Giles SS12
While Giles Deacon whimsically tagged his latest collection as “showgirls, superstars, society ladies and a silver swan“, I have seriously never seen silver like the silver I saw at Giles for Spring/Summer 2012.

Inspired by photographer Cecil Beaton (and the images of his sister Baba, in particular), Giles presented a collection that was stuffed to it’s flawless brim with striking and super-shimmering pieces; standout pieces include swan prints mixed with light-reflective design, feather-trimmed wedding dresses, and a bevy of silver laser-cut leather that I am now convinced every woman needs. Not to say it was all metallics, as one of my favourite pieces was an opulent red, tiered column gown. On top of that, the casting was incredible. This season, Giles Deacon managed to combine the theatrical with the wearable in such a way that young designers will be referencing this collection for years to come. View Post

Nicole Farhi SS12
I absolutely adore Nicole Farhi and was more than excited to be invited backstage before and after her Spring/Summer 2012 collection was presented to the Fashion World. That excitement was positively set on fire when Anna Wintour decided Farhi’s show would be her first of London Fashion Week.

To do the collection justice, I have collaborated with my favourite photographer and friend, Eva K Salvi, to bring you some stunning photos and a diary-based review:

12pm – I get to the Horticultural Society, running, thank god I brought my pair of All Saints Boots with me and not my Kurt Geiger heels like I did the previous day. The sun is peaking through the clouds. I finally get into the venue which is already packed with photographers and videographers, everyone is setting up and running around. Nicole Farhi is chatting to people, posing for a few photos, she seems incredibly calm and relaxed. The venetian blinds close and the models start coming out on the catwalk for the run-through, it is strangely surreal to watch them walking with their hair and makeup half done.
Nicole Farhi SS12
12.30pm – Go through to backstage area after being checked on ‘The List‘. I get in and am hit with the realisation of how intense everything is “behind the scenes“. Everyone is running around, the models are getting their makeup and hair touched up. From time to time, one model will just stop and pose for photographers – there’s about 10 backstage – with assistants and reflectors etc. Everyone is super prepared.
Nicole Farhi SS12
1pm – Last call for models to go to the bathroom before the show, last touch ups, then everyone has to get runway-ready. The models start changing and I go out to the main room; rumour is Anna Wintour is there and I spot her sitting in the front row. I quickly run over and snap a few pictures before the show starts. All of the photographers have taken place in the pit and are currently “fighting” over the best spots to snap pictures of the show. I decide to run to the other side of the catwalk that seems much emptier and take place. The show starts.

1.15pm – I see half the show through my lens and try to snap pictures of almost all the outfits, the music is loud and the models are rocking the show. The show is a resplendent rainbow of pastels. I’m loving it and glance at Anna Wintour – wondering whether she’s enjoying herself or not – but the Miranda Priestly-esque stillness shows no sign of opinion (or maybe that means she loves it?).
Nicole Farhi SS12
As for the clothes, everything was texturally divine. In a sea of beautifully feminine colours, Farhi presented an oversized, sequin-covered mesh tank top and a micro mesh ensemble with gorgeous florals that almost seemed three-dimensional when layered over the coloured base fabric. Interestingly, more and more saccharine 3-D embellishments were brought to life via plastic blossom appliques, sculptural petal shapes, and laser-cut leather flowers. It was like a pointillist painting by Georges Seurat – a garden brought to life.

Heaven.
Nicole Farhi SS12
When the show is over, everyone stands up, massive round of applause for Nicole Farhi who comes out for a few seconds to salute everyone, she seems sweetly satisfied, the show went extremely well to say the least.
Nicole Farhi SS12
1.45pm – I go back backstage, the magic is gone, everyone is packing up, grabbing that last cup of coffee/bottle of Vitamin Water and are already on their journey to the next show. I recognise a few familiar faces, people I’ve worked with before, everyone seems relieved, everything went well and everyone loved the show.

2pm – I’m out and on my way to Somerset House, knackered already, those 2 hours drained me of all my energy! The sun has come out to give us our last few hours of summer, perfect ending to an extraordinary show.

