Berlin Fashion Week kicked off last Tuesday, promising to bring an ever impressive collection of fashion names to the capital. Held at the Victory Column in the southern part of Berlin, fashion brands such as Rena Lange and Hugo by Hugo Boss were shown to an eager crowd of buyers, media, trade experts and fashion enthusiasts.
And as Berlin Fashion Week comes to a close today, it only seems fit to look at some of the more wonderful and wacky collections shown over the week.
Underneath the city 600 people were treated to a slightly different change of venue, with Berlin’s Underground Catwalk taking place. Models wore latex, fetish gear and “spirit hoods” whilst trying to balance themselves on the on the running train. The Underground Catwalk is a platform for young German designers to showcase their collections without having to pay the price for a fashion tent show. “Because of the special location, models pretty much walk across people’s laps. There’s loud music blasting, it’s pretty wild and colourful,” said event director Alexander van Hessen.
Hugo by Hugo Boss was one of the most highly anticipated shows at Berlin Fashion Week, bringing front-seaters such as Kate Bosworth, Poppy Delevigne and Jessica Joffe. The show was sleek and sophisticated, with A-line dresses and geometric tops cutting a futuristic silhouette. A different blend of metallic materials was used as an alternative to the gold and silver accents we saw last year, creating an unusual colour palette. Hugo kept it playful with both their womenswear and menswear treating us to some two-tone suits and a few jacket/blouson combinations.
Former costume designer Sebastian Ellrich showed his third collection at Berlin Fashion Week this season, treating the audience to a spicy summer mix of oranges, reds and whites. But the models in this show took it more sitting down - chairs were used as props for the models to strike athletic and artistic poses on. Whether this collection was purposefully made to look like the German gymnastics team or not, the garments still took main focus and Ellrich proved that his wearable designs can still wow the crowd.
It isn’t unheard of to see some unusual make up at fashion weeks, but for Austrian designer Lena Hoschek it seemed as though it were October 31st with her full face painted models. Death masks, similar to a skeleton skull, were used to contrast with the exotic tribal and floral prints that Hoschek sent down the runway. “Maybe the Mayans are right and the world will end this year, but at least we can have cute clothes,” she joked on Wednesday night.
Berlin as of yet isn’t known to the world as a capital at the front of fashion, but more and more international designers are choosing Berlin to host their collections. We look forward to the next installation of German fashion.
For a luxury brand such as Lanvin you might expect to see some of the big names in fashion for their next advertising campaign. Maybe an appearance from fresh faced Daphne Groeneveld, or the ever beautiful Rosie Huntington Whiteley? No, not this year. Instead, the French label have decided to use ‘real people’ for their autumn/winter 2012 campaign, making a star out of 82 year old octogenarian dancer Jacquie “Tajah” Murdock.
Lanvin’s creative director Alber Elbaz has decided to cast ‘real people’ as opposed to models for this years campaign, telling WWD magazine, “I was interested to bring these clothes back to the street somehow, seeing how they look on different ages and sizes.” Only two images have surfaced so far, one showing Jacquie in a deep forest green peplum ensemble whilst the other shows a young lilac-fringed woman in a black and white dress.
The campaign, shot by Steven Meisel, is said to feature stylish men and women plucked from the streets. Many see it as a breath of fresh air and are happy the label is branching out, as so many other fashion houses have become increasingly agist. It has now become almost normal for labels to feature young pin-thin models or shining celebrities as the new face of the brand.
Murdock was spotted on the street by Ari Seth Cohen - the man behind popular blog Advanced Style for older men and women with distinguished personal style. He photographed her and ever since then the dancer has received considerable attention for her style. Cohen helped Lanvin cast its campaign and mentioned Murdock. From there, the rest is history.
So what does she have to say about her high scoring fashion campaign? “Long time coming.” We predict great things not only for her, but for many women out there like her. Fashion has no age limit, and brands like Lanvin are pathing the way for other labels to follow suit.
Employers encourage graduates to obtain relevant skills in the help to get youth employment back on track.
With the youth employment rate still at a disappointing 19%, many employers and careers advisers are calling for students to explore different skill sets that could help them gain an advantage over other job candidates.
LAKO BUKIA AW12
A chilly evening at Freemasons Hall saw the return of highly acclaimed, Central St Martins graduate, Lako Bukia. The Georgian-born designer has captivated audiences from all over the globe ever since her first show at LFW in 2010.
