Archive for the ‘London’ Category

LFW Fall 2011: Pam Hogg

In British, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, London on February 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm

via Getty

Must take note: Hmm, this is a hard one. Pam Hogg’s skin tight catsuits are, essentially, as punk as they come. This whole, thing of the `80s and ‘naughties’ (`90s) hasn’t changed with the exception of, well, nothing! But I admire Hogg, because she’s the epitome of ‘London cool’ and at this point, she has surpassed a ‘type’. She (along with Vivienne Westwood) are not subject to time. They’re international brands with a religious cult following. And women of all ages love what they do. Hogg is a bit more underground than Westwood, which is why she hasn’t strayed too far from the grittier side of fashion. And I like it. I’ve seen many young brands try, some of them may succeed, but longevity is few and far between. If you can be that kind of designer and enjoy a fruitful career, consider yourself Hogg-ed!

Affordable Preen

In British, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, London on February 18, 2011 at 6:31 pm


Design duo Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen had a stellar collection at New York Fashion Week. And GOD, the life of an in-demand designer! The next day, they jetted off to London for a presentation at London Fashion Week. With all the titillating looks, it is a shame that I can’t just fork over a blank cheque to feed my Preen deprived soul.

What would I do to own a piece of Preen! Well, I could buy the line at bank-braking prices at my local luxury store, or, as it turns out, I could turn to UK retailer Debenhams, as they’ve recently collaborated with the chain for a limited release ‘edition’ of (extremely) affordable pieces. If I had to choose, I think I’dtake the latter.

Preen at New York Fashion Week a/w 2011

The drop with Debenhams is closer to the edgy aesthetic most of us are used to, but they are all wish-list items nonetheless. I won’t be surprised if they sell out before month end.

Preen/Edition black tassel leather jacket

Preen/Edition Natural zip detail mac coat

Preen/Edition bright blue mesh insert vest

Shout out to FataleFashion for providing the video

Icon: Gareth Pugh

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London on January 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Gareth Pugh once said he bought the whole i-D archive for 2 pence an issue. That’s impressive. And it is this iconic magazine that has set the foundation for Mr. Pugh as the renowned fashion designer he is this very moment.

To understand fashion, is to know that there’s nothing surprising about Mr. Pugh’s success. I first came about this man back in 2007, while watching an episode of Fashion Television. Pugh would go on to shape my view of fashion – despite that I’ve been into fashion since the womb. But by taking to his work, I came to embrace a deeper side to what was the unknown.

Pugh is one of a very few fashion designers to amalgamate Goth and Punk culture. His line is exquisitely dramatic. Then, at the whims of his talent, he turned his name into a sellable brand.

Recently, Mr. Pugh was at the lavish menswear fair Pitti Uomo in Milan for his Italian debut. But oh, it was not a traditional runway. It was, as Ms. Menkes puts it, a “magical film, cast like a fashion fresco on the ceiling of a historic building and generating a rare fashion emotion.” However, let us acknowledge that his fashion film career has been groomed by the likes of Nick Knight, founder of the ever-innovative fashion site SHOWstudio.

In retrospect, Mr. Pugh has, naturally, come a long way. From the rusty, patchy work of his debut London collection to that of his glitzy New York ones, when it comes to a “pack” of designers, Pugh is but in a league of his own.

But what I appreciate about this new school of designers, is that they seem to have de-sexualize fashion.

And though you may question what there is to appreciate about that, well, the new school seem to be able to incorporate the naked form – push it to the limit – without it being explicitly suggestive. To them, fashion is art.

And now, the art is the clothes the consumer can buy, and not question the level of vulgarity.

Matter of fact, androgyny – in high fashion – is key. At least compared to the ultra-feminine florals of fast fashion chains.

And so it goes.

I do however, notice that he’s going through a transformation. And that’s okay – change is good. But I’m curious to see how sellable his brand becomes.

