Tag: Presentation

Renowned for working exclusively from current trends, Tuğcan Dökmen is one of the most exciting labels to emerge in the last year, creating ethereal works of art which double as luxury womenswear.

Stepping into the SS18 Tuğcan Dökmen showcase at Somerset House, was like entering into a surreal and mystical realm. Separated by taut sheaths of clear plastic, the models held an otherworldly presence, while in the background, a sinister undercurrent grew out from the tiptoeing melody, commanding the eerie atmosphere.

With this collection, the young Turkish born designer sought to create pieces which embodied the strength and beauty of the feminine. In this SS18 showcase Dökmen imagines a reality where age, ethnicity and background have no bearing on beauty; a merging of the old and the young, the light and the dark.

Building on her signature style, the Art Of Layering, Dökmen creates pieces which both exhibit and are exhibited by their models. The transparency of her chosen fabrics, tulle and organza create the illusion that her dresses are but framing the bodies they decorate – a celebration of the female form.

The vibrancy of the fabrics meanwhile, acts to eliminate all sense of fragility from this reimagined feminine beauty, instead establishing one of independence and pride.

There’s a distinct air regality about the presentation, emphasised only by the exquisite headdresses which seem fused to each of the models, adding a candid element of expense to each outfit.

Stylist, Soki Mak, must here be credited for bringing this enticing concept to life, with the slicked hair and bare make-up almost mermaid-esque in its styling, perfectly suited the mythical feel of the show, and all-the-while maintaining Dökmen’s focus on equality and unstipulated diversity.

Words: Scarlett Sangster | Fashion Week Press | @scarlettgracehs

Images: Rosemary Pitts | Fashion Week Photographer | @rosemary_pitts

“We Shall Not Wilt” is the bold and powerful statement BODYBOUND makes for its presentation at 180 The Strand and the message is received – loud and clear.

Taking inspiration from the protest marches, anti-war slogans and flower power movements of the Seventies, BODYBOUND recasts the humble flower as a symbol of rebellion.

The timing couldn’t be more apt, as we are marking the 50th anniversary of 1967’s Summer of Love, which is when the hippy phenomenon bloomed. With London Fashion Week Men’s entering its fifth year, there is clearly more than one cause for celebration.

The speakers blast a cover of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as the models stage a catwalk show before allowing us to examine the mixture of dainty and raw details up close.

This includes embroidered barbed wire peace signs, flower patches and military pockets and boots, with the addition of platforms.

Since BODYBOUND draws on trends from the Seventies, it’s a given that the brand delivers denim – here it’s worn overdyed – wide-legged grunge trousers and round sunglasses. They have all been adapted for the modern man, which means they’re not overly nostalgic, but they’re still unmistakable tributes to the era. As well as the navy blue colour palette, blacks, greys and whites mainly feature.

The collection strikes a good balance between the politically-charged undertones of the barbed wire patterns and the fragile vulnerability exposed by the sheer see-through fabrics.

Not once do we question the masculinity of the collection, however. It is masculine to its core, but where it blossoms is with a nod to florals and with unexpected elements, such as the scarves tied around the models’ necks.

‘NO FIGHT, NO FUTURE’ and ‘WE SHALL NOT WILT’ are mantras reiterated and embroidered on the pieces. Models clutch a small bouquet of flowers each – defiantly, but hopefully. As we know, flowers are not all sweetness and light. Some come packed with thorns. In this rocky political climate, perhaps one of our best outlets for expression is through fashion. After all, BODYBOUND shall not wilt anytime soon.

Textile designer Kim Wilkins and photographer Pliny Champion launched BODYBOUND in 2012. They were selected by Yohji Yamamoto as finalists of the Hyères Fashion Award. Wilkins attended Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. He has been a consultant menswear and knitwear designer for brands including Katie Eary, Matthew Williamson and Alexander McQueen.

Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

The Phoebe English Man presentation is held in a makeshift plastic-wrapped pottery studio at 180 The Strand. Models retrieve balls of clay from a set of wooden shelves, where previous creations are on display.

They gather around tables moulding miniature items – baskets, bowls and even cars – and look effortlessly cool while doing it. Their arms are marked with long black lines, their fingers tinged with the taupe clay. When they’re not sculpting, the models are posing in front of the shelves to show off the true art form – the clothes.

Rather than pomposity, the Phoebe English Man capsule collection channels functionality, which is a mainstay from previous collections. The garments are shown in easy to wear, understated shades of oatmeal, khaki and periwinkle.

There are no delusions of grandeur here – just quality designs, which include shirtdresses, cotton joggers and loose collarless cotton trench coats.

Slouchy rucksacks, in regular and oversized options, can be fashioned into either backpacks or shoulder bags. The nautical theme is embraced with muted black horizontal and vertical stripes and topped off with cotton rope fastenings. Patchwork in varying blue hues makes the pieces pop and external seams give them the edge.

