Monday, 23 August 2010

Avoiding the rain in style - Christopher Raeburn

Having just spent four days in Copenhagen I have returned to England inspired.  Inspired to have cheek bone implants.  Inspired to have my legs stretched.  Inspired to ride my bike in the pouring rain while maintaining an air of stylish confidence.

On my first afternoon in the city there was an almighty down pour. As I scurried along with my shoulders hunched over, spluttering as I fought with my umbrella, the cycle path along side me was busy with Copenhageners pedalling – through the torrential rain - with an effortless sartorial style. Meanwhile, as my double denim outfit became rain-soaked, heavy and crumpled, I cursed myself for not being a practical packer.

Of course the perfect thing to have taken would have been one of Christopher Raeburn's Parachute Parkas. 

Christopher Raeburn - Autumn Winter 2010
Cropped Parachute Parka - with parachute scrunch bag.

Christopher Raeburn - AW10 Collection
Pop-Out Parka

I’ve always admired Christopher Raeburn’s work.  His innovative use of sustainable fabrics, his attention to detail and superb cut ensure his collections offer premium quality – as well as functionality and a sense of fun. 

Raeburn has received New Generation sponsorship to show his SS11 collection during London Fashion Week.  His inspirations for next season are dazzle camouflage, adaptability and the great outdoors.  I can’t wait.

Maison Martin Margiela at Somerset House

Image by Re-Design for Life.

Finally I made it to Somerset House to see the Maison Martin Margiela exhibition.  I followed the  iconic Tabi footprints, which led me into a bright white space. Here, I found a Maison Martin Margiela group portrait, cut from white Styrofoam  Margiela wanting to maintain his anonymity is not included in the portrait. A white board explained the familar numbers that became the respected (non) label for Margiela's collections.

In the following space a huge screen presented the Maison's 20th anniversary show. Two decades of influential fashion concepts and key pieces were re-visited before me on film.  I was captivated.  Tearing myself away, I walked up to a canvas trompe l"oeil printed curtain, which gave the illusion of a large empty room.  Once through the curtain, I entered a white-washed room showing concepts and garments from 20 year's of Margiela collections.

One of which was the 1996 Spring-Summer Trompe L'Oeil collection in which simple garment shapes were cut in soft, fluid fabrics.  Each piece is then printed with a photograph of another completely different garment.  A cardigan, for example, is printed with a safari jacket.  A dress with a photographic print of the inside of a 1960's cocktail dress.  A 'chesterfield' sofa effect is printed onto a leather jacket.  The colour palette - reminiscent of old photographs -  is kept to black, white, sepia and brown tints.

Other concepts included a dress with it's hemline lifted and stitched to one shoulder revealing a slip dress made from vintage lace slips.  A satin halter dress with it's skirt made from two different skirts, one stitched onto the other.  A second-hand man's suit jacket, painted over with silver paint.  Blouses and jackets with their sleeves repositioned to the front.  A sleeveless woollen top with visible, frayed lining at the neck, armholes and seams.  A dress made from lining fabric with visible darts on the outside.  A jacket made from a man's jacket sleeves.  Another jacket made with the sleeves switched and sewn back to front, so that the jacket can be worn with the fastening at the back.  A patchwork vest made from stitched interfacings.  A halter neck top made from second hand gloves...

Oh!  How I have been inspired by Maison Martin Margiela over the years.  The master of de-construction - reinterpreting how a garment should be worn by taking it apart and recreating every piece with skillfully crafted precision.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Dark, sensual and sustainable - Minna AW10

Minna AW10 Collection
Image by permission of Minna Hepburn

Inspired by the classic 1950's film noir period, designer Minna Hepburn has moved away from her usual soft colours and vintage cream lace to create a sophisticated collection in a palette of black and hand-dyed shades of grey. The collection still maintains Minna's signature quirky details and plenty of lace, only much darker.

Minna has used luxurious fabrics such as Scottish lace, Hemp/silk, organic wool, vintage textiles and leather off-cuts to create sensual dresses with an urban edge. Hand embellishment adds exquisite and unexpected detailing to the collection.

With this new design direction, Minna is one of my favourite 'Eco' fashion collections for AW10.

Minna AW10 Collection
Image by permission of Minna Hepburn

Minna AW10 Collection
Image by permission of Minna Hepburn

Minna AW10 Collection
Image by permission of Minna Hepburn