Category ‘London Fashion Week’

At London Fashion Week I feasted my eyes on volumes & textures

Posted in London Fashion Week on Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

I love some architectural knitwear, me. And some pleats and folds. I’m not a super prolific ‘pinner’, but check out this board to see what my eye is mostly drawn to when it comes to A/W collections.

So you will understand why London Fashion Week made me happy. Lots of stunning knitwear, and some pretty cool origami textile play. As seen at Estethica, at the Wolf & Badger showroom, and at the International Fashion Showcase. Follow me through a brief visual trail:

K2TOG

DevikaDass

gudrun_devika

gudrun1

gudrun2

estonia

Jana Mikesova

paula ledesma

K2TOG and Devika Dass @ Estethica. Gudrun & Gudrun @ Wolf & Badger showroom. Marit Ilison and Laivi (Estonia), Jana Mikesova (Czhech Republic) and Paula Ledesma (Argentina) @ International Fashion Showcase.

Femme Maison

Estonia2

Estonia3

Femme Maison (Austria), Marit Ilison, Riina Poldroos, Xenia Joost and Anu Lensment (Estonia) at International Fashion Showcase.

 

London Fashion Week Special // Estethica – Womenswear

Posted in London Fashion Week on Friday, September 27th, 2013

Let’s pick up from yesterday’s coverage of Estethica at London Fashion Week, SS14. The accessories were beautiful, but there’s more magic coming in the form of womenswear. I suppose I could rephrase the incipit of this post, and go from coverage to plain and simple Wishlist!!

Katrien Van Hecke’s fashion stands for modern artisanal luxury with a strong focus on silk and hand dyed dresses. Katrien always starts from raw white materials that she uses as a canvas to find structures and prints. She extracts colours from herbs and spices, which are then fixed with harmless chemicals into the fibre of the fabric. I had great fun chatting with Katrien about her studio/lab/kitchen, and hearing how that shade comes from curry and that other one from edible herbs… but mostly I loved the combination of the colourways with the great sculptural shapes.

Liora’s collection is titled ‘Soft Fruits And Hard Lines’ and the two halves that make it up blend seamlessly into ensembles which are funky and colourful and wearable and happy. Liora continues utilising upcycled materials for her denim pieces, but for the first time she introduces printed textiles, like hemp – which she printed in playful renditions of the inspiration she soaked up on a recent trip to Brazil. Another link to Brazil to be found at Estethica – this one the ‘youngest’ and more playful, which just screams Summer 2014!

“I found my calling sitting under a cherry blossom tree in the heart of Tokyo and I wanted to translate that life changing moment, giving it a twist of Notting Hill charm”. This is how Nicola Wood, Founder and Creative Director of Beautiful Soul describes her latest collection. And it’s all in this sentence: need I add more? I love the Bee detail in the print – and Nicola explains that she is also currently supporting a charity that campaigns for the protection of the bumble bee, at risk of extinction.

That of People Tree is a welcome return to Estethica – this brand is a true pioneer of ethical fashion and its Founder, Safia Minney, is an important figure in the movement (together with Orsola De Castro, the mind behind Estethica, and Carry Somers of Pachacuti, a brand that shows here every season). To mark the occasion, People Tree presented a special Atelier collection which has a more sleek and contemporary feel than the main line – but is still hand-dyed and hand-woven from 100% Fair Trade fabric, true to People Tree’s commitment to FairTrade. The main line, as usual, features great colourways and prints – the perfect staples for SS14 day wear.

 

London Fashion Week Special // Estethica – the accessories

Posted in London Fashion Week on Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Another great season for Estethica, the Slow Fashion area of London Fashion Week. From swimwear to hats to bags, check out these collections to see what you’re going to want come next Spring Summer.

No reason to wait till next year to sport a bag by Sonya Kashmiri, really. Make one yours, and you’ll love wearing it all year round, especially in black. However SS14 sees the introduction of a particularly subtle tone of nude, perfect to complement most outfits, from the city to the resort. The shapes betray their inspiration “from the architectural buildings of Zaha Hadid, such as the modern Art Centre in China combined with the botanical drawings of Ernst Haeckel”, but with an organic feel to them. All made from a range of natural Italian chrome-free leathers and organic linen, and manufactured in Europe.

Neutrals also feature with Mich Dulce (love the monochrome), but the three-story collection also comprises of a bright lipstick red and a soft cornflower blue which is probably my favourite colour of the season (you’ll see more with Pachacuti and Beautiful Soul). The shapes are full of details: from the signature angular folds to the dainty piped bows. And the material is very much worthy of a note: it’s banana leaves, handwoven by women from the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation, a Philippine-based poverty alleviation org where Mich herself gives personal skills training to support female tribes in impoverished regions.

From Philippines to Brazil, another example of how local skills can be used to produce cutting-edge fashion comes from Bottletop. They had already introduced colour with the AW13 petrol green, but the SS14 collection takes this up a notch with an explosion of citrusy-cum-neon hues – also a perfect match to the Brazilian flag, which will be absolutely everywhere come summer (Football World Cup!). All Bottletop designs are created by hand in Salvador de Bahia, and profits are used to fund the operation of the Bottletop Foundation – using contemporary art and music to raise funds and awareness for education projects that tackle delicate teenage health issues such as HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy (not just in Brazil, but in Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda).

If it’s primary colours and neon flashes you’re after, you’ll be dazzled by Auria‘s swimwear range. The Wish You Were Here print has a dizzy 3D effect, and the Air Mail theme is just downright cute – all paired with classic shapes which a utterly flattering, and also great for a cocktail as much as the pool edge. The collection is Made in Britain from 100% recycled polyester – the most glamourous possible second lease of life for those decommissioned fishing nets.

Same principles, different prints: Auria also collaborated with Ada Zanditon to produce Ada’s swimwear for SS14. Here’s a sneak peak – more about the womenswear collection and film in tomorrow’s Womenswear post.

The largest range by far was shown by Pachacuti – with something for everyone, from beach bags to classic Panamas, to feather fascinators and colourful trilbies featuring handwoven houndstooth details. The Mardi Gras collection is inspired by Mexico, where the use of feathers is one of the oldest costuming traditions and a staple adornment in Mexican carnivals. The St Barths collection (designed by Wendy St Barths) and the Riviera Maya collection feature a first for Pachacuti: beach bags. Panama hat palm is combined with hand-loomed Ecuadorian ribbons, cabuya cactus fibre, rainforest-friendly tagua and coconut to create a durable and stylish collection of bags for the beach or a trip into town. The hats have wide brims for sun protection, and classic nautical colours complemented by Italian trims. The A Day in Havana collection pays homage to Cuba, that used to be one of the main importers of Panama hats. But these are revisited in Cuban-inspired colours and Italian linen ribbons and Dashing Tweeds accents, that bring a timeless sense of classic sporting style to this range. All hates are made under fair trade conditions in Ecuador.

London Fashion Week Special // Cock & Bull Menswear

Posted in London Fashion Week, Shopping on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

It goes without saying, London Fashion Week teemed with events and launches, not just from the official calendar, but off-schedule too. This season, the parties started early – the night before LFW’s actual first day – with the Cock&Bull store opening.

Yesterday’s post was about the online retail world – but I’m happy to report there’s a new, real!, boutique in London that stocks a great selection of Slow Fashion brands. And it’s for you, gentlemen. The Cock & Bull Menswear boutique recently opened its doors on Cheshire Street (off Brick Lane), already a destination address for excellent independent stores. [right image: from estatesgazette]

Cock & Bull is a British brand launched in 2012 from a desire to offer a range of menswear entirely made in the UK and from sustainable textiles – we’re talking small runs and limited editions of staples and key accessory items. From a finely tailored shirt to hemp briefs, from classic chinos to bright coloured socks, you’ll find what you need and more here.

Cock & Bull’s own range features the cool print t-shirts as well as the hats, the underwear and some great chinos and beach shorts. But I was also glad to see some other well known Slow Fashion brands thrown into the mix: shirts by Arthur & Henry and Reborn London, a great selection of accessories by Elvis & Kresse, sunglasses by Proof, socks by Minga Berlin, and a little lifestyle addition with beauty products by Conscious Skincare and stationery by Grafika.

The price range is just right, too. Not too high – by which I don’t mean cheap (stuff)! But just the fair price to pay for quality wardrobe additions that will last the test of time. Plus quite a few things that will make great gifts – I don’t want to mention C*******s yet, but do add this shop to your list for when the time comes!

Here’s a short video from the night – I make a fleeting appearance at 1’40″ and 2’10″ :)

London Fashion Week Special // Slow Fashion collections launched for luxury e-tailers

Posted in London Fashion Week, Shopping on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

This London Fashion Week was the most digital to date, with lots of opportunities to virtually connect and follow events. So it seems only fitting that two of the most exciting launches of the last 24 hours are about major online retailers, that are opening their platforms to two new Slow fashion collections.

Yoox has long been known to support ‘eco-mmerce’: their Yooxygen section is filled with a great choice of sustainable pieces for all occasions. And they have a special page dedicated to Estethica – with the new AW13 collections released in conjunction with LFW’s first day.

But today, another special collaboration is launched: Master & Muse, a new socially responsible fashion and lifestyle brand by environmentalist supermodel Amber Valletta.

The collection has just been made available to shop – literally minutes ago. Brands include Rewardrobe favourite, London-based upcyclers Goodone, other Estethica darlings like Joanna Cave and Mich Dulce, and more hailing from the States, like The SwayM.Patmos100% NY and H. Fredriksson.

Livia Firth, creative director of Eco Age, also launched a special collaboration with Yooxygen for SS13, but her next big project was unveiled yesterday, and this time it is with pioneering luxury e-tailer Net-a-Porter. An absolutely appropriate platform to present the first collection for Green Carpet Challenge, which always was a luxury project.

“]”]Many designers from the best fashion maisons have already signed bespoke creations for Livia to wear on numerous red carpets alongside husband Colin Firth – but this collection is the first one to have been designed for the public. And what talent did it employ! The limited edition styles are by Christopher Bailey and Christopher KaneVictoria BeckhamErdem and Roland Mouret - and were all designed ”in accordance with GCC ethical criteria and produced to the highest sustainable standards”.

The collection was officially presented last night at a star-studded event, with the presence of Anna Wintour and a formal introduction by Natalie Massanet (founder of Net-a-Porter and current Chair of the British Fashion Council), who wore a dress made of Newlife fabric, derived from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Twenty percent of the proceeds will help finance Global Fund projects, to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Africa.

LFW AW13 Special // Picks from the exhibitions

Posted in London Fashion Week on Thursday, February 28th, 2013

As you have read in all previous posts of this LFW AW13 Special, I attended all events where Slow fashion brands were involved. But I didn’t stop there. I also visited the Somerset House and Fashion Scout exhibitions at large, to have a complete overview of what the trends will be for the season, and also to find out about other brands that weren’t already on my list.

I did find a few very interesting ones. A couple of them (Blake LDN and Hellen Van Rees) do highlight their sustainability efforts. The other two (Negarin and Christopher Waller) don’t, but then proudly tell me of how they source their fabrics from the UK and Italy, and how all production is made in Britain.

While Hellen Van Rees has a more artistic and colourful approach, what I really appreciated about Blake LDN, Negarin and Christopher Waller were the simplicity, the clean lines, the graphic cuts and immaculate shapes. All perfect for a number of occasions, to be worn for work or events. That is, all I look for in a brand that I’d like to put in front of a client – and my clients are very often working women in search of quality and flattering pieces, that above all need to be versatile.

