Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Emerging Designers: Who to look out for in 2012 (4)

Piece d'Anarchive

Anarchy is a word that now, all thanks to the Sex Pistols, depicts a historical movement in British pop culture, yet if anyone knows how to kickstart a revolution it's the French. Under the mask of 'Piece d'Anarchive', three young Parisian renegades are bringing anarchy back home with a 'coup d'etat' on luxe couture.

The new label, 'Piece d'Anarchive', an amalgamation of 'anarchy' and 'archive', does what it says on the tin. It combines French fashion heritage with a riotus mix of tribal and boyfriend style pieces. Co-founder, Virginie Muys told British Vogue, 'It's a juxtaposition of order and chaos.'

The brand was formed last year after a chance meeting between Virginie Muys and sisters Priscilla, who has worked on the design teams as Erdem and Westwood previously, and Deborah Royer, a former product designer for Armani and Cacharel.

The debut collection for S/S 2012 takes a playful and mischievous approach to knitwear, combining familiar modern and vintage silhouettes with unexpected textures and stitches. The tactful trio persuaded one of France's last remaining knit factories, which works alongside many French Luxury Houses, to take on their production. Priscilla dug into her personal archives for the collection, incorporating up to four different stitches in one particular item.

The influences for the S/S line was as diverse as the sloppy-joe style knit pieces. The silk running shorts and loose shirts are inspired by the effortless laid back boyfriend look, the contrasting feminine lace knickers and puff sleeved dresses ooze of Parisian vintage chic, whereas other pieces depict tribal ceremonies, such as scarification. This is shown through graphic patterns, a neckline of animal teeth and purposely hand-made costumes for rituals. The body con skirt, almost grass like in texture, echoes of the flower-men tribe in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The chaotic explosion of influences is tamed by the monochrome tones of pieces, allowing the dynamic stitches and clashing textures to do all the talking.

It may only be months since the debut collection was released but the power and talent of this rebellious trio has not gone unnoticed. The lasting impression made by the first collection has resulted in Piece d'Anarchive finding it's way onto the stock lists of Colette and 10 Corso Como. The brand is also due to be sold overseas in the US. I think it is safe to say that we will be hearing a lot more from Piece d'Anarchive in 2012.

Image from purple DIARY 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Emerging Designers: Who to look out for in 2012 (3)

Rainbow Winters

The excessive growth of the smart textiles fashion industry over the past few years has resulted in a complete redefinition of the notion of 'clothing'. Today, we are much more interested in our fabrics and what they represent beyond their traditional usage of protection or even enhancement. 

The new scientific age has produced fashion projects like no other. Aided by the growth of social networking tools, such as Blogger and Twitter a new form of designer has spawned, one who is not only the master of textiles but also of technology, using lazer cutters and 3D printers to create contemporary clothing.

One designer, who is pushing the boundary of interactive clothing from novelty to mainstream fashion is Amy Winters, founder of label 'Rainbow Winters': a company which creates interactive clothing, fusing cutting edge science with high end fashion. 

The London Central Saint Martins theatre-design graduate founded the company in 2008 with a view to creating stage wear with a touch-sense-sound multisensory experience. Imagine your dress, coat and even swimwear changing colour when you play your favourite song, walk out into the sun or dive into the pool. The  combination of clever technology and beautifully cut and edgy couture has allowed Rainbow Winters to be recognised by London Fashion Week, Channel 4, WIRED magazine, Science Museum London, Science Gallery Dublin and Lady Gaga. It seems Amy Winters following is as varied as the changing colours on her famous rainforest dress.

The first capsule ready to wear collection was created all thanks to LABB Magazine's Emerge Showcase catwalk in 2010. The S/S 2011 debut featured two major show pieces that put Rainbow Winters on the industry's radar: the sound reactive thunderstorm dress, made with holographic leather and electroluminescent panels and the rainforest dress, which reacts to sunlight and water with the flower detail changing from monochrome to colour.

