Happy Tuesday, guys! My roundup of all my London Fashion Week outfits are now live! Come take a look where I am still mixing a ton of prints along with staple British pieces such as the classic trench, more punk vibes on Day 3’s look, a vibrant look reminiscent of tomato juice and even a crisp, all white look! A lot of outfit focus for London were accessories, such as western boots, hats, sunglasses and cute, unique handbags such as a bold yellow piece along with a croc lantern bag. Come take a look along with STL (shop the look) with direct links to everything. Unfortunately many items on me have sold out! If you’re looking for something in particular, drop me a message in the comment section down below (at the end of this post) to find similar items, more than happy to link ‘em for you upon request. Wishing you a great rest of the week! I’ll be having my monthly beauty roundup soon along with more up and coming spring trends/looks! xx
Thanks for being so patient, everyone! My full recap of London Fashion Week AW19 is now live! I have my NYFW recap up from the Fall/Winter 2019 season as well (Link HERE) Again apologies for the delay! Better late than never, I rounded up 6-7 of my favorite looks per show that I had the pleasure of attending, with a full-text review of each collection along with a couple of highlights I found worth mentioning as well. So sit back and relax, enjoy the show! :)
After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2012 and having won numerous awards such as ‘Elle New Talent’ Taiwan, Jamie Wei Huang’s AW19 collection ‘Roaming Boy’, was showcased within a once traditional church, now The Garden Museum. The show invitation demonstrated a school exam theme, asking all guests to bring their pencil to the show ‘exam’ and the press release amusingly mimicking a short multiple choice test sheet. The collection epitomized private school rebellion. Hues of royal blue, red and white paired with a selection of tartan. The innocent school-kid was edged with extreme undiluted hemlines, oversized bum bags (worn in the cool way across the shoulder of-course) and extreme padded jackets in non-conventional pop colors. A diamond-check weave made the occasional appearance, paired with bold hand embroidery and layered, oversized sweaters. Unruly piercings accentuated every other ensemble and the occasional low neckline added just that ounce of sexiness.
A presentation of modern femininity that was both luxurious and sophisticated. Gayeon Lee for AW19 showcased ten looks at a time, that were pastel delights in chic dressing and sleek silhouettes. The presentation was hidden in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-fields church, in Trafalgar Square, an unusual space for a LFW location, with cozy jazz music playing in the distant background. Gayeon Lee is from South Korea and has a MA in Fashion Womenswear from Central Saint Martins. Her graduate MA collection was incredible and sparked interest from the likes of Lady Gaga. After working for Marc Jacobs in both London and New York, Gayeon Lee launched her own label in 2014. Winner of the Vogue talent awards in 2016, Gayeon Lee was also chosen to work with Swarovski for AW18 and SS18. Her collections are known to draw inspiration from fine art and Gayeon Lee’s work is known to be conceptually driven. Her signature bended metal strap bags have definitely caught my eye for the past couple of seasons, the AW19 bags were structured into prism shapes of earthy tones.
Bora Aksu’s AW19 was inspired by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to go into space. A feminine, light and holographic collection, the show began with symbolizing her humble beginnings with simplicity. Ivory, grey two-pieces are paired with chiffon oversized bows, and muted down check suits. Then puffy coats to a pink ruffled chiffon dress with red hems screamed new age romanticism and expanded the mystical color palette with lilacs, pinks, green and light blues. Space helmets were swapped for hand-embroidered and hand-knitted headpieces designed in collaboration with Liria Pristine, other further accessories were some funky avant-garde oval sunglasses and pearl jewelry adding a touch of class. The staple Bora Aksu silver boot added an elegant touch to the futuristic astronaut-aesthetic. Very cool indeed, when are we going to Mars and which gown should I be wearing when we do? :)
“Swathes of wool and padded fabric encase her, goddess warrior, made from a palette of turning leaves and earth – of brown and putty and cornflower and crimson. Resilience and adaptability manifests in her elongated silhouette, roomy tailored suits, curtain-tie sashes and winged dresses. Tailoring and draping brings softness and structure to signature asymmetric silhouettes. I think of the columns of the Temple of Parthenon. Layering prevails in oversize multi-way jackets with tiered lapels that fasten this way and that, allowing glimpses of tonal variations and in this our complexities are revealed – there is ‘no one typical woman’. Slit-sleeve blazer and a four-tiered teal trench peel back, exploring out many identities – creator, mother, warrior, lover. If she is a whole, it’s a whole composed of parts that are wholes, not simple partial objects but a moving, limitlessly changing ensemble, a cosmos tirelessly traversed by Eros, an immense astral space not organized around any one sun that’s any more of a star than the others.“ All-in-all, Marta Jakubowski strongly stating women should never be stereotyped.
