Fast Domination

28 September 2010

More delayed London Fashion Week posts coming 'atcha!  Never has a surname been so apt, as little over two years ago Mark Fast completed his MA at Central St Martins and has since worked with Bora Aksu, Loewe and Pinko whilst teaching the masses that Knitwear wasn't just about grannies and jumpers, but about web-like structures and body-hugging silhouettes.  His aesthetic has grown steadily, adding fringing, beads and Swarovski crystals along the way as well as sparking debate over his model choices.  Remember this post where I met 'plus-size' model Hayley Morley in one of his creations, during a trip to the loo?  She wasn't on the catwalk this season and there wasn't so much normality represented, though that didn't put me off in the slightest.  This season it was purely about the clothes, designed to express disintegration and restoration using colour and feather-like knits.

The collection started off with a few signature black LBD's, the first with it's sheer layer underneath a grid-like structure being one of my favourites and harping back to the cut-out trend I'd identified earlier in the week.  Colour is then slowly introduced along with crystals and translucent panels expressing the destroyed exotic land he wanted to create populated with birds and butterflies, even down to the reptile-print Christian Louboutin heels.  Models strutted wearing various colours of the spectrum and just when you think the show has reached it's natural conclusion, another girl floats out wearing a long white fringed dress, a dream wedding creation.  The collection seemed to channel elements of the past, such as 1920s flapper girls with the dropped waists and feathers and the ease of the 70s hippie movement that next summer seems to be heading slightly towards.  If you check out my video below, you'll see the moment where I actually trip down some steps due to being simply mesmerised!

Watch a bling-ier, longer Svarovski video here.  View lot's of pics from the front here.

I also spied some pieces from the diffusion 'Faster' collection at the exhibition stand and also on some of his assistants at the venue.  It's still pretty pricey yet reflects the mainline collection with the openwork detail and slinky silhouettes, and looks perfect for layering under more traditional knitwear for a unique look.  I'm strangely attracted to the unitard, can't think why...

Here's a close-up shoe picture; very surprised that none of the models did a Burberry in the custom made Louboutins!  What did you think of the show? Can you see yourself in a knitted wedding dress?

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Outfits of (the) Fashion Week

25 September 2010

Remember outfits of the week?  Well I wouldn't really wouldn't blame you if you couldn't as the last post was back in June, but when I realised fashion week was coming up, I thought I'd better figure out some decent looks pretty sharpish to kick-start the daily photo taking once more.  The thing about fashion week, is that you will see a lot of people who look like the Satorialist RSS Feed bringing on huge amounts of wardrobe envy at 30 minute intervals.  Maybe they have better jobs than you, maybe they're sample sale addicts but no amount of wishing or emulation is going to make you dress like them.  Your style is something so innate that, although it can change throughout time, there will always be things that may suit other people's personalities better than your own.  They will always have their own ideas on how to put things together and it's fine to take general inspiration, but it's nigh on impossible to put items together in the way that they do. What I've learnt is to appreciate the style of others and absorb the different ways of dressing whilst developing my own style and playing around with new combinations.  I like to think that any risks I take have a distinct Kristabel twist and I'm happy with that.  Anyways my theory for Fashion Week dressing was to exaggerate my own style slightly and build my looks around a certain key piece and to mix my selection of high street, vintage (and vague designer) to the max.

Day 1 - Friday
Blazer - Vintage Joyce Ridings via Mum
Skirt - Courtesy of Rare
Tights - Uniqlo
Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell
Bag - Luella
Necklaces - Gogo Phillip and DIY
Bracelet - Random NYC

Only Fashion Week would start on a Friday, messing up my body clock and sense of normality in the process, but I decided to brave the cobbles in my 'most comfortable' heels and Mum's draped blazer.  Of course the schizophrenic weather didn't disappoint and I soon felt pretty hot in my ensemble though tried not disrobe for reasons of pure vanity.  I also decided to bring my Luella bag as a sort of lucky charm in the hope that a magnificent SS11 collection would suddenly appear on the schedule.  I still live in hope, though in reality her book 'Luella's Guide to English Style' is out very soon.

