Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Vauxhall Fashion Scout: Lako Bukia A/W '12

   Lako Bukia followed on from Prose at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout event I attended for LFW on Monday. I had already looked up Lako on Vogue out of curiosity before I attended the catwalk show, and was impressed by her fine attention to detail and her emphasis on feminity, with her previous collection favouring fluid and dainty materials. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Lako's designs are clearly influenced by her Georgian roots; her last collection featured heavy structured pieces inspired by Georgian architecture, while her A/W '12 collection is based on a Georgian superstition. Named 'Broken Mirrors', the glass-like segments and metallic panels on the clothes are a direct embodiment of the Georgian belief that looking into mirrors is bad luck. I personally love this theme, as I feel it gives the collection an intriguing, mythical quality and has formed the basis for beautiful, contemporary pieces of clothing.


    Lako Bukia is already a brand that is on everyone's lips- Lako branched out from her home city when  she was invited to take part in the 'Kiev Week of Young Fashion Designers' in 2009. Her collection, 'Mushroom' was exhibited in the Central St Martin's College of Art and Design, London and also published in America's well-known fashion magazine, Oasis. From there, Lako studied in Milan, working on styling projects with stylist Katie Burnett and dedicating her time to learning more about the art of styling. She then took part as one of thirty Georgian designers in the Georgia fashion show, 'Days of Peace' where one of her designs, a white dress, was highly acclaimed by fashion critics. She has now achieved three collections in London and one in Europe, selling in France, Georgia and Hong Kong.

   Lako has defined the brand as one that is trying to redefine the way the world sees feminity and sexuality, saying: "Femininity and sexuality are now widely perceived as being equal to wearing tight and revealing clothes. The women of the world forgot that there is something more exciting in the mystery of the type of garments which do not stress one’s body shape...this is one of the reasons I think my designs are different. They convey a different meaning; a meaning I think is missing in fashion today." She has portrayed this vision in her latest collection by presenting clothes that are effeminate yet elegant, sweeping and loose rather than figure-hugging; the clothes have a sex appeal that is mysterious, futuristic and edgy.


   A glance at the silver and black lining along the runway gave us a glimpse at what was to come in the collection. I was, in a way mesmerized when the bright lights appeared and the models were highlighted in fabulous, space-age-esque, head to toe, shimmering metallic creations. The individual pieces were exquisitely made, from the straight-cut peter pan collars to the tailored silver trousers, and the fabrics were extravagantly luxe and silky. Chiffon, sheer and soft wool floated down the catwalk in the form of flirty skirts, tank tops and long sleeved blouses. The metallic effect was carried on throughout the collection, varying from the shiniest, smoothest silver silks to metallic flecks on other garments and glitter shoes- Miu Miu style. Jewelled buttons added another feminine and glamourous touch, while there were also hints of sports luxe, with the detail on the trousers and the hood-like collars on some pieces. The finale, which was announced with a loud 'pop' of silver confetti being released, showcased a gorgeous, party-appropriate black sheer dress with a floaty skirt and a cool contrast of one silver stripe down the front. The audience were then wowed by the ultimate in metallics- a sparkling replica of a jagged broken mirror in the form of a top with an underlay of sheer black long sleeves.


   The sculpted, incredibly sleek high ponytails held with tribal look metallic bands immediately caught my eye in polishing each and every outfit. The make-up was very natural with slightly pinched cheeks and a nude lip, but with a sharp, straight pencilled on eyebrow which was intended to reiterate the cubist influence illustrated throughout the collection- definitely a style statement. I loved the whole collection, because of its luxe feel and the interesting inspiration behind it but also because it is a collection that is so cool yet very wearable for the normal girl. Metallics are already trending and are the perfect way to glam up autumn and winter eveningwear. Take a look at some of the outfits of the collection below!


