Samples and pre-orders up for grabs at @wearemehle this afternoon!!♥
A few of my favourite things
Top left: suede shoes by Can Pep Ray, a new label only two seasons in, focusing on quality fabrics and simple shapes for loungewear style pieces with enough oomph to dress up. These heels had a sharp toe made modern by a chunky heel with a gentle curve.
Top right: designer Huiqing Lin, founder of Shenzhen-based label Alias goofing around while taking a break from exhibiting her collection at Tranoi
Second row: shirt designs by Jimi Roos. I loved the scratchy quality of the embroidered pictures. Also just a few seasons in, this Florence-based label are producing t-shirts, short-sleeved and collarless shirts. Sooo much scope for design and personalised orders!
Third row, left: Bali-based French-Vietnamese MaiKhanh is producing underwear for slighter women after unfussy underwear sets with clean lines and minimal detail. Her label, MKhanh mixes masculine and feminine, always with a strong dose of seduction. As well as designing, MaiKhanh curates NUDEZINE and styles editorials for various publications.
Third row, right: croc bag by Emma Cook x Paprika Edition! I squealed when I saw this leather clutch. The Hong Kong-based label has been producing bright and bold print accessories for a couple of seasons from its ‘Edition’ studio in London. This collaboration sees Cook mixing up florals and botanicals with this crocodile image.
Fourth row, left: rings by Beatriz Palacios, a Spanish jewellery designer based in Madrid. This collection featured chunky onyx rings of gold-plated brass, thick and mannish like Argos signet rings. Large brass birds like mantleiece ornaments hung on snake chains and adorned hair slides, part of the ‘Two-birds’ collection, while ‘Supremus’ featured more delicate options had semicircular-cut semi-precious stones in art deco shapes.
Fourth row, right: cashmere jumpers in bright stripes by Paprika.
Fifth row: Italian milliner Francesco Ballestrazzi is taking a lighter direction after last season’s Hitchcock-inspired Bates Motel headpieces and Vertigo spiral caps. With laser cut wooden swans, 3D ponies and high-reaching bunny ears in masrhmallow pinks and yellows, it’s irresistably fun fashion.
Sixth row, left: navy clutch by Jamie Wei Huang. This is the third collection by the Taiwanese designer, whose cermaic tile clutch bags caught my eye last year. Definitely one to watch.
Sixth row, right: rooting through the pantry brought An Italian Theory x Azzura Gronchi's pasta motifs to my attention. A new discovery at Tranoi. Has featured at 10 Corso Como, shown at Pitti Uomo and has been collaborating with fellow Italian designer Azzura Gronchi since 2013.
Seventh row: Zilla! An Italian brand I’ve been watching for several seasons. I love the metallics, the crumpled totes, metallic versions of brown paper bags, iridescent purses and drawstring bags.
Eighth row, left: detail of Apu Jan’s SS’15 sheep-inspired collection.
Eighth row, right: Kain and Fiona from ffiXXed model two bombers from their SS’15 collection. The pyjama stripes are on my list.
Ninth row: leather clown cuff and platform sandals by Gayeon Lee. The designer’s feminine collection drops hints of Korean traditional dress with high waists, demure cuts and pretty colours.
Bottom left: footwear by Clover Canyon. Print and colour is definitely back, according th this LA label.
Bottom right: And the same goes for these bold digital jacquards by Central Saint Martins alumna Susana Bettencourt, which are, coincidentally, in the same mix of greens, black and white.
51 Shades of Grey @adidas sliders + white cotton pleats + @topshop unique grey coat (which just keeps giving) = #PFW day 4 #fashion
Regram @wearemehle! Love-in! @capsuleshow #pfw #SS15
51 Shades of Grey #birkenstock + sock + @wearemehle dress = #Paris day 3 #
London Fashion Week SS’15 | Xiao Li goes for fluid silicon and a streamlined silhouette
Xiao Li’s spring summer 2015 collection seemed to wipe out all notion of the previous eye-catching season’s oversize mesh jackets, marshmallow knits and moulded silicon chain detailing.
While she upped the stakes with her bouncy rubber bags and giant zip cut-out ‘belts’ in flat strips of silicon, the clothes themselves were streamlined, fluid and most importantly, wearable, while retaining the recognisable shape and pop detail of last season with rounded hems and sleeves and bouncy structured knits.
White fishnet knits were about as close as the looks came to last season’s showpiece-filled collection.
Structured A-line and soft pleat skirts, cap sleeve tops and slim cut dresses with minimal detail in soft buttercream yellow, powder blue and peach, formed the backbone of the collection.
A tangy orange rubber jacket and matching short skirt remembered the designer’s past work, an example of how spring summer 2015 is a continuation of Li’s aesthetic, lighter and slicker.
All photos my own
Some other things you might like
London Fashion Week SS’15 | Gyo Yuni Kimchoe - SS’15 Merit Award Winner
Duo Gyo Kim and Yuni Choe are about embedding their concerns for the environment, social issues and animal cruelty into their work. The Gyo Yuni Kimchoe spring summer 2015 ‘Weed Gardener Corps’ collection with Fashion Scout offered up a greenfingered militia, dressed in khakis with boxy patch pockets and rubber crocs decorated with flowers.
