Author: Karen Grace

LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN Christopher Raeburn Spring/Summer 2014

Christopher Raeburn is renowned for breathing life back into surplus military fabrics by creating new modern clothing. For his SS14 collection he also turned to the military for inspiration. (Main picture) Titled ‘Sandstorm’, Raeburn looked at the desert uniforms and camouflage colours of the Long Range Desert Group, a British Army reconnaissance and raiding unit in North Africa during WWII. Surplus military fabrics used included a camouflage bivouac sheet made from 1950s original rubberised cotton. Here shown on a Field jacket with draw cord waist and the sleeves of a bomber jacket. Camouflage print army mesh lines and peeps through the lightweight sand-coloured parachute jacket. Whist a diaphanous camouflage print covers mint-coloured army mesh to create a double layered boxy t-shirt. Blending old and new, Raeburn also used the high Tec Schoeller fabric – a four-way stretch material which offers thermal insulation but is also lightweight, soft and highly breathable. The design of the print is a stark interpretation of satellite desert imagery. As a Cool Wool regulating the body temperature by releasing excess heat through its fibres Raeburn chose Merino wool for the softer side to his summer collection.   Main colour palette is neutral shades of sand and khaki with accents of dusky blues and pinks.   The pinks represent the colour once used on the unit’s Land Rovers and reveal how broad the colour palette had...

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London Collections: Men – Agi & Sam Spring/Summer 2014

It may be the summer of 2013 now, but designers have already created and finished their spring/summer 2014 collections. And finishing first ahead of the women are the men’s collections:   AGI & SAM Truly making travelling on public transport cool, prints from this collection were inspired by the upholstery on bus and train seats Oversized long sleeved white tees and white trousers sported small placement prints at the front creating silhouettes of skinnier short sleeved crew neck tees and shorts. Maybe an alternative to dieting? Suits were in colourfully loud jazzy lines with trousers skinny and ankle skimming. Large bags in collaboration with Chapman were a combination of soft leather and the same transport inspired prints in plush velour fabrics.   Shorts were knee length and boxy or were tailored with pleated fronts and matching jackets. The footwear was in collaboration with shoe designer Oliver Sweeney. Here the calf leather trainer with thick contrasting soles takes on a clean minimalistic style void of eyelets and laces. The collection was not all patterns and prints; the plain fabrics were block colours of summer sky blues and turquoise on blazers ranging from slim with long sleeves to the oversized with short sleeves. Bright pops of oranges brought an alternative to the cool blues. Check out the Oliver Sweeney derby brogues with their orange nylon tape detailing. Three quarter...

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London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013/14 – BELLE SAUVAGE

This is East meets the dark romantic Gothic and Renaissance of the West.                   Opulence abounds with faux fur capelets in rich deep shades of red and purple providing just a touch of warmth but plenty of glamour. Silk patterned shift and tunic dresses are edged with gothic black lace on hems, collars and sleeves Wide fur collars added texture and fun to others. Matching short jackets and pencil skirts give a ladylike nod to the Chanel suit whilst dipping into the darker world of the rich Baroque prints. The prints...

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London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013/14 – BERNARD CHANDRAN

Chandran’s muse for his AW13 collection was Dovima, a supermodel of the 1950s. This was an era when head to toe glamour was expected and achieved on a daily basis.                 The ladylike style is in, with cropped jackets and the longer length skirt to the knee and below. Necklines are high providing more coverage. But maybe these garments were not as demure as they first appeared. Some of those polo necklines revealed a low and sexy keyhole open back. Although still covered at the front, other pieces had the added illusion...

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London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013/14: Maria Grachvogel

Titled Reflection, this collection was inspired by the quiet calm of winter woodland landscapes laid bare.     Artwork is of stark dried branches, decayed leaves and negatives of deconstructive botanical prints. On paper it sounds cold and harsh, but on silk chiffon, satin, velvet and wool it’s a warmer and softer story.  Texture was a key feature with degrade wool creating the illusion through a black and ivory mix. The kimono style wrap over jacket and matching trousers would be ideal for the Autumn/Winter days at the races, no need to hide underneath a coat. Wear with a...

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