Forget diamonds--shoes are a girl's best friend. The SS11 runways were full of new "best friends" for shoe addicts everywhere. From Alexander McQueen's and Rodarte's sculpted wedges to Calvin Klein's lucite and wood stilettos, there's something for every girl, even sneakers (from Giles and Yohji Yamamoto, of course)! Trying to pick a favorite may cost you hours, so why not just love them all? Click through to see the best of the best shoes from the Spring runways!
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. “Everything you just saw was the direction we are taking for spring,” Gordon Richardson, the creative and design director for Topman, told me immediately after the finale of Wednesday's show, inside the glass dome of the Royal Opera House near Covent Garden. It was dominated by knitwear and '70s floral shirts, tucked into high-waisted boxing shorts with contrast stitching hiking boots. Taking inspiration from youths in Brighton--a town on the southern coast of England known for its pop music venues, vintage record stores and clothing shops--the collection mixed techno fabrics. Consider a shiny charcoal single-breasted suit with a cotton floral shirt from the hippie era, or a dark cotton suit with slim trousers and the au courant cotton military print shirt. One of the most appealing looks from the show, from a customer's point of view, was the shiny light purple trench. It was shown with matching trousers in a deep purple cotton. I also liked the black cotton shirt printed with large red psychedelic flowers and paired with black cotton belted flared shorts. Although many of the knit pieces, like the red cotton sweater featuring the fox motif, will undoubtedly be bestsellers, I'm not certain about the ivory high-waisted boxer shorts with a tan leather belt and burgundy/mustard polo. It may be a hard sell beyond the limited range of fashion devotees. I’m sure a more commercial mutation will be found among the racks at the Broadway store.
We love Alexa Chung' preppy-chic loafers and fitted blazer. We're also absolutely smitten over Charlotte Dellal's Charlotte Olympia banana clutch. Julia Johansen went wild in her colorful zebra print while at a Mulberry dinner. And both Cat Deeley and Caroline Sieber look stunning while arriving to the Burberry show.
On Tuesday I got a sneak peek into Jonathan Anderson's Shorditch workroom, where he was putting the final touches on his Spring 2011 collection, which he showed at the BFC tents on Wednesday. I've put together a little photo essay of what I saw, plus the final results.
London Spring 2011 was hands down my favorite fashion week ever. Shocked, are you? Once you feel the energy, see the masterful technique, and find yourself wide-eyed by the innovation, you'll understand where I'm coming from. Here are my ten favorites. Additionally, I must send out a big thanks to Swarvoski, not only because they sponsored my trip to the UK, but also because they underwrote almost all of the very best shows at LFW. If not for them, some of these collection mightn't have happened.
LONDON--As the lights went down at Issa, one man shouted, "Last fashion show in London!", and everyone cheered... until a meeker voice answered, "Men's day tomorrow!" With most in the crowd skipping the menswear to make way for Milan (or, you know, get some sleep), the Issa show definitely had a last dance atmosphere. The party feeling was further enhanced by some familiar faces in the front row: Lily Allen and sister Sarah Owen, partners in a new vintage fashion venture; Poppy Delevigne, and the ubiquitous Amber Rose all turned up. The clothes? They were pretty much what you'd expect from the figure-friendly designer's Indian Summer theme.
I'm still not sure what to think of Meadham Kirchhoff's S/S 11 show. Focusing on the clothes, I can say that the boys presented an impressive collection of vivid chiffon and lace-spliced dresses in cotton candy pink, Peeps-chick yellow and Slurpee red. Carnival food coloring continued through the hair, which featured rainbow streaks, and in the funhouse floral constructions that unfurled down the catwalk. But it wasn't at all sweet. Styling that saw red velvet ribbons take on garotte associations and angry, heavy makeup seemed sadistic. The low, glittery sandals--which may as well have had velcro and My Little Pony appliques, they were so juvenile--invited JonBenét associations.
Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. LONDON--From the moment the first model came out onto the wooden floor of the theater wearing a light turquoise silk bustier slip dress, followed by a model in a black stretch corseted silk crepe dress with sheer panels outlining its boning, it was clear that Marios Schwab has returned to the tight body hugging silhouette of his first collections. (The label launched in 2006.) Bruce Springsteen's “I'm On Fire” and Nirvana's “Come As You Are” blasted over the loudspeakers, virtually announcing the fierce rebel spirit of these girls in lingerie dresses dabbed with lacework. Tattoo patterns were printed onto the green and pale pink silks and jerseys. There was a sense that while these looks were youthful and geared towards a younger generation of women who want sexy clothes, the show lacked the depth of Mr. Schwab’s creative talents. "I would say this collection is less about body concious shapes and more about fluidity and the drape of cloth on the body to accentuate key areas of interest on the body. Combining the feminine slip dresses with leather pieces which have a tougher, harder edge,” Mr. Schwab said after his show. “The women I had in mind when creating this collection are a generation of women who have multi-faceted personalities shaped by contemporary culture and the different roles she must fulfill in her life. They're loaded with contradictory ideas and spirits.” "Designed to bring the mystery of the female body to the surface," the show's centerpiece was a variation of the lingerie slip dress whether worn as a top with a slit and torn effect with white print pants or as a corset worn with black leather pants and black leather boots. Remember that Mr.Schwab's father was an engineer at a bra factory and he had studied sewing in Salzburg when he was young. He added his own design elements to make each simple dresses more individualistic. Witness, for example, a lightly draped long silk dress in green with a cut-out at the center of the chest, or a tan leather dress with black leather upside down triangles below the nipples.