Crisply cut double breasted jackets had polished buttons and epaulettes. Strips of floral fabric were applied diagonally to jackets and dresses - some cut with pinking shears for zig-zag edges - adding to the visual impact.
These key ideas were distilled for the more wearable looks, which included shirt dresses, wide cut culottes in deep green and a black t-shirt with pockets - very on trend and workable.
Apron as fashion piece - I’m ready to layer up
The strips evolved into ruffles, which, rather than adding flounce, could have passed for slashes across the body causing the fabric to spill out, in a manner not totally dissimilar to the 15th/16th century in Europe trend for slashing sleeves.
Beneath the ruffles and floral adornment lies a beautiful cut: a cropped sleeve short jacket and straight cut trousers that skim the ankle.
Toggles were also decorative and simultaneously ramped up the utility factor and combined with frill to create an amalgam of textures.
Eventually the strips and ruffles fell away, hanging from a dress, shorts and jackets. The application of the ruffle around the hood of a coat turned it into something resembling a bonnet, which, combined with the sense of it all having been shredded..
..I’m going to boldly suggest that there was something Comme about it.
All photos my own
London Fashion Week SS’15 | Helen Lawrence, Louise Alsop & Ed Marler
Helen Lawrence's focus for her third collection (and her second with Fashion East) was construction and dissection. Clothes were comprised of sections of fabric, arranged and overlapping in a manner similar to a moodboard or a collage. Hems were uneven, curved seams wove across the body and left sections of skin visible.
Sections of latex added a glossy contrast to soft knits and denim.
Rib knit shorts were pieced together and sewn with large black stitches.
The palette of soft pinks, blush, green and pale blue - natural colours you might find in a summer meadow or some shady woods - nicely complemented the handmade quality of the clothes. Wide flare jeans in washed denim, ribbed vests and short shorts all gave an impression of a rose-tinted summer of hot sun and lazy days.
"It is about dissection and reassembly, about pieces that are like the real thing, but then something new" said the designer.
Louise Alsop's vision for spring/summer 2015 was slashed, light and layered. Referencing Argentine artist Lucio Fontana, tops, skirts and dresses in black, white and yellow jersey were slashed up and reduced to horizontal strips. Scribble prints on a cropped top and skirt and screen-printed oversize t-shirts had a graffiti/street art vibe.
The unfinished hems of skirts and shorts trailed with spidery threads.
"I wanted to look at lightness for spring, at dresses and alternatives to dresses" said the designer. "It’s a wardrobe of pieces ot layer, and to mix and wear in your own way."
Ed Marler’s “weird dysfunctional family of disparate characters” marked his debut with Fashion East. He said, “These are people who have lived forever, who have collected all of these fabrics and clothes through the centuries, and have reworked them into this wardrobe.”
It was a mixture of the fantasy and opulence of Christian Lacroix and John Galliano, complete with bandannas and crowns, gold sequins, brocades and Union Jack trousers. Street pieces were added to the mix: a frayed brocade jacket was pieced together like a denim jacket, a parka lined with orange velvet.
This vast, low neckline, the languid drape and beautiful colour made this dress my favourite look by far.
It had drama, it was simple and opulent at the same time. Black utility style straps were threaded through wide loops and exposed the entire back.
Sheets and folds of white cotton trimmed with virginal lace clashed with streetwalker net socks and stiletto heels.
Casting several male models added ambiguity to the gender of the ‘characters’ who peopled Marler’s story. The Conchita Wurst effect maybe? But with such a juxtaposition of contrasting elements, it’s only right that both men and women wore the clothes, bringing masculine and feminine to the mix.
London Fashion Week SS’15 | Mercedes-Benz Kiev Fashion Days - #FASHIONFORPEACE
Ukranian designers Anna K, Anton Belinskiy, Yasya Minochkina and Lera Leshchova were joined by Leonid Zherebtsov of Kazakhstan for the presentation of their spring summer 2015 collections at Fashion Scout.
First up, Anna K delivered boxing-style shorts with elasticated waists, drop waited dresses with pleat skirts in a perforated sporting fabric and pop prints of police cordon tape and cartoon eyes. The tone sits nicely amid the whimsical, light-hearted mood of many current autumn winter 2014 collections (Supermarket Chanel, Henry Holland’s Riche Biches, Ashley Williams’ kittens and, well, everything Jeremy Scott does for Moschino).
Sweats and strong pleat skirts in a crime scene police tape print
Playful cartoon eye prints and a sharp shirt dress with a pleated skirt
Forecast: good (in Scotland, anyway).
Perhaps, in light of the tragedy and struggle currently faced by the people of Ukraine, the whimsy of fashion is all the more empowering and important.
Leonid Zherebtsov's sporting striped trims, faux fur and patterns in retro colour schemes felt like a mash-up of recent Prada/Miu Miu collections.
The ubiquitous flat sandal featured yet again, this time with patent black, white, silver and gold straps. This is the shoe for spring summer 2015. Expect to find it in all manner of fabrics and colours next year.
