Despite being a girly girl most of the time I’m always pleasantly surprised by the London menswear scene, especially during London Collections Men. This season, LCM SS16, I was struck by the variety of style from colourful prints to all black and everything I saw was wearable- I was even imagining some pieces in my wardrobe. There is always a buzz in the air during LCM as it gets more established each year and gets closer to the status of London Fashion Week, although many people prefer LCM. The usual faces such as Tinie Temper, Labrynth and David Gandy were around supporting some of the UK’s best emerging menswear designers & heritage brands. On a random note I was luckily given late entry, after initial refusal, to a show after the doors closed as some celebs arrived who security allowed to be late (5 mins to be fair) at Maharishi- if any one knows who they were (black guy with dreads and a small crew) send them my thanks- would have been gutted if I missed it!
The lovely Ada Zanditon at the Ada + Nik presentation & me wearing jewellery from my boutique Realm of Treasure.
Caption this – Ada with Nik Thakkar and models
My first time trying black Water- by BLK
The Maharishi Finale
The bar at the Belstaff presentation where I binge drank Moroccan mint tea to the extent I didn’t even spot David Gandy!
Only 3 shades of grey but loved Grey – Scale’s use of my favourite non colour at The Hospital Club exhibition
A press day is always a welcome end to my less than thrilling day job so I eagerly counted down the hours and then headed to Graphic Bar in Soho where Lewis and Leigh
PR held their AW15 press day. There was a chilled out party vibe as House of Alt provided a background of classic R & B tunes- if it wasn’t so early and a school night it would have been hard to get me out of there as some of my old time faves were churned out- and it made me feel good that the younger kids were aware of the soundtrack of my youth! On top of a great ambiance each corner of the bar had an exciting visual treat ranging from cool graphic prints, extravagant hats and bath bombs that made me hungry ( well hungrier than usual ).
Stvdio 5 cosmetics- still wishing these were edible!
I’m a huge vintage fan (aren’t we all) so was thrilled to learn that Dust were presenting collections from Rokit and Vintage Seekers and expected to be wowed. I felt honoured to be in the presence of original 1920’s flapper dresses worth £4000 and costume jewelry used in Hollywood classics such as Cleopatra. You can’t get better than that! Vintage seekers even loaned their pieces to the V&A museum for the Hollywood exhibition. Rokit had the usual quality and original pieces that they’re known for. The red box jacket is so me! Am picturing myself in it with a fitted black leather dress and killer heels. These days are great for outfit inspiration! Dust also presented the iconic Barbour, wacky Irregular Choice and the divine Catherine Deane- the latter being my new obsession!
Rockit including zebra print Manolo Blahniks and their new brogues (not vintage).
Hollywood glamour from Vintage Seekers including this snake bracelet worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra.
Felicities presented a number of my favourite designers such as Ada Zanditon (who I interviewed last month), Beautiful Soul, David Longshaw. I also discovered that David Longshaw and one of my favourite jewelry designers, Kirsty Ward are an item (how cute!) even though its probably not new news for the fashion pack.
David Longshaw and the ever so fashionable Maude.
Finally I headed down to Blow PR’s day where the was an eclectic mix of spinal cord jewelry, Japanese gothic artistry and popping neon colours.
Bjorg Jewelry– not sure how I’d wear these sand filled glasses but I still love them!
Dans La Vie who I interviewed for Amelia’s Magazine
My Fashion Press Week made me really reflect on how much talent we have in London and I love the bold and adventurous spirit that a lot of the collections have. Us Londoners are certainly not wall flowers. I’m counting down the days to London Fashion Week in September as in my humble opinion it is without doubt the worlds finest (being a Londoner is not making me biased at all).
Last week, I attended a showcase of Ada Zanditon‘s new collection at the fabulous quirky boutique, Chic Freak, on Notting Hill’s Portabello Rd. Chic Freak and Ada Zanditon go hand in hand as they both represent women who are individual, have their own sense of style and are irreverent as to what other people think. The evening was as expected a great turn out with lovely ladies (possibly men- not to be rude but I ‘m almost sure they were) on the guitar and violin playing jolly tunes matching with the vibrant shop display. I spoke to Ada Zanditon about the amazing achievements of the brand and what she’s been up to over the past few months.
LS; So what have you been up to recently?
We participated in Berlin Fashion week this January with a show opened by Katie Melua who gave a speech about the brand. We were also very excited that she wore one of our dresses on her album cover. We presented the new collection in the Lavera showroom. Then we exhibited at Esthetica during London Fashion Week and made a film with Fashtag tv featuring singer, Victoria Modesta, screened in the BFC cinema.
LS;Your collections are well suited to bold and confident women. Whats the boldest thing you’ve done during your career as a designer?
That’s a hard one (consults team). I think its taking the new collection to Berlin for the first time for our first international catwalk show. We had less than 2 months to create 27 outfits, jewelry and customized sunglasses! The show was scheduled at the same time as Hugo Boss but we had a great turnout. The experience was emotional and it was a proud moment for me and the team – we were brave together.
LS; Who do you dream of dressing;
I’m currently working on costumes for singer, Karen Parks, video. She is great- like a gothic princess warrior. I’m drawn to strong, confident women and unique characters. I don’t set tout to dress particular people – it just happens. I’ll be dressing Jameela Jamil this year – she’s very individual, unique and very down to earth. She previously wore Ada Zanditon to the Glamour Awards.
LS; Can you sum up your latest collection in 3 words?
Well the collection is titled March of the Tigress and its about a journey from one place to another, going from the darkest part of winter to the first part of spring. It represents a multifaceted woman who can on one day look austere and on another be floaty and light. The words that sum it up best are bold, sexy and confident.
LS. I spent some time talking to your Dad at Chic Freak (a very cool Dad). As a photographer did he encourage you to pursue a creative path?
Yes- he gave me my first camera when I was 5 and I was taught how to take a photo which was very inspiring! My mum is a poet and an artist so both my parents encouraged me to be creative and we regularly visited museums and galleries. But they weren’t pushy and gave me realistic support making sure I was aware that it wouldn’t be an easy route.
LS; Sustainability is at the heart of what you do. How does this affect the design process?
You have to start with the fabric. The design process usually starts with experimenting using a simple cotton woven cloth called caliko toile and its amazing how much you can do with this basic fabric. When you’re sustainable there’s a narrower range of fabrics but there’s still a lot of scope to be creative. Its often just a mental barrier that makes people think that being sustainable is limiting. When eco fashion was relatively new the collections had a certain – pause – (treehugging- inserted by me- LS) vibe. I’m inspired by nature but my designs are edgy, original and different.
LS; What fabrics do you use?
Silks, fairtrade organic cotton, end of line fabrics eg from Burberry and Chanel, bamboo-I know there are arguments for and against but our supplier has won awards fro the Ethical Fashion Forum. We’re also proud to use UK based wool mills, such as Marling and Evans who have been in the trade for 500 years! Its untrue that there is no textile industry in the UK and with costs in China going up even more manufacturing will return here which will be great for jobs!