The A/W 2011 collection, following the success of the debut, was showcased at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Presentation at LFW and also at Paris Fashion Week's 'Zip Zone' catwalk, which showcases the futuristic works of up and coming designers. The collection, inspired by the Yves Saint Laurent 1965 Piet Mondarin collection and the 20th century works of Picasso and Kandinsky, built upon the first, sticking with the interactive wow factor whilst polishing the high fashion appeal with classic vintage silhouettes and the use of lustrous fabrics such as silk and satin. The pieces were, again, reactive in accordance to sunlight and included the Rainbow Winters signature colour changing inks, transforming pieces from day to night wear as items change colour under UV lighting.

For the S/S 2012 collection, 'The Island' Amy returned to the 'Zip Zone' catwalk at Paris Fashion Week. The most recent collection was inspired by the idea of an enchanted island bathed in dazzling white and clear waters. Much of this work matched many of the athletic and glamorous high fashion S/S trends whist maintaining the innovative technological elements that allow Rainbow Winters to stand out. Natural daylight is used as an interactive device with the signature magic inks hand printed on the fabrics. Like the previous collection the S/S range sticks to vintage style silhouettes, enhanced by the digital bioluminescent print on buttons, trimming and panels in aqua, coral and luminous white colours. 

Rainbow Winters has helped create a new, forward thinking fashion market and in return has received a dedicated following of style savvy celebrities and science nuts. Though the brand experienced much success in 2010 and 2011, it is still unknown to many on the fashion radar. It is only a matter of time, in my opinion, before Rainbow Winters gets the full credit it deserves and sets the ball rolling for a style revolution.

All photos by Rainbow Winters- http://www.rainbowwinters.com

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Amy Winehouse's Dad denounces Jean Paul Gaultier's tribute as bad taste

Paris Fashion week may represent the respected nobility of the fashion industry, but Jean Paul Gaultier's latest collection left one father livid.

Jean Paul Gaultier paid homage to late singer and style icon, Amy Winehouse, using her image as his muse for the S/S 2012 couture collection showcased at Paris Fashion Week. His models donned the artist's signature beehive and cat-winged sixties eyeliner as they walked down the catwalk smoking cigarettes. The collection was composed of classic and seductive sixties looks with brightly coloured fitted pencil skirts, dresses and bustiers to floaty silk nightdresses.

One particular model, who was styled to look like an Amy Winehouse clone, closed the show dressed in dressed in a veil and a pale pink wedding gown, whilst the surrounding models all donned black veils for the finale.

Gaultier said, 'It is not a funeral. They are happy brides.'

However, Gaultier's controversial finale was not appreciated by everyone. The late-singer's father, Mitch Winehouse, felt that the show did not portray his daughter in a favourable light, 'We're proud of her influence on fashion but find black veils on models, smoking cigarettes with a barbershop quartet singing her music in bad taste,' Mitch Winehouse told The Sun, 'It portrays a view of Amy when she was not at her best, and glamorises some of the more upsetting times in her life. That is upsetting for her family.'

Winehouse even said that he felt it was unethical for his daughters image to be lifted to sell clothes and was offended at the fact Gaultier did not consult the family first, 'No one asked us for permission or offered to make a donation to the foundation. This is purely about Gaultier making money, and that's wrong.'

Picture creditation- Huffington Post

Friday, 27 January 2012

Rihanna to head new fashion TV show

Stylish super star, Rihanna, has signed to be executive producer of a UK fashion programme set to debut on Sky Living.

The R&B artist, who has been praised by many as a daring and edgy style icon, lost no time in bagging Girls Aloud fashion queen, Nicola Roberts, to help judge the show.

The programme, which is yet to be named, is due to run over an eight week period with an aim to find the next big thing in British fashion. Twelve unknown designers will be challenged by Rhianna and Nicole to style other celebrity clients, acknowledging the growing influence of mainstream artists on fashion trends in recent years.

Rihanna said, 'I've always had a great love of fashion. It is a constant source of inspiration in my life, and is a big reason why I've grown into the person and artist I am today... I have been very fortunate to work with some truly amazing designers and stylists throughout my career, and they have been instrumental in making sure my creative vision reaches the stage. I am excited to follow the journey of our aspiring contestants and see how their individuality influences their efforts during the course of the show.'

