In her show notes, the Ukrainian born, London based designer described her collection as 'an eclectic clash,” a juxtaposition of “supreme femininity . . . with harder utilitarian references.' Hinting at her homeland roots, Zinko opened her debut show with a series of looks that seemed to stem from the traditional Eastern European floral scarf. Think voluminous sleeved dresses, a quilted robe coat and a figure-hugging polo neck. Next came a series of sportswear looks including camo prints followed by reworked denim pieces, shredded jackets and jeans some spliced with floral prints or leather. The footwear also deserves a mention. Flat slouchy knee high boots in turquoise and beige were paired with dresses while fuzzy slippers in crimson and canary yellow added a fun novelty factor.
'I always said I would never do a catwalk, as I didn’t like it being about the glamour and the girls and the beauty,' Faustine Steinmetz explains backstage after her first ever runway show. 'In the end I actually felt quite free. I was really happy just to focus on the clothes and the pieces so I actually really enjoyed it.' With her past presentations channeling more of an art installation feel, you knew it was unlikely that Faustine was going to make do a traditionally glamorous show and with its diverse casting and soundtrack, it felt distinctly her. Entitled 'FACSIMILE' the London based designer took ten classic pieces including blue jeans, a white t-shirt and a trench coat, photocopied the patterns and then gave them her own signature spin. 'I wanted to show for the first show what the brand is about and take ten pieces that everyone has in their wardrobe at some point and just redo them and deconstruct them and reconstruct them,' Faustine explained. 'But I was always keeping the same patterns. That’s where the title of the collection came from because it’s always keeping the same patterns of those I found.' The results were quite extraordinary, think painted jeans that became a rubbery material, tops and skirts made from thousands of tiny yarns so they looked threadbare, and a squidgy looking jacket made from silicone. Faustine also played on the idea of luxury with models carrying handbags similar to the iconic Fendi baguette, this time emblazoned with her initials. 'Fendi is such an emblem of what a designer bag is,' she explained. 'I really wanted to hammer home that we were about classics. In general I like to stay away from luxury. I don’t like when fashion is un-relatable. When you start with pieces that people already have you can be more creative. The collection starts out looking like sculptures and then eventually they look like clothes,' she added. The fact that Faustine can make these pieces both utterly desirable and wearable shows just how much she is one to watch.
'For me it's all about making clothes that real people can wear everyday but are still special,' the Korean born, London based designer explained post show. To hammer home her point about how diverse the 'Rejina Pyo woman' is, she cast her show via social media. 'I really wanted people who love our brand to be part of this,' she said whilst pointing out the clients and friends who had flown in from New York and Berlin to walk in her debut show. Set in a Quaker Centre, Pyo's cast walked around a section of mirrored floor beneath a giant pyramid shaped skylight to an emotive soundtrack featuring Kate Bush's 'Running Up That Hill,' and The Cranberries 'Dreams.' Citing Nicholas Nixon's Photographic series "Forty Years of The Brown Sisters" as her inspiration, which captures portraits of four sisters who have been photographed every year since 1975, Pyo showcased a collection of universal appealing pieces. Her flattering and easy but totally skillfully cut silhouettes are what women IRL want to wear. Think loose tailored trousers, double-breasted jackets and asymetrical skirts. Mismatched stone buttons, exposed stitching and a colour palette varying from whitewashed stone to sage green and hot pink hammered home the something for everyone theme, while the more evening looks including a crimson coloured ruffled gown and a gold lame bias cut dress were a welcome surprise. Accessories added a final modern touch including bucket style bags in which the models carried plastic corn-on-the-cobs and Alexander Calder-esque earrings designed in collaboration with Anissa Kermiche.
Founded by Natalia Alaverdian in 2012, A.W.A.K.E, an acronym for All Wonderful Adventures Kindle Enthusiasm, has become one of those brands that fashion editors and the street style name drop when asked 'Who are you wearing?' Loved for her shirting and dresses, her debut show did not disappoint with look after look being 'grammed' on the front row. Cutting and splicing, Alaverdian showed off her tailoring slick skills on shirts, shirt-dresses, coats and trenches. Belts came as plastic clasped hands, which were both flattering and highly Instagrammable. Cotton dresses, in putty coloured hues were shown alongside others covered in giant polka dots prints and swirly flowers. Giant poplin shopping bags with wooden handles featuring prints of peaches are sure to replace last summer's obsession with the basket bag while beehive shaped straw hats some with plastic faces embedded into the back reflected Alaverdian's love of Japanese art and culture.