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.
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.
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.
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.
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.