14 posts tagged "Fashion East"
When Lulu & Co. launched in 2010, it was meant to be a onetime capsule collection of reissued hits from the archive of Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy’s young-designer incubator program. As it happened, the line was a smash hit, so much so that it continued, evolving along the way into updated Fashion East favorites, looks from current Fashion East designers, and now, for the first time, into a full-blown contemporary range of Kennedy’s own imagining.
Kennedy may have the reins herself now, but the “& Co.” hasn’t been forgotten; the line is still a collaborative affair. For starters, Kennedy often enlists her creative friends (like photographers Mary McCartney, Alasdair McLellan, and Jamie Morgan) to collaborate on prints. “It’s all about finding new things, having an element of surprise,” says Kennedy. “What fun would there be otherwise?” Artist McAlpine Miller and menswear designer Bobby Abley worked on a few pieces for Fall ’13. But the rest is all Lulu.
Kennedy’s inner child comes out in the new collection, which was inspired by time travel, fantasy, the fifties, and cartoons. “When Katie Grand was working with Marc Jacobs last year, she was watching a lot of ‘Charlie the Unicorn’ on YouTube. I became hooked, too.” Consequently, the line is filled with playful takes on spaceships and stars, as well as photo-realist images of Elvis and Kate Moss superimposed with Popeye (Miller’s contribution). Kennedy’s fondness for nineties grunge, as well as her stints as a tomboy and a rave planner, inspired a digitized plaid silk georgette dress, while prom-appropriate frocks and argyle Lurex sweaters were influenced by Mad Men. Especially quirky were the sweatshirts—some screamed out “EARTHLING!” (a reference to Marvin the Martian), while others had the number sixty-nine emblazoned on the front. Kennedy protests, “Sixty-nine doesn’t represent what you think. It’s the year of my birth and the year that man first landed on the moon. Cosmic!” OK, Lulu, if you say so.
The opening day of London’s menswear shows began by looking into the past. Things kicked off with a celebration of Belstaff’s new collaboration with Goodwood Racing (left). The lower-priced moto-inspired collection will launch with fanfare at Harrods next month. “In the history of British motor sports, Goodwood and Belstaff are almost inseparable,” said creative director Martin Cooper, who was looking forward to spending a day or two at the estate of his cohost, the Earl of March, racing’s unofficial peer. Featuring Lord March’s family tartan on waxed jackets and hidden inside linings, the new collection was worn by models perched on vintage bikes outside the members club where the presentation was held. The bikes belonged to Sammy Miller, Britain’s former number-one trials rider (now an avid collector). Not far away, Bally was celebrating history, too: its place as the boot supplier to Tenzing Norgay’s 1953 Everest expedition. A replica pair of the boots Norgay wore was displayed, but the new Everest collection was lighter and more city-friendly (case in point: the seamless, waterproof “double” hiking boot co-designer Graeme Fidler was enthusing over). Bally showed deerskin bags, too. They came in the form of expeditioner backpacks, but also, for the nonclimbers, as a weekender.
But it was the future that was on view at Fashion East, the clutch of up-and-comers installed at Carlton Gardens, Meadham Kirchhoff among them. Bobby Abley had rigged up a UFO craft with a spaceman model inside. More of this earth was Kit Neale’s greasy-spoon setup, with models lingering over plates of chips (left). Neale is a print-meister, preferring psychedelic patterns in brash colors, but this season he moved away from the digital prints he’s favored in the past and back toward more traditional screen-printing. Those played nicely off the hand-done Dalmatian dots of Joseph Turvey’s collection (shown alongside mewling pups), which had a graphic punchiness in black and white. Maarten van der Horst and Nasir Mazhar rounded out the lot.
