Jean Patchett, 1953


Jean Patchett, 1953

(Source: flickr.com)

Dita in front of her chimney

Dita in front of her chimney

(Source: diva-von-teese, via demiilauren)



Hema Kaul brings a touch of European haute couture and 50’s glamour to AW’14 with her latest collection. Merging iconic 50’s silhouettes with a contemporary aesthetic, Kaul creates classic shapes for a new generation.

Kaul’s AW’14 collection gives the 1950s a new look whilst keeping the full skirts and fitted shapes of the era. Peplums, netted skirts, and tailored jackets all have a strong vintage influence in subtle oyster, shimmering silver, rich navy blue and bright coral red.

The collection is luxurious and elegant with sumptuous velvet, taffeta, French tulle and intricate leather detailing, bringing an equally sweet and seductive element to Kaul’s femininity. Her signature style of a playful use of lace is seen on many of the pieces for AW’14, in sleeves and as delicate detailing on sheer tops.

Androgynous shapes are included to balance the abundance of prettiness in the form of jumpsuits, but feature delicate designs of beaded embellishment in keeping with the style of the collection.

Kaul encourages women to embrace their figures and emphasise their femininity with iconic vintage silhouettes.

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale




Hungarian designer Napsugar von Bittera, whose name means sunshine in her mother tongue, has a unique approach to fashion after starting her career in costume design.

Bittera’s AW’14 collection takes inspiration from the consumer society and the seven cardinal sins of the bible, with the addition of five more - prodigality, negligence, lust for power, irresponsibility and deception. The two themes are worked into a graphic motif, which is screen printed on to silk and seen as laser-cut designs in leather.

Exaggerated and oversize pieces are combined with body contouring silhouettes, playing with loose tracing and feminine styles. Block colours are used in minimalist structured shapes such as cropped fur and leather jackets, crisp shirts, woollen a-line skirts and wide cropped trousers, whilst Bittera’s sketchy motif is seen on monochrome shirts, sweatshirts and floor length dresses with laser cut detail.

A vivid palette of bright red, ultramarine blue and turquoise are given a touch of luxury with gold tones, and compliment classic colours such as navy, black and white, which appear throughout the collection.

Bittera’s AW’14 collection was presented in a formal manner, with models posing on a collection of seats from a plane, or against giant props of a bitten ice lolly and a box of popcorn all with a nostalgic 50s style and pop-art style text.

Two minutes with Napsugar von Bittera…

Who do you design for?

I always have in mind a woman who is intelligent but easy going with a good sense of humour. Someone who likes to have fun with fashion and doesn’t take herself too seriously.

What themes did you want to include in your collection?

The 12 sins – lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, pride, greed, sloth, prodigality, negligence, lust for power, irresponsibility and deception, and contemporary cubism, though I didn’t want it to be too negative so I added comical consumerism shown with the giant props.

What’s the story behind your colour palette?

The Ferrari red, ultramarine blue and pure black are colours you don’t find in nature, which is why I incorporated them, along with colours from the pop art movement.

Who inspires you?

All designers, but I love [Alexander] McQueen. Anyone who is unique and makes their style personal to them, I admire Louis XIV, he was the first fashion dictator.

What are your must have items for SS’14?

My [Napsugar von Bittera SS’14] Cinderella laser cut dress, and the wicked step-mother dress with Snow White leather jacket.

Words, interview and images by Hollie Bracciale

"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire."

— Aristotle

(via hoodoothatvoodoo)



David Koma presented his first collection at the age of 15 after studying Fine Art in St Petersburg. In 2003 he moved to London to study BA Fashion Design at CSM, followed by MA Fashion in 2009, where he created his signature body contouring silhouettes.

Koma has become synonymous with ultra body contouring designs, empowering the wearer with strong architectural elements to create feminine shapes. He is also known for his unique embellishment. However, Koma created something new for AW’14.

The collection has a military influence as Koma designs pieces that almost appear as armour around the wearer’s contours, contrasting simple structured shapes with the organic feminine form. Pieces are strong, architectural and geometric in a dark palette of navy and black, with touches of light grey and a pop of cobalt blue and purple.

Koma uses seductively shiny satin, knit and soft matte leather in various combinations to add interest to simple shapes.

Detail is added to the pieces with laser cut square links and intricately woven strips of leather, used to form portions of dresses and jackets. The soft leather in also cleverly used in concertina pleats creating skirts that bounce with the slightest movement.

 Words and images by Hollie Bracciale



Since graduating from LCF with a BA Fashion Design Technology:Womenswear in 2011, Lulu Liu has gone on to launch her own label of women’s clothing. Now in to her fifth season of showcasing at London Fashion Scout, Liu continues developing her personal style, incorporating decorative designs and feminine touches.

