Tag: Katharine Bennett

Heading backstage at last night’s Vin + Omi show was like falling down a rabbit hole of colour and texture. The oil paint portraits on the wall looked on as the Colourotic show prepared itself for its first outing.

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Fur, latex and suede sat next to each other on the rails, showing off the variety of mediums that the design duo use to create this; their art.

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VinandOmi_AW16_013The classic Vin + Omi staggering heel returned for another season, this time wrapped in fabric, emulating the scraps of pastel netting that littered the catwalk later on.

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Blunt, choppy coloured wigs were greased into wild shapes, while make-up remained relatively low-key; a simple smoky eye was enough to complement the wild clothes.

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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Amie Caswell | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

We’ve come to know that Vin + Omi put on a great show. It usually falls on the penultimate night of LFW, synchronising almost perfectly with the moment when the shows start to blur in our memories and the thought that this magical time of year is almost over makes us determinedly morose. So we are incredibly lucky that each year, the boys take it upon themselves to pep us up with something wild and crazy, each more daring than the last.

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Last night, the fash pack queued around the streets of the Rooms on Regents Park to sneak a peek at the AW16 collection. Once we’d filled the room, the sultry tones of Sia’s California Dreamin’ cover announced the arrival of the first model in a dramatic pose at the end of the catwalk and we were off, into a world of wigs and wonderful weirdness.

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Named Colourotic, the collection did exactly what it said on the tin. Each model wore a different colour from head to foot, ranging from hot pink to fiery ochre to petrol grey. Every aspect of the erotic was present; see-through, latex, fur, leather, masks, spikes and straps all made their way down the runway. The models’ hands were enrobed in extravagant finger decorations, from spiky shards to delicate bubbles, and, in true Vin + Omi style, shoes were incredible teetering creations, matching each outfit perfectly.

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The show finished with an appearance we had all been waiting for with bated breath; Jane Horrocks’ Bubble tottered down the catwalk to cheers from the audience, wearing a white, textured A-line cocktail dress. The boys are the masterminds behind her wardrobe on the upcoming Ab Fab film, citing her eccentric freedom as the perfect canvas for their creations.

 

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The collection was everything we had wanted it to be; sexy, crazy and fun. The pure force of creativity behind the designs is nothing short of astounding, managing to surprise and delight the audience anew every single season. As we left the show, heading out into the darkness of Regents Park, the change in atmosphere was palpable; spirits were lifted, and we felt safe in the knowledge that although this season’s LFW might be almost over, the next is never far away and promises even more excitement.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Amie Caswell | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

 

Walking into the Niro Wang AW16 show, our eyes were drawn immediately to the trail of wooden shapes littered across the catwalk, leading to the figure of a small rocking horse at the far end of the catwalk. As the lights went down, cow bells and animal sounds could be heard, transporting us far away from the grey streets of London to the agricultural Sweden of the past.

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Inspired by the ‘Trähäst’ or Dala Horse (hand-carved toys made by peasants and farmers out of material found in nature), the collection embodied a rural lifestyle, at one with the Earth. Each look that sauntered slowly down the runway – a pleasant change from the usual rush of LFW – was clearly influenced by the shapes and properties of the natural world.

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Silhouettes were relaxed, with loose-fitting, androgynous styles and Wang’s signature draping creating movement similar to a gentle breeze with each step. The colour palette was straight out of a farmers’ field on a long, hot day; shades of beige and cream were the basis of the designs, interspersed with the odd flash of burgundy or indigo. Fabrics, too, were synonymous with a more natural lifestyle, combining linens and wool.

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Yet this is where the true beauty in Wang’s designs lie; their ability to totally embody one idea, while simultaneously expressing another. Juxtaposed with this historical farming lifestyle is his contemporary aesthetic, coming together in perfect harmony. The relaxed separates are manipulated to create up-to-date styles and outfits; the linen and wool are combined into an innovating hybrid fabric and the leaf and horse shapes become modern prints and technically intricate embroideries.

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As the final designs made their way backstage and Wang jumped onto the catwalk for his bow, I felt as though I had been on a journey, all the way from Sweden in the 1890s to London today. From a simple toy, rooted in forgotten farming heritage, Wang has created a collection that expresses at once both the past and the present, both the simple and the technological, forming a truly unique, versatile and cosy range of clothing that will be infinitely wearable next Autumn.

 

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Daniela Monteiro | Fashion Week Photographer| @Danikm

From across the street, you could clearly tell that there was a party happening at Scream, with pink light, cocktails and the sound of 90s girl band hits spilling out onto the pavement. A few short minutes later we were inside and loving life at the Charlotte Simone AW16 presentation.

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Charlotte Simone’s style is fun, with a capital F. Models were draped over pink rocks on plush carpets, chatting and swinging bare legs. Fur adorned everything, from head to toe – hats were topped off with fluffy pompoms, scarves were grey shag or stripy boleros, coats were trimmed with shearling and Stan Smith-esque trainers were finished with little furry bands.

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Yet upon refocusing the pink champagne filter, it became obvious that despite this outwardly girly aesthetic, the Charlotte Simone girl has grown up since last season, using black as a base for building upon with colourful accessories. Black leather jackets, skinny black trousers and casual black dresses all channelled easy-to-wear style, topped off with the stand-out PVC Mac Daddy trench, which inspired this whole new design direction with an unlikely but lucky pairing on the cutting room table.

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As we finished off our pink, glittery canapés, we considered how much we’d like to inhabit Charlotte Simone’s world; it’s a world where it’s possible to take an outfit from from day to night with the addition of a pompomed baseball cap and lambswool sleeves, where scarves have pockets big enough to do away with the eternally heavy handbag and where, ultimately, life is just a bit more playful.

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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Phoebe Fox | Fashion Week Photographer | @PhoxPhoebe

In a quiet street behind Soho, up an extremely narrow staircase, we found ourselves peering into one of the former studios at the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, where Miuniku’s AW16 line was being showcased.

The long, white room was filled with hanging panels and clothes, with models interspersed between them. Everything was gently swaying in the breeze, providing a sense of movement to the scene that, combined with the depth and observational nature of the space, created a feeling that we’d just stumbled across a different world.

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The clothes themselves were simple in design. Structured jackets, asymmetric skirts and fitted jumpers adorned the room in a sophisticated colour palette of primary brights with earthy undertones. It was the detail of each piece that really stood out; each was made up of panels of different shapes and textures in contrasting colours, inspired by geographical elements, such as lines on maps and mountainous terrain. Zips also were integral to the collection, perhaps alluding to the earth’s fault lines, and once again, oversize pockets were added to the clean silhouettes – a surefire trend for AW16.

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Sister design team behind the brand, Tina and Nikita, have created an intriguing and appealing collection, playing with the classic styles that we know and love to create something new.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot