Tuesday, 17 September 2013 02:05

Why won't racism go away?

For me fashion week is over after doing two fantastic days of shows at our brand new venue at the Grand Connaught Rooms in the very heart of the fashion week homeland, but sadly the saga of the failure to use models of colour on the catwalks has not gone away despite the fact that this is 2013 and we live in one of the most multi cultural cities in the world.
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I happened to be on the tube train, yes I did take public transport – sadly, no car to drive as I am just visiting and I just did not feel like hiring a car and then having to pay congestion charges and have nowhere to park it – what a city. As I was saying before I rudely interrupted myself, I was on the train and someone left behind a copy of the Evening Standard and as I had a long cold ride on the tube I decided to flick through it and have a read and I came across an interesting article on page 20/21 entitled "Where are all the black models on our catwalks?".

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In brief Iman, Naomi Campbell and Bethann Hardison have teamed up to launch a campaign to combat fashions 'virtual white-out". It is a sad state of affairs when she states there were more models of colour used in the 70's when racism was rift then now in 2013. An in depth research was done across all four of the big fashion weeks (London, Paris, Milan and New York) and only 6% of the total models used were models of colour.

HERE WHAT NAOMI CAMPBELL HAD TO SAY ABOUT IT ON SKY NEWS

The figures above do not surprise me in anyway whatsoever and I could have saved them money by not paying to do the research as you can see that models of colour are not being used anywhere. Similar to when I did the Italia Vogue All Black Issue it was simply about having the necessary facts needed to back up their arguments. I love Iman as she shoots straight from the hip and says it is blatant racism.

The coalition goes on to list the designers and fashion houses they say are "guilty of this racist act" and I can't say you would be surprised at the names listed which include, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Chanel, Armani, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Victoria Beckham ( sorry I have to add an extra comment here but to me from time she allegedly looks like a racist – I apologise to any Victoria Beckham fans that I have offended), Roberto Cavalli and Marc by Marc Jacobs.

The above is a very impressive list, one that I would not want to be a part of. I will come back to all of this later but I want to briefly talk about London Fashion Week. At the moment there are three big main shows, British Fashion Council (on schedule), Fashion Scout (off schedule) and Fashions Finest (off schedule). The first two shows are seen as mainstream and feature mainstream designers and rarely have any black models, Fashion Scout has at least one or two more than British Fashion Council shows, but listen to this our Show Fashions Finest was described as a "black" show (this was said by a white person). Was I surprised by this, yes I was and I was surprised because as far I was concerned I did not see our show in terms of the colour of our designers but simply that we had a good designers. Then again I suppose I am being naïve as the moment you have more than one black designer and two black models at a show then duh it must be a black show. It's irrelevant that we had white designers, Polish and English models at the show and the ratio of black/white models and designers was evenly balanced in the eyes of mainstream our shows are black shows.

Mr Mahogany's Commentary:

I applaud the three super divas (said in the nicest of ways) for their initiation of this campaign and I applaud Iman even more for her stance that she would not spend her money with any designer that refuses to use black models. I just wish that more of us would take that stand and stop putting money into the pockets of those that refuse to use us in their shows or campaigns but are very happy to take our money and grow rich.
I do hope that one day especially our women will wake up to this slap in the face and stop spending money with these designers, the only way to teach them a lesson is to hit them where it hurts them the most - in their wallet.

It is absolutely outstanding that Iman and co have the courage to actually name and shame the designers and as far as I am concerned it's about time too. The beauty of it all is they can't be sued because there is documentary evidence to prove their claim.
Fashions Finest has no regrets for being viewed as we are because we have become and I can say it categorically the biggest and only multicultural show during London Fashion Week.

Even though the black community is not vocal about their outrage at the lack of recognition for people of colour on the fashion catwalks of the world, either by the showing of models or designers at the big shows at least black people particularly Africans have started trying to do something about it. This can been seen by the wave of independent fashion weeks that are springing up around the world particularly the Africa Fashion Week's such as Africa Fashion Week London and Africa Fashion Week New York to name just two of the biggest amongst the 10 or more shows there are around the world. The message is we can do bad all by ourselves.