Liu’s AW’14 collection draws inspiration from historical references of 18th century China, with an unconventional muse; Emperor Cixi from the Qing Dynasty. Touches of oriental designs are recreated on metallic fabric in pastel orange, golden yellow and duck egg blue, used by Liu on a high-waisted pencil skirt, simple shift dress and a striking dress coat with balloon sleeves.

Block colour pieces were used throughout the collection, often on garments with fabric detail including rouching, pleats and cut outs. Wool was used in many of the designs including a luxurious cream coat with an oversized collar and a one shoulder origami style dress. A woollen skater skirt in navy was teamed with a mustard yellow long-sleeved jumper with bib detail and finished with a neck scarf in the Qing Dynasty print.

The minimalist essence of Liu’s collection was juxtaposed by her inclusion of a touch of print, an original shape or by contrasting textiles. Unconventional silhouettes, exaggerated features and a bright colour palette typify the collection.

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale



CSM alumna Carrie-Ann Stein was named by the internationally renowned Fashion Scout as one of the brightest emerging talents of the season. Stein, who graduated from BA Fashion Design with Knit in 2013, showcased her catwalk collection as One to Watch for AW’14.

For her AW’14 show, Stein further explored her graduate collection Postcards from Blackpool which looked at the everyday life of the working class. Images of corner shops, industrial buildings and 50s style houses printed on to postcard shaped dresses are adapted and recreated in to angular jackets and dresses for the season.

Stein developed her use of buildings in Postcards from Blackpool by including brick print in slate grey as well as brick red and repeated the 50s style with a-line skirts and a colour palette of pastel purple, mint and yellow.

Double-breasted suit jackets, a mac style dress and an oversize shirt are given exaggerated shoulders with large eyelets in additional triangles of knit, displaying Stein’s talent at pattern cutting, and styled with wide cropped trousers or knee-length skirts.

Print features heavily in Stein’s AW’14 collection, and continues the seaside theme and 50s feel with neon-lighting ‘vacancy’ signs and AA rosette motifs. Text and sign prints are seen throughout the collection, including painted shop signs and a “landlady parking only” image on an off-white a-line skirt.

Stein’s AW’14 collection explores the simple pleasures as well as the trials of working class life through knit and exaggerated proportions, a palette of pastel shades and pops of bright colour, and a playful use of print.

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale




Hiroko Nakajima presented her AW’14 collection on the Ones to Watch catwalk, after being picked by Fashion Scout. Only four designers are chosen as their emerging talent for the season.

The Hiroko Nakajima brand was launched by Nakajima after graduating from CSM with an MA in fashion design in 2012. The knitwear brand specialises in luxury materials such as cashmere and focuses on Nakajima’s philosophy of fashion as wearable art.

The label’s AW’14 collection is geometric and minimalist whilst also being bold colourful art. A monochrome palette is lifted with pops of orange and red, whilst a bright blue is used against a contrasting yellow.

Nakajima’s use of geometric shapes in juxtaposing shades, punctuate garments of block colour. She manages to take a minimalist, knee length, long sleeve dress in blue and make it eye-catching by adding a dart of shocking pink in a plain block on one side of the dress.

Interest is added to the range by layering different colours and shapes in an outfit. Capes in various lengths and shapes are used in the collection to add a new dimension whilst stripes are cleverly used to fall in waves to add softer, rounded shapes to angular designs.

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale





FG Crocodile

After studying fine art, Latvian Fyodor Podgorny and Israeli born Golan Frydman met after moving to London where they began their career in fashion. The pair launched FYODOR GOLAN (FG) in 2010, after working with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake and Richard Nicoll,

The brand’s AW’14 Crocodile collection introduced the world’s first interactive skirt. Made from 80 Nokia smartphones, each screen displays part of an image or a live feed. Images depicted lush landscapes and Buddhist monks, as well as recreating the movement of fabric by reacting to the model’s movements.

The rest of the FG crocodile collection didn’t follow the high tech fashion suit, but carried on the futuristic theme with shiny fabrics, metallic colours and shocking pink fur.

The AW’14 collection was inspired by the landscape and people seen on the duo’s travels throughout Myanmar and Cambodia. Olive green and petrol blue crinkled full body suits, jacks and skirts, represent the wild jungle of the area complimenting the pinks and oranges seen in Buddhist robes.

A tribal street style is created with fabrics that shimmer from foil effects and glossy finishes. Swarovski crystal were incorporated in to the collection and used in deep blue and pearly pink on a sleeve, shirts and an asymmetric skirt over foil shine trousers. FG create tribal meets couture in the form of a hooded full body suit in iridescent blue Swarovski crystals and a matching off the shoulder version.

