Merry Meadham

29 September 2011

meadham kirchoff ss12

Ach I know, this fashion week diversion might be getting slightly old but luckily I'm towards the end of my run of posts (plus I haven't done anything nearly as interesting since).  Through the magic of blogging my post is over a week 'late' though being the sole writer there are no real deadlines (well only the vague ones I have in my head) and I love having a bit of freedom with my loose schedule.  I've really started to appreciate the total fashion show experience; sure there may be livestreams but most of the music is altered or removed entirely (thanks Marni) and you can miss a lot of the atmosphere watching the show on a screen.  It was definitely beneficial to see the latest Meadham Kirchhoff show in person and to watch the performance unfold (in fact I might have been positioned next to the girl filming this); it definitely made many people smile and had me open mouthed for most of the duration.

meadham kirchoff ss12

anna wintour london fashion week

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

meadham kirchoff ss12

After a fleeting sighting of the elusive Anna Wintour, the standing queue was eventually let in and I had to scramble in front of a seasoned FROW-er to get these photos, kneeling on the floor.  You may already know about the outcome due to the various tweets and reports, but I thought I'd show you my view of one of the most memorable shows this season.  With the camera settings finally figured out I managed to capture shot after shot of their colourful take on what it means to be a girl for Spring 2012.  The show started with a performance by identikit Courtney Love lookalikes and was followed by a troupe of young ballerinas to separate the two halves of the collection.  The extreme nature of the collection reminded me of my trip to Hyper Japan a few months ago, with all the shiny fabrics, frills and playful laser cut details.  Sometimes I am prone to toning down the 'girliness' of an item but it might be nice sometimes to just allow it and have a little fun.  Maybe it's time to introduce more bows into my life?

topshop show space waterloo

The old Eurostar terminal at Waterloo seemed like an odd setting for a fashion show, with it's old and grey entrance in complete contrast to the vibrant attendees but you somehow forget where you are once you're watching the show.  I definitely think that introducing an element of unpredictability is a great way to keep things fresh when there are hundreds of shows in such a short space of time and I wonder if this show might influence others.  My new memories of Waterloo station are a vast improvement.

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A very Mulberry SS12

26 September 2011

mulberry ss12

mulberry ss12 ice cream

London Fashion Week may be over, but my Mulberry show memories are a gift that keeps on giving.  For starters I still have the inflatable balloon animals in my room, captured towards the end of the party and transported home on the dreary night bus.  For some reason the musical invitation still keeps on playing with no contact whatsoever.  I guess I had a slight inkling of what the direction for the label would be this season from the inflatable rubber ring they sent and cheeky 'Ding Dong' slogans on the official fashion week totes.  I love how consistent everything is even down to the creative trimmings that adorn the entrance to the show plus the food and drink that is served.  It's like you've been transported to an alternate Mulberry universe where the hair is big and retro ice cream vans serve raspberry swirl flavours in chilly mid-September.  This was the ultimate fashion show experience that somehow manages to out-do itself every year and I felt extremely lucky to be a part of it again.

mulberry ss12 ice cream van

mulberry ss12 chandelier

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mulberry ss12

mulberry ss12 dogs

mulberry ss12

mulberry ss12

mulberry ss12

mulberry ss12

Seeing all of the SS12 collections has made me yearn for summer dressing somewhat, but ultimately I know that we'll end up with the typical British weather.  Mulberry has channelled the annoyingly  unpredictable climate into rain macs, parkas and plenty of layering making the collection suitable for a seaside visit or posh day out in London.  It took me a while to figure out how all the balloon wildlife fitted in, but after looking through the photos I took and deciphering that they were carousel creatures, I loved the contrast and new take on animal print.  Yellow was a key colour and even though I want my first Mulberry purchase to be a sensible and timeless one, I was tempted by the bright hues on offer with the cute scalloped edges providing the perfect update for the signature bags.  I bet all of the little details look even better up close, but from afar I was admiring the khaki green jackets and lace appliqué dresses; I could quite happily wear everything!
mulberry ss12 model

mulberry ss12 beach ball

mulberry ss12

mulberry ss12 animal balloons

mulberry ss12 jellies

The after party was the perfect continuation of the show later on and I definitely regretted eating a large meal beforehand, after assuming that a fashion week party wouldn't have any food!  My second dinner consisted of miniature portions of fish n' chips, hot dogs, burgers and prawn cocktail with plenty of ice cream and jelly to finish. I attempted to win a teddy bear using one of those machines with the electronic hand to no avail, hence the balloon thievery.

mulberry ss12 ice creams
See more catwalk photos here and read my new friend Kat's account of the evening

What are your thoughts on Mulberry's SS12 collection?  I loved the slightly sporty feel of the outerwear in contrast to the delicate dresses and even though I'm pretty scared of dogs, they  coordinated perfectly.  Now we just need to get through this Winter...


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LFW Dress Stress

23 September 2011

vagabond boots

It seems that this fashion week more than most is filled with people milling around the courtyard of Somerset House just waiting to be photographed. I guess somewhere in the back of any blogger's mind is 'Will the Satorialist snap me? Will I end up in Vogue?' and this can alter your style of dressing somewhat.  I try and make a bit more of an effort, making full use of my wardrobe and find that seeing the diversity in personal style can inspire me in various ways.  Sometimes it only becomes clear to wear a marled jumper with a certain type of skirt after seeing someone strutting about in said outfit around Somerset House.  I feel that waking up at the crack of dawn has made me play it too safe with some of my looks (plus the lack of ironing my vintage shirts doesn't help), so these few days spent amongst the cobbles has helped me generate some ideas for getting dressed.  More on that later, here's a few looks that I managed to sport.

