Wednesday, February 20, 2013
I'll admit I was highly ecstatic upon opening the orange envelope containing an orange perspex invitation to the A/W 2013 Jasper Conran show. This is a creative industry here; invitations are generally the first impression of a collection, and fluorescent orange plastic was particularly exciting in this case. Fashion shows are quite theatrical, as well; there's a stage (the runway, the presentation space), lights, music. So walking into the tents at Somerset House to see an orange runway and the room illuminated by its reflection was again some indication of the overall mood.
The aesthetic was quite mod; exaggerated cloche hats, flouncy trapeze dresses, pleated mini skirts and tailored shirts were accompanied by matching tights and patent flats for the illusion of infinite legs. (Hardly an illusion, actually.) The garments were sophisticated without feeling stuffy, youthful without feeling juvenile. Silhouettes were kept quite tame, but the brilliant use of color and accessories made the collection - to sound obvious - pop.
Much of Conran's work is built on the idea of "classics reimagined," and his A/W 2013 was no different in that regard. Certainly destined to be a commercial success - entirely wearable - Jasper Conran epitomizes a different side of London fashion. Not necessarily eccentric or shocking, but based on the concept of tradition mixed with the contemporary.
Many thanks to Jenny Holland and the team at Jasper Conran for giving me the opportunity to attend this show!
Images and review by Catherine Everett
P.S. Yes, that is Hilary Alexander seated in the front row, visible in 80% of these photos.
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Coat - Calvin Klein, necklace - thrifted, sweater - H&M, purse - Lulu's, skirt - Zara, tights - Hue, shoes - Marais USA
I spent Saturday afternoon wandering through my old haunts in Islington (Indian Veg Buffet! All you can eat for £5!) and visited my former flat. I sat in the park behind the building for about twenty minutes while eating sweets I had purchased at the adjacent Co-Op store... some things never change, and that no time seemed to had passed was entirely surreal.
After my brief excursion into East London, I returned to Hampstead where we perused a few charity shops, walked through the quaint streets oohing-and-ahhing at the magnificent homes with their adorable gardens, wandered through the high street in pursuit of dinner, and stumbled upon the cutest pastries and sweets in shop windows.
To some extent, being in London reminded me of the loneliness I frequently felt while living there a year and a half ago - time flies, right? Eating at my favorite buffet alone, hurrying to Somerset House to catch a show or two. Sitting behind my flat, remembering writing there while elderly women walked by with bags from Sainsbury's in hand.
But it was also quite different; instead of feeling jaded as I had towards the end of the term, I felt giddy to be exploring the city again. London is mammoth and I feel like regardless of how much time I ever spend there I will never truly know it fully, but instead of letting that deter me, it was actually quite exciting this time around. I was pleasantly surprised to find the restaurant where my family and I had celebrated Thanksgiving (Spice Market) while strolling through Soho at night. I felt happy and proud to be walking along the embankment without the need for maps or direction. I saw tourists, arms stretched out and cameras in hand, experiencing the city for the first time.
London didn't feel as dark and gloomy as it had when I left exactly fourteen months ago. It felt fresh and new. I loved it.
Monday, February 18, 2013
On Friday around 1pm, I headed to the tents at Somerset House to catch the KTZ runway show, tarot-inspired invitation in hand. Let me clarify: I sprinted there in fear of being late - and ended up entering the space, next to the photo pit, right as the lights were dimming and music began. Trippy and atmospheric beats played as models stomped the runway clad in leather, suede, fur, organza, and essentially every other fabric under the moon.
There was a clear street style influence to the collection: think 1990's cyber witch meets over-the-top 80's London. Wide-brimmed snap-back hats met blazers and voluminous printed skirts - the patterns and colors of which were inspired by tarot cards. Having some friends who dabble in tarot reading, I even recognized a few phrases that adorned shearling coats and matching knee-height boots. Unsurprisingly, the "Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn" is another reference to magic and occultism, which originated in Great Britain, no less.
To prevent the collection from feeling straight out of a Halloween costume catalog (witches, page 6), the occult influences were merged with couture-esque shapes and construction. It was mysterious, but not cheesy, and delightfully over the top. This is true London fashion.
Photos and review by Catherine Everett
PS Thank you to Kusi and the team at KTZ for inviting me to the show! Much appreciated.
Sunday, February 3, 2013
Coat - Calvin Klein, sweater - H&M, necklace - thrifted, skirt - Zara, ring - made by me, tights - Primark, shoes - Dolce Vita, purse - Lulu's
I wore this on Friday to class and a stroll through the park with my friend Alix. I had fallen into a jeans+sweater rut, so I bought these tights from Primark and they're surprisingly wonderful. I tend to loathe Primark, but decided to go in for whatever reason and found these cozy fleece-lined tights (and a jumper which I ended up returning promptly).
The sweater and skirt are also new... I only desire to wear neutral colors lately, which I guess isn't entirely uncharacteristic. And I promised I'd debut my silver-cast ring on here - voila! I'm hoping I'll have the opportunity to make another piece using casting while I'm here in Scotland.
Hope all is well!