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Thursday, 30 September 2010

Naomi Campbell celebrates 25 years in the business

The eighties was a time for shell suits, big hair and some fashion disasters that we would rather forget, however during this decade a shining star among the fashion fog was starting to bloom and 25 years later she is still going strong and celebrating in style.

The fantastic life of Naomi Campbell started in Streatham, London, England where she was born and spent her childhood. Her mother, Valerie Campbell never wanted Naomi to know her father after he left her when she was just two months pregnant with the future protégé. At age 10, Naomi was accepted into the Italia Conti Academy stage school, where she studied ballet, following in her mothers footsteps who was a dancer for the dance troupe Fantastica. At the age of 15 Campbell, whilst still at the drama school, was spotted window shopping with friends in Covent Garden and she opted to become a full time model.

Moving forward to the ninety’s and a supermodel generation was brewing, one that Mrs. Campbell was certainly going to be a part of. She made up one sixth of the most recognisable and in-demand models of her generation which included Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss.

In perhaps one of the most ground breaking career moves Naomi made, she appeared on the cover of Vogue Paris as the publication's first black cover girl in August 1988, after friend and mentor, Yves St. Laurent, threatened to withdraw all of his advertising from the publication after it refused to place Campbell, or any black model, on its cover. Since then she has gone onto appear on more than 100 magazine covers and has enjoyed a runway career longevity matched by very few.

Since its launch in 2005 Naomi Campbell’s Fashion For Relief charity has raised over £1 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as providing financial support to Russian orphans and contributing to the relief of the devastation caused by the Haitian earthquake. Last year the show raised money for the White Ribbon Alliance who work closely with mothers and children in Haiti in the wake of the earth quake disaster in 2010. More than 100 designers donated pieces for the event, and more then 50 celebrities took to the catwalk. The event was packed and people have paid up to £650 for a ticket. She also took the opportunity to pay tribute to her late friend Alexender McQueen by bursting onto the catwalk in a stunning mini dress from McQueen’s spring/summer 2010 collection, his last.

So after a long a fruitful career she has decided to mark the special occasion by teaming up with Dolce and Gabbana to showcase a collection of 14 different T-shirts. The garments show Naomi portrayed by some of the greatest contemporary photographers such as Patrick Demarchelier, Fabrizio Ferri, Steven Klein, David La Chapelle and Peter Lindbergh to name a few. The initiative was launched on Friday at Fashion’s Night Out in New York and Naomi herself made an appearance at D&G’s flagship store on Madison Avenue where the T-shirts were sold for $200 each. She will now be doing a tour of signings at London, Milan, Paris, Moscow and Beijing. In London the shirts will be signed and sold at D&G stores during London Fashion Week on September 21st.

Fashion in distress

Now I don’t know about you but if I was to buy a £1,500 dress, only to get home and find a hole at the hemline I would certainly be heading back to the store for a full refund, fuming and cursing about it the whole way. This season however you may wish to take a second glance at that dress you thought had an ‘accidental’ rip as it seams distressed clothing is back and it’s bigger, and even more battered, than ever before. If McQueen is doing it you can guarantee other designers are going to follow suit, and this ripple effect is already making itself apparent as we move into the next phase of our fashion calendar, fall 2010.
So where has this trend come from and why has it decided to rear its head now? Well the most obvious answer seams to be that our clothes mirror our feelings. We've got a monstrous unemployment rate, and a seemingly endless war or two going on at the same time. We are dealing with natural disasters all over the globe, and an oil spill with repercussions that reach far into the future. It is clear that our, lets face it, less than flattering ripped jeans seam run an ironic parallel line with what is going on in the world of today. An office uniform of starched collar shirts and neatly pressed trousers just wouldn’t feel right at the weekends so it appears we either hit one extreme end of
the spectrum or the other.
But beware a fashion victim can easily be created from this blooming trend and there is certainly a fine like between getting the look right and ‘I’ve accidently fallen into the shredder’ wrong. But fear not fashion lovers for Browns are bringing us some of the best distressed pieces all under one roof for both men and women.
Key must have buys from there collections are:

• Miharayasuhiro, hoodie with distressed detail; a fantastic men’s piece that sums up the trend in one swoop. It’s relaxed, casual and above all stylish but as you can see the worn nature of the garment does well not to overwhelm the piece. Teaming with a faded pair of denims and mud encrusted trainers would complete the look perfectly.
• Alexander McQueen distressed knit dress; why not take the casual trend for a night on the town? One for the brave, this statement piece will certainly create a stir among the cocktail crowd. Worn with mighty heels and a small clutch, let the frayed edges do all the talking (while they still can!)
• Alexander McQueen chevron tweed jacket; thought this look was just something for the weekend, think again as you work you way past staring office eyes. The blend of a classic tailored jacket juxtaposed with fraying, worn edges shouldn’t work on paper but feat your eyes on this beauty and all your preconceptions disappear.

So before you storm to your wardrobe with a pair of scissors, cutting and ripping old garments to give them a fresh off beat vibe, grab you laptop and head to where you can create this look safe in the knowledge that you will be one of this season hottest trend setters.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

LFW street style Sun 19th Sept 2010

Monday, 20 September 2010

Haider Ackermann

Where edgy, off beat urban fashion is concerned several brands spring to mind, but throw in a quirky uniqueness for leather and structure and Haider Ackermann manages to make it to the forefront of the brain.
The Colombian designer launched his namesake line in 2001 after graduating from the Antwerp Fashion Academy of Fine Arts where other designers such as Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester blossomed from the same creative tree. Ackermann then went onto intern at John Galliano's Paris offices, and later became the assistant to his former academy teacher. Following strong industry encouragement, Ackermann presented his first, self-financed women's collection in Paris for Autumn/Winter 2002. As the brand continues to grow under the recognition of its avant garde draping, fitted and laser cut leather, as does Ackermann’s reputation. From then to now the brand has gone from strength to strength and this season Ackermann has received acclaim from some of the toughest reviewers in the business. His fall 2010 collection, shown in Paris was one fashionista’s could agree, worth swooning over before the fights broke out to become the first to own the best parts of the collection.
Ackermann’s laser cutting fall 2010 designs push it into that bracket of brands all trend setters must adorn there wardrobes with. You need only to look at Lanvin and 3.1 Phillip Lim’s fall 2010 collections to see they to have taken on this new idea of cutting cloth. We’ve seen it try to burst its way through the seams of sensibility for the last few seasons but now it appears as though the threads have finally come loose and it is ready to set foot in every boutique in London. First stop Browns Fashion. It is here we turn out attention to one of the best ways to wear laser cut leather, and of course I am talking about none other than the master of this trend, Haider Ackermenn. His runway show was adorned with beautifully sculptural jackets including face framing collars and asymmetric hemlines. Not forgetting to mention the new extra long length skirts and capes that are already being swept of the fashion floors and onto the backs of those celebs who can’t wait to get there next fashion fix. It was indisputably a phenomenally crafted and artistically executed show however if an all over laser pattern dress and a deeply structured jacket isn’t your idea of a relaxed weekend look, don’t despair Ackermann has the perfect solution; the laser cut ankle boot.
With there exposed zip detail, press stud fastenings and inventive detailing what is not to love about these hot fashion forward works of art. The almond shape toe and five inch heel will make you walk tall and stand proud as you show the world you no how fashion works and what is coming next. The perfect off duty look can be created by teaming with tights and a short leather skirt, for style that blends femininity with urban grungy undertones. For your image to scream edginess, team with pieces from Margiela or Rick Owens who’s collections appeal to the same market as the Ackermann brand.
So what does the future hold for a brand that has gone from strength to strength with its previous collections? Well it seams another step up the fashion ladder which has been well and truly justified by the storming success of their spring summer 2011 collection which this season included men’s wear for the first time. An extension of his women’s wear designs, the draped leather and unique cuts could be recognised from a mile of but Ackermann admitted he found it harder to design for men as he is the consumer saying ‘women’s wear is something I fantasize, but with men’s wear, you are comparing it to yourself.’ However not a hint of a flaw was seen when the male models stepped out in there costume like trousers scattered with mirrored patchworks and brocades all in a boho nomad spirit.
So become one with laser cut leather this season and embrace the trend that will soon be seen wrapt around everyone who’s anyone’s hips, feet and arms. Ackermann is the only way to do it right so choose your pieces wisely and remember less is more. Dig out your key staples for the best way to really make a fashion statement.

David Koma LFW Mon 20th Sept 2010

This season David had moved away from his traditional metal clad garments and opted for a more wearable kind of fashion. A sense of serenity and peace washed over the audience as the soft pallets of yellow and pink glided down the runway in an effortlessly feminine way. David's first model stepped out onto the catwalk to the sound of Tchaikovsky's 'Swan Lake' which he also said was the inspiration for this seasons collection; the contrasting perceptions of a ballerina - the physically and emotionally strong woman in a fragile frame.

Hemlines kicked at the middle of thighs and the show opened with three fantastic variations of the skater style skirt hit the runway. Paired with more practical tops, you could envisage these stunning pieces being worn to an evening event, not only by the quirky youngsters but now also the more mature woman, still confident and comfortable in her skin.

