Tag: SS16

Urban chic for the busy, cosmopolitan woman was the theme of C J Yao's London Fashion Week show at the Freemason's Hall. Her collection for those leading an on the go, active lifestyle featured pieces created perfectly imperfect to project the message that its okay to break free from the polished, always put together look. And its especially okay to embrace your own unique style in whatever way you choose. With a layered, 'inside-out' aesthetic, Yao channels urban youth culture throughout her extensive collection and stresses the importance of defining innovative individuality through fashion.

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The sporty style presented on the green stripped catwalk was complemented through the use of lightweight materials and stand-out pieces such as wide-legged trousers with permanent pleating that added a swing to the each and every step; As well as capturing the wearers natural movements. Yao produces designs with dynamic fluidity and movement that help to give her designs an attitude of its own.

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Yao's collection radiates confidence and experiments with the creatively fun ways that casual and formal fashions can be mixed 'n matched. She also presents a playful quintessence of urban, sporty style through the use of trimmings to inject a splash of quirkiness into the seams. Yao continues this slight eccentricity by adorning her designs with numbers that leave an air of suspense and plenty of questions. What do the numbers symbolise? Are they fashion's version of a giant sudoku puzzle?

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C J Yao's SS 16 collection is an eclectic selection of urban wear for the on- the- go individual in their quest to take on the world. Yao constantly reinforces the idea that fashion should be unique; it should be refreshing; it should even be a little bit crazy, but most importantly it should just be fun!

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Words| Sophie Joaman| Fashion Week Press|

Images| Mel Williams| Fashion Week Photographer|

It was as if a fresh summer breeze had swept through the Gallery at Freemasons Hall. A kaleidoscope of chartreuse, orange, gold and crisp white flowed down the Mimpikita SS16 catwalk; each oh-so-pretty piece screaming to be taken on the most glamorous of holidays come next June.

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Titled ‘A New Femininity’, the collection featured elegant, flowing dresses that were loosely fitting but still drew attention to the body via plunging back detailing and sheer fabrics. Solid colours were broken up with abstract shapes, stripes and metallic threads, while sheer nude and white blouses were adorned with sparkling jewels. However, even the most stunning and detailed pieces still managed to maintain a minimalist, understated appeal.

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Hem lines varied between knee and floor length, with the cut and draping of fabric taking centre stage. Wrapover necklines, shawl collars and asymmetric shapes were featured amongst the key detailing. Models wore flat slip-ons while hair was pulled up into a stylish bouffant with a casual side ponytail, and decorated with gold fan shape grips; styling that perfectly summed up the collection – laid back but utterly beautiful.

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The brand was established back in 2008 by three sisters; Nurul, Mira and Syera Zulkifli, all of whom had previously supported their family-run architectural business; a creative background that continues to influence the silhouettes they design. Though price points for pieces are a very reasonable, high-street friendly range between £50-£150, the brand has become renowned for the quality of fabric used and commitment to craftsmanship, including the fact that their Kuala Lumpur based team includes beading specialists.

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Easy-to-wear but utterly charming, this is the perfect collection for the girl who wants to turn heads without even trying.

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Words: Helen Lovett | Fashion Week Press | @mustardyellowshoes
Images: Tania Willis | Fashion Week Photographer | @RoseyTan

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Removing themselves from the computer-based, technological age and focusing on the beauty of the natural world, Vin + Omi presented a mesmerising collection that could be described as up-scaling natural textures and fabrics into what they aptly titled “FUTUREWOOD”.

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The head-pieces seen throughout the show were the initial items noticed as the first model walked along the runway with a towering coil atop her head. Complex spirals of various wood-based materials were attached to bundles of the female models braided hair whilst immensely large spikes of wood were attached to the male models heads. Wood was also used in layers on the sleeves of many of the garments to imitate the look of bark and added a vivid texture as the tiers rippled while the models’ arms swung. Other non-conventional materials used included sheets of circular metal that sat around the neck, framing the neckline of their dresses. The show was also heavy in prints, crafted into varying cuts; the prints were fabricated from photos of tree bark and other natural materials, and produced beautiful clashes of colour and shape that made the movement of the pieces full of life.

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Texture was also manipulated with in collaboration with the shows sponsors such as L’Oreal Paris who helped Vin + Omi create a dress made out of knots of hair where the hair gathered around the shoulder to give it the effect of being cushioned, resulting in a surface as soft as hair looking strong and structured.

Latex was one of the predominant materials in the collection, featured in red and white. The latex pieces came in the form of high-waisted skirts with a Japanese flag inspired rising Sun and long-sleeved cropped tops with arrows pointing towards different directions.

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The models' make-up was a combination of bold, block colours and glossy, metallic flashes of silver and dark steel tones. Models also carried barrel shaped handbags made out of a PVC-like material, which were branded with the V+O logo.

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The highlight was the final piece modelled by a particularly characteristic model. The almost floor length dress was composed of various coloured acrylic nails layered together generating a wave of colour. As the model walked theatrically down the runway, the nails flew into motion and an audible rustling could be heard as she passed, forcing you to take a closer look and be amazed at the components of the dress. The piece was made in collaboration with CND and was made up out of 18'000 false nails.

