22 posts tagged "Louise Gray"
“It’s rare that students get to present their designs in a venue like this, never mind getting to travel to Italy and work with creative directors of a large fashion company right on their turf,” Central Saint Martins professor Louise Wilson OBE said at the Bally and Central Saint Martins presentation at London’s Savoy Hotel earlier today. “I certainly never had that chance like that when I was a student.”
Props, then, to Bally, which is now in its third year of collaborating with Wilson’s CSM M.A. class. For the project, the brand selects two students to create a womenswear and menswear look, with a simple and admirable objective in mind—to nurture talent and to allow students the rare insight of what work life could be after graduation. Needless to say, this year’s students, Alice Bastin and Mei Lim Cooper (pictured), were chuffed to be there. “It was life-altering getting to work with the Bally creative directors (Graeme Fidler and Michael Herz)—seeing how a design is completed from A to Z,” Cooper told Style.com. And their brief? Well, let’s just say it was brief. They were both given a drawing to study, one women’s and one men’s shoe—and then charged with the task of creating a look, with the focus being on outerwear pieces this year. “It was great that the direction was so minimal because we got to use full creative license,” says Bastin, whose shoulder for her men’s jacket was almost an exact footprint, so to speak, of the toe of the shoe.
With Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicoll, Roksanda Ilincic, Louise Gray, and Mary Katrantzou as a few of her famous alumni, we just had to ask Wilson if she had an LFW favorite this season: “Well, I don’t like to pick and choose, but it has to be said that Louise Gray’s show was outstanding—she really went to another level of her career. If I was younger, I’d be wearing all that stuff. Well, maybe minus the mohawk.”
This morning, the British Fashion Council (BFC) announced the three womenswear designers—Mary Katrantzou, Henry Holland, and Louise Gray—and one menswear designer, James Long, who have been awarded the Fashion Forward sponsorship for two consecutive seasons of London shows. Long is the first menswear designer to receive funding from the Fashion Forward program. They are in good company. In the past six years of the program, the winners have included Jonathan Saunders, Christopher Kane, and, last year, Peter Pilotto, Todd Lynn, and Meadham Kirchhoff.
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.
Cat-ear caps. Pompom pumps. Mink sunglasses. No doubt about it: ‘Tis the season of the out-there accessory. The latest designer to join the odder-is-better mix is Londoner Louise Gray, whose new collaborative jewelry line with Asos—under the umbrella of the e-tailer’s Asos Inc. incubator program—goes on sale this week.
Retailer/designer collaborations are a dime a dozen, but Asos sets its apart by allowing designers the opportunity to create categories that aren’t already part of their lines. Its first Asos Inc. designer, Thomas Tait, created his first bags; Gray used the chance to launch jewelry, which will also be styled into her upcoming show. Her pieces are all smiles—not to mention googly eyes.
“The jewelry I wanted to make was fun pieces that could be layered up or worn alone,” Gray told Style.com. “They have a carnival feel to them, like the duck whistle earrings, the large scale packets of fries, and the sun earring wearing sunglasses. They’re definitely for enjoying.”
The Gray pieces, which include pendants, earrings, studs, and even a working bell, are plated in 22-karat gold. They retail for between $60 and $295 on www.asos.com.
Balenciaga lately got a museum exhibition in San Francisco, but the late Spanish couturier is about to have a home to call his own—and in his hometown, no less. Queen Sofia of Spain inaugurated the Balenciaga Institute in his native Getaria, which showcases 90 of his designs; it opens to the public on Friday. [Racked]
Natalia Vodianova is spreading the love. This year, the model, who hosts a yearly charity Love Ball for the Naked Heart Foundation, has asked 40 of her designer friends to create dresses for auction at Christie’s. [Modelinia]
Everything’s coming up Koma. London designer David Koma is one of the several designers who, it was announced last night, will be supported by London’s NEWGEN sponsorship for the upcoming season. He shares the distinction with fellow young talents Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Louise Gray, and Michael Van Der Ham. [Vogue U.K.]
Karl Lagerfeld has yet to make his first venture in comic books, but in the meantime, he’s adding crystal to the list of his innumerable side projects. The designer has teamed up with Orrefors to create a line of crystal stemware and vases, launching this fall. What better glass for your custom Karl-designed can of Diet Coke? [WWD]