Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

After being inspired by all the amazing new talent on show at London Fashion Week, we were greeted with some great news this morning. Many of the up-and-coming designers who we met at LFW (including Charlotte Taylor, Eudon Choi and JW Anderson) are working with a new online retail project called, appropriately,

Having been launched just over two weeks ago, the project aims to 'create the first dedicated retail environment purely focusing upon young talent working in this country' and to celebrate the risks that British designers take in order to create the world's most exciting fashion. Edited selections from the 36 designers' collections are available to purchase from the site, often in limited runs - these are future collectibles, after all.

We spoke to Julian Whitehead, one of the founders of the website, along with his partners Debra Hepburn, Adrianna Wheatley and Stuart Jackson (the latter two hit on the original concept after being inspired at LFW AW10, back in February.) They turned to Debra and Julian for some practical advice on how to get the project started, and the team's combination of experience in advertising, marketing and fashion, along with a healthy dose of youth and enthusiasm has contributed to its success. According to Julian, the YBD staff are committed to "producing something new and exciting, as well as giving something back to the UK fashion industry. We want to set people off on their chosen paths, and hope that the site will help them along the way."

This is a great platform for making contemporary fashion talent accessible to the public, at a much earlier than normal stage in a young designer's career. They  were possibly the first people to spot and stock Felicity Brown, who most recently designed for Lanvin as well as selling her collection through the youngbritishdesigners site.

 Felicity Brown at

The roster of designers is an evolving process and the buying team hope to add new collections to the site as and they discover them. By next season, there will be a host of new names added to the website's line up. YBD should help these future fashion legends to begin building their own design legacy, and enable savvy shoppers to buy a little piece of creative history.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Erdem with his SS11 moodboard

"You can't run the preview until after the V&A launch," so instructed Erdem when I went to see him last week before his London Fashion Week show. Well, that launch for "Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909 - 1929" was last evening at the V&A, and now I am allowed to reveal that lucky Erdem was granted access to the imposing Blythe House, the V&A archive in west London to get some time with the beautiful costumes of Bakst and others for the Ballet Russes over the summer.

From the V&A:
"Diaghilev’s extraordinary company, which survived a twenty-year rollercoaster of phenomenal successes and crippling problems, revolutionised ballet. As importantly, Diaghilev’s use of avant-garde composers, such as Stravinsky and designers such as Bakst, Goncharova, Picasso and Matisse, made a major contribution to the introduction of Modernism."

A detail from SS11 and the Swarovski palette Erdem chose

"This is the first time I have really intensely researched something. I was given unlimited access all summer. I turned the Ballet Russes costumes inside out. I looked at the scrims. What is surreal is that all the costumes are stored beneath ghostly white covers on stands, and the spaces within the clothes are filled with white wadding. It created these naive shapes. It seemed colour was bled out of the work. Then as you pulled off the covers, something so bright and beautiful was waiting to be discovered. With the costumes the sense is of structured clothing with diaphanous flowing skirts, which I have tried to put across with the collection."

These dresses were inspired by the stored garments of the Ballet Russes at Blythe House

"Blythe House is actually quite a creepy," he says. I can concur  while visiting this summer, it felt like stepping back 100 years to shadowy rooms full of eerie white-wrapped shapes. "It was impossible not to feel totally inspired by the Ballet Russes," said Erdem. "When I asked Nick Kirkwood to do the shoes, he was equally inspired. The colours I chose were kelly green, lime, red and touches of orange, and of course, white. The way I worked with Swarovski this season was to take small crystals in those colours and hand sew them onto the flowers that match, and to incorproate them into the diamond patterns."

Crystal application in the studio

The Grazia team loved this dress

My three favourite looks

Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, 1909 - 1929 begins on Saturday
to book tickets go here.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

Look at all these fabulous pieces by the members of the young British fashion fraternity. There is work from Christopher Kane, Holly Fulton,  They are all one-offs. Would you like one? Thought so...

If you want one you have two days left to bid for them on eBay. They are all part of Mercedes-Benz's Car Boot-ique, a car boot sale type affair hosted by eBay, in which all the funds raised go directly back to help the next generation of British talent through Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East scheme.

I cannot think of a more satisfying way to shop. If you make a successful bid, you gain a one off item at a less-than-retail price, and the money helps the incoming talent onto the London Fashion Week. I asked Mercedes to send me the lots being released today and tomorrow. And here they are.

Christopher Kane


Hannah Marshall
Hasan Hejazi

Hasan Hejazi
Holly Fulton
Holly Fulton
House of Holland (these are blingy car-dice, quite large)
Jonathan Saunders

Margaret Howell
Maria Francesca Pepe



Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large

I couldn't get to David Koma and Holly Fulton's show this morning. After the very strong showing of Peter Pilotto at Waterloo's old Eurostar terminal we headed across to St Pauls Cathedral to pay our respects to the memory of Lee Alexander McQueen. Time to be still.

