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Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Kane’
Continuing our series of show reviews, here’s a major highlight for us- the Christopher Kane AW’15 collection. Unfailingly bold, innovative, modern, challenging; and yet always utterly elegant. Much of what the frontline British designers do seems focussed on redefining femininity, and Kane appears to take that mission very seriously.
This collection is all about sex and sensuality, yet it remains utterly sophisticated, refined and subtle. This is what makes it so fresh. Sheerness is utterly elegant in Kane’s hands. These huge nudes, sinuously encompassing dresses, are obvious and yet also romantic. Nothing is gratuitous. Blossoming graphic florals, oversized ruffles and sensuous ‘touch me’ textures deliver a strong and impactful variation on the classic feminine lexicon. I want to be this woman.
We’ve been deeply discussing our overall experience of London Fashion Week, looking at what stood out for us in a ‘big messages’ kinda way, and it seems that this AW15 LFW has been all about extremes. Yes, London is known for pushing the creative envelope to its outer limits, but this is something more than that. This is about extreme opposites of ethics, approach, vision and execution.
On one side of these opposing parties are those brands, designers, labels that are pushing forward into the future of fashion, somewhat in line with the vision expressed in ‘The Next Black’, which you can see here in our post from September’s LFW. These visionaries are delivering product made in brand new ways, with new technologies, blending traditional craft skills with a new view of craft that incorporates 3D printing (watch out for out Larissa Hadjio post) and taking traditional techniques are using them in fresh ways (watch out for our Georgia Hardinge post).
This is the side that we are sticking with, that we are loving and supporting. This is the side that includes designers like Christopher Kane who season on season deliver us a new take on femininity, a fresh view on surface pattern and who embraces innovative textiles and construction techniques.
This is the side where Mary Katrantzou can be experimental, creating a new view of beauty. Where she can create her very unique aesthetic all around new digital printing techniques, and then drive that forward to deliver a brand new take on surface interest in a fresh, bold and geometric, 3 dimensional way.
On the opposing side are a shockingly large number of labels who were showing real fur with utter abandon, in quantities that we have never seen before in the British fashion industry. We were left feeling very conflicted when a few of the labels that we regularly feature and have loved for the longest time, included this inexcusable material in their AW15 offer. Actually this feels like a continuation of several social media conversations we’ve had with Brit brands over the past few months, where we’ve called them out on their use of fur and asked them about their sourcing policy, only to be pretty much shut down in a public forum and invited to contact them directly, privately. Hmm, if you don’t feel able to publicly discuss your controversial choice of materials, then perhaps you need to consider those choices a little more deeply?
For us this is very firmly the opposite camp to those wonderful fashion innovators as it represents a carelessness, a very old-fashioned viewpoint and a lack of ‘big picture’ thinking. These are the fashion ‘backsliders’. These are labels that seemingly haven’t taken the time to investigate that perhaps there are better, more ethical and more effective materials to work with. These are the labels that need to take on board that luxe comes in many guises, that fashion is not relevant if it is without a conscience and without a thorough, well thought though set of decisions behind it. Remember angora-gate?
There is a trend for using real fur as a trim on accessories. How little regard must you have for the creature to use real fur to create utterly pointless clip on pom-poms for your shoes? Taking this natural material, then dying it bright, bold, dayglo colours makes even less sense to us when you can create that look brilliantly, Shrimps style, using fabulous faux fur?!?
Shrimps, we love you and your brilliantly bonkers AW’15 collection by the way, showing just how exciting and innovative fake can look. We think all of you fur wearing fashionistas and all of you fur using fashion brands need to take a leaf out of this young Brit brand’s book.
The future for fashion must be forward with innovation, approach and ethics. Are you with us?
For more from London Fashion Week, just take a look here.
Does anyone else feel like the fashion industry is on an inspiration overload just now? I can’t recall a January being this show-heavy before. We’ve had womenswear pre-Autumn. We’ve had menswear Autumn ’15 which featured quite a few womenswear looks too (check out this post). And right now we are in the midst of the couture shows. Oh, and in a few weeks we’ll start the round of international fashion weeks for womenswear AW’15. Phew, I’m exhausted just being an observer, but imagine how the design teams are all feeling!
Even though these labels have had to deliver collection upon collection in quick succession (I particularly feel for those that do womenswear, menswear and couture!), there has been no lack of amazing, inspired and innovative looks to be dazzled by. We’ll be featuring just a few from various of our favourites, and today we kick things off with Christopher Kane pre Fall ’15.
This is a brand with a super strong, well-clarified handwriting. Christopher Kane stands for tough elegance mixed with urban boldness, a graphic approach to pattern and embellishment teamed with a wonderful eye for proportion, highlighted by a clever mixture of textiles. This collection reflects that mood while still taking the concept forward.
I will actually be showing this collection to my LCF fashion design students in February. It’s a perfect example of how a designer evolves ideas throughout a collection. You can almost see the steps from style to style taking place, from black, through pink, into lace and then florals. Tone on tone delineation into colour blocking, into high contrast graphically placed embellishment.
Here are some of my favourite looks form the show, but we encourage you to get on to Vogue.co.uk (where we swiped these images from, with thanks) to check out the full offer.
It was a lovely evening and fabulous to be part of it. It was wonderful to actually hear the voices of people that we feel we know so intimately yet have actually only seen captured in photographs or bowing at the end of their catwalk shows. I had no idea that Christopher Bailey had such a sweetly lispy soft voice, that Suzie Menkes may well be rather posh and yet she is startlingly very human underneath that signature do and that Christopher Kane’s Scots accent is really rather sexy.