To apply visit the sky living website or email applications@twentytwenty.tv

Applications must be received by Sunday 5th February and filming takes place over 8 weeks in April.

Photo creditation- Stilletos Magazine

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Emerging Designers: Predictions for 2012 (2)


London based designer, Luna Sky, is probably best described as every girls dream fairy god mother. Having lived in fashion capitals across the globe from style sovereigns Paris and Milan to the new chic capitals of Tokyo and Japan, the designer has learnt a thing or two about creating the perfect ball gown. Living by the motto, 'la vita e bella' (life is beautiful), Luna formed her label 'LunaSky' in 2010 with a mission to create vintage inspired evening dresses to fulfil the needs of  the elegant, modern woman. 

The debut collection by LunaSky for A/W 2011 called 'La Vita Belle', meaning beautiful life, evoked the vision of Luna; a woman determined to devote herself to creating beautiful fashion to suit the lifestyle of the modern female. The collection combined elements of a classical romantic style in the lace monochrome evening dresses, which were given a 21st century edge with embellished chiffon, floral, sequins, ruffles and the LunaSky signature Swarovski crystal charms.

With an impressive debut collection, the appeal of Luna Sky's personal tailoring for individual customers and her traditionally feminine dresses did not go a miss. Within months the label was on the celebrity radar with names such as Gina G, Celina Brige and Lizzie Elliot on the LunaSky dressed-in list. Moreover, Sky was entrusted to style Top Model UK 2011 and showcase her second collection at the annual Pure London exhibition, the UK's largest fashion purchasing event.

The most successful venture for Luna Sky in 2011 was opening the LGN events 'A La Mode' independent fashion showcase during London Fashion Week in September 2011. The S/S 2012 collection displayed was inspired by the glamorous fashion of the 1960s. Similarly to the previous collection it built on classical silhouettes, with pull in waists and the sixties a-line style skirts. However, this collection was more sleek, sophisticated and rounded that its predecessor. The period styles were polished with modern tailoring creating chic day and night styles. The staple LunaSky crystal additions and ruffles gave the collection a haute couture feel.

The striking A la Mode performance paved the way for the rest of the year as the label became more popular and proved successful not only in Europe but also in Asia and America. The press soon cottoned on to the universal appeal of LunaSky with the brand featured in publications such as Dansk and Harpers Bazaar.

Though LunaSky experienced escalated success in 2011, it is not quite on the Somerset House radar as of yet. In 2012 LunaSky is due to make a reappearance at the A/W 2012 A La Mode catwalk at LFW in February and at Top Model UK also. It is only a matter of time until the exclusive pieces will make their way on to the treasured pages of Vogue.

LunaSky S/S 2012 collection- all photos from http://lunaskymoda.co.uk/

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Karl Lagerfeld Launches New Label

The highly anticipated launch of the new and more affordable Karl Lagerfeld label, Helmer, is finally here!

In four hours the collection will be made available to buyers on Net-a-Porter's website. Though there are fears of the website crashing due to an overload of traffic, the team at Net-a-Porter have put extra measures in place to ensure that they can cope with the mass wave of Lagerfeld lovers.

The Helmer collection, which features metallic and leather clashes with soft pastel pink spring colours, is significantly more affordable than Karl's Channel creations. Most of the 70 pieces in the collection are between £200 and £300, with the highest price of £867 ($1350) for a blazer. Unfortunately, though much cheaper than Channel, most of the Helmer pieces are out with my student price range.

Pictures all from www.vogue.co.uk

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Emerging Designers: Predictions for 2012 (1)

Over the next week or so Trend Tone will reveal which emerging designers, it believes, are destined for big things in the new year. Last year brought many wonderful emerging talents to our attention such as Mary Katranzou and Craig Lawrence.