Cassey Gan’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection is titled “Pixelated”. As colorful vivid brushstrokes take the form of a pattern heavy collection, it’s a print-lover’s dream! The Malaysian designer demonstrated printing techniques are mature enough to achieve that, beside thick fabric, the designer also used lightweight fabric and reflective fabric in their collection. Orange, blue, lemon, and red, the color choice is vibrant and the original designed prints are mostly in a repeated pattern formula. These are styled with traditional check or Houndstooth patterned garments on top or underneath. Traditional pattern and original print designs crossover and fuse together in the collection. Gorgeous textiles, striking statement earrings as accessories, and using non-form fitting garments revealed new layers of their evolving work.
Located in the remarkable architecture of St Georges Bloomsbury Church, the space was transformed into an autumnal wonderland. Lines of seats created four catwalks, each smothered in a sea of fallen leaves, the nostalgic smell of the season lingered in the air. Live performance by musical talent James Broughton played in the background as the models walked under the crisp foliage. Bach has created pieces inspired by the aesthetic of Autumn, with a warm palette - the overall tone for the collection. A base of black is lifted by plummy red, bold ochre and rich green bring a beautiful visual tempo to the collection, as well as metallic accents flirting with the rays of natural light. The juxtaposition of fabrics and patterns allows for a play on masculine versus feminine, for example combining the more rough corduroy and check fabrics with softs rippling floral accents reminiscent of magnolia. Perfectly accessorized with sunnies and focal shoe point were boots/mules for the colder season. Definitely a favorite from London Fashion Week!
Natasha Zinko presented their new AW 2019 collection at Next, Plaza Oxford Street for London Fashion Week. Models entered down the escalator in cool cuts with many pockets (this is definitely Natasha’s personal style) along with kangaroo hats, long-length leather gloves and over-the-top OTK boots, which were all personal faves for me. Denim and print played a huge role within the collection, as well as color with a very upbeat youthful allure to her pieces. I adore her take on street style and this collection definitely sets a certain tone to this genre in fashion. Definitely could see myself wearing any number of these pieces! Such a cool, inspiring collection to see.
Characterized by mixed shapes and dark nuances, UNDERAGE’s collection for autumn/winter 2019 reflects the juxtaposition of strange and familiar traits in a similar manner to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The movie, which is the main inspiration of the brand’s mastermind Ying Shen, continues to have as big an impact on the young people of today as it had on the audiences of the 70s – though it leaves an impression of a different kind. The Beijing-born designer explores cutting-edge and advanced forms against more conventional layouts, focusing especially on the creative take of generation Z. The outfits bring together simple t-shirts with puffer jackets, smooth jersey trousers and combed knitwear. Velvet is paired with metallic details. There is a hint of crochet, but there are also leather laces tied up the calf. One of the jackets sports a sticker patch with the brand’s name, while an uneven maculated skirt is matched with a fading burgundy pullover. Red, as the set for the presentation also emphasizes, is the predominant color, featured in different shades. Glasses – in the shape of eyelashes, drawn-on grey plexiglass or cut out in electric blue – are common accessories.
The new AADNEVIK collection is inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s “ Anna Karenina”. I saw several silk chiffon gowns with hand beaded french lace and leather craftsmanship. Even ostrich feathers. This brand is known for its uber-sexy, revealing clothes and have dressed A-list celebrities such as Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry, Olivia Culpo and others. Models strutted down the runway with sounds of a running train in the background brought an eerily romantic tone to the show. I was most impressed with the hair done by Morrocan Oil along with the tailoring of some of the gowns. Definitely red carpet looks, I also really adored the animal print matching set which included a beaded jacket with shorts. Not your typical fall getup, but nothing in AADNEVIK is typical.
Reflecting on the looming threat of Brexit as an Irish immigrant, for AW19 Richard Malone looked to simpler times – to the birthday parties of his youth. He sent out a party wardrobe rich in color and texture that elevated the everyday to a fashion context: he repurposed dog beds into elegant fur stoles, and fashioned frock coats from twill fabrics typically used in school uniforms. Form-fitting silk dresses intricately gathered to contour the body and ladylike suiting in fitting hues of blue, red and white were juxtaposed with punkish laddered knits and hand-painted mohair coats, adding a hint of rebellion. Highlights included the fuzzy wuzzy socks to go with the matching coats, as well as oxblood being a steady color within the collection’s palette.
Costelloe displayed his mastery of tailoring in what was one of his more confident collections in recent years; the military inspired coats in pure Italian wool definitely drew attention. Pulling inspiration from Rule Britannia, it was quite literally a combination of war and peace to some extent. The mixture of military coats with beautiful gowns was something a bit different for Costelloe, but the tailoring spoke for itself. Going back to his roots was not a mistake, and I hope to see more of this in his future collections. Highlights were the buttery leather greenery in one pair of leggings, along with a diverse casting, even though he had something specific within his theme.
