Disclaimer: I apologise in advance for all of the bee puns. I was in an exceptionally good mood when writing this and they just kept on coming. Let’s bee adult about this and let it go. There I went again.
Oh my. There were so many Queen Bee puns I was willing to come up with but then I thought I’d just mind my own beeswax. That’s two out of the way now.
This is probably the most fun and humorous collection I witnessed this LFW. After all, butterflies for summer have been overdone in the noughties, and spider/bug motifs sound too Autumn-Winter. Yes, the insect kingdom has its own fashion seasons.
So that leaves us with the black and yellow beezzzz-zzzz-zzzz as there’s enough flies and mosquitoes around in summer even without them being printed on clothing. Also, the latter are just not that inspiring, unless you are shooting a sci-fi/horror flick.
Back to the bees-ness. While a whole range of designers focused on deconstructing pieces, Hakaan did the opposite – constructed silhouettes, defined shapes and lively colours were what made the collection sweeter than honey.
A particular favourite of mine was the yellow fringed skirt – what a killer sting look that would make paired with a classic white or beige silk top or even crisp white shirt.
The final look (and the look that closed LFW this season) was a fantastic take on the classic full length evening dress. A particularly stunning piece made unforgettable by adding a beehive-skirt effect, quite literally.
In the humour stakes this collection reminded me of the time Prada sent banana earrings down her catwalk to a roaring success.
Hakaan Yildirim’s collection made me want winter to really hurry up and get over and done with as there are stunning pieces to be worn that would make me nothing short of the bee’s knees.
There’s a reason why Jean Pierre Braganza’s Architectonic collection got me thinking about budgets. Or budgeting. Or saving up. Let me tell you why. You won’t hear me gushing about how dreamy, fantastic, lovely the collection was – I am sure you can go to other sources for your fashion fluff fix – I’ve got something else to say.
While a whole myriad of collections is styled in a way that’s aspirational, aka I need to lose weight to pull it off/ I need to be 20 years younger/ I need to wear strong make up to make this look good/other, this is not what Braganza’s Spring Summer 2015 collection is about. None of that. In fact, it is ready to be picked up, put on and pulled off whatever your age, weather, amount of makeup or lack of it altogether.
You’ve probably clocked that one of my favourite pieces was the oversized biker jacket that I plastered in the first picture – a beautiful piece, perfectly proportionate and, dare I say this, practical.
However there was a particular piece that made me want to pull my pennies together and document this process on an excel spreadsheet – and this is the feather and crystal encrusted classic cut jacket. A piece that’s functional and effortlessly street style snap worthy and yes, I would like to add it to my wishlist. Or any list.
Some of my favourite elements of the collection were strong statement shoulders as well as motorbike tire print tops – I can’t remember heavy machinery looking this good. In case of robot apocalypse, break glass and release the Braganza terminator, who will wear a mix of futuristic 80s and extremely structured attire. Oh and also is a six feet tall stunning woman. She will be back.
As I look back on this season’s London Fashion International event… All I can think of is how did I get here? It seems like it was only yesterday I sat comfortably on the front row exchanging jokes with Pandemonia and Meet the Russian’s Marinika, only to find that this season I am standing right in front of them all. In a couture red dress, looking into the lights, cameras and general nothingness. I found myself as close as I could get to London Fashion Week, closer than the pit, closer than the frow.
Last season I talked the talk, this season I walked the walk.
London based couture designer, Omar Mansoor, asked me to take part in his Mata Hari inspired showcase this London Fashion Week. First thinking that he was clearly joking I said sure, of course, why not. Only he was not joking. I was in.
When I was a mere spectator, London Fashion International came across to me as an extremely well organised event, even though I had no idea what was happening backstage at the time. I was shocked to find out how calm, on time and on point the backstage was. The chaos was simply not there. Instead, the models, designers, makeup artists, hair dressers and organisers were having a blast – all thanks to the firm grip of creative director Geoff Cox.
Some of you might be wondering how it feels to be on the catwalk. Some of you might have walked it before. It’s almost like a flu jab – it’s over even before you think it’s over. Those three seconds you get to bask in the glory in front of the cameras are just that – three seconds. Then again, those three seconds are enough to get you hooked on fashion for the rest of your life.
Omar Mansoor’s inspiration for the haute couture collection is the mysterious Mata Hari.
I’d like to thank Omar Mansoor for getting me on the runway, Geoff Cox for believing in me, the sweetest makeup artist in history Allana Brinkmann for putting my face on, the awesome hair crew, and most definitely the gorgeous models who made me feel just like one of them. I almost believed it for a second. Almost.