OTHER VOICES, OTHER ROOMS
OFF THE RUNWAYS: The London Fashion Exhibition was more crowded than ever this season, thanks partially to the torrential rain throughout the week that trapped visitors inside. The accessories, as always, were the best in show — the sleek, minimal jewelry from Lara Boeing 747 and Scott Wilson; Reema Pachachi’s pale lavender beads or green beads with sterling silver; the cotton crochet, leather latticework and fringed bags from Bill Amberg; Anya Hindmarch’s new Blue Label line of handbags with photoprints of cats, dogs, fish or flowers; the stiletto ankle boots from Darren Skull, and Paul Murray Watson’s handmade updated Chelsea boots.
Among the clothing designers, the standout collections were Mark Whitaker’s new Omnia line — think edgy A.P.C.; Megan Park’s floral embroidered or beaded dresses in bright pink, green or blue; the flock-print dresses and beaded cashmere and cotton looks from Jensens & Jensens Dainties; Jemima Khan’s beaded slip dresses, and the denim skirts, jackets and pants with plastic dots from Uniform.
AND FURTHERMORE: Alexander McQueen may have temporarily left London, but there are plenty of other designers waiting in the wings to see if they can fill his shoes. This season’s schedule was packed with shows by newcomers. Those creating some buzz include Maria Chen, who captured the recycled clothes trend with skirts made from the tops of old acid-wash jeans and sewn onto a sheer skirt and face-print tops; Shelley Fox, winner of this year’s fashion Jerwood Prize, who was a bit less conceptual this season with minimal leather dresses; Luella Bartley, who provided pretty-with-a-twist shirtdresses and minis; Eley Kishimoto, whose strong denim looks are favored by stylists like Venetia Scott; the sleek, sexy suedes at Nothing Nothing; Joanne Jong, a former assistant to Giorgio Armani, who launched her own Yulan line with a series of 30 all-red looks, and Arkadius, a recent graduate of Central St. Martin’s who’s being hyped as the next John Galliano. His blood-splattered collection was based on the theme of abortion. One to watch?