London Fashion Week

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LFW: CIMONE SS17

Carli Pearson, Founder and Creative Director of new womenswear label, CIMONE was trained at Central Saint Martins and prior to launching her own brand, she honed her craft in a variety of senior positions at some of the world’s top houses. She spent her first seven years at Stella McCartney, later moving on to become Design Director at Alexander Wang, Head of Show Collection at Pucci, and Head of Womenswear at McQ, Alexander McQueen.

Her second collection for spring/summer 2017, and first runway collection was shown as part of London Fashion Week’s SS17 season and received to rapturous applause.

A web of contradictions, the collection saw control versus chaos and high-end production values paired with repurposed textures; focusing on the interplay between naivety and self-assuredness.

statement pieces featured unique, interactive embellishment, moving with models bodies and reacting in unique ways, never appearing the same way twice.  A subtle and muted whitewash was brought to life with a vibrant injection of juxtaposed bold colour, appearing as splashes and stripes.

Very obviously influenced by the late Lee Mcqueen, Pearson has focused on confidence as the recurrent theme throughout the SS17 collection - with a little fun thrown in for good measure.

Pixie xo

 

 

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Fun Affair: Girls Grow Up at LFW

If you’re familiar with the London Fashion Scene then you’ll already be aware of Fun Affair.  Known for it’s gamine aesthetic and off-beat presentations, the brand oozes 90’s cool like no other.  From the in your face logos to the vinyl baseball caps, Fun Affair is one brand that should be on your radar.

 

Integrating abstraction exotica, minimalism and subversion, designer Xi Zhu strives to create an avant-garde and elegant sphere of design.   Zhu merges her oriental heritage with European romanticism and modernism to define her signature: ‘rebellion meets optimism’.  Seemingly on a mission absolute to manifest extreme beauty, marrying oriental beauty with mystery, stillness and power, Zhu is a designer for the modern day feminist crusader.

Hosted by LFW’s younger, funkier sister, Fashion Scout, the Fun Affair show begins in a perfectly white space allowing the garments to speak volumes.

The Fun Affair SS17 collection is all of that and more and the runway show is a journey from start to finish.  Inspired by the New Romantics, 80’s power dressing and postmodernism.  The SS17 Fun Affair-girl is edgy, feminine and sophisticated with just the right amount of attitude.  A girl gang for a new generation, and one I find myself wanting to be part of.

This season is all about playing with proportion and form. I caught up with Zhu after the show, noticeably nervous, she told me “It’s about women’s strength and rebelliousness, did you see the last look?  That’s my favourite thing I’ve ever created”

Highlights of the show and top of my shopping list were oversized bow knot shirts, high gloss 90’s style slipdresses, high-waisted jeans & baseball caps, and yes, the last look was my absolute favourite, in fact I’m working on recreating it right now….

Pixie xo

 

 

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How To Go Blonder with Signature Balayage at Frances Marshall

When I was invited into Sunderland‘s Most Stylish Salon - it’s a thing - you just have to take a look at their Instagram to know that they’re streets ahead of the competition, and they’re just getting started….

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Frances Marshall is the brainchild of Amelia and Marshall Hall, the brother and sister duo used their middle names to create a brand that would incorporate both of their personalities, but also be unique and fresh.  The result?  Frances Marshall was born.  They’re not new kids on the block either, the twosome have been primping and perfecting locks for as long as they can remember with Amelia having been selected to work backstage at London Fashion Week.

Located in West Sunniside, an area of Sunderland which has undergone extensive redevelopment, the salon can be found in an impressive listed building.  From the outside it’s grand and imposing, on the inside, slick, urban and modern - the perfect juxtaposition of trends which matches the ethos of Frances Marshall entirely.

“We wanted to put our own stamp on things. We wanted to introduce things that had a modern twist and were perhaps a little bit quirkier.” - Amelia Hall

The first thing you notice when you walk through the huge glass doors, is The Penny Wall. It’s exactly as it sounds, a wall, covered in individual pennies, all painstakingly placed by hand and to awesome effect - it’s become the unofficial Selfie Zone for happy clients.  The salon is fresh and vibrant and full of smiling faces and although it’s not something I’ve ever noticed anywhere else, it’s very apparent that staff and clients are happy to be here.  The colour scheme is neutral and complimented with metallic touches - its trendy, but timeless.  The salon has very clear zones - the waiting area, the retail area, the basins etc. everything looks easy, effortless and very well planned.

