Belstaff took us up North as they turned the dreary Ewer Street Arches into an artic terrain as the backdrop to showcase their Autumn-Winter 2016 collection.
The vast monochrome collection is full of fur and leather, and matches style with comfort and protection from the elements. The modular hoods and linings keep you warm, protect you from the rain and keep you looking your best. It’d look great on while hiking up a mountain, but equally as amazing on a walk down the streets of London in January.
I don’t believe, practicality should take precedence over style unless you live in extreme weather conditions. However, a successful collection is one in which these two elements co-exist harmoniously, as Belstaff has well achieved in their Arctic themed menswear. Aptly titled "Heading North", the AW16 collection combines Belstaff's heritage designs with the durability of cold-weather gear, thereby providing the warmest winter wardrobe.
To highlight Belstaff's approach to the collection, the brick railway arches on Ewer Street became the backdrop for a bleak and frosty scene, complete with snow and slate underfoot, and jaggered snow covered boulders adding the rugged vibe, complete with Harley Davidson military motorcycles and a converted Triumph Tiger XCX fit for the frosty conditions. The models, too, appeared set for a winter expedition, clothed in the cosiest outerwear, including wax-cotton jackets with detachable fur and shearling trims, duck-down parka jackets with fur-trimmed hoods, and water-repellent wool and cashmere overcoats. This is an autumn/winter collection that takes its season seriously, illustrating a journey that takes you through tough terrains, snowy mountains and icy glaciers in comfort and style, considering the weather we’ve been having lately, the pieces were perfect for surviving a British winter just as much as an expedition.
This season, new heights were reached quite literally as the theme of the collection focused on high altitude adventure riding. In a way, Belstaff are lucky in that they can pin collections to aspects of their moto/adventure/military heritage, but to pull it off in a luxury manner that doesn’t alienate old-school Belstaff fans is no easy feat. That said, Dyhr and his team are making it look easy. For AW16, detailing was key: rib cuffs, snow skirts, storm bibs, fur-lined hoods, all applied to the brand’s growing collection of iconic jacket styles in both wax cotton and leather.
Never straying too far from the signature outerwear styles pioneered by Belstaff, this season focused on technical precision and adaptability for versatile weather conditions. Removable membranes and detachable shearling are examples of obvious climate changing features, however the brand has been developing technically advanced nylon/fleece combinations for hoodies and lightweight cashmere for motorcycle scarves. Biker jackets come in oiled Nubuck styles filled with down, while powder white four-pocket parkas feature fur-trimmed hoods and engineered wool and nylon linings to insulate. Other styles to come in a variety of leathers, water repellent wools and nylons include the classic Speedmaster, Aviator and a rendered 1950’s style Riding jacket adapted for today’s modern motorcycle rider.
Key accessories were developed for Belstaff’s latest collection, aptly named ‘The Masters’, including six bag style shapes in 3 various fabrications, including waxy leather and rough textured nylon.
Belstaff was chosen as a sole partner to celebrate the new 'Zoolander 2' film during London Collections Men with the creation of a bespoke Ciroc cocktail conjuring up both the cold and Zoolanders classic pose 'Blue Steel', which was being served in abundance. A cocktail which was simply as creative as the collection itself.
The very best of British Fashion gathered at the London Coliseum which played host to the annual British Fashion Awards last night, which welcomed a guest list packed with the capital's most prominent designers, models, celebrities and editors.
Karlie Kloss the 23-year-old supermodel sizzled as she sashayed into the star-studded event in a semi-sheer metallic dress. Opting for glamorous yet cheekily risque look, Karlie showcased her incredible figure as well as her assets in the partially see-through fringed gown. Channelling a classic glamour while retaining a hint of saucy modern style, the blonde beauty oozed effortless style and elegance in the svelte silver number which clung to her frame. The leggy catwalk strutter wowed in a past collection piece from Chanel which oozed timeless chic thanks to its retro, 1920s inspired aesthetic. The metallic column ankle-grazing dress is from the French fashion house’s Pre-Fall 2012 collection which featured 3D stand out embroidery and an understated paisley print. The gown's metallic detail and fringing also appeared to highlight her toned frame even further, while its sleeveless nature and dipping neckline flashed a hint of Karlie's alabaster skin. Teaming her frock with a pair of needle-point black stiletto heels, the American stunner drew attention to her lithe legs which she flashed occasionally thanks to the dress' thigh-high side slash. Obviously not wishing to distract from her glittering dress, Karlie kept her accessories to a minimum with a statement diamond bracelet, ear studs and a glittering Chanel clutch. Wearing her golden tresses in a centre-parting, she let the perfectly tousled and wavy locks flow down around her shoulders. Keeping to a pale palette of make-up, Karlie subtly highlighted her eyes with some eye shadow before adding a flash of vampish colour to her plump lips with a deep scarlet lipstick.
Lady Gaga was described as a scarlet siren, as she sashayed down the red carpet wearing a bespoke Tom Ford gown. She embraced a very sultry style, but she stayed true to form by ensuring she stood out from the crowd thanks to red net detailing on the bodice and matching fingerless gloves. The glamorous gown was set off with a pair of red satin peep-toe heels and a smart burgundy clutch bag. Gaga completed her look with a pair of dazzling drop earrings and matching stick-on jewels on her eyelids. Gaga looked incredible in a form-fitting, sequin embellished gown with a daring thigh-high split running up the right hand side. The Born This Way singer pulled her platinum locks in to an elegant bouffant, adding extra sparkle with winged diamante embellished eyelids. “I always say fashion for me is crucial for me existence,” she gushed to reporters on the red carpet. “So everyone that is here tonight is apart of my religion.”
