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
NEWGEN Spring 2012, London Fashion Week
Felicity Brown's Spring 2012 collection
David Koma detail
Levi Palmer and Levi Harding of 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!
Somerset House still looks beautiful through the drizzle, and the fashion pack followed suit. There was no change in the super high style stakes, aside from the addition of some umbrellas. We have some fabulous streetstyle shots to follow over the next few days, but wanted to start by setting the scene for this London Fashion Week.
London Fashion Week at Somerset House
We saw some great new collections from familiar names at the Somerset House exhibition, but we also discovered some new names that we’d like to share with you too.
A scarf installation featuring the work of Topshop sponsored NEWGEN deisgners.
Lets start with the Topshop sponsored NEWGEN group of designers, and we caught up with Henry and Felicity Brown. The new Felicity Brown collection is a continued development of her amazingly complex mille-feuille detailing layered onto dream dresses, incorporating more structured, corset style detailing. The addition of more graphic print and pattern adds a really exciting edge to this collection, which also incorporates Felicity’s great T-shirt range. We’re hoping to have some more shots of the new collection to share with you soon, and if you’d like to know more about the inspiration behind this collection, then have a look at this interview we did with Felicity while she was developing her ideas for the AW ’11 range.
Felicity Brown's AW'11 collection at London Fashion Week
We also met Yang Du for the first time, even though we have admired her collection for several seasons already and have also featured her work a couple of times on the blog (she’s currently being featured in the Selfridges ‘Bright Young Things’ windows). The AW’11 collection is titled ‘3times Lucky’ and features Yang’s signature hyper coloured graphic interpretations of animal motifs. We particularly love the elephant hat and the piglet scarf, with the pigs sporting cute crochet bra tops…
The designer, Yang Du, at London Fashion Week
Yang Du at London Fashion Week
Moving on from the NEWGEN area into the rest of the exhibition we spotted Shao Yen, who is also one of Selfridges ‘Bright Young Things’ and a designer that we have previously seen at On/Off. This is his second collection and a continued development of his stunningly textural and almost graphic or sculptural handwriting. The theme for the AW’11 collection is ‘Goddess’ and Shao Yen delivers a very new take on this time honoured theme.
Shao Yen at London Fashion Week
A brand new discovery for us was Teatum Jones. This relatively new label is the brain child of Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones. They very kindly took the time to explain to me the ethos behind their brand, and the inspiration behind this particular collection. They have approached developing their brand in a very restrained and refined way, focusing on a narrow portfolio of textiles translated into a focused selection of silhouettes- but the way that they have combined those textiles, shapes- and most critically, the element of print, creates what feels like a comprehensive and compelling offer. Their inspiration is really fascinating too, with not a small touch of the macabre. We are hoping to interview them soon, so more details to follow…
Teatum Jones with their "Eva Moore Shirt Dress" in the Endurance print, at London Fashion Week
Watch out every day this week for more London Fashion Week coverage, and click here for all London Fashion Week coverage. Enjoy!
The final interview of the year, and dare we say that we may have left the best until last? No, we couldn’t possibly say that. It would be rude to the rest of our interviewees- but maybe this one is about the most ‘up and coming’ or the ‘most fashion exciting’…
The subject is the wonderful Felicity Brown. We first spotted her work at February’s LFW when her inaugural collection was shown as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout. We fell in love again when we saw her work at September’s Fashion Week as part of the NewGen designers. Have a look at our post on this great selection of talent, including the brilliant Felicity Brown.
Prior to launching her own collection, Felicity had designed for Alberta Ferretti, Loewe, Mulberry and, most recently, Lanvin. That’s an incredibly impressive CV to build up in a few years since graduating from the Royal College of Art. Her work seems to combine a certain fragility with a really modern feminine aesthetic that is utterly unique; as is Felicity’s working arrangements- she splits her time between her studio in East London and a wonderful atelier in the desert of Dubai.
Many thanks to Felicity, Henry and the team who made this interview possible. We are very grateful for the time that you gave us.
For you, what is the most important aspect of being a designer?
Having the amazing opportunity to create my own ideas.
How do you start developing a new season’s look?
I bury myself in lots of books and mountains of fabric
What project are you currently working on and how is it shaping up?
I am currently working on my A/W 2011 collection that’s very Bedouin inspired. It is looking a little wild right now and maybe a little too uncut but so far I am happy with it.
Which comes first for you, your personal aesthetic or general trends?
What is currently inspiring you?
I have been looking at Central American masks. They are not pleasing to the eye but there is something appealing in the expression created out of all the contrasting elements.
I love the way that they mix up completely opposing things, like the way they fill the hair with crazy different elements and the extreme expression of the mask. They are so bizarre, so odd, I really like them.
Do you think that ethical and sustainable issues are at all relevant to what you do?
I wish they were but its currently only a wish because of the nature of the dresses, we are a small production. Its all very cottage industry at the moment.
But everything that has been made is hand made, from paper stenciling to hand dying and printing. All done in old traditional techniques giving the garments that look.
What or who are your longest standing design influences?
I admire Lanvin and Balenciaga
How would you describe the Felicity Brown aesthetic?
Any style secrets?
Keep it unfinished
Who would you like to collaborate with, past or present?
I would love something incredible like a day in Picasso’s studio and as for present, I would like to work with someone from a different discipline, like a painter.
What would you like your business to achieve in 5 years time?
To stay strong and true
Pencil and paper or computer and mouse?
Do you work differently in your Dubai and London studios?
Yes, in London you take it all in and absorb where as in the desert you can concentrate- it’s so still.
I feel most creative when…
When I’m buried in fabric.
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
Henry Brown showing the Felicity Brown collection- new T shirts and last season's beautiful pleated dresses.