Urban Fairy

I vastly prefer lookbook images to catwalk images as a designer can really inject ‘something more’ about their vision for their collection whereas catwalk images seem to all merge into one after looking at one too many blank, staring walking model.  Quite often, I end up loving a collection more when I see the lookbook images because if I didn’t ‘get it’ the first time round, the images usually thud through my thick numbskull.  This certainly applies to this collection… 

Tillman Lauterbach is a designer I’ve been on a lookout for, in search of a UK stockist.  Lauterbach has been bumped around Europe a bit being born in Germany and theN moving back and forth between Spain, Switzerland and Germany, finally settling in Paris to study in ESMOD and then launch his collection for AW06.  I think there is an ease/natural-ness to his latest SS08 collection that mixes up easy to wear jersey pieces, subtle prints, girly frou frou and casual-ness perfectly.  The photos would give the impression that the clothes are a little delicate or precious but I think when you look closely, it’s more resiliant than one would think.  Urban fairy is how I would describe a wearer of this collection especially with regards to the sheer jersey pieces and those tights seeped with blue at the top (Nina Ricci’s resort collection has got me going all starry-eyed over white tights dip-dyed with blue…) and of course, it does help that the girl looks like she wears everything with a Cl√©mence Po√©sy-like ease.   

An Ode to the Beloved

That’s it – it’s been found.   I will procure it with a beaming smug face.  It will stay with me.  It will travel with me.  I will wear it to death.  It will be my unopinionated, unbiased best friend.  I will pass it on to whoever wants my rags when I leave this world.

It’s the investment come January 2008 that will leave me eating beans on toast for three weeks but seeing as I’m practically buying a lifetime companion, it’s a comparatively small price to pay.

I came into contact with my intended-beloved via the photoshoot I was styling this weekend.  It is the Jean Pierre Braganza SS08 leather jacket as modelled by model Harriet here… 

In the lookbook images, the true beauty of the jacket really couldn’t shine, but having tried it on and touched it, and as I have been coo-ing at it with adoring eyes for disturbing periods of time…without a shadow of doubt, it will be mine…

It is perfectly cut (not too loose or tight) and the perfect length (not too cropped or long).

The leather is uniquely texturised – looking like normal leather from afar but upclose has a raised snakeskin/croc look and feels a little rubbery. 

When the jacket is on, it is snug and a little bit like being enveloped by a boyfriend because of the smell and slight masculine side of the jacket. 

With 100% certainty, the jacket woud work with everything and anything hence why it will be worn to death.

So there it is…. my ode to my intended garment life-partner.  The boyf will understand…I’ll break it to him gently…

The Print Reminder

There will be another LFW loss for next season and as I was browsing through the Fashion East sample sale yesterday, it struck me that the cluster of labels that were hanging on the rails were like a nucleus London fashion collective, each designer contributing completely different things to the scene but it seems right to say all their names in succession and in tandem with each other.  Jonathan Saunders will however be taken out of this nucleus as he will be showing in New York come February. 

For the past two seasons, he has played with shape and structure more so than when he first started and was purely known for his printwork.  I thought it would be nice to buy a little bit of signature Saunders print in the form of this dress from the SS06 collection at the sale to perhaps give a litle bit of a reminder of what attracted me to Saunders’ work in the first place; the colour compositions, the perfect judgement of timing and structure in pattern.

Without wanting to give people a too much of a headache as they follow the coloured lines of the dress, a sheer tunic will tone it down a bit…(victim alert, as I am indeed falling for all things sheer next season…. abeit layered of course with zero flesh showing through….!)

Success on the Other Side

Though London is known as a breeding ground for new labels and provides good a starting point for a fashion graduate, that’s not to guarantee that any degree commercial of success will come your way.  Johanna Ho, from Hong Kong, graduated from Central St Martin’s and her collection was marked as a standout collection by the then fashion editor of the UK Times Iain R. Webb.  She started her own label in 1998 and though it was well-received at London Fashion Week in the beginning, getting stocked at Browns, Barneys etc, she soon turned to concentrating on the Asian market, getting stocked mostly in Japan by basing her company in Hong Kong. 

I think we are reaching a point in time wherby success in fashion can’t simply be measured whether you make it to the catwalks in the four fashion capitals and whether you get a ton of international press.  There is no shame in the commercial success that can be achieved by concentrating on a market such as Asia where spending power is getting to dizzy heights as highlighted by this WSJ article on young Hong Kong designers and of course, the fiscal advantages of being based in Hong Kong, compared to London are pretty awesome (I’m lamenting why Inland Revenue have taken half of my pay cheque….?!). 

So yes, Johanna’s  old English website is defunct because she has decamped to a much cuter, updated Japanese-based website which has her latest collection’s lookbook.  I really like how she has put a spin on girly by mixing in a hotchpotch of 20’s/30’s/40’s touches that are barely noticeable as being ‘period’.  A few weeks ago, I raved about Nuan+, a Japanese e-boutique and they sell a decent selection of Johanna Ho’s collection.  As I’m not longer able to get the best of both living in London and travelling to Hong Kong frequently, I guess I’ll have to content myself with staring at look book pictures and pondering whether I should enlist the help of someone to procure myself some Johanna Ho….

In short, I do think that just because us Western-based peeps have not heard of a designer, does not mean they’re not making waves the other side of the world.  Like the Disney ride ‘It’s a Small World’ though, I do feel (and hope!) that the world is getting smaller and that we aren’t just looking at fashion within the supposed ‘important’ fashion spots.