Category: Featured

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

If fashion is a form of armour than what type of war was J JS Lee wanting to protect us from? In Jackie JS Lee's uplifting London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 collection, the Korean born designer took the audience on a protective journey.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

The idea of being cocooned was prominent with Lee using silk wool and satins for her beautifully deconstructed dresses and suits. And yet her collection never felt insecure or repressed.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

It’s tempting for fashion designers to buy into the hyperbole of media and politics, but J JS Lee rose above all that and explored the human experience of wearing fashion as a tool for usefulness, integrity and indeed protection.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

With models wearing a selection of sharply cut suits, dresses and shirts in lightweight cotton poplins it felt at times as though J JS Lee was projecting the idea of urban angels. The optimistic glow of buttercup yellow, burning mustards and bold reds slowly gave way to her bigger idea of fluidity and freedom with white and metallic suits.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Backstage after the show, crowded with impeccably dressed family and friends, Lee discussed her inspiration with WJ London for referencing half-furnished upholstering, the idea being of furniture protection covers for the arms or back of sofas.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

“We took some sculpture shapes from a furniture cover, the idea of protecting from the sofa and we took that idea," Lee said. "The off the shoulder idea came from furniture cover and we wanted to focus on details like the labels.”

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

This gave her collection its most intriguing narrative and elevated her love of deconstructed tailoring into a more fluid and considered offering. Protection meant for her focusing on the shoulders included cutout details and then alternatively cotton poplin shirts featured overlays were tightly stretched across the shoulders.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

She featured fine wool from Dugdale Bros & Co and then twisted such traditional fabrics by revealing at the back of jackets cut out raw edging. Nothing was presented without a surprise twist to the traditional. “I'm based in London and I love English heritage,” Lee told WJ London.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

And she was excited by the idea of funnelling her own minimalist aesthetic into “very traditional hounds tooth from the Dugdale symbol... and we took the dry wax cotton and that was waterproof”. Her love of English heritage seemingly gave her show the right grounding to soar to new heights.

Words: Catherine Caines | Fashion Week Press
Images: Nikals Haze

Are millennials the most self-centred generation ever?

You know how the media storyline goes: all narcissistic behaviour disorder, pantone pinks and lashings of avocado on toast.  We are in an age fuelled by the endless opportunity for self-promotion via social media, combined with a cultural attitude that hails self-esteem and personal-positivity as both the single most important and most destructive skill we can possess. But is this unashamed celebration of the self really such a bad thing? We say, not when you’ve got a damn good reason to toot your horn.

Enter then, Ryan Lo, whose AW18 presentation was dedicated to his one true passion in life: himself. “It is simply about what I love to do!”, Lo describes of this one-off special edition collection of his greatest creative hits, all set against the perfectly apt millennial pink backdrop of David Shrigley’s gallery restaurant at Sketch.

 

Drop-waist tulle gowns (fit for the modern day princess) lean effortlessly next to chevron-striped lace, in sugar-rich shades sweet enough to warrant a filling. Jumping straight from saccharine to seductive, lace takes on a whole new light as it covers (just) a reclining figure luxuriously draped in black, revealing and concealing in all the right places. Luckily this particular model is a cold, hard mannequin, with little regard for modesty but a high regard for matching flapper-style opera gloves that just tickle the elbow for an extra smack of decadence.

 

There is inspiration here that spans the ages, regaling not only the fashionable history of our time, but of Lo’s reputable archive. He often draws upon child-like nostalgia, filtering his designs through a romantic lens to create eclectic designs that are both feminine and fantastical - and this collection embodies all that and more. From hyper-modern kawaii fabrics that shimmer in the light, to exaggerated victoriana style pussybows that are dramatic and demure in equal measure, this collection is a true celebration of the full Ryan Lo spectrum.

