For discussion on fashion and design in London, one of the world's fashion capitals.
With catwalks dripping with fox fur, mother of pearl beading, laser cut velvet and glitter duchesse satin from a Swiss embroidery house, this season designers upped their bid to make London Fashion Week a real player on the luxury scene.
Justin O’Shea, buying director of luxury ecommerce website Mytheresa.com, said: “There’s been a surprising emphasis on cocktail and eveningwear – a level of decadence which hasn’t really been there before at London Fashion Week. Designers are going for the top tier customer . . . it’s like London’s couture week: you’re looking at pieces that will cost from say £2,000 to over £12,000.”
Matthew Williamson’s black feathered dress with white pom-poms is one of the most expensive garments he has ever created, at £12,950. Across the catwalks designers were broadening their pricing spectrums to include one-off fantasies made fabric that serve the dual purpose of attracting the super-rich, and dazzling on Instagram if they get worn on the red carpet.
“The catwalk should be visionary,” said Galeries Lafayette commercial fashion director Averyl Oates, who also detected a “couture feeling”. “It’s fantasy, and social media makes shows more of a statement.”
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London is the most fun and alive city in the world: Karl Lagerfeld gushes as stars flock to his Regent Street opening
14 March 2014
Karl Lagerfeld declared London the most fun and alive city in the world as he opened his new flagship store in Regent Street.
The 80-year-old designer also revealed he has no plans to retire, joking: “There is nobody to take my place!”
The legendary fashion icon has chosen the capital to create his largest and most technologically advanced store, and was joined by many of his famous admirers at its launch last night.
In an exclusive interview with the Standard, the German told how he now favours London over his home city of Paris.
He said: “London is somewhere I know pretty well. I don’t feel like a stranger here. I like it because it’s very different to Paris. I like things to be different.
“London is easy going. For the moment, London is better and more fun than Paris. Paris is dangerous, here you don’t have the feeling of danger. Paris is terribly polluted. Where I live they closed all the roads on the river, so now in front of the houses there are traffic jams all the time.
Shopwatch: Karl Lagerfeld opens his first flagship store in the UK
14 March 2014
Having suffered the ignominy of arriving via Luton International Airport (they accept private jets throughout the night), Karl Lagerfeld made a rare visit to London yesterday. Seemingly oblivious to the chaos prompted by his arrival at the monochrome Regent Street boutique, the instantly recognisable 80 year old German designer was keen to inspect his largest store in Europe.
The ready-to-wear men's collection is on the lower floor and includes items made exclusively for the London store. Expect classic Lagerfeld pieces from super tight jeans and skinny blazers to cropped jackets and designer trainers. Customers are invited to sign into a digital guestbook and each changing room has an ipad with a Photobooth feature with various "Karl inspired" filters for that all-important selfie.
There are also plenty of novelty items; from collectible figurines of Karl and Choupette (his famous, pampered cat) for the die-hard fan, to heavily logo-d iphone cases and key rings aimed more squarely at the tourist trade. Our conclusion? It's Karl's world and everyone is invited.
An exhibition celebrating Italian fashion over the past 70 years has opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 - 2014 chronicles design and production in Italy from just after WWII, when the country's creative forces were at an all-time low.
The BBC takes a look round with assistant curator Lucia Savi.
Mark December 2 in your diaries as this year's Victoria's Secret catwalk extravaganza will relocate from its New York home to London's Earls Court
The Victoria's Secret Bond Street store played host to two of its most famous bodies - Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel - for a very special announcement this morning.
Wearing a revealing little red dress, Brazilian model Lima, 32, opened the press conference by saying: "The Victoria's Secret fashion show is the biggest fashion event in the world. We are very proud and honoured to announce that we're headed to London this year."
She was joined by Victoria's Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek, who said that the brand had wanted to show in London since 1998.
The show, which usually takes place in New York but has also been staged in Cannes, is one of the most-watched catwalk events in the world. In it stars the brand's 'Angels' - model ambassadors such as Alessandra Ambrosio, Behati Prinsloo, Karlie Kloss and of course, Adriana Lima and Candice Swanepoel. Being signed up an Angel has turned models into household names, as Heidi Klum and Gisele Bündchen will testify. The Angels are then joined by a dozen or so other big names on the catwalk, to model fantastical creations (and plenty of sets of wings) conceived by British stylist Sophia Neophitou-Apostolou, which will rarely make it on to the catwalk, but will garner plenty of headlines.