I don't think things will ever change amongst the designers and the owners of the official big four fashion weeks unless there is a massive public outcry or legislation is introduced and that is never going to happen, simply because unlike Jewish and Asian people black people just accept things, we moan quietly in our homes but don't have the guts and the courage to stand up and fight for what we complain about. I say it all the time and people laugh at me but part of the reason why I don't get any recognition within mainstream despite what I have achieved is because I have and I am prepared to rock the establishment boat, but sadly the likes of myself and Angel Sinclair cannot change the world by ourselves.

It reminds me when I hear black people complain that black people don't win such shows as X Factor, Britains Got Talent etc – very simply put it's because you won't vote either cos you are too damn cheap or just can't be bothered, but you can be bothered to complain (the use of YOU is not aimed at you personally that is reading this blog, it's just a general term I use), however if you do feel you fit the mould then I say no more.

If there is anything I can do to support this campaign you can trust me that I will be screaming from the rooftops and if any of you wish to join me, I have an enormously big roof.

Published in Blog
Friday, 30 August 2013 22:09

Taslima K

Founder/Creative Director- Taslima Khan, a Haute Couture British Fashion Designer based in London.

Entering the world of fashion from secondary school realising her talent and love for fashion leading to a extended BA Honours Degree in Fashion Design with marketing at University Of East London. Whilst working as a professional dancer in hip hop and contemporary, modelling and playing national league basketball. Where most of her inspirations came from.

Started the label after graduating in 2012 focussing on luxurious womenswear. It was the right time for Taslima K to be born. Creating high fashion avant-garde garments, wearable yet fashionable clothing, with attention to detail for professional, individual, ambitious women who like to stand out from the crowd.

Taslima Khan is a creative, ambitious, independent woman herself, which is reflected throughout her designs. She designs, pattern cuts and makes the garments herself. Her vision is to grow Taslima K as an international Haute Couture label.

First Collection- "Girl Gang"

Welcome to Girl Gang a non-existence in which she often resides.

Inspired by the Helmut Newton book "A world without men"

A place where a woman's gentle touch is stronger then it appears to be. This collection presents her life in the world of hip hop, with her female silhouette as an empowerment of life, deeply in love with sports, where men are considered dominant.

The olympic spirit is evident throughout the collection, with the use of sports aesthetics, functional sports fabrics such as neoprene, air-tech, lycra jersey and leather. Colours - red the representation of sex appeal, with the metal tones of chrome- blacks, whites, greys propose the idea of a winner adorned in medals.

Creating an avant-garde look for the luxury street life.
Published in Designers
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 19:27

Cassandra Amoré is a force to be reckoned with

From mosaic bags to shoes, Cassandra Amoré is a force to be reckoned with in the fashion industry.
Published in News
Monday, 12 August 2013 20:52

What is wrong with Black People?...

I know that I just did a blog yesterday about AFWL but as I was going through the AFWL Facebook fan page I came across a comment left by a gentleman and it related to this picture.




The comments he left underneath the picture were as follows (I have left the comments unedited);

"i thought this was african fashion week so where are the africans... take a leaf out of burberry, calvin klein etc So why dont we see more and its only the token one we see yet on ours we give even a bigger proportion. Im well in tuned with the fashion industry and had friends turned down for syupid reasons. Why call it African week then. Hello well if 95% of your models are African then lets see more of them as those u keep on publishing do tally with your response. I am not being misled by the colour of the skin and fully aware there are whites not only in South Africa but also in the eastern part of Africa. I am not alone who noticed this but friends of mine also but have decided to reserve their comments. In future think about what the African event stands for as if it was European or other parts of the globe this would of been considered and equality would not come into play. Its just an advice not a criticism pls note"

I love it when he says its just advice and not criticism - according to the English Oxford Dictionary Criticism is deifned as "the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes" ok I know I am Nigerian and my English is not very good, but to me it sounds like his comments fall under the definition of criticism but who the hell is he to give us advice; when he is spending the money AFWL spent on the show, or he becomes a sponsor or is one of the 100's of people that worked on the show or better still he actually attended the show, then I would very much welcome his advice but at the moment I take it as criticism.