Negarin

The collection takes inspiration from the underground, anti-conformist 50s/60s vibe; silhouettes are slim and art house-y. As with all Negarin’s collections colours are vibrant and uplifting, with innocent neutrals meeting dynamic jewel-like tones to create a colour mood that works from day through night and takes the Negarin woman from one time zone to another. Negarin’s tailored pieces combine with fluid ones to meet the needs of every working woman’s wardrobe, with the interesting detail of a clever reversible twist. A trained artist and sculptor, Negarin Sadr weaves the story of her art into the medium of clothing, working with shapes. All garments are produced in the UK and fabrics are sourced in Europe.

Blake LDN

Heralding from London’s Central St Martins, Alice Ashby has previously worked as assistant knitwear designer at Rag & Bone in New York and co-founded luxury knitwear label The North Circular. She launched Blake LDN in Sept 2012. Blake LDN’s mission is to create contemporary knitwear that offers a more conscious alternative within the luxury market, with a focus on sound sourcing and manufacturing. AW13 was inspired by vintage ski images, adapting and creating a modern day take on the traditional chunky ski-knit, like new styles of bomber jackets, oversized boyfriend sweaters and chunky ribbed polo necks. Clashing hues of rich gold and bright neon framed with deep navys and army greens achieve a modern take on an everyday essential. Combining Merino wool, angora and Loro Piana cashmere this A/W collection is rich in texture, colour and pattern.

Christopher Waller

Founded in 2010, the Christopher Waller label aims to provide sophisticated urban women with luxurious staples that can easily make the transition from day to evening wear. Colour blocking and fabric blocking form the backbone of the Christopher Waller aesthetic. Fluid crepes are blended with suede, leather, heavy wool jersey and mohair to create statement pieces. Muted shades of red and teal are carried through into the digitally printed silks, contrasting with the heavier wool and leather. Christopher Waller is based in Peckham, south east London and draws inspiration for his collections from the architecture and surroundings of his home city. The collections are all manufactured in London with fabrics coming primarily from the UK and Italy.

Hellen Van Rees

A/W’13 SQUARE3 Angle: The Tranformation is Hellen van Rees’s second independent collection. It sees her continue the ideas born in her graduate collection: the same handmade tweed fabrics created using factory remnants and recycled threads, with the same three-dimensional threaded blocks creating a playful and futuristic silhouette. But this season is an exploration into what happens when yarns of all colours are combined in one textile. Hellen also uses new materials this season – a pitch black and bright white rubber-coating to create a stark contrast with the vibrant multicolour handmade tweeds. Combined with silhouettes inspired by classic Chanel skirt suits and contemporary art installations, the result is a visually strong but surprisingly wearable collection. Hellen van Rees is a Dutch fashion and textile designer who graduated from the prestigious MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins in London in February 2012. After graduating she moved to the Netherlands to start her own label. Her first collection was named “One to Watch” by Fashion Scout, where she returned to show this season.

LFW AW13 // Off Schedule // Choolips

Posted in London Fashion Week on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Choolips‘s AW collection is a true LFW Off Schedule affair: in that it wasn’t presented at LFW! Annegret Affolderbach, the designer behind the label, is truly independent even when it comes to her presentations. But since I’m covering the latest AW13 collections at the moment, I just had to give some space to this feel-good and do-good brand, whose prints just give me a buzz of energy.

Annegret describes ‘The sky was made of amethyst’ as “Stained glass windows swimming in watercolour seas, set against burning amethyst skies, whilst the promise of spring meadows teases with the hope of fresh beginnings.” So, how do you translate that into a print? “Our AW13 pushes the boundaries of traditional handprinted batik techniques local to Ghana/West Africa by combining our own ‘painting’ techniques with traditional batik stamping processes.”

All Choolips’s’ prints are handprinted by Ghanaian batikers. Inspired by people, their lives and entrepreneurial small businesses in developing economies, Annegret’s passion for textiles took her to West Africa with the intent to revamp traditional techniques and help sustain the artisans and entrepreneurs behind them. Choolips aims to create ‘New Heritage’ by harmonising the mindset of producers and consumers, by trading fairly and by producing locally with small water & carbon footprints.