Jourdan Dunn, who wore a stunning black and white Mugler cut out gown and Jimmy Choo heels, took home the award for Model of the Year. Looking typically chic for the occasion, Dunn donned a monochrome maxi dress by Mugler, teamed with silver barely there sandals and her shiny locks worn down with a sleek side parting. Understated, effortless, and achingly cool, this dress by Mugler was perfect for Jourdan, as she sheroozed class and sophistication. “MODEL OF THE YEAR!!!!!” she wrote on Instagram. “Thank you British Fashion Council and everyone who has continued to support me feeling extremely blessed and grateful.” After being presented with her award from Balmain designer Olivier Rousteing, Dunn said in her acceptance speech: "You're going to make me cry. I won this in 2008, I was a hot mess, my speech was a hot mess. It was all a mess. So short and sweet this time. Thank you to the British Fashion Council, I don't know what to say. Thank you to my mum and my son Riley, who wanted me to stay in bed and watch TV with him. This is for him."
Another winner of the night included FKA twigs, who was named British Style/Fashion Innovator, and said in her speech: "I would like to dedicate this award to my mum because she used to make clothes that she wore and I wore.
Chanel creative director Karl Lagerfeld received the outstanding achievement award, while US designer Tom Ford was recognised for his red carpet looks. JW Anderson, the designer who blurs the line between men’s and womenswear, last night proved he is a master of both. At 2015’s British fashion awards – the industry’s most prestigious event – he was named both the menswear and womenswear designer of 2015. This is the first time any designer has won both categories in the same year.
With winter in full swing, temperatures in the capital are currently well below ten degrees Celsius, but we’re glad they all braved the cold to attend, as they each took on the biting temperatures in London on Monday evening as they turned up the heat in daring outfits at the 2015 British Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski.
The British Fashion Awards – founded in 1989 – are now an established date on the fashion calendar and the last few years have provided various talking points… and I’m sure it will continue to for many years to come…
Marko Mitanovski the Serbian designer has been based in London, a city once at the forefront of amorously eerie culture. Since graduating from the College of Design Belgrade in 2009, he has since lashed out against conventional styling and opted for an infusion of old-age flamboyance with other-worldy translucency. Five years ago he was chosen as one of four designers from all over the world to present his debut collection; Lady Macbeth at the ‘Ones to Watch’ show during London Fashion Week, his collection captured the imagination and attention of leading international publications, which gained him features on some world renowned sites. With Marko having studied literature before studying fashion, his work is a mixture of classic and modern culture; sculptural, and theatrical complex. Technically detailed construction and precise geometry set against the freedom and energy of creating characters and narrative.
Marko Mitanovski is undoubtedly a strong favourite at London’s home of quirky fashion – Fashion Scout in the Freemasons Hall. What he delivers is narrative art, with each season progressively different from the last. The colour palette being the only thing that remains consistent. Marko has a passion for the colour black, he describes it as being his favourite colour, Marko feels that black allows you to play with different textures and forms. With black being such a dark colour he adds jewellery to make it more glamourous and not so dark. This season Marko tried to externalise his inner emotions and communicate with the audience through his pieces, with a hope that the audience would be able to relate. Fashion is art and Marko relentlessly proves this. His collection looks outside of the scope of marketability, with a jiving of natural, architectural and historical aesthetics.
Marko’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection is inspired by the amorphous forms found in nature, and contemplates the phenomena of pain, rage and fear. Which was translated impeccably with the rock-like surfaces of some of the pieces, with their uneven shape giving the appearance of stalactite growths. Using faces bursting out of the pieces to capture the different emotions, symbolically he wanted to portray the freeing of letting go. Focusing on the visualization of cathartic pain release, expressionist artist Munch’s ‘The Scream’ and Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ and ‘Psycho’, helped build the collections dramatic and organic form and texture, which is dominated by leather and latex. Marko collaborated with four remarkable sculptors this season, Sonja Gajic, Ivan Stevanovic, Miki Lakobrija and Milan Stosic who contributed to the illustration of abstract shapes and figuration of emotions, throughout the collection. Distinct and striking jewellery and headpieces was created by the talented jeweller of the brand De Mode.
The all black palette is a perfect contrast against a completely white background and aids the dark presence, shimmers of silver and reflective beading was apparent too, but not distracting from the predominately black pieces. The model's hollowed gaze posed a melancholic emptiness to the obviously packed room. Grudgingly creeping across the runway to Bjork’s “Army of Me”, everyone was silently in awe over what trolled in above them, the achingly slow movements of the models only twisted the already intense mood of the room. Organic material was replicated using leather and latex, to create corseted short dresses which were paired with black bandages wrapped around the lengths of the models legs, cape like sleeves, heavily beaded detailed head pieces adorned the models heads, and in some cases the models faces were covered with dull jewelled masks, shoes were provided by Lilu, muted nude make up by Issidora and her team, and slicked back hair by Nina Budden to accommodate the headwear was all effluent through this show. Stylist and Art Director Claudia Behnke helped in enveloping the models into pain stricken muses.
This season of all that I witnessed, I can safely say as always, this show felt like something worthy of Fashion Scout, Marko never disappoints. He manages to build up a silent hysteria, and has us hanging on the edge of our white wooden bench, in anticipation to see what he has in store for us. He creates sheer art in a tangible visualisation of beautiful horror.
Written by Li Thane-Kitson Interview by Shanika Ocean