Vauxhall Fashion Scout: Prose A/W '12

    On Monday the 20th February, I attended my first ever London Fashion Week catwalk show at the Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden. The setting was grand to say the least; everything and possibly more of what I expected of a real fashion show venue, from the ornate art deco furnishing, to the dazzling, illuminated runway. Star spots were Jade Thomspon, winner of last year's BINTM and Amber Atherton from Made in Chelsea, who was wearing that incredible Mary Katrantzou for Topshop Pheasant dress! It still makes me think 'wow' every time I see it! 

Model Tallulah Adeyemi and Amber Atherton
   Having never heard of Prose before, I attended the show with no expectations, just excitement, but having thoroughly enjoyed the show I would definitely recommend the designer as one to watch. Prose describes itself as a vision of womenswear as pure, aesthetic language, an aesthetic that is not bound to trends but is timeless. There was undoubtedly a haunting feel to the show; images of the clothes seemed to stay with me afterwards which suggested to me that what I had just seen had a strong sense of originality. Miriam Lehle is the power behind the clothes- after graduating in fashion design in 2007, she admittedly took a risk and launched the fashion label straight away in her home town of Schorndorf, Germany. But this risk paid off- from making the final of the Mango Fashion Awards in Barcelona, 2009, to showing her collections at the Beck's fashion experience in Berlin as one of seven emerging German designers, and then going on to sell selected pieces in Tophop's Edit Boutique- Miriam has presented us with a unique and organic brand of clothes that are totally suited to the quirky style walking our fashion capital's streets.

 Prose's A/W '12 collection is all about a rich colour palette and quality fabrics. Models sauntered down the runway in a visually stunning collection of varying textures and strong hues. The clothes definitely had a regal feel to them with the constant use of fringing and the burgundy and bronze tones. The main focal point of the collection was the showcasing of the admirable techniques Lehle employed to bring her visions to real life. The fringing on metallic-flecked wool waistcoats and selected tops- which looked like the delicacy of ostrich feather-was exceptional, moving beautifully with the model's every step, and the almost shredded look of some of the garments such as a cobalt jumper was a captivating, unique and intricate feature of Lehle's designs. Velvet, ruching, armour-style embellishment and hints of metallic were other accents that made this collection stand out. The tailoring was elegant and feminine, with long draped skirts and a Victoriana feel exuding out from the cream buttoned blouses, yet the tougher aspects such as the armour-style, metal disc detailing and the occasional structured shoulder made an appealing contrast. The colour palette was an autumnal delight- with the colour moving swiftly from navy and cobalt, to burgundy and brown, to gold and cream- there was also the odd hint of mustard yellow and a good dose of sophisticated black. All the models wore mid block lace-up heels in different variations to match their specific colours.
Backstage with Toni and Guy

   As for the hair and make-up, which was styled by Toni and Guy, the models were all extremely polished to compliment the regalness of the clothes. Their hair was worn slicked back off the face, creating triangular and square shapes at the back of the head- as quoted by Cos Sakkas, a member of the T&G session team. He explained that the texture of the hair was intended to replicate the fringing and tassels debuted throughout the collection. The models all featured fresh-looking dewy skin with a simple yet beautiful berry lip. Below are a selection of photos from the show! And remember to keep an eye out for Prose in future!

My Prose Invite

Mirror effect inside

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fashion Crush: Gillian Zinser