Also, all accessories are hand-finished by seamstresses in Ghana, while the garments are tailored by social enterprise SOKO in Kenya. The fabrics are African cotton, and all prints are azo- and formaldehyde-free

Choolips counts legendary Opening Ceremony, Steven Alan & Asos.com amongst its stockists. So, while you wait for ‘The sky was made of amethyst’ to land in September, you can always feast your eyes on (and acquire!) the summer prints of their Golden Coast collection, or their trans-seasonal scarves.

LFW AW13 // Off Schedule // Atelier Tammam

Posted in London Fashion Week on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

My favourite LFW experience this season was at Atelier Tammam. I loved the Slow feeling of it, both because is was a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Somerset House, and because of its very concept.

Nestled in a pretty street only steps away from the Renaissance Hotel at St. Pancras, Atelier Tammam has a similar philosophy: to offer a thorough modern product and service, while celebrating the grandeur of the past. As designer Lucy Tammam puts it: “The Atelier offers a bespoke service, designing, pattern cutting and tailoring any kind of garment for any occasion to each individual customer. This season we have decided to recreate the showcases of traditional couture houses, to reflect not only our inspiration from the golden era of couture but also our dedication to offering garments that are made in traditional ways by and for real people.” So, for a limited number of guests, a ‘live’ show was offered rather than a catwalk, with a commentary describing every piece, its material and provenance.

The presentation started with a range of beautifully cut, flattering yet unusual day wear, including black and white eri silk hand loomed trousers and a black and white eri silk tunic, hand finished in the traditional method. The organic silk comes from Assam, it is guaranteed to be ahimsa, a cruelty free process which ensures the moth is allowed to fly before the cocoon is processed into yarn. The yarns are then hand woven by a co-operative in Eastern India. The rouching on the top is done by hand by artisans at a fair trade stitching unit in Bangalore. The houndstooth trousers are available in a variety of colours, hand loomed using spun eri silk. However, this season for the first time Tammam also sourced some local materials, like stock lace made in the UK, paired to organic fair trade cotton.

My favourite was certainly the Kirsten dress, that incorporates the philosophy of Slow Fashion in so many ways. This is a beautiful couture 2 piece gown in eri silk, a simple flattering design that lends itself to being turned inside out offering a new look instantly. This type of gown is perfect for a bride who wishes to reuse her wedding dress, or wants to update her look for her reception. For the ceremony, the dress can be worn with a British lace over layer, but afterwards it can be transformed, meaning it won’t be relinquished to a dust bag after only one (precious) days’ use.

Naturally, Atelier Tammam has become renowned for their bridal ranges, and it was wonderful to see the perfect cuts and delicate fabrics from up close. For example, an exquisite hand block printed and embroidered organza veil, done by hand by Ammu in Bangalore, Southern India: it takes her almost a month to embroider a veil of a standard size using a fine eri silk yarn. Other hand made lace accessories include boleros in peace silk and reclaimed tulle. I also appreciate Tammam’s efforts in minimising wastage, using clever pattern cutting to utilise offcuts of fabrics from other designs from past collections.

Lucy adds: “Atelier Tammam’s focus has always been on creating ethical fashion that does not look “ethical” in the stereotypical sense: our focus has always been on style while working with the possibilities offered to us through our unique supply chain of fair trade producers, eco friendly materials and traditional crafts.”

 

LFW AW13 // Off Schedule // Ecoluxe

Posted in London Fashion Week on Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

This season I attended Ecoluxe with the precise intent to meet an upcycling designer I’d been following for a while: Lisbeth Løvbak Berg. I was looking forward to see her multifunctional pieces, hand made in France from pre-consumer waste, and combined with eco materials such as Norwegian Wool. Lisbeth graduated from Oslo University College with a degree in fashion in 2010. She has trained with Hemyca and Phillipa Lepley Couture in London, as well as in the French confection business. She launched her first colleciton “Decay in Beauty in London autumn 2010 and from this has grown the brand L-L-B.

