Saturday, 18 February 2012

Highlights: London Fashion Week Day 1

Corrie Nielsen

There's nothing quite like a bit of costume drama to help kick off London Fashion Week, and Corrie Nielsen didn't disappoint with a collection that continued her tradition of breathtaking, near architectural constructions.
'Vestiarium Scoticum' paid homage to her Scottish ancestry, namely her Great, Great Great Grandfather, John. S Burns, and was a highland fling through bold tartans and rich colours inspired by Scottish clans and medieval English and Scottish forms of dress and lifestyle. Triangular sleeves, one-shouldered dresses, high-neck conical neckerchief blouses with a lace overlay, twist-cut trousers, box-front jackets and exaggerated-at-the-hip trousers stood out among the detailing - as did accessorising in the form of draped scarves, beautiful feathered headpieces-come-fascinators, face veils and leather-beaded clutch bags in Royal Stewart tartan, MacLellan tartan and Burns Check - all designed exclusively for the show by Sophia Beckford. 

As haunting bagpipes played, voluminous-skirted dresses and tailored suits with a hint of androgyny reinterpreted the nostalgia, but with a modern edge. Footwear brand United Nude provided their usual mix of urban and unique footwear, as they did for Nielsen's SS12 'Arbiter Elegantiarum' collection.

Having met with the designer last year, I know she'll wag her finger crossly at me for what I'm about to type, but I can't help but draw comparisons in this AW12 show to Dame Viv's aesthetic, particularly the corsetry and tartan love affair. Not to mention elements of the late Alexander McQueen, who also referenced his own Scottish heritage in his collections, such as Highland Rape in 1995 - although unlike McQueen, Nielsen's models weren't sent out in dishevelled, torn and battered-looking clothing. Instead her designs beautifully romanticised history with an almost operatic-style, such as the floor-sweeping cape in deep purple Duchess satin as the finale piece, echoing the spectacle and extravagance of McQueen's 2008 Ready-to-wear collection.
I'll stop with the visual comparisons now though, because more than anything else Nielsen's collections masterfully manage a balance of skill and innovation - and as I watched the models parading along the catwalk yesterday, my mind was transported off to the G
reat Glens, as an eerie rolling mist clears to reveal a magnificent stag standing proudly on a hilltop.

Images © Kate Lawson 


German siblings, Annette and Daniela Felder provided a show entitled "Blonde", which heralded "a major progression" in the Felder style scape, referencing Kate Moss "in the Johnny Depp age". Think grunge meets old-school Ibiza, such as an A-line gold leather skirt teamed with a loose cropped knit, shearling waterfall edged leather jackets, maxi-length dresses with thigh-high splits and cut-outs in colourful abstract prints which referenced bold sunsets and a Mark Fast-esque loose crochet-knit dress in blood orange - all highly wearable. This collection also offered more of a variety of day and evening wear to mix and match, making it a pretty, edgy and colourful capsule range for those dark Winter nights. 

Images © Telegraph


Never mind the sleb-studded frow which included Pixie Lott, stylist and presenter Grace Woodward, Bip Ling, Jamelia Jameel, TOWIE and Jo Wood among others - the AW12 collection was inspired by 'The Apocalyptic Romance of Winter', with stand-out pieces including floaty chiffon dresses, button down blouses with wrap detailing, wet look bloomers, fit-and-flare tweed coats, embellished hoods, velvet dresses, shiny latex frocks (for the fetishist in you) and tights with bejewelled knees by Bebaroque, designed exclusively for PPQ. Oh, and there was a bit of 'on yer bike love' thanks to PPQ's collaboration with RULE bikes to create a limited-edition range of 'PPQ RULE Supreme Style Bikes'. 100 of the stylish wheels will be available to purchase (at £1500+) via from late March 2012. See show vid below....

Images © Kate Lawson


The 'Hedonism' Exhibition

Milliner Stephen Jones


Hat-shade, no lightbulb needed!

The legend that is fashion designer Zandra Rhodes


Fur riding hat with visor...giddy up!

Pom Poms RAH!



Jamelia Jameel who told me she was wearing "Wings" and then said, "Oh, I shouldn't say that, I sound like an advert for sanitary towels!" 

"London's Most Outrageous Dresser" - Daniel Lismore


I'm wearing Jewellery by Alice Menter this Fashion Week, thank you PushPR!

Oscar Alexander (designer), Sara Darling (stylist) and Francesco Facchini (Fashion Consultant) at the Glam Media & Rimmel soiree

Moi in a faux fur trapper hat (don't ask me why?!) and Stylist Sara Darling - post Champagne 

Disco Lift at One Aldwych = posing opportunity. There's a post champagne theme running here don'cha think?!


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