Sunday, 25 July 2010


As the September schedule for London Fashion Week's Spring/Summer 2011 preview has been released I wanted to look back at some shows for Autumn/Winter 10/11 which have been a positive reminder of London talent.

In Emilio De La Morena's second showing in London, the follow-up of his first impactful show demanded a strong collection to follow. Which was certainly delivered. New projects brought about a collaboration with Loro Piana to formulate luxury cropped shaggy knits and oversized woolen cocoon parkas in bright turquoise which strengthened Emilio's development into comfortable and contemporary refinement. Chunky knit dresses in cracked metallic and dove-grey which fitted models both comfortably and provocatively improved this aesthetic. The collection reflected a strong importance of Emilio's clothing to be sexy, androgynous, modern and wearable. A perfect mix for todays market.

Artistic qualities and experimentation blossomed from 11 hand-painted prints which featured on a series of dresses. Dresses began building the blocks of a dreamy landscape at the beginnnig of the show, with minimal lines and strong pleating constructed short yet defined dresses. From a selection of earthy, mineral tones black, rich taupe, dove-grey and dark teal suggested a natural setting in Emilio's vision. Shadowy, tranquil romance was hinted through the water-coloured prints in bled cyan swirling within muted grey, black and tinted orange, to others in pearl-grey and washed lilac which dissipated through to burnished sienna. Whilst rocks and cavities where displayed in a technique using oil and wax to give earthy cracks, natural abrasion and crumbling minerals in bleeding black and rich, thick taupe and neutral orange.

Body-hugging dresses provided rippling pleats down the front-frame of some dresses, whilst others had been folded, ruched, draped and structured to reveal beneath defined structured lines, a plethora of ruffled layers. Lazer-cut mosaic print in ice-blue and grey upon layered chiffon gave a strong aesthetic and portrayed a natural, scaline figure in a sea of bliss. Emilio showed wearble looks which remain unique and youthful, plus good shoes to match.

Mary Katrantzou now becoming synonymous with young digital, sci-fi prints has, from Autumn/Winter 10/11 now developed these prints with regal opulence to counter-act the sometimes supressing minalism and everything camel. This effect embraced everything from jewels, crowns, renaissance metal-work, classical paintings and brooches to supply an ostentatious aura for those yearning to be the ravishing ruby amidst the camel, camel and more camel.

Vibrant prints presented warped metallic foil, pearls, digitalized brocade, glinting jewels with ruffled lace, chiffon sleeves and small bursts of tulle to provide an ultra-modern aesthetic to classical, historical art and architecture. Structured woolen coats in ebony and navy retained a firm, dynamic contrast to the elaborate curling prints. A streamlined short dress in rich navy gave a stunning back-drop to the heavy, curling golden gild with quilted puff sleeves the dress continued with a digital bejewled print which seemed to contain many elements of Mawi jewellery. Several rings with contrasting art-deco golden metal-work and green and violet gemstones alongside pearls showed a direct link. Not to mention a direct copy of their iconic cocktail rings. Nevertheless, sharp rose hues of crystals weaved through brocade agaisnt vivd turquoise. Romantic quilting in printed skirts with chiffon ruffled blouses followed, until dresses became more 3-dimensional with the entwining rippling of psychedelic digital silks and satins in ultra-marine, lilac and ebony which unfurled into asymmetric abstractions of ruffled lace. Material had been ruched, scrunched, layered and quilted to illuminate a progressive vision of 'nouveau riche' meets stately homes. Rose-pinks, florals, shards of metallics with lilac lace intervals and a surplus of liquid flowing ruffles draped down the female frame signalled the closing looks of the show. Grandeur was emphasized with a collage of individual architectural finishes in heavy-metal neckalces. A perfect example of the importance of difference.

Death, romance and feminine allure propelled the Felder Felder sisters into London's limelight. If they weren't already there. Inspired by the unlikely heroines of Dracula, provocative cocktail dresses in lurid leather and ruffles encircling the hips and rippling down nude sleeves produced a feminine side to vampire slayers. Military themes in structured jackets with copper chains and thick leather strapping collided agaisnt sensual stream-lined trousers and skirts. Femininty blustered through the collection, powdered with plush PVC with metal holing, trailing sequins and corsets beruffled around the hips in muted rose pink. Even the structured dresses mirroring early Christopher Kane still shone with a sense of humour as chests were covered in curling flesh-toned leather to resemble roses. For a more wearable approach, silk shift dresses in twinkling, trickling pear-drop sequins with slashed shoulders offered a casual option for evening-wear. Gargantuan goat-hair coats were a defining moment in the collection, more than capable of resisting the crippling cold. Remaining tough and dark yet feminine and seductive, the Felder sisters continue to expand their empire.

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