Tuesday, 24 March 2009

An evening with ‘Giles’ Deacon

After spending an amazing evening at the V&A (Victoria & Albert) Museum in London listening to a talk with the iconic and influential designer Giles Deacon, I thought it was only fair to share some of what I heard and learnt with all you Fabricjam devotees!

Known as ‘Giles’ in the industry, Mr Deacon is arguably the very best contemporary fashion designer today. With a British Designer of the year award under his belt as well as counting Tom Ford, Katie Grand and Kate Moss as his friends, Giles has established himself as a solid part in the framework of London Fashion.

The former Bottega Veneta designer was born in Cumbria, North West England, a beautiful and predominantly rural county. His surroundings weren’t necessarily linked to fashion or style at all therefore having an awareness of trends wasn’t of any importance to Giles whilst growing up. It was only when he picked up his first copy of the contemporary style and design magazine i-D as a teenager that he realised the appeal of clothes as a construct.

The 80’s band scene was a musical era Giles was surrounded by and also very interested in. Looking back at various 80’s bands in copies of the i-D mag, all dressed in Vivienne Westwood’s creations you can see why his interest was evoked.

“It gave me an aesthetic awareness”

Giles was keen to stress the point that for him designing is a very personal thing and in that respect, any ideas must come from within, however insignificant they may seem and regardless of whether the ideas fit with the ‘fashionable’ colour or fabric for that season. It is this raw quality about Giles that makes his designs so appealing and fascinatingly unique.

It was at London’s Central Saint Martins (the epicentre of British fashion) that Giles took his place to study in the late 1980’s. This decision was to prove a very successful career move as it was there that he met Katie Grand (pictured below left), the most powerful stylist around today and a former consultant at Prada who served to boost his career. It was Deacons personal and professional relationship with Grand that bagged him the job at Bottega Veneta, the Italian luxury leather goods company best known for its shoes and bags.

‘The designers at Bottega offered for me to ring up for an interview so I did and that was that. Doing that type of thing was very 80’s.’

Despite working his magic on the brand for a year and helping the company launch a ready-to-wear line of clothing, the Gucci group already had other ideas and in 2001 announced that they were to buy Bottega Veneta. Giles, who was now a recognised designer, was swiftly replaced by Tomas Maier, a German designer whose background was of a more classical style.

However, Giles’s talent did not go unnoticed and realising his innovative ideas Tom Ford, head of Gucci at the time snapped him up for the Gucci women's-wear label. Giles’s time at Gucci came to an end in 2002 when he decided he wanted to go it alone and create his own label. He was set on London being the base for what was to become a fashion phenomenon.

‘I was so keen for London to be the launch place; it seemed the right atmosphere for the type of clothes I wanted to create and compared to New York and Paris, the clothes are so unusual and quirky.’

Two years down the line and a whole lot of logistics worked out, Giles showcased his first runway collection for Autumn/Winter in 2004 at London Fashion Week which was met with great acclaim. It was the first of many collections to come which have transformed London each season.
Hearing Giles describe the design process behind his label was interesting and highly compelling, giving a unique insight into the working mind of such a creative genius. The most unusual yet intriguing aspect was the fact that his design team who ‘are a solid bunch’ often design the accessories like the shoes and hats before designing the clothing as he finds inspiration from different sections of the collection. He told us that sometimes the pieces are still being made in the week leading up to the shows!

Whatever work ethic Giles and his business team choose to employ, there is no doubting that the ‘playfulness’ of fashion that once attracted him has helped him turn his love for clothes into a designing domain. His subversive but obtainable, high-end creations are a must for every woman wanting that extra bit of confidence.

The most recent Autumn/Winter ’09 collection appeared to be a step up from his previous work, with famous models being mixed with random girls from a street casting walking the catwalk together and all adding to the maturity of the pieces which were inspired from his time at London Central Saint Martins in the 80’s.

With spikes, animal print, suede and metallic’s all overlapping each other, it was an unquestionably strong collection and one that certainly highlights the phenomenon that is Giles.

Luckily for us, this budding designer has no intention of going anywhere at the moment as he is happy with the success of ‘Giles’, however he did say that if a ‘good, solid brand’ approached him in the future then he would consider it.

For the moment though, let’s enjoy and embrace the quirky, statement pieces that Giles keeps rolling out and be grateful that such a unique designer really is so down to earth.

To view Giles’s current collection plus his previous one, log on to Style.com Giles Deacon
Post by Katie Powell, London Fashion PR exec.
*For daily fashion and celebrity news, check out our fashion and celebrity news blog

Friday, 13 March 2009

Katie Holmes dazzes in ad campaign for Miu Miu!

Katie Holmes is just full of surprises! Watching her act in her role as Joey Potter, an intelligent, philosophical and bordering on innocent teen on cult tv programme Dawsons Creek, one would never have thought her life would turn out quite the way it has.