Words: Andre Bogues | Fashion Week Press | @andredevb

Images: Amie Caswell | Fashion Week Photographer | @amiecharlot

 

Upon walking up the steps of the Hellenic Centre, an elegant Marylebone mansion, delicious smells wafted out to greet us. Turning right into a small room, following our noses, we discovered the source of the enticing smells - Bouillabaisse, an up and coming Mayfair restaurant, were putting on coastal cuisine to accompany our perusal of the Belstaff’s SS16 collection.

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Moving through to a balcony, groups stood eating, drinking and taking about the collection, named Beauty of Power, which spread out below them in The Great Hall. Almost as though washed ashore, models with salt-sprayed hair were stranded on islands throughout the room against piles of sand and pebbles, framed by a rolling, turgid ocean which ebbed around the walls.

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Inspired by the beauty which manifests in power, the collection nods to force of both manmade and natural sources, namely Belstaff’s motorcycle and military heritage and the strength of the sea. This is reflected in every aspect of the clothes.

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The colour palette is beachy; think mottled prints in bleached white driftwood, golden sand, dark seaweed and, of course, the ever changing blues and greens of the water. Faded khakis and olives pull in the military theme, accompanied by buckles and belts.

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The range is incredibly tactile; wandering through the models it is hard to resist reaching out to touch. Supple leather and suede sit next to luxurious quilting and fluid organza and silk, contrasting similarly to the conflicting ways in which the collection’s inspirations source their power. This juxtaposition appears again in the reinvention of classic Belstaff silhouettes; their rider’s coat and four-pocket jacket, traditionally heavy and defensive, are remade in lighter fabrics, becoming more feminine.

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In what seems to be a recurring theme of SS16, the Belstaff collection explores the soft yet strong female through the contrasting nature of power in its different forms.

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Belstaff’s woman is serene and feminine, yet still a force to be reckoned with, channelling military strength and the unpredictability of the sea. Designer Ninous’ second main collection for the brand, it still embodies the tradition and heritage of its rich history, but is modernising and evolving through innovative design and technique.

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Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Eloise Peachey | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeachey

Fashion International shows are a chance for both emerging and established designers to showcase their designs on a professional catwalk during London Fashion Week. This does mean, however, that some collections are more successful than others, a fact which is painfully obvious this evening.

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Indian designer Daniel Syiem kicked off proceedings with a flourish with his eco friendly designs made from Ryndia, a handwoven eri silk made by weavers in Meghalaya. Off whites and earthy shades of green and yellow were offset with gold accessories and sparingly used traditional print, which adorned the asymmetric looks. Trouser-skirt hybrids, subtly textured fabric and ragdoll gypsy skirts were just some of the reasons we loved this collection, and the overall aesthetic was a uniquely modern take on “ethnic” (his own choice of word) fashion.

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The second collection of the night, ‘Shades of White’ by AGA Couture seemed somewhat lackluster after the impressive opener. Lace trims paired with pearls and flouncing ruffles are only cheapened by the addition of rhinestones, which cheapen the collection. We prefer it when the shades turn into a muted gold colour, and an off the shoulder top and skirt combo which combines this colour with white seems much more cosmopolitan.

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Forever Devine’s collection was an attempt at elegance and evening opulence, but although this did come through, it fell a little short of the mark with mostly ill fitting, unflattering and unfinished garments. As a designer, one either has to have a strong skill for cutting techniques or a deeply creative vision. Unfortunately, we could see evidence of neither with this collection.

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Thankfully, celebrity couturier and bridalwear designer Yuvna Kim is up next with her fairytale creations reminiscent of Elie Saab’s heavily embellished full length sheer gowns. They really are the epitome of opulence as 3D embroidered flowers and intricate beading swirl around the models’ legs. A completely over the top yet deliciously fantastical ruffled train looks like something out of a Victoria’s Secret show and the muted pastel colour scheme stops think looking too Barbie-ish. A sheer flapper dress in candy pink is a delight to behold with vintage style beading although a couple of satin garments feel too prim and slightly dated. It would also have been nice to forgo the very wedding appropriate hats to move away from bridalwear and into the throes of high fashion.

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In complete contrast, Lenie Boya’s futuristic ‘Dramatique’ collection is an entirely different beast, wowing guests with silver brocade and intricate laser cut coats. If there’s one thing you can’t deny about Boya it’s that she takes risks, as evidenced by her swan bridesmaid dress, a garment that wouldn’t be out of place in an Elsa Schiaparelli retrospective. In a surprising twist, Paralympian Stefanie Reid became the first ever British amputee to model at London Fashion Week. Her highly technical and frankly beautiful silver prosthetic leg was a welcome addition to the show.

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Pakistani designer Omar Mansoor’s Russian-inspired Imperial Romance collection rounded off the evening with a series of off-white, embellished garments (white to symbolise post revolution peace). Influenced by the history of Russia, military elements seems a little too obvious (were the caps really necessary?) whilst jewel encrusted broaches shone against the white canvas of shift dresses and jumpsuits. We would have omitted a couple of the looks but overall it was a charming effort.

Words: Alice Hudson | Fashion Week Press | @aliceehudson