I’m greeted by an uber smiley Amelia and introduced to my Stylist, Ian, who takes me through the consultation process and what we’ll be doing to my hair.  You all know my hair by now, messy, shaggy, long grown out roots, pretty grungy but now that I’m starting to get the odd silver hair, I thought it was about time to cover up the root regrowth.  I tell Ian I like my hair to be pale blonde and very ashy, and he prescribes Frances Marshall’s now Insta-famous Signature Balayage with Olaplex, with skinny highlights across the parting area.  As far as consultations go, this one was a dream, Ian stretched, flexed and even played a little bit with my hair to get a feel for what he was working with and told me that by using Olaplaex, the integrity of the hair is actually preserved.  The lifting process is slowed down so you’re in the chair for longer, but the lift is controlled and where hair is already damaged (like mine), Olaplex is a no-brainer.

INTERESTING FACT ALERT: Olaplex is Kim Kardashian’s go-to when she wants to switch up her hair colour.  When she famously unveiled THAT Draco Malfoy-esque blonde bob at Balmain during the FW15 season in Paris, yep, you guessed it, Olaplex took her from that super dark brown to blonde in one easy step.

Ok, back to the story….

Ian fetches me a cafettiere of freshly ground coffee and biscuits on a tray and mixes up the colour, getting to work straight away.  Interestingly, he tells me what he’s doing as he’s doing it, something which I find really puts me at ease.  he talks passionately about the salon and his time here and tells me that colouring is his absolute favourite thing to do.  He says that he loves creating bespoke colours for clients as it can help to enhance features just as well as makeup can.

In no time at all, I’m cooking, waiting for my bespoke shades to appear, Ian explains that the next step is to wash off the colour at the basin and apply the Olaplex 2, which helps to rebuild the bonds from within the hair shaft.  I’m taken to the basin (very comfy) and we go through the process of removing the colour, applying the Olaplaex 2, and then Ian selects a toner which is also applied at the basin.  He’s a conscientious Stylist, he brings me my phone and a drink of water without being asked and says “In case you need it” with a cheeky wink.  I like this guy.  A lot.

I’m then treated to the most awesome head massage I’ve ever had, (seriously, if I didn’t make any sex noises then I deserve a medal), before being taken back over to the section.  Ian tells me that he’s going to blow-dry my hair straight because he’ll be straightening up the ends with clippers.  He tells me that by using Olaplaex and going for the least destructive method of lifting the colour, we haven’t quite reached the pale blonde stage and we’re on “pause” at Sandy Blonde, he’s confident with around two more sessions, we should be where we’re aiming for.

Bleaching hair is hard work and it can be disastrous, trust me, I know!  It’s far better to preserve the hair as much as possible and work in stages, than it is to go for full lift and risk coming home with your hair in a bag (I’ve been there too).

Once it’s dry, Ian shows me the back in the mirror and shows me exactly where he’ll be cutting and why - it’s probably worth saying here that I had a minor freak out on the morning of this appointment and decided not to have my hair cut at all.  After spending time in the salon and with Ian, I’m pretty confident that he’s not going to scalp me and so I let him trim my hair, he does it the whole time with someone holding a mirror so I can see.  Brownie points right there just for that.

 

Once we’re done, Ian talks me through the colours in my hair, he tells me that the warmth that’s in it now is a necessary stage of lifting and that we’ll absolutely be able to achieve pale perfection, but keeping the condition of the hair is essential in order for it to reflect light and appear shiny - essentially, it’s the best of both worlds but requires a little commitment from both you and your hairdresser.  There’s definitely a lot less breakage than when I’ve had my hair coloured in the past, and it doesn’t feel thin and ‘wiry’ like it sometimes can after bleaching.  It’s certainly not just hype.

So, down to business, would I recommend Frances Marshall?  Yes.  Highly.  Its a fresh, young salon in the creative district of Sunderland and they’ve carved a niche for themselves with their quirky styles and modern takes on classic looks.  They’ve managed to achieve in a very short space of time what other salons strive for in a lifetime - a signature look that can be recognised from a single photograph (#SignatureBalayage).  Seriously Voyeurs, check out their Instagram, it’s a thing of beauty.

