Saturday, 20 February 2010

London Fashion Week – Day 1: Aminaka Wilmont, Jena-Theo, Braganza, Hakan

London Fashion Week, in Somerset House, its resplendent new home … Sun shining, self satisfaction floating like a miasma over all. How lovely to be us! A minute's silence in remembrance of Alexander McQueen, called for by BFC chair, Sir Harold Tilman. Wall of condolence set up in the main entry to the shows, awash with maudlin comments that would have made McQueen's lip curl with disdain. He was, after all, a man who had turned his back on LFW and refused all blandishments to get him to return and show here. Unless he latterly changed his mind, he had a deep and frequently expressed contempt for the BFC and was an unredeemed refusenik.

, the famous New-York-based English blogger whose identity was revealed this week in Grazia was busy trying to find something to say but, as it was only the first day, found not very much. However, I'm sure this intrepid lady will find plenty with which to regale us all as the week progresses.

An international set of designers to start the week off and show how marvellously eclectic London fashion now is. Aminaka Wilmont is a Scandinavian partnership - he is Danish, she is half-Swedish, half-Japanese - and their seafaring heritage came to the fore in colours and prints inspired by the sea as well as details of great subtlety, translating the flotsam and jetsam of the seashore into draped and wrapped effects and strong knits and leather. It needs to be seen close-up to reveal all the thought that is in it.

Jena-Theo (she's a Brit and he is Greek) moved forward the concepts that won them the FF@CG prize last September. Voluminous proportions moved dramatically with the model's body and the prints and knits were good.

Jean-Piere Braganza (brought up in Canada) was all sharp geometric edges and Bauhaus-inspired cutting and layering. The result was chic but rather mannered. Angular cuts layered across the body look strong on the catwalk but I did wonder how they would look after being worn for a three-hour dinner. But this was a sleek, confident collection that would appeal to a ditto woman.

Hakan, from Turkey, was all about cut. Think Roland Mouret and Victoria Beckham and you get the idea. Commercial. Commercial. Commercial. Very expensively made, it was about statement clothes for women who could live up to the money of what they had on their backs. A much more international than British aesthetic, and ultimately probably too smooth for native British women. Whoever makes his clothes is worth his weight in gold, however.

Quote of the day: a stout supporter of the chairman, commenting on the weather: 'Oh, Harold always makes the sun shine!' Nobody laughed.


  1. So reassuring to turn to Colin's blog knowing that the latest news of LFW will be up and running virtually instantly. No more waiting weeks for Elle, or months for Vogue as was the case when I was young, and usually pictures to supplement the prose. Instant fashion for all. No excuse for anyone not to know what to wear.

  2. Yes, LLG's show coverage is disappointing in my opinion and appears rather strained. I do love her blog but covering fashion by 'tweet' (for Mercedes) hasn't been at all informative.

    Sarah B