The Exhibition @ London Fashion Week, running Sept. 16 to 19, will showcase a mix of established designers and fresh-faced start-ups. Take six-month-old T-shirt brand Bluebretzal, for example, which will share the floor with millenary maestro Stephen...
The French fair trade T-shirt brand is bringing a touch of color to the Estethica ethical fashion section of the exhibition. As brand founder Jean-Gabriel Causse says, "The best T-shirts take care of the earth and of people." Bluebretzal uses fair trade cotton. Its playful color palette comprises hues inspired by art, cultural landmarks and the environment. Take tops in the exact shade of the Mona Lisa's brown eyes, for example.
Wholesale prices range from 32.60 euros, or $44.55 at current exchange, to 36.95 euros, or $50.50.
For spring, LFW newbie Crumpet is giving cashmere a contemporary twist. As well as cardigans, tunics and dresses, it will offer luxurious lounge pants and racer-back tops. "I have designed this collection to take the preciousness out of cashmere, taking a luxury fiber and adapting it to everyday life," said designer Zara Juricic, who founded the company last year with her husband, Dana.
For her first presentation within the exhibition, public relations and sales agent Valery Demure handpicked eight jewelry and accessories designers to showcase as part of her Demure Untamed space. "I have selected these designers for the quality, originality and strong visual elements of their work," said Demure of the lineup, which includes Alexis Mabille, Florian Ladstaetter, Husam El Odeh and Scott Stephen. The invitation-only stand will feature installations inspired by Demure and American socialite Iris Apfel.
Jane Lewis never trained as a fashion designer, but that didn't stop her from creating a collection of luxurious basics in muted neutrals that now counts Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson and Sienna Miller among its fans. Goat, which Lewis launched in 2001, offers wardrobe staples like four-ply chunky cashmere sweaters, flannel trousers that flatter a wide range of figures, little wool crepe shifts and jersey tunics. Her Library line stocks greatest hits from past seasons, and that's part of the philosophy behind it. For Lewis, fashion isn't just about trends, but about building up a wardrobe.
GLASGOW: SCOTLAND WITH STYLE DESIGN COLLECTIVEThe collective unites designers who are either from Glasgow, or have trained or chosen to be based there, and their presence at London Fashion Week is growing. The Scottish city will showcase Aimee McWilliams, Deryck Walker, Jamie Bruski Tetsill, Scott Ramsay Kyle and Vidler & Nixon this season, in addition to past participants Christopher Kane, Brazen and Olanic.
Mawi Keivom's designs for spring are not for shrinking violets. "Jewelry is all about statement pieces at the moment, and these do not forgive," said Keivom. The five-year-old brand's lineup has a global-tribal-princess-meets-sci-fi vibe, with color and voluminous shapes as major themes. The London-based brand is distributed worldwide, including through Harvey Nichols, Barneys New York, Joyce, Maria Luisa and Galeries Lafayette. Wholesale prices range from 45 pounds, or $91, to 200 pounds, or $404.50.
Accessories designer Jas Sehmbi likes his women's collection to be "feminine but strong." The women's line is largely stripped of hardware. Evening bags are key, as are styles featuring ruffles and woven leather, plus looks meant to recall a knotted handkerchief. For his men's collection, he added looks in patent leather, as well as silver and gold leather stamped with geometric shapes. Retail prices for bags range from 110 pounds, or $222.45, to 600 pounds, or $1,214, at current exchange. The brand will also showcase The Cause By Jas M.B., a less expensive line of bags for men and women. A portion of the line's profits benefits local charitable causes.
Chloe Lonsdale has denim in her genes. Daughter of denim retailer Tony Lonsdale, Chloe has been injecting new life into Made in Heaven, a brand founded in 1969 by her godfather, Tony O'Gorman, since its relaunch two years ago. Now known as MiH, for spring the brand will add a collection of shirts to its denim offer. "[It] captures so much of the mood of the MiH girl and what she would wear with her jeans," Lonsdale said. In addition, a new high-waist, nautical-inspired cut, dubbed Valencia, will be shown.
Jeans prices range from 46 to 57 pounds wholesale, or $93 to $115.30, while shirts run from 35 to 60 pounds, or $70.80 to $121.34.OLIVIA RUBIN
Short-listed for the semifinal of this year's Fashion Fringe, a project that aims to find and nurture undiscovered British designers, Olivia Rubin will show her debut apparel collection at the exhibition. For her eponymous line, Rubin took inspiration from construction wear and added splashes of color and graphic prints. Wholesale prices start at 30 pounds, or $60.70, for tops and run to 300 pounds, or $607, for long dresses. "This collection is all about creating strong sculptural silhouettes whilst retaining a touch of femininity," she said. She'll also show accessories and shoes.
London-based Sara Berman, designed by sisters Sara and Amiee Berman, will show its Berman Black line for a second season at the exhibition, as well as its flagship brand. Black comprises black versions of best-selling items from past Sara Berman collections. "We tweak them to make them relevant for now," said Sara. The designing siblings were also named creative directors of luxury cashmere label N.Peal this summer, which will be relaunched this month in the Burlington Arcade here.
Skirts from the Sara Berman line wholesale between 65 pounds and 85 pounds, or $131.50 and $172, while Berman Black is between 35 pounds and 45 pounds, or $71 and $91.
Having topped the coifs of pop culture icons from Lady Diana to Marilyn Manson, Stephen Jones is firmly ensconced among the most established names in modern millinery. For spring, Jones was inspired by a trip to a friend's cabin in the Utah desert. The collection is reminiscent of rock formations, bleached mesquite, dawn and dusk.
"This is the first collection since 1980 [where] I've personally made all the hat prototypes, creating in 3-D, in the cabin, in the middle of nowhere," said Jones. "Quite a challenge."
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