See more photos below! Enlarge them all! View Post

Tom Ford SS12
Just as it was last season, Tom Ford‘s presentation for Spring/Summer 2012 was top secret. We’re talking camera-less, tweet-less top secret.

Nonetheless, someone – Candice Swanepoel, allegedly – figured out a way to snap the collection and now the image above is likely to be the closest we get to the collection until 2012. That, and the reviews of a few high-profile attendees:

Hamish Bowles, Vogue: Amongst the hourglass silhouettes and powerfully sensual effects beloved of Ford fans since his work at Gucci in the nineties, there was a thread of Pre-Raphaelite romanticism in embroidered peasant blouses (of the type Matisse loved to paint), and even frothy, Renaissance-sleeved dresses that evoked the work of the great sixties and seventies London designer Ossie Clark.

Cathy Horyn, New York Times: Mr. Ford’s show was thoroughly Tom Ford in its sex appeal and silhouette — tigress hair, smoky eyes, glossy lips, taut skirts and strappy high heels. The collection was loaded up with great day clothes, including loosely laced Moroccan blouses, fringed skirts and some simple but gorgeous dresses with ruching or a belt at the waist and a bubbled hem. A number of outfits also had corsets blended into the tone of the blouse. Equally strong were his evening option of slinky black pants—more like a ski pant—with a simple chiffon T-shirt coated with feathers at the front.

Lisa Armstrong, Daily Telegraph: Mesh, marabou, raffia fringing, a candlewick effect which suggested long hours at the hand embroiderers, plaited satin ribbons – these were just some of the techniques applied onto those hourglass silhouettes. Throw in bosoms, cupped in cantilevered chiffon, checks and some snakeskin skirts and it could have all looked a bit much.

Jess Cartner-Morley, The Guardian: I’m going to come straight out with it. Deep breath: I didn’t think Tom Ford’s show was all that. Not that it was awful, by any means, but despite the beautiful tailoring and the immaculate execution it fell a little flat. It felt too self-referential. Too many frills and too few new ideas. There were gorgeous, curvy, super vamp dresses that I loved, but the flouncy peasant blouses and corset belts seemed like a Guilty Pleasures version of Tom Ford.

Burberry Prorsum SS12
Award for the most tech-savvy show of Spring/Summer 2012? Unless someone in Milan or Paris pulls out a teleporation device, it’s going to have to be Burberry. Not only were my favourite Fashion Week travellers in attendance (Kanye West, Sienna Miller, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Anna Wintour, Olivier Theyskens, Rachel Zoe, and Mario Testino), but the rest of the internet seemed to be in attendance too. There was a Tweetwalk, live stream, and instant online shopability for the collection (though the pre-orders won’t be mailed for six months). An excellently digital production.

And then there were the clothes. In reflect, it looks like designer Christopher Bailey was heavily influenced by London’s non-existent summers, as it was the darkest colour palette of the entire week and had a gorgeous abundance of plum and teal trenchcoats that were styled with incredibly detailed, wide belts. Patterns were large, rustic, and that tribal trend definitely found it’s way in.

The key anchor to this collection? Time. Time spent on constructing basket-woven sleeves, raffia hoods and beaded collars. Time spent on perfecting the ideals around pattern-complimentary wedges and oversized handbags. Time that equals justified pricepoint. View Post

Julien Macdonald SS12
Julien Macdonald really wowed me this season. His Spring/Summer 2012 collection started off with the most chic-looking, (seemingly) ASBO-having woman I’ve ever seen; pure buttery leather meets military precision.

Quickly, the go-to sex appeal of Macdonald’s designs were walking out in all of their glory; body-exposing graphic prints made from bright plastic thread, enough backless garments to completely swoop the back tattoo-having market (ahem, me), and high octane embroidered gowns with an extravagantly Givenchy (Fall 2010 Couture) feel. My Welsh brutha, you know what you’re doing.

Drawing inspiration from techno-pristine fiberglass, leather, and the chrome of yachts in Monte Carlo, he tapped into his business savvy and mixed in Japanese origami tailoring and Chinese Ming dragon tattoo prints (hello, Asian market). He calls it ‘modernist glamour‘. View Post