Picture taken from 'Elle and the Coveteur: Gillian Zinser'
My latest fashion crush is Californian girl and 90210 actress, Gillian Zinser. Known for her appearances as Ivy Sullivan, Gillian carries off a totally noteworthy style, on-screen and off. From vintage tees to distressed leather, colourful maxi skirts to leopard print, Gillian has a wardrobe I am definitely coveting. The way she mixes her cali chick laidback aesthetic- a kind of Sienna Millar-inspired boho-chic look combined with the polished style of an off-duty supermodel- with an essence of indie/rocker girl, makes for one amazing, trend-setting wardrobe. Whichever word you choose to define Gillian's look, one thing's for sure- she is the epitome of cool. Having been raised in NYC, this definitely lends a haute vibe to her dress sense, a style that blends with her quirky, boho look to create what I would call 'hippy haute'. She is able to mix and match totally different colours and textures to put together outfits that are effortlessly stylish, ingenius and utterly unique. Hats are undeniably a key accessory in her wardrobe, from bowlers to fedoras to trilbys; she adds them to nearly every outfit in such an enviably cool way it almost hurts! She has an obvious taste for vintage stores, beaten up boots, funky jewellery and tomboyish pieces of clothing- in an interview in Genlux magazine's Winter 2011 issue, she described her style as 'cowgirl meets pirate'.  Her offbeat pick of accessories contribute to the youthful quirkiness of her style. When asked in Genlux, which designer she would wear head to toe, she listed Chloe, Acne, The Row, Kimberly Ovitz and Alexander Wang as her preferred labels, though she also bigged up Topshop as her favourite low-price secret weapon store! Definitely a girl after my own heart. The thing I love most about Gillian is that she can throw on jeans and a battered-looking t-shirt with a slick of red lippy, and look ready to hit the town. She is also not afraid to be playful and have fun with clothes! From her gorgeous surfy waves to her expansive hat collection, she exudes that natural beauty, fab style and confidence that every girl desires-I so want to be this girl!

Hats are a girl's best friend in the case of Gillian- part of her collection,
as seen in Elle and the Coveteur: Gillian Zinser

Who else could pull off a sequinned bandana?!

   At the Forevermark and Instyle Beauty and Brilliance event at Bar Nineteen, January 2012, Gillian wore this bold printed maxi dress with a feminine lace bustier top, adding hippy jewellery of vintage jewels and a long chain to compliment the lovely, flattering frock.

    This is one of my favourite looks from Gillian's wardrobe- attending the NYLON and Express December/January 2011 issue event at The Writer's Room, Gillian opted for a mix of black, denim and leopard print. The result: this incredible cool-casual look. The denim shirt is a must-have for spring/summer for creating a laidback vibe, and every girl should funk up their wardrobe with a dash of print. The simple black wedges, pendant necklaces and pretty topknot finish off the uber-cool look.

   At a CBS and CW Premiere party in LA last year, Gillian rocked the red-runway in another relaxed but stylish ensemble- I love the colour mix in her girly metallic skirt, teamed with a more tomboyish khaki unbuttoned shirt. She accessorizes perfectly to tie the look together- adding a velvet-banded trilby, black wedge boots and a bold leopard print chain purse.

  Here's how to dress for summer. At the 2011 Hurley Walk the Walk National Championship at the US Open of Surfing, Gillian embraced her cali roots and channelled this super-cool beach look of a tied navy and pink checked shirt, orange bikini top and denim cut-offs. She toughened up the outfit with piratey black ankle boots, a brown leather shoulder bag and a blue bandana. I love!

     For another day on Huntington beach, Gillian wore a Guns 'n' Roses vest with another khaki oversized shirt over the top, paired with mussed up surfer waves, beaded bracelets, rings and more necklaces to create a cool grunge look.

    To the opening of a Louis Vuitton store in Santa Monica to benefit 'Heal the Bay', August 2010, Gillian opted for a flowing black maxi skirt with a waist-cinching satin waistband, paired with a tied up green checked shirt. The two pieces work surpringly well together to create an effortless glam look and again, I adore her bun hairstyle, which accentuates her gorgeous facial features!

   Gillian walks her adorable dog on the set of 90210 wearing one of her trademark hippy maxi frocks- I love the soft print and feminine colours. She looks every inch the californian girl with her tumbling blonde waves and sunnies, but she adds a unique Gillian edge with her black slouchy boots.

   Another of my favourite looks- Gillian channels her inner rock chick wearing an oversized vintage band tee over an embellished black mini and adding velvet ankle boots, a brown fedora and bag and lots of quirky jewellery. 

   Gillian paired a vintage leather jacket with a bohemian-feel, bright, tie-dye, maxi dress to create this gorgeous yet unusual outfit. The dress is really different and cool, but the leather jacket makes it even cooler! I alos love how she matched her orange hued lippy exactly to the colours in the dress.

I love the edgy pink streaks she once tried in her hair!

Rocking a seriously cool vintage sequinned dress!