If you’re in the North East and looking for a salon to take your look to the next level, or just somewhere that you can feel confident that you’ll be listened to, Frances Marshall should be on your emergency contacts list.

As I get up to leave, Amelia asks where I’m off to next and I tell her I’m off to the gym to train. “Hang on a minute” she says, “I’ll put you some braids in”.  How cool is that?!

Cool, quirky and modern.  These kids are going places, don’t get left behind.

Pixie x

Frances Marshall is at 40 West Sunniside, Sunderland, SR1 1BU

To book an appointment call 0191 5654080

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The Grooming Room at LC:M

ANNOUNCING SECOND EDITION OF THE GROOMING ROOM AT LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN

The Grooming Room, sponsored by FARBLACK Limited, returns to London Collections: Men for Fall / Winter 2016. Taking over private members’ space, Century Club.  The Grooming Room will offer press, buyers and VIPs a secluded hub in which to relax and unwind in between shows. Discreetly hidden behind a door on Soho’s Shaftesbury Avenue and furnished Prohibition style throughout, the club is regularly billed as London’s best kept secret and will operate as an exclusive meeting spot for LC: M-goers.

Offering a range of complimentary treatments, free Wi-Fi and plenty of quiet areas for meetings, The Grooming Room is a space to browse through menswear brands, catch up on e-mails, indulge in beauty therapy, or enjoy a leisurely drink atop the venue’s expansive roof terrace.

The Grooming Room treatments will include hair and beard styling (obvs), facial treatments and mini manicures and pedicures.

The Grooming Room in partnership with Century Club is an eight-minute walk from the Hospital Club and will be open on January 9th and 10th 2016.  If you’re in Londres for LC:M, and you absolutely should be, be sure to check out The Grooming Room.

Pixie x
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A New Home For London Fashion Week

With Fashion Month right around the corner the eyes of the Fashion World will be on London for more than just the Spring / Summer 2016 trends.  That’s right folks, London Fashion Week has a new home.  As we know, Somerset House has been the home of #LFW since 2009 and after twelve hectic seasons and countless street stylers pounding the pavements of the square, man those cobbles could talk, but now it’s time for something fresh and new.

Models, led by Cara Delevingne (L) present creations from designer Burberry Prorsum during the 2014 Autumn / Winter London Fashion Week in London on February 17, 2014. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALLBEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Spring / Summer 2016 is all about change and we’ll see the BFC bring to fruition what they’ve promised us for years - a Fashion Week hosted entirely in the West End.  The new collections will make their debut at Brewer Street Car Park in Soho.  Previously used for fringe shows and events by the likes of Henry Holland, Richard Nicoll and Antonio Berardi, the Spring / Summer 2016 show schedule will see Anthony Vaccarello showcasing his Versus #SS16 collection as part of the #LFW line up for the first time.  Perhaps the most exciting debut however, will come from Emma Hill, former Creative Director at Mulberry and credited with bringing Mulberry into the mainstream, Hill will showcase her first and hotly anticipated accessories line, Hill & Friends.

Other newcomers to the #LFW schedule include John Smedley, Amanda Wakeley (hot on the heels of her static presentation for Fall / Winter 2015), Kelly Shaw London and Toga.

London Fashion Week Spring / Summer 2016 runs from September 18th - 23rd and I’ll be there to bring you the latest looks phresh out the runway.  With the most jam-packed (draft) schedule #LFW has seen in recent years and the West End as the venue, it looks set to be killer:

Although the main event is invite only, there are still tickets available for popular fringe event London Fashion Weekend and if you’ve never been before, it’s a great way to get involved.  So, what are you waiting for…..?

Pixie x

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NewGen unveils its Designers for 2016

Every year the British Fashion Council unveils a new crop of design talent to receive sponsorship and support from NewGen, the foundation in partnership with Topshop.

For the Spring 2016 season, nine experimental young brands will show their collections at London Fashion Week (held September 18th - 22nd) with either a Runway, Presentation or Exhibition (static) sponsorship.  The NewGen nine will also unveil a range of limited edition exclusive tees for Topshop later in the year.

