On Tuesday 19th, The National Portrait Gallery welcomed another art form to stand alongside their historical collection.
Tata Naka designers, Tamara and Natasha Surguladze, presented their vintage-inspired SS18 womenswear collection on the third floor of The National Portrait Gallery; a presentation which sat easily amongst the grandeur of its setting.
The Tata Naka SS18 collection saw seasonal summer stripes and vintage florals in contrasting aubergine and daffodil hues; high-waisted tailoring and wide collars gave the collection a retro-feel while the addition of side slits and bare-shoulder necklines remained in-keeping with forecast Spring/Summer trends.
The styling was done to artistic perfection. Dark lipstick and a reflective sheen to the contouring, giving the models an artificial quality - real-life portraits of modern-vintage dress.
Words: Scarlett Sangster | Fashion Week Press | @scarlettgracehs
Images: Rosemary Pitts |Fashion Week Photographer|@rosemarypitts
Just like butterflies emerge from their cocoons, we too emerge from our winter coats into the bright days of Spring and Summer ever year. While the butterfly is usually interpreted as a symbol of fragile beauty, Rocky Star's SS18 collection has stated thoughtfully that it is actually the new motif for confidence, fearlessness and more than ever, individuality in style. It was an ever-present reminder of the nature of the new season as it also flowed through each piece, appearing within the stunning prints and helping to inspire strong silhouettes.
Statement sleeves have been at the height of our wardrobes for the past season and Star makes the successful bid for them to be an even bigger part of our style in SS18. Voluminous angular sleeves are juxtaposed by delicate ruffling and layering that becomes reminiscent of exquisitely graceful yet tough wings.
The stunning Indian influences that Rocky Star has signed throughout his previous collections this time come in the form of intricate patterns and gorgeous head-pieces.
Boho style pieces featuring pretty floral appliques are given an added sparkle to truly channel the nature meets City vibe. Flowing dresses channel a timeless elegance while shorter hemlines and edgy cutouts breathe a contemporary party soul vibe. It is these contrasts that let's Star expertly crave his signature styles into his collections, while still catering to different women, with different attitudes towards fashion and life.
The natural colour schemes of greens, browns and reds are enhanced by vivid blues and pinks. Likewise it is the clever direction of the neon blue eye-shadow that ties in the idea of not being afraid to try bold colours.
While some pieces may be slightly more red-carpet ready than others, Rocky Star has shown that everyone can and should be experimentally incorporating colour, pattern and sparkle into their new season style. The talented designer has created a collection of contrasts that social butterflies will love as they step into the next exciting new chapter.
Words: Sophie Joaman| Fashion Week Press| @londonellagram
Images: Mel Williams| Fashion Week Photographer| @mvwphotographer
Phoebe English is first and foremost a craftsman within her trade. Just by looking at her men's and women's collections, it is always clear to see that her ethos is to not only create art but to engineer every aspect of it. The young designer is also a passionate advocate of underappreciated and sometimes even lost construction techniques. So it is always a fascinating experience to be able to learn about these processes that take place very often away from prying public eyes.
For SS18 English presented a collection that works closely with another long-standing craft: Puppets.
With models lining the room in English's visions for SS18, standing along side them were puppets (also named marionettes) hanging from strings and wearing miniature versions of each piece. In a theatrical sense, this setting was reminiscent of a Tim Burton film with dark romantic undertones cutting through. The faceless puppets mimicking their human twins were charming and yet hauntingly striking. The lighting, which created shadows throughout the room, heightened the dramatic air and drew attention to the careful construction of each piece.
Marionettes were not only used for dramatic effect, their entry into the SS18 collection was whole-heartedly a way for English to show the foundations of her craft and pay homage to the past techniques of design. It is this simplicity of her silhouettes, cuts and monochromatic colour palette that lets the eye see past whatever may be on the surface and truly look to the finer details. Details such as the careful draping of fabrics and textured knots of black bra- like tops, on top of clean-cut white shirts.
Muslin and poplin materials are overlayed with mesh and tulle that give textured feel, making the clothes unreservedly wearable but gives them that stand-out quality.
It was this clever decision to duplicate the designs which show just how adaptable fashion can be. Be it on the smaller scale, on a puppet for a showcase with an edgy punch. Or the life-sized version that will be worn by people within their daily lives over the coming season.
English pulled the strings behind-the-scenes to showcase her dark fairy-tale at London Fashion Week. Like all good fairy-tales its important to look to the message beneath the surface. In this case English's message is simple: We should all take the time to admire the methods that go into creating our favourite styles. After all fashion is above all else an enduring craft.
Words: Sophie Joaman| Fashion Week Press| @londonellagram
images: Rosemary Pitts| Fashion Week Photography| @rosemarypitts
As the weather starts to shift and spring kicks into life the idea jumper is a thin light soft one - one that makes you feel just like a bunny rabbit ready for Easter! Ok, so maybe that's going a bit far but these spring knits from Brora will have you feeling pretty damn good.
Brora, a firm WJ London favourite and best known for luxury Scottish cashmere, establishes spring summer with an introduction of lighter alternatives, fashioned in soft linen & cotton. With the same quality and attention to detail in each blend, charming knitting techniques and interesting textures are infused with colour to create fresh knitwear, perfect for transitional styling.
We think they are the idea gift to yourself for spring or maybe to your mother for Mother's Day.
Cotton Moss Stitch Stripy T-Shirt £109
Linen & Cotton Stripe Grandad £85
Cotton Tuck Stitch Jumper £125
Linen & Cotton Two Tone Jumper £98
This summer is going to be bright on the high street regardless of what happens to the weather. A number of acid and just off fluorescents are making their ways onto the hangers and we are loving it.
Giving our eyes a real treat are vivid blues and sumptuous corals along with acid lemon and limes.
Luckily all of these colours work well with a simple and subdued base colour - a black, grey or nude - things we should all have left over in our wardrobe now that winder is coming to an end.
If however you want to give the sun a run for his money give the corals and the vivid blues something the fight about and pit them together in a colour blocking combo - a trend that's not going anywhere this summer.
We can also tell you the perfect places to purchase these knock out colours being LK Bennett and Banana Republic. Getting the colours just right and marrying feel good fabric to boot, pop along to these guys to grab some key items for your summer wardrobe.
You won't have to look hard for the colours, they'll jump out at you the moment you're through the door but if you do need a little help of want a pep talk to get you into wearing such a bright statement colour have a chat to the personal shoppers on hand - they'll steer you right.
If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the actual high street then head over to Duke of York Square where you can find both these shops together and a lovely expanse of clean, pale pavement stretching between the two.
LK Bennett -
Banana Republic -