My review of the SS15 London Fashion Scout
Here you have some of the highlights from the SS15 London Fashion Scout, which oddly enough is held in the Freemasons Hall; oh well, odd for me at least, as it is the headquarter of the United Grand Lodge of England and a meeting place for the Masonic Lodges in the London area.
Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of catwalks and presentations, showing the talent and the expertise of the young British and international designers involved in the Fashion Scout schedule.
Fashion Scout, now in its 7th season, has provided the launch platform for a new generation of designers now showcasing their looks at the London Fashion Week such as Peter Pilotto, Pam Hogg, Felder Felder.
Described as a ‘talent goldmine’ by vogue.com, Fashion Scout has presented over 130 emerging designers over the past seasons, supporting and nurturing the next generation of sustainable and successful creative businesses.
The prestigious off-schedule platform Fashion Scout has become as much a part of the London shows as the British Fashion Council’s official schedule.
One of the events I attended was the presentation at Christopher Beales’s Le Photographe: the designer, formerly senior Womenswear tailor at Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen, heads up the new Womens Ready-to-Wear label which presented its AW14 first collection in Paris at Trace Showrooms.
The new maison incorporates an in-depth exploration of refined embroidery techniques and tailored shapes “to bring a playful elegance to a new vision of the post-modern wardrobe”.
The collection, finding inspiration from the biblical narrative of the “Garden of temptation”, creates a contemporary silhouette and encompasses pencil skirts flourishing into organic forms, sporty jersey dresses developing into draped shapes and woven raffia modelling a post modern wardrobe.
I had the pleasure to interview the designer during the backstage:
SC: What are the keynotes of the SS15 collection?
Christopher Beales: Our garden of temptation finds inspiration from the magnolia, the luxurious flower sculpting the blooming textiles, while the colour palette is based on few hues – fuchsia, black and white. Our aim is to build a feminine and wearable collection, using nature and as main source of creativity.
SC: What kind of research have you and your team been carrying out?
CB: Our interest is to develop research on multiple directions including tailoring skills, embroidery mastery and innovation in the print process; we have enhanced the handmade craft, hand-weaving, hand-beading and luxurious techniques of fabric manipulation are our trademark.
SC: How do you see your brand in 5-10 years?
CB: Building bigger shows and wonderful collections! Tonight we need to keep the focus on the second part of the presentation which is starting in a few minutes though!
Another intriguing collection seen at the London Fashion Scout is SORAPOL’s, the British fashion brand of Bangkok-born designer Sorapol Chawaphatnakul and London based artist Daniel Lismore acting as creative director. SORAPOL combines skilled craftsmanship with artisan couture techniques to make ready-to-wear luxury garments. The evening show took place against the elegant and classic backdrop of the Holborn’s headquarter of the Royal College of Surgeons.
In his SS15 collection African culture meets Baroque hyperboles: embellished jackets, soft pastel palette, effervescent ball gowns, signature head pieces in true 17th century Versailles flamboyant style are the rococo-ish motives. The bewitching notes of Corelli’s Follia di Spagna pinpointed the Roi Soleil-esque catwalk, where African prints met Louis XIV., combining feathers high heels, sailing ship millinery and tribal patterns.
The inspiration for the collection comes from a visit to Paris paid by the designer and creative director who spotted an African print gazebo in their boutique hotel room: the pair created an awesome fusion where two seemingly incompatible cultures melt through exuberant couture and decadent silhouettes.
I popped backstage after the show to meet the bob coiffed models, celebrating the success of the show with designer Sorapol Chawaphatnakul and creative director Daniel Lismore and unwinding their intricate outfits in a triumph of feathers and eye-popping gowns.