28 Oct 2011

23 Oct 2011

At the Margaret Howell Sample Sale at The Music Rooms in Soho

I arrived at around four on the second and final day of the Margaret Howell sample sale, which I'd previously remembered as a hectic, sweaty and stuffy affair with lots of little shuffles around from their annual sample sale the previous year at the same location. So I dressed accordingly, foregoing the outerwear and all. To my surprise, the place was surreally calm and airy, with only a handful of other sale attendees languidly sauntering from rack to rack, drifting occasionally to rifle through the boxes of smaller items which were on display on long tables. The staff were jovially chatting amongst themselves, their laughter periodically filling the room. During one of the quieter moments, they had even taken to creatively rearranging the loose buttons which were on sale into smiling faces, one distinctly French and sailor-esque. I left with a white cotton pleated full knee-length skirt with pockets (I love pockets!) and cute pearl buttons down the front. I've yet to wear it. Maybe when next summer rolls around and the sunny weather lasts for more than a few days, you know, outside of exam period. Damn.

6 Oct 2011

Style Notes: Todd Lynn S/S 2012

London Fashion Week may have come and gone almost 3 weeks ago, but one collection in particular keeps playing back in my head. It was the first time I had 'been' to LFW. Been is perhaps a slight embellishment for I wasn't there as fashion journalist, photographer or blogger to cover the latest shows. Nor had I access to the exhibition, nevermind passes to any of the shows! I was merely present as a voyeur outside fashion week venues hoping to catch a glimpse of the excitement that surrounds these 2 weeks of every year in London. I was stood in the courtyard of Somerset House waiting for my friends to arrive when the Todd Lynn show started and I stood motionless in amazement with the small crowd of people chatting around a giant LED screen.

Here's my notes on the collection:
Spring/Summer 2012 sees a more placid interpretation of Todd Lynn’s signature strict aesthetic.
Flowing lines, softer silhouettes and cool neutral shades evoke a gentler sensibility than what we’ve come to expect from Lynn’s previous collections.
Supposedly influenced by the notion of ‘girls escaping a mental asylum’, pieces were made to look as though they had been hacked to pieces before being refashioned into a garment. The idea of ‘the calm after the storm’ was evident in the pairing of razor sharp tailoring, clean cut necklines with frayed hemlines, raw edges and ripples of silky drapes.
Washed cobalt linen injected colour into an otherwise ubiquitous palette of neutrals; from crisp white, gradating into translucent silvers, sheer taupe, icy grey and absolute black.
Models were perched high upon soaring nude Louboutin ankle boots with bands of leather detailing.
Jackets were cut out in parts midway up the sleeves and lapels to be reconstituted with metallic pins. I particularly like the sleek jackets with their minimalistic enveloping collars and narrow plunging necklines. The sharp rectangular cut outs reveal the silk beneath and draw attention to the hips, which are accentuated by the drapes. This is further drawn out by the differences in colour and texture of the main body of the jacket with the silk.
I saw the concepts of 'embracing' and 'protecting' omnipresent in this collection with the close fitting jackets (some with double breasted overlaps) the soft draping fabrics belted together and the grey dress and top composed of panels of fabric that envelop the body.
Overall it's another meticulous yet concise collection from the Canadian visionary. It still retains the precision of his work but with a softer air and less edgy feel. Perhaps to become more commercial? Nevertheless, this was a strong collection.

(Image originally from ad-minimum on tumblr, manipulated by Wenxin Liu)