Tag: somerset house

There was a romantic mood in the air for Isa Arfen's SS18 presentation at Somerset House. Flowing fabrics skimmed the floor in striped and illustrated floral prints. Draped wrap dresses and ruffled trims created a feminine look. But it wasn't all soft and delicate.

Styled with a bit of edge, the models had dark, dramatic eyes and contemporary, fashion-forward hair. Gelled over and swept to one side, shaved or pixie cut.

There was a clear influence from the Far East with wedge sandals worn with white socks and traditionally cut garments in rounded shoulders, wrapped waists and maxi-length skirts. These classic design details were blended with contemporary style through cami dresses over t-shirts and trench coats in iridescent fabrics.

A neutral palette was accented with bursts of red, pink and dark green, creating a highly fashionable but wearable collection. Exactly what the brand aims to achieve – real design for real women.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Catherine Davison | Fashion Week Photographer | @caedavison

 

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

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My first ever London Collections Men (LCM) presentation and what a one it was too. I couldn't have asked for a better way to be broken in than with QASIMI's Spring/Summer 2017 showcase, 'Videogame Wars,' hosted in Somerset House’s Lancaster Rooms. The brand is the brainchild of Emirati designer Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, or Khalid Qasimi to lessen the mouthful. He was born in Sharjah and raised in the United Kingdom, having graduated from Central Saint Martins. Launching his womenswear label in 2008, Qasimi made his foray into menswear in 2010.

The QASIMI models stood atop a shiny silver mound, like some remnant of a spaceship that had beamed these beautiful alien beings down to us, blessed with out-of-this-world bone structure. They stared out at us mere earthlings from their metallic plinth, in our somewhat ethereal surroundings. Fans played with the fluttering white curtains at the windows, offering some respite from the muggy weather. The soundtrack of Jonjo Jury rang out into the space.

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In a sea full of people opting for black clothing (always a given within the fashion crowd), the QASIMI SS17 collection was refreshingly…pastel. Think muted mint greens and dusky roses with pops of orange sherbet. The models illustrated how to pile on the layers, even in the midst of summer – a trick that often turns an okay outfit into a great one. In fabrics like linen mix and jersey, the garments are guaranteed to help you keep your cool in the heat. The separates, like long tunics and fluid, loose-fitting trousers, borrow from Qasimi’s background, as he likes to incorporate Arabic elements into his work.

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The designs are in keeping with the sports luxe and athleisure trends, which are very much still going strong. It's no wonder that casual comfort is having a moment, as it is exactly that – comfortable. QASIMI has upgraded the humble sandal with peekaboo shoes, which have toe and heel cutouts. As for me, I wore my new flatform trainers, and boy, were my feet all the more grateful for it. This is a trend I can certainly get on board with.

An accompanying fashion film for QASIMI’s new line interspersed images of the clothes with explosive inspiration such as the Gulf War, divers, and contemporary architecture. The latter is a nod to Qasimi’s days studying at the Architectural Association and his involvement as a member of Sharjah’s urban planning council. Emerging themes this season included loss of innocence and an emphasis on the current political landscape as seen through the eyes of a young boy. Flames flickered in those same eyes, while plumes of smoke abounded.

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Maybe I'm clutching at abstract, arty straws here, but out of destruction and despair, often something beautiful can come. Like the phrase, 'No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up,' QASIMI enables the wearer to do just that, and fashionably of course. How glorious the models looked when they replaced their sullen pouts for smiles! Indeed, the clothes became illuminated when there was a cheeky personality shining through from underneath all of those layers. After all, clothes are designed with a certain wearer in mind. A living, breathing person with thoughts, beliefs, and character is what makes the clothes dance, as opposed to when they limply loll on hangers. QASIMI is not just for the pretty face, but the personality too.

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Words: Laura Rutkowski | Fashion Week Press | @Laura_Rutkowski

Images: Zac Mahrouche | Fashion Week Photographer | @zacmahrouche

The mammoth queue for Danielle Romeril's AW15 presentation suggested that there was a lot worth seeing inside. Boy, were they right. Romeril's dystopian vision was brought to life within Somerset House's presentation space. Amongst a scene of deconstruction and regeneration, the NEWGEN star's AW15 offering stood, silently screaming 'survival'. Earthy tones were prominent throughout, with the focus predominantly on grey, cream, black, nude and the welcome addition of blue tartan, whilst the silhouettes focused on themes of adaptation with garments reinvented by means of layering. Fabrics were heavy-duty - there's no place for delicacy in an anti-uptopian land - and shapes were perfectly executed. Swamped in textured layers, leather trims, blanket scarves and midi-lengths, the collection gave onlookers no doubt as to its intention: fit for a survivor, fit to a survivor.

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Words by Daisy Keens | Writer | @pieandfash
Photography by Sebastian McCluskey | Fashion Photographer

 

"Describe the Ccuoco AW15 collection in one word, you say?" "... Fierce."

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Yep, it was a fashionably fierce furore that overcame Freemasons Hall when the Ccuoco AW15 show commenced. Emboldened black eyes and show-stopping statement jewellery set the tone for the serious serving of sartorial salaciousness we were about to receive. Red leather, cream leather, gold leather and black leather; Candice Ccuoco is notorious for producing collections full of exquisitely manipulated leather creations, with feminine confidence being the driving force behind her designs. Ccuoco herself describes her collections as 'for the woman who knows exactly what she wants and knows exactly where she is going' and that's a vibe we weren't left in doubt of at the AW15 offering. Heavy leather arsenal was feminised with the additions of peplums, thigh-splits, cut-aways, pussy-bows and dainty bras. Well, as dainty as a bra can be when it's 100% leather. Ccuoco's bio reads as such: 'Sophisticatedly Provocative. Intellectually Fashionable.' We think we'd have to agree.

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Words by Daisy Keens | Fashion Week Press | @pieandfash
Photography by Zoe Lamb | Fashion Week Photographer