1. by Ben Knight Evans .

    DYNAMIC BLOOMS - Inspecting the rails

    With everyone on set shooting the final look of Dynamic Blooms, the time was ripe to flick through Alister Mackie's expansive rails of S/S 2011 offerings. From the graphic tabbed contours of Gareth Pugh's metallic armour to the smouldering romanticism of John Galliano, the dresses on the rail for Dynamic Blooms take on both the architectonic and organic potency of flowers. For Jil Sander, floral reference is overt through print in a bold a-line gown and suggested through form with the arum-like peplum of an acid orange skirt. Versace's offerings of basket-weave fringing gowns in palazzo-esque turquoise and stone are fibrous and flailing in motion. The delicacy of Valentino's tulle ruffles are as languid on the rail as they are fragile in the air and -like the beautifully draped Haider Ackerman dress- appear in tones of coffee and chestnut that melt away in the breeze. Gareth Pugh and Louise Goldin both offer a bold armourial graphicism that represent a harder edge and when worn contour and envelope releasing a more potent feminine quality in revelation of the body. John Galliano's magnificent confections for Dior Couture literally bloom from the waist in the way M. Dior intended, brushstrokes of colour seething away from the centre. Vivienne Westwood's silver gown opens like an orchid in a dramatic, perhaps suggestive fashion. Shooting Bottega Veneta's fluid but linear silk dress was a very transformative process, with a drape of fabric beautifully revealing itself to be an enveloping petal with the aid of the wind machine.

    Ben Evans

  2. by Ben Knight Evans .

    Bishi LIVE from 19:30 (GMT) Today!

    Ahead of today's Live Studio session, the last part of SHOWstudio's Florist show, we made a visit to Bishi in the middle of rehearsals and asked her a bit about what we can expect. In an impressive costume created for her by a 'petit-main' who has worked with Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix, she took a breather to explain some of the influences behind the work and the various different influences and collaborations that form her music.

    Could you explain to those less familiar with your work a bit about what it is you do?

    My performances reflect a cross section of my interests in music, fine art, fashion, technology... with some theatrics thrown in in for good measure! I've been interested in combining projections and sculptural outfits for some time and have found the visual arts and fashion to be more open minded in experimenting with performance.

    I think pop and indie music is a little afraid to make people think these days. I've been inspired by the social commentary of bands like The Specials, The Who & Pulp. Britain has a rich history of songwriting over many genres that reflects a relationship between the songwriter, his social surroundings and his landscape. Songs like 'Critical Eye,' & 'One Nation {under CCTV}' talk about how surveillance-crazy our culture has become and my Indian roots also reflect in my song writing, 'Ride the Tiger,' is about the goddess Kali.

    Collaboration is an important aspect of your performance and work, how have you developed this and who has contributed to this Live Studio session?

    I've been involved with running night clubs since the age of 14- I was one of the founders of the night club 'Kashpoint!' and nightclubs allowed me to come into contact with many people and experiment visually. A lot of the film makers are people I know from the days of Kashpoint. For this project [that features films by Liza Angst, Peter T Breen, The Bardo Lightshow, Morgan O'Donovan and Noriko Okaku], it's been a unique process to work with each film maker as they all come from very different artistic backgrounds & aesthetics. This has given the show a unique look. Most of all, they've all been so wonderful and committed that I feel that my friendships have grown with each of them.

    What else can we expect from the show?

    I open with an interpretation of Laurie Anderson's 'From the Air'. I'm a huge fan of Laurie Anderson, she was a pioneer of combing music, visual art, technology & performance, as well as being a chart topping sensation. 'From the Air' is a song about the crash of civilisation. Our world has experienced one of the biggest economic down turns of modern history, in which the poorest and most vulnerable are paying the price. 'From the Air' has a timeless wisdom that I found resonated with our current political situation. It may sound like a peculiar way to begin a pop show, but I'm tired of the meaningless generic drivel dished out by TV karaoke shows and empty songs auto-tuned within an inch of their lives! Anderson was able to be radical and to reach out the mainstream - 'Oh Superman' smashed into the top 5 of the UK chart and from this I draw enormous inspiration.

    Bishi's Live Studio performance, the last in our Florist series, is broadcast live from 19:30 (GMT) today (Thursday 20th January).

    Ben Knight Evans

  3. by Ben Knight Evans .