My View on the above:

Yes I am so going to rant, infact I have already started, as it riles me up big time that after all the effort that was put into AFWL and the money spent, the only thing this man could pick up upon was the fact that in his view we had too many non-African models or AFWL was purposely only putting up pictures of the nonblack models on the website and Facebook page.

Before I go on let me break it down for all of you with some hard core facts about the models used.

We had 38 models in total
  • 3 white models
  • 2 Brazilian (I guest under his definition they are white as well)
  • 1 male Asian model
  • The rest of the models were either black African/Caribbean or models of dual heritage whom under normal standards are considered as black
So out of 38 models we have a total of 6 models that may not be considered black and that means that our show does not represent the name of the show - AFWL?

I am sooooooooooo confused, so he is saying that we must be like the rest of the world and discriminate against a good model because of the colour of her skin. AFWL is about being inclusive and we welcome models, designers and visitors of any colour or nationality and no matter what people say we would continue to promote all types of models and designers. It just amazes me that people can be so short sighted. I believe that if you have nothing good or positive to say then just SHUT YOUR MOUTH, it's not by force that you must say something especially if it is rubbish.

If he thinks that we did not do a good job then he should go spend £100k and do his own show. He stated that his friends felt the same way, well to that one I say birds of a feather flock together. I think his comments are disrespectful to all of the models not just the non-black models and gives the impression that we don't value our black models.

I have been working in this industry for over 35 years and I have fought hard to the detriment of my business and financial benefit (and I also think that is why I have not yet received my MBE), to make sure that black models, designers and black businesses are given a fair chance to succeed and to have someone say that we are favouring white people over our own, seriously pisses me off (I guess you can tell from my blog).

However I may be wrong and maybe when I was selecting the models I did have far more non black models than models of colour and if that is the case I am man enough to take the criticism, so please feel free to leave your comments on the AFWL page with your honest thoughts (this is the link).

I am particularly keen to hear from the models, designers and those that actually attended the show and once I see the feedback – good or bad I will do a part two to this saga.

For now I need to take a cold shower to calm down and for my readers that really let their thoughts go wild please note that is the only reason I am taking a cold shower.
Published in Blog
Sunday, 11 August 2013 20:37

African Fashion Takes over the World...

Disclaimer: this is a totally biased review done by me (Mr Mahogany) and I can assure you that it is going to be 100% biased and will be a great review, so if you feel that you cannot read a totally biased review stop reading now.

I know a lot of you don't like to read nowadays, so I will attempt to keep it short and do it in chapters for you, so that you can take your time and read chapter at a time.

Introduction

I was recently informed by someone that the publicity for Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) was not very good as lots of people had not heard about it, so just in case you are one of them I thought it best to let you know what AFWL is. However if you are of African descent, love fashion and live in the UK and have not heard of AFWL – you need to get out more and get some friends.

I have no intention of writing something from my head about what AFWL is about, so being honest I just went to the website and copied what AFWL is about – "Africa Fashion Week London (AFWL) is the biggest African event of its kind in Africa. A collaborative fashion exhibition, highlighting the industry's established and emerging African designers, AFWL is at the forefront of capturing the surge of the African inspired trends in the fashion industry. Our annual event aims to celebrate the work of African and African inspired designers in the UK and worldwide". In short, it is a fashion week and exhibition that showcases African or African inspired designers/exhibitors – the last bit was written by me – not a bad summation, even if I say so myself.



Now let's get to the juicy bits.

Chapter One - Fittings

I arrived in the UK about a week before the show, "hold on wait a minute" (not sure if you know that phrase in a famous song – you need to say it like that if you know the song – I am not telling you what it is, go figure it out), I am sure you do not think that I just started work on the show a week before the event, trust me I have been working on the event for the past 9 months.