Creating a stronger statement, python skin and embossed leather were added to sleek full length gowns. Raw python rouched belts also featured at the waists of David's 50s influenced dresses and body conscious silhouettes and are set to be a favourite with the starlets who love to wear David's clothes.
The designer's contrast of monochromatic black and white with powder yellow and pale pink was stunning and wowed in the delicate chiffons and organzas that were set against robust python skin, embossed leather and fine wool.
A stunning black number played with mind on every level forcing you to make that contrast between the harsh feel of leather or python and the floating chiffon that appeared as though it were being left behind in the models wake.
With amazing geometric knuckle dusters and architectural cuffs, as well shoes designed by Alain Quilinci, the show was styled to perfection. David has hit all the right notes with this collection and covered a broad spectrum of colours, styles and fabrics. He managed to wow the front row with the level of skill on show for a relatively new designer. This one certainly gets our seal of approval.

Holly Fulton LFW Mon Sept 20th 2010

In there Louboutin heels and with softly bouncing curls, the models of the Holly Fulton show strutted onto the catwalk to be faced by a bunch of the worlds fashion elite picking there jaws up from the floor. It was a show stopping collection with some of the best pieces we have seen from the designer in the four seasons she has been showing at London Fashion Week. Holly’s looks were teamed with her usual art deco inspired accessories, but this season it felt as though the designer had moved forward as far as texture and cut was concerned.

The show opened with a burst of colour (what less could we expect from Ms. Fulton!) with a giraffe print top and tasselled skirt which moved perfectly under the glare of lights and sweep of other models grazing past; a gravity defying earrings and a matching bracelet completed the ensemble perfectly. High waisted, wide leg trousers fall gracefully at the models side as the elegant fabric obeyed with every step on the runway sparking a frenzy of excitement when the graphic print, cascading down the side of the legs passed the fashion pack.

Small suitcase style bags and printed swimsuits got us in the mood for glamorous poolside bathing in hot and exotic far off places. The feeling was continued through into the bright yellows, blues and corals that were scattered throughout the show, always with a dedicate crystal embellishment or tassel fringe to polish off the look.

A new depth was explored in Holly’s collection this season. The use of pony skin was introduced, worked beautifully into a sharp pencil skirt paired with a white tank and statement jewellery. In addition, hints of snake skin were brought forward and updated from her AW10 collection to reflect the bright colours of summer.

The favourite piece of the whole collection however was the patent yellow skater skirt dress, a trend which is being carried forward from this season, but given a serious summer update. The laser cut shapes and stiffness of the fabric made for an origami style work of art rather than an evening dress.

Rounding things of nicely with a hint of sparkle were crystal embellishments which took on the form of clouds and were placed onto more relaxed garment shapes. Centre stage was a pallet of soft powdery tones, a new edges to the sometimes harsh graphic prints we are used to. These statement piece were wearable and transitional making them cute pieces that could soon have a cult following.

Osman LFW Sat 18th Sept 2010

It is clear that in the four years Osman Yousefzada has been showing at London Fashion Week, this has been his best and most developed so far. The designer, famed for his beautifully sophisticated tailoring and silhouettes did not disappoint crowds and the BFC fashion space on Saturday afternoon.

This SS11 collection felt like a chic take on the sport luxe trend that was seen making a massive appearance in New York last week. Brown woven dresses with asymmetric hemlines and boat neck styles nod to new form of relaxed evening wear that also makes a fine transition into uptown day time styling.

As the gradual hints of yellow and coral hues injected life into the show, it is clear block colouring is a key SS11 trend where Osman is concerned. A play on lengths and texture continues forward from this season but in a more refined and delicate way with a combination of patent fabrics juxtaposed with natural fibres such as cotton or linen paired with a sophisticated black evening trouser.

One green flapper style dress sparked a frenzy of light bulbs flashing with its loosely fitting, but still elegantly cut, top leading down into two perfectly pleated tiers drawing attention to a fantastic black ankle boot. This was followed by an equally delectable splash of yellow in the form of another well cut dress and bellowing gathered skirt.

Yousefzada sharpened his signature knack for giving straightforward-looking clothes a layer of interest with the asymmetrical denim sheath dress that leads the eye to a fantastically cut neckline and faint lines running horizontally in the fabric making the models appear another two foot taller that there already towering frames.

The fabulous fusion of camel tunics and chic black evening trousers was a look that is sure to be snapped up by buyers and fashionista’s alike. The curved hemline’s and subtle slits of the pieces allowed the camel trend to take on a more sensual and feminine look as we move into the next phase of our fashion calendar.

A stunning floor sweeping yellow dress rounded things up nicely as the finally of the show approached. The fabric clung and draped in all the right places, with the high neck line and perfectly balancing the bare arms and figure hugging composition. As the hemline kicked out the model appeared to glide across the runway and a hint of black wedge peep toe ankle boot could just be seen poking through.