    LCF MA Graduate Show: Private View

    Following on from The Karass, the film made by Nick Knight with Kat Marks showcasing her stunning MA Fashion Artefact graduate collection, yesterday evening saw an invite-only showing of the film (alongside her work) as part of the London College of Fashion's MA private view at Victoria House in Holborn. Speaking with Kat we learnt that each collection begins with a Kurt Vonnegut story, 'the Karass' being an expression coined by the American writer in Cat’s Cradle to describe a group that meets spontaneously and works harmoniously. Marks also examined ‘emergence’ which in philosophy, science and art examines the patterns and origins that precede objects and events. This all sounds horrendously complex, but the beauty of the pieces and the exhibit were plain to see, the film being framed monolithicly with six of Marks’ breastplate pieces.

    The exhibition as a whole was an impressive showcase, displaying the work of several MA Fashion courses including Digital Fashion, Fashion Curation and Footwear. Of note in Photography was Camilo Eschenem’s image of heaped clothing, which reflected issues of disposability in fashion that the Fashion and the Environment program seeks to address. As always, the successes here were when the beauty and craft of the pieces negated the need for responsibility as an excuse. Saida Bruce’s elegantly displayed pieces acknowledged the traditions of ethical clothing with spriggy florals and lived-in and sunned-on colours, and elevated them with simple but touching elements such as a seemingly frail single thread blanket-stitch.

    Also interesting in the Fashion Artefact exhibition was Wei Wang's collection of geometrically-shaped cracked-porcelain minaudières and Yu Lin Xu's irregular polyhedron bags, some in Miami pastels and others in more muted stony tones.

    Ben Knight Evans

  4. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Jean-Pierre Braganza

    To begin London Fashion Week proper was Jean-Pierre Braganza in a show of sculpted and moulded leather, wool and chiffon. Tailoring was well executed and the whole show had a touch of gentle dangerousness. If that oxymoron is too much abuse of the English language already, I will not attempt a coining of a term for the cuban heels (of at least 10cm) that can just about be made out on the gentleman in this picture.

    Ben Knight Evans

  5. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: b Store

    This evening we saw b Store's presentation of its A/W 2011 Collection at a grand townhouse on Portland Place. Based on the teenage wistfulness of 'My Own Private Idaho', the collection reached its aim in presenting a refined and crystallised vision of adolescent 'so what' and 'I am', and accessed many recognised first steps to grown-up dressing. Mixing bouclé jackets, shapeless hats reminiscent of Stephen Jones' A/W 06 creations for Louis Vuitton, plaid, wool and boxy masculine tailoring for boys and girls, the collection was a defined expression of relaxed confidence in early man- and womanhood.

    Ben Knight Evans


    1. Cyrille
      12:45 4 Sep 2013
      Good show as usual guys. I want to clarify sitemhong, despite all the shit Marvel gets up to, I still love Marvel characters and have done for a long time. There are Marvel books that I wish I was still getting and my last column explains why it isn't any easy stance for me. To paraphrase John F Kennedy We don't do these things because they are easy, we do them because they are hard . Its not easy to hear your mates say how great The Avengers movie and I have to explain for the nth time why I am not going to see it but hopefully if people speak out about it, it might help the situation. And its not just Kirby, Don Heck was involved with Lee and Kirby in creating Iron Man and co-created Black Widow and Hawkeye with Stan Lee. Now that Kirby's family are getting treated so bad, Hecks family have no chance of benefitting either. Incidentally my next column is a manga one.
  6. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Louise Gray

    The drizzle may have continued, but the perfect antidote was the technicolour delight of Louise Gray. The show -which was accessorised with amusing and cheery balloon headpieces- comprised of bright mohair plaids (at times woven to give a carnival laundry bag effect) and patchwork. This playfulness was further emphasised with exaggerated features such as swollen backpack armstraps on dresses. Keeping the collection just on the right side of Saturday morning kids' TV was the use of slightly harsher elements such as utility clips and fastenings. All in all, the collection was bright and breezy (which is not to negate the excellent craft of the pieces and inspired styling), as seen on the smiley models leaving the show with their rainbow-dot make-up intact.

    Ben Knight Evans


    1. Arnold
      18:14 2 Sep 2013
      I know when I was in my teens, they showed Monty Python on the local PBS saotitn (that's the U.S. public broadcasting, private nonprofit network), and I thought it was one of the oddest and funniest things I'd ever seen!
  7. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Fyodor Golan

    Covent Garden's grand Freemasons' Hall was the setting for 'Pagan Poetry', the latest collection from Fyodor Golan showing as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout. Duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman showed a collection partly inspired by the body scar patterns used as derivatives of status in certain african tribes. The collection was put together with great skill and delicacy, particularly impressive was a leather gown featuring said scar embossments which was deftly cut and had a savage grace in keeping with its inspiration.