One of the designers I have yet to see during London Fashion Week, Wesley Harriott’s name will definitely be more familiar in the coming years. Using only monochrome hues of black and white, Harriott makes a statement by reflecting how people often define one another according to their exterior before really paying attention to their complex characteristics which are not always evident at first. He focuses on drape and construction by redefining traditional tailoring techniques to add a sense of uniform to reflect the militant aura during Empress Dowager Cixi’s reign. Inspired by The Last Empress of China, Wesley Harriott fell in love with the strong divide on opinion on her that was only ever ‘black or white’. Despite the way people perceived her, she continued pioneering whilst unapologetically being herself. This is stressed within each ensemble as even more obscure detail and trimmings are revealed the longer they’re examined.
One of my favorite shows of LFW, Edeline Lee likes to think outside the box. This season she invited a host of accomplished women across the worlds of art, science, and technology onto the stage. “In this industry we are always talking about women, but rarely do we give them the opportunity to speak,” said Lee of her presentation. “I wanted to give them a voice.” It was over an hour of orations from 35+ women of all backgrounds using their strengths on top of curating a stand-out fashion presentation. Not the most ideal - since many editors (like myself) don’t have the time to stay and see the entire collection. However, her quiet yet increasingly elevated pieces speak for themselves, in that they are very likely to be worn in our everyday ready-to-wear looks. Can’t wait to see what Edeline turns up next for SS20!
Designer Seung-Gun Park toyed with the idea of “celebrating all things unflattering” for AW19, dreaming up a series of unusual headpieces made from plates, combs, forks and even lighters. But beneath these showstoppers, Park’s feminine tailored pieces with strong historical references were nothing short of flattering: Elizabethan collars and 14th-century pourpoint jackets were updated with sporty sweatshirt fabrics, while corset tops and puffed sleeves added a regal spirit. A mix-mash of textures and patterns – checkers, polka dots and frills – resulted in a confident and outspoken collection that reaffirmed the label’s signature punk attitude. One to watch out for, Pushbutton is definitely one of my favorite new Korean designers on the fore front.
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My London Fashion Week SS19 recap is finally here! Sorry for the delay this season guys! On top of massive deadlines, and trying to play catch up, it has become apparent that being a one-woman show (aside from my amazing husband and photographer who I’m always so thankful for), it may be time to perhaps hire an intern/pt asst. If you know of someone who is between the ages of 21-25 and is just starting to get into the blogging scene, please connect them with me! Or if you think you may be a person as such, preferably in NYC, hardworking and professional (meaning you are not entitled, has half a brain and can maybe juggle a few tasks at once), feel free to reach out! With that note, let’s take a look at my second season (and second visit to London) of LFW, where I’m keeping the format same as my New York Fashion Week diary, where I choose 6 favorites from each collection I’ve viewed along with a recap/review. Let’s carry on then!
Gayeon Lee kicked off London Fashion Week SS19 with a collection that explores the relationship between fashion and art; referencing the figurative works of Egon Schiele, Lee used colors and patterns inspired by the intensity of painter's figurative works. Its distinct look to a unique use of texture, color, graphic shapes, and intriguing deconstruction are thoughtful detailing features throughout in pleats, drapes, and gathers. Presented by a mixture of professional ballet dancers and models in movement; stripes, spots, and a natural color palette offset a contemporary interpretation of 50’s feminine silhouettes in structured volumes and gamine looks. Texture and movements on point, another favorite out of the six chosen were definitely the bags.
Nicopanda’s SS19 collection was all about the 90’s underground dance culture. A mixture of sequins, neons and animal prints, with fun accessories like light-up devil horns, electric blue cowboy hats and metallic tinsel for hair to complete the looks. I also appreciated the club-ready streetwear collection of slinky dresses, sporty co-ords and chunky sneakers. And with the finishing touch, Nicopanda revealed a series of t-shirts designed by NYC based artist, activist and Nicopanda crew member, Hilton Dresden, as part of a partnership with Merch by Amazon that was immediately ready to purchase post-show.