Zherebtsov was scouted at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Almaty, which, from the look of the street style snapped by W Magazine is quite the style incubator to watch.
Yasa Minochkina has been exploring sporting themes over the last few seasons, this time with a jacket and pencil skirt in a perforated white mesh..
..and some more body conscious dresses with thick black trims.
This green tee was a particular winner, the elbow-length sleeve and clean shape making it a cool day-to-night top.
Buzz words: streamlined silhouette, high-tech fabrics
Anton Belinskiy’s primary block colours and eye-catching hand prints were a hit, but the hand-tied strips of cotton at shoulders, cuffs, pockets and elsewhere drew me in, the function of a drawstring becoming a design feature in a modern, elegant way.
Tops were boxy, with the lower body taking on more fluid, A-line shapes. Black socks and unremarkable black trainers seemed to immediately make the looks feel familiar, and a bit grubby too.
A hand print shirt dress by the designer was the outfit of choice for Daria Shapovalova, creative director of Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days.
Droopy fisherman’s hats added to the anti-glamour of the footwear.
All photos my own
London Fashion Week SS’15 | SIBLING - Holiday Celebrate
"We understand the power of display and this collection embodies the fun and fearlessness of dressing up to please yourself." - SIBLING
The SIBLING message of exuberance, fun and sweet nostalgia came via the work of two New York photographers - Amy Arbus and Maripol - whose prolific and iconic images documented eighties style, the former snapping fashion on street level in black and white for The Village Voice while the latter’s colour-saturated polaroids captured the likes of Grace Jones, Debbie Harry and Keith Haring in their eighties glory at Studio 54 and Max’s Kansas City. Madonna was snapped by both.
Incidentally, Arbus’ image of Madonna in her thrifted street urchin look, an oversized Fagin-esque coat almost obscuring white leggings is one of my favourite all time style mash ups.
SIBLING collaborated with Bernstock Speirs to create the enormous bows.
A knit depicted Madonna in that very same urchin incarnation, hair haphazardly knotted atop the head with a scarf, sweetheart lips and crosses dangling from one ear.
One of my favourite looks: a co-ord skirt and top in a loose fit, with delicate knit patterns and a scalloped hem in excellent red, white and grey stripes - reminding me of my brother’s beadspread from the eighties.
Abstract patterns and shapes had a retro party girl feel. Stacked rubber bangles by Tatty Devine recaptured Madonna’s earlier style, in which Maripol herself had a strong hand as her stylist.
La Isla Bonita? Floor-length, hand-crocheted raffia skirts hit on early memories of MTV and ra-ra skirts from the decade.
Twin sets were given the SIBLING treatment, i.e. decorated with knitted frills and patterns.
All photos my own
Some other things
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London Fashion Week SS’15 | Eudon Choi - “Paring down of essential shapes”
Choi drew inspiration from the work and personal style of artist Georgia O’Keeffe for spring/summer 2015. It was a feminine collection, mixing small floral jacquards on tailored looks with loose-fitting, romantic smocks beautified with panels of lace.
Black dresses with a floral print came closest to replicating O’Keeffe’s serene and beautiful paintings, in shapes that were modest and elegant.
Youthful florals and frills
A rose and green floral jacquard suit adds a masculine element to the feminine collection
Simple back fastenings with a pretty, girlish charm
A chic update on Little House on the Prairie?
Looks for the city..
..followed by artist-style smocks and streamlined peasant dresses.
All photos my own
Some other show coverage
London Fashion Week SS’15 | Apu Jan - Encountering a Roaming Sheep
Here are the collection notes that I wrote to accompany Apu Jan’s spring summer 2015 show.
Fo centuries cultures have built mythologies and woven tales around the sheep - a constant presence in the history of humankind, elevated to religious and spiritual heights and redered a symbol of man’s own vulnerability and weakness in literature.
Drawing on the otherworldly realms of Haruki Murakami, Philip K Dick’s philosophical questions on humanity and the parallels between man and sheep in Aesop’s Fables, Apu Jan has based his collection around the humble animal, using jacquard knits and digital prints in a spectrum of blue tones which represent the psychedelic, as well as the incertainty of human nature.
This collections marks the designer’s fourth collaboration with award-winning print designer Ying Wu, whose designs combine the abstract and the figurative to create an unsettling canvas, accentuation the sense of remoteness and mysticism.
Meandering woven lines of varying thickness form part of the design story, representing the spiritual and physical journeys people make.
Dresses, skirts and tops in lightweight silk-cotton knits draw diagonal lines across the body which simultaneously cover and reveal in a modern interpretation of the cheongsam.
DJ QuestionMark and Taiwanese indie singer Olivia Yen accompany the show with music produced entirely from knitting and sewing machine audio recordings.
I’m not so comfortable with print and colour, though the prints from this collection really nailed the vibe the designer spoke of when discussing his inspirations and themes. There’s something spooky, surreal and a bit 2D pop art about the swirling blue lines and sheep, and I particularly liked the body-lengthening lines and the swishy bounce of knits as models strode by.
All photos my own
More on knitwear
DJ QuestionMark track from the Apu Jan spring summer 2015 show