Planning and styling has already started for the show, which will be staged at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre on December 2. Lima said she would love to see Prince Harry on the front row.
Razek confessed that he did not know who would be entertaining guests at the event (previous performers have included Rihanna, Bruno Mars and the Spice Girls) but did reveal that he had told British model Cara Delevingne to save the date.
Fashion designer's retrospective, the eighth most visited exhibition in Metropolitan Museum's 142-year history, to be at V&A in 2015
One of the most popular shows in the history of New York's Metropolitan Museum, a retrospective devoted to the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, is to come to London in 2015, the V&A said on Thursday.
The Savage Beauty show was wildly successful, attracting more than 660,000 visitors in 2011, making it the eighth most visited exhibition in the Met's 142-year history and putting it in a top 10 that includes the time the Mona Lisa came to Manhattan in 1963 and a Treasures of Tutankhamun show in 1978.
New Yorkers queued around the block to get tickets for the show, and the V&A expects similar interest in London.
The V&A's director, Martin Roth, said: "I am thrilled to announce that the V&A will bring this wonderful exhibition to London to celebrate the extraordinary creative talent of one of the most innovative designers of recent times.
"Lee Alexander McQueen was brought up in London, studied here and based his globally successful McQueen fashion brand here – by staging the exhibition at the V&A it feels like we are bringing his work home."
Jonathan Akeroyd, chief executive of the Alexander McQueen fashion house, said: "Savage Beauty is a story telling of the most imaginative and talented designer of our time. We are incredibly proud as a house to be able to showcase Lee's visionary body of work in London as a celebration of his legacy and an inspiration to a future generation."
McQueen killed himself in 2010, aged only 40.
The show at the Met was critically acclaimed as well as popular. The New York Times critic wrote: "The show, or rather what's in it, is a button-pushing marvel: ethereal and gross, graceful and utterly manipulative, and poised on a line where fashion turns into something else."
Burberry brought the spirit of London to Shanghai with a night of live performance, music and fashion on 24 April 2014.
With performances from British musicians George Ezra, Ed Harcourt and Paloma Faith, we took guests on a journey from the streets of London to the A/W14 runway in Shanghai. Models included Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, Malaika Firth and Matilda Lowther.
The event was attended by over 1,500 guests including actors Jamie Campbell Bower, Chen Kun, Vicki Zhao, Guey Lun Mei, Xia Yu, Chen Ran, Dou Xiao, Huo Siyan, Angelababy, Carine Lau, Ke Zheng Dong and Lin Chilling.
Miuccia Prada's trend-setting spring/summer 2014 catwalk collection has pipped Rick Owens to the post in the Design Museum's shortlist
Miuccia Prada's punchy and primary-coloured Pop-Art spring/summer 2014 collection has been named the winner of the Fashion category in the Design Museum's annual Designs of the Year Awards.
The collection, which comprised of sporty dresses adorned with sequins, fur coats decorated with women's faces and embellished, Teva-style sandals beat off competition from Raf Simons, the Dior creative director who was nominated twice: firstly for his debut collection for the French fashion house, and additionally for his eponymous label's spring 2014 range.
Other nominees in the category included Sadie Williams's collection of 3-D, embossed dresses; Tracey Neuls 'Bike Geek', a dressy shoe-meets-performance sportswear hybrid; Brazilian designer Ronaldo Fraga's Hinterland collection and DAS Collection's update on the face-, feet- and hand-covering abaya.
The annual awards also includes categories for architecture, furniture, graphic, product and transport design, with the overall winner set to be announced on June 30. All of the 69 nominated designs are on display in the Design Museum until August 30 and visitors can vote for their favourite.
Last year the GOV.UK website took the Design of the Year prize, while fashion category was topped by the insightful documentary 'Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel', about the late, visionary editor of US Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
Fendi London Bond Street Store Launch
2 May 2014
has been a busy week on the London party scene - following the Kate Moss for Topshop launch on Tuesday and the opening of Pradashere on Wednesday came the turn of Fendi on Thursday, with Karl Lagerfeld jetting into the capital to celebrate the fashion house's new Bond Street store.
The festivities started with in-store cocktails - hosted by Lagerfeld, Silvia Venturini Fendi and Pietro Beccari - where guests browsed the brand's new home.
A select group then crossed the street for a seated dinner at Sotheby's, which had been transformed with tables decked vases of in peonies by Fiona Leahy Design ready for a three course fish menu - sea bass, octopus and raw tuna.
