Dutch designer Michael van der Ham is known for his incredibly feminine collections, and this season was no exception. The ethereal models took to the catwalk in luxurious textures of ocean coloured organza, velvet and jacquard, topped off with silky waves and flashes of purple eyeliner – perfectly matched to the prettiness of the collection. We grabbed some model moments with the backstage babes pre-show…
MICHAEL’S ANGELS Casting assistant Chloe Rosolek at Sarah Murray Casting told us they “were looking for young, cute girls who had an innocent vibe, really angelic. The collection is very delicate and beautiful so the models had to be delicate and beautiful too.”
THE GO PROGIRL
We spotted model Jade De Lavareille dashing around with a Go Pro camera pre-show. “I make films!” she told us, “I’m always taking photos and filming so I’m never bored backstage. The energy here gives you so much more energy, and I’m drinking a lot of coconut water.”
CLOTHES CRUSHING Brit model Kirstie Brittain was seriously into her show look, “It’s so pretty, short, with an amazing gold piece. This is one of the prettiest collections I’ve seen, it’s so nice! Really girly and the shoes are so high – slightly painful but amazing.”
Keep up with all our other behind-the-scenes action from London Fashion Week here.
Words: Rhiannon Wastell. Photos: Jason Lloyd-Evans
If Fashion Week’s taught us one thing other than which length skirt to wear this season (that’s the mini, FYI) – it’s about friendship. Front rows have been filled with chums – see Christopher Bailey’s posse of Sam Smith, Kate and co, plus ultimate model mates ‘CaKe’ (that’s Cara and Kendall) at Unique. Shows have been dedicated to loved ones who’ve passed away, street stylers have been matching their outfits and even fashion’s harshest critic Alex Fury got all sentimental in his Daily column, talking about the humanity in fashion: it’s about people looking after each other.
Of course, it helps if you count those friends as Georgia May Jagger and Alexa Chung – both of whom came out to support NEWGEN designer Ashley Williams today. Georgia walked in the show, along with fellow model mates Alice Dellal and Harriet Verney, while Alexa and Pixie Geldof were there to represent ‘Funky Offish’ (that’s the term they coined with Ashley for their off-beat style), and practically bundled the designer with cuddles and congratulations after the show.
Even Ashley’s clothes were inspired by female friendship. “It’s about the girls,” she told us. “The one’s you hang out with – the one you want to have your back. The one who slapped her guy.” And what do these ever-protective girlfriends wear? This season it’s PVC, pink shearling, intergalactic crystals and ’90s skater-inspired motifs; if you want to be in Ashley’s gang, it’s about looking the part too. As one of her prints spells out: “Improve your image. Be seen with me. Who wouldn’t want to be?”
Backstage at his AW15 show, we chatted colour, women and business with fashion’s favourite Scot…
Jonathan Saunders placed a rainbow of Pantone pillars down the centre of the Tate Britain yesterday, a catwalk fitting for a designer dubbed the King of Colour. And colour there was. From bold blocks to sash-effect stripes and psychedelic swirls, his AW15 collection went back to his colour blocking roots – mixed with this season’s ubiquitous ’70s mood and a healthy measure of space-age mod. The result? Clothes we, quite simply, just want to wear. We fought through the crowds of adoring editors backstage to find out just how Jonathan knows what women want.
What was your starting point for AW15?
What happened with Louise Wilson [passing away] made me go back and really look at my first ever collection, when she taught me on the Central Saint Martin’s MA. I wanted to remember what it felt like – the reason why I started all this. So it was a very emotional thing. This collection was about going back to the core of my brand.
And what is that core?
It’s feminine, it’s modern and it’s colourful. My aim is to create clothes for women that they wouldn’t normally buy into – it’s about getting out of your comfort zone.
How did colour play a part this season?
I love the way women react to colour – how my many amazing girlfriends can buy a magenta sweater and interpret it in their own way. That’s what I get excited by – it’s about how colour makes you feel.
Do you think people find colour difficult to wear?
Definitely. But I think it shows confidence. It’s about making choices, making yourself stand out.
Did the Tate Britain setting inspire you?
I referenced art a lot. Spent time researching the work of Allen Jones, Daniel Buren and Bridget Riley (who I’ve never quite liked – but obviously now I do!). Martin Creed too – a fellow Scotsman – he loves colour. I’ve been dying to meet him!
The collection felt quite space-age. What inspired that?
There was definitely a [Stanley] Kubrick feel. But I reinterpreted that sort of modern space cadet by making sure it wasn’t overly structured. All the fabrics were wools and crepes – fabrics that are easy to wear. So it didn’t feel overly architectural.
You recently announced a new business partnership [with Eisha Bharti Pasricha] – how will that change the brand?
It’ll all take time, but we’ve got some really exciting things planned. It’s an amazing partnership – she’s a wonderful woman. She really believes in a brand being true to itself, supporting designers and their creativity.
How important is the business side of things to you?
It adds a structure that can take my design to the next level. It means you’re not just sat in a room making clothes – you have to work as hard as you possibly can to make it viable as a business. There are so many exciting things I’m going to start dong, like accessories. That’ll be tomorrow’s meeting!
Osman’s return to London Fashion Week heroed the creme de la creme of his moorish designs. Structured signature silhouettes, sumptuous colour palettes and fabrics we’d be happy to roll around in all day long, in short, he totally nailed it. Here’s three things that we seriously fell for:
RED ALL OVER
The one time NEWGEN recipient talked about his colour palette as an “exercise in constraint” focussing only on black, ice cool white and a spectrum of red. It was the latter’s bold post-box hue that had caused us a sharp intake of breath. Whether it was crimson doused onto simple sheath-like-gowns or marbled jackets with shades from garnet to ruby.
DAZZLE, DAZZLE, DAZZLE
There’s been no shortage of texture mash-ups at LFW and Osman brought his own twist on this by pairing delicate lace with plasticised quilted leather and a cut-out dress of sheer silk encrusted with beads. Front-row ooh-ing and aah-ing ensued.
Sheer pop socks are having a real moment on the street (the Topshop office has seen many a girl rocking her Jordans with a slip of a tight) and it was interesting to see Osman turn this casual look supremely chic by pairing them with stiletto heels and furry booties.
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