    Ben Knight Evans

  8. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: JW Anderson womens

    Blame crumbling gender boundaries, LOVE's latest androgyny-themed issue or greater workplace equality if you wish, but fashion is infatuated more than ever with attaining a sophisticated boy-girl chic. The JW Anderson womens show presented in the Portico Rooms of Somerset House contributed to this discussion, and did so with impeccable confidence and reserve. Upon a foundation of lean, mod-ish tailoring, Anderson placed elements of flamboyant male dress -such as a smoking-jacket paisley print- to great effect. Countering the rigour of the tailoring was a refined casualness seen in a skirt tied with two arms of a jumper. Also of note were the bizarrely covetable mongolian lamb and Swarovski-embellished bovver-boot shoes. We look forward to Anderson's mens offering on Wednesday to see this appealing girl's counterpart.

    Ben Knight Evans

  9. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Deisgners Remix by Charlotte Eskildsen

    The first appointment of Sunday morning was the Charlotte Eskildsen's Designers Remix presentation in the Portico Rooms at Somerset House. Entitled 'Palais Royal' and inspired by the palace of the same name in Paris, the collection used drapery to an architectural effect and the structurally impressive bouffants were also in keeping.

    Ben Knight Evans


    1. fredericPierre-artist
      18:32 20 Feb 2011
      Very beautiful, nothing much I may say will convey my true pleasure.
  10. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Kirsty Ward

    Returning to the Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, this morning saw a reception held for the designers presenting in the ones to watch exhibition. We spoke to Kirsty Ward showing her second standalone collection, having previously worked at Alberta Ferretti and designing jewellery for her designer boyfriend since leaving St Martins. Kirsty spoke of her desire to interpret things that are not immediately beautiful or appealing and make them more so. This informed a use of "sicky, yucky colours" which actually translated to a soft palette of browns and mustards alongside mesh of white and black that looked far from nauseating. The collection also incorporates jewellery made of items scoured from hardware stores trapped between layers of mesh and neoprene.

    Ben Knight Evans

  11. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: hokum-hokum

    Also at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout exhibition were designers Jackie Chung and T Lee of hokum-hokum. Wearing their Spring/Summer collection, the ladies talked us through their offerings for Autumn/Winter which utilises their mixed womens/menswear backgrounds and uses a number of interesting fabrics such as a floral print of appliqued mohair and machine-knitted wools in waffle weave with prints inspired by african tribalism.

    Ben Knight Evans

  12. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Ann-Sofie Back Atelje

    Back at the Portico Rooms, and the beautiful Ann-Sofie Back Atelje salon show. A stunningly pitched collection of rigourous yet flowing and curvaceous tailoring embellished, controlled and facilitated by gold fastenings in selected zones such as the corner of one collar. In colours that resembled and at times appeared in watered silk, a standout piece was a jumpsuit cut immaculately to move with the same freedom as a long sheath.

    Ben Knight Evans

  13. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Julien Macdonald

    This evening saw Julien Macdonald's show in a gothic church in Mayfair with a collection much in keeping. To a blaring soundtrack of Korn and more thrashing distorted guitars, Macdonald's girls stomped down the aisle in dresses that perhaps threatened more danger with a flowing-chiffon-train and spike-stiletto combination than Macdonald's muse: the angry misguided teen.

    Ben Knight Evans

  14. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Marios Schwab

    Following Katrantzou in the Somerset House courtyard was Marios Schwab's A/W 11 collection of his idiosyncraticly rigourous tailored dresses. With mid nineties Versace-style buckle details and Swarovski pearl encrustations in Minoan patterns that traced erogenous zones, a couple of lapses into less disciplined and form-fitted dresses were an interesting and welcome surprise as well.

    Ben Knight Evans

  15. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Meadham Kirchoff

    A very late start for a very short show (it cannot have lasted much more than 5 minutes) was fitting for a Meadham Kirchoff collection that had contrasts of classic bouclé jackets on boys, Puritan hats and a vaguely disturbed feel helped by a soundtrack including the classic Psycho violins. The runway was adorned with huge shrines adorned with candles, flowers, photos and messages in the style of the public tributes seen when national figures depart sooner than expected, a little like the models did today.

    Ben Knight Evans

  16. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Thomas Tait

    This evening Thomas Tait showed his first collection following his win of The Dorchester Collection Prize. The collection was suitably elegant and luxurious in keeping with its benefactor, and used a minimal palette of monochrome plus navy with enveloping and unfurling garments seemingly drawn from exaggerated patterns of a jacket.

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