Obscure Couture

Less than a year after launching Obscure Couture in the bric-a-brac chaos of the Glasgow 'Barras' in 2010, Herriot Watt School of Textile and Design graduates, Jennifer Coyle and Lyndsay Pagan, sent models clad in their gritty street style pieces down the Emerging Designers catwalk at London Fashion week.

When fashionistas Jennifer and Lyndsay met at college in Galashiels ten years ago, they would never had guessed that their new found friendship would mark the beginning of a successful and creative enterprise. Yet, in 2011, nine years after they met, the team had not only launched their debut collection, Flesh and Bone, but had also experienced escalated success like no other.

The name 'Obscure Couture', which came about after a conversation between Jennifer and Lyndsay about morals, somewhat reflects the brands philosophy. The label is targeted at brave individuals who are not afraid to stand out from the rest of the crowd and who bravely express their values and opinions through their outfit choice.

Therefore, it was no surprise that the duos debut, A/W 2011 collection, Flesh and Bone, was inspired by both the harsh sexually explicitly punk style of the 1970s and the feminine elegance and beauty of the Victorian clothing and silhouette. 

This daring collection landed the Obscure Couture girls a place as finalists at the Scottish Fashion Awards 2011 in the Young Designer of the Year category and a spot in the S/S Emerging designers catwalk at LFW.

The second collection by Obscure Couture wowed audiences at the LGN Events Emerging Designers event at LFW with it's brave combination of textures and sheer edge. The 'Us vs. Them', S/S 2012 collection was even gritter than the punky debut with its gang culture influences. The riot of clashing colours and textures from the heavy luxe sports style crop tops teamed with delicate chiffon skirts to the opposing MacLeod and Macpherson tartans evoked the concept on conflict within the collection, whilst maintaining the elegance that contributed to the popularity of Flesh and Bone.

After the Obscure Couture performance at LFW, it was only a matter of time before the duo were roped into another exciting project and, what better way to end a prosperous year than by dressing an X-Factor finalist. Both Jennifer and Lyndsay dressed the X-Factor winner Amelia Lilly in the last few weeks of the show and  teamed up with Glasgow costume jewellery company, Bonnie Bling, to create custom made knuckle dusters as an addition to her outfit for the final. 

Though, 2011 was a highly prosperous year for the relatively new label, I think that in 2012 Obscure Couture will leave the fringes of the fashion scene and break into the established fashion market. 

The Obscure Coutrue girls, who are determined to continue to shock rather than get stuck in a rut, are making their 2012 catwalk debut at the London Fashion Week A La Mode event where they are to showcase yet another bold collection for A/W 2012-2013 called 'Lithium Party', which will explore the muddled mindset of a Lithium Party through the wide pupils of youth. Expect the biggest and most extravagant collection to date with clashes of fur, metallics, glitter and florals. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Anna Wintour unites the fashion world to back Obama

With the 2012 Presidential election now under way the Vogue editor has rallied a star selection of designers ready to sew up a victory for Obama under the new 'Runway to Win' campaign initiative.

Wintour's long-standing support for Obama over the years has been no secret. The powerful journalist previously hosted a fundraiser at her home with a $30,000 plus price per head, drawing in a crowd of a-list celebrities and designers.

For the 2012 election campaign, Anna is commanding support from the fashion industry with an event co-hosted by Scarlett Johnansson in conjunction with the new, runway, initiative.

Runway to Win will showcase exclusive collections by 22 designers, which will be sold online at runwaytowin.com in aid of the Obama Victory Fund. The list of participating designers, many of whom have dressed the First Lady before, includes Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu, Joseph Altuzarra, Marc Jacobs, Narciso Rodriguez, Rachel Roy, Rag and Bone, Tracy Reece and Tony Burch.

Wintour has shown much bravery in backing Obama, a move considered too risky by other businesses. It is likely that she directly asked most of the designers to participate in the campaign, evident in the statement t-shirt recently designed by Jacobs stating, 'following pressure from Vogue.'

However, in many ways Vogue's support for Obama should be no surprise as the fashion industry has always leaned towards the Democrats, donating twice as much money to Obama than McCain in 2008.