“Broken Mirrors” was the title of Lako’s newest collection, which took inspiration from a broken mirror in which the designer sees herself in, and the challenges and fears she must face to show her strength. However the collection didn’t show any signs of fear, as the first garment down the runway was a full length, open back, silver evening gown, which left much of the crowd stunned.
The show continued in much the same way; metallic silvers were dominant, and were teamed with mesh shirts and black pleated skirts. Material was shaped like shards of mirror and placed on mesh shirts to - no pun intended - reflect the image of a broken mirror. Lako played with shapes, intertwining black and metallic silver to create some daring shirts, showing just a touch of skin. Full length silver skirts were teamed with chunky heels, whilst some interesting patterned leggings left us eager for more.
The show ended with a bang - literally. The final gown, which was nothing short of a show-stopper, glided down the runway, and was met with a huge bang and a down-pour of confetti. The dress, interesting enough, had the top half covered in actual pieces of mirror, beautifully assembled in an asymmetrical shape to compliment the full length mesh gown. Models joined each other on stage to do a Channel-style walk off, marching down the runway together whilst the audience members applauded. The show was a triumph; feminine, cool and very sexy.
Sequin jackets in zebra print, florals and fruit. This could only be the work of Delhi-born mastermind, Ashish. The PR’s were out in force on the last day of womenswear at London Fashion Week, a couple sporting the colourful embellished jackets from his pervious collection.
After the huge success of Ashish’s Spring Summer collection, I was literally on the edge of my seat waiting for the show to start (although this could also have been due to the over crowded benches). The fun and surprise never ceased during the 20 minutes show. The collection, titled “Bollywouldn’t”, kept a smile on our faces from start to finish, and included a huge amount of sequins, rainbows and vibrant prints.
We saw a wave of inspiration from traditional Indian fashion, including kurta-inspired skirts and tops. Knitted jumpers had smiley faces printed all over, whilst sequin jackets were covered in rainbow and tie dye patterns. The collection was quirky and humourous, and even featured a couple of menswear looks.
The fun kept going right down to the feet, where rainbow platform boots only added to the barmy display of colour. Dupatta scarfs printed in softer tones were wrapped around the models upper half, whilst intricate nose rings added another touch of traditional India.
The final outfit was, not surprisingly, a fully sequined black jumpsuit, with a bright orange jumper around the waist that read “Be Happy” on the back. It was a great finish to an even greater show. Ashish is fastly becoming a front runner in British fashion, and it’s not hard to see why.
MICHAEL VAN DER HAM AW 12
One thing about the Topshop show room in Old Billingsgate, is how daunting it must be to show there. A huge catwalk with seats not only on either side but in the middle as well, this space deserves to have something great shown on it. With Topshop Unique showing there just 24 hours previous, Michael Van Der Ham had to pull something special out of the bag.
The collection was full of metallics, florals, interesting new prints and a great contrast of colours. It was the most ready to wear that I’ve seen during fashion week, and showed how far Michael had come with the backing of Topshop.
Turquoise blue was a dominant colour during the collection, and was mixed with metallic silvers and poppy reds. Splashes of orange and dark blue were seen on some of the dresses, which were beautifully form fitting. Michael’s signature patchwork techniques were present in a couple of his two piece garments, showing his skill and ability to apply attention to detail. Hair was finger waved into a Hollywood pin up style giving the collection a little hint of the 1930’s era.
The last outfits shown on the catwalk were a couple of sequin two pieces. Both glided down the catwalk, sparkling under the overhead lights, leaving a lasting impression on everyone. The collection was a great success, and we all really look forward to seeing what Michael Van Der Ham produces in the future.
PAM HOGG AW 12
Having seen the previous work of Pam Hogg I can’t tell you the excitement that I, and everyone around me, was feeling. Sunday evening, and whilst many fashionistas are heading home from the busy weekend, a huge crowd had formed outside Freemasons Hall. The venue turned out to be so packed that standing tickets were turned away, and extra chairs has to be brought in!
The collection was, as you can imagine, phenomenal. Nothing disappointed the crowd, even after a 45 minute late start. Models were sent down the catwalk with painted faces mimicking dolls, and wore 1850’s style American Western bonnets. The show started strongly with skin tight catsuits in red and black, followed quickly by some futuristic metallics. Full circle skirts mixed up some shapes, whilst dresses with fur trimmings added a great contrast of fabrics.