Shocking pink is introduced to the collection with a shiny foil effect mac with matching cap, and various pieces for men and women, including jackets, pencil trousers and shorts, in fluffy fur. This blended in with the location of the catwalk, an old factory floor covered in shocking pink astro turf, and visualised the camp elements of the show which ended on a high to somewhere over the rainbow

The FG Crocodile collection fuses Asian street wear with flamboyant fabrics bringing AW’14 couture styles that are a little bit serious and a little bit camp.

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale



After graduating from Womenswear fashion design at LCF, Xiao Li continued studying at the Royal College of Art where she developed her unique style of knitwear, combining classic techniques with unusual materials.

Li was named Fashion Scout’s Merit Award winner for AW’14 earlier this year, and showcased her much anticipated collection to an almost over capacity audience in Covent Garden this Saturday.

A fresh palette of pastel and cobalt blue, white and cream was used in feminine nostalgic silhouettes with a bit of a kick. Li pairs unlikely materials together such as knitted netting against shiny PVC trimmed with frills of heart motifs.

A sleeveless cobalt blue oversized leather jacket is given a punk edge with studded trimming in one of her more masculine pieces. These are dotted throughout her collection contrasting with designs that otherwise could be too pretty and girly.

Oversized pieces or details are also a theme seen in sleeves which are exaggerated to resemble marshmallow forms in netted material. Li also manages to incorporate often overlooked garments; a poncho, a denim jacket, culottes and dungarees, and makes them contemporary again by applying her synonymous style of pastel sweetness and juxtaposition.

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale



Belle Sauvage, the brand from designers Chris Neuman and CSM alumna Virginia Ferreira, is known for its feminine and avant-garde silhouettes and signature prints. For AW’14 the label has merged its diffusion line Leopard with its main line to create Paris Cats after Midnight

The AW’14 collection follows Belle Sauvage’s synonymous style for powerful and driven women and is inspired by a new feminine elegance found by Parisian women post WW I and II. A nocturnal feline spirit is combined with Art Deco shapes and a playful pop art touch, and uses a bold palette of gold, scarlet red, black and pearl white, to create a style of modern sophistication with a contemporary edge.

The brand is known for its use of loud fun prints, with AW bringing us chunky gold chains and necklace designs, monochrome slogans and lipstick motifs in Art Deco styles throughout the collection.. 

AW’14 has a seductive theme with sheer panels and black leather, but also an underlying military feel. The feline spirit is embodied in digital prints of black cats and leopard prints, as well as a lion whose large mouth stretches across the shoulders of a jumper dress.

Structured shapes accentuate feminine silhouettes with nipped in waists, plunging necklines and thigh high splits, in a combination of fabrics. Quilted jackets are given faux fur trim with silk and chiffon sitting alongside merino wool and napa leather. 

words and images by Hollie Bracciale



Huishan Zhang founded his label of the same name shortly after graduating from BA Fashion Design at CSM in 2010. On monday morning his AW’14 collection was presented in a private room at the Dorchester hotel. Last October Zhang won the Dorchester Collection Fashion Prize, which was established to support emerging talent with a prize of £25,000.

Zhang’s AW’14 collection expanded on the designs that won him the Dorchester prize. Zhang’s designs were chosen by the Dorchester for their individuality, luxury, attention to detail and craftsmanship. No doubt skills acquired during his year working with Dior and spending six months in the label’s couture atelier.

Chinese tradition is a constant theme in Zhang’s work. He often includes the cheongsam dress which he describes as embodying everything that’s sexy and feminine about Chinese culture and tradition. 

Zhang uses elements of traditional Chinese dress and adapts them for western society. His AW’14 collection is delicate and feminine with a combination of textures and fabric. Luxurious magenta and navy velvet is used in swing dresses with inserts of black lace on the body and skirt and black lace sleeves. 

Light bounces off Zhang’s gold trousers and long dress coat, and picks out the intricate bead and crystal embellishment on other pieces. Even a simple chunky-knit jumper is given a touch of glamour with unassuming crystals in a line down the sides, and lace sleeves. 

The collection whispers luxury in the prettiest of ways with rose blooms embroidered on lace dresses, whilst Zhang’s individuality is seen in the combination of different textures such as feathers and lace. Intricate details are used including traditional techniques alongside digital prints of polka dots in mountainous landscapes. A classic palette of creams, black and navy is made contemporary and fresh with pops of pink, gold and blue in feminine silhouettes. 

Words and images by Hollie Bracciale 

LCF students photograph ‘real beauty’



Three LCF students have led a photo shoot for the latest instalment of Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.

A panel of experts chose three MA Photography students to photograph ten women who had never modelled before. The team was not allowed to edit the pictures.

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