I also really liked the new raincoats by Supported By Rain, upcycled from lost or broken umbrellas. Interesting how they’ve played with different logos to emphasise the material’s origin and add texture to the pattern.

I was happy to finally meet Maria, the founder of Etrala London, a brand I’ve been following for a while. The fabrics were great, like the British wool tweed for the dresses. Perfect for work, but with each with a quirky detail, such as the fun colourful lining. I like their Slow concept of only producing as per demand to reduce surplus stock and wastage.

I had seen Bailey Tomlin‘s light and ethereal millinery at Ecoluxe before, but this season I was mostly attracted by her accessories, which she produces out of materials left over from the hats production. (I do suggest you have a look at her website for truly beautiful pictures of the pieces!)

Elena Garcia collection predictably was made with the best fabrics at the event – Elena uses organic silk and hand-dye techniques. I liked their luxurious feel, paired with the loose shapes and the tie-dye effects.

The new discovery this season was Danica Cosic, an American designer who moved to Marrackech and discovered the art of maroquinerie. She collaborated with local artisans with “the goal to provide a beautiful and unique fashion accessory, but also to support the local artisan businesses and provide a new platform for them to showcase their talents.  The female artisans are able to work from home, in an effort to provide additional income, while simultaneously continuing to care for their families.”

LFW AW13 Special // Estethica, the accessories

Posted in London Fashion Week on Friday, February 22nd, 2013

I often question myself whether I’m more passionate about accessories than I am about clothes. And the answer is probably yes. I don’t wear precious jewellery but I like custom pieces, the bolder the better. I fall in love with a necklace a day and I sometimes (well, regularly) plan my outfit around which necklace and shoes I feel like wearing that day. Shoes and bags, I’m prepared to spend good money on, and see them last for years and years. I don’t wear hats much, but I still managed to be wowed by the millinery prowess I saw…

But let me show you (still in perfectly random order):

VEJA

Well, the fact that I’m starting from Veja is not so random after all. Indeed, they were at Estethica as Special Guest (a tradition started last season with Honest by.). Also, they were the only brand presenting a shoes collection (and if you recall how much I love brogues then you’ll know what I was immediately drawn to). So who are Veja? “Organic cotton, wild rubber, vegetable tanned leather, Veja tries to change world trade rules” – all explained in a few simple words. Since 2004, Veja has created trainers, bags and accessories which combine principles of economic, social and environmental development, working with a cooperative of 30 families of little producers, based in the North of Brazil. The brand’s main collection is trainers, but they also have Projet Numéro Deux, a range of bags and accessories made of ecological materials. All Veja leather goods are tanned with acacia extracts, a natural and non-polluting tannin.

In keeping with their Brazil relations, Veja have just collaborated with Dr Greg Asner, a research professor at Stanford University. Flying over the Amazon on a small plane, he detects carbon emanations from the ground and creates aerial cartographies of the Amazonian forest to track changes in forest cover and biodiversity over time. The thing is, these maps are beautifully colourful, and they have been the inspiration for a limited edition of trainers.

Bottletop

There was a bit of a Brazilian connection at Estethica this season. Just like Veja, Bottletop also manufacture there. If for Veja the strong link is with the country’s natural resources (like the natural Amazonian rubber), Bottletop were inspired by a local popular form of recycling, and they’ve turned it into a fashion product, that is lovingly crafted in Salvador de Bahia and supports artisans and their families. The AW13 collection consists of three distinct lines: the Leather, Silver and Enamel Line. My absolute favourite was the enamel, both in the petrol blue gloss, and in the black matte.

Rudá rings

If Veja and Bottletop are European brands that have understood the enormous potential of Brazil, Janice Perez hails directly from Belo Horizonte. Her contemporary jewellery is made of Brazilian hardwood, sourced from old furniture and demolished houses, and raw stones such as hematite, pyrite, vanadinite, uvite and lapislazuli. After decades as a designer for Brazilian shoes brands, Janice decided to set up her own fashion business. She was looking for something aesthetically original which, as a first rule, should be organic and environmental friendly. To package the rings Janice recycles coffee’s sisal bags. The ring is placed inside a loofah’s case made from loofah (vegetable bush) to protect it throughout the transport and delivery. Inside the package there is also one small carnauba wax can, in order to encourage the customer to care about the ring and make it to last longer preserving it beauty.

