Friday, September 28, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Cara Delevingne walks at Mary Katrantzou SS13
No matter what happens each fashion season, it's now practically a given that Mary Katrantzou will knock our proverbial socks off with a fresh  and brilliantly baffling take on creating print. I saw Mary in conversation with her good friend Alex Fury (he who edits LOVE magazine) at Port Eliot festival and she said then that she could see a time when she moved away from print. Luckily, SS13 was not that time and last week she presented a collection inspired by postage stamps, defunct currencies and the notion of modernising those historical relics to reinvigorate them relevant once more.'s Tim Blanks called it "an absolute fashion tour de force". An added element to Mary's print genius is her collaboration with Swarovski A series of fashion-high inducing pieces were created using Swarovski crystal mesh.  Katrantzou explains “We wanted to essentially use Swarovski Elements to create a new fabric for the collection that is an amalgamation of three different techniques, adding depth to the designs and creating a couture fabric for some very special pieces.” It's yet another excellent example of Swarovski's clever sponsorship programme which sees some of the most anticipated collections (designers like Giles and Wes Gordon are also involved this season) incorporating their products. It doesn't feel stilted or too corporate because the technology can fit so seamlessly. Swarovski created this video backstage at the show on Sunday of LFW...

Meanwhile,  legendary backstage fashion photographer Jason Lloyd Evans took some great up close shots backstage at the show which demonstrate beautifully the subtle sheen which the newly created fabric creates....


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large
On set at Meli Melo SS13
There are worse things to be doing than hanging out at Kensington Roof Gardens on a warm Friday morning in September so when Meli Melo asked me to just that, I was hardly going to refuse was I? But I was also interested to see what the handbag brand beloved of the likes of Olivia Palermo was up to after they arrived at an exciting new creative direction. Meli Melo bags are lovely- very simple and elegant and not covered in the blingtastic branding which can really de-chic the loveliest leather good. But until now they have mostly been about classic navy and tan. As you'll see from my behind-the-scenes images from the SS13 look book shoot (the reason for my being at Kensington Roof Gardens, by the way) there are still those staple shades but interspersed with popping neon and lovely matte snakeskin as well as some fun styles like the camera bag. The brand's creative director and founder is Melissa del Bono, she was hard at work alongside photographer Lisa Linder and stylist Tamara Rothstein on the day of the shoot making sure the new vibe came across just right among the excitable flamencos and jungle greenery. She was kind enough to do this little interview though which sheds some light on Meli Melo's new direction and her general approach to designing fabulous handbags, it's a tough job but someone's gotta do it...

FJAL: Your SS13 collection is quite bold compared to previous collections; can you tell me why you decided to experiment with more colours and prints?

Melissa: In the past I have concentrated on the beauty and grace of the Meli Melo girl but this season I really wanted to embrace their bold sides. I chose colours and prints that empower women, depict confidence and show control and combined these with classic and stylish shapes true to the Meli Melo look.

FJAL: How do you start thinking about a new collection? Do you travel to get inspired?

M: I am always thinking about the next step and what I can add to our collection, inspiration never ends. I have travelled a lot and draw upon my Italian heritage as inspiration too as well as looking at vintage fashion, art and other cultures.

FJAL: Do you look at what other designers are doing? Do you care about trends?

M: No not really.
FJAL: Do you always design with yourself in mind? Like "I need to want to carry this bag"?

M: Yessssss!!! I do that, it comes out of necessity and desire for beautiful things
FJAL: Your SS13 look book shoot was at Kensington Roof Gardens, why did you choose this location?

M: I had been there before for an event and remember thinking "Wow I feel like I am transported into another country"... It has that exotic and warm feel to it which married perfectly with Spring /Summer’s vibes that me and the stylist Tamara Rothstein wanted to achieve.

FJAL: What was the message you wanted to get across with the SS13 shoot?

M: The message I wanted to depict was that our girls can still maintain their strong and powerful personalities without losing their elegance and beauty.
FJAL: Meli Melo has lots famous fans already. Who's the ultimate Meli Melo
girl- whether a celebrity or just a kind of girl you imagine when
you're designing?

M: I epitomize Diane Kruger, she is ultimately so chic and understated, she has this timeless beauty about her which translates in all her dressed down or glam looks.

FJAL: What's next for Meli Melo? Do you think you will ever go beyond bags?

M: I am currently looking to expand my range to include men's bags and develop our children's range further. I think with the constant development of technology a range of various cases and covers for
gadgets and gizmos would be great!

We already have a fab Ipad case that belongs to the Thela family for our Spring/Summer collection next year that will add a touch of glamour to any 21st century girl.

