Just like Christmas for the little ones, everyone and anyone in the fashion industry eagerly await to take their coveted seat at one of the most important events of the year… London Fashion Week! Whilst us mere mortal fashion addicts anticipate those in the Prada heels and designer outfits to report on their fabulously glamorous time from the front row and the ‘who’s who’, ‘who wore what’ ‘what to wear’ from the world of London fashion.
London Fashion Week is without a doubt one of the most exciting fashion weeks in the world… as the influential Lorraine Candy, Editor of ELLE UK, said herself “New York is slick, Milan is sexy and Paris is chic, but London is all about the new.” Every year London Fashion week sizzles with an air or unpredictability, and this year was no exception. From the hottest up and coming designers to the models of the moment and the new trends for Spring/ Summer 2009, London Fashion Week offered us it at all!
Ok we’re only just making the move into Autumn/ Winter 2008 and have yet to purchase that all-important winter wardrobe, but it’s always good to know what’s coming around the fashion corner. So here’s a round up of Spring/ Summer 2008 as brought to us from London Fashion Week…
There’s no mistaking that both London’s new and established generation of designers clearly made their mark upon the trends for Spring/ Summer 2009, with each and every designer’s collection successfully demonstrating a strong undertone of their unique independent and creative flair.
Christopher Kane highlighted his experimental approach to fashion, bringing us a close encounter of the dinosaur kind with a highly contemporary collection of chiffon and leather pieces adorned with stegosaurus-style scales.
Giles Deacon brought the 1980’s smack-bang into the future with his confident use of black, white, silver and primary colours running throughout a noticeably 80’s inspired collection of pencil skirts, dresses, skinny jeans and ballgowns. In comparison, Louise Goldin’s visionary collection of 3-D knitwear was nothing less than futuristic.
Staying true to his French roots, Charles Anastase added a hint of Victoriana to LFW with his delicately layered pieces, and other global influences could quite clearly be seen amongst Paul Smith’s collection. One of his best yet, the London designer brought us a wonderful mix of folkloric prints and North African tones.
Julien Macdonald surprised us all with his minimal use of bling amongst his sleek collection of tailored separates and column gowns, whilst John Rocha maintained his signature style in keeping his familiar Celtic references.
Although a slightly safer and more feminine collection than ever seen before by Dame Westwood, it worked. And of course, the shock tactics were out in full force with the gratuitous topless model!
London Fashion Week, Spring/ Summer 2009
While most people have begun the hunt for the perfect winter coat and boots, there’s a certain sector of society that are onto the next season without giving autumn/winter 08 another thought. That’s because last week London was transformed from capital city of the UK to fashion capital of the world, thanks to London Fashion Week.
Running for six whole days, the fashion pack flocked to hundreds of shows presenting the new spring/summer 09 collections. And although we lost some of our designers to New York (Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson- ahem), there was still the likes of Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Giles Deacon and Julien McDonald to fly the British fashion flag. Lighting up the stage with the latest creations, fashion week isn’t just about the clothes; it’s about what trends we can expect from the designers next season, and that doesn’t just include the cloth and thread that binds the outfits together. It’s about the entire package – from hair to make-up, shoes to bags, jewellery to sunglasses- even the soundtrack plays its part in relaying the designer’s inspiration and defining which target market they’re appealing to.
As you’d expect, one area that particularly caught our eye were the accessories, especially those of the sunglasses variety. Continuing to make an appearance on the catwalks were coloured frames with House of Holland intertwining flora and flowers around the upper rims of lime green and pillarbox red frames which, when combined with the rounded lenses, made them look a little John Lennon-esque (despite the rest of the show having a more 80s feel). Olanic also looked to be taking their inspiration from the 80s era with bright detailing in red and white and some creative designs in monochrome with rim-free lenses and winged frames. Over at Betty Jackson, black and white was also a popular choice for frames, which were presented with paler lenses and then worn propped at the end of the nose á la school teacher. Elsewhere, Todd Lynn showcased Linda Farrow sunglasses, Topshop Unique opted for blue-tinted lenses, and Ashish teamed up with accessory brand Tatty Divine and fashioned mirrored sunglasses into hair-bands and necklaces for a totally different take on the trend – genius.