It was an exquisite, finely tuned event in what Shaun Leane pointed out in his address "would have been his ultimate venue. We did alright didn't we, Lee?" he asked gazing up into the majesty of Wrens dome.

When Michael Nyman played "The heart asks pleasure first" the key piece from his Oscar winning The Piano score, ourt hearts soared and broke just a little bit. It was funny when his closest girl friend Annabelle Neilson said Lee's sense of direction was so good, he often claimed he was born with "The Knowledge", (the three year training all London cabbies must complete). Anna Wintour was right when she said he was an artist who transcended fashion.

I caught my breath as Bjork emerged from Minor Cannons Aisle dressed in a gilded ostrich feather gown, wings rising five feet behind her. It was an image from another era. Bjork proceeded to sing Gloomy Sunday in her inimitable style, and it was a a perfect moment; beautifully sad.

I wanted to share the words Gloomy Sunday. You need quiet time to read them.

The photo used for the memorial of Lee is the shot above by David Bailey. It sums up the best of his sprit to so many people.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education
Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

The Ones To Watch show held by the Vauxhall fashion Scout supports and nurtures young talent, and helps get them ready for the official schedule. Designers who have passed through to success include
Dean Quinn, Hermione de Paula and Eudon Choi. I headed down to check out the possible next big things and to chat to them backstage...


The cute playful shapes of Charlotte's first ever catwalk show were complimented by the muted primary colour scheme and 'vintage robot' print motif, which she says was inspired by a robot pencil sharpener she bought for her boyfriend! Strips of applique velvet and denim were a recurring theme, as were the industrial T necklaces with large eyelet holes, based on the sails of boats in her Isle of Wight hometown. As a designer she is unconcerned with trends and prefers to design simply with a 'young, sporty, girl' in mind.

  Charlotte Taylor walks with her final designs


Or should I say, 'Queen of the Ruffles'. Georgia's angelic, raw-edged, ruffle creations were inspired by Jean Cocteau, La Belle et La Bete, and French Baroque craftmanship. Others featured collaged photo prints based on sculptural stone forms, and there were some statement caged pieces reminiscent of bustles. The ultra feminine collection is very wearable and it doesn't suprise me that she is meeting with Harrods later this week (as well as working with Charlotte Stockdale to create four bespoke pieces for Victoria's Secret!)

 Georgia Hardinge amd her models


Lilee's work was extremely elegant, a pure white collection with touches of deepest navy blue. Many of the pieces were hand-pleated, and all featured her signature clean lines. She is obsessed with 'luxurious, high energy, energetic women' who play ladylike sports and walk their dogs while wearing immaculately pressed clothes. I had spotted an interesting print on two items from the collection, which upon closer inspection, turned out to be Lilee's geometric interpretation of a dog! Very sweet indeed - it's no wonder ASOS have snapped her up for a collaboration based on her MA collection, available from October.

Lilee showing off her handiwork backstage!
 Photos: Fashion Junior at Large


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Editor at Large


Henry is a busy man. Fresh from a trip to New York last weekend where he hosted a Fashion's Night Out party with (for whom he designed a special maxi dress) and Teen Vogue, he bounded into his studio to meet with us having just been at the gym. "I saw Erdem and I often see Richard Nicoll, now all we need is Chris and Tammy Kane to make it a fashion happening," he quipped before skipping off to spruce his famous quiff back into place with some Elnett. 

He seems weirdly calm, I tell him, for a man with a catwalk show in four days. "I am weirdly calm. We're organised. There's ten people working here, at this stage we're taking delivery of something new every day from our various suppliers. It's like Christmas every day," he says and as if to prove his point his gorgeous production manager Anna signs for a large box and flourishes it in our direction. It turns out to be T-shirts in various cuts (cropped tops, Y back vests, trad T-shirts) featuring the banana print shown below in various colours. The cerulean blue is my favourite.

Then he tells me and the fashion junior about his latest two discount cards; we all love a discount card in the fashion biz. Henry Holland has a pick n mix card, (oh lawdy how I would love one of those) "the sweets come within three hours!!" he marvelled while chugging down a cola bottle. He is also the proud recipient of a Nandos card. Nandos feed him and five interns once a week or so. Here's a thing: Nandos is every fashionistas secret favourite fast food restaurant.
                                                 Banana leaf print Henry has developed for his SS11 HOH collection

"It started with the 70s, Studio 54, and the (1980) film Xanadu, and progressively got more and more Joan Collins and Joan Rivers. It's glitzy...but I hate the word glitzy...sophisticated is better The collection is bright, fun and young with it, but not as young as before. We're getting a bit more grown up; there's a bit of Jackie O in there. The main print is the banana leaf, which we have Swarovski'd. The banana leaf print is part inspired by the wallpaper of the restaurant Indochine in New York and part inspired by the episode of Friends when Monica is in the Bahamas and has to get her hair braided because of humidity."

