Haluminous “Floral DNA; Born to be a Lily”.

One of the most memorable presentations from the last LFW was definitely of Haluminous´ collection.

Held at the Freemasons Hall, the show took us by surprise and presented the unexpected, pushing boundaries of the fashion presentations.

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Having arrived just as the presentation started, everyone got transfixed on the model/dancer lying on the floor in the circle of candles and lilies. Then she started to move to the music in haunted, almost possessed manner.

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One by one the models, dressed in oversized hoodies and dresses layered on top of each other, walked out from behind the scenes, dragging their feet along in embroidered socks and flip flops as if they were zombies. It was hard to concentrate on the clothes during the presentation, as the frantic movements of the dancer were overly captivating, creating the eerie haunting mood. References to witchcraft and voodoo could be spotted.

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Haluminous is a Sydney based womenswear brand, founded in 2016 by designer Hannah Kim. The label offers highly embellished and beaded garments in street style with youthful silhouettes. Fusing experimental creative textiles with elaborate craftsmanship, Hannah created the new category of the trendy street couture.

The inspiration comes from human anatomy, flowers and Hannah´s surreal interpretation of traditional folktales. Her textiles combine multiple layers of prints, embellishments and embroidery, made into oversized elaborate pieces of clothing.

 

 

“ CURSED, CURSED TO BE A HUMAN.
I WILL DIE. RE-BORN TO BE A FLOWER “

THERE WILL BE NO DROP OF BLOOD LEFT
THEY DRINK OUT OF MY VEINS
THIRSTY
I THRIST FOR FREEDOM
FREEDOM
OUT OF THIS BODY

THE TIME IS COMING
I FEEL IT.
COURSING THROUGH MY VEINS
A LILY AT LAST.

MY PETALS WHITE AS AN ANGELIC SOUL .
BEAUTIFUL – PURE – SCENT LIKE HEAVEN .
STEMS SLENDER AND TALL WITH ELEGANCE .

I WILL LIVE FOREVER .
PLEASE, JOIN ME .
I WELCOME YOUR DEATH .
LEAVE YOUR BODY .
NOTHING MATTERS IN ETERNITY .
BUT SINLESS FLOWERS .

Roberta Einer´s Mediterrannean melancholy

Talented young designer Roberta Einer has been the “One to Watch” since called so by NEWGEN in December 2015. Her newest collection for Autumn/Winter 2017/18 proves that she has a lot to offer.

Always inspired by a certain place, this season she travels to Mediterranean in winter. Portuguese poster art and Fado music, alongside Art Deco architecture and structural Forties cuts, hand-painted prints of nature studies, combined with her signature crafted supersized sequins and Swarovski crystals embellishments.

Roberta´s maximalist luxury ready-to-wear signature style features already familiar oversized bombers, masculine shirts contrasted by elegant slip dresses, peculiar skirt hybrid, which is simultaneously high-waisted and low-waisted, cutaway at the back. The intricate craftwork of the embroideries is rather remarkable.

New innovations include prints, pleating and 3-D fabric manipulation techniques, as well as collaboration with Berlin-based footwear label Aeyde. The hand embroidery features the Mediterranean insects – moths, dragonflies and butterflies – rendered in Art Deco-style.

So much to look forward to!

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Haizhen Wang in Transit

Haizhen Wang is a London-based designer of Chinese descent, known for his avant-garde, modernist approach to elegance. Having graduated from Central Saint Martin´s in 2005, his origin has helped him to establish his brand globally in both Europe and Asia.

With his artisanal approach to the design process, inspired by architecture the result is masculine femininity with classical tailoring and bold designs.

His Autumn/Winter 2017/18 collection called “In Transit” is the response to the growing immigration crises around the world. The practically constructed trousers with multiple oversized patch pockets and padded jackets for extra comfort are pulled together with extra long belts, referring to the safety belts on planes. Embroidered and Swarovski-encrusted slogan badges reading “fragile”, “handle with care”  and “priority” feature on the clothing items.  Clear references can be seen towards luggage, travel and passage.

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The idea of transit was even further explored within the presentation, where models moved around the plastic-wrapped cardboard boxes as if in the bonded warehouse.

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Local/Global International Fashion Showcase 2017

Similarly to the last years, this February´s Fashion Week also brought along the International Fashion Showcase to Somerset House. It is already the 6th edition of the exhibition, bringing together emerging designers from all over the world from 26 countries.
The theme for this year´s exhibition is Local/Global. By considering fashion within their own landscape, the designers highlight the similarities and differences of our connected world. The global themes are examined from different cultural viewpoints, offering the variety of opinions and a large selection of materials, as well as craft techniques.