Incorporating elements from poet Emily Dickson, such as themes of nature, dominance and religion, Xu based the collection on different aspects of her character and work. Fringe dresses, shredded satin, loose fits and tassel suits, Xu Zhi stirred an awakening of the era of luxury and femininity of the 1920s. However with an adaption of khaki, bomber jackets and co-ords, the SS19 collection instills a contemporary and progressive fashion label. Favorite: White tassel suit. Other favorable mentions: The space's stained glasses and gothic architecture. Simply gorgeous. Special thanks to Rowben Lantion for the insatiable photos. x
First time seeing Marta Jukubowski and was definitely not disappointed. Being partly Polish, I was proud to see the Polish-born London designer's work. She likes to reminisce in the past in the present, and in the SS19 theme, it was a time travel of sorts. Memories from the past, of moments associated with them, even though it's a glimpse into her younger days, the collection alone can relate to any woman, old and young. Signature evening dresses, pencil skirts and tailored jackets all updated with wrap fastenings and rewashed with fresh colorways of mint, teal and a soft mauve. Juxtaposed with snippets of her time in Ibiza, the Spanish party island, which presented itself through subtle use of fluorescent piping and lace details alongside jarring hues of lime green and bright pink. And BIG hats. BIG. Favorite: Python pants all the way (aside from the extra af resort accessories... LOVE/miłość
Johnston’s of Elgin are renowned for their signature chic and elegant designs coupled with fine cuts and detailed tailoring. Think cashmere and tartan print - but how to incorporate into summerwear? Set at the Palm Court, Waldorf Hilton Hotel, the brand used lightweight materials and knit modernisms to create outfits for all year round. 15 womenswear and five menswear collections were showcased and for high summer, the brand used lightweight cashmere and mesh materials with bright canary yellows, rich purples and creamy ecru made to have the designs pop and blend luxuriously. One such outfit of a tartan top tucked into a pair of cerise long shorts was a definite favorite. The SS19 collection is casual, sporty and effortlessly summery – even with a tinge of Ancient Greek royalty in some of the goddess-like summer dresses.
The runway was designed to emulate coral covered driftwood; it was constructed of flowers and real abandoned fishing nets. Fyodor Golan's collection itself was inspired by the sea; surfing influences can be seen in sporty tailoring and materials, while shells and real pearls are utilized details throughout the collection. Various shades of navy, cyan and turquoise, produced in washed denim, raw silks and recycled cottons were definitely prominent in the ocean-themed show. According to the show notes, color combinations and collaged pieces were inspired by American painter, Jamie Adams, whilst images of pastel discarded waste were inspired by sculptures by Thirza Schaap. Favorites: The issue that has been somewhat neglected this season; the environment.
For SS19 Ada introduces the color of pink, as inspired by a recent scientific discovery that found pink is the oldest color. She plays with rose hues to illustrate a galactic theme within her collection which features tulle ballerina skirts paired with lilac iridescent harnesses with ring detailing. 3D floral embellishments made through hand-cut manipulation accentuate feminine silhouettes, creating unusual shapes. Contrasting themes of fetishism were explored through the harnessed bullet bras detailed with pink rhinestones. Ada Zanditon blends avant-garde pieces with more of a luxe feel to appeal to her ever-growing fearless clients, such as Ariana Grande and Mariah Carey. Her bold designs and unique techniques display her concepts surrounding the relationship between the body and the garment itself.
Cassey Gan's signature block prints and primary tones standout each season and yet continues to keep each collection fresh and innovative. SS19 is all about midi lengths and asymmetric and layered hemlines. Traditional menswear checks and stripes are paired with Cassey’s iconic geometric patterns in enhanced earthy tones with predominant shades of turquoise, blue, black, white and red. Each look entails a concoction of print combinations and layers, making every ensemble quite appealing. Attention to each positioned layer and complimentary tones and shades makes the collection. The printed tunics are paired with metallic and glittery trimmings and bell-sleeved shirts are accessorized with tailored bibs. Pleats are scattered across the looks and can be glimpsed outlining varying hems. Favorites: dress in top right, bags and statement earrings.
Inspired by Lorenzo Vitturi’s ‘Money Must Be Made,’ designer Minki Cheng’s latest collection imagined the artist’s journey through the Balogun Market on Lagos Island. The set design was compacted with all manner of objects from furniture to textiles piled high in perilous towers on the catwalk. Minki’s aesthetic is ever optimistic and fun, constantly playing with color, print, and texture; his signature clash of bright yellows, pinks, blues, and reds contrasted in this collection with muted navy and khaki in abstract prints on fresh and playful silhouettes. Favorites: Bottom middle (most beautiful blue I've seen in a while), the accessories such as head ties and jelly sandals that brought a childlike innocence to the mix.
Farzaneh H. Christensen combines elegance with professionalism while creating exotic, timeless designs varying from luxurious evening gowns to trend forward cocktail dresses. All materials are sourced in European countries varying from France to Italy and include the finest silk and handmade beadings in order to achieve the final intricate creations. The materials used are sourced throughout Europe. From Italy and France the brand has the finest silks including satin duchesse and silk velvet which are all ethical and sustainable. Farzaneh’s mission is to make everyone feel and look their best possible, glamorous self. She offers a ‘Bespoke Service’. Attention to the individual ensures that every customer feels elegant, confident and special. Her ‘Bespoke Couture Services’ enables the client to be fully involved as she creates a unique, personalized ‘work of art’ designed specifically for the individual. Clearly demonstrated in the SS19 collection. Favorite: Lime me that Green dress, BABY!