Icons: Meadham Kirchhoff

In British, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London, womenswear on January 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

It was 2008. I was living in London and my life was about to begin. As an intern for British Vogue, the main job revolved around working Ms. Pippa Holt‘s clothing rack, the fashion features associate at the time. As I unpacked endless boxes, my heart stopped. I unfolded the tissue around one box in particular, I came across the sexiest pair of jeans I’d ever seen. They were black, velvety soft, with immaculate detail; every rip strategically done. I peeped the inside of the tag: Meadham Kirchhoff. It was clear, despite their regular “more dash than cash pages” that said item was targeted to those with 500 pounds to spare.

Throughout the day, I couldn’t stop from stealing peeks at the jeans. And from that day onward, I never forgot the power the brand had over me. I stocked runway images of, and I googled – incessantly – for anything I could find on it’s designers Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff.

Meadham Kirchhoff has been receiving it’s well deserved accolades, but the brand – in my eyes – is still remarkably underrated. And it is possible that it’s because the designs are conceptual (but isn’t Costume National?), but I suppose it also has to do with the designers not jumping ship to more commercial friendly fashion capitals.

Sometimes, it seems as though Meadham Kirchhoff is into bondage. I, have professed to be a fan of the culture – from a distance. why is is that sometimes I look at the clothes and I think of mild references to “Pinhead”?

But it was the duo’s Fall 2009 collection (if you do the math) that gripped me. The blouses were cobwebs on the contours of my mind. The pants resembled open flesh wounds decorated in stardust.

If I wanted the more playful side of punk culture, I can count on Meadham Kirchhoff to educate me. And it works! The duo’s creative genius translated into a well received collection for Topshop.

I’ve never been able to own pieces from the collaboration, but this release was one of the bigger revolutions in fast-fashion.

The Spring 2011 collection was disturbing – something of a fashion circus. It exploded with reds and yellows, and pushed the borders of taste. It was mesmerizing.

It is no wonder the British Fashion Council recently announced that Ed and Benjamin were winners (along with Peter Pilotto and Canadian expat Todd Lynn) of the Fashion Forward Award for the next two fashion seasons of London Fashion Week.

I am watching these guys like a hawk. Their trajectory is steady – let’s hope they kill it for 2011.

Designer Spotlight: Ara Jo

In British, designer, Entertainer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, In the Know, London, One to Watch, Trend on August 12, 2010 at 2:55 pm

After musing over some ridiculously talented designers, it’s time to extend the platform. You see, of course a designer’s clothes are their main cred, but it’s the OZ – the creative genius with the fuel to tackle this business – that shapes the industry. So, come on now, let’s hear it for the future of fashion.

As much as I am a fan of fresh paint splattered (neatly) within Vogue’s coveted pages, I’m also a fan of the artist who smashes a window. Or, in Ara Jo’s case, adamantly gets her shit on Lady Gaga.

Ms. Jo, a 24-year-old Londoner and Central Saint Martins alumna, has a way with forging her own opportunities. Like I said, Gaga — for one. Then there’s the audacity of turning the surrealist, un-wearable side of fashion into an enticing ensemble of glam-rock pieces. Ms. Jo has evolved since her graduate collection which showcased an infectious cobweb of nude hues and sequenced sculptures. Though it’s clear that a woman’s anatomy is still Ms. Jo’s thing, the concept has taken on a more tangible form: a Gothic collection of body-con attire.

Ms. Jo works abundantly. In conjunction with new releases each season, she’s joining forces with some other new talent by way of music, and the cerebral. And no, not more mind-bending clothes, but she’s “collaborating with a Jewellery Designer – publishing a fashion book.” When asked if she has her sights on other big name prospects – obviously, she’s on it. “Roses Gabor (Gorillaz vocalist). [Hopefully] a customised outfit for the Red Bull Festival,” she explains. And so the hustle continues…

Safraonfashion: What was it that inspired you to become a Fashion Designer?

Ara Jo: When I was thirteen [I would read a lot of] fashion magazines, [and I noticed] when most people see the nice clothes in them, they’d want to buy them – or try them on. But I wanted to make them! That’s how I started to create clothes. Yep. I wasn’t good at it – considering I was only thirteen – and [I had] never made clothes before. But I was really into creating something that I could wear!