 

There is always a criticism that surrounds millennials, in that we are wrongly raised to believe that we can be whoever we want to be. But anything is possible for the woman in this Lo’s rose-tinted fantasy world. The flapper. The hostess. The queen. There’s no cohesive story here as such, just great threads, great women and the great man who designed them. “I love me” is a juxtaposing curation of Lo’s favourites and celebration of everything he has achieved - and when it looks as good as this, long may the self-love continue. Just don’t tell the elders.

 

Words: Camilla Hunt | Fashion Editor | @camillamcleanhunt

Topman, more than most other brands, has always understood its clothes in the context of how and where they are worn - and their SS18 presentation and accompanying exhibition was, of course, no exception. "Transition" is an exploration and a celebration of the way modern men interact with each other and their clothes. From the first wistful indolent images by photographer and model Nick Offord through to the brand's own collection shown in the final presentation space,  we inhabited a Bildungsroman. Traversing the various rooms, a number of upcoming artists shared their sensory experiences of modern masculinity woven together less as an exhibition and more as a coming of age story. We saw men and boys taking on new clothes, new names, new experiences and learning how to live and love with other men.

The collection itself had a very youthful zeal.  The boyish models with shimmering eye make up and brightly coloured glitter-slicked hair, had their their slender frames accentuated by belted waists and padded shoulders.

The loose tonal grey and white cottons interspersed with dashes of red and orange nylon harked back to the 80's.  However it was the shoulders and shell suits and that located this collection within a distinctly New Romantic tradition.

Despite the quite tonal palette, The wide cut of the trousers with multiple asymmetric pleats and the way the  fabrics hung lightly and loosely created a very modern feel. This was not a bunch of boys from the 80's looking to the future, these were boys from tomorrow's world looking back.

The jarring patterns, stripes and colours seemed exuberantly thrown together as the models themselves by turns lounged, fidgeted and chatted amongst themselves. You got a sense you were looking at a the beginnings of a futurist party where a bunch of trendy kids had really run with an 80's throwback theme.

As the music and spoken word duo The Rhythm Method came on, their front man (in this instance, embodying the character of "Salad Cream") paced the stage with a camp confidence and melodramatic delivery reminiscent of  Suggs or Squeeze and asked if anyone had ever felt drunk and horny at a house party. This writer couldn't help but fondly remember the boldness of youth and how He had picked up stupid nicknames and drunkenly slurred "I love you man" every Friday and Saturday night for a year or two.

Words and images: Mitchell Cooper | Fashion Week Press | @catsandjackets

WATCH THE TRANSITION SS18 FILM

 

Boom Shack brings Jamaican flavours to Brixton 100 FREE dishes this weekend
We love a new opening and we love a bit of the free stuff so this newbie in Brixton ticks all the boxes. Boom Shack, the new venture from Boom Burger founder Joshua de Lisser, opens it's doors in Brixton on Saturday 26 November, offering South Londoners a dine-in and take-away experience bursting with Jamaican flavours.

To celebrate the new opening, this weekend (Sat 26 – Sun 27 November), Boom Shack will give away 100 menu items each day, on a first-come, first-served basis. From 10am on Saturday, the first 100 customers are invited to choose a free item from either the breakfast or evening menus for the full Boom experience. To be in with a chance of grabbing a free dish, all diners have to do is simply turn up to the restaurant and place their order!

Located on Brixton Station Road, Boom Shack will predominantly be a lively cocktail bar serving up fun Jamaican vibes (open Wednesday – Sunday) and a drinks list straight out of the Caribbean. Try the “Jamaican Punch”, a sweet concoction of fresh fruit and lemon juice, blended with your choice of rum, vodka or gin, or go for the “Montego Breeze”, a sun-splashed combo of vodka, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime and ginger ale.

Loud Caribbean flavours will also be at the heart of the food offering, with the evening menu including a pair of hot ciabatta sandwiches, perfect for soaking up those cocktails. Choose from the Boom Cubano (£8) – ham, slow-cooked pork shoulder and a layer of Swiss cheese, topped with fiery hot peppers – or the Boom Sarnie (£8) - Scotch bonnet chilli beef, with cheese, house-made bacon jam and jerk mayo.