As the show continued, the clothes started to fall back into Pam Hogg’s signature style, one which left many front row jaws on the floor. Catsuits became a little more risque, with only a thin piece of metallic silver covering one of the models private parts. There was even an outfit made entirely of ribbon, which, I tell you now, didn’t cover a lot.
After a show filled with near nakedness, it’s not hard to guess that Pam Hogg is never afraid of a little risk. She continued to stun us all for her last 2 outfits which had the crowd applauding even before the end of the show. A full sequin gown - complete with a sequin encrusted bonnet - glided down the catwalk and left us all in utter awe.
The surprises kept rolling all night, including Jaime Winstone as a guest model (who skipped and twirled her way down the runway, even in 6 inch wedges). Pam Hogg came to give her thanks to the crowd, to which she was met with a well deserved standing ovation.
HOLLY FULTON AW12
It was one of the most anticipated shows of the day. Streams of people queued in the courtyard, trying and get themselves a seat for a glimpse of the Holly Fulton show.
Known for her exquisite jewellery, Fulton has secured herself a legion of fans ever since launching her range in 2009. After quite a kerfuffle of trying to get into the show space, we took our seats, the lights were dimmed and an explosion of colour was unleashed.
Bright pinks and blues strode out onto the catwalk, teamed with geometric patterns and interesting cuts. Classic layering worked in harmony with multi-toned black and blue shades, whilst the accessories added and eye catching aesthetic.
Each outfit was styled with Fulton’s signature bold jewellery, and the occasional simple clutch bag. The favourite accessory of the show was undoubtably the black furry tote bag, which complimented the sophistication of the garment.
There was a hint of Versace with the bold pinks and blacks, but Fulton made it her own by mixing her signature modern materials with intense graphic prints. Excelling in quality and style, the only let down during the show was the restriction on colour, as we would’ve loved to have seen some experimentation with oranges and reds.
The show was a psychedelic dream, taking us on an adventure through the workings of Fulton. There wasn’t a dull moment, and we can only hope to see more of this eclectic work in the next season.
FELDER FELDER AW12
Felder Felder is one of those names that you know means business. Not only did they have a crowd queueing round the corner, but the show space was, once again, jam packed. Having snuck my way into the Somerset House room without a ticket, I settled myself on a spare seat on the second row - a big sorry to whoever it was from Dazed & Confused magazine that ended up seat-less.
Twin sisters Annette and Daniela, the dynamic duo between Felder Felder, have been a huge crowd pleaser ever since their launch in 2007, and have secured some famous fans such as Alexandra Burke and Brix Smith along the way. But it’s not hard to see why, as this collection was filled with colour, prints, and beautifully structured garments, that left the crowd oo-ing and arr-ing.
Autumny colours were used on sheer dresses, skirts and leggings, which were matched perfectly with nude knitwear, including a few lighter coloured jumpers. Some real, earthy tones were used when creating the colour scheme for this collection, which worked in perfect harmony with the shape of the jumpsuits and dresses. Metallics were also present in flippy skirts and wedged heels, whilst colours that brought a real ethnic feel to the collection were seen in some beautiful full length gowns.
Felder Felder are known for their outstanding ready to wear collections, and this seemed to be no exception as the crowd powerfully applauded the sisters. The collection was daring, elegant and kept to the German sister’s house style.
BORA AKSU AW12
With fashion week well underway, Bora Aksu had a lot to live up to after their triumph back in September with a stunning Spring/Summer collection. By 1pm, the fashionistas and their many assistants were piling into Somerset House’s catwalk space, follow closely by a gaggle of press and reporters. Running fashionably late, Bora Aksu started the show with a beautiful knitted two piece, complete with a bow tie and ruched detail. Then followed a display filled with soft hues and intricate lace subtleties, which complimented the form fitting knitted dresses beautifully.
It wouldn’t be a Bora Aksu show without the mention of their signature monochrome tights. Each season, Bora Aksu bring a new and unique style to their leg wear. Flowers and polka dots were printed in white to contrast against the dark tights this season, and were met with chunky lace up boots to complete the look.
Not only were we treated to some interesting shapes by Bora Aksu - pleated tulip skirts and enhanced shoulders to name a few - we were pleasantly surprised to see the use of orange and fuchsia tints in a couple of their bolder pieces. We also love the subtle detailing that hinted to the Regency period, with one short tailored jacket and collar wrapped in a cravat tied.
Bora Aksu impressed and inspired us with their latest collection, right through to the very end. Experimenting with colour, they were able to create a show that won over the hearts of the crowd yet again for another season.