SOF: What do you want people to think of when they see your designs?

AJ: I want to be told that my work is crazy and different. That’s what I always seek, and I express that through my work. And actually, that has always been my biggest goal as a fashion designer: to be noticed as a different.

SOF: What have you learned about the fashion world that you were not taught in school?

AJ: That communication with people [is imperative]. And building contacts with [like-minded] people. But it can’t be taught, so I have learned this all by myself through this tough field. It was tough to study in Central Saint Martins with such competitive creators when I was a student. But I have been through so many things since I’ve graduated (Dealing with people, working with people, collaborating with people). I just have to experience everything that happens in fashion world. The real fashion world.

SOF: In an interview with Dazed Digital, you said you wanted to work with Lady Gaga. How did you go about bringing that idea to life?

AJ: Since my garments were worn by Lady Gaga, a lot of things have changed in my life as a fashion designer – of course. More people have curious about me, my work. So I am still keeping trying to create something cool, by designing for celebrities not just Lady Gaga. I don’t want to limit myself, now. There are so many creative people whom I want to collaborate with, and who want to collaborate with me. There are a lot of upcoming projects happening: collaborating with Buttafly – a new British singer – Junior Brat and more!

SOF: Based on a theme, which four songs would be at the top of your runway show playlist?

AJ: Oops, I always listen to hip hop and R&B, but I don’t have particular favourites in mind – it always changes. So I would say it all depends on what kind of theme I have. I will [either] select or literally make some unique tunes for the show.

Ara Jo’s Price tag: High End (from £100.00 as a little piece ~).
Where to by : Not Just a Label.

You can also contact Ara Jo here.

Get the Look: Elly Jackson

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, London, style, UK on May 3, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Elly Jackson (La Roux)’s style is certainly having an impact on the world. Who would’ve thought that this tender 21-year-old ginger, who once sported a folkly look with waist-length hair would become this super-pop, super-hot icon we’re seeing today.

Jackson’s got the right amount of  goth, nu-rave and rock’n’rolla to make the sexes swoon and still avoid looking like a jumble of crap! Says a lot. Congrats to her styling team for brilliantly putting her together. Sure enough, Jackson’s got a grasp on her fashion (London’s a melting pot, it’ll have an effect on anyone for god’s sake), but her teams glaming it up with futuristic explosion! What’s particularly fab is that cameo necklace she’s constantly wearing. The British emblem’s been juxtaposed with colourful leggings, a Piet Mondrian print jacket, Mars(ed)-out eyeshadow and her signature coif! I guess she’s letting people know that even though she’s upgraded, she’s still Elly from the block.

If you’re taking on the look, this confidence, confidence and a whole lot more of that confidence thingy is crucial. Sprinkle some Ziggy Stardust in your coffee and just get on with it. Cameo necklaces are worn in the most boring or conventional (gothic) ways. Do like Jackson and put a new spin on Victoriana!

Sass and Bide Heart In A Cage jacket $465. Available at Net-A-Porter.

Jonathan Saunders Totem print T-shirt (get XXL) $285. Available at N-A-P.

Moschino Leggings Shocking 349 Euros. Available at Jades24.

Proenza Schouler Black Suede Wedge, $774. Available at Mrs. H.

Cameo Locklet Necklace 14 (GBP). Available at Love Hearts and Crosses.

ASOS Statement cameo stretch bracelet, $20.29. Available at ASOS.

One to Watch: Jean-Pierre Braganza

In British, Canadian, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, London, One to Watch, Rouse, RTW, Trend, Trend Report on April 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Jean-Pierre Braganza is not a newbie. He’s been designing since 2002, but I’m hoping to see a burst of mainstream recognition going foward. This British-Canadian Central Saint Martins graduate worked as a designer for Roland Mouret before being selected by Karl Lagerfeld for the Protégé Project, then debuted his eponymous collection in 2004. He creates both men’s and womenswear, and there’s a slew of celebrity fans including Kings of Leon, Estelle and Cheryl Cole.