Monday, 16 January 2012

The Golden Gowns!

The glittering Golden Globe Awards ceremony marks the beginning of the awards season and a new year for the entertainment industry. However, for me, it also marks a new year for fashion as the annual awards ceremony is, more often than not, the first major red carpet event of any year and we all know that celebrity status gives many woman in the film industry the power to become trend setters.

As with every award ceremony there were those who got it right, from regular style icons such as the inhumanely flawless and unstoppable force of Brad and Angelina to the unexpected red carpet ruler of Zooey Deschanel, and those who got it wrong, oh so very wrong. As I sat curled up on my sofa, anticipating the fabulous fashion artistry you would expect at these ceremonies, I was surprised at how many sack the stylist worthy outfits I saw. Perhaps I was being to critical, but I felt that the fashion at the Golden Globes this year was very hit or miss. It seems, however, that I was not alone. Many of the Golden Globe Gowns, particularly that of Natalie Portman, have produced a love/hate response.

On the other hand, there were designs that I completely fell in love with. Not only did certain pieces impress but they produced that warm, fuzzy, inspirational feeling that any woman will have experienced when they fall in love with a dress, whilst also provoking the 21st century kid consumerism bug of 'I have seen it, I now want it'. I just couldn't get enough of the beautiful designs worn by my best dressed celebrities of the night.

Zooey Deschanel, the perennially quirky girl and star of new US TV series, 'New Girl', proved that her talents stretch further than creating a few chuckles with her new elegant and sophisticated sense of style. Her floor length black and green silk gown, which was custom made by Prada, was perhaps my favourite Golden Globe gown. The top was enriched with emerald green glass pearls and included a classically chic ivory pearl collar. The open back style gave the dress a more glamorous feel and the matching customised clutch and tuxedo style manicure pulled the piece together to create a classically feminine outfit with an unconventional Deschanel edge.

Following her newly acquired title as one of the best dressed women of 2011, actress Emma Stone did not disappoint. As predicted the effortlessly chic style icon went for an understated yet strikingly unique piece. The gown designed by Lanvin won over my heart for many reasons, particularly for its burgundy colour which is definitely my favourite of all the a/w shades. The 1920s fringing down the sides of the dress and up the split points towards new s/s trends and the American eagle style belt gives the outfit diversity and pulls it all together, genius!

Another outfit that was another understated winner was the two-tone dress donned by Claire Danes, who really was the woman of last night after she took home the Best Actress award for her new TV series Homeland and had her outfit admired by many. The star reveals her new more mature style in this timelessly chic yet simple J. Mendel frock. Similarly to the dress worn by Zooey Deschannel, the backless stud detail that features around the waist also really completes the piece and gives the monochrome look more modern significance.

From relaxing on the beach to filming an episode of American hit comedy 'Modern Family', Sofia Vergara never fails to look good, and the daunting red carpet of the Golden Globes was no exception. The TV star went all out, fearlessly embracing the underwater trend that dominated S/S 2012 collections in a blue, mermaid style Vera Wang dress. The combination of fabrics, stunning ruching and a figure hugging silhouette wowed all and showed Sofia to be one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood.

When Angleina Jolie and Brad Pritt walked onto the carpet the paparazzi jumped into action as everyone gawped at the perfect couple, however, the stylish perfection of the couple should really come as no surprise as they are often the King and Queen of red carpet fashion. Angelina maintained her signature sleek and polished look in an Atelier Versace floor-length cream satin gown.The asymmetric dress had both edge and elegance with a sharp angled, pillarbox red fold across the top matching the shade of the Angleina's clutch purse. 

Brad looked dapper in a classic tuxedo by Tom Ford, with satin lapels and a bow tie to clam his rustic wood-chopper hair cut and stubble.

Now to start with the outfits that shocked, the worst dressed!

