Category: LONDON FASHION WEEK

On Tuesday 19th, The National Portrait Gallery welcomed another art form to stand alongside their historical collection. 

Tata Naka designers, Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, presented their vintage-inspired SS18 womenswear collection on the third floor of The National Portrait Gallery; a presentation which sat easily amongst the grandeur of its setting.

The Tata Naka SS18 collection saw seasonal summer stripes and vintage florals in contrasting aubergine and daffodil hues; high-waisted tailoring and wide collars gave the collection a retro-feel while the addition of side slits and bare-shoulder necklines remained in-keeping with forecast Spring/Summer trends.

The styling was done to artistic perfection. Dark lipstick and a reflective sheen to the contouring, giving the models an artificial quality  - real-life portraits of modern-vintage dress.

Words: Scarlett Sangster | Fashion Week Press | @scarlettgracehs

Images: Rosemary Pitts |Fashion Week Photographer|@rosemarypitts

Designer Jamie Wei Huang’s SS18 collection, “Dew”, was inspired by the fragmented recounting and retelling of personal experience. It was a concept drawn from Huang’s reflection on her own traditional Taiwanese culture, and captured by the beautiful, hesitantly accumulative piano piece which instigated her show.

 

The story began in stripes. Blues, pinks and greens growing in depth and vivacity with each piece, a gradual solidifying of colours to correlate that of re-emerging memory; the punctuation of bold reds, yellows and cobalt in the shoes and accessories, providing those colourful splashes of certainty which continue to emerge throughout the collection.

Huang’s Spring/Summer designs favour easy-fit clothing; wedding dresses and jumpsuits tying into her signature style of elongated silhouettes with a focus on creating contemporary fashion for the modern woman.

Wedding Dresses

The concept of construction was apparent in the rough-cut hems, sewn on pockets and undisguised use of zips, drawstrings and metallic rings which both decorated the pieces and acted as functional elements of the designs.

Creative cut-outs were another standout feature, with gaping knees and bare-backed jackets building on the impression of fragmented recollection, while asymmetric designs alluded to the inevitable incompleteness of memory.

Denim-look fabrics, and the brave contrasting of colour-block socks with easy slip-on sandals concluded the collection with a sense of layered individuality, promoting self-expression through contemporary fashion.

Originally from Taiwan, Huang graduated from Central Saint Martins College in London in 2012, launching her designer label Jamie Wei Huang to great critical acclaim in 2013; winning both the “Designer For Tomorrow” award, and the “Elle talent Award” for her AQ14 collection. Huang’s designs are now sold internationally in luxury retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Dover Street Market, David Jones Sydney and mimma ninni.

Words: Scarlett Sangster | Fashion Week Press | @scarlettgracehs

Images: Rosemary Pitts |Fashion Week Photographer|@rosemarypitts

Just like butterflies emerge from their cocoons, we too emerge from our winter coats into the bright days of Spring and Summer ever year. While the butterfly is usually interpreted as a symbol of fragile beauty, Rocky Star's SS18 collection has stated thoughtfully that it is actually the new motif for confidence, fearlessness and more than ever, individuality in style. It was an ever-present reminder of the nature of the new season as it also flowed through each piece, appearing within the stunning prints and helping to inspire strong silhouettes.

Statement sleeves have been at the height of our wardrobes for the past season and Star makes the successful bid for them to be an even bigger part of our style in SS18. Voluminous angular sleeves are juxtaposed by delicate ruffling and layering that becomes reminiscent of exquisitely graceful yet tough wings.

The stunning Indian influences that Rocky Star has signed throughout his previous collections this time come in the form of intricate patterns and gorgeous head-pieces.

Boho style pieces featuring pretty floral appliques are given an added sparkle to truly channel the nature meets City vibe.  Flowing dresses channel a timeless elegance while shorter hemlines and edgy cutouts breathe a contemporary party soul vibe. It is these contrasts that let's Star expertly crave his signature styles into his collections, while still catering to different women, with different attitudes towards fashion and life.