Normally I would be in town much earlier but there is just so much going on in Nigeria that I could not leave any earlier, so I get straight into town and start the fittings. We had two very intensive days of fittings. Let me break it down for you 40 plus models, 20 plus styling team, and over 65 designers to fit in two days that is a lot of work. Now I am not really talking about the actual fittings I am talking about it is a lot of work to deal with sooooooo many women. Thank you Lord for patience, by his grace I got through it - JUST!



Before I go on, to all the men that are reading this and are envious of me that I am around all these women and you have the wrong kind of thoughts going through your one track mind – behave - but more importantly you need to bear two things in mind –

One, for me it's like being a doctor – no big deal (stop calling me a liar) and two, most of you men as bad as you think you are, you know you can't handle two women at the same time, so imagine me having to deal with over 100 different women and every single one of them thinks she is something special (before I get into any trouble, ladies you were all very special – hopefully by saying this I have escaped with my life).

We had a few drama's but we got it done. Before I go onto chapter two I must talk about my fantastic Nigerian designers, i am referring to those that came from Nigeria not Nigerian designers that live in the UK. We are in season 3 of AFWL, so I now know the score, so when I was scheduling the fittings I moved most of the Nigerian designers that were coming from Nigeria all to the same day and I warned the team of what to expect and they did not disappoint me.



Despite them being sent the model board and them picking their models in advance, they arrived on the day and completely changed all of their models, I should ask for money back for my ink and all the wasted paper from printing off their model lists. it does not stop there, I had some designer that were given a fitting slot for Tuesday afternoon and they arrived on Wednesday evening – I am not joking I had a few like that. I had one designer who called me at 10am and said she would be there in the hour and she arrived at 7.30pm – for those of you that know me well – you already know what happened, before I even say it. I said sorry I can't do your fitting you need to come back the following morning at 8am and if you are late I won't fit you and you won't do the show.

Thats right, yes she was on time the next morning. Some of the designers were extremely rude, but I do understand why they were so and that cos they were trained by Alexander McQueen and are making millions of pounds every month. I say no more. As expected the second day of fittings was extremely more stressful. as i say this i must also be fair and say not all the designers took 2 hours to fit when they were only alloted 30 minutes and a number of them were on time, extremely professional and very well prepared.

It would not be fair to only say the designers were divas, as some of the models were no better and I had to ask a few to leave and the number one reason is this - you are booked to do a job and you take it voluntarily, no one held a gun to your head and then you arrive at the fitting and tell me that you want to leave by 3pm (we were to finish by 6pm), so that you can go to another casting – it's a bit like you being at work and telling your boss that instead of leaving work at 6pm you want to leave at 3pm so that you can start your other job early but you still expect your boss to pay you for the 3 hours that you are working somewhere else – I don't think so. The good thing is after sending a couple of models home we were left with the best and the two days of fittings went smoothly.

Chapter Two – Backstage

On the Thursday the day started very early for everyone as we had to be at the Old Truman Brewery (the venue) by 8.30am. The day started with some fittings for the designers that missed their fitting slot earlier in the week, then onto hair and makeup. As for me I was putting the final touches to the set design, sound and lighting working with the technical team and making sure everything was on point. I also did a walk through with the models and ensured they knew their routines and would walk like top models, we also did some filming for Arise TV which went out live. Hair was done by Mizani (L'Oreal – I know some of you would know that name better) and makeup was by Fashion Fair which was led by my main man Mr Gorgeous. So I had a great team behind me.

Throughout the entire 3 days of shows we had numerous film crews doing interviews and it seemed like 100's of photographers were always backstage taking pictures. Backstage this year was great as we had plenty of space so it was far easier to work and Malaika Mwaniki our head stylist was super well organised and ran it like a military camp.



