Sunday, 27 January 2013

There's An App For That!

The Sunday Times has published the first in a series of App Lists today, sharing ideas for apps of all kinds. I have just installed two that give a great insight into fashion and knitwear.

The Sunday Times App List Supplement
Vogue Daily News (iPhone, Android, Blackberry: Free) has a round up of what's going on in the Vogue World. Todays news section has an article on Christian Wijnant and his nomination for the International Woolmark Prize. Wijnant is working with one white merino yarn to explore shape, stitches and dyeing processes. The International Woolmark Prize of $100,000 AUD will be announced after the regional winners show their collections to the judging panel at London Fashion Week.

Headline from Vogue News website
Tokyo Fashion (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone: Free) has an ever changing set of street style images from Tokyo. A search for 'knitwear' brings up some interesting designers who showed at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Tokyo last year. Yasutoshi Ezumi's biography highlights his links to Central St Martins and Alexander McQueen. The photos of his Autumn/ Winter 2012-13 knitwear collection are full of fabulously draped cables.

Logo from Tokyo Fashion website

Friday, 18 January 2013

London Collections: Men, Knitwear Highlights

Inspirational design was on show throughout London Collections: Men, 7th to 9th January 2013, with previews of the trends for Autumn/ Winter 2013. Here are my knitwear highlights.

Topman Design: polo neck and crew neck sweaters and belted jackets were bold in colour, cable or texture. Hand warmers are knitted as part of the sweater to keep the wearer extra warm!

(All images from the British Fashion Council London Collections Website. Click on the links to view the full designer collections.)

Hackett London had a wonderful selection of elegant fair isle waistcoats, sweaters cardigans and scarves worn with traditional jackets.

Nicole Farhi  combined patterns of different scale to create bold, fitted sweaters and cardigans. Handwarmers knitted as part of the sweater were also part of this collection.

Margaret Howell used modern updates of traditional styles.

YMC used matching scarf and sweater sets, combinations of different patterns,  chunky argyll diamonds and side neck openings as features in the garments.

Richard James showed stylish sets of hat, scarf and gloves with either smart coats and jackets or the matching sweater.

Christopher Shannon's bold combinations of graphic or cable knits were really 'eye-catching'.

Sibling went oversize in every way!

James Long combined patterned knitting as sleeves for waistcoats or the body of jackets.

Shaun Samson included oversize knits with combinations of cables and colour.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Valentino: Master of Couture

The Valentino exhibition at Somerset House, London shows Couture design at it's best: attention to detail, high quality materials and strong vision. Entry to the Exhibition in the lower galleries is down a dramatic stairwell, 'dressed' with this beautiful drape of red fabric.

Beautifully draped fabric in Somerset House stairwell.
Photo by Emma Vining
The exhibition begins with a vibrant table top projection, followed by a selection of design sketches and show invitations cards displayed in cases below wall projected images in the shape of a huge flower. Stairs lead you up to 'The Catwalk', where mannequins model the couture garments on both sides of the gallery.

The Catwalk
Image from Somerset House Website
Each garment is identified by a number, with detail in the accompanying guidebook. Highlights for me included the origami technique in garment No 12, S/S 2008, a pale pink taffeta ensemble with detailed folding; the overlaid sequin swirls on the sleeves and jacket on garment No 19, S/S 2005, a black shantung silk suit; huge circular crochet-like embellishments on garment No 20, a black and white tweed ensemble. Throughout the catwalk, the garments showed off the expert use of lace, pearls, crystal, sequins, pleating, folding and fabric manipulations.

Following the catwalk is a top down view of Princess Marie Chantal of Greece's wedding dress with the huge train spread out. This dress illustrates the level of detail and craftsmanship that goes into every creation as it took 16 people 6 weeks just to create the lace veil. Further insights are revealed in the next room where some of the techniques used are demonstrated on screens embedded in a huge table accompanied by actual samples.

Image from Somerset House Website
This inspiring showcase of 50 years of Valentino through over 130 dresses and insights into haute couture techniques runs until 3rd March 2013 at Somerset House, London.