Well, Friday is finally here. For those of you working on your own projects this weekend - in personal style, decor, or maybe a small business, I thought this shop's styling offered a wonderful reminder that in times of scarcity, a little inventiveness, confidence, and creativity goes a long way in creating a memorable experience. I say this as much for myself as I do for anyone else.
Last night I finally got a chance to weed through all the Fall 2011 RTW slideshows for London Fashion Week. Anyway, I didn't see much I really liked. A lot of the styles looked sort of old-hat to me and left me feeling like really the only new thing going, for most designers, was the inclusion of a lot of red.
However, there were a few designers who I thought really had something to say. From my front-row (ha) seat here at my laptop, I thought these particular collections were the most interesting, and the best-executed....without looking like they're trying too hard!
Anyway, you might want to take a look at the following slideshows...
A. ABSOLUTELY One of my favorites Charles Anastase - Totally hip. Yet polished. Just a great collection that seems really new, without seeming "NEW". I couldn't resist choosing this pseudo-negligee up here with these glorious boots, but if you have a sec, click on some of the other looks to see the full set of deliciously awkward ideas in action. There is a weird concept of fit here, but it's different, cultivated, and I LOVE it.
B. Jonathan Saunders - Thoughtful. Thoughtful. Thoughtful. Incredible color work. More than just color for color's sake. More than just pattern for pattern's sake. Lots of control, but still, so much fun. Saunders' thoughtfulness stands out amongst the other designers in London Fashion Week. He's a color expert, pure and simple. He uses some really great techniques to bring depth to his color palette. And that, in turn, accents the body of the person in the clothes.
C. Matthew Williamson - Overall, this collection relies too much on fur and feathers, which make it look kind of junior. But, the pieces which use fabric alone are really standout and almost look MORE exotic and dramatic - because they also look natural. I loved the multicolored, iridescent suits and the use of lighter colors mixed with heady brights is really dramatic. It's a little too multicolored for me as a collection, but there are a few really nice high notes in there.
D. Betty Jackson - Once you get past the first half of Betty Jackson's looks (a cross between Clifford the Big Red Dog and David Byrne's really big suit)...the collection enters into a really gorgeous series where pattern and texture overlay skin. This whole show had the feeling of stripping off layers to get to a delicate yet dangerous place - quite interesting. I definitely see the point of the first set of looks, though I wish there was some way to marry the two - delicate sheers with layers of thick, formless felt and fur...? I suppose it starts to happen as the sheer crochets meet the boxy shapes of the earlier pieces... Interesting.
E. Clements Ribiero - Kind of like Jonathan Saunders in that there's some real innovation in terms of application technique and pattern here. This collection feels really considered. It feels like someone TRIED for god's sake. I love the pattern-into-pattern ombre effect that's being explored. The overall effect is lush and antique yet lightweight and accented. There is also something interesting going on with the more simplified looks. I do think the tights could have been explored a little more - even if it was just a gray or nude / neutral used now and then as a color wash. They got a little repetitive. Repetitive. Oh wait, I just said that.
When I visit The Vamoose I keep a roll of paper towels nearby; because it always makes me drool all over myself.
Needless to say I am a tiny bit excited for the new bracelets. I really love the way this designer's original rope designs have given way to even deeper explorations in nature, color, and form. It's so exciting to watch as she expands into new territory...and so beautifully!
I'm going to be honest about what's been going on with me lately - probably for the past 5 or 6 months...and tell you that I have been trying to get back to what excites me in terms of working with design, pattern design, and generating ideas and products in general. I feel really great about much of what I have accomplished over the past couple of years. But lately, I have also been yearning to reacquaint with the spirit that made me want to start my collection to begin with, and to begin to bring in some of my more recent influences and ideas.
Like Alice in Wonderland said..."I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed several times since then!"
That being said, I am hoping that come spring, when I debut new product at NSS, I will have edited things a bit and will have some smart yet still interesting and thought-provoking changes to show for it. Hopefully, it won't be met with "What happened to your collection????". But with "Oh. Wow." Anyway, I suppose one really shouldn't work anticipating response. One should work, as I've always thought, to create what one wants to see in the world.
Some examples of what I'd like to see in the world, I suppose, are up here, by no means all of them...this is just what i have on my desktop this morning. I'm still knee deep in the editing and designing phase. So don't get too attached. Haha. ; )