The North Circular

TNC returns to Estethica after a few seasons, at a time when the attention to Made In Britain labels is really strong, with their accessories made from British wool, including cashmere, alpaca and rare breed Wensleydale. All items are hand knitted, loomed and weaved in the UK to help regenerate the ailing wool industry and support local manufacturers and craftsmen. The new AW collection is called Tribes and plays with patterns, cut and function to denote heraldry across British taste, from Medieval armour to hipster dip-dye to the English Gentleman’s style.Scaled up hounds tooth, checker and herringbone are mixed together in graphic panels on hats, gloves and scarves in contrasting monochrome and red and black to a bold effect. More architectural pieces come in the structured fisherman’s collars, snoods, lapel scarves and shrugs with corresponding hats and gloves, all knitted in cables of varying size and tension.

Lost Property Of London

Another welcome returnee! Lost Property of London is an independent accessories brand handcrafted here in London, incorporating second-hand fabrics by transforming them into beautiful yet practical totes and travel bags. Each season, the collection will employ a new theme or textile, with the A/W13 collection featuring some of the UK’s finest. Courtesy of Britain’s top yacht clubs, each bag has been made from faded tarpaulins and weathered sails, complemented with leather. Katy Bell, the brand’s founder, told me that Lost Property of London has been asked to produce a limited collection using Liberty’s art fabrics. Can’t wait to see those, too!

Mich Dulce

Mich’s headpieces are whimsical, quirky and feminine all in one. That’s quite something already, until you find out how she produces such beauties, and then you don’t just love the pieces but admire the business, too. Mich Dulce works with T’nalak, a traditional Filipino fabric made of hand-woven banana fibers, each piece handmade by women members of a poverty alleviation community, to which Mich gives personal skills training. Out of this, she produces a collection which is bang on trend with her graphic monochrome and red and yellow accents. Ethical fashion needs to be edgy and stylish to compete for buyers’ and customers’ attention, to drive sales and ultimately trade for the people who produce it. Mich achieves this 100%.

Pachacuti

“Our 21st Birthday collection has been inspired by four diverse themes, Supernova, Spiced Jazz, Peacock Revolution and Proper Country. ‘Supernova’ is a modern collection of fresh shapes
and cool colours, bringing a new look to winter in the city, reinterpreting utilitarian headwear such as aviator hats, moped helmets and riding hats. ‘Spiced Jazz’ matches rich, warm colours with neat,
stingy-brims and sharp details. The ‘Peacock Revolution’ combines the dapper with the opulent. Deep, rich jewel colours are combined with amboyant feathers, hand-woven Fair Trade Ecuadorian ribbons and Devon silk ribbons in a nod to the dandies of the past. ’Proper Country’ provides perfect hats for prowling both countryside and city. This is a luxurious mix of earthy colours, natural feather trims and horsehair bands. It goes without saying that all of our AW13 adheres to the highest standards of Fair Trade and Sustainability. Pachacuti has been a pioneer in ethical fashion since 1992 and continues to push the standards higher. For 2013 we are excited to be piloting the new WFTO Fair Trade Guarantee System, alongside People Tree in the UK and seven other Fair Trade organisations around the world, with the new label expected to be launched this Summer.”

 Phannatiq & Ada Zanditon

Wait, I hear you say, didn’t you already covered these two collections in your previous post on womenswear? Well, yes I did, but did you really think I would miss these two boards of super cool accessories? Ada Zanditon has been collaborating with Luca Romanyi for a few season now – but while the previous collections were based on wood, this one is all about mirror reflections and metal. Talking of reflections, Phannatiq picks on the fluo colour of the hi-vis uniforms she’s been inspired by for her jackets, and transfers them onto light and geometric perspex. Want, want, want!