It’s all about trying to embrace change and diversity within the fashion industry in Steventai's SS19 collection. Inspired by Sofia Coppola’s film The Virgin Suicides, the pieces were feminine and bold - the kind of clothes made for unique and strong women. But what was entirely refreshing about this collection, in particular, are the models and the entire project behind it. A model who has alopecia, another with a birthmark on her face, burn survivors - a moving way to show different types of beauty. An intimate, and yet softly glamorous 1970’s nostalgic mood. Favorite: Lilac pantsuit with the flared bottoms. So cool.
Paul Costelloe's signature elegance was apparent in his SS19 particularly in voluminous layered mini dresses and dramatic evening gowns. But the unexpected twist was the welcomed sense of 80s nostalgia. Boy, I guess it was the time to party because the models oozed a carefree sexiness reminiscent of those days (Or sho I've been told...) The highlight was a sports luxe theme throughout colorful bodysuits with longline tailored jackets. Styled with quiffed hair, ankle boots and fishnet socks (both in white) produced a beautifully unpredicted ensemble.
A collection with a wearable daytime elegance, Tata Naka's whimsical illustrations and prints were scattered across feminine pleats and tailoring. The motifs and iconography nodded to the designers Tamara and Natasha Surgulaze's Greek and Roman influences. Other classical elements included the statue-like placement of the models on marble columns, toga-esque silhouettes and woven sandals. Fun fact: Ambassadors of the brand include Cameron Diaz, Mina Suvari and Sarah Jessica Parker, the Tata-Naka collection even regularly starred in the legendary series Sex in the City & was worn by Carrie Bradshaw on the cover of the official book. Favorites: anything animal print.
One of my favorite presentations from LFW, Edeline Lee's immersive one investigated the feminine state through design and performance with a contemporary dance spectacular juxtaposing the “woman’s vulnerable, internal persona versus her worldly, exterior facade". he dance performance showcased Lee’s SS19 collection in various scenes from classic fashion moments such as catwalk show, red carpet arrival and afterparty, as well as dream sequences featuring choreography playing homage to the work of Pina Bausch and Traja Harrell, all to a soundtrack featuring female voices only, alongside minimal white props and retro light effects. It also championed a more body-positive approach to dressing as the models and dancers in the show came in various shapes and sizes and perfectly showcased how flattering Lee’s designs are.The collection itself, expands on Lee’s experimentation with ruching and ruffles, while maintaining the designer’s tailored, womanly shapes, and saw the label’s signature Flou Bubble Jacquard fabric showcased in scarlet, ivory and bottle green, alongside a crinkle georgette in brown and ivory, and a graphic, hand-painted zigzag print. Highlights included the spaghetti-strap dresses and long-sleeve A-line dresses, as well as the feminine skirts and separates that were accented with hand-covered, multicolored dome buttons and buckles.
The 80s are evident for SS19 and Korean cult-brand pushBUTTON is no exception. Korean designer and former K-pop star, Seung-Gun Park of pushBUTTON began to feel immediate pressure and in light of his show notes, described being in a trapped square box with no room for anything. And that's how the 'square shoulder' came to be, becoming the main silhouette of his collection along with giving an updated version of the power shoulder detail. Impeccable needlework and precise fabric selection, along with a variety of tabs and hooks to completely change up the silhouette just with closing and opening, and separable jackets, shirts, and pants can completely create new asymmetrical silhouettes by being separated or combined together. The masterful handling of various fabrics from wool, cotton, jersey, chiffon to denim proves how nimble and agile this label can be. Favorites: Deconstructed pants and the minty fresh maxi dress ensemble.
Want to see more from any of these SS19 collection from LFW? Continue onto my Instagram page where under my highlights you will find each finale walk in my LFW sections. What was your favorite out of the ones I attended this season? If you had to pick one outfit of your choice, what would it be? Stay tuned for my London Fashion Week street style content, coming up next!
I do not own the rights to these images. All rights reserved.
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photos by: Rowben Lantion
A couple of weeks ago I traveled solo internationally for the first time in my life. Yes, I've traveled here and there, even to Ukraine with a group of college students and such, but I've never gone anywhere outside the states completely alone. Now, it wasn't anywhere super exotic, as there was no language barrier or extreme culture shock, but I did want to start off somewhere and challenge myself. One of my greatest pleasures in life is doing things people tell me I cannot do. Not to prove them wrong, but to prove to myself that as my dad had always said, "You can do anything you set your mind to." Is this the craziest thing a person has set out to do? Of course not. However, everyone has their own personal journey and going on that road to find whatever it is they are looking for, I think, is courage enough. You see, for one, I have never set foot in London, let alone the UK - and two, it has been a dream of mine to attend London Fashion Week - so to set this into notion and actually have it take place has been a dream within itself. So in today's post, I wanted to share a reflection of my thoughts about what I learned from traveling solo.