rachel barrett shirt topshop dress

skull necklace

vagabond boots
Friday
Dress (worn as shirt) - c/o Rachel Barrett
Dress - Topshop
Boots - Vagabond
Satchel - c/o The Leather Satchel Company

I took a slight risk choosing this dress at the Spirit of Fashion pop-up launch, as I only tend to do disguised sophistication and when I do, it is usually in black.  I decided to go against type and choose this style mainly as a layering piece (I've seen far too many Swedish bloggers wearing long open shirts) and I fascinated by how there are no side seams whatsoever.  It seemed apt to wear this to the first day of Fashion Week and luckily the weather was decent and I didn't need a jacket.  My new boots came from Vagabond, a label I discovered back in Berlin and they are extremely comfortable.  I'm all about heels that I can get the most wear out of these days and since the Topshop Allegra boots sold out yonks ago, I luckily found a similarly priced alternative.  Can you also tell I've had a Mac makeover?  This is the most made up look I managed at LFW, since I managed to lose my Fluidline eyeliner in a drawer for the subsequent days and survive on the bare minimum. I'd love to try and recreate it somehow; methinks I need better brushes!

knitted tube skirt

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Saturday
Leather Jacket - Topshop
Sheer Blouse - H&M
Skirt - k+f+p (aka from my graduation collection)
Socks - c/o Tabio
Shoes - Nine West Vintage America

It seems that you spend so long making a graduate collection only for it to be left languishing in various household storage areas (in my case under the bed) and never to be seen again.  I think it might have been Jazmine who suggested that I should wear one of my pieces for this week and after remembering how long it took me to make (roughly 12 hours x 4 days) and the yarns it's made from (silk, wool, viscose, cotton), I thought I might as well put it to good use.  It certainly kept me warm on quite a rainy day and even though I kept having a few flashbacks of making it, it was nice to finally wear one of my own designs.  I might wear some of the jumpers come February and would love to knit some more if I can find the time; there's so many stitch combinations I wish I could have explored during that short space of time. 

vintage skirt and blouse

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Sunday
Silk Blouse - Vintage Ralph Lauren
Midi Skirt - Humana Berlin
Boots - Vagabond
Belt - Charity Shop
Necklace - Brooklyn
Thanks to Carrie, Jazmine and Lucy for taking my photos!

I really loved this skirt when I bought it back in Berlin, but don't think I've worn it all that much.  I think I might have been suffering from 'Midi Skirt Fatigue' after amassing so many styles in the few short months since they became 'on trend.'  At the moment I'm trying to find as many above the knee styles as possible, but for my last full-on day I decided to embrace a print.  I finally ironed the silk shirt I bought in New York last Summer at braved the the buttoned up collar for most of the day (it's strangely tight).  The necklace hints towards where I went that day in my vague attempt to wear-the-designer-whose-show-you're-attending when in reality I don't yet own one of the pieces.  My time will come eventually....

Unexpectedly, I've also received a nomination for a Cosmopolitan Blog Award in the 'Established Fashion Blog' category.  I don't really get nominated for things on a day to day basis apart from maybe emptying the dishwasher, so thanks to anyone who put I Want You To Know forward.  If this blog floats your boat, then by all means vote away but there's some stiff competition in my group so I'm being rather realistic and using the experience to discover different sorts of blogs.  Most of all, I'm looking forward to the awards ceremony and meeting up with everyone!
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The Fringe Approach

22 September 2011

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One of the shows I was most curious to see was Fashion Fringe, after discovering bits about the designers and their collections along the way.  I first met them in July, when I was amazed by the personal style of Heidi Leung and the questions asked by Fyodor Golan about commercial design. Then a few weeks ago I was able to see one of the looks from each finalist and maybe a few more from Nabil Nayal who was excited to show us all of the techniques he'd developed.  I've seen the progress each designer has made, yet was still unsure about how everything would appear on the catwalk, so luckily the element of surprise was not lost on the night.  Seeing everything backstage in garment bags reminded me of preparing for my graduate shows back in May/June and I almost felt nervous for the finalists as you never quite know how things might be dressed or whether a model might trip in her shoes.  I knew there would be a winner by the end of the night, but before that each finalist had their time to shine during the few moments their models graced the catwalk.

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Fyodor Golan switched from laser-cut elements to crystal adorned pieces, showing the painful metamorphosis of a nymph being consumed by nature.  Colours developed from white, interrupted by yellow and slowly became blacker with more fragmented construction.

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Heidi Leung's collection was inspired by 1960s celebrity vacation photos and Orientalism, fusing the perceived ideas of Asia with her goofy sense of humour.  I loved the confident use of colour and off-beat styling, which included plenty of cur-out details that could be worn instantly by many.

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Nabil Nayal uses couture techniques to realise his character whose opulent mansion has burnt down, referenced in the interior-like quilting techniques and lace created by the same lacemakers responsible for Kate Middleton's dress.

Somehow we ended up on the front row, so with no heads to block my view, I duly snapped away.  Each collection started to make more sense as each the models came out and I tried to take in as much as possible in the short space of time.  The styling and shoes complemented each collection perfectly and I loved the flip-flop-flatforms Heidi Leung had created to inject a sense of fun plus the scultptural Nicholas Kirkwood shoes Nabil had managed to use.

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See more collection photos here

I left the show feeling extremely diplomatic as it was hard to pick a favourite. I loved elements from each of the collections and after meeting all of the designers, I somehow wanted them all to share the prize.  After a short deliberation from the judges, Fyodor Golan were announced the winners, joining other Fringe alumni such as Basso & Brooke and Erdem.  I hope they can all manage to go onto  fantastic projects and use this experience to keep producing innovative designs and fabrics, whilst balancing the business skills needed to survive in this industry.  Which collection do you like the best?

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