Alongside all of the awards and recognition, the night was also very much about what everyone was wearing. There were lots of very sharply suited boys, and actually I think the boys in general looked far better than the girls. We do have a favourite look of the night, and considering that we at Blink really, really love a good frock, the look that utterly stood out for us, rather surprisingly, is this really wonderfully graphic/ punky/ tailored look worn with elegant panache by the brilliant Stella Tennant.
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Last night the British Fashion Awards were held at The Savoy. Attended by the great and good in the fashion world, this is another opportunity for British fashion to raise a glass or 3 to celebrate it’s brilliance. We are in the midst of a very exciting period in British fashion where we seem to have matured in to a sophisticated and significant destination on the fashion circuit, at the same time as delivering huge amounts of innovation through an incredible surge of deeply talented new names. Yes indeed, we have got it all going on if we say so ourselves!
So, Stella McCartney was deservedly named Designer of the Year, the highest accolade at the British Fashion Awards. In a brilliant double whammy of fashion approval, her brand was also awarded the Designer Brand prize. Both of these awards reflect the incredible achievements for Stella and her business this year, including her contribution to Team GB at the Olympics. Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou were both finalists for the Designer of the Year award. Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Mulberry were finalists for the Designer Brand award.
Manolo Blahnik CBE received the Outstanding Achievement Award this year. This special award celebrates and recognizes one designer who, throughout their career, has made an impact on the global fashion industry. With a career spanning almost 40 years, Manolo Blahnik certainly fits that criteria. Blahnik is one of the world’s most influential footwear designers and has been British Fashion Awards Accessory Designer of the Year three times in 1990, 1999 and 2003.
“It is a great honour to be receiving this award from the British Fashion Council. To be recognized for doing something I love is really wonderful” – Manolo Blahnik CBE
Congratulations to everyone who was recognized at the British Fashion Awards last night. Its a great time to be part of the British Fashion Industry.
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Some month’s back I was delighted to be invited to the Liberty Press Day. That was pretty much in the midst of Summer time and I am only now feeling mentally ready to admit that Christmas is in fact just around the corner and so I am prepared to share some seasonal joy with you…
Liberty took inspiration from the Victorian age of luxurious steam train travel as well as classic Hollywood movie train moments from the like of ‘Brief Encounter’, ‘Some Like it Hot’ and ‘Murder on the Orient Express’. The Liberty Christmas windows will be transformed into a whole Victorian steam train, bursting with sumptuous and luxurious gift ideas, gold paper chains and festoon lights.
Here’s some highlights from the Christmas Press Day, and let me tell you, if Stella McCartney did an adult version of that super cute bunny onesie, I wouldn’t be wearing anything else for the whole Christmas holidays!
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The other collection that has caught my eye from all of the great Resort and early Spring drops, is the fabulously fluorescent Christopher Kane collection. Loving his work with J Brand too. This is another collection that fills me with joy, just like the Stella looks we shared with you a little earlier. I think it’s to do with the energy packed in to the pattern and colour combinations. The shapes are graphically simple, allowing the focal point to the be the surface detail, be that the eye popping solid shades or the wonderful rainbow hued print and pattern. The high sheen silver additions add a whole new level of excitement too.
Thanks to Style.com for the images.
All six national winners have now been announced. Have a look at the video to see all of the wonderful collections and to hear from the jury, which includes the brilliant Suzie Lau aka Susie Bubble, the inspirational Christopher Kane and the fabulous Hilary Alexander, alongside fashion journalist, Kristopher Arden Houser and Ann-Sofie Johansson, Head of Design at H&M with Margareta van den Bosch, Creative advisor to H&M.
We are particularly proud to announce that the British winner is the incredibly talented Stine Riis. I mentored Stine in the run up to her graduation from LCF, and was delighted when she won the prize for ‘Innovative Use of Textiles’ for her graduate collection. We’re really hoping that her winning streaks hold out! Click here and here to see our previous posts about Stine’s great work.
H&M has announced the launch of a new design award aimed at empowering and supporting graduates from major design colleges around Europe, as well as inspiring upcoming generations of designers. The selection is being made from fourteen major design colleges across six countries. The participating colleges are Beckman’s College of Design, Stockholm and Borås Textilhögskolan, Borås in Sweden; DKDS, Copenhagen and Design Skolen Kolding, Kolding in Denmark; Universität der Kunste UdK, Berlin, University of Pforzheim, Pforzheim and Weissensee, Berlin in Germany; University of Brighton School of Architecture & Design, Brighton, Central Saint Martins, London and London College of Fashion, London in Great Britain; ArtEZ Institute of Arts, Arnhem and AMFI, Amsterdam in the Netherlands; Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp and La Cambre, Brussels in Belgium. The winning designer’s collection will be showcased at Stockholm’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on 1st February 2012, along with a prize of €50,000. The winner will also get the chance to have chosen pieces from their collection sold in selected H&M stores later in the year.
“I’m very excited about the H&M Design Award. It´s our first ever prize for new young designers, and it’s been such an inspiring experience to meet these talented graduates, to hear the vision behind their collections and to see the final result. With the award I hope we encourage young designers around the world to believe in themselves and their creativity. I can’t wait to share the experience with everyone on-line.” Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M Head of Design.
From 13th January everyone with an interest in fashion can follow the awards process online through a series of films at designaward2012.hm.com. Videos and images of the graduates work will be posted online, meaning everyone gets to follow the progress of the award and to see 2012’s best new talent from around Europe. H&M’s Head of Design, Ann-Sofie Johansson, will blog about the process, and there will also be interviews with judges and glimpses into life at some of the world’s most prestigious fashion colleges. Visitors to the site can also vote for their favourite collection, the winner of which will receive a special People’s Prize. What a great opportunity to get involved! We’ll be following all the stages for sure. What an exciting addition to the fashion calendar.