The Grazia fashion team have been darting across London today as some of the city’s most talented fashion design stars present their A/W 2012-13 collections personally to press. From kaleidoscopic prints, padded silhouettes and exquisite embellishments, we took in the upcoming season gems and chatted with the creative minds behind London Fashion Week...
The Georgian born designer talked us through his Art Deco/ 1960s mash up collection and gave us an insight into his plans for his young design brand. “This season I was inspired by greyhounds – I love their aristocratic elegance and their role in sport which is focused on their speed – I just felt that combination was incredibly modern.” Seen in knits, prints (which look from afar like a regular houndstooth) and as fab OTT heels, the greyhounds add a typically Koma flavour to the glamorous line.
As to whether he ever feels homesick, DK tells us “You know London is in my heart – it is the perfect meeting point between heritage, discipline and culture vs. modernity, creativity and craziness. But my style is a mixture of all of my experience. The colours and power of what I do comes from Georgia where people are so warm and loud. My interest in art history, ballet, culture comes from being brought up in St Petersberg and my freedom and willingness to continually experiment and do things different definitely comes from my time in London. And you know as a BFC/New Gen designer I am really very happy – there is an amazing security in that support, and all the designers are friends with each other. It’s about doing your best and the more talented your peers the better your work.”
Showing a dazzling collection of Swarovski bejewelled dresses – one nicknamed the ‘naked dress’ was inspired by Marlene Dietrich – Marios Schwab talked us through his new collection. And little did we know but the Greco-Austrian designer is a massive Grazia fan. “I buy the magazine every week and I have literally piles in my house. My boyfriend is always asking me if we can start to get rid of them, but I always say no – it’s like a history of the year in London. So they stay put!”
After last season’s tour de force, Peter Pilotto was in an understandably buoyant mood. “The response to the past two collections has been amazing. It’s been great to have the opportunity to travel to new markets and meet the incredible women who buy our clothes – in China we were struck by how elegant and refined the customer is, while in LA the buyers have been so enthusiastic.” Pilotto also talked us through his collaborations including his work with swimwear designer Lisa Maria Fernandez and Austrian outerwear experts Schneider who goose-down jackets are one of the hottest must haves for the new season. “Schneider has a real history and even though their regular product is traditional and quite conservative, they were so open to new ideas and working from a different perspective. When we add new elements to our collections we always want to bring in outsiders who actually have expertise.”
A Central Saint Martin’s Graduate, Korean designer Jackie. J.S.Lee is swiftly becoming one of London’s most talked about exports. She revealed to Grazia how much her MA training still resonates, “Whenever I am designing I can hear Louise (Wilson, Director of CSM’s MA programme) saying to me, ‘Do what you can do. Remember the words minimalism and modern. Do the tailoring, not the drapery – you’re not very good at it.’”
Avant-garde boutique Dover Street Market picked up J.J.S.Lee’s debut collection “by accident” she says. “They had no idea about my brand, didn’t ask any questions about my background, they just asked if they could buy the collection. It was only later they said, Jackie are you Korean?” The brand is now stocked at DSM’s new store in Ginza, Tokyo as well as stockists for the first time in the US and China. What’s up next for the diminutive minimalist? “So many men have asked for me to launch a line for them, we’ve decided to get into menswear for next season – they were all buying the heavy knits in size 14 this season!”