Saturday, December 1, 2007

London Fashion Week: Fashion East and House of Holland

Fashion East is an Old Truman Brewery initiative also sponsored by Topshop. The first designer to show this year at Fashion East is one of my favorites. I have been following the career and work of Henry Holland for a while and love his tongue-in-cheek, completely sold out, fashion industry inside-joke t-shirts, made famous by model-of-the-moment Agyness Deyn. I am the proud owner of the Christopher Baily one and wherever I go, people smile.The other designers participating in the Fashion East show were Louise Gray and Noki. Louise Gray studied design and textiles at Glasgow School of Art specializing in embroidery followed by an MA at Central Saint Martins and she has worked on a freelance basis for Lanvin, Paris, and Peter Jensen. Noki, one of the leading voices against mass-production and globalised fashion, has been re-inventing discarded clothing with a precious, almost couture quality and breathing new life into them. Noki (an anagram of and pun on IKON) prefers to remain relatively anonymous, only recognizable by the elaborate masks he wears. This winter he has also designed footwear and bags for Luella. For Spring/Summer 2008 he introduced NOKI-NHS-Customization and Aftercare Service; NHS standing for Noki House of Sustainability.

For Spring 2008, Henry Holland opened the show with an image that is the best illustration of what the London’s fashion avant-garde is at this moment: Agyness Deyn, stomping down the runway in a studded patent leather chocolate-and-taxicab yellow hot-pants and motorcycle jacket set and in manner of Halle Berry at the Oscars, representing for every member of London’s creative community. The rest of the collection was rich in prints and saucy cuts, inventive menswear, skin-tight club wear and the coolest, in the truest sense of the word, studded jeans I have seen on the runways.Louise Gray’s collection was a burst of candy colors and her chiffon shift dresses decorated with a variety of trinkets are easy to wear, yet adventurous and not for the faint of heart.Noki’s proposition was extremely editorial and yet one of the most empowering perspectives in this year’s collections.

With re-cut rock concert t-shirts, taffeta prom dresses finding a new soul and formerly staunchly preppy plaid prints turned into subversive statements, Noki extends an invitation to the punk rocker kid in all of us to go to the thrift store and create our own couture, while at the same time, we keep our planet a little bit healthier. And that is an idea that we should all take to heart.


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