes to maintaining a mini carbon footprint, Makepiece’s policy is one to admire. They want their clothes to travel very few road miles before they reach the consumer so all the spinning, dyeing and manufacturing is done in the UK. They even keep their own sheep!

The imbalance between consumption and waste is redressed in From Somewhere’s philosophy. The collection is manufactured at the Cooperativa Rinascere in Montecchio Maggiore (VI), a non profit organization that helps rehabilitate the disabled and disadvantaged. The collection is made using only the finest fabrics such as pure cotton, silk, vintage lace and superfine viscose jerseys which are all reclaimed from the local industry, thus minimizing the transport and production carbon footprint.

Without compromising style, fashion can be part of the bigger picture of responsibility towards social justice and the environment. These are exciting times, and we at “Blink” hope to be able to bring you more and more news on the development of this fashion option.

Thanks to Asta for pulling together this brilliant post.

Guest speakers at the Q&A session included Baroness Lola Young, Charty Durrant, Laura Bailey, Livia Firth, Vera Boudmilija, Yasmin Sewell

Makepiece

Michelle Lowe-Holder

Nina Dolcetti

Tara Starlet

Colour Palettes: Slip into Neutral

This is probably one of our favourite looks from London Fashion Week, and we held it back to make sure you didn’t miss it in the melee.

Here is a taster of real and realistic Autumn 2010 style. It features neppy, tweedy looking unstructured knitwear that feels influenced by the super hot ‘cape’ shape. A subtle take on utility chic with those chino-esque trousers, a mood enhanced by those fantastic lace up boots. All hooked together by this brilliant neutral palette of honey, caramel, camel and blonde shades. I think the smile helps too. She looks very comfortable in her own tres chic skin, and who wouldn’t aspire to that?

The palette features oak (pantone 16-1407 TPX), silver fox (15-4503 TPX), pale oats (12-0304 TPX), tea (14-1112 TPX), sand (16-1320 TPX), caramel (17-1417 TPX) and noisette (18-1612 TPX).

Click here for more colour palettes.

London Fashion Week at Somerset House

Blink interviews: Mark Fast

We are delighted and excited that our second interview is with brilliant ‘New Generation’ talent, Canadian born knitwear designer, Mark Fast.

Fast graduated from Saint Martins in February 2008 and went on to create knitwear for Bora Aksu, a collaboration that spanned three seasons. He has also collaborated with Stuart Vevers for the Loewe RTW AW09 show and with Christian Louboutin on shoes for his SS10 collection. You may know his name particularly in relation to his choice of catwalk models, as he innovatively and very effectively uses ‘real’ sized models as well as classically teeny models to present his collections.

Fast designs by hand on a domestic knitting machine to create his signature stitch techniques. His obsession with form and texture turn the body into a sinuous and sculptural landscape. In addition to his eponymous collection, Fast is also launching a second line called Faster by Mark Fast, and hooking up with Topshop for a collaborative collection so we see world domination just around the corner…

Do you ever consider commerciality, or is your work purely driven by creativity?
Commercialization is ingrained in our culture but there is a way to take that sensibility and be creative with it.

Have you started working in Spring ’11 yet?
Are you crazy? The show was just yesterday! So it seems……

What or who are your longest standing design influences?
I am inspired by the spontaneity of Jean Paul Gaultier and the precision of Azzedine Alaia.

How would you describe the Mark Fast fashion aesthetic?
Severe.

Any future projects that you’d like to tell us about?
I did an exciting collaboration with Topshop that comes out in June.

Any fashion regrets?
I never regret, I only move forward.

What would your alternative career have been?
I wanted to be an actor.

What’s the best fashion advice that you’ve ever been given?
Keep your cocoon of creativity safe!

What’s your first fashion memory?
Working alongside Bora Aksu.

What’s your proudest career moment so far?
Having my dress on Tilda Swinton on the cover of Another Magazine.

Who would you love to work with, past or present?
Marilyn Monroe.

You feel most creative when…
I’m on the highway.

April '10 Vogue, featuring Lara Stone in Mark Fast

Mark Fast SS '10 collection

Mark Fast SS '10 collection

Mark Fast AW '10 collection

Mark Fast AW '10 collection

With huge thanks to Mark Fast for taking the time to answer our questions. Thanks also to Tatiana of Knot PR for being a star and hooking us up.

London Fashion Week- A Fashion Performance

The presentation of Maaike Mekking’s A/W 2010-11 collection, shown at the We Know What You Did Last Night fashion week space, wasn’t an average fashion show. In one corner German Paris-based performance artist Anastasia Freygang was reading a poem aloud accompanied by a guy with a guitar. In the other corner a young model was placed in domestically styled set. There was a small table, a mirror and a chair surrounded by Mekking’s collection. The collection was displayed hanging on a wire in the window and lying around on the floor, almost like a teenager’s room. From 6 until 9pm the collection was creatively presented by the model. Styles were worn in a variety of combinations and in experimental ways. Everything was displayed in a playfully creative way in an almost dreamy atmosphere. This was a refreshingly different way of showing a collection, allowing us to see more possibilities beyond a stylist’s viewpoint on the catwalk.

Since completing a womenswear MA at the Royal College of Art, Mekking worked for highly acclaimed brands like Alberta Ferretti and Alexander McQueen, before launching her own signature collection.

Click here for more on London Fashion Week.

Maaike Mekking

Maaike Mekking

Maaike Mekking

Maaike Mekking

Maaike Mekking