The breakfast menu includes a selection of sandwiches all served in a warm brioche bun – expect to see a bacon, egg and cheese sarnie, plus avocado and scrambled eggs as a veggie option, both priced at £7. Wash this down with one of their freshly served juices – “Papaya Don’t Preach”, papaya, lime juice, apple and ginger, or “Welcome to Jamrock”, a blend of mango, orange, pineapple and coconut water.

Boom Burger, the uniquely Jamaican-influenced burger company founded by Joshua de Lisser, opened its doors on Portobello Road in 2014.  De Lisser is excited to be bouncing the Caribbean beat to Brixton and comments, “We’ve come along way since starting as a pop-up in 2013.  I’ve always had my eyes set on a site in Brixton and now that it’s finally happened I can’t wait to spread the boom!”

Seating up to 21 people, Boom Shack boasts an inviting wood-walled interior, windowed doors and bright Jamaican colours, fitting in perfectly with the vibrant atmosphere of Brixton Station Road.

Boom Shack, Brixton Station Road, London, SW9 8PA

Opening hours: Wednesday – 4pm -11pm, Thursday & Friday – 4pm-1am, Saturday – 10am – 1am, Sunday –10am-6pm

Boom Burger, 272 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TY

T: @BOOMburgerLDN  - F: www.facebook.com/boomburgers

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This weekend Hackney Wick get's a new café, meeting place and social hot spot at Stour Space the Stour Space Cafe will open its doors on 18th of November (Friday). Visitors can enjoy a fresh menu of locally sourced food, juices and alcoholic drinks in Stour Space's much loved canal side location, whilst directly contributing to one of Hackney Wick’s longest surviving community spaces. Expect to find regular pop-up food events, an evening bar and regular arts and music events including Life Drawing, lunchtime yoga and weekenders.

Amid widespread redevelopment on Fish Island and Hackney Wick, Stour Space - a founding supporter of the Save Hackney Wick Campaign, remains a hub of activity and an island for the local creative community. The Cafe will operate as a Community Interest Company (CIC), its profits re-invested back into the activities at Stour Space and steered by the local community. It will make a significant contribution towards securing the long term future of the building and ensuring that the local community continues to benefit from affordable creative work and meeting space; an exciting regular program of music, visual art and performance; and a shop selling art materials and products made by local artists and designers. The Counter Cafe will be moving on from Stour Space on 13th November and has made a valued contribution to the development of the community surrounding the venue since it first opened its doors in 2008 as neighbours to Stour Space and then later moved into the venue in 2011.

Stour Space is a socially minded organisation with an innovative business model that uses the commercial elements of the building to support the provision of genuinely affordable workspace for the development of creative enterprises. It also provides subsidised meeting space for local community groups and schools, exhibition and performance space and works in collaboration with local enterprises, residents, artists and committees. Services used by thousands of local residents and visitors to the area.

Established in 2009 by artist couple Neil McDonald and Rebecca Whyte and soon joined by Juliet Can in 2010, Stour Space was the second building in the UK ever to be listed as an Asset of Community Value under the Community Right to Bid Policy, as part of the Localism Act 2011.

"Stour Space has been a labor of love for us since the beginning. Our vision was to create a forward thinking space that could find new ways of sustaining creativity and innovative business with social value at its core. This new venture will enable us to ensure the future sustainability of the venue and protect the workspaces and social spaces of the community that surround it at a time when Hackney Wick is undergoing rapid and potentially devastating changes to its creative community". Rebecca Whyte, Director, Stour Space.

Stour Space Café will be open from 18th November, MondaySunday, 8am – 5pm, plus regular evening openings and events.

Various events and workshops will be happening all day till late

Currently showing in the gallery is Brick Potato, Potato Brick, a collaboration between Malarko Hernandez and Cristina Lina, 9—28 Nov 2016, 9am—5pm daily, free entry.

For more information about Stour Space visit www.stourspace.co.uk