Chapter Three – The Show

Our first show was at 4pm on the Thursday and the last show was at 8.30pm on the Saturday, throughout the 3 days we had 10 different shows and showcased over 60 plus designers. The range of designers was vast and the catwalk was an array of colours and styles ranged from street, to swimwear, to couture and was a mixture of student, new, aspiring and established designers. the youngest designer being 14 year old Tumisola Ladega, designers came from across the world including Switzerland, Zambia, Ghana, USA, Nigeria, the UK and South Africa. South Africa sent over a fantastic delegation of 9 of their best designers and in addition AFWL was privileged to have the phenomenal Thula Sindi showcase and it was nice working with one of Nigeria's hottest designers Zizi Cardow. I try not to mention designers individually but I loved working with Didi Creations, Moofa and Steve Mandy Designs who actually created a hand painted dress live on the catwalk whilst his collection was being showcased.



However in terms of producing a show, for me the one that I had most fun with and the designer that took it to another level in terms of the production of her designs, the thought behind her original music and me putting the finishing touches to her show was Elegante by tiannahstyling. It was one of the best shows I produced throughout AFWL and based on feedback, those that saw the show were blown away.

AFWL received press from across the world and was featured on the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Arise TV, the Flyer Newspaper, Naija Swagger and so many more media outlets, way too many to mention.



I must briefly talk about the music which was produced by AFWL music director Dj Homeboy of Homdiggy Muzik one of the top music production companies in the country, he had people on their feet throughout the whole show and people did not want the after party to end.



Chapter Four – What Else?

There was just so much going on, in terms of the exhibition – I managed to go round the exhibition area on the Saturday and I was amazed at the array of clothes, bags, shoes, food and services that were on display. The exhibition area was lively and vibrant, with music being played by DJ Abass. The women (and men) were dressed to kill and made sure that they would be noticed and they were. I saw men suffering from double vision as they did not know where to look when it came to the women that were at AFWL and those attending with their wives were being slapped around the head for comitting lookery.

This was generally a stress free show (not that any show can really be stress free) but I did not shout much and I think we had it locked down in terms of producing the show.

Chapter Five - The Dorchester

I bet some of you thought that it ended at the Old Turman Brewery on the Saturday, it did not as on the Sunday we had the African Arts & Fashion Exhibition which was a prestigious gala event hosted by AFWL life patron Princess Fifi Ejindu. The stars were out in force with the likes of Alexandra Burke, Bianca Jagger, June Sarpong, Nadia Buari, super model Noella Musunka, Singer Shingai Shoniwa, Misha B and was hosted by Sky TV presenter Lukwesa Burak and a great performance by the CEO Dancers, everyone seems to love them.



The event could not be complete without a fashion show which featured 8 of Africa's hottest designers – Zizi Cardow, Thula Sindi, Adebayo Jones, Sally Itiego, Moofa, Ella & Gabby, Gisella Boutique and Kitiko.

It was a very glamorous affair with a sumptuous three course dinner, I can only say that it looked sumptuous as I didn't get to eat any of it, but it looked good and it definitely made me hungry. I cant believe I did an event at the Dorchester and did not get to eat – Ronke I am upset oh.

Overall AFWL was amongst the best events I have produced in recent times and I must commend Ronke Ademiluyi the founder of AFWL and her team for a fantastic job that they did. More importantly she must be given credit for assisting designers that would not normally be given the chance to showcase at an international standard fashion week and she was able to bring the eyes of the world to the event.

Check out the album below as well as the different pictures and comments on my FACEBOOK PAGE – feel free to leave your comments.

Chapter Six

It's enough now, go and do something else I am tired.
Published in Blog
Friday, 26 July 2013 11:47

Fashion Highlights 2013

MILAN

FashionCamp is an annual event promoting emerging designers, fashion bloggers and new technologies in fashion. This year's edition took place on 7 and 8 June at the historic Steam Factory (La Fabbrica del Vapore) in Milan.

Highlights of the event included handmade glass jewelry by Contessa Rosafosca, unique dresses by a Bolognese artist Antonella Cinelli and circus-inspired artwork by Patrizia Fratus.

The industrial area around Via Procaccini, which has been now refurbished and utilized for a new purpose, makes an interesting destination itself. So don't forget to put it on your Milan itinerary next time!