Alexander McQueen, Ashish, Betty Jackson, Giles Deacon, House of Holland, Julien McDonald, London Fashion Week, Matthew Williamson, Olanic, Paul Smith, Todd Lynn, Topshop Unique, Vivienne Westwood
In recent years, many designers and artists have channelled their creative skills into designing clothes and accessories. A perfect example of this is the range of Nooka watches, designed by New York artist Matthew Waldman. Waldman aimed to create a new and innovative way to look at time and took great care in discovering new ways of presenting it in an abstract manner. Nooka is a boutique design company that focuses upon slightly edgier watches with a different time viewing layout that the norm – the watches tell the time in hour dots and dashes and incorporate a countdown status bar which increases as the hour passes by – very reflective of the current era, as if you are waiting for the hour to download.
These trendy and quirky looking watches come in a variety of styles ranging from slick and chic to bright and bold. One of the more futuristic styles with quite the sizeable display looks particularly abstract and very art inspired. The faces of all the watches are neither digital nor analogue and have been carefully designed to represent the time in a more visual yet though provoking way. The Nooka Zirc watches have a sophisticated feel with a black face and textured wrist band. In contrast, the Nooka ZUB20 Zot is made entirely from polyurethane and displays the hours as a progression of 12 dots. The watch is designed to combine fashion with function as is water resistant, durable and is available in black, white and canary yellow.
Celebrities are also favouring the Nooka brand – Kanye West sported one in his ‘Beatdowns’ portrait and Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg and Alicia Keys are also fans – the range has certainly become a strong contender in the most hip and trendy of the watch brands. Waldman aimed to create a more forward thinking way of telling the time and these watches with their quirky aesthetic design are definitely a fun, stylish and practical option plus despite sounding like you need a maths degree to read them, they are actually very simple to use!
Alicia Keys, alternative watches, Kayne West, Lil Wayne, Matthew Waldman, nooka, Nooka watches, Nooka Zirc, Nooka ZUB20 Zot, Snoop Dog
If you want to stay on top of your trends as we race towards London Fashion Week, you’ll keep your eyes peeled for the new range of Welder watches that’ll be appearing on Shadestation this October. From the designer of U-Boat watches, (aptly nicknamed ‘the billionaire’s beach watch’ due to their somewhat high price tag), Italo Fontana has created the ‘Welder’ range so us mere mortals can get a slice of the action too. With exactly the same design concepts, the main difference between the two ranges is that the U-boats use Swiss movement, whilst the Welders house Japanese quartz movement – a slightly cheaper alternative.
Military-inspired, the original range of U-boats were commissioned in 1942 for distinguished officers of the Italian navy, but the Welder is bang up-to-date in style and looks. The Yorkie bar of the watch world, these aren’t strictly for guys, but you’d have to be a pretty brave girl to strap this chunky timepiece on a dainty wrist. But despite looking big and bulky, Welder wearers have commented on how super-comfy they are, and although several designs have four corners – complete with Hex Head Cap Bolt, they’re neither sharp nor pointy so don’t dig-in or scratch. Another striking distinction between these watches and your Average Joe chronometer is the fact that the crown (sticky out bit you turn to change the time!) is on the left, but this isn’t a mishap – just a design trait, so don’t go strapping it on your right wrist.
Another quirky feature is the way these watches are delivered to their new owners. Rather than a flimsy case, Welder watches come neatly packed in a watertight box, complete with second strap – impressive or what? With innovative dials, interchangeable faces and variable colour contrasts, ‘watch’ this space, because in five weeks time, you’ll all want to get your mitts on a Welder Watch!
Watches are definitely the accessory of the season – some are classic, some edgy, some are even multi-functional and can be worn as a piece of sophisticated jewellery. What if you are looking for something completely unique, stylish and maybe even a little futuristic however? Tokyo Flash watches are the brand to get excited about if so, and undeniably have that ‘wow’ watch factor!
The range of Tokyo Flash watches are made in Japan and are snazzily high-tech, visually stylish and superbly allow us to express our inner geek. Think of maybe a futuristic Dick Tracey or even James Bond – these watches are not just simply made to appear visually appealing – along with using LED technology, the brains behind them have put some serious creative inspiration into producing them. The range comes in a variety of styles and functions; the Oberon watch for example, uses concentric rings to tell the time whereas the Pimp ‘Pusher’ uses a display comprising of lit up coloured dots which indicate the hours and minutes. In fact, the Pimp range has become a favourite on the fashion scene with its chic and futuristic look. Some Tokyo Flash watches even use Morse code signals to tell the time (if first thing in the morning you simply cannot fathom what the signals mean, there is a button which will display the correct time in standard digit form).