LONDON--Through a scrim we could see the models for Clements Ribeiro’s S/S 11 show assembling--an array of reedy girls in shifts and A4 paper hats. We knew it was time to begin when the lights dimmed and a spotlight threw models’ silhouettes onto the thin muslin screen, creating what was surely one of the week’s most quietly lovely images. From that beautiful beginning came a parade of palette-cleansing clothes, a fashion sorbet of ladylike dresses in gorgeous original prints. First down the catwalk was a purple and green hydrangea-print shift, followed by a shirt with boughs of jasmine in white on a red background. This same print in a skirt looked perfect when paired with a fine gauge Breton-striped sweater. Best of all, though, was a nipped-waist v-neck dress with browns, peaches, aubergines and lemon curd tones applied to those same hydrangeas, prompting instant covetousness and some magical budgetary thinking on my part. When the print disappeared, ensembles briefly veered into less interesting territory. An off-the-shoulder navy blue embossed silk dress with an obi waist tie and wide sleeves would have been stronger without the large paillette flowers (sequins fell off of other heavily embellished garments). But a navy cardigan the same length as a short lace dress in the same color read as flirty and young.
LONDON--Once the last piece of mirrorball confetti hit the floor at Burberry, showgoers blinked their way into the sunlight smiling. It seemed to many that the crescendo of the week would also be a good place to end LFW—but anyone who continued down the show roster to Ashish was in for a treat. If Giles flew the flag for kitsch Britannia with his show, Ashish answered with a Gaga-‘n-Beyonce “Telephone”-video vision of the glitzy American West. The opening salvo of, “Don’t f**k with me, fellas!” set the tone, telling us to expect to meet a good-time gun-slinger of a gal—someone ready to ride anywhere in her sequin-emblazoned bandanna top. With the cow-print blazers, oversized paisley basketball shorts and flame-grilled motifs ALL in sequins, as well as boots hand-painted with cacti, horseshoes and McDonald’s and Coca-Cola branding; and even tall Native American headdresses, the show was wild, but that was the point. Ashish always puts on a fun show—the models looked like they were having a great time, and front rowers’ feet didn’t stop bouncing to the tunes through the entire show.
LONDON--I ran in and out of Louise Goldin's intimate presentation at St. Martins Lane, mostly because I felt feverish, but also because, well, there wasn't much to see. Yet this was most certainly a positive. The celebrated designer decided to pare things down this season. There were just a few looks in four colorways: red, black, white, and nude.
Burberry Prorsum Cheat Sheet: Patent belts--leather accents Ruched satin Mint green Teal Real biker jackets Bondage Ruched leather jackets Leather motocross dress Studs are here to stay LONDON--So yeah. You may have seen a bunch of models fall on the Burberry Prorsum catwalk yesterday afternoon. The shoes, spikey F*ck Me booties, looked terribly, terribly uncomfortable, and I could almost feel the models' pain emanating from the runway. But they looked as good as they did torturous.
LONDON--Giles Deacon, much like his friends Katie Grand and Luella Bartley, is just innately cool. The East London space in which he showed his Spring 2011 collection last night--an old brick warehouse of sorts with low ceilings--was just cool. And the clothes he showed--some beautiful, some beautifully off kilter--were also, well, cool. Aggy Deyn opened with a Mohawk and a pair of pastel sneakers (or trainers, as the Brits call them) encrusted in Swarovski crystals. (Giles is yet another designer supported by Swarovski.) Other notable models included Alessandra Ambrosio, Jessica Stam, Coco Rocha, Ashley Smith and footballer WAG Abbey Clancy--who is apparently three months pregnant and in the midst of a cheating scandal. Famous Brit Kelly Brook--I really have no idea what she actually does--was also there.
LONDON--This season, celebrated designer Erdem Moralioglu put out yet another garden-inspired collection, this one with a focus on primary colors: blue, red, and yellow. The setting was, appropriately, a garden square in Central London, just off Tottenham Court Road. Moralioglu designs with an early 20th century lady in mind, but his pieces are light enough in weight to come off as modern.
Yesterday, the London fashion industry celebrated the life and work of Lee Alexander McQueen with an intimate memorial service. Notable guests included Sarah-Jessica Parker, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Anna Wintour, and Bjork, who performed.
Fringe has played a big role at the London shows, and knitwear king Mark Fast got in on the fun for Spring 2011. The Canadian born designer, whose body-con spider web dresses have made quite the impression on the fashion industry, only tweaked his signature look slightly for spring, adding in some extravagant fringe--made from horsehair?--more than a few crystals--provided by Swarovski, natch--and a bit of patent leather thrown in for good measure. Was it revolutionary? Certainly not. But Fast is establishing a signature look. For a young designer, sometimes that's more important than shocking the audience each season.
Seven years ago, The British Fashion Council set out on a mission to make fashion just a little bit more ecofriendly. In order to do so, they established Estethica--an exhibition of innovative designers committed to working sustainably. After seven years of success at London Fashion Week, Estethica and the BFC have decided to make the eco sustainable design exhibition available to consumers world wide through a collaboration with ecommerce site YOOX.com. To coincide with this week's London Fashion Week, YOOX created an online retail space specifically for a selection of Estethica designers called Yooxygen.
LONDON--You know that a show's good when you begin trying to work out in your mind how you're going to fit at least one piece, if not two, into your budget next year. That's how I felt when I was watching Richard Nicoll's Spring 2011 show. I haven't yet decided which piece I want to splurge on, but I have narrowed it down to ten: