ANDAM Fashion Award finalists announced
For designers establishing new businesses, fashion funds and awards offering cash prizes provide much needed help to develop their brands in one of the toughest, most competitive industries in the world.
ANDAM (Association Nationale pour le Développement des Arts de la Mode, in English - the National Associate for the Development of the Fashion Arts) is one of the organisations which, like the BFC/Vogue Fashion Fund and the CFDA awards, offers young designers mentorships and financial aid during the difficult early stages, and this year’s finalists have now been announced. Yang Li, Olympia Le-Tan, Rabih Kayrouz, Iris Van Herpen, Masha Ma, Pedro Lourenco and Alexandre Mattiussi are in the running for the award, which includes a two-year mentorship with Renzo Rossi, a purchase order from Canadian retailer Hudson Bay and a €250,000 prize.
Three designers have also been nominated to receive the First Collections Award, a cash prize of €75,000: Aganovich, Calla Haynes and Christine Phung. Yiqing Yin was the first designer to win the award in 2011 and Piece d’Anarchive next in 2012.
The jury, comprised of representatives from ANDAM’s sponsors - Fashion GPS, Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent, Galeries Lafayette, Hudson’s Bay Company, Longchamp, LVMH, Only the Brave, Swarovski, thecorner.com and Yves Saint Laurent - will announce the winners on 4th July.
Fei Space has been a must-visit shopping destination since it launched in 2009, its mix of high and mid-range labels housed in an airy brick building in Beijing’s 798 art district.
With the addition of Topshop and Topman to its rails (Fei is the only boutique in China to hold the high street brand), and the launch of a second shop in Shanghai last year, Fei has become part of the Chinese shopping lexicon both at home and abroad.
Now shoppers can visit a new pop-up in U-Town Mall, which brings the boutique’s unique shopping vibe to a 300-square metre space spread over two floors, offering the much-desired Topshop and Topman, Cheap Monday and The Cambridge Satchel Company’s leather satchels, alongside respected New York designers Marc Jacobs and Victoria Beckham and London’s House of Holland.
Fei Space Pop-up 1st Floor, Tower 2, U-Town Shopping Mall, 5 Sanfeng Beili, Chaoyang district (400 650 9085). Open 10am-10pm daily. The pop-up is open now and will run until the end of July.
The last in this somewhat delayed four-parter on four London-based designers who wowed me with their collections at Paris Fashion Week.
Helen Lawrence has produced a collection which stands out for its use of structured fabrics for a/w’13. Here is someone with a clear fascination with her subject, having gone through long processes to achieve very specific textures. A skirt woven with strips of PVC-coated felted wool had a spring which felt comforting, warm but not heavy. A matching felted wool skirt and top had received a coating of glossy vinyl, soft on the inside while resembling crumpled plastic on the outside.
A T-shirt woven in wide strips of a vinyl-covered denim yarn gently reminds you that this girl’s background is in textiles (BA - Chelsea College of Art and Design, MA in knitwear - CSM) these wide flat strips echoing on a larger scale the processes behind the more traditional knits (though the experimentation involved is far from traditional). Lambswool is mixed with a denim yarn on a top so that over time, flecks of the denim will come away with washes, leaving a unique speckled effect. That worn-in, slight roughness could also be seen in the knit jumpers which had been screen printed with an open screen, producing an uneven, raw effect.
Lawrence has collaborated with fellow Saint Martins graduate Craig Green for the last couple of seasons and pieces from Green’s a/w’13, including Lawrence’s knitwear, were featured as part of the recent Monsters of Fashion exhibition at the Gaîté Lyrique in Paris.
The bounce and squashiness of Lawrence’s felted wool coated in PVC was delightfully tactile, while the 3D effect of weaving with wide flat strips left me imagining a variety of patterns on a supersized scale, with the intricacy of knitwear revealed to those of us without such knowledge so that we might marvel at it, while tracing the path of a single thread as it weaves itself over and under another to make a piece of clothing.
Here’s the fille herself demonstrating the coolness of her stage-worthy bib/apron invention.
One of the nicest showroom appointments during the Paris Fashion Week hubbub was a naughty one by these four. Expressly told they weren’t allowed to have a showroom in this very nice two-storey flat in a quiet courtyard in central Paris, they did it anyway.
Estefana Cortés Harker decided to take bits from her MA show and focus on clutches for her first collection. Made with padded glitter canvas, these are showstoppers, with their sparkle and pop vibe. The indiscernible shapes are like cartoons or icons, flattened and caked in glitter. Most exciting was a necklace/apron hybrid of a thing, which was made of the same slightly stiff canvas and fastened round the neck. It had real stage appeal. The Basement Jaxx had even commissioned one for their next tour.
Working with stiffer materials provides a wider scope for the silhouette and basically lets you sculpt and craft any shape you want; Harker’s MA collection is testament to that, with these detachable bibs adding a second pointed/curved layer to skirts and tops which had a paper-like fold and crispness while remaining fairly body conscious. Again it’s exciting to imagine what Harker will produce in the future with her unconventional fabric.
Tomorrow: Helen Lawrence