Jean-Pierre shines when he nourishes his talent for psychadelic prints. I do however, feel he should leave the modernism to Jil Sander and concentrate on his gift for knits and draping. Maybe he’s still trying to find his comfort zone. But if he cultivates what he’s best at, he’s bound to flourish.

Musing: Veruschka

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London, model, Rouse on March 22, 2010 at 3:46 am

Art. Veruschka. This supermodel of the `60s is most remembered as the girl who transformed into a human canvass. She had a short but memorable fashion career. She was long, and blonde, and she saved Vogue. How many covers did she do… 10, maybe 12? She and Mrs. Vreeland pushed both magazine, and modeling industry during a time when beehives and pearls were still on the fashion plate.

 Men and women crooned over Paulina Porizkova’s body. Cindy Crawford’s titillations became a world-wide brand, but if it weren’t for Veruschka, I doubt sexuality could have  merged with high-fashion like this. In Michael Gross’ book Model, she said she forged her career when nobody wanted to work with her. She wore all black to go-sees,  and facilitated the creativity of her photo shoots. What I remember most, was that she was wrapped in miles and miles of Dynel. She swam in it. The blonde synthetic hair  became her signature. It doesn’t take rocket science, she worked with the top of fashion lot. Richard Avedon, Peter Beard. At the very top she earned 10,000 a day and appeared in the Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up. But I couldn’t help but feel that even though she was the most memorable model of her time, she was also the most underrated. 

When her flame started to fade, she camouflaged into stones. She camoflaged into swaps. She camouflaged into everything. She became art, and art became her.  Shes allowed herself to age. She has wrinkles, but she’s still graceful. That never really goes away.

LFW 2010: Meadham Kirchhoff

In Collection, designer, dress, London, RTW, UK on March 1, 2010 at 2:25 am

I’ve been inexcusably absent from my blog. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason, not like I’ve been on vacation or anything. Could be a bout of searching… for inspiration. But I knew I had to get back on this so here I am.

I was in Toronto during London’s inspiring fashion week mash-up, but unless it pertained to my favorites, quite frankly, it didn’t really matter. But there was something missing this year, I’m not sure what designers are going through, but the animation they wove into their previous collections are missing.

I was shocked with the design-duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff. It’s not that the collection was bad, but it reminded me of Matthew Williamson‘s worldly concepts. It’s not a bad thing, not at all. They’ve still got the gothic edge, but this time it’s incorporated with florals and I just don’t feel this was their best. Then again, maybe that’s okay because we all have bad days.

The thing with this collection is it’s a fall back. When Erdem, and Matthew Williamson does florals and feminine drapes there’s an undeniable fierceness to it. And it’s disappointing because I know Meadham Kirchoff can do so much better.

I hope my guys bring it back next time around, though. You know what I mean.

Death of a Fashion King

In Collection, death, designer, Fashion, I heart, Icon, Legend, London, News, UK on February 12, 2010 at 1:16 am

Alexander McQueen‘s death today is not only a shock, it’s a cruel reality of how fickle life can be. A young boy with a dream, Lee Alexander McQueen dropped out of school at 16 and took an apprentice position at Savile Row‘s Anderson & Sheppard. GOD recognized this man’s gift; he went on to work for Gieves & Hawkes then worked in Japan and Italy. Very much an inspiration of the `90s, he went attended Central Saint Martins and set up his label in East London – the place all cool people go.

McQueen’s built a relationship with some of the most prolific people in fashion, Isabella Blow being one of them. But his talent spoke for itself. He was the epiphany of innovation; his collections were breathless. Even if you didn’t know fashion, you were easily taken away by cinematic creations. What’s most important was that he stayed true to Britain; he was utterly fierce houndstooth and scots plaid, no designer, no matter the tenure could match his devotion to British tradition.

For his Spring/summer 2010 collection, he spearheaded a trend: he streamed his entire show online. The collection was his most dramatic yet, with those infamous hoofs immediately worn by the likes of Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga.

His stores are now being closed, he’s irreplaceable. He was able to touch people through his craft, and in such a saturated, ephemeral industry, this is very, very difficult to do.

He will truly be missed. RIP, Alexander McQueen.