If London needed a representative for the present between past and future, you could say Hunter Gather (left) took that spot. The brainchild of famed stylist and brand consultant David Bradshaw (his handiwork has shaped Versace, Jil Sander, and more), the new contemporary label and shop on Wigmore Street celebrated its official debut. There were great colorful knits (in raspberry and mustard), tailoring, and even shearling jackets. The easy-to-swallow pricing felt right for the here and now, as did the emphasis on sourcing insight from the crowd—from collaborators to the design team to friends Bradshaw’s made over the course of his career. “I’m the creative director,” Bradshaw said with a hint of modesty. “The ideas come from the collective.” And, he added in a bit of 2013 wisdom, the store is great, but “it’s all about the Web site.”
London’s second men’s week is upon us (our coverage begins when the shows do, on January 7), and while the Brits are buzzing about Tom Ford’s and Alexander McQueen’s shows (both designers are new additions to the schedule), it is London’s ever-growing crop of young talent that makes the city tick. We checked in with some of the city’s most intriguing new menswear designers about what they have in store for the Fall ’13 season. And our picks have lofty aspirations. The general consensus was that each talent, in his own way, hopes his designs will contribute to a London menswear evolution—aesthetically, conceptually, and otherwise. “It’s the right time in fashion to take risks,” says spotlighted designer Craig Green. All four emerging talents are doing just that. Below, they tell us how.
Since launching his line with Fashion East last season, 26-year-old Central Saint Martins MA graduate Craig Green has struck an impressive balance between conceptual and wearable design. “Even with my sculptural pieces [like the wood and canvas frames he showed at the Saint Martins show last February], I place an importance on masculinity—although, I sometimes play with it in an androgynous way,” explains Green. Last season, the designer put forth a covetable and approachable collection that included screen-printed calico separates and rubber-dipped sweaters (left). For Fall ’13, Green earned a spot showing with the prestigious MAN initiative. “My inspiration is all about shadows and reflections, which is something I’ve played with a lot since the MA,” says Green. Featuring crinkle pleating and a toile-like simplicity, the cotton, felt, and suede wares include hand-painted prints and build on the ease of last season’s clothes. However, Green’s high-concept edge will come through in his presentation via a few dramatic, sculpted looks. “I think a show should be a show!” says Green of his penchant for grand fashion-week displays. (For his debut last season, he showed his collection alongside a full-on art installation.) “That’s what makes fashion so exciting.”
Craig Green is available in several specialty stores in Japan, including Kink and Cement, and will feature in the MAN show on January 7.
With an MA from the London College of Fashion, 24-year-old Joseph Turvey will show his second collection (his third, if you count his Grey Gardens-inspired graduate line) during Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East Installations. With a focus on illustration (last season’s looks were printed with sketches of men wearing vibrant trompe l’oeil floral outfits), Turvey’s mesh and heavy lace Fall wares are inspired by his new jet-black cockapoo. (“She’s like a little teddy bear,” he coos.) Crafted in a muted, primarily black palette, Turvey’s collection (which, like last season, will feature illustration) aims to smash through the traditional menswear mold. “I find that menswear has a lot of rules, as far as tailoring, and I want to take what I’ve learned from [those rules] and break them,” he explains. As for the dog inspiration, Turvey asserts that Givenchy’s Rottweilers were not at the forefront of his mind. “These clothes are much softer and more friendly,” he says, adding that “fun” is a key element of his aesthetic. “I just want people to be happy when they see my work.”
Joseph Turvey is available in Japan at Candy and online at www.theunconventional.co.uk. He will show his menswear collection during the Fashion East Installations on January 7.
Thirty-one-year-old Matthew Miller will show his fifth collection in London this January. The NEWGEN-sponsored designer focuses on clean tailoring and complex digital prints (the fractured patterns seen on his smart suits and separates in seasons past have stemmed from such inspirations as things he found on the street and London’s Bauhaus council flats). “Everything I do has to have a meaning—every stitch and every line. Otherwise, it’s pointless,” says Miller. For Fall ’13, the designer was influenced by digitalism and his belief that his generation has failed to produce any revolutionary music or art. “I think they’re endangered species, really,” he explains. This notion prompted him to use crocodile-stamped leathers that reference an endangered breed of the reptile. Miller’s Fall ’13 will also feature black wool twill, cotton poplin, and high-tech polypropylene raincoats. “Everything is really simple,” says Miller. “I think I’ve come up with something relatable, that still questions what people believe and what people want to wear.”
