40 posts tagged "London Fashion Week"
Piers Atkinson has a flare for the dramatic, so it’s not terribly surprising that the London-based milliner likes his collections of clever bejeweled, feathered hats to tell a story. In fact, he stretches each of his plots out over three seasons because, let’s be serious, who doesn’t like a little suspense?
When we last spoke with Atkinson, he had just finished Spring ’14—i.e., chapter one of his current tale—which centered around a fabulous young birthday girl who dreamed of stardom. Now he has given us an exclusive first look at his Fall ’14 outing, and here, our little princess has grown up to become a full-blown international diva. “She’s a globe-trotting multimedia sensation who will need a hat for this, a hat for that, a hat for everything,” Atkinson told us from London. “She needs hats for all seasons because she’s jetting from Aspen to Rio de Janeiro…and it’s very much about this selfie in the red-carpet era idea, too.”
The result is a compilation of hyper-glam wares that are apropos for the step-and-repeat whatever the weather. Think wafting ostrich plumes; multicolored straw fedoras; leopard-printed everything; crystal berets; and beyond. The social media angle comes into play via toppers embellished with Swarovski crystal hashtags that read #nofilter (for the sake of irony, this one turns up on a veiled purple baseball cap), #trending, or, Atkinson’s favorite, #wokeuplikethis. The crowning jewel of the lineup, however, is a gilded leather headband garnished with two giant faux diamonds—kind of a blinged-out Minnie Mouse look, if you will. The entire Hollywood-ready outing was photographed on model Felicity Hayward, who also stars as a Marilyn Monroe-meets-Anna Nicole Smith character in Atkinson’s Fall ’14 film, which debuts below.
The new hats will be on display at Somerset House throughout London fashion week. But now that we know part two of the milliner’s narrative, we can’t help but wonder what becomes of the well-hatted pop star in the finale. “I have a vague idea,” Atkinson hinted. “I recently went to see a stage show starring Joan Collins called One Night, and it was just amazing because she did a very witty, lighthearted discussion of her career and her life. She’s a gorgeous, glamorous woman who’s really done it all,” he gushed. “So next season will be based on the ultimate diva—the woman who has all the amazing stories to tell.”
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Label: Luke Brooks
Need to Know: Twenty-seven-year-old West Londoner Luke Brooks knows a thing or two about the danse macabre. After all, it was his stellar Central Saint Martins master’s graduate collection—a chewed-up and spit-out Candy Land dump yard of sorts, complete with eviscerated T-shirt dresses and an inherent call to warning, re: society’s abuse of consumerism—that won him the school’s top accolade for the Class of 2012. And for his first capsule collection outside of CSM, Brooks continued to plumb a deathly vein, jetting west to New England to render gravestone etchings on industrial-grade Tyvek (“They use the material a lot in hospitals,” he mentioned). On display in the British Fashion Council’s Ones to Watch installation at Somerset House, Brooks’ shapeless dresses featured rubbings off of tombstones from as far back as the 1800s and were all lifted from cemeteries in Maine. As for his decision to cross the Atlantic when England boasts plenty of perfectly stocked graveyards, Brooks said, “The icons,” pointing to an angel in particular, “you don’t see those here.”
He Says: “The etchings are just Crayola. We went to Walmart and went around nicking all the black crayons and putting them in one box.”
Where to Find It: Private orders only at this time.
Considering that, in the past few seasons, such brands as Pierre Balmain, See by Chloé, ICB, and Peter Som have all experimented with showing online rather than on the catwalk, Diane von Furstenberg’s recent hypothesis that physical fashion shows may be made “extinct by digital substitutes within the next few years,” doesn’t seem too far outside the realm of possibility. This London fashion week, Clements Ribeiro—the Natalie Massenet-mentored ready-to-wear brand designed by Suzanne Clements and Inacio Ribeiro—will be joining the crop of labels that are debuting their collections via the Internet.
On Saturday at 2 p.m. GST, Clements Ribeiro’s Spring ’14 range goes up digitally, coinciding with the launch of its new Web site, which comes with bells and whistles that cater to industry insiders and fashion fans alike. The buyers can fill their orders (the financing of which will be neatly handled by clever software), the press can view lookbooks, and fiercely loyal customers can buy online.
“It is unquestionable that fashion shows are a powerful tool for many brands—but there are just too many shows,” offered Ribeiro. “We found there is a better way to serve the entire chain. Yes, for sure, there is less adrenaline than a live runway show, but also less pressure. And from experience, this is how our clients want it—steady as she goes.” The Clements Ribeiro model is one of the first case studies for the British Fashion Council’s new digital department, and will also include a social media element. The designers will be available for a live Q&A via Twitter during the presentation, using the hashtag #CRSS14LIVE, and will be chilling in a Google hangout. For the brand, going online was a logical next move, since 60 percent of its sales were from the Internet anyway.
The label’s latest offering, an exclusive preview of which debuts here, is inspired by Ribeiro’s native Brazil. Spring ’14 is all about monochrome meeting pattern—the Girl from Ipanema turned bookish. The models featured in the designers’ Spring lookbook are pictured leaping barefoot, which, to Ribeiro, is a perfect representation of the brand. “I feel that we too are jumping—in leaps and bounds—to our next steps.”
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones—the London-based designers behind ready-to-wear label Teatum Jones—respect their moms so much, they’ve built their entire Spring ’14 collection around them. “The story was all about hard-working women who are in a continuous work mode—a woman who rarely rests. She is not a ball-breaker, nor does she need to be praised for her hard graft—she just rolls up her sleeves and gets on with it,” said Teatum during an preview of the collection.
For those not familiar with the Teatum Jones aesthetic, the design duo’s signature has always been eclectic prints, which are meticulously thought out, researched, studied and drawn up by hand. For example, the three-year-old brand’s Spring “tea towel” print was inspired by one of Teatum’s childhood memories. “I have a vivid recollection of my mom cooking and cleaning for us, and she always had a tea towel thrown over her shoulder, which to me represented the ‘just get on with it’ attitude,” Teatum explained. “We used that tea towel detail as a bit of a theme.” The motif is woven into the shoulder detail of a gown and appears on a biker jacket. The collection includes an unexpected floral print, too—unexpected because it features a trompe l’oeil rendering of a wrinkled hand peeking out among the roses.
The two have become textile pioneers, as well. “We really wanted to push the limits of fabrics and what we can do with them. We basically invented this woven jacquard, then laminated it,” said Jones of a series of skirts and tops that felt almost crunchy. “The [people at the] mill in Italy, where we created this fabric, were so excited with it, they have asked us if they could purchase some. That’s gotta be a good sign,” he added. Certainly it is, but that’s not the only sign that the two are posed for a breakout year: Their label is one of the top two sellers on Liberty’s international floor, and won this year’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise New Fashion Ventures award, joining the ranks of previous victors like Erdem, Peter Pilotto, and Mary Katrantzou. Needless to say, the up-and-comers’ future is looking bright.
Have an exclusive first look at the label’s Spring ’14 collection, above, and keep an eye out for the full lineup when it debuts on Sunday at London fashion week.