The London based milliner Alexandra Harper embarked on an extraordinary adventure when she agreed to collaborate with the world famous film company, Disney. Her first collection was inspired by ‘Maleficent’, and the second was centred solely round the original Tinker Bell, from the old fashioned Peter Pan film.
Alexandra’s inspiration usually derives from nature, flowers, birds, art and photography, all hand crafted and hand finished, giving them that unique added personal touch. So basing her latest collections on Disney characters was something quite extraordinary.
Her penultimate collection was to tie in with the release of the latest film Cinderella, in an attempt to compliment the upcoming film, which premiered in the UK on the 19th of March.
Cinderella is such an iconic Disney character, every little girl and woman’s childhood favourite, a classic fairy tale. Growing up this love story is every females dream. I mean who doesn’t want to live happily ever after, with their very own Prince Charming?
“It’s amazing to be able to dream up a collection fit for a princess, especially one as iconic as Cinderella,” explains Harper.
Each piece from the enchanting Cinderella collection features Swarovski crystals, silk and feathers, sheer ostentatious extravagance. This micro-range which consists of five statement headpieces effortlessly captures the true essence and magic of Cinderella, each piece telling a story in itself.
All of the headpieces run a fluid princess theme accompanying the name Ella ; Ella’s Enchantment, Ella’s Garden, Ella’s Perfect Ending, Ella’s Night, and Ella’s Innocence. Each headpiece has intricate details including either blue butterfly wings, silk leaves, tulle, feathers, beads, a Swarovski crystallized crown, or a mixture of materials. All are different in colour and design, bringing uniqueness and distinctive elements to each piece.
Harper encapsulates the highly anticipated Cinderella story to perfection in this collection of headpieces. A mass of blue-hued butterfly wings flutter and seemingly fly off the main piece, which is Ella’s Enchantment. Ella’s Innocence was created by combining delicate Swarovski crystals, and veiling, adorn a trademark, oversized blue silk bow. White hand-tooled silk leaves interspersed with carefully Swarovski crystals to recreate a crown for Ella’s Perfect Ending. Ella’s Garden was captured as a small headpiece, while swathes of pale pink flowers, and coque feathers explode atop a mini silk pillbox. Tufts of tulle add a touch of finesse to Ella’s Night, a clear, blue and iridescent beaded coronet, encrusted with Swarovski crystals. Collectively the collection is a beautiful creative summary of the main events of the well-thumbed fairy tale.
Alexandra Harper agreed to making four collections for Disney, with three done, the ultimate collection will be inspired by Star Wars. Which will be interesting to see how Harper manages to capture the graphic shapes and landscapes, especially with her not being a star wars aficionado. I’m sure no challenge is too great for Alexandra Harper which is evident so far.
Marko Mitanovski took London Fashion week by storm this season with his breath-takingly dramatic catwalk. The Serbian designer transformed the catwalk into a physical art gallery, described by some as bizarre, but I thought the whole thing was perfectly put together, true artistic genius!
I must confess that I wasn’t familiar with his previous designs, but once I did some research and stumbled across his previous creations I knew I was in for a treat, the invitation alone predicted that a dark story was due to unfold. I am not one to compare, but Marko’s style of work almost has an Alexander McQueen feel to it, pleasing us with his fascinating conceptual design, while offering a brand new take on life and the mysteries it tries to conceal.
The models were sent down the catwalk covered head to toe in black paint, with the exception of the final model who was painted in white, such a great contrast. As one of the last designers to showcase his wares at the bi-annual event at Fashion Scout, the best was certainly left till last. This Autumn/Winter collection stayed true to the designer’s trademark avant-garde elegance, with the evident absorption of the outside world flowing through his creations.
The ghoulish, zombie looking models, of which half were covered in paint, adorned the catwalk in latex and leather designs, which were said to be inspired by nature and architecture. To add to the unique artistry of this show, the models features were obscured completely by shiny oil paint, and their faces accessorised with black diamond-like facial jewels. Undisputedly the most stunning show seen this season, with the haunting walk of the models, the almost demonic like distorted music, theatrical, sculptural creations and the dark body paint, all combined, created a beautiful mystical allure.
Marko made it impossible for the audience to take their eyes off of his imposing avant-garde shapes, of which he drew his inspiration from nature, birds, reptile skeletons, and further imbued with architecture juxtaposed with historical Renaissance and the Victorian era. The London based Serbian designer showcased elements outside of fashion, to create overtly original pieces that transformed into astonishing almost wearable art. While his collection was based on many different influences, Marko’s visionary decision to paint the models in black was simply down to his taste in colour. He was quoted to have said: “I chose to do the whole collection in black because it’s my favourite colour. [This collection] is about celebrating life in a weird way, I do not believe it’s dark – It’s about something mystical, not about something that is negative.” Marko further went on to say that he closed his last collection with someone solely in white, and he decided to do the same this season, as well as the model this season being painted white contrasting with the other models.