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Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

Find a stylish hotel in Milan: www.fashionstudiomagazine.com

PARIS

Dior showed a strong Autumn/Winter 2013 collection on the second day of Paris Haute Couture.

Creative director Raf Simons was inspired by 'women from different continents and cultures who wear couture'.

'My aim has been to bring a sense of reality back to haute couture,' explained Simons. 'And this collection is about focusing on the reality of the woman herself, including her culture and personality; how she chooses to wear them.'

AMSTERDAM

19th edition of Amsterdam Fashion Week was dedicated to talent and innovation. Many young Dutch designers and established labels showed their collections to international fashion professionals.

Rebecca Ward presented unconventional shapes and a toned colour pallette, while Winde Rienstra opted for structural elegance and futuristic touch. My favourite designs included white minimalist pieces by Claes Iversen and a fresh and edgy collection by iNDiViDUALS. All in all, this year's edition was a great showcase of a new generation of creative fashion designers.

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Backstage at iNDiViDUALS Photo Peter Stigter

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Rebecca Ward Photo Peter Stigter


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Shoes at Winde Rienstra show Photo Peter Stigter

HONG KONG

On the first day of Hong Kong Fashion Week for Spring/Summer, Hong Kong Trade Development Council invited Catriona MacNab, Chief Creative Officer of WGSN, to host a seminar titled "Fall/Winter 2014/15 Macro Trends, Design Directions and Beyond", giving industry players a glimpse into the upcoming fashion revolution.

Modern Myth will be one of the major trends for Fall/Winter 2014/15. The style uses fashion to convey a future folklore narrative, with creative styling, regal designs and cultural colours stitching it all together. Dark red, indigo blue and gold will form the key palette. For women's wear, jacquards from the 70s will project a tough, masculine look. Patterns could also be combined with bold, folklore-inspired patterns to add a layer of cosmic mythology to the clothing.

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Modern Myth (Photo courtesy of WGSN)

To view Fall/Winter 2013 macro trends, please visit Fashion Studio Magazine www.fashionstudiomagazine.com

BARCELONA

080 Barcelona Fashion took place from 8 - 12 July 2013 at the ultra modern Disseny Hub Barcelona (DHUB) building. The event, which aims to promote Catalan fashion on the international scene, featured over thirty runway shows and presentations.

Both established and emerging fashion designers showed their Spring/Summer 2014 collections over the five-day fun-filled event. My favourite collections included colourful designs by Escorpion and stylish swimwear by Guillermina Baeza.

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Escorpion Spring/Summer 2014 (Photo courtesy of 080 Barcelona Fashion) 

MIAMI

Mara Hoffman presented a colourful Resort 2014 collection on the third day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim. Exotic prints and patterns took us on an inspirational trip to India. Once again, Mara Hoffman managed to cause astonishment with the wide variety of her sensational swimsuits, cover-ups and accessories.

ABOUT THE DESIGNER

Mara Hoffman, born in Buffalo, NY is a New York City based fashion designer. She graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York City and studied at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design in London before launching her first ready-to-wear collection in 2000.

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Photo by Randy Brooke
Published in Blog
Friday, 19 July 2013 10:10

Chika Couture S/S14 Collection Launch

Young Designer Chika Iwenofu Launches Spring/Summer' 14 Collection during London Fashion Week September 2013 in collaboration with young and unemployed in London.
Published in News
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 17:20

Matthew O'Brien

Collection: Smart Future

This collection explores the connection between fashion and technology. Borrowing shape and form from architecture along with integrated electronics.

Drawing inspiration from looking at how technology and fashion have become one, and how fashion has taken different routes due to the technology now available. The collection concentrated on how every social space is designed to suit a user's needs. I wanted my garments to adorn the body, while also reacting to the wearer's needs and requirements, for example altering in shape and form to cool the wearer down through moving flaps. Also the use of neon lighting tubes sewn into seams to emphasise and aluminate certain aspects of the garments.

