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  1. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Christopher Shannon

    Back at Somerset House, and Christopher Shannon. Showcasing his ongoing collaboration with Eastpak, this time manifesting in nylon satchel-style backpacks, the show had a certain playful masculinity. With Greek influences such as an emblazoned Orthodox cross and pom-pom trimming reminiscent of folk dress, and a terraces (flat cap and swagger) and trimmings (flounces and ruffles) note; the show was made all the more entertaining with not one but three Rihanna tracks mixed in to the soundtrack.

    Ben Knight Evans

  2. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Cassette Playa

    This afternoon's Cassette Playa collection was expectedly colourful, with some of the models sprayed gold. Inspired by Cassette Playa's interesting relationship with Ken of Ken and Barbie fame (designer Carrie Mundane describes Ken as "the ultimate boyfriend... fearless and intelligent, and has individual style: a warrior!"), complementary talking Ken dolls were to be found sitting on front row.

  3. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Hardy Amies

    At Hardy Amies on Savile Row, Claire Malcolm showed her A/W 2011 collection for the historic and royally patronised house. Alongside the tailoring of coats and suits -that was of course immaculate- also sat greatly desirable knitwear including rollnecks and ribbed cardigans, largely coming in greys but also in a crystal-bright aqua and deep maroon. The collection communicated a confident relaxation, and succeeded in proving once again the gentleman's love of Savile Row tailoring is modern and eternal.

  4. by Ben Knight Evans .

    London Fashion Week: Tween

    Turkish textile brand Tween's show at Somerset House was a neat and tidy collection for a rough and ready man. Many models carried rolled-up blankets and sported waxed denim and cotton like a portable tent in a show of luxurious utilitarianism. Bringing to mind the storied explorer's paradox of living luxury at home and practicality in the harsh of the unknown; features such as leather and quilted patches under the forearm provided interest in detail which was explored further in quilted trenches.

  5. by Ben Knight Evans .

    Paris Fashion Week: Maison Martin Margiela

    The Maison Margiela Margiela show this afternooon at the Palais de Tokyo was one that addressed the concept of dressing in a way that Margiela does so interestingly. Exploring the notion of wrapping and unwrapping, with peeling layers at front and back and boots with fishnet tights wrapped on the outside, the collection featured rich and soft fabrics (leather, cashmere, pony) and colours (raspberry, aqua, lavender) against powerful black looks, some with beautiful 20s flapper-style beading.

  6. by Ben Knight Evans .

    Paris Fashion Week: Yohji Yamamoto

    This evening's Yohji Yamamoto show was predominantly punk in theme, with generous historical reference. Formed largely of fabrics that both cloak and reveal (read: crochet, voile and broderie anglaise) mostly in black with the occasional burst of crimson and khaki, the collection spliced in elements of historical dress such as the bustle, crinoline and stomacher in ever-intriguing ways. The show was seemingly similar in theme to the punk ethos in a 'trashing one's forefathers' sort of way, yet such respect, thought and care was applied to the treatment that the atmosphere was infinitely more refined and positive.

  7. by Ben Knight Evans .

    Paris Fashion Week: Felicity Brown at the London Showrooms

    At the London Showrooms on the Rue Richelieu, we have an opportunity to get a closer look at the work of several London designers. Firstly, we saw Felicity Brown and her collection of dresses with sawn-into layers of silk inspired by costume and distinctly remeniscent of the Ballets Russes. With beautiful colours and Scheherezade batik-style patterns, the collection revealed layers of boning, lacing and corsetry in a simultaneously savage and delicate fashion.

  8. by Ben Knight Evans .

    Paris Fashion Week: Alexis Mabille

    Alexis Mabille's A/W 2011 collection continued on the distinct note of bourgeois struck by Jean Paul Gaultier yesterday. The show -which began with a maid opening the curtains through which the models entered the hall from the bitter Parisian cold outside- had a heavy Country Living vibe to it, with equestrian details such as braid and blanket coats sitting alongside paisley print. This new direction in some ways alienated the Mabille signature pieces of soft-yet-neat tailoring with carefully placed bows, yet these stood out as the more chic and desireable pieces. Surefooted as this new direction seemed from Mabille and his confident stride at the finale, doubt from the viewer was enhanced by the tumble of several models from leather-tasseled heels to the parquet floor.

  9. by Ben Knight Evans .

    Paris Fashion Week: Commuun

    Commuun's show at the Maison de la Chimie featured a collection geometric in theme, pattern-cut so that most seams hung vertically and horizontally on the body with 90° precision. The occasional foray into wavy bands of colour provided interest, as did the fact that every look featured several different fabrics in layers, from see-through jersey and voile to treated silks and deep-pile wools in a collection that was defined and pleasant to digest.

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