As the exhibition is in a competition format, the top accolade was received by Korean designer Younchan Chung of The-Sirius for his impressive design showcased in the Korean installation. The country award was given to India for its exhibition ‘The Indian Pastoralists’.

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Korean designers are exploring the tradition of bojagi wrapping cloths, that can be appropriated and transformed for myriad uses. The flexibility, recyclability and multi-functionality of the bojagi has the potential to offer an invaluable vocabulary to global fashion.
Indian exposition roams around the pastoral communities of the multicultural country. The nomadic groups renown for their artisanal skill as much as their animal-herding expertise bring awareness to protect the natural resources and maintain their social fabric, bringing the focus on sustainability.

My personal favourite installations were the powerful and “raw” setup of Ukraine and nostalgically dreamy Chile, offering a very harmonious composition.

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“Wish You Were Here” is set up around the image of old Soviet mural bus stop – a place for people to meet and reflect while waiting.
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“Animita” is a spontaneously erected roadside shrine with artists celebrating the country´s artisanal textile heritage. The visitors were encouraged to write down their wishes and fix them on the wall.

The exhibition is open to public till 6PM on the 21st February.

Breathtaking Bora Aksu AW 17/18 – in memory of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

Once again, London Fashion Week is upon us and time to reveal some new trends for Autumn/Winter 17/18 and shows I had a chance to attend.

Bora Aksu is a London based Turkish designer, showing at London Fashion Week already since 2003. Having a recognisable style and distinct signature, his collections of clothes are flowy and have a romantic feel about them, while not missing the darker twist of intrigue and seduction. Having won the Newgen award several times, he remains on the official LFW schedule.

For his Autumn/Winter 17/18 collection Bora Aksu has gained inspiration from the suffragette movement of the early 20th century. He has been particularly infatuated with the extraordinary Princess Sophia Duleep Singh, the goddaughter of Queen Victoria and the daughter of the Maharaja Duleep Singh.

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Princess Sophia Duleep Singh was one of the most stalwart and prominent figures of the early feminist movement, bold and fearless as she marched alongside Emmeline Pankhurst in protest outside parliament, refused to pay her taxes until women got the vote and threw herself in front of the Prime Minister´s car. She later became the president of the Suffragette Fellowship. Today it is strange to think that less than 100 years ago women in England were not allowed to vote, as the bill was passed in November 2018.

Bora Aksu´s clothes reflect the contrasts of Princess Sophia´ s life. The light pastel shades of lilac, baby blues and powder pinks are contrasted by thick black embroideries and monochrome dresses. The flat hats set the tone of the era.
The shirts´ collars, cuffs and ribbons bear hand embroidered words in pale shades, sending strong messages.

Utterly lovely collection with many pieces I am looking forward to be wearing myself.

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Roberta Einer´s Tropical Greenhouse

Roberta Einer´s  LFW presentation went on a stroll around a wild grown greenhouse with very well dressed models roaming about.

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Each of Roberta´s collections is like an experience of its own, with the presentation set to benefit to the overall impression. It has definitely grown from last season.

This time she took us on a trip to South Beach, Miami. Mixing inspiration from botanical gardens,  Miami art scene from 1970´s Pop Art together with Dirty South hip hop – pairing silk dresses with hooded tops and oversized bombers. Her trademark embellishments are in place in form of rich embroidery made in different styles, this season also dazzled up with Swarovski crystals and pearls. Neon lights still play an important role as inspiration in storytelling (occasionally quite literally as embroidered words).

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Photos by: Dexter Lander

Getting better with every season, Roberta does not fail to surprise!

Angel Chen´s Chinese fairy tale

Angel Chen was named as “Ones to Watch” by Fashion Scout in 2015. Her latest collection based on ancient book “Shan Hai Jin”, a historic text depicting various stories of monsters from land and sea, truly proved the statement to be true.

The audience is held in suspense even before the start of the show, with blinking lights and tension in the air increasing by each second. The show opens with the abundance of sparkle, the collection coming across as strong and colourful. It florishes in expressionism and experimental avant garde, while retaining its wearable qualities. Angel combines Chinese heritage with craft innovation, referencing iconic symbols and applying voluminous embroidery to the everyday fashion items. The level of detail in the embroidery is rather outstanding.
The multifunctional pieces are rather unisex, modeled by both female and male models and available in selection of sizes. The conflict is emphasized by male models styled to wear flared skirts with hoodies as the macho symbol.
Rich sparkle transforms into ruffle embellishments and into large selection of denim pieces. The final touch is added by edgy hair and make-up that really benefits to the final look.

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Photos by: Krish Nagari

Looking at her collection, there are several pieces I would wear instantly, oversized jackets with embroidery on the back, being one of my favourites.

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Image by: Angel Chen Studio