London Fashion Week Series: 3. Charlie May SS13

During London Fashion Week in September I came across a new designer I had not heard of before.  I was hugely impressed by the spring summer 13 collection from Charlie May – presented under the arches of the wine cellars at The Stafford hotel, London.  A line of chalky whites and neutrals designed in achingly clean and cool silhouettes from luxe satin and velvet fabrics had me gushing.

May is both fashion designer and blogger, writing over at Girl A La Mode which she began in 2008 during her university studies.  Obviously May wears many of her designs on her blog so do check it out. She’s also a huge fan of monochrome – and as a fan of monochrome is always a friend of mine, I find her autumn winter 2012 collection in this vein very exciting indeed with superb tailoring, draping and splashes of leather throughout.

Above is my favourite look.  I’m a sucker for a high split!  Below – a closer look at the shoes for the catwalk presentation, from Kat Maconie.

Image below: Another of my favourites: simple, clean, modern.  Sunglasses were from Zan Zan Eyewear – I’m currently crushing on their Instagram feed (@ZanZanMan).

What surprised me here was the successful pairing of white and nude tones to striking effect.  Although I may have to invest in a self tanner next summer so as not to look soooo pale*, I’d love to wear this combination below:

To view Charlie May’s previous collections visit her website.  To read about the inspiration and preparations for the summer show have a read of Girl A La Mode.  Thoughts, Blog Reader? Are you also a sucker for summer whites?

Photos: Charlie May / HPR London / Jennifer Inglis.

*Before you say anything Blog Reader, even with a tan I look pale. English rose all the way.  And then come the freckles.

London Fashion Week Series: 2. Sass & Bide

Geometric details, simple silhouettes and pure colours with splashes of gold and silver exploded down the runway of Sass & Bide at London Fashion Week this September.  Entitled ‘Loveshady’, the fresh simplicity of this SS13 collection delighted me.

A mix of masculine and feminine; trailing skirts and sharp shorts; an intertwining of soft romance (flowing chiffon) with sharp tailoring resulted in a ‘boy meets girl’ collection.

The brand’s signature embellishments were present but I felt the overall effect was more subtle than in previous seasons.  A palette of monochrome was interrupted here and there with soft peaches and striking tangerine shades.  Talking with my blogger friend Anna we felt the eye-catching crisp white and gold looks were the highlight of this collection (see image below:)

Metallics in the form of sequined skirts, Cleopatra-style gold belts and chokers and chunky silver details gave the collection a lot of oomph.  Sometimes it felt ‘too much’ –  I didn’t much care for the full length sparkling dress or maxi skirt, that’s a little too much bling for me.

What I did love were the slouchy, relaxed trousers (even the tangerine coloured ones!)  The soft feathered short dresses also won me over.

Some themes were included that have run throughout the spring summer 2013 fashion weeks  – harness details, racer necklines and slimline pants.

With a new e-boutique on their website, time for me to start saving for Sass & Bide!

London Fashion Week Series: 1. Peter Pilotto SS13

After New York City and before the move to Paris and Milan, London Fashion Week offers a very unique and interesting mix of designers with collections that I find to be distinct, individual and often very colourful.  Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos presented one of my favourite collections in London this September.  Vibrant, mixed prints, peplums and embellishment – beading and mirrors – comprised their line for spring 2013.

Vogue commented on the designers’ use of prints:

“Spring references everything from baroque scrolling to ornate 1970s diamonds, abstracted Op Art black-and-white cubes to Art Deco–ish intersecting lines, many of which were inspired by a trip they made to the Santa Maria Assumpta cathedral in Siena (imagine Bridget Riley designing the interiors of a place of worship, and you are getting the right idea) and their summer vacation in India and Nepal. It’s how those patterns undergo some kind of alchemical reaction with a woman’s body, through being worked into increasingly imaginative silhouettes; the total effect — not just a litany of print motifs— creates the impact of what Peter Pilotto does.” Mark Holgate, Vogue.com

Shapes and silhouettes this year were a fascinating mix of feminine nipped in waists, voluminous ruffles, frills and cut outs.  If you described these dresses to me blind I might not imagine them not to work at all.  What Vogue calls a ‘cascading’ motion of the ruffle effect in these styles is probably what gives each piece an elegant and appealing fluidity.  Although not at all one for print, Pilotto and Vos manage to change my mind the moment I see their designs.

Images: Vogue.