Friday, 20 May 2011

My first 'Fashion Press Week' A/W 2011

Fashion Press Week's 2-day event began on the 18th, so yesterday I went to check out what's in store for a/w 11 at the fashionable 'One Marylebone' situated on it's own island in central London. I was astounded at how beautiful the building was and could not resist taking a few snapshots of the interior.

Marc Cain
I have photographed what I thought were the key pieces in the a/w 11 collection in both the sports wear and the more elegant styles. I really loved the detailing on the garments; every piece had something a little more special about it than your average garment using decorative stitch, interesting fastenings and quirky design features. This was my first experience with the Marc Cain brand and whilst chatting to the lovely assistants I found myself planning my winter wardrobe with the chunky knits and quirky coats. Bonus points for the free umbrella too, Thank you!!


Celtic Sheepskin
What is there not to love about a traditional British brand with real English heritage? The founders of Celtic Sheepskin are the masterminds behind the sheepskin UGG boots, selling the brand and manufacturing their original idea under the new name Celtic. The brand is about garments and accessories that are manufactured here in the UK using all natural materials of the best quality. The knitwear has a real heritage, classic feel with a trendy and fashionable edge bringing in the younger customer, in my opinion these are definitely pieces to have in your a/w wardrobe for 2011/12. 

Beg, borrow or Steal
This is a new brand set to launch late summer in stores like House of Fraser. When I asked what the brand's market competetors were, the reply was J Brand but with the BBS jeans retailing between £50-£70 the brand already have an advantage over their competetor. The denim is stretchy and comfortable making a loss of shape a thing of the past, always a great thing to hear when buying jeans as I hate that I have to wash some pairs of my jeans everytime I wear them so they maintain their slender fit. I was told that all the distressing was done by hand and from that, each pair of jeans are different and individual. I have already got my keen eye on a pair of 'Carries'.

Fall 2011 at TOMS is all about teachers: "Teachers inspire idea's. And ideas spark movement. Great educators plant and nurture those ideas along with a passion for change. So we are humbly dedicating the Fall 2011 campaign to these "inspirers", the teachers and mentors who have instilled in us the drive and understanding to change ourselves and the world around us." - Toms Fall 2011 look book
The look book shows the "inspirers" behind the employees at TOMS, acknowledging their most influential mentors. Every style for fall 11' is a look into the lives of people who have achieved great things and inspired many, every design has a story behind it and it is so intriguing to find out what it is.
For fall 11' at TOMS, we see a new vision into what's to come in later years. I saw thicker soles and woolen classics with fleeced linings for winter, with boots making an appearance and wedged heels.

My favorite part of the stand was the new collaboration for fall 2011 with the one and only Olson Twins.  Yes you heard me correctly, Mary-kate and Ashley Olson's stella line 'The Row' are collaborating with TOMS to create a selection of designs that focus around the "clean lines and refined silhouettes" that define the Olson's. The Toms + The Row "collection is made with italian sourced wool, cashmere blends and leather. The collection was crafted with the premium details that reflect the quality customers have come to expect from both brands." The collaboration will feature 3 key stories: the Plaid Story, the Wool/Cashmere Story and the Herringbone Story and as with TOMS main collection, for every pair purchased, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One. - Information from TOMS X THE ROW collaboration Autumn 2011 press release and May press day.

I dont know about anybody else but I am too excited for these beauties to come out this Autumn, they are set to be a little pricier than your standard TOMS but hey, think of it as a really good dead.

These shoes are to die for, lots of colour, great heights, and real statement shoes. The brand, a "luxurious footwear couturier" created by "Sultan Al Darmaki and a team of Italy's finest craftsmen to combine cultural and artistic influences" with "superior Italian manufacturing". I found the materials used in the designs to be luxurious and rich, python leather, onyx stones, pearls added to the detailing of these extraordinary statement pieces. - Information from Darmaki lookbook and May press day.

This was my first experience with the brand and I found it had a certain quality and definitely individuality. As the advisors talked me through the a/w 2011 collection, I found myself intrigued by the  pattern cutting and design features. I guess this is from my 'designers' point of view, however that is what  really stood out for me. My favorite piece from the collection was the black tassel braced shrug, It is so versatile yet such a statement piece. "LUNGTA de FANCY is fairly new to the market, established in 2003 by the 26-year-old Mai Marimoto as a bespoke boutique creating one-off pieces." Now 8 years on, the brand had grown to five London stores with a pleasing list of international stockists, with a few celebrity fans uner the belt which include Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Keira Knightly, Kylie Minogue, Victoria Beckham and Rihanna. For A/W 11' LdF encourage a more "sophisticated embrace of the moodier intrigue and glamour embodied  by darker days." the collection "perfectly encapsulates the edgy attitude of the new season, combining striking embellishments with designer Mai Morimoto's handprint of unique and artful tailoring." I will be going to check out the boutique on Bond Street to feed my LUNGTA de FANCY obsession. - Information from LUNGTA de FANCY aw 2011 press release and May press day.

"VIYELLA gets attitude with launch of new sub brand, ELLA for VIYELLA a/w 2011." Any brand that decides it may be time to parctically re-invent their brand targetting a small part towards the younger audience always grabs my attention and most brands seem to do a good job take Jaeger for example launching the very successful 'Boutique by Jaeger'. VIYELLA never really crossed my mind as one of the brands that would undertake this drastic revamp but I am definitely glad they did after checking out whats in store for aw 2011. The sub brand launches in August adding a "fashion focus to classic, British design" Whilst looking through the rails, I picked out some key pieces that I think will fly off the shelves come August.

In all I found my first press event to be exciting, really getting into in-depth information about the brands and collections and how the idea's came about for new aw 2011 collections. Everyone was so lovely and helpful and it was a really great experience that I hope to do many times again. Fall brings a lot to look forward to.

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