style brick road: September 2014

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tender Love & Claire


Although I wouldn’t have anything against big-venue high-glam shows like the ones at Burberry or Paul Smith, there is a true excitement about going to dark, shabby places that lead you under the ground. Judging by Emily Sheffield’s (deputy editor at Vogue UK) words at the Vogue’s Fashion Night Out event at Selfridges (a conversation with the talented and extremely nice Erdem) – opaque, dodgy places is what London was all about 10 years ago. That kind of a throwback really sings an ode to the past new-generation (Kane, Roksanda, Erdem, Katrantzou etc.) and gives a true scent of the up-and-coming, a fresh now-generation just waiting to become part of the LFW household.

One of those places (although you can’t really call Marylebone dodgy) was Theatre Delicatessen in Marylebone Gardens, hosting a multimedia presentation of Claire Barrow’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection named Tender Love and Care. This high-end D.I.Y.-er (she insists on the D.I.Y. part herself) has already been loved by the young and cool, those that party in East London and attend the Fashion East shows – but thanks to Topshop’s NEWGEN project (same one Faustine Steinmetz was part of), she got to show her collection separately second season in a row. 

Her vision of super-heroines in the bodies of post-apocalyptic nurses that go on saving the world provided the audience with a true visual feast as her cuts and silhouettes were more elaborate than ever before, accompanied with the graphic prints telling a narrative of its own. The apocalypse of the Western world as we know it today was a true leitmotif – unfinished & rough edges, almost-holistic hand-painting graphics and a strong feministic, armour-y approach towards clothing spoke truly loudly, without using any loud colours. Matching illustrated footwear were really another stand-out moment for the designer - a product of an exclusive collaboration with Purified Footwear added a perfect touch of prim to her rebellious story. She even threw in a couple of menswear looks (although androgyny is not an unfamiliar word in Claire Barrow dictionary) which I responded to with inner claps (the atmosphere was kinda serious so a mini-applause was a definite no). Aside the dark-room fashion show, she showed a fashion film showcasing her current collection (directed by Theo Sion, starring Eve Stainton) which was an interesting approach and a rich addition to completing a story of branding for such a young designer.

Designers like Claire truly put a smile on my face, and are a rightful middle-finger-in-the-air to anyone who says that London has become a commercial capital. As long as you’ve got buzzing ideas like these – you can’t really go wrong... 



Claire Barrow SS15 from Claire Barrow on Vimeo.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Two-faced

If a person ever tried to convince me of the state of happiness one could be after opening a plain old bank account, I would literally laugh-out-loud. That’s exactly what happened to me today – several unsuccessful (and quite frustrating) attempts that had been happening this past few weeks in these trying-to-get-hold-of-my-new-life moments were nothing less than a big bowl of headscratchers that simply needed to stop rolling on and on. After those couple of weeks of anxiety, the feeling of settling in finally starts to catch up. And I can’t express how nice it feels. I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch or anything – but a nice, gentle start after a big life-clog made of burocracy and papers is just what I need at the moment. A tidal wave of good energy coming (from) my way were just the boost I needed to pick up my big bum and continue my London Fashion Week Journey.

Just as the whole dual feelings of excitement and lost-ness are surrounding my current affairs, I absolutely feel inspired by the double nature of almost everything around us. As holistic as it sounds, there are two sides of every coin – and fashion designers obviously love to reference that. Juxtapositioning soft and hard, floral with black or masculine with feminine. Contrasting the two instead of blending them is something that played out perfectly in Eudon Choi’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection. Sullen tailoring in linens and Liberty-like florals put next to each other looked refreshingly new and enthusiastic – exactly what represents the designer’s muse for the season, artist Georgia O’Keeffe. 

Aesthetically on the other side of the room, Jean-Pierre Braganza wasn’t too distant from the two-faced theme which was apparently in brains of many creatives this season. Sexy and aggressive, his S/S 15 runway was a showcase of diverse techniques, textiles and silhouettes. Some may say too many, I say just about right. Bomber jackets with contrasting panels and a modern take on the tuxedo-pant were the highlights of this glamour-studded collection referencing the moto-industry and a new art-flick by Matthew Barney. Panel-blocking footwear definitely came in as a perfect bow to tie the whole collection together as it really had numerous elements fighting for the spotlight. In the end, no one could really accuse Jean-Pierre of underachieving – hi put his all in and created what will definitely become one of his most-memorable collections up to date. 

Appropriately enough (both regarding my life and the collection that were shown), I spent my first day of London Fashion Week in quite an ‘ambivalent’ outfit myself. Combining several opaque colour-blocking specimens from my (now tiny) closet came quite naturally and turned into quite a rock’n’roll (in my terms, at least) ensemble – with some contrasting accessories, of course. Quite suttil compared to my last-LFW outfits, but it simply felt appropriate. 
I'm wearing a customized vintage blazer, Amplified t-shirt, H&M hat, Marc by Marc Jacobs two-toned trousers (see similar t-shirt), Topshop Unique faux-fur bag, Giles & Brothers gold cuff, Replay Vintage sunglasses, Nike blaze hi-tops, Marc by Marc Jacobs socks & Daniel Wellington watch