Lagerfeld took his seat between Lily Allen and Cara Delevingne, while Cara's sister Poppy told Vogue she was panicking about her two wedding dresses being ready - with another fitting due in Florence before she flies to Marrakesh. Sam McKnight discussed his upcoming 60th birthday party and revealed that daily yoga is his secret to staying young.
The New Fendi Store Was The Only Place To Be In London Last Night, Judging By This...
2 May 2014
Fendi opened its new flagship store with proper good party in London last night.
As befitting a brand like Fendi, the launch party guest list was impressive. Mingling and sipping on cocktails at the boutique on New Bond Street were: Cara Delevingne, Poppy Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse, Lily Allen, Naomi Campbell, David Gandy, Luke Evans, Portia Freeman, Amber Le Bon, Sam McKnight, Pat McGrath, Bip Ling, Evangeline Ling, Kate Adie, Tinie Tempah, Samantha Barks and many more.
The fashion-obsessed guests rubbed shoulders with the main man himself, creative director Karl Lagerfeld, before moving on for an even more exclusive dinner at Sotheby's, where the A-list-friendly food was prepared by Italian restaurant Assunta Madre.
To celebrate the opening of the new flagship, Fendi called on the creative talents of some of the most influential women in the world (we're talking Kate Adie, Adele, Tracey Emin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Hall, Cara Delevingne and architect Zaha Hadid) to design a one-off line of the iconic Peekaboo bags.
The brand’s Spring-Summer 2015 line, the first men’s collection by Jeremy Scott, will get its runway reveal in the UK capital.
Following on from his Milan womenswear debut, which saw Scott riff on a plethora of pop culture references to create plenty of street-style and fashion editor appeal, the American designer is taking the Italian label to London.
Scheduled for Monday, June 16, the menswear show will appear in London for the first time ever as part of the London Collections: Men event set to take place from June 15 to 17.
According to a statement by the brand, “the choice of London originates from the desire to express wit and humor: a city where the crowd is international, the casting is interesting, the atmosphere has the right and appropriate vibes.”
The show will reveal the first men’s collection designed by Scott for Moschino, with some SS15 pre-collection looks for women also set to be thrown into the mix.
One of the standout shows of London Collections: Men, the city’s three-day men’s fashion “week,” was by a 27-year-old novice named Craig Green. It was all the more astonishing because it was, technically, his first.
Few fashion capitals are as nurturing to its emerging talent as London. Its success is all the more evident now that fashion’s reigning conglomerates have taken note and invested in its rising stars: LVMH in Jonathan Anderson of J. W. Anderson and the shoemaker Nicholas Kirkwood; Kering in Christopher Kane.
But the success stories here are not limited to the headliners who have won corporate backing and plum jobs. (Mr. Anderson’s first collection as the creative director of the LVMH-owned Spanish label Loewe will debut in Paris on June 27.) The city is already offering new case studies of innocence quickly evolving into experience, like that of Mr. Green (who, despite the foregoing statement, still lives at home with his mum).
He is the product of the city’s exemplary designer training: first as a protégé of Louise Wilson, the head of the Central Saint Martins master’s program in fashion design until her death in May, who midwifed nearly a generation’s worth of English fashion talent; and then as the beneficiary of what passes for postgraduate studies in London fashion (sponsorship, support and a platform at young-designer showcases, like the MAN show, where for three seasons he took his first tentative steps on the runway).
On Tuesday, at his first independent show, Mr. Green presented a collection for spring 2015 that was startlingly mature and eerily beautiful. His barefoot men in robelike jackets and side-tied pants resembled penitents and crusaders at once. Padded jackets suggested armor, but trailing undone laces behind them like kite strings, even those laden with flaglike standards conveyed fragility as much as aggression. Their garments, in cotton and denim, had grown out of identifiable basics (tailored shirts, straight-leg jeans) into something rich and strange.
It was transporting. Several members of the audience were in tears.
And the way of London Collections: Men is such that they dried them and hurried along to Burberry, six kilometers and the full width of the aesthetic spectrum away.
If Mr. Green’s show was a highlight — one, it should be said, of several, with strong collections from Mr. Anderson, Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Shannon, who last week took the inaugural B.F.C./GQ Designer Menswear Fund prize — it was by no means representative. That is because for London, even more than for most other fashion capitals, there is no single representative example.
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