Although these watches may sound as though they would be more appealing to men (being a gadget and all!), they are actually becoming increasingly popular with women and the range now has a selection of funky styles created specifically for us ladies meaning that we can indulge in a bit of feminine geek chic. These are definitely a purposeful accessory statement and wearing one is sure to get you noticed as well as keeping that brain challenged and injecting an air of mystique and wonderment. Tokyo Flash watches are a creative break away from the norm so go on; why not unleash your inner Bond!
futuristic style watches, Oberon Tokyoflash, Pimp 'Pusher' Tokyoflash, Pimp Tokyoflash range, Tokyo Flash watches, Tokyoflash watches
Autumn is fast approaching, bringing with it the inevitable new season’s trends. The trends for Autumn/ Winter 08 are excitingly diverse, with structure, fabric and prints being the key defining characteristics. Accessories play a big part in A/W 08, get them right and you’re halfway there.
A practical but important accessory that can either make or break an outfit is the watch you choose to wear. Imagine the scenario – you’re dressed up to the nines heading out to a sophisticated ball. Every Cinderella needs to know when it’s that time of the evening to leave, so off you go in a little black dress, killer heels and fabulous accessories, finished off with your everyday well-worn watch… Not a good look! If you’re style savvy you’ll be the proud owner of a good selection of watches suitable for every occasion.
Buying a watch is as personal as buying perfume as everybody has their own taste, whether you prefer chunky to dainty, bling to leather, classic or trendy. Shade Station has a fabulous selection of watches and brands, so here’s a quick low down to guide you in choosing that perfect watch for A/W 08.
Black is Back
It’s a fashion cliché but there’s no escaping it this season – black is the new black! Autumn/ Winter 08 has an underlying dark romantic mood with a focus on black-on-black texture as sultry ladylike fabrics such as lace, ruffled tulle and sheer chiffon fuse with shiny patent, tough pvc and shimmering satin, killer heels and statement accessories. A classic black watch is a watch that can be worn anywhere anytime – fashion’s practical answer for stylish wrist wear making it the perfect investment for the forthcoming season.
With a backlash to S/S 08’s feminity, fashion’s fascination with all things hard and edgy doesn’t end there as goth and grunge goes glamorous for A/W 08. Patent, plastic, leather and rubber are key to this trend, whilst one of the season’s hottest prints – plaid – rebels against the darkness to bring that all important colourful punk influence to the theme.
Shade Station has some great transitional pieces to take you from summer to autumn, day to evening in style. (£60) - fashion’s practical answer for stylish winter cosiness.
When it comes to accessories, we’re talking robust! Think black leather and patent overloaded with studs, zips and buckles and chunky ankle length boots. Embrace your inner rock chick and toughen up any outfit with a chunky black leather watch. Gold and leopard print is also a must. This is fashion with serious attitude!
But of course this is the season to party – and never before have we seen such a multitude of bold brights and jewel colours, high-shine embellishments, interesting structures and luxurious fabrics sashay down the catwalk. On the opposite end of the structure spectrum were clean lines and figure-hugging shapes, loosened with ruffling and gathered details. Opulent is the key statement to sum up evening wear for A/W08.
This is where the calling for bling comes in! We’re talking watches embellished with diamantes, chunky gems and shiny shiny metals – the perfect complement for an evening dress or a statement accessory when teamed with a more casual outfit.
S/S 08 1970’s global traveller vibe brought us the freedom of loose tunic tops, flares and ethnic prints – a theme that continues through A/W 08 to bring the 1970’s bohemian spirit up-to-date for the noughties with a combination of vintage plaid, flared jeans, faux fur overload, dirndl skirts, bohemian accessories and rich exotic prints influenced by eclectic culture combinations.
As always when it comes to the boho look layering clothes is fundamental, so keep your wrist wear basic. Natural colours, brown leathers and interesting cut out details create the perfect finishing piece.
Autumn/ Winter 08 trends, watch
Bag yourself a brand new piece of history. It might sound like a contradiction in terms to you, but we couldn’t be more serious. That’s because Oakley have only gone and resurrected their iconic Frogskin shades- the very things that put them firmly on the fashion map over twenty years ago.
Giving everyone who owned a pair in the eighties a healthy slice of street-cred, Frogskins’s come under the same category as Rayban Wayfarer’s and are back to boost the retro rankings of those who missed out on the trend first time round! A firm favourite with celebrities like John Mayer, Joel Madden, Kanye West, Rihanna and Scarlett Johansson, it’s not just their ‘too cool for school’ credentials that make them so covetable – the fact that they’re limited edition certainly packs a punch too. Since being re-launched earlier this year, only 3000 of these sunnies have been produced, propelling them straight to the top of every fashionista’s wish-list. Originally available in over 50 colours, the new breed of frogskins’ have been made in limited colour batches with a new colourway introduced each month. Already released this year, styles have boasted fluro-yellow frames paired with ‘fire’ lenses, glow-in-the-dark frames with bronze lenses, white frames with violet lenses and dalmation frames with a grey lense tint for the more audacious.