 Day 2 - Saturday
Shirt - Yard Sale
Belt - Angels Sale
Shorts - Beacons Closet
Lace tights, socks, bracelet - Topshop
Brogues - Office
Necklaces - Random Brooklyn
Bag - Luella

I've pretty much worn everything from the yard sale now, but I was still trying to figure out how to style the wraparound shirt.  It's a tricky one, I wanted it to stay bare underneath but couldn't for support reasons, so with some creative foundations sorted I decided to tuck it into my shorts.  I felt it didn't photograph very well (I might try it over a body-con dress next time) but I thought I'd include the picture anyway.  Also meet the new brogues from Office, perfectly mannish and nicely broken in.  Very dangerous that they come in thirteen different colours...

Day 3 - Sunday
Silk Shirt - Charity Shop
Blazer - Vintage via Mum
Shorts - Courtesy of Very
Tights, socks - Topshop
Boots - Jeffrey Campbell Alexa Wedges (bought here)
Bag - Luella
Back in the heels, how I never learn!  Luckily I had some flats to make it to the Charlie le Mindu Show just in time (that I need to write about, though that's another story for another day) and changed into the Jeffrey Campbells in time for Mulberry.  Everyone kept confusing them for the Acne Atacoma wedges and they got some impressed looks in the Newgen sheds.  The silk shirt was found in a charity shop during one of my rare visits for £4 and is wonderfully baggy.  I wasn't too sure about the colour at first and took a definite risk, but for that price it didn't really matter and looks remarkably similar to this Topshop number.

Day 4 - Monday
Top, Mesh Skirt, Bracelet, socks - Topshop
Necklaces - Gogo Phllip, DIY, Random NYC
Lace trim shorts, sunnies - H&M
Boots - Ebay
Bag - Brooklyn Flea (bought here)

Decided to forget the layers and embrace the sun with a lighter bag and attitude, though I was almost late for the Mark Fast show and had to leg it over Waterloo Bridge in this mesh pencil skirt.  It seems that during Fashion Week one must be surprisingly active, running from place to place and standing for long periods of time (all in innapropriate dress) which definitely takes some stamina.  Vitamins and fruit are definitely needed for next year and we're thinking about shelling out for a bloggers cab to avoid our blistered feet.

Last two photos belong to Miss Rocks, ta very much

Day 5  - Tuesday
Cardigan - Courtesy of Next
Top, Hat - Yard Sale
Shorts - Uniqlo
Belt - Battersea Boot Fair
Bag - Brooklyn Flea
Necklaces - Brooklyn Charm, Brooklyn Flea and more Brooklyn
OTK socks - Primark
Brogues - Office

For the last day it was all about comfort on a nice sunny day.  I wasn't quite brave enough for bare legs so turned to my trusted Primark over-the-knee socks that come in a bargainous pack of two.  Later on I  went to Beyond the Valley avec Jazmine and swapped my chipped nail polish for some Eley Kishimoto style Wah Nails. Nail artist Sophie ran out of the black nail art pen, so we decided to go for purple on the/my left hand, which I preferred in the end, as I'm an unmatchy sort of person. She also did a really cool ripped tights style design for another lady, see the video here.

A special thanks to everyone who helped to take my outfit photos!  Luckily as bloggers we all understand each others needs to have a photo we're happy with in the perfect setting, hence a few multiples and close-ups.  Jen, Reena, Jazmine, Winnie were willing photographers and subjects but that's a story for another post; I still have more shows to write up so it's more like London Fashion Fortnight!  I don't want to let go!

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Marvellously Mulberry

23 September 2010

It's nice to be transported into another world sometimes, since many of us thought of Somerset House as some kind of 'fashion zone' where heels were the norm and shellsuits extinct.  However the Mulberry show was set in an alternate universe entirely, the Ballroom at Claridges to be precise, which is a hop skip and a jump from shops such as Browns and even Miu Miu.  It was the perfect setting for a show designed to evoke a fantasy Secret Garden kind of feel with black and white illustrations  of amongst the hyper-real neon pink flowers.  You can't fault Mulberry for creating a show space to truly reflect their vision for next season, with each minute detail down to the mini Victoria Sponges served in wildlife print boxes chosen to stay true to the whimsical theme, where nothing is quite what it seems.

I was pretty much in awe before the show started, with a constant open mouthed expression at such a feast of wonderful colours, prints and outfits with a slight 70s vibe.  Each classic yet beautifully designed piece was accesorized with numerous versions of their trademark bags.  I've pretty much wanted a Bayswater since blogging birth and always coveted a classic colour, though I wouldn't mind throwing caution to the wind with a rebellious cobalt blue. 