Matthew Miller is available at www.mrporter.com and will show on Wednesday, January 9.
Maarten van der Horst
Thirty-year-old Central Saint Martins MA graduate Maarten van der Horst is best known for his three-season-old womenswear line full of vibrant prints, playful, feminine details, and slick silhouettes. But last season the Dutch designer decided to team up with Fashion East and test the waters in the menswear department with some heavy-metal-inspired T-shirts (think: Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Slayer). For Fall, van der Horst will continue with his metal menswear, this time concentrating on scarves. “I’m drawn to heavy-metal bands not because I like the music but because of their extreme cult followings. Achieving that kind of status is a goal for a young designer,” says van der Horst of his muses. The designer asserts that he’s exploring more facets of men’s ready-to-wear in his Fall range. But as for the scarf focus, he explains, “Every season I try to develop a specific concept. So if I have a really exciting idea for scarves, why not focus on that? I want to make objects of desire.”
Maarten van der Horst will show his menswear collection during the Fashion East Installations on January 7.
There’s a new member of the Fashion East family. Today, it was announced that Lulu Kennedy—the founder of the London-based young designer initiative and one of the movers and shakers featured in latest issue of Style.com/Print—along with the Fashion East selection panel, has chosen to add Ashley Williams to the program’s Fall 2013 lineup. Having recently graduated from London’s University of Westminster, Williams enlisted close pals Pixie Geldof and Alice Dellal to walk in her collegiate show. Naturally, her famous models caught a few eyes. But the up-and-comer’s kitschy prints and retro rockabilly looks were attention-worthy all on their own. Williams joins Claire Barrow and Ryan Lo, both of whom made their Fashion East debut last season.
London’s final day of shows featured outings from J.W. Anderson, Margaret Howell, Pringle of Scotland, and Christopher Raeburn. It also offered a moment to check out the installations from Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy’s young-gun incubator of emerging talent. Tim Blanks took a tour.
Ben Kirchhoff went back to his London roots with Meadham Kirchhoff’s first collection for men (pictured), not only because he started out with menswear in his pre-Meadham days at Saint Martins but also because, when he first arrived in London, he lived in a squat in the general neighborhood of the imposing Georgian mansion where the duo showed their new work. So that glorious vista of green trees and blue sky (yes, the sun shone for a moment) had once been his. And so had the pell-mell, headily fragranced tumble of clothes, boys, flowers, and skip-surfed remnants with which MK filled the eighteenth-century salons. They’re now a fully fledged cult. The cultists were scarcely disappointed, but anyone else who’s been wondering what might be in the pipeline after the suited, booted sartorial conservatism that many of the fashion boys have been working over the past three days might also catch a glimpse of a possible future in MK’s extravagant wrack of the West.
They were sharing the house with the latest crop of designers that Lulu Kennedy was introducing to the world under the Fashion East banner. Downstairs, Duffy showed his silver jewelry with its occult undertones in a room that could have been built for that purpose alone. And Craig Green, fresh out of Saint Martins, showed eerie, homespun clothes—in calico, cheesecloth, cotton knit, and suede screen-printed to a crunchy finish—which suggested ancient rituals in pagan communities cut off from the world. The Wicker Man was an inspiration. No surprises there.
Ritual also infused Tom Lipop’s tailoring with a colorful Mexican twist, or at least the Day of the Dead did, because his models were made up as leering skulls. The boys were packed away on shelves and in drawers, a memorable way to guarantee maximal impact on a minimal budget. Kit Neale managed the same effect by filling his space with a huge fairground snake, which complemented his extravagant prints (particularly liked the lobster ensemble). Idiosyncrasy, playfulness, and obsession rule in the universe of Fashion East. Marten van der Horst’s heavy-metal mutant T-shirts had all that.