Oakley have also recruited skateboarder Greg Lutzka to create a signature frame for the range, alongside Andrew Petterson who has created 50 hand-painted Frogskins as an extension of Oakley’s Artist Series program, expected to roll-out in October.
Another reason these sunglasses get the big thumbs up, is not only do they look the same as back in the day, they’ve been made in the same way too, and by re-tooling their manufacturing methods and equipment, Oakley have created an identical frame and lens combo as the original. And regardless of the fun factor the shades have, they even feature the patented Plutinite lenses that block out 100% UVA, UVB and UVC spectrum so your iris’s stay safe as well as stylish. Plus, if you see eye-to-eye with your partner (literally), when it comes to your signature style, you’ll be pleased to hear these amphibious pieces of eye-art are unisex, so you’ve got double the chance of getting your hands on a pair – grab it while you can.
Frogskins, John Mayer, Kanye West, Oakley, Oakley Frogskins, Oakley sunglasses, Rihanna, Scarlett Johansson
Earlier this year, Diesel was proud to unveil its new and most exclusive collection to date, Black Gold at New York Fashion Week. The new line is very exciting as it is edgier and slightly more glamorous and high-end than the previous collections. In true fashion style the recent launch party was held in a trendy loft space formally known as the studio of Martin Margiela the Belgian fashion designer. The room was filled with images featuring the Black Gold range and celebrities in attendance included Roisin Murphy and Tamsin Egerton.
The range is designed to appeal to those who are looking for a more unique, unpredictable and sophisticated sense of style. The clothing line works fantastically in keeping with autumn as the garments are all designed in muted shades and combine classic pieces with formal wear to create a sense of eclecticism. Similarly, the Black label exclusive men’s watches are also a special addition to the collection and effectively compliment the clothing. The Diesel watches come in a variety of styles, some more subtle and classic than others yet no matter how casual or formal, they all definitely make the feature accessory of the outfit. The different styles remain consistent in the sense that they convey masculinity, confidence and sophistication – an absolute statement accessory!
The Black Gold line was designed by a team led by Diesel’s creative director Wilbert Das. Das is keen to maintain and continue Diesel’s trademark unique personality but his aim with Black Gold collection is to boast a more refined and unexpected feel which is also reflected within the new range of watches. The collection will have its own unique tag featuring gold lettering on a black backdrop.
Black Gold, Black label men's watches, Diesel, Diesel watches, New York Fashion Week
X is for xtras…
…as in the finishing touches that makes an outfit an outfit. Right from the very bottom to the top- what you wear on your feet, to what you wear around your waist, wrists, neck to your ears. Accessories are important, and this season we’ve been chunky, chunky, and chunky! Chunky gladiator flats and heels, waist-cinching belts, bangles piled high up the arm and beads galore around the neck.
Well summer’s almost up (have we even had a summer?!), and as Autumn/ Winter 2008 approaches the jewellery overload trend continues, but with a difference. It’s time to ditch the beads in favour of chunky chain links to drape around the neck and wide embellished metal wrist cuffs. Shade Station has a fabulous range of accessories, enabling you to easily update your accessory collection at the click of mouse without the need to get out your brolly and wrap up warm to brave the cold and wet weather!
Y is for Yellow…
…The colour of the season to wear in every way, shape or form. This season we can even get away with reliving the 80’s yellow make-up fad if bright and bold make-up is the thing for you. Keep your yellows pastel, layer over white if you’re unsure, and you’ll look summery in an instant. If you’re feeling alternative, take a golden leaf out of Marni’s book and replace your blusher with eye shadow.
Z is for Zebra…
…Animal prints are massive for Spring/ Summer 2008 and zebra print proves a great alternative to leopard for a softer, more summery exotic style. However, as with any animal print it’s what you choose to wear it with that determines your ‘look’. Floaty is for summer, but as we head into A/W 08 animal print takes a turn down the grunge route and really does celebrate the tough and wild side of animals!
However, this is grunge with a glam rock twist, commanding jewellery in abundance. Roberto Cavalli’s signature lavishness and love of animal prints continues through his jewellery range, making his collection your one-stop shop for the key transitional pieces to take you into autumn in style. Chunky chain links, python style bangles and tusk pendants in black and white zebra print worn with patent and you’re there!
Karen Millen watches