I'm sure the ultra cheesy thought of having me blow bubbles has crossed a few photographer's minds when they're trying to think of ways of setting up portraits of me.  Or is it SO cheesy that it didn't actually cross their minds at all because it's just a thought that is beyond reproach?  Oh well, in any case, these pics aren't here because I wanted to cross this hammy photo scenario off my list…  

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… in fact, the bubble solution was part of London-based designer Sophie Hulme's invite to her A/W 11-12 press presentation held in the basement of prime stockist bStore.  And nope, Hulme's collection WASN'T bubble-themed, but the bubble wand here is this season's bonus charm, normally based around little nuggets of Britishness that changes from season to season with previous ones like a chip fork and a policeman's whistle.  A dedicated Sophie Hulme customer could go about collecting all of these dinky trinkets, if they stick with her through the seasons as every garment/accessory comes with its designated charm. 

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Away from the runaway bubbles though and Sophie Hulme's A/W 11-12 is a decidedly weighty affair.  It's been three seasons now since Hulme changed tact slightly and decided to go for a sturdy approach that involves a bevy of hardwearing leather accessories accented with metal that she has made into her signature accompanied by clothes that are never decorative for the sake of decoration.  Don't interpret that as a cue for plain and solemn clothing though.  In fact, if anything, Hulme has enrichened her clothing offering this season to include more textures that augment her foundation wardrobe consisting of a hooded jacket, a trench coat, a shirt and simle shift dresses. 

First up is a tweed duffle coat where the earthiness of the tweed is contrasted with a pony skin hood that is twinkles at you with its luxurious sheen…

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The ponyskin has also been used in this wool-lined coat where the sleekness of the material has been wholly exploited…

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In Hulme's early work, she designed a particularly memorable matt sequinned backpack and parka which I still recall.  This season, that glint returns in the form of jet black clustered beading which is more about creating a stingray-like texture rather than making the clothes shine with razzle dazzle.  Again, the beading has been employed on a hooded duffle as well as on the shoulders of macs lapels of tweed jackets.

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Another heavyweight texture comes in the form of a chunky knit bonded with leather so that the surface detailing of the knit shines through…

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It's also been used on the sleeves of this woolen mac which adds to an already existing leather-sleeved trench brigade and I suppose a garment, could almost be considered a classic item in its own right…

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Knitting is something that Hulme has introduced into the collection for the first time and as opposed to making straightforward knitwear, she has used it in this super chunky form as sleeves on coats…

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…as well as cable knit panels, adding weight to silk dresses…

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Of course Hulme's ace card is still in her distinctive accessories where she has really carved a signature for herself.  The metal-plated bows for instance sums up the hard-edge Hulme brings to a feminine piece and not in that predictable way where an excess of studs, rips etc is employed to make something become 'edgy' (fast becoming one of those words where if you say something is 'edgy', you can bet your bottom dollar that it is in fact…err… not 'edgy').

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The armoured belts are perhaps the most subtle way of wearing a tiny dose of Hulme…

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I don't do subtle that well though so for me, the winner had to be this pony skin tote which is the bag that I'm setting my sights upon to carry equally hard-hitting and important artefacts such as my laptop, two issues of the New Yorker, the Gentlewoman, a copy of the Guardian and my back-up hard drive… PHWAAAAR… I could walk into The Wolseley with this laden bag, and set about feeling important, accomplished and more…

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The ponyskin also comes in this stamped 'woven' effect…

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This smaller double flap bag is for me an astoundingly less expensive alternative to the Celine Classic Box/Hermes Constance bags that are in straspheric price spheres…

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For A/W 11-12 Hulme has also worked with the British company Chapman bags to create this herrinbone wool take on her best-selling tote, where the fabric has also been bonded to give it durability. 

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Comments (33)

  1. love love lurrrrve the unique accessories, must have that beige leather bow necklace!

  2. PvdH says:

    I love the pony-skin handbags… but I love more you blowing bubbles.
    PvdH
    http://www.thepvdhjournal.com

  3. ssalome says:

    Love love love ;D
    I dreamed of COACHELLA: http://magmoiselle.fr

  4. Gosh, I’m in love with all of these items, those pony skin inserts and all the beading are gorgeous, plus the accessories look so trendy and comfy!
    xoxo
    http://fashionagony.blogspot.com/

  5. Felicia says:

    The charm was made for you!!! Love it!
    http://www.felifashion.wordpress.com

  6. The accessories look so trendy and comfy! I love the pony-skin handbags.

  7. R A says:

    Thank You so much for sharing this designer. From what I can see, I think she is fantastic.