FJAL: What's in your handbag? (see picture)
M: All the essentials really... my Butterfly shaped Celine Sunglasses are a must! I also have my diary with a Mont Blanc pen to keep my busy schedule in tact and my Lancôme Nutrix cream that repairs and instantly brightens my skin which is perfect when I'm rushing to meetings.
What's in Melissa's bag?
Melissa models one of the new bags for SS13

Breakfast on set
All the bags ready to be shot
Camera bag 

Stylist Tamara perfects the look
Model Shannon strikes a pose

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

You have to hand it to Yves Saint Laurent/ Saint Laurent, they're getting us thinking. Ahead of Hedi Slimane's first show next Monday at Paris fashion week, the brand has been slowly leaking images from SS13 advertising campaign before anyone has even seen the collection and way before any other label is revealing theirs. Not that the images really give anything away- the first three which have appeared since the beginning of September mostly show flashes of a tattooed, manly body. Very much the kind of body you might find hanging out on the beach in LA where Slimane is basing himself. Yesterday though, the first picture of an actual piece of clothing emerged via the brand's twitter (still YSL not SLP). It shows the same tattoo guy but this time he's accompanied by a lady in a loose-ish black dress with deep v-neck and a thin tie across the chest, revealing a flash of nipple. This is the world's first taste of the new look Saint Laurent- apart from a few sketches of the Resort collection which were apparently not authentic anyway. Alongside the campaign images, of which there are to be 15 by December, the Twitter feed has also revealed the new store concepts which look very shiny, stark and clean.

What do you think we can expect next Monday? And what about the campaign itself, effective to advertise a fashion brand with virtually no fashion?  A fine salute to Slimane's alternative occupation as a photographer? Or shall we jut shut up about the whole thing and wait and see?



Images via and

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

It might be one of the world's most visited websites but we all know that the Daily Fail's fashion eye is skewed to say the least. Today has been a particularly bad episode with pronouncements that certain celebs look really awful and, gawd forbid, are commiting the dreaded fashion faux pas. What the DM don't realise is that said celebs are actually working SS13 vibes before the shows are even over.  What's more, just because they don't have a spray tan and a body con dress doesn't mean it's a "faux pas", duh! We're going out on  limb to say these girls are actually looking pretty awesome and fashion forward- get with the programme Daily Fail!


DM says: "The actress took her three children to school in Manhattan on Monday sporting a bizarre jacket that looked like it belonged way back in the Eighties"

We say: Errr, have you seen Burberry's latest collection? Full of magpie enticing metallic shininess.

Burberry SS13


DM says: "The 29-year-old singer’s cardigan featured an unusual black buckle that clipped around her neck, with a further buckle over her chest, somewhat reminiscent of a strait jacket"

We say: Actually, if there's one thing you need on your outfit next Summer it's zips. Hardware is getting a good outing, especially on jackets at SS13 shows like Chris Kane, Proenza Schouler.

3.1 Phillip Lim SS13


DM says: "Hangover clothes! Heidi Klum throws on dungarees the day after THAT Emmys gown"

We say: Maybe dungarees have had a bad press as the preserve of pregnant art teachers but they're back for SS13 if Phillip Lim, Margaret Howell and House of Holland are anything to go by.
House of Holland SS13

Images from and

Monday, September 24, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Now that so many shows are streamed live online, available to watch the world over there are some who say the fashion week is a dying breed. They say it is only a matter of time before editors, bloggers and buyers are just sitting at home, laptop on knee in their PJs instead of spending weeks working out schedules, jumping on planes and rushing between appointments. It certainly sounds like far less effort but would it be anywhere near as productive, exciting, debate inducing or effective? Of course not because without being able to talk face-to-face with designers and feel the clothes, anyone who is already on the outside looking in would get nowhere near as brilliant an experience. I've been on both sides. When you're at home/ desk watching shows streamed online, you top up what you're seeing by following the tweets of everyone who is there in person, you reply and interact. Then, a few hours later you might go to or and see what the designer said to those most highly respected reviewers and whether that skirt really was satin, or is it something weird and new? When you're there, you may not always get quite so good a top-to-toe view as those watching online but you get to see who else is there, talk to other showgoers and, if you're lucky, go backstage after and see the clothes and accessories close-up as well as perhaps talk to the designer then tell the world about it. That's the point. It would all become deathly boring if the point of view we had was that universally gleaned from a computer screen. And let's not even begin to talk about how buyers would get their job done.
It's not just that the catwalks would get bland. There's an almost equal interest in what attendees- celebs, editors, stylists, bloggers- are wearing as there is in the contents of the shows they're watching. That's because they're the translators; taking catwalk pieces and making them almost user friendly. Yes, there are your Anna dello Russos who are highly entertaining and fabulous not terribly useful when it comes to help with looking incredibly chic, right for now but not so ridiculous that you might be mistaken for attending a fancy dress party. It's a fine line. As I was attending shows in London and now have been trawling through the many street style albums which are collating from New York, London and Milan, there's one very simple styling trick which seems to have reached epic levels of use this season. It's nothing exactly new- I've seen it before but it is a look which will make you so very now without having to spend a single penny. It's called, well I have called it, "The Shrug" and it can be summed up as "draping your jacket over your shoulders rather than putting your arms through the sleeves". It's free, versatile and works best with jackets with some defined shape or structured like a blazer or varsity. The easiest to emulate trend ever?

