Dressipi Blog

WARDROBE WONDERS: A tale of two fashion shows

Posted on: July 10, 2012

A tale of two shows. Here’s how it goes. You know that fabulous quilted Burberry trench in a military olive green with a contrast fabric button panel for a/w 2012? Once upon a time, about 21 years ago to be precise, it started out life on the Graduate Fashion Week Catwalk. In the creative mind of designer Christopher Bailey. 21 years ago he was the first graduate to win the first ever prize at GFW. 21 years later as we sat beside the vast catwalk in the Earl’s Court Arena, Bailey beamed in a message to the fashion graduates and designers of the future: “You are just at the beginning of the most magical journey….” And for Bath Spa University’s fashion graduate, Chloe  Jones, who not only won the Womenswear gong but also the esteemed Gold Award (£20,000),  if her magical journey turns out to be anything like Bailey’s it will be the fashion equivalent of Harry Potter.

You can just tell a winner. It’s an instinct. It’s a feeling. It’s what one of the judges Suzy Menkes, Fashion Director of the International Herald Tribune, who sees at least 20,000 garments a year describes as: “An emotion. A feeling of excitement for the creativity and the imagination.” So when Clare Jones sent out a misty-grey collection of modern day French Lieutenant Women in deconstructed hoodies (I say deconstructed because they were given a feminine touch) and floor sweeping skirts, you could just feel a winner in our midst. We love a front-row at fashion week, and with judges like Julien Macdonald, Matthew Williamson, Daphne Guinness to name a few – it was quite a frow. And GMTV’s Mark Heyes and Made In Chelsea’s Amber Atherton gives us their best Frow Pose.

From the large convention centre of Earls Court to the ballroom at Claridges (so fashion darling!) which had been transformed into a velvet decked penthouse apartment part art-deco, part 21st century for the Nicholas Oakwell Couture collection. Think embellished gowns (perfect for the red carpet) that felt like a cross between the Great Gatsby and the slinkiness of a 70’s diva.

Made in Britain these pieces celebrate British craftsmanship. Bearing in mind it can take 100’s of mand hours to handstitch the detaling onto a Couture dress it’s all very fitting in a year of the Queen’s Dimaond Jubilee and the Olympics. The fun thing about Couture shows is the front-row watching with everyone from Dressipi (of course) to jewellery designer Lara Bohinc to actress Olivia Stone. Not to mention artist-model Tali Lennox who took a stylish tunr on the catwalk (see pic below). From Chloe Jones to Nicholas Oakwell it’s a tale of two very made-in-Britian fashion shows. Natalie x

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