This purse belt somehow appeals to me, far nicer than the one I sported back in school; it can be used as a shoulder bag or a clutch purse.  Think of the cost-per-wear suitability...

I hovered in the press pit to try and get the best shots possible and noticed a guy purely taking photos of the bags.  Here is my not-as-good homage to one of his shots.

All of the models had reddish hair, Selina would be proud!

I'm not the most sophisticated at the best of times, but loved the paper-bag waists, high waisted culottes and textured dresses showing that the Mulberry Girl has truly grown up and knows what she wants.  Longer skirt lengths were also prevalent, with the primness offset by exposed zipper details and chunky studded ankle boots.  Even though I'm a miniskirt kinda gal, I am starting to get tempted by the mystery and ease of the maxi; what are your thoughts on keeping skirt lengths low for next Summer?

Olivia Palermo of The City fame was also in attendance

Special thanks to Emma and Cat at Mulberry for allowing me to come to the show and being really helpful!
All too often these fashion shows can be such a fleeting experience, but I was delighted to see these miniature stickers in the goody bag to recreate the looks at home until I can kick my Bayswater fund into gear.  See the full video of the show here.

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Splicing and Dicing

22 September 2010

There appears to be a lot of delightful mixtures at London Fashion Week this season, which I touched upon in my Louise Gray and Eun Jeong posts earlier this week (or was it even last week, time has confused me). With Spijkers en Spijkers (try pronouncing that with your mouth full and no concept of Dutch pronunciation) it was a more understated version, which was all about mixing your broderie anglaise with kaleidoscopic prints with a dash of cut-out subtraction to show off areas of the body.  I definitely feel that the trend of revealing random parts of the body will be out in full force next Summer, but not in a reality-tv-star-nip-slip kind of way as nothing is ever too obvious.  With all the prettiness on display, it's interesting to discover the collection was inspired by the song 'Where the Wild Roses Grow' detailing a somewhat poetic murder involving two lovers.  After a quick read of the lyrics here, that cut-out detail I was admiring earlier begins to take on a slightly more sinister undertone of preserving beauty before it fades.

Not only did I admire how the unusual inspiration was translated, I also loved how the delicate nature of the pieces was interrupted by the black panels of lace covering far sweeter patterns of wild roses.  Just be beware next season when you're wearing your floral frocks and your boyfriend comes back with a bunch of flowers and asks you if you want to see where the wild roses grow...

Remember my post on deconstructed t-shirts? Wait, you were busy that day?  Well this piece reminds me of this concept by Yang Li I wrote about aeons ago

Another spliced spectacular was present at the Bryce Aime show, taking on an Far East Asian influence with a colour palette reminiscent of candy (but more likely the Beijing Opera).  There was a lot of asymmetry and contrast panels to make the typical shift dress a lot more interesting plus some jackets inspired by traditional Japanese Kabuki costume whilst staying modern and relevant for today.  

As well as the catwalks at London Fashion Week, there are also exhibition stands where the designers can show off their wares in more detail and buyers can make appointments leading to the collection eventually being stocked and bought by a select few.  I ventured towards the small Newgen sheds outside Somerset House to check out some shows I didn't make it to (or even receive an invite for that matter) to purely concentrate on the details you might have missed while viewing the livestreams.  Michael van der Ham also has a spliced signature look with a slightly vintage feel due to the materials used.  Each piece appears unique and probably won't appeal to everyone due to some extreme clashes, reminding me of how I love the London designers defiantly sticking to their guns and sparking debate.  I wonder what's instore for next season?

My dodgy photos, full collection here

The grace and elegance of figure skaters came to mind, with the flattering shapes seen at David Koma's stand, creating structure to exaggerate the feminine form to powerful proportions.  Seeing the construction close-up was also insightful and I loved the use of godets and monochrome panelling to create a illusion to make even the slightest model grace the realms of voluptuousness.  I spy a graduation dress, now to snag a millionaire...

If you're reading this now, well done for making it to the end of the page and I hope the pictures and videos didn't crash your computer!  What is your take on the 'Spliced and Diced' trends seen at fashion week?  I'm a definite fan of contrast and may resort to sewing two forgotten shirts together Park and Cube stylee next season, who's with me?

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