About Matthew O'Brien

Entering fashion at the young age of 15 Matthew O'Brien started his first clothing label. Focusing on menswear he was able to develop his design aesthetic leading him into womenswear where he was able to excel. His passion and determination has landed him many accolades most recently Britain's Top Designer. Matthew has a strong eye for detail and focuses on structure and shape, along with the use of unconventional fabrics. Matthew has a great ability to produce contemporary aesthetics, whilst somehow using historical referencing. Amalgamating both electronics with fashion, Borrowing shape and form from architecture along with integrated electronics. Taking a keen interest in print design his latest collection exhibits sharp monochrome prints with highlights of colour. Against the sharp angular forms created on the body.

www.mattobrien.co.uk
Published in Designers
Last week saw Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week hit Sydney, Australia showcasing the industry's top talent. This year saw a bit of a reinvention with a change of location for the event from Sydney Harbour to Carriageworks, a former rail yard now regarded as an arts and culture hub. Welcoming nearly 2,000 delegates to watch the 66 established and emerging designers presenting 52 shows, this fashion week was the biggest yet.

The show was streamed live for the first time which proved to be a huge success with over 20,000 people tuning in from over 77 countries. This year there was a strong emphasis on showing the world that as much as Australia still produces what its known best for; its laid back easy going fashion and sexy swimwear, designers have turned up the edge to show they are also influencer and inspirer of cutting edge world fashion.

The move to the disused rail yard saw designers sending there models down catwalks surrounded by concrete walls, air-conditioning ducts, scaffolding and floor grills, giving this year's fashion week a much different vibe to that of the previous location at Sydney Harbour.

Here are some highlights from the week featuring top designers and up and coming starts to look out for.

Camilla

My favourite show was definitely that of Camilla Franks, who decided to step away from the new location and show her latest collection in Sydney's Centennial Park. With the models walking bare foot under teepee tents surrounded by beautiful flowers, a bonfire and even a lama it was the perfect setting for her bohemian, tribal inspired collection of floaty dresses, kaftans and swimwear. Model of the moment Georgia May Jagger also made a rear catwalk appearance adding a youthful rock spirit to the line. The collection was a feast for the eyes with bold brightly coloured patterns, statement jewellery and unique hats and headpieces.

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Photo: Splash

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Photo: Splash

Christopher Esber

This show was set in a storage warehouse which added a raw edge to the line. The clothes were minimalist with clean crisp lines and Esber stuck to his normal palette of monochrome with a splash of blue and grey. While choosing not to experiment with colour, you can see his love of different textures, working with textile weaving specialists to create futuristic fabric mash-ups like invisible mesh panelling.

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Photograpger Brendon Thorne

Camilla & Marc

Celebrating their tenth anniversary at Australia Fashion week brother and sister duo Camilla & Marc put on a lively show with amazing music and a great set. The show was full of their trademark suits and sports luxe separates featuring beautiful silk blouses, sexy pencil skirts and striking sleeveless jackets. Camilla & Marc stuck mainly to the monochrome trend but added colour with some stunning gold pieces, adding edge with some daring designs including a completely see through lace dress.

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Photographer Brendon Thorne

We Are Handsome

A favourite swimwear brand of Rihanna, We are Handsome brought us their new highly anticipated collection and it wasn't a disappointment. If you love bright fun prints then this line is definitely for you. With themes such as lions, giraffes, foxes and shrubbery it was a visual feast for the eyes and will definitely get you noticed at the beach. Adding a fun flair to the show some models took to bicycles to make their way down the runway!

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Photographer Lucas Dawson

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Photographer Lucas Dawson

Aje

I loved the Aje show which saw models emerging from smoke on a pitch black runway with overhanging branches. A great contract to the mainly white collection of sexy short dresses perfect to bring you from day to night in summer. There were also some beautiful little jackets perfect for the chilly spring evenings (yes they even get them in Australia!) and stunning floaty maxi dresses just perfect for covering up in the hot sun.

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Photographer Brendon Thorne

Written by Rose Humble 
Published in Blog
Saturday, 30 March 2013 21:52

Highlights of Lisbon Fashion Week AW 2013

ModaLisboa / Lisbon Fashion Week is the biggest fashion event in Portugal. It takes place twice a year – in March and October.

