28 posts tagged "Fashion East"
Today, Lulu Kennedy’s young-designer platform, Fashion East, announced its Spring ’14 lineup. The show, set to hit the runway during London fashion week in September, will feature returning stars Ryan Lo (presenting for a third season, he specializes frilly, girly wares and cotton-candy palettes, left), Claire Barrow (another third-timer with an affinity for black leather), and Ashley Williams (a sophomore Fashion Easter known for smart silhouettes and irreverent prints).
Style.com has also learned today that Kennedy’s Fashion East-fueled ready-to-wear collection, Lulu & Co., will finally be available in the States (and worldwide), via Net-a-porter.com, at the end of this month. Looks like Lulu’s influence is expanding well beyond East London.
Lulu & Co’s first Resort collection was birthed simply because the stockists asked for it. “It’s great to be wanted rather than to have to push,” says creative director Lulu Kennedy. The collection had all the cheeky, grungy, playful Lulu signatures (think satin bomber jackets, quirky floral-print joggers, and Lurex slogan sweaters). But there was also some weight to it. A soignée silk Dupioni dress with a fifties silhouette and delicate floral appliqué detail, as well as a sharp brocade top-and-trouser set, were more Babe Paley than Courtney Love. “I listened closely to the stockists for this collection—especially about what makes a collection viable commercially,” said Kennedy. Could these steps toward maturity have something to do with The Guardian pegging Kennedy as one of its “fantasy picks” for the Mulberry job? (Creative director Emma Hill left earlier this month.) Kennedy laughs it off, “I mean, the mere mention of it is wildly flattering, but I think I would be in the dark-horse category.” Continue Reading “Lulu & Co Debuts Resort” »
If the seven designers featured in Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East menswear installation have anything in common, it’s that not one of them is a shrinking violet. Color, chaos, and cartoons burst forth, with Joseph Turvey (above) and Kit Neale paving the way. Neale, who once worked with Gareth Pugh, paid homage to Peckham (a part of London that makes Shoreditch seem absolutely gentrified) by printing a cartoonish map of the neighborhood on trousers. Turvey explained that he “loves flowers,” and there they were, blooming on a range of shirts. His explosive hues also turned up on a pair of baggy, Rothko-inspired trousers, and on the models’ hair, which was dyed pink and green.
Liam Hodges—whose models were getting a morning beer buzz while wearing his knitted, “garish,” multicolored stadium ponchos—told us that he creates “luxury that doesn’t cater to the highborns.” Meanwhile, Craig Green—the MAN designer who famously customized David Beckham’s Adidas sneakers for the Olympic celebrations—showcased a painterly range of footwear (below), which he made in collaboration with Purified. “I think these shoes will sell like crazy,” said Kennedy, adding that they were a smart way to subtly incorporate color into one’s look.
Another uniting aspect of the collections was a military theme. Meadham Kirchhoff showed vintage military footage during their presentation upstairs, and Marques’Almeida—which debuted its first menswear outing—displayed navy-and-black-camo denim looks with unfinished hems. To cap it off—literally—Tom Ryling’s models wore military berets, which for more than one onlooker evoked an image of Prince Harry in uniform.
While watching over her talents, Lulu offered a little bit of insight into this season’s LC:M. “I’ve seen things normally reserved for women, like floral, lace, and frills,” she said. “For sure, the fashion types will wear it. But really, these details are all so incredible, I hope they will trickle down into the mainstream.” Here’s hoping, Lulu.
London Collections: Men kicks off June 16, and while it might only be the platform’s third stint on the international scene, Spring ’14 marks Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East’s tenth Menswear Installations. The emerging-designer initiative’s latest lineup includes newcomer Liam Hodges, as well as alums Kit Neale (left), Joseph Turvey, and art director Tom Ryling. Also participating this time around is returning talent and MAN designer Craig Green, as well as Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida, who, having already received NEWGEN support for their womenswear collection, will debut their first menswear range this season.
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.