1. LOOK IN THE MIRROR... THAT'S YOUR COMPETITION
More than anything else, what I learned about myself from this trip, is that no matter how hard you may try to not compare yourselves to others, it's inevitable. Especially the digital world we live in, where observing others is constant. I've been making changes since London, and it's teaching myself how to monitor my habits as such. For example, I'm an Insta-Story watching addict. Like Pringle chips, once I 'pop' I can't stop. So now instead of watching them every time I'm on the app, I only try to watch once during the morning, afternoon and evening. Even to how much time I spend on Instagram, which is an atrocious amount, I am cutting down on how often I check to see what's happening around me. Of course, it's important to know what's going on in terms of trends and current events but I also find it healthy and quite balanced to sometimes stop looking, keeping the phone out of my reach and focusing on my own sh*t. Remember... everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses, and own pace, and it's only when you accept everything you are and aren't that you'll truly get anywhere with yourself. And the more I've been doing this, the better I have been feeling not just about myself but with my work. The creative juices are flowin' and I'm excited and a little nervous to start a few of them! But onward we shall go :)
2. ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER
This isn't something new to me but still felt the need to share the importance of this. Sometimes getting away is the best thing to do when feeling unsure about things. Since traveling as a kid, I found that the ones you miss the most while away are the ones you truly love. Being apart makes me appreciate what I have with others and also always reminds me of what's important and who is important. Especially when traveling alone, it gives you the time to reflect and shows you what and who really matters in your life. It's like how the French say, "Tu me manques" which literally translates, "you are missing from me", and that's exactly how I feel to those while being away from home.
3. I'M STILL VERY PRIVATE ABOUT MY LIFE & I LIKE IT THIS WAY
As much as I still love to share with you guys more and more about my life, there's a time and place for everything. I'm not one to show all my cards up front. Because the more involved I become in the blogging world/public eye, of course, I am aware that life may not always be as private as it once was. People love to talk, rumors get spread, and yes, many are nosy. And that shouldn't get in the way of sharing my life with you, but I think leaving a little to the imagination never hurts and quite frankly protects you from those that do want to cause harm to you. I have always kept my inner circle extremely close-knit. When others ask me what I'm up to these days, I'm rather brief. Why? I'd rather show you than tell you.
4. YOU ARE CAPABLE OF WAY MORE THAN YOU EVER IMAGINED.
I'm telling everyone my new secret remedy to feeling unconfident. Just go somewhere alone for a few days. It doesn't have to be overseas, but it should be to an unfamiliar place or includes something you've never tried doing because doing it alone will not just build that self-esteem, you'll learn to discover something about yourself while doing so. Never have I challenged myself did I end up with a disastrous outcome. It may not always go the way you imagine, but if you stand strong and get through it, you will be better from it. And traveling is one of the best ways to learn and grow. I definitely feel like me again and I have never felt more confident than I do now!
5. STAY CALM AND CARRY ON AS THE BRITISH DO
Keep calm and carry on? You betcha. I sometimes tend to get anxious but what I definitely learned while traveling alone to London was how better off you are if you keep your cool and stay focused on the problem at hand. If you freak out, you'll just make the problem worse. Easier said than done to others I'm sure, but to someone like me who's impatient and a slight-control freak, it's not. A more subdued manner in one's self while being aware carries a certain sophistication. I definitely find this more apparent than in America.
6. LET IT GO, LET IT GO, LET IT GO...
Try not to plan your itinerary right down to what time you get up to when you're having dinner. The best part of traveling is no plans, no map and wandering... getting lost and discovering new hidden gems that you'd probably never cross paths with otherwise with a plan of any kind. And with traveling, something can always go awry so be prepared and be willing to go with the flow because not being in full control is something one has to face when traveling, especially alone. And the more accepting you are of this, the better the experience your trip will be too!
7. FACING FEARS ARE NOT AS SCARY AS THEY APPEAR TO BE.
I think what freaked me out the most was attending my first Fashion Week overseas with no assistant or helping hands of any kind. I was all by myself. So of course, when you’ve got to figure everything out yourself, you may feel anxious. Maybe you’re nervous about talking to strangers; maybe you’ll feel awkward by yourself in a restaurant or museum. From little fears to big ones, once you decide to face them, the truth shall set you free! Things quickly become less frightening once you step up to face them and will quickly realize there's not much in life to be afraid of.
8. MAKING NEW FRIENDS ISN'T HARD TO DO
It’s true. You will build new relationships on your journey, even if you’re shy. It doesn’t take much. A friendly smile. A helping hand. Or a shared fear. Indeed, nothing brings people closer than fear. You'd think people in the fashion world are not the nicest people, which can be true to a certain extent, but overall, even just sharing a commonality like sleep deprivation while waiting in line for coffee or to a show can spark a wonderful relationship. It could be friendship or a building working partnership, or both, either way, I find traveling to be one of the loveliest ways to meet new people.
