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July 31 2014

styledotcom When sunblock alone doesn't cut it, we'll be reaching for cool straw hats. stylem.ag/1zzzM8k @lindseywixson pic.twitter.com/TTxD0ZVLgA

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41 posts tagged "London Fashion Week"

Mum’s the Word at Teatum Jones

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Teatum Jones

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.

Photos: Courtesy of Teatum Jones

Piers Atkinson Channels His Inner Child

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Piers Atkinson Spring '14

“I wanted to capture the energy of childhood—when there are no rules,” offered Piers Atkinson of his Spring ’14 collection. This season, the milliner, known for his cheeky feminine toppers, designed a range of embellished girly pink, canary yellow, and lavender wares befitting any little princess. “In my story in my head, the girl is dreaming about being a pop star or a movie star—and it’s her birthday party,” Atkinson said of the range, which he’s aptly dubbed It’s MY Party. This concept is brought to life via sweet little headbands garnished with silicone and Swarovski-crystal cupcakes, a cake headpiece with a crystal strawberry on top, and a paint-splattered coned creation that looks like one of those paper party hats you got when you were a kid. Other cheerful standouts include a pink cotton baseball cap, which, topped with a bow, has an opening in the back for an eighties-style über-high ponytail; a piece that resembles a veritable explosion of cotton-candy-hued tulle; and headbands and berets with Atkinson’s signature diamanté veils, only this season they’re augmented with colorful nail decals, tiny pink bows, and—get this—googly eyes.

Atkinson did have some help conjuring this childlike whimsy. He invited two young ladies—Tui, age 12, and Miel, age 14—to visit his studio and learn about millinery. It’s these girls who star in Atkinson’s Spring ’14 Instagram campaign, which debuts exclusively here, and will be rolling out on @PiersAtkinson and @Styledotcom over the next few days. The snaps are covered with those playful virtual stickers everyone’s so fond of lately, and the designer will be handing out illustrated posters with packages of actual hat-themed stickers to those who visit his London fashion week installation at Somerset House.

“I think people tend to think about hats as a bit old-fashioned, a bit posh, a bit rich old lady. But actually, anyone who comes into my studio can put on a hat and have a good time. What I’m trying to do is express that anyone can wear a hat and enjoy herself,” explained Atkinson. As for what he dreamed about during his early years, the milliner admitted, “I wanted to be a pop star, an astronaut, and a costume designer. So I made one of them come true, in a way.”

Photos: Jamie Briggs using ‘More Beauté 2’; Instagram art by Hannah Grunden

On Our Radar: Huishan Zhang

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Huishan Zhang's Spring '14 Sketches

Huishan Zhang might have graduated from Central Saint Martins only three years ago, but the 30-year-old designer has already made a lasting impression. Currently gearing up for his third season at London fashion week, Zhang, a native of Mainland China’s Qingdao, has proven his capacity to innovate and produce quality garments—and he’s followed up with commercial viability and high sell-through rates at retailers such as Neiman Marcus, Browns, and Harvey Nichols. In addition to being short-listed for the coveted Dorchester Fashion Prize last month, Zhang is also the first contemporary Mainland Chinese designer whose work has been acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. And his achievements have propelled him into the fashion limelight, making him a promising talent who bridges the divide between East and West.

For Spring 2014, Zhang will showcase a thoughtful hybrid of couture-like influences (the manipulation of fabric from Madeleine Vionnet and Madame Grès’ sculptural fashions) with the traditions of ancient Chinese mathematics. “There’s been a lot of brain work this season!” exclaims Zhang, who’s given us an exclusive sneak peek at his forthcoming collection. “Haute couture and Chinese arithmetic are both very precise, sharing a type of perfection.” Specifically, Zhang will feature smocking grids and trigonometric shapes that mold to the female form. He was also inspired by Man Ray’s double-exposure technique and penchant for surrealism.

Continue Reading “On Our Radar: Huishan Zhang” »

Manolo Blahnik Steps Into the Big Smoke

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Manolo Blahnik

After winning a British Fashion Award in 2012, and creating a host of illustrations to promote London fashion week last season, Manolo Blahnik is, for the first time, officially joining the LFW schedule. The Spanish-born, Somerset, U.K.-based purveyor of chic-for-your-feet will debut his Spring ’14 collection during a presentation on September 15.

Photo: John Phillips/ Getty Images

Black and White and Gray All Over

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The London shows wrapped yesterday and, to our surprise, the city—known for its vibrant (in every sense of the word) young talents—gave us clothes in uncharacteristically subdued hues. Not that that’s a bad thing. As Marc Jacobs‘ show poignantly proved, gray is emerging as a prevalent Fall tone (perhaps a rebellion against the techno prints and acid shades we’ve seen in seasons past). And this held strong across the pond, with designers like Mary Katrantzou (above, center), J.W. Anderson, Richard Nicoll (above, left), and Thomas Tait favoring the shade. (Not that they were married to it. Tait, Nicoll, and Anderson each had splashes of orange, too.) Katrantzou—London’s princess of vivid prints—was a particularly unexpected (and successful) color convert, showing a meticulous collection that consisted mainly of black and gray, with hints of emerald, lilac and cobalt. But most surprising (and thrilling, for that matter) was Meadham Kirchhoff (above, right). The designers ditched their rainbow sequins and beloved disco palettes in favor of an almost entirely black, white, and ash Fall range. That’s not to say it was bland—vinyl ruffles (like the ones that trimmed the designers’ skirts and trousers), no matter what the shade, could never be bland. But it was indeed a directional departure from their typical kaleidoscopic mix. Don’t be mistaken—London’s pared-down palettes don’t mean the fog has taken over, and there were plenty of colorful clothes on offer to prove it. However, a few of the city’s talents have figured out that they don’t always need to employ prints and brights to pack a serious punch.

Photos: Marcus Tondo/ GoRunway.com