Over the course of just a few years Katie Holmes has married Tom Cruise, given birth to a beautiful little girl Suri Cruise, joined the church of Scientology, befriended Victoria Beckham, Acted in Broadway Production, and now... completely nailed it in a spectacular photoshoot for Miu-Miu's Spring 2009 ad campaign. We heard that she was going to do it back in November but I certainly didn't expect it to be this good. In my opinion this eastern influenced shoot is one that will turn heads and will most certainly prove to be a huge success for the uber-trendy design house.

Every shot conveys it's own unique emotive qualities. Katies perfectly defined facial structure and natural beauty is highlighted by the rooms intense lighting contrasts and deep shadows. Katie looks comfortable in front of the camera and encompasses the look of being striking yet graceful in every shot. I love the lighting, the bold and deep colours contrasting with black shadows, the outfits, mosaic prints, fabrics, heels, drapery. What is there not to like about this campaign? Katie Holmes has truly put herself on the map as a model, see for yourself...

Monday, 2 March 2009

The best of the week (London fashion week!)

After the success of New York Fashion week, last weekend saw the fashion packs go crazy for the start of London, and there was not a spare seat in sight as British and International press along with celebrities came by to see what was on offer from designers such as Luella Bartley, Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane and Vivienne Westwood.

Despite the economic situation, the designers insured their collections were still original and many revamped the catwalk by bringing back past trends but with a twist. Giles Deacon’s creations were inspired by the feel of London in the late 80’s when he was at St. Martins Fashion College mixed with London style today. Pieces included thigh high leather boots, body-con dresses with a rebellious feel to them using studs and spikes, and unique prints on silk dresses. In an interview with Vogue TV, he said, ‘we wanted to do a cross-section of what’s exciting about London at the moment with how I felt when I first started college.’

Many other designers impressed the fashion elite as they sent their models down the runway. Probably the most anticipated show of the week was that of Savannah and Sienna Miller, whose label, Twenty8Twelve, is most certainly designed for the urban, sexy girl; and with that in mind, their creations for Autumn/Winter 2009 certainly didn’t disappoint. For more on their debut, you can click here.

The design duo enjoying some well deserved applause. [Image via Vogue.com]

The week however is not just for the established designers who are used to showing off just how good they really are, but also for the fresh faces in fashion who are still working just as hard but need a way in to the designers domain, where recognition and respect are crucial for success.
This is where Vauxhall Fashion Scout comes in; a catwalk venue just up the road from the main fashion tent which supports these up and coming designers.
One of the most sophisticated shows to pop up on the sunny Saturday morning at the VFS, was that of Bryce D’Anice Aime, a French designer who was showcasing his work on the catwalk for the first time. D’Anice Aime, whose first ever collection was for Spring/Summer 2007 has clearly moved fast and is working hard in order to achieve a spot on the main fashion runway schedule in seasons to come.

With Natalie Wansbrough-Jones, senior fashion editor at ELLE UK styling the show, and Larare shoes beautifying the models feet, it was sure to be a stylish affair.

As Lady GaGa along with Mozart (an eccentric mix) blasted from the speakers, models emerged as what can only be described as exquisite pieces, with structured tailoring and luxurious fabrics coming together to make a dramatic infusion.

Structured shoulder styles are huge for Autumn/Winter 09.

My two most favourite looks included a long sleeved ivory shirt with longer side panels teamed with a metallic charcoal skirt which exuded the chic factor and some shiny skinny trousers in a metal colour pulled over a beautiful peach chiffon blouse.

The colour palette for the collection seemed to be this way inspired, with black, midnight blue, ivory and metal all providing a contrast to the softness of some of the pieces.

When I caught up with Bryce himself after the show, he explained that this collection ‘explores the dramatic universe of the Burlesque, inspired by the soft and hard edges of the showgirl world. Each piece is aimed at enhancing the wardrobe of the woman who likes to wear her garments from day to night.’

With this is mind I was instantly attracted to the pieces which on the one hand are somewhat daring with sheer mesh bodysuits but on the other extremely feminine with floaty dresses, but all very wearable.

The powerful themes behind Bryce’s creations have certainly worked well and with many of his key styles being spotted on the main runway later in the week with the mainstream designers, there is no doubt that he is bang on trend and it won’t be long until he is showcasing with the best of the best. (The piping spotted on one of Bryce’s skirts was a theme also used throughout Christopher Kane’s show later in the week.)

I will leave you with the designer’s final words to myself which completely sum up the perfection of the pieces and give you an insight into the creative mind of Bryce D’Anice Aime. ‘This collection is for the woman who wishes to create a distinct yet quiet drama within her wardrobe.’

To view Bryce’s current collection, Visit his website
The Autumn/Winter 2009 collection will also be presented at Tranoi, Paris.
For all sales enquiries contact @bryce-danice-aime.com
For all press enquiries contact harriet@bcpr-uk.com
All Bryce D’Anice Aime catwalk photography supplied by Mads Perch.

Post written by Katie Powell, London Fashion PR