How about you guys? How many of you have traveled solo? I'd love to hear your experiences so don't forget to drop a comment down below and share your thoughts. Lastly, if you're ever in need of a street style photographer while in London, please go check out Rowben with whom I shot this look with while there for Fashion Week. He is an absolute sweetheart with some serious skills. Rowben, darling, please come to New York soon! As always, you can directly shop my look at the end of each outfit blog post. Don't be shy to leave any questions about this look too! Catch Y'all soon!
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All photos & edits by: Suzanne Spiegoski
Known for his deconstructed fabrics and feminine silhouettes, Xuzhi Chen's was born in Shenzhen but is based in London. Chen studied foundation art in London, then fashion in 2010, graduating in 2015. Having done internships with menswear designer Craig Green and J.W. Anderson, he's now part of that booming hub of designers based in Dalston in East London. Also, a semi-finalist last year for the prestigious LVMH Prize and Asia finalist for the International Woolmark Prize proves his wizardry when it comes to fabrics. Chen looked to Jane Morris, wife of the textile designer William Morris and the lover of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who is one of the most recognised faces in art history for her famous pout, as well as the relationship between artist, muse and now, designer, which he states in the show notes in the relevancy of #TimesUp. The collection is filled with painting references, with the ankle length skirts and coats featuring a waxy finish, which mimics the sheen of oil paintings, while Chen’s yarn-braiding technique has been developed to make the fabric appear to have a brush stroke effect, and the deconstruction effects to the tailoring adds a textural element when paired with wide-leg trousers and pleated skirts. Definitely, a designer to watch out for - Xu Zhi will be a household name in the very near future. By far one of my favorite presentations during London Fashion Week.
Emerging designer Amy Thomson poses the question: What do a princess, baker and a hairdresser look like from a child’s perspective with her playful autumn/winter 2018 collection ‘Chasin’ Dreams’. With the models standing amongst floating clouds, the eight oversized pink outfits really brought the idea of fantasy and dreams - each showcasing the profession as seen by a child, with also the help from the designer’s larger-than-life hand-rendered drawings that produced charming prints, motifs, and illustrations to form the narrative of the collection, ensuring that no two garments are the same. Metallic based textures created a sparkling performance. Feminine silhouettes, with giant bow ties and illustrative frills made for a fun slumber party feel. The use of silks, faux fur, and leathers using a palette of fuchsias, baby pink, hot pink that contrast with the royal blues and lilacs. Illustrations upon metallic fabric are layered and stitched on the faux fur. Thomson also collaborated with headwear designer Katie Hamlett from Sassy Freak featuring a range of tiaras of iconic childhood toys such as Barbie heads and My Little Pony. Commenting on the collection, Thomson said: “Telling a narrative and connecting with an audience is very important to myself as a designer. Chasin’ Dreams is based on real muses, real stories and my own and there is no story truer than the one you are living.”
What do you get when you combine glamour with destructed textures? A dramatic yet opulent range. Debuting her collection in London at Fashion Scout's Freemasons Hall, Claire Tagg brought her inspiration from her travels as an air hostess. A graduate of University of Creative Arts, Rochester, Tagg was awarded the New Designers Hainsworth Statement Award, as well as being named the runner-up in the prestigious womenswear award at Graduate Fashion Week. Her AW 18 collection demonstrated Tagg’s signature layered aesthetic using digital printing to create rich textures of ripped paper alongside a cherry blossom print and elaborate embellishments, which were all placed by hand. There were structured jackets and blazer style dresses juxtapositioned with oversized full skirts and ballgowns created from Duchess Satin that really brought out sophistication and elegance. The accessories were also prominent with colorful earrings and fabric belts with plane seatbelt fastenings. Cute.
I found it extra cool being able to visit the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) during London Fashion Week (LFW), where also the UNDERAGE AW18 present took place. The designer, Ying Shen was born in Beijing China, where she initially studied graphic design, using multimedia techniques from film, to animation and 3D modeling before moving to London to pursue fashion design studies at Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design. The collection transported us to the underground punk movement from the 70s and late 90s. The UNDERAGE AW18 collection titled “Riots of Our Own” comments on the rebellious and social disruption of the era – and what that means for someone of a similar mindset today. A celebration of self-expression, independence, and nonconformity, acknowledges the makers of change from the past and applying it to a personal, modern-day fight for the future. Real eye-catching presentation.
I'm not one to wear gowns, but if I had to (yes, how painful) I'd definitely go with San Francisco-based designer Mimi Tran. Her AW 18 collection consisted of a color palette with uncommonly rendered icy tones of gold, cool blue and dark pink among others. She is known for her artisan hand beading and the use of colors to full effervescent effect, the detailing of cutting-edge dimensional patterns evoked depth and with graceful movement.
