Tag: Katharine Bennett

Out of all my invitations this season, it was Fabprom that intrigued me the most. A square, clear sheet of plastic, bound in black housed a single peacock feather, making quite a change from the usual paper and card. Her first UK debut, it felt as though all the stops were being pulled out, promising great things for the collection, Into the Jungle.

As we entered into Fashion Scout’s Gallery at Freemason’s Hall, we were met by the lilting tones of a saxophone, welcoming us into our seats. The show started with a short film, flying over lush green landscapes and then cutting to close-ups of peacocks, blinking into the camera. Then, the models came out. The catwalk was suddenly alive with vivid turquoises, vibrant greens and vivacious lilacs, transporting us from subdued London to the exotic Panamanian rainforest.
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Prints featuring all different kinds of feathers burst over each garment, digitally constructed from real-life imagery taken from the habitat. The collection was exclusively dresses and skirts, ranging from dainty slips to flowing gowns, all dynamic as they made their way along the catwalk. Although most were paired with simple, strappy black stilettos, a shorter styles bounced along thanks to the model’s black trainers, providing a fun, relaxed edge.
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The collection acts as a beautiful, feminine homage to the designer’s homeland, clearly holding a place dear in Orillac’s heart. As she comes out for her bow, family members come forward to greet her on the catwalk in an emotional embrace, showing just how much of herself the designer puts into her work. Having come a long way since opening her first fashion boutique at the tender age of 16, Orillac continues to excel within the fashion industry, and I hope she will return to London next season to further shower us with inspired design and interesting finishing touches.
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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Phoebe Fox | Fashion Week Photographer | @PhoxPhoebe

On a balmy evening in Soho, Daniela Barros welcomed us down into the dark On|Off space in The Vinyl Factory for her SS16 show. The young Portuguese designer, already an award winner, is in good company - the space has housed shows and presentations from some of the best in the business every season since 2007.

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In signature Barros style, the aesthetic was decidedly minimalist, with most outfits being based on a single colour and fabric, from a palette of subdued palette of tan, navy, grey, white and black. Celebrated for her tailoring, the designer had included her staple structured suits, this season in linen. Another of her favourites, the tailored trench coat, also appeared again. Updated into dark denim, the coats reimagine the casual denim jacket we all have in our wardrobes, transforming it into something far more sophisticated.

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Breaking out between clean, sleek lines were more varied silhouettes and daring textures. Fraying, shaggy jumpers and dresses contrasted with heavier fabrics. Fast becoming a recurring theme of SS16, Barros took this unfinished fashion even further with half-made denim garments; bits of material are pinned around the model, artistically flapping open to bear shoulders and legs. Men’s trousers are deconstructed and then remade into something which isn’t quite a dress, nor a suit, challenging the contracts of fashion as we know it; again, an idea which has sprung up throughout this season’s shows and presentations.

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Finishing off looks with cool backpacks and chunky flats, Barros has created a collection which is full of contrasts, setting her usual simplicity against complex, avant-garde designs and shapes, experimenting with our perception of clothes. Structured yet slouchy, smart yet casual, plain yet visually exciting, these pieces show her development from graduating designer to veteran LFW-er, and I can’t wait to see where her experimental nature will take her next.

 

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Phoebe Fox | Fashion Week Photographer | @PhoxPhoebe

Exit 15, the show from this year's graduates of The Swedish School of Textiles, was an incredible array of weird and wonderful designs, mixed with a good dose of innovative technology. Photographer Kaye Ford went backstage to see the how this marvelous display was created.

With mini-collections from 20 different designers, there was a lot going on; especially as some of the outfits were particularly large. Josefin Runquist's giant plastic hood billowed along corridors, while Sara Lundberg's OMG!(s) teetered around the fray.

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Make-up was mostly toned around tauple and purple, with layers of eyeshadow taking the place of liner.

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Hair was pulled into simple, half-up, half-down styles - these clothes stood out enough on their own, without need for any extra complication.

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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Kaye Ford | Fashion Week Photography | @fordtography

If I had to choose one word to sum up Rohmir, it would have to be opulence. Which is no surprise, considering that founder and designer Olga Roh hails from Russian nobility. Both a former model and academic, with a PhD from the University of Bern, she has brains as well as beauty, combining a love of glamour with an acute business sense. And nothing could personify this more than her Asian-inspired SS16 show at Freemasons’ Hall, Cherry Blossom Dream.

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Shimmering metallics (oh yes, metallics are here to stay) and luxurious prints, drawing inspiration from Japan’s Tang Silk Road, featured in every piece, whether big and bold as the main fabric, or more muted as an accessory. Colours too ranged from sumptuous greens and loud neons to more understated, yet no less fabulous, monochromes and nudes.

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Although many of the looks were certainly aimed firmly towards glamorous occasions, there were plenty of options perfect for day-to-day wear. Beautifully tailored jackets with oriental prints lifted black outfits, making them irresistibly chic work-to-bar wear, and we even saw a pair of flip-flops on the end of a structured yet relaxed kimono-esque top and patterned skirt combo.

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Square bags accompanied some pieces down the catwalk, both as clutches and with handles, enrobed in the fabrics used throughout the collection. Shoes were high, pointed heels in gold, silver and even pink with tassels.

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As a whole, the show evoked the sumptuous richness of Japanese culture through refined elegance. Roh’s exceptional, enduring working ethic and desire to create something beautiful has once again resulted in an incredible collection, adding yet another string to her already laden bow.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Phoebe Fox | Fashion Week Photographer | @PhoxPhoebe

Following her catwalk debut, Shanghai Tales, last season, Judy Wu returned to Freemasons’ Hall this year to showcase her SS16 collection, Gaia.

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Named after the Greek mother goddess, creator of the Earth and Universe, it was clear that the collection would be firmly based in an exploration of femininity and the role of female in today’s society.

Powerful, defiant music announced the beginning of the show, contrasting with the floaty, swaying garments that sashayed down the catwalk. Inspired by a realisation that women are like water, in that their softness is integral to their strength and beauty, Wu has combined structured tailoring with fluid draping. Chiffon and organza, edges frayed (as we have seen across the whole season), fluttered as the models move, creating a waterfall effect and enhancing the feminine silhouette of the designs.

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The collection started in white, before blooming into colour blocks of peachy corals and vibrant turquoises, accompanied by black, again inspired by the changing colours of water. Originally a painter, Wu’s artistic passion is written all over the intricate engineered prints which appeared on the canvas of the white pieces in the collection, bringing the colours together.

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Ranging from slouchy casual outfits and gorgeous day dresses to sheer evening dresses and playful organza headpieces, Wu has covered every eventuality with beautifully chic style. A dress formed of a t-shirt with a jumper wrapped around would be perfect for a relaxed Sunday, before changing into a full-skirted white dress, wrapped in chiffon which wafts along beside you, for an evening event.
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Wu’s collection is a perfect balance all round, hitting the exact spot between design and wearability; soft femininity and strength. Wanting to portray female empowerment, whilst also maintaining feminine desires, her woman, like Gaia, embodies the earth, sea and sky through her clothes, looking utterly divine at the same time.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Phoebe Fox | Fashion Week Photographer | @PhoxPhoebe