He then shows me some great bustier dresses hung with fringing - take it from me, London designers are TOTALLY OBSESSED with fringing this season - and says "I'm getting my hairdresser to do some looks with the fringing." We approve.

The House of Holland studio on Charlotte Road

As you can see from the board below, Henry's shapes are cute and girlie and verging on terribly chic, but the fun in them makes them young and cool. There is copious use of gold chainmail - another Xanadu connection - and a lot of Swarovski encrusted stars, as well as darling dresses and jackets.  "I have definitely used up my Swarovski allowance this season," he says. 

The look-boards for the SS11 collection. Love how their "girl" is a mini Anna Wintour

"I'm working with BlackBerry again. Look," he says whipping out his new BlackBerry Torch, "I've got a BlackBerry Torch." Henry is such a show off.  While I seethe with jealousy (sort of) he reveals the fruits of his latest collaboration with them. "I've created a BlackBerry Torch cover that has an ear on the back of it, so when the phone is to your ear, you've got an ear on show!! We've made a hole in the ear for an earring, and we have made small versions of the House of Holland earrings for SS11 which are a Swarovski stud leading to a chain hung with a giant fluffy hoop. Next year we are hoping to create a rubber ear that is 3D." He has also collaborated for the first time with Charlotte Olympia, and the shoes look divine. To see his novelty ear thing for BlackBerry go to his sponsored blog, or rather look at this hilar photo of Sienna Miller from the blog....  

...and this one - with a better view of the ear/earring - modelled by accessories designer Katie Hillier

Now on with the show, which takes place tomorrow at 4.15pm.


Crossing the Blues, University of the Nations, Social Work and Education, Shop Clothes Online, Radiology Information Social Work and Education Posted by Fashion Junior at Large

27 models, representing 27 finalists, line up to be judged by Rankin, Matthew Williamson and Helena Christensen at the Triumph Inspiration Awards

The night before Fashion Week starts is always awash with parties. Last night Lily Allen launched her shop Lucy in Disguise at 10 King Street, Covent Garden and Fashion Editor at Large had nothing but good to say about it. Kate Moss also had a party to celebrate the launch of KM3D-1, a 3D film of Kate by Baillie Walsh. Selfridges launched their Shoe Galleries in spectacular style and Fendi had a private dinner with the east London gallery Fumi. However, my choice was to attend the grand finale of the Triumph Inspiration Award at the Old Sorting Office on New Oxford Street.
MW and HC posing up a storm

Now in it's third year, the Triumph Inspiration Award is an international competition with a top prize of  E15,000, and the winning design is produced and sold in Triumph stores across the world. Everyone was fizzing with excitement (and not just because there were beautiful lingerie models to ogle, though Rankin did look particularly happy) over the amazing young designers. The competition brief was 'Shape Sensation' and the objective? Well to create some of the world's most innovative lingerie pieces, of course! It was judged by, among other Matthew Williamson and Helena Christensen (above).

Obviously, this model is backstage

The fashion crowd took their seats for the high octane catwalk show, where each finalist had interpreted 'Shape Sensation' in their own unique way. We saw everything from carved wood, to wire hoops, to exploding balloons filled with rainbow coloured dust! The innovation was incredible, and it was intriguing to see how each person had taken a totally different approach to the design brief. The entire spectrum of styles were covered, including extreme, exaggerated femininity with embellished flowers, to sleek, sculptural designs including a body suit made of jointed, polished wood.

My favourites (as modelled by Helena Christensen, and shot by Rankin):

Ayumi Kawase (Japan) 'A Brassiere Imaging a Forest'

 Justin Singh (Canada) 'Sands of Time'

 Peet Dullart (Netherlands) 'Sensimotion'

 The judging panel included Rankin, Matthew Williamson and Helena Christensen, who all watched intently before disappearing off, Masterchef-style, to make their final decision.

The talented winners were:

1st - Nikolay Bojilov (Bulgaria) 'Morphology'

2nd - Amaya Carcamo (Spain) 'Wood Sensation'

3rd - Lodovico Loffreda (Italy)

All three looked overwhelmed as they picked up their trophies from Adam Garcia and Helena, none more so than the winner Nikolay Bojilov who did a victory walk with his winning design and the supermodel herself.

 The winners pick up their prizes!

A victory walk for the worthy winner

It was a super glamorous evening, with a few celeb faces in amongst the crowd (we spotted Donna Air, Alexandra Burke and the face of Triumph, Louise Redknapp). But the focus was firmly on the incredible designs - some of these young students clearly have a lot to offer the world of lingerie. I look forward to seeing what Nicolay does next.

The personal blog of Fashion Junior at Large can be found here