Though Madonna made a comeback winning the award for the Best Original Song for 'Masterpiece', from her directorial debut 'W.E', the actress and icon disappointed in an over the top Reem Arca gown. There was just too much going in the folding and ruffles of the skirt, let alone in the rest of the outfit. The combination of silver sparkles and a satin metallic look proved to be an eyesore. Madonna did not do herself any more favours by adding a random leather glove into this car crash of this outfit. 

Grey hair aside, Kelly Osbourne has been pretty successful when it comes to red carpet style as of recent. However, this track record was broken at the Golden Globes when the star turned up in an over the top blue Zac Posen gown. Though the electric blue colour and fish-tail hem is due to be a big hit with the underwater theme in S/S the floor length, broad shouldered dress swamped the celebrity's now petite frame. This unfortunately gave the impression that the dress was wearing her rather than the opposite way around. 

Piper Perabo's pale grey-lavendar gown from Theysken's Theory S/S 2012 collection, was bang on trend with the pastel colouring and revealing net and satin bodice style top yet the over the top skirt took away from the rest of the piece. Though it was a-line and had that cute fairy style appeal the floor-length, puff ball style was just too much. Perabo would do well to learn that less is more.

Natalie Portman was one of the few on the red carpet to embrace the S/S bold colours in her outfit choice. However, the bold fuchsia pink unfortunately clashed with the red carpet and the puffed out Lanvin prom dress drowned the slender post-baby frame that the star should be showing off. 

Amanda Peet's Marc Jacobs tiered dress resembled a mix between a Victorian nightgown and my grandmother's ruffle duster! The ivory lace layered, floor length dress swamped the figure of the slender 40 year old Gulliver's Travel star and was not appropriate red carpet wear. 

Thursday, 12 January 2012

S/S 2012 Trends Review 5

Olympic Fever

With the Olympics this year the fashion world has decided to celebrate with a sportswear comeback: luxury sweatshirts, racer-front vests and two-tone crop tops made their way down the catwalk in many S/S 2012 collections. 

I have to be honest, I dislike this trend. I never have been a fan of wearing sportswear casually, it should be used for sports and sports only. Don't get me wrong I am in support for the olympics, especially since athletics and running were a big part of my childhood and teenage years. However, I just think that, no matter how much it is dressed up or accessorised sportswear never looks good.

The designers that held up the olympic flame were Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant and Marc Jacobs.

Alexander Wang opted to take inspiration from a more stylish selection of sports: Motor Cross and BMX. This translated into a futuristic and edgy collection. Wang picked up on the bright trends of S/S with fluorescent pieces and prints, layered with mesh textures 

Though the use of multiple zips and pockets reflect Alexander Wang's belief in functional clothing, the overload of access points seemed a bit unnecessary and took away from some of the clever styling in pieces. 

The collection did manage to embrace many summer trends all at once and did give sportswear a more stylish edge, however, in many pieces there was just too much going on at the one time taking away from the fashionable elements Alexander Wang had carefully integrated. 

Isabel Marrant, the wardrobe staple for Rosie-Huntington-Whitely and Kate Bosworth, created a collection which offered a youthful, laid back, care-free approach to sportswear with baggy race-front tops and boyfriend jacket style varsity jackets. The collection contained some pretty pieces but in general was pretty bland. The one outfit that really stood out was the combination of an elegant and feminine lace top and tracksuit bottoms, I couldn't help but think why?!

Marc by Marc Jacobs, the secondary ready-to-wear line founded in 2001 provides customers with more wearable and affordable Marc Jacobs pieces. The clear difference between the two lines is that Jacobs uses his main line to experiment and explore his fashion fantasies whereas the ready to wear line reflects a life the designer once lived. 

The Marc by Marc Jacobs line previously drew inspiration from college kids and vintage styles. However, in the S/S 2012 collection Jacobs took the line in a new, modern direction with neon colours, particularly a bright orange which was prominent throughout the collection. Jacobs took the familiar vintage sportswear style and revitalised it. 

Though I did not care for this collection, I could appreciate the clever elements in design and colour with the frequent use of red, white and blue, a patriotic sentiment for Jacobs. The pieces I did take a liking to were the footwear, particularly the high top trainers in various colours.