“We are proud that TOPSHOP continues to play an integral part in nurturing the very best of our young design talent. NEWGEN has been instrumental in introducing home-grown designers to a global stage and the support it offers to fledgling designers, both commercially and creatively, is invaluable to their future success in the industry.” - Mary Homer, Managing Director of Topshop

If you think this line up looks familiar, it’s because it’s pretty damn close to the NewGen bill for Fall 2015 and the BFC have backed up their choices by saying that they’re committed to helping young Designers to launch successful and sustainable UK businesses.  A ploy that seems to be proving successful, some of these designers are now stocked at Net-a-Porter for online sales and another at Selfridges.

“The NewGen initiative has an unrivalled reputation as the scheme which has seen countless designers through to London Fashion Week and success in selling globally. The panel and I are always stunned to be able to meet designers and discover what they have to say at an early stage, and, with our teamwork, and Topshop’s sponsorship, to help fast-track their business savvy as well as their talent for design. Everyone who wants a window on the future shouldn’t be missing what our NEWGEN cohort has to say this season - they are as individualistic as London designers are, but also characterised by their collective pure enjoyment of clothes, innovation, artistry and a playful sense of fun. My only criticism is the dearth of accessory designers applying to NEWGEN. We want to see more! So please take this is a call-out for next season’s talent!”- Sarah Mower, Ambassador for emerging Talent, BFC.

Since it began in 1993, the NewGen initiative has acted as a promotional launch pad for young designers, attracting media profile, orders and investment from buyers all over the globe.  Previous NEWGEN winners include Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders, J.W. Anderson, Marques’Almeida, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roksanda Ilincic and Simone Rocha.

Here’s the Spring 2016 NewGen line up and a taster of what to expect from this fresh crop of design talent.

Pixie x

 

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TAT Collective at The Hackney Shop

It’s that time of year again, when the Fash Pack descend upon Hackney for TAT, the Designer Collective who occupy The Hackney Shop for one month every year to host an amazing and unique designer sample sale.

TAT is a collaboration of creative talent orchestrated by young British designer Kelly Shaw London. Each year, Shaw selects like minded designers and collaborators to fill the shop with amazing pieces of clothing, art, shoes, accessories and jewellery and London’s Fashionistas lap it up. TAT Collective runs for one month, but if you want a piece of the action, you have to be quick as the shop is constantly jam packed with people looking for a designer bargain or an amazing one off.

This years collaborators are perhaps the best yet, scouted by Shaw during the Tapis Rouge Capsule Collective fringe event at Paris Fashion Week earlier this year; there’s minimalistic Year One, Urban cool duo Jena.Theo and Kelly Shaw London heading up the clothing department and for all you accessory lovers out there, Fox and Belle have created a capsule collection of collars and silk scarves in bold digital patterns that are sure to turn heads.  Long time TAT Collaborator Muldark & Co. are back this year with a collection of shoes and sandals perfect for Summer, and limited edition artwork is provided by uber cool Artist Jem Doulton.

The shop itself is in good company, nestled amongst the Burberry, Aquascutum, Anya Hindmarch and Jigsaw outlets, but with one main difference: with TAT, you’re not following the crowd, you’re leading it.   You’re buying into something far more urban and unique, think Street Stylers and Wearable Art and you’re on the right track.

I paid a visit to The Hackney Shop this week and couldn’t resist stocking up on a few amazing pieces for my stylista wardrobe. I’m always on the look out for something different and with TAT, that’s exactly what you get.  Shaw’s collection packs a punch, all about quiet protest and challenging proportions, the collection is packed with dresses of various shapes and lengths adorned with digital prints created by artist Jem Doulton. Shaw is on to a winner with her intelligent, punchy slogan tees, reminiscent of early Henry Holland, she has taken the most basic item in a designers arsenal, and made it culturally relevant with slogans such as; ‘Generic’, ‘The Riot Starts Here’, ‘Normal People Worry Me’ and my personal favourite, ‘Living The Dream’.

Jena.Theo are a London based design duo with an amazing selection of oversized muscle vests, tunic dresses and denim daubed with gold and silver for a street flavour.  Winners of the Fashion Fringe Award in 2009, the duo have made a niche for themselves and know what it takes to create a standout collection.  There’s a gorgeous denim dress of theirs that catches my eye, simple and straight in shape with the addition of a tan leather seventies style collar.

Year One are conceptual and minimalistic in style and have brought a collection of all black super soft leather shell tops, pencil skirts, shorts, dresses and jackets including an amazing one off (sorry people, it came home with me), as well as some silk pieces.  the juxtaposition of textures is very Kanye…. If you get a chance to head over to the shop, the chances are you’ll see Shaw working on her Spring Summer 2016 collection, her pattern cutting table has been moved into the shop for the duration of the 2015 stint and she’s busy preparing for London Fashion Week.  The theme for which is ‘Change’.  You heard it here first Voyeurs.

How to sum up TAT? Well, if you’re reading this then you’re a fellow fashion lover and TAT is Young British Fashion at it’s best.  It’s a fashion lovers paradise; It’s fun, it’s intelligent and it’s current. It’s more than a trend, it’s a movement and a sample sale is a great way to jump on board. With huge discounts to be had on some amazing pieces (including one-offs and specially created pieces), it’s a great way to introduce yourself to some new brands and all for prices similar to those on the high street.

If you don’t believe me then consider this, there’s an eye-wateringly beautiful hand painted British mohair coat in there with a retail price of £1200 which is being sold for £250 but you’ll have to race me as I’m back next week for round two……

Pixie x

TAT Collective is open at The Hackney Shop 7th May - 7th June 2015 to Sunday 11am to 8pm 

Can’t make it to TAT Collective?  Fear not, you can shop the current Kelly Shaw London collection at the Young Brit Designers website and the other brands via the links above.

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Holly Fulton SS15 London Fashion Week

This is my first post on the new domain and it’s about one of my favourite subjects: London Fashion Week!  I was lucky enough to be invited to Fashion Week this year by fashion and beauty PR Agency Media Hubb and attended the SS15 show of one of my favourite British designers, Holly Fulton.

I was invited backstage before the show to really get an idea of the thought behind the show and was very interested to hear that Holly thinks of her show as a view into her world.  This is far more than a twenty minute runway show, this is an experience, and it begins when the models are cast.  Holly wanted the models skin to almost drip with luminescence and health and in order to achieve this models were gifted with beauty devices from leading home beauty device brand; Silk’n.  These included the Glide hair removal, Silhouette contouring and Sonic Clean Plus devices, all of which contributed to that flawless glow the models had on the runway.

“Fashion and beauty have the same aspiration, to make women look and feel beautiful” says Holly, “My SS15 collection is set off by illuminating skin which is smooth and soft to the touch, thanks to Silk’n revolutionary products”

models hair was kept simple in low slung ponytails with added weaves for extra length, I spoke to Hair Stylists Loui Ferri and Mags about the look and they said that it was all about a sleek look so that the focus would be on the models “glow”

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Holly hails from Edinburgh and is known for her striking graphic prints.  Her SS15 runway show theme was alluded to with the printed show invite and the show itself did not disappoint.  Nestled in the Courtyard showspace at London Fashion Week hub, Somerset House, a white reflective runway was concealed by yellow plastic as we took our seats.

The FROW was a hotbed for fashion editors, bloggers, celebrities and fashion lovers all eager for a first look at the collection dubbed “an ode to sun-worship, folk art and free expression”

The creations were decorated in folkloric magic but grounded in the precision of Modernism.  True to form, Holly sent models cascading down the runway in her signature monochrome panelled with crystal and laser cut components and bonded patent strapping.

Models wore sunglasses from Holly’s own collection; Holly Fulton for Cutler and Gross and powered down the runway to the beats of Jonjo Jury.

Holly Fulton for Cutler & Gross

Holly Fulton for Cutler & Gross

I swear my heart skipped a beat when the graphic printed silk coat appeared on the runway and my eyes seemed to naturally filter out everything else for a moment, a thing of rare beauty and craftsmanship, and something that screams Holly Fulton to anyone within shouting distance.

After a gorgeous finale with colours so sharp they looked like they had been processed with a Chrome filter, Holly made a brief appearance on the runway stopping only to wave to the crowd before disappearing again.  One thing is for sure though, the Great British High-street will be awash with tributes to this collection come February 2015 and we’ll all be back in graphic print with perspex detailing, strapping and accessories.

For more information on where to buy Holly Fulton’s Spring / Summer collection, go to: Holly Fulton

Pixie x