London Fashion Week: BFC’s NEWGEN

We always look forward to hitting the terrace at Somerset House during London Fashion Week. This is where you find the mini village of designers selected by the British Fashion Council as this season’s New Generation of emerging creative talent. There are often some names that we have already fallen in love with, admired and been inspired by- but there is guaranteed to be some exciting new names to add to our fashion lexicon too.

As we walked into the NEWGEN space the foyer was dedicated to a melange of mood boards from all of the designers showing in this space. We are a big fan of the mood board and how brilliantly it can give you an insight into the journey the designer has taken to arrive at their new season direction. Here are some shots of the mood boards for you, along with some collection shots from the exhibition. There will be more to come from NEWGEN as we are harassing a couple of the brands for interviews and we’ll also be featuring more from one of our eternal favourites, Felicity Brown.

NEWGEN Spring 2012, London Fashion Week

JW Anderson detail

Sister by Sibling detail

NEWGEN Spring 2012, London Fashion Week

Michael van der Ham detail

James Long

NEWGEN Spring 2012, London Fashion Week

Felicity Brown's Spring 2012 collection

David Koma detail

David Koma

Levi Palmer and Levi Harding of Palmer//Harding

Palmer//Harding

To read more about London Fashion Week, just click here for all of our posts to date. If you’d like to read more about Felicity Brown, click here for the interview that we posted . Enjoy!

London Fashion Week: NEWGEN at Somerset House

I actually sat here for a full 10 minutes thinking “What to start with?!”, there’s just so much great stuff from the first few days of London Fashion Week to share with you. To those in the fashion crowd who dared to say they felt a bit bored at LFW, we say piffle and tish! London’s strongly beating heart still runs on a heady mixture of creativity and innovation, blended with intellect and elegance. The Topshop and BFC sponsored NEWGEN section at Somerset House was the perfect example of this.

This season there was a new home for this selection of cutting edge talent. On the sunny terrace at the back of Somerset House sat this mini village of white painted wooden sheds, each creating a stylish, if chilly, home for the featured brands. It was a wonderland of Designer discoveries.

We particularly loved seeing Yang Du‘s collection again- a graphic and cartoonish collection of characters. Fannie Schiavoni‘s chain mail feeling jewelry looked really exciting. We dropped in to see the Mark Fast team. As you may know we are massive Mark Fast fans, especially after he graced us with an interview! We can’t wait to see Michael van der Ham‘s new collection, and Holly Fulton is another “Blink” favourite too. Felicity Brown came to our attention last season, and we look forward to seeing how her handwriting develops- especially after spotting the really directionally different printed T’s. Christopher Raeburn expressed his commitment to sustainable and ethical practices by having 2 lovely seamstresses sewing rabbits, created from collection offcuts- although we did think that it made his space look slightly like a butchers…

NEWGEN at LFW

A montage of the Designer's postcards filled the entrance space

Yang Du

Fannie Schiavoni

Henry Brown showing the Felicity Brown collection- new T shirts and last season's beautiful pleated dresses.

Christopher Raeburn's LFW production line...

Christopher Raeburn's rabbits

Click here for more on London Fashion Week.

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