I never thought I'd attend a secret Zen garden during my time in London a couple of weeks ago, but I did for Edeline Lee's presentation. Inspiration from holistic practices of the East infused within her collection with technique draping and most especially, my favorite, tassel trimmings that were similar to Ayurvedic robes. It refined a traditional cape coat with subtle sophistication. There were even gong players to immerse guests and a set dotted with serene topiary-style sculptures. Dark floral jacquards were in respects to the Garden of Eden, naturally along with Pilgrim collars, origami pleats, and an overall monastic tone. This collection is very appealing for those looking for a modest option but with a fashion-forward slant. Just lovely.
Self-taught, Taiwanese-born designer, Malan Breton, demonstrated strong and seductive pieces in his AW 18 collection titled, 'Omega.' His unusual colors, textures, and silhouettes pair a playfulness with drama - a consistent love of contrasts like my favorite: Hard leather silhouettes pressed up against soft Taiwanese florals. Plum, navy blue, and bright orange colors stuck out, especially a men's patent leather orange jacket. Think lavish splendor with theatrical fashion. Breton's numerous awards, including the FGI Rising Star Award 2016 and the Taiwan Tourism Award for contributions to Fashion and Media, along with some pretty impressive showbiz credits, including costuming Breaking Bad and MTV’s VMAs, speak for themselves.
steventai’s AW18 presentation brought the neon streets of Macau to London Fashion Week with a unique digitally augmented experience. Created in collaboration with San Francisco film tech experts ILMxLAB (Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division), the presentation carried us into a hyper-real world inspired by the ‘Las Vegas of the East’. Models dressed in softly structured velvet and corduroy pantsuits and flowered dresses with trench coats, and my favorite, the accessories such as clear grocery tote bags and clear umbrellas, elevated the workwear with luxurious detail and lavish material. Among the models was an avatar, generated with real-time CGI and dressed in digitally formed garments as part of the collection. Perhaps this is a new way we will see and shop fashion in the future?
Aadnevik is a London based luxury label directed by Hila & Kristian Aadnevik renowned internationally for their characteristic feminine, opulent, alluring designs. Presenting their new Swan Lake inspired collection at London Fashion Week AW18 in an opulent historical setting of a grandiose library at One Whitehall Place, the collection is inspired by the classic story of Odette and Odile, where light and dark contrast each other, like good and evil, and romance and tragedy. A woman can be strong and soft at the same time and makes no difference when it comes to undying love. And you can sense this form of unconditional emotion through the pieces, intricate beadwork with silver metal and pearls, delicate French lace was adorned with black and red hearts, beads, crystals, stars, feathers, and flowers. Sensual yet ethereal. Hair by Moroccan Oil, makeup by Bellápierre Cosmetics, nails by Candy Coat.
Paul Costelloe presented to us, volume and print for this year's AW 18 collection. For his collection, he used quite neutral colors like shades of browns, greens, greys and a pop of colors like the yellows and pinks. A variety of fabrics like tweed looked terrific in a cinched-in jacket over floaty layers of chiffon and also in a flattering A-line dress with a contrasting top with peplum. Striking yellow and blue fabric in the generous oversized formal skirt which stood out from the 60s-look show.
Hollywood glamour can be badass too. A sensually powerful collection, Paula Knorr's AW18 Collection was full of body-hugging lamé and seductive sparkles. With clashing fabrics and dramatic shapes, the looks drastically push the boundaries of evening wear into abstract realms, all the while keeping the looks as glitzy and glamorous as Hollywood’s elite. From emblazoning flares with an abundance of sequins to layering block color on block color fearlessly (hello, to the power of red), to even bringing back sheer materials, the collection was vibrant and unforgiving. And what brought it all together was Jazz singer, Laura Totenhagen, who set feminist poetry to music, using her voice and a loop pedal, made it an exceptionally atmospheric experience.
The catch of the day. St. Ives, Cornwall inspiration // plush fisherman vibes with traditional technique and a touch of rugged romanticism. By far one of my favorite collections of London Fashion Week, Korean-born designer Eudon Choi, translated the relationships between these Cornish artists and their environment to create a collection that pays homage to St Ives as a muse to so many artists and a place of artistic pilgrimage. He celebrates the abstract art and Cornish light as well as paying homage to the brave fishermen who worked the harsh sea and the tin and copper miners who were once such an important part of the Cornish way of ilfe. Since launching his eponymous label in 2009, Eudon has become a regular fixture at London Fashion Week. He has received numerous accolades for his work, most recently support from the British Fashion Council and the Fashion Trust through the Fashion Trust initiative, for the second time. Hair by Stephen Low at Neville for L'Oréal Professional // Makeup by Lucy Bridge for Streeters and the MAC Cosmetics Pro Team // Nails by Jessica Nails.