Chunky socks are paired with just as chunky boots and trainers in outfits styled with perfect colour coordination. Although the models might be working in their ensembles, we think all work and no play makes the Phoebe English man a dull boy. No, these clothes are too good for a day of hard labour – put them on and show them off.

Phoebe English began as a womenswear label and quickly became known for its focus on construction as opposed to decoration. Its first foray into menswear was seen with its Spring/Summer 2016 capsule collection and, much to our benefit, the brand hasn’t looked back since.

Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

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The Private White V.C. presentation on Friday was held at the brand’s flagship Duke Street store in Mayfair, with an unexpected guest. A bulldog roamed around downstairs at the feet of mannequins and attendees alike. For this Manchester brand, it doesn’t get more quintessentially British than that.

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The label takes its name from Private Jack White, who was born in Leeds in 1896 and signed up to the Royal Lancaster Regiment when he was 18. In 1917, he earned the Victoria Cross medal for his courage in battle.

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He then moved to Manchester and undertook an apprenticeship as a trainee pattern cutter at the local factory. He worked his way up to become general manager, and eventually, the owner, before dying in 1949 at the age of 52. In 1997, White’s great grandchildren took over the company.

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They continue to make clothes that cut a dapper figure for the modern-day gentleman who has a little bit more about him. The London Fashion Week Men’s presentation demonstrated how you can have it all with both function and style.

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The collection paired utilitarian boots with a peek of cherry red socks and head to toe tweed with an orange beanie. The mannequins rocked popped collars, roll necks, and fur trims.

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Private White V.C. demonstrated its superb ability to layer, especially with a blue pinstripe coat and trousers with a draped chunky grey scarf. A mannequin in a forest green parka-cum-cape with a burnt orange cravat and a mustard zip-up knit was the focal point of the room, arms spread out to emphasise billowing sleeves.

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Carabiners were secured through belt loops and attached to ropes while wooden hands casually rested in pockets, as if to indicate that these are what all men carry. These are accessories for rough and ready men who are prepared for anything, just like Private Jack White was. The ropes alluded to how he received his Victoria Cross by using just some humble telephone wire tied around his waist. If he was here today, he would have been proud and stylish to boot. At ease, soldier.

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Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

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London Fashion Week Men’s (LFWM) presented Barbour International at the Royal Institute of British Architects for the first time yesterday, where the motorcycle heritage brand also launched its Snapchat channel (@BarbourInt).

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Barbour International is the rugged younger brother of the Barbour brand we know and love with its wax jackets and countryside connotations. John Barbour originally founded the company in 1894. His grandson Duncan Barbour then diversified and revved some engines with the 1936 production of the Barbour International, a one-piece wax cotton motorcycle suit.

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The suit was created with off road motorcycle event, the International Six Day Trials (ISDT), in mind. Almost every British team sported the Barbour International until 1977. The LFWM presentation celebrated that fact, tracing Barbour International’s history and highlighting individuals – the British ISDT team and Steve McQueen among them – that made motorcycle clothing cool. Then again, who wouldn’t be a sucker for a bad boy on a motorcycle, especially when he has effortless style?

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Speaking of which, two gloriously shiny Triumph motorcycles were given pride of place to allow Barbour International’s gritty edge to shine through. Models stood with dirt, gravel, and tread marks underfoot to transport the AW17 collection and its undeniable influence, the motorcycle, to where it belonged – outdoors.

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They wore wax, baffle, quilt, and parka designs paired with knitwear, polos, branded black and yellow fringed scarves, and functional ribbed beanies.

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Scottish artist Robert Montgomery’s light sculpture poem was illuminated in capitals and read: “THE FIELDS MUST HAVE DREAMED THE ROADS FROM THE WIND IN THEIR GRASS / FROM THE SHIVERS OF SKY IN THEIR GRASS THAT WHISPER IDEAS OF FREEDOM TO THEM.” It drew attention to the stars of the show glittering underneath – limited edition A7 International jackets.

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They were laid out like an updated version of the iconic jackets worn by Danny Zuko and the rest of the T-Birds in Grease, just waiting for a new batch of trendsetters to pick them up and put them on. A new year inspires a new crew and Barbour International is more than willing to provide the uniform.

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Text from Montgomery’s billboard poems and light pieces is woven in luminous thread on the back of six jackets, which can be bought at Selfridges. Replica painted versions of the jackets are being given away this weekend on Barbour International’s Snapchat. One was being freshly coated during the presentation – it doesn’t get slicker than that.

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Paul Wilkinson, global marketing director for Barbour said: “Barbour International is now a true standalone brand with its own lifestyle and attitudes. We wanted to deliver an experience that gives everyone a strong sense of Barbour International’s authenticity and heritage since 1936, as well as celebrating the brand’s modern day success and looking forward to its global growth for the future.”

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Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Amie Charlot | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot