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15 posts tagged "James Long"

The Latest From London

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Some arena-playing rock bands travel less than young London’s designers. Those blessed by the British Fashion Council as part of the roving London Showrooms coterie have been on a whistle-stop world tour of late, hitting Paris, Hong Kong, L.A., and now, finally, New York, where they set up shop this morning to show their Spring wares to U.S.-based editors and buyers. To judge from the group assembled—including James Long, Thomas Tait, J.W. Anderson, Holly Fulton, Louise Gray, Marios Schwab, and milliner Nasir Mazhar—the journey may have tired them, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Almost every designer queried revealed he or she had picked up international stockists along the way; among the city’s reigning favorites, Long and Anderson drew the most attention, but even the youngest in the crowd can now boast increased U.S. visibility. Central Saint Martins grad Simone Rocha, who showed her first solo outing this Spring after a few seasons under the umbrella of Fashion East, now sells her vintage-lace dresses, fluoro tulle sheer layering skirts, and plastic raincoats at Opening Ceremony. Craig Lawrence, a 2011 NEWGEN winner who showed loose-weave knits and cropped, elasticized jumpers, is at several Henry Beguelin locations. Interested buyers were swarming, suggesting more reach is at hand for many present.

New categories and techniques were on display, too. Jeweler and sculptor Jordan Askill introduced pieces with ethical amethyst, sourced from a mine in Zambia, which he worked into silver pieces with his trademark swallows (below left). (A giant swallow cuff, which opened to reveal a hidden compartment, blurred the line between his two pursuits.) Also in the new collection were his first fine-jewelry pieces, with tiny diamonds surrounding a faceted, hand-carved swallow pendant. Holly Fulton had begun working with mother-of-pearl for accessories and real seashells for statement-making jackets; the trick, she confided, is finding shells of uniform shape. Tait, whose finely wrought, voluminous pieces suggest Couture shapes, had a surprising new footwear collaboration: a set of crisscrossed trainers he designed with Nike. (He was wearing a pair himself, as was a model; he had no plans to produce them, he revealed, but persistent interest on the part of buyers may change all that.) And Sibling’s Cozette McCreery was on hand to show off her knitwear label’s first official women’s line, Sister by Sibling. Women had been ordering small men’s sizes for so long, she said, that she and her co-designers, Sid Bryan and Joe Bates, decided finally to cut and knit for them. They were cropped neon and sequin leopard tops (left) and two complementary, sweatshirt-style sweaters emblazoned with the words LOVE and HATE. They’d sold, she said, about evenly, though she expected more interest in LOVE. Call it a knitted insight into the human race.

Photos: Courtesy of Sibling; Courtesy of Jordan Askill

Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy On How To Make It—And Her Picks For The Ones Who Will

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Finding new talent can be a little like falling in love. Just ask Fashion East‘s Lulu Kennedy. “Sometimes it can be like love at first sight, but more often than not, they’re a ‘grower,’ ” says the founder of London’s talent showcase with ten years and a “greatest hits” collection, Lulu & Co, to its credit. “Often you see things that are not presented very well, are half-finished or shot badly on a digital camera, but I’m always prepared to wait if someone looks like they will be amazing in a year or so.”

Kennedy has launched the careers of many of London’s hottest names—Richard Nicoll, Jonathan Saunders, Gareth Pugh, Louise Gray, Marios Schwab, Roksanda Ilincic, Meadham Kirchhoff, Michael van der Ham, and on and on—so who better to give a little good advice on how to make the fashion grade?

“What I first tell designers is that you can’t do it alone,” says Kennedy. “Having a great team around you is the most important thing. And if you come across a brilliant intern, do whatever it takes to hold on to them; they could be the person you really rely on in a few years’ time.

“Secondly, find the right backer. Creative people aren’t always good at all the backend stuff, so finding a great business partner is essential.

“And get organized. Do a list of everything you need to do. As it gets frantic nearer the show, that list will only get longer and longer as you cross things off. There are no short cuts; if you want to have a lasting career in fashion, you really do have to put the hours in.” Continue Reading “Fashion East’s Lulu Kennedy On How To Make It—And Her Picks For The Ones Who Will” »

A Peek Backstage At Marc, The Men You’ll Meet On Man Day, And More…

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Talk about multitasking: Juergen Teller’s new campaign for Marc Jacobs—starring Masha Kirsanova and Caroline Brasch Nielsen—was shot backstage at Jacobs’ Spring ’11 show (left). [Fashionologie]

The womenswear winners of London’s NewGen sponsorships were announced earlier this week, and now the prize is spotlighting the men: J.W. Anderson, Christopher Shannon, and James Long will show their menswear on the runway during LFW’s Man Day, while Lou Dalton, Katie Eary, Omar Kashoura, and knit wits Sibling will have their presentations supported. (Men’s designer Christopher Raeburn, who was listed among the winners yesterday, will also have his installation underwritten.) [Vogue U.K.]

It’s time (again) for Diane von Furstenberg to clear some space on her mantel: The indefatigable designer will receive amfAR’s Award of Courage—alongside President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Taylor—at the AIDS research nonprofit’s silver anniversary gala next year. [WWD]

Leandra Medine, better known as the voice of Man Repeller, is the high priestess of high-waisted pants—and shoulder pads, schlumpy layers, and all of the other “girls get it, guys don’t” fashion choices out there. Men may be repelled, but the Times wasn’t; Medine got the full profile treatment today. [NYT]

And here’s more from Ford: The latest glimpses of TF’s womenswear come courtesy of W, which shot a few looks, styled by Alex White and shot by Inez and Vinoodh, on Lara Stone. [W]

Photo: Juergen Teller

At London Fashion Week, MAN Power

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Jo-Ann Furniss, editor in chief of Arena Homme+, reports from London fashion week’s MAN Day for Style.com.

One of the great things about MAN Day is the radically different perspectives on offer, perspectives that somehow all seem to get along famously. There are none of the handbags-at-dawn shenanigans of womenswear, so the faultless Savile Row tailoring traditions of E. Tautz can literally sit next to the punky, poppy, yet brilliantly accomplished knitwear of Sibling in Somerset House. (Sibling’s collection film by the photographer Alasdair McLellan was also one of the standout moments of the day.) Many of these fledgling London-based menswear and accessories designers have matured into forces to be reckoned with on an international stage this season, while at the same time losing none of their sense of fun and a take on a wider pop culture that seems more relevant than ever for fashion in the city.

This influence of musical subcultures was found in many of the shows, more precisely, the sixties and the seventies seen through the filter of the nineties. This was the case at Topman Design (above), who presented the sort of thrift shop boys you used to see in London idolizing West Coast psychedelia and wanting to be Bobby Gillespie, in effortless washed silk shirts and crumpled parkas. Continue Reading “At London Fashion Week, MAN Power” »

More From London’s Triumphant MAN Day

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Wade with an open mind through the variety of shows and presentations on offer during London Fashion Week’s MAN Day, and you’d have been impressed by just that—variety. From Savile Row smart to Mineshaft sleaze, London’s menswear designers laid out a buffet that could make your palette pulsate with pleasure or leave a bad taste in your mouth. But what was immediately striking about every single designer who showed a men’s collection on Wednesday is how sophisticated they were with their back-stories. James Long, currently anointed The One to Watch, referenced Fuse Boy, a film by the scarcely-known Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin, for a collection (pictured) which imagined men in a steamy boiler room, their steam-saturated clothes slowly going moldy. That scenario scarcely impeded appreciation of Long’s masterful use of leather. New Power Studio was inspired by London’s multiculturalism and, at a time when the city feels like it is splintering, there was idealism in a show that offered a cross-section of ages, races and sizes in sportswear that was elemental enough to embrace them all. And, because I’m a fashion trainspotter, I couldn’t help drawing a line from the last look—a be-glittered guy in a shtreimel—to the ultimate fashion idealist Jean Paul Gaultier’s Jewish collection in 1993. Turns out NPS’s main man Thom Murphy is a big Gaultier fan.

If the rest of the world is going to get the picture, it is essential that MAN Day bring together all the strands of the burgeoning British menswear scene. I felt this one did. I’ve already written about Topman and I’ll have more to say about E.Tautz. The ideas they represent—the heritage of Savile Row, the historical romance of benchmark English designers like Galliano and McQueen—clearly provide a framework that is dictating the direction of many younger designers. James Small was so focused on tailoring that he trimmed everything superfluous out of classic men’s pieces. That peacoat? So lean it was mean. Lou Dalton, Carolyn Massey and J.W. Anderson opted for history, a temporal construct (Bonnie Prince Charlie) in Dalton’s case, a personal patchwork with Anderson, with a knapsack laden with roses (below) as one of the day’s enduring images.

And it wouldn’t be London if there wasn’t at least one intensely polarizing presentation. Rasharn d’Vera Agymang and Jaiden James are buoyant twentysomethings who make clothes that are anything but upbeat. With Mad Max apocalypse and Mapplethorpe’s X Portfolio in mind, they produced a collection of fetish leathers that was numbingly literal. Meanwhile, Re:Bel, the magazine they make together, was being distributed outside in the courtyard of Somerset House. It’s an impressive feat, a manifesto that rebuts the bloggy brevity their peers opt for. In fact, Re:Bel looks so substantial that it made the clothes feel like an afterthought. But, from Karl Marx to Malcolm Maclaren, London has always been the city that is kindest to manifestos.

Photos: Ray Yang / Rex / Rex USA