Friday, September 21, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large and Kasia Hastings

Leather socks at Prada (image from
Sorry, what we mean when we say "socks" is "flats that were essentially kid-leather ankle socks with a bifurcation to separate the big toe were slipped through a dainty harness of pastel satin". Thank you Vogue's Hamish Bowles for providing the correct definition of one of the big talking points of Miuccia Prada's SS13 collection, shown in Milan yesterday. As always with Prada, there's a lot to say about what we saw. Much of it revolves round the Japanese geisha influences and allusions to the hard/ soft elements of female character. If there were ever a collection to get intellectual about this would be it. But our minds are mostly on THOSE socks, which tie up in a neat little package exactly what Mrs Prada does best- shows us something utterly alien, seemingly unworkable  and makes us want it a little bit and then a little bit more until its filtered down to the high street and we're all completely mad for it.

The Prada socks look (image from
What's kind of fascinating about these socks though is that, in their current form, they are entirely unworkable. Could you dance in a club or run for a bus in them? Not so much, unless you're up for having shards of glass stuck in your feet. They remind of Courrèges space boots- clearly in space you don't really need to think about litter and the such.

Courreges space boots from the 60s (image from

 They could also pass for a souped up version of the Vibram barefoot running boots our colleague Stu has recently been sporting, although those boast "quidfurcation", a made-up word for every toe having its own individual hole. There were far more viable seeming styles which involved the sock inserted onto a rocking-horse like jewelled platform and reinforced with extra ribbon-y straps. This is exactly the kind of thing we can imagine uber keen fashionistas wearing next season. In fact, Susie Bubble has just tweeted "My feet will buckle in these but I'll still do my damn hardest to get them come January... #prada" along with this picture:

Meanwhile, The Telegraph's fashion team confimed "#mfw #prada the leather socks you slip into hobbling-high platforms will be sold, said miuccia p: "but reduced". Whether the socks alone will be up for grabs is still anyone's guess. We're thinking a thin sole could perhaps be added, giving them a kind of minimal boxing boot look. And they'll undoubtedly spark a move on from the fash crowds' current love of a grey/ navy sock to metallic styles, possibly with an added ribbon. It's definitely a Marmite debate, but Elle's Stacey Duguid spoke for the "love it" team when she tweeted "Just popping back to the hotel to spray paint my socks silver". A quick fix way to get the Prada look now, will you or won't you? One thing we're betting any of you shaking your heads in disgust, you'll probably have come round to the idea by next Spring. That's the kind of magic spell Mrs Prada is so adept at casting.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

As well as keeping up with what's going on in Milan and catching up on everything which piled up at the office while I was out at shows, one of the big things I have been doing is trying to plough through the hundreds (if not thousands) of pictures I took over the five days. Some you'll see in more substantial posts another time but others are just snippets, and so I thought I would share a tumble of pictures with you today to show u a few of the thingsI got up to during LFW....


Backstage at Zoe Jordan, the looks and the models...

I have a soft spot for Emilia Wickstead who has a slightly unfair rep as a designer who just makes pretty dresses for society ladies. This was one of my favourite looks from her salon presentation, though  it is really only suitable for tall model types. I could totally get on board with an Emilia prom skirt though.


Lara Mullen backstage after Daks

Ryan Lo's glitz spectacular to the tune of Azealia Banks at Fashion East

Latex dungaress by  Claire Barrow at Fashion East.

Gorgeous lilac tulle on denim at Marques' Almeida
 Jourdan Dunn outside Rag and Bone

Models in Barbie-esque boxes at Sophia Webster


Finale at the lush Lucas Nascimento

Vivienne Westwood erects her climate protest flag, with a little help from Alice Dellal, in the middle of the Foreign and Commonwealth office. Love Viv.

The ACNE man plies us with drinks

Anna dello Russo arrives at the Phillip Treacy show


Really sweet make-up at Michael van der Ham

 Working the Alexander McQueen visor at Christopher Kane

 A sliver of Andy Murray's jumper and his girlfriend's side profile heading into Burberry to cosy up to Anna Wintour.
 Saskia de Brauw at Giles. Love her and want her hair.

Ballgown backview at Giles
 J.W Anderson talks to Tim Blanks after his show

Poolside drinks at Tata Naka

 The set at Simone Rocha's super show
 And outside her show, there were perspex brogues galore on loyal fans- a definite signature
  Pretty, happy model backstage at Meadham Kirchhoff
 A box of Meadham Kirchhoff hats
 And part of the catwalk set-up at MK, think mussed up chateau with cake