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Nuno Baltazar AW 2013 (ModaLisboa / Photography: Rui Vasco)

After spending three wonderful days in Lisbon, watching the shows and getting familiar with the Portugese fashion industry, I can say that Portuguese designers are not only extremely talented, but also not appreciated enough on the European fashion scene!

One of my favourite shows during ModaLisboa Trust was Nuno Baltazar's show (see picture above). The designer proved that his high position in Portuguese fashion is well-deserved. Excellent tailoring and attention to detail make this collection stand out from the others. Strong, confident look and timeless elegance - fashion at its best!

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Valentim Quaresma AW 2013 (ModaLisboa / Photography: Rui Vasco)

Valentim Quaresma is a jewellery designer based in Lisbon. After 20 years of collaborating with an avant-garde fashion designer Ana Salazar, he started his own line in 2005. His futuristic and innovative style quickly brought him a lot of popularity and recognition.

In 2008, Valentim won "Accessories Collection of the Year " award at ITS competition in Italy. He is currently considered as one of the top jewellery designers in Portugal.

Valentin's creative process concentrates on the specific function of the objects he works with, which, once transformed, are given a new functionality and meaning. His conceptual art has been exhibited in many cities including Lisbon, Porto, and Barcelona, as well as in international galleries and art biennales. 

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Ricardo Dourado AW 2013 (ModaLisboa / Photography: Rui Vasco)

Born in Portugal in 1980, Ricardo Dourado finished his education at CITEX Porto in 2003. Since 2004, Ricardo presents his work at Lisbon Fashion Week. He is also part of the design team at Polopique, a fashion company with studios in Portugal, Spain and Brazil.

The collection, inspired by the daily life of Soweto, featured colourful African prints combined with black and white elements. Skirts and dresses had interesting cuts and were accompanied by asymmetrical tops and coats with oversized shoulders.

Ricardo presented looks that were uncomplicated and versatile enough to last several seasons. His show was one of the highlights of Lisbon Fashion Week and proved that the Portuguese designer has a great potential and doesn't blend in with the crowd.

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Pedro Pedro AW 2013 (ModaLisboa / Photography: Rui Vasco)

Pedro Pedro presented stylish collection featuring oversized coats and longer skirts inspired by Indian and North American portraits of families. The designs are strongly rooted in nature - the colour palette is toned and all details are kept to a basic minimum. Our prediction: fur handbags will be a big hit next season! 

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Luis Buchinho AW 2013 (ModaLisboa / Photography: Rui Vasco)

Luis Buchinho, an established Portuguese designer with over 20 years of fashion experience, opened the second day of Lisbon Fashion Week. The show took place under the historic arcades of Pátio da Galé and attracted a lot of people.

Luís Buchinho is one of the most respected names in Portuguese fashion. He has been designing for the past 20 years and has participated in several international fashion shows such as São Paulo Fashion Week and the official calendar of Paris Fashion Week. His clothes are modern and
cosmopolitan, featuring feminine silhouettes and structural forms.

The designer, inspired by the Portuguese revolution in the 70's, presented strong graphic lines and geometric shapes. Bold colour combinations (black-white-red) gave the collection a characteristic touch. The designs were accompanied by over-the-knee boots and long leather gloves. 
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Alaxandar Protic AW 2013 (ModaLisboa / Photography: Rui Vasco)

Simplicity, lean silhouettes, and strict colour palette - the key elements of Alaxandar Protic' style - were all present in his latest collection. The result is magnificent: modern and wearable designs suitable for every occasion.

As we can see, Autumn/Winter 2013 will be mainly black and white with occasional colour combinations of browns, reds, and greens. Plain, simple fabrics are definitely dominating the next season's look. The silhouette is changing – winter coats and jackets have broad, oversized shoulders. Invest in key accessories such as long leather gloves, round sunglasses, and stylish handbags – they will make your look complete!
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