The captivating show kick started with the first model walking down the catwalk in a fishnet bodysuit paired with an elaborate bejewelled headpiece, and a voluminous ruffled cape. This collection was made up of mostly all black ensembles, with the exception of the all-white final statement piece. An exaggerated collar was common amongst most of the pieces, all of the collars structured giving them a modern, clean look with a historical edge.
Their slow walk proceeded them, adding to the already intense atmosphere, as they sashayed down the catwalk to the rhythmic beat of a glock, extraordinary detailing was witnessed via sections of fine corsetry that decorated oversized leather and latex infused sculptured skirts and skin-tight laced trousers. This intricate technique was furthermore phenomenally executed on the final all white creation, adorning practically the entire skirt, and with the meticulously crafted nose high collar that finished just below eyesight. Other fabrications that stood out was the sheer bodysuits with a black overlaid patterning; a cropped cape formed from tiny layers of black crepe resembling a bird of prey, and long faux hair fringing seen on arms and on the headpieces creating a three-dimensional silhouette. Exaggeration was the main on the menu, as jackets with structured high collars, huge stand out shoulder pads, leather midi skirts with accentuated hips worn with fishnet tights, and renaissance inspired sleeves resounded through the collection. The accessorizing oozed masquerade style, with head masks that were heavily detailed with strands of chain, faux hair and beading, ultimately forming fabulous futuristic shapes.
Mitanovski is a new designer relatively speaking, but after this season and hitting the front page of all the headlines following this show, I can safely say he has remained consistent and true to his style of design he has become known for with his latest artistic vision. The intricacy required to bring this collection to life is evident, the show was a great depiction of his potential, creativity and depth of knowledge he possesses for subjects outside of fashion.
Marko Mitanovski is one to watch for further greatness.
The Daks Autumn/Winter15 collection drew inspiration from the term ‘luxury in motion’ and English motorcycling. We saw the heritage brand make an exciting new change, in this collection Daks has calibrated with motorbike wheels, in order to acknowledge and celebrate the great iconic story of English motorcycling. This collection was built on bold, block colours with a city chic finish. Although there was a reminiscent 60s feel with an implied twist of the 70s, the Daks show was undisputedly modern.
Bikers’ gloves, jackets and shoes made this collection edgy, which strayed away from their usual traditional house check for a more bolder, but cooler aesthetic which saw women and men alike take to the catwalk clad in quilted biker jackets and sixties colour-blocked shifts. The different variations of colours and prints that were used in this collection such as deep red, purple, Prince of Wales check, tulip print, and of course the timeless biker black. Featuring some strong masculine style which was evident in pieces such as the double breasted jacket and matching crop trousers; yet still managing to stay feminine, with some softer more feminine elements which harked back to the chiffons that were seen last season. A tulip print was used in various sizes and colours to counter the leather biker toughness, but most notably on a floor length shirt dresses with deep autumnal tones. Despite having a charming quality, it did dance between fluidity and structure almost effortlessly.
Creative Director Fillippo Scuttti cited the term ‘mode’ as a starting point, the Italian term means movement, evolution and dynamism, which is all captured perfectly in this collection. Quilting was used throughout, red leather jackets lined with cashmere, and on the biker style skirts, gloves and shoes. The men too, were seen donning leather jumpsuits and baker-boy hats.
The forever famous Prince of Wales check did however make an appearance on a masculine inspired, double-breasted jacket and matching crop trousers, which was definitely one of the most striking looks from the collection. The 60s silhouettes echoed the 70s with the models flat-ironed hair, patent boots and jaunty headwear.
The soulful music set the tone for a show that took you back in time with a modern edge. What was very interesting about this arrangement was that it seemed to be the opposite to the traditional portrayal of Daks that we are all used to. Keeping in mind that Daks strayed away from their comfort zone with such different pieces for next season, they still kept some elements that they are known for with the tulip print being one of them.
Halfway through the show, the palette changed from scarlet red and off-white blocks into a paler, more solid one. Towards the end came a set of lengthy floor sweeping dresses that would be better suited to evening wear with an edgier feel, than the usual smart collections we have witnessed in the past and have become accustom to associate with Daks.
Overall I feel the Daks AW15 collection screamed uptown city chic meets utilitarian practicality with the military cap emphasising this, while keeping in line with 60/70s style with the knee-high patent boot, as the models strutted to the beat of motown tunes, it was difficult not to be swept away with the fluid lines of the dresses and the ambiance.