The natural colour schemes of greens, browns and reds are enhanced by vivid blues and pinks. Likewise it is the clever direction of the neon blue eye-shadow that ties in the idea of not being afraid to try bold colours.

 

While some pieces may be slightly more red-carpet ready than others, Rocky Star has shown that everyone can and should be experimentally incorporating colour, pattern and sparkle into their new season style. The talented designer has created a collection of contrasts that social butterflies will love as they step into the next exciting new chapter.

 

Words: Sophie Joaman| Fashion Week Press| @londonellagram

Images: Mel Williams| Fashion Week Photographer| @mvwphotographer

Phoebe English is first and foremost a craftsman within her trade. Just by looking at her men's and women's collections, it is always clear to see that her ethos is to not only create art but to engineer every aspect of it. The young designer is also a passionate advocate of underappreciated and sometimes even lost construction techniques. So it is always a fascinating experience to be able to learn about these processes that take place very often away from prying public eyes.

For SS18 English presented a collection that works closely with another long-standing craft: Puppets.

With models lining the room in English's visions for SS18, standing along side them were puppets (also named marionettes) hanging from strings and wearing miniature versions of each piece. In a theatrical sense, this setting was reminiscent of a Tim Burton film with dark romantic undertones cutting through. The faceless puppets mimicking their human twins were charming and yet hauntingly striking. The lighting, which created shadows throughout the room, heightened the dramatic air and drew attention to the careful construction of each piece.

Marionettes were not only used for dramatic effect, their entry into the SS18 collection was whole-heartedly a way for English to show the foundations of her craft and pay homage to the past techniques of design. It is this simplicity of her silhouettes, cuts and monochromatic colour palette that lets the eye see past whatever may be on the surface and truly look to the finer details. Details such as the careful draping of fabrics and textured knots of black bra- like tops, on top of clean-cut white shirts.

Muslin and poplin materials are overlayed with mesh and tulle that give textured feel, making the clothes unreservedly wearable but gives them that stand-out quality.

It was this clever decision to duplicate the designs which show just how adaptable fashion can be. Be it on the smaller scale, on a puppet for a showcase with an edgy punch. Or the life-sized version that will be worn by people within their daily lives over the coming season.

English pulled the strings behind-the-scenes to showcase her dark fairy-tale at London Fashion Week. Like all good fairy-tales its important to look to the message beneath the surface. In this case English's message is simple: We should all take the time to admire the methods that go into creating our favourite styles. After all fashion is above all else an enduring craft.

 

Words: Sophie Joaman| Fashion Week Press| @londonellagram

images: Rosemary Pitts| Fashion Week Photography| @rosemarypitts

Next generation utility-wear with an athletic vibe. Dumpty’s SS18 collection made functional, fashionable at LFW2017.

The Dumpty SS18 models stepped out with attitude on Monday morning, showcasing this to a pulsating electronic beat.

This unisex collection, used synthetic fabrics to create durable pieces which appear both functional and highly wearable, with playful cut-outs and asymmetric styling, giving the collection a 90’s kid edge.

White, black and orange provided a solid base to the outfits, while greens and greys occasionally dressed down the utility tone. Pink, a seasonal spring favourite, made a cheeky appearance, contrasted with a black, leather-look jacket to give the look a tougher aesthetic.

The incorporation of high sport socks and mint-green trainers gave the whole collection an athletic vibe, complemented by the slicked back hair and grungy bare-face styling. The casual added branding of “dumpty” stamped across the forehead of each model, an added quirk which spoke to the bold and mischievous personality of the brand.

Zips, Velcro and oversized pockets statemented the pieces, while accessories were alternatively worn with bun-bags fasted across the chest, their straps made from what looked like car seat-belts, an innovative supplement to the practical feel of the collection.

Words: Scarlett Sangster | Fashion Week Press | @scarlettgracehs

Images: Rosemary Pitts |Fashion Week Photographer|@rosemarypitts