Friday, 16 November 2012
As The Elysium Concept Show drew to a close, the final two collections left us on a major high. Staggeringly contrasted, but equally as powerful, Chloe Reynolds and Sarah Palin’s compilations were forcefully feminine.
Aptly named ‘The Black Collection’ the womenswear designer presented a dominant series and the ninja-like characters slinked down the catwalk with authority and presence. With a clear nod to Japanese design, the pieces emulated an air of protection, defiance and strength yet maintaining a womanly softness.
Although a purely black collection there was no trace of monotony as intricate, laser cut patterns instilled variation and a uniqueness to each piece.
The fierce fetish trend of yester-season is a beast that appears tamed but should still be approached with respectful caution.
The show’s finale came in the form of graduate Sarah Palin’s ‘Decadent Art, Rotten Beauty’ collection.
Having already received attention from Vogue Online, WGSN and Catwalking.com, the exquisitely feminine collection was built out of a type of reinforced paper called Tyvek which exudes a romantic, nostalgia.
Concealed layers of autumnal prints were revealed through the disjointed hemlines and tearaway windows adding a rugged, tainted purity to each elegant piece.
The collection was based around finding beauty in what’s perceived as rotten and decayed as if the classic structures were created from discarded newspaper blown together in a creative gust of autumn wind.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
The Japanese born CSM graduate has worked for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood so a designer influenced by my hero and heroine of fashion raised more than a little excitement.
Presenting the BA final collection entitled ‘Book-a-holic’, the young designer’s eclectic printing skill were debuted in their full finery. Delicate book pages are exposed in a wash of deep blue onto crisp linens and cottons and delicately complimented by leaves and flowers.
My favourite piece was the above pictured dress with its intricate leafy overlay evoking the natural, feminine romanticism of the collection.
Further international influence infused in the week was the offering from Greek designer Yiannis Kariotoisis with his SS13 collection - UTOPIA.
The passionate yellows and endless flow of material running through the collection emulated the ripples heat of a far Eastern paradise. The trail of drapes and capes lead the imagination through a bustling Moroccan market or the tiled corridors of an Arabian palace and conjures the warmth of a strong summer season collection. The little variation between pieces and highlights of shimmering material emphasises continuity in a hazy mirage-like blur.
Monday, 12 November 2012
Elysium: A place or state of perfect happiness
The Elysium Concept Show, the Friday night event of Oxford Fashion Week 2012, showcased a tasty array of interpretations from the fashion industry’s forthcoming talent.
With mulled wine truffles circulating the ornate Oxford Town Hall, the atmosphere was rife for this season's instalment of the regional fashion week which launched in 2009. A city celebrated for its ‘out of the box’ attitude was sure to deliver something innovative. The audience was transported through fantasy worlds engulfed in artistic apparel and trend-driven tribes on a fantastic fashion journey.
This series of posts will celebrate the collections of the OFW12 designers.
C Martin Prechelmacher
Specifically produced for OFW, Crimson-Rose O’Shea’s collection pushed the boundaries to breaking point. As if drawn into a futuristic underwater wonderland, the use of iridescent materials emulated ripples of underwater lights. The shoal of models wore crustacean-esque masks and headwear resembling sea-dwellers as if part of a mutant pirate tribe. Keeping a glamorous, feminine aesthetic, each item drove gasps from the enchanted crowd.
London-based O’Shea is a Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Design graduate with impressive background. She has worked for John Galliano, Diane Von Furstenburg and Elisa Palomino and a design consultancy at LVMH/Sephora. As a freelance designer, she has contributed to Vogue, Dazed & Confused, AnOther and Hunger as well as being a costume designer for ballet, music and film industry.
Oxford is renowned for being a hub of education and creativity and Brookes should by no means be overshadowed by its academic neighbours. Fashion students on the 2012-13 OBU Foundation Art and Design Course displayed a powerful collection from their first brief – ‘abstract impressionism’.
Branded by strokes and splatters of neon paint the loosely structured latex creations fashioned a futuristic tribal vibe. Straying from past structured, regimented uniformity this collection, with gaping seams and flapping folds, offers the breakaway freedom of a new, rebellious gang.
Favourite accessories of the entire show were the plastic orange ‘glasses’ on a chain which added to the space-age feel of this collection.
-- ALL PHOTOS:© Claire Williams Photography --
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
My final halloween post for 2012 (promise!) is dedicated to Rachel Freire and her Nippleocalypse collection of SS12.
Freire’s distinctive designs include a structured bodice dress made from 3000 cow and yak nipples amongst further cage-like gowns and headpieces. They were revealed at London Fashion Week and also displayed at Paris Fashion Week although too heavy to grace the runway.
Although the idea creates an initially grusome shudder, kudos is owed to this artist for creating such elegant and feminine pieces from the debris of a slaughterhouse floor. The lilac hue and floral structure are striking and it’s only on close inspection that the teats are identifiable.
Dabbling in fashion since 2009, the Liverpudlian CSM graduate is a self confessed ‘artist in wolf’s clothing’ as opposed to fashion designer and this collection certainly channels strong underlying messages.
They have been dubbed by animal rights groups as 'grotesque' but I think these powerful pieces couldn’t be further from it.
“Most of our lives these days is a fantasy world, hiding from one reality or another. So why not dress for the party?”
– Rachel Freire