  8. Laura says:

    I love bubble and the design of the bracelets. So charming!!
    http://www.pursesandi.com

  9. Sophia says:

    Such an amazing collection. The pieces are all stunning and the text you wrote to it awesome, loved this!
    http://skiepies.blogspot.com/

  10. Mertxe Hernandez says:

    Very beautiful pictures. They are all goodlooking
    http://mertxehernandez.blogspot.com/

  11. the mixing of textures in this collection is obviously amazing but im obssessed with that plated bow. i think she might have invented an altogether new “edgy” (which was much needed) and probably calls for a whole new word.. what is it though, a necklace?
    http://heatherheartsfashion.blogspot.com/

  12. Petra says:

    Very nice collection! Some are a bit wierd, but the photos are nice 🙂
    http://www.digeshops.com/

  13. ainhoa says:

    hello, I am new here and i really like your blog: AWESOME!!!
    Love the baaags!!!!!! 🙂
    Keep up th good work dear.
    (I also have a blog about barcelona city if you are interested…)

  14. Mascha says:

    Love to see you bubbling)))

  15. kathleen alexander says:

    imagine slaughtering a “pony”. imagine a strong animal with a strong neck. how does one do it? does it hurt the animal? then imagine putting the animal’s skin on your body.

  16. Too many nice things in this post… don’t know where to start!
    xo thefashionguitar

  17. susie_bubble says:

    Kathleen: I will double check with Sophie but from my knowledge more often than not, when people say ‘ponyskin’, they mean calf skin that has been shaved very closely…. Sophie is very conscious about these things though – keeping production 100% in Britain mean she can oversee the quality and I think that extends to her use of materials…
    Like I said, I will double check…

  18. Love that bracelet
    ‚ô•
    L‚ô•ts of L‚ô•ve
    http://inspiremebitch.blogspot.com/

  19. jeno says:

    Yup, the ´blowing bubbles´photo is cheesy but the bags are hot hot hot!

  20. Dru says:

    I love how this vaguely military-looking, very structured look seems to be something of a Sophie signature- it’s gorgeous even when it isn’t the sequinned parkas c. 2008. And the accessories look amazing, too.

  21. Marita says:

    I LOVE the jacket, the bags, the entire collection, but am queasy about the pony skin – even if it is actually calf skin. Not sure if that’s any better! Is it possible to achieve the same effect with something faux- ?

  22. january says:

    haha such a cute invite. love the accessories!
    january, x
    jessicajanuary.com

  23. Joy says:

    Mmm the coats and the bags are right up my alley. Thanks for the comment (still can’t get over the fact that SUSIE FROM THE! STYLE! BUBBLE! came to my virtual humble abode). Hopefully you’ll come back to HK in winter when I will be back I think…*wishful thinking*.

  24. Olive says:

    Ahh I love those bags

  25. Fabienne says:

    Very nice but the belt, the accessorys are a copy of an older Balenciaga collection! A pity!

  26. i think those sandals are quite special so this is the first giveaway that ive ever entered. i bet that makes you feel special lol
    your outfits always amaze me
    margief 2945abc45 0420

  27. Nicola says:

    I like how the textures of this post are amazing. I have to agree that the pony skin is awesomely sleek and elegant, without the usual kind of fur.. I also like the big bows! but I think I’ve seen them on another website.. lifo.com, I think?

  28. kt says:

    There are plenty of collections from new upcoming designers you have featured that are rife with talent and promise. But this is one collection that really reaches me. Really loving every piece, and even the jewelry (which I typically ignore). I have already mentally created outfits using Hulme’s designs with my own closet’s wares! Sigh.

  29. Ojla says:

    you have so many cool stuff here that i dont know which I should comment first!;)
    love the jacket with knitted sleeves, the bubble-ish accessorize and bow necklaces! i think these are my types!:)
    xoxoxo
    ojla.blogspot.com

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