Love jeans? Love blazers? We think you know where we’re going with this… the ’90s-loving duo is back and we’re making it work for now. But first let’s take a throw back to our favourite jeans ‘n’ blazer moments from yesteryear.
Ready to add another Swedish export to your most-played list? After singing back-ups for Lykke Li, Barbadian-born, Sweden-raised singer Naomi Pilgrim went solo with debut track ‘No Gun’ – a song that delivers dreamy vocals and laid-back melodies layered over an all-consuming bass. We caught up with Naomi following a summer of touring; notorious for the late nights, long journeys (and a lot of fun in between), we got her ultimate tips for making it on the road.
1. BE PATIENT
“Chilling in the trailer before a Copenhagen gig – touring is known as a waiting game and it’s something you need to learn how to love.”
2. TRAVEL WITH GREAT PEOPLE
“It’s a great idea to fill the tour bus with people you love. From left to right: Janne “Mr Bass” Manninen, Carl-Johan “The sample professor” Bohlin, myself, Freja “Sings like a boss” Leona and Anders “Mr Swag” Olsson.”
3. GET YOUR NAILS DONE
“Brightening up a lonely road heading towards Norway!”
4. DRINK GINGER TEA
“In the green room drinking my magic potion; tea, honey and ginger and that’s by far the most valuable thing on my rider.”
5. WARM UP
“Warming up never gets old. Here prepping for a gig backstage when we finally reached the lights in Norway.”
6. ENJOY THE BUILD UP
“The audience is chanting, the band just got up on stage and starts to play the intro. In sixty seconds we’re about to join them. Oh the build up!”
7. BE GRATEFUL
“Performing is what I live for and every single minute up there is mind-blowing. Grateful doesn’t cover it, I love the people supporting my dreams.”
8. BE READY FOR THE MORNING AFTER
“Discovering new cities by night after a show is always a great idea at the time, but you pay the price the morning after for sure!”
Lulu Kennedy’s pet project Fashion East is kind of a big deal. It’s basically THE show to go to if you’re at London Fashion Week. From a slogan-toting Henry Holland to a colour-blocking Roskanda Illinic, Fashion East has been the breeding ground of some of the most exciting new designers out there and Topshop have been a long time sponsor of the initiative.
With Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massnet and fashion critic du jour Alex Fury say front row there was no question this show was a biggie. Last season it was an all girl affair, but with Ashley Williams taking on her own unique presentation area with NEWGEN sponsorship, Ed Marler joined Louise Alsop and Helen Lawrence as the trio of choice. Here’s our quick rundown…
Buttermilk yellows and pastel pinks took over Helen Lawrence’s collection of graphic separates. From faux-plastic armour-style tops to pleated dusty skirts, Helen was inspired by subversive images and other-worldly visuals to create cell-like edges to her line. The key piece? A striking necklace-cum-vest made of circular bone pieces and threaded onto chain. The models were fresh faced with dewy skin and a slick of vanilla paint through their hair.
We were back to the ‘90s with Lou Alsop’s line of bodycon minidresses, strap-tastic shifts and fraying galore. The designer who’s best known for lots of layering and oversized shapes decided to keep with a little layering but head into spring with super light fabrics of organza and cotton. Accessories were also a key element with kooky Baby G watches and white Van trainers as the final touches.
“It was inspired by a troop of Vampires,” said Ed Marler who cast alternative models to sport his collection covered in embellishment, ornate buttons and religious iconography. There was no stopping the overt decorations with lace-up jeans, tapestry jackets and high camp headwear.
Hello Caroline! We caught up with the British Fashion Council’s ever-inspiring chief executive Caroline Rush in the café at our Topshop showspace to chat NEWGEN and how the BFC supports new talent. Since joining BFC in 2009, Caroline is widely credited with making the British fashion industry a major global force and London, a can’t-miss city during fashion month.
At the heart of the BFC is nurturing British design talent through schemes like NEWGEN. What does it mean to you?
When you talk about NEWGEN people immediately think the very best of the world’s best emerging talent. They’re always super hot tickets during fashion week and everyone waits to see because the designers that are part of NEWGEN make such a leap each season. They’re in the early stages of their brand building and they just go from strength to strength.
And Marques’Almeida has had an incredible rise over the past few seasons…
Every show that Marques’Almeida has done has been incredible and it’s brilliant to see the editors wearing it on the front row. It makes me very proud in general because the designers put their heart and soul into it.
What do you think of the Marques’Almeida collaboration with Topshop coming up in October?
When the new designers get the opportunity to work with Topshop, it’s really an opportunity for them to understand how big business works as their brand gets bigger. It’s also great exposure and the fashion fans of Topshop are introduced to this incredible talent, which is such an amazing thing.
Fashion East was also in the Topshop Space today, which is another incredible platform for new talent…
Fashion East really gives designers that platform when they’re just breaking through or they’re trying something completely different. It starts the whole camaraderie of designers working together and developing their businesses.
A difficult question but what’s been the highlight of LFW for you this season?
The brilliant thing this season has been listening to the international press talking about the talent that we have here in London and how it’s just going from strength to strength. It doesn’t matter if it’s emerging talent or established designers, they’re all pulling it out of the bag.
Long gone are the days where LFW was the fashion week to miss…
London used to be thought of just about new talent but now we have this brilliant balance between influential designers such as Christopher Kane and Erdem and powerhouses like Burberry and Topshop Unique.
What’s in store for next season’s LFW?
Not telling! You’ll have to wait and see!
WHO: Marques’Almeida, the Portuguese duo best loved for their raw-edged ’90 denim. These NEWGENers are also our next designer collab – look out for it hitting Topshop next month.
WHERE: The Topshop Show Space in King’s Cross.
THE FRONT ROW: London’s coolest creatives, forming a sea of coloured fur coats from the designers’ last collection. We spotted It-girls Chelsea Leyland and Phoebe Collings-James sitting alongside fashion heavy-weights like Net-a-Porter’s Natalie Masanet and the BFC’s Caroline Rush.
COLLECTION IN 5 WORDS: Raw, rainbow, sheer, deconstructed, denim.
INSPIRED BY: “It’s the most abstract we’ve ever been”, Martha told us backstage. “We went in a new direction this season, looking more at shapes and lines than our usual ’90s references. First we became completely obsessed with all-black (inspired by an old i-D shot of Angela Linvall), then moved towards the bright rainbow colours.”
WHAT WE LOVED: We want to wear it all – from the bleached-out frayed denim to the noughties-pink leather and the patchwork rainbow sheers. Plus those inimitable little details like oversized tabs on sleeves and subtly metallic finishes on dark denim.
HERO PIECE: A citrus green leather dress – styled with purple snakeskin sunnies and platform clogs. We need it, now.
HAIR & BEAUTY: “It’s a girl coming back from a rave” said MAC’s Terry Barber. Raw skin with no foundation (just a bit of concealer), with pastel eye colours in mint, coral and powder blue. Duffy from Vidal Sassoon made hair big and messy. “I used hair pieces from a show I did yesterday and spent last night in my hotel backcombing and stamping on them to make these scruffy clumps to add on!”
WHAT THE SHOW NOTES SAID: “The design duo takes a break from ’90s references to offer their boldest, yet most private collection.”
WHAT THE EDITORS SAID:
@susiebubble: “Rainbow wave @_marquesalmeida.”
@the pop (PPO magazine): “Swarovski embellishment and bold colours at @_marquesalmeida. Long live the ’90s”
Photos by Jason Lloyd-Evans. Words by Holly Swayne.