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Thursday, 22 September 2016

London Fashion Week SS17

Here's a round up of my favourite shows from London Fashion Week spring/summer 2017:

Julien Macdonald SS17
 
For me, Julien Macdonald’s show is always a highlight of the LFW schedule. More often than not, grey skies and rain make an appearance so it’s a welcome relief to be transported into Macdonald’s high octane, super glam world. This season, Macdonald took his inspiration from Africa, albeit a luxurious molten gold Africa with a rock ‘n’ roll edge. Next season, expect to see the Julien Macdonald girl clad in all shades of metallic with snakeskin and fringing details and cutouts galore. A stunning collection which was opened and closed with model-of-the-moment Hailey Baldwin, but for a show inspired by Africa I would have liked to see a bit more diversity.
 
 
Roksanda SS17
 
At first glance Roksanda Illincic’s vision of summer in 2017 doesn’t look, well, very summery. Long, languid layers in a colour palette of saffron, burnt orange, cool navy and liquid gold seem more well suited for autumn than summer. But with her signature effortless elegance, she has created a beautiful airiness with voluminous silhouettes which make me think of long, lazy days in Capri. A stunning collection.
 
Mary Katrantzou SS17
 
This season sees Mary Katrantzou return to form after a couple of tricky seasons. Known for her signature digital prints, Katrantzou diversified away from this aesthetic but spring/summer 2017 sees her return to her roots in more ways than one. Ancient Greek references such as key patterns and vase-like silhouttes merged with psychedelic prints resulting in a bold, sometimes chaotic, collection. Like the Roksanda show layers were key, skater dresses layered with slip dresses, peplums layered over maxi skirts, floaty tunics layered over flared trousers. Ancient Greece meets bold retro prints for huge style statement that is sure to grace the style set next season.
 
 
Simone Rocha SS17
 
Simone Rocha is a master of the artful juxtaposition and spring/summer is no exception. Pretty, white lace and buttercup yellow dresses contrasted with heavy duty rubber gloves and Perspex boots, inspired by Jackie Nickerson’s farm photography. The resulting off-kilter collection lands just on the right side of pretty, with the utilitarian accessories grounding the frothy innocence of the organza and broderie anglaise As usual, a standout collection during the LFW schedule.
 
 
Barbara Casasola SS17
 
Barbara Casasola’s spring/summer 2017 collection offered up a clean palette, a welcome change from London’s inevitable carnival of colour and print. Beautiful 50s Italian vibes echoed through the collection, with full skirts and runic tops alongside signature ribbed knitwear in an earthy, neutral shades.  There was something extremely satisfying about such a clean, beautiful collection which has me yearning for summer. 
 
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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

London Fashion Week: Ashish SS17

 
I love Ashish Gupta, his namesake label can always be relied upon for fun, sparkles and some light relief during the relentless London schedule. His collections also hold a soft spot for me for personal reasons, his show at Hippodrome was the first ever on-schedule show I attended at London Fashion Week some 12 seasons ago.
 
This season, his collection strikes a chord for different reasons. Almost overnight, post-Brexit Britain has made a lot of ethnic minorities feel uncomfortable - Gupta moved to London in the 90s and said that this is the first time he felt unwelcome in the country he regards as home. His spring/summer 2017 collection is a beautiful celebration of Indian culture with stunning saris and sherwanis alongside the London uniform of tracksuits and urban streetwear – a bold statement about the fusion of British and Indian culture and belonging.
 
His collection speaks to me due to my own Indian heritage. As a second generationer, I’m acutely aware of walking the line between the culture I grew up with and the culture of my parents and grandparents. I think most people of colour living in Britain are conscious of existing somewhere in the middle of two worlds and trying to carve out an identity somewhere between the two. For me, it’s so beautiful to see a LFW show celebrating Indian culture with Indian styling, including traditional jewellery and plait extensions I used to wear to weddings. To recognise the blue painted faces as the goddess Kali. To see my favourite model Neelam Gill walking the runway.
 
I also loved the beautiful cast of models, white, black, Indian and pretty much everything in between. While diversity in the industry is a hot topic, I’m still appalled at the lack of Indian models fronting campaigns and walking the runway. Props to Ashish for creating such a beautiful collection and celebrating diversity, unity, Indian culture and being British all in one unforgettable collection. 
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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Livestream: Tom Ford AW16


Back to life, back to reality! After a short hiatus, I'm pleased to announce that I'm back to blogging - just in time for Fashion Month! To celebrate my return, I'm partnering with Tom Ford to take you to the front row for his much anticipated AW16 show. Back in February, Mr Ford announced that he will show his autumn/winter 2016 collection in September instead of following the traditional format of showing in February. Menswear and womenswear will be shown together and available immediately after the show, in a move which realigns his business model to anticipate an instantaneous consumer appetite. In a statement explaining the decision, Ford stated, "In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers, is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense. We have all been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era.".

Tune in at 2.15am GMT / 9.15pm EST to view the show live right here.

 

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Top Five: Nasir Mazhar for Topman


While big sister brand Topshop is a pro at big-name collaborations with overnight queues and hysteria, little brother brand Topman has always taken a more understated approach. Collaborations with the likes of Agi + Sam have launched successfully but fairly quietly, without the frenzy and panic whipped up before every other high street collaboration. That’s not to say the collections aren’t covetable – it’s clear that each collaboration is well thought out and considered, with a close partnership between the Topshop design team and the talented creative directors of the brand. Design signatures are carried through and there is obvious synergy between the brand’s main collection and the more affordable line at Topman.
 
I actually prefer the way the menswear collaborations run – less hype and more focus on the actual collection. Topman are definitely doing it right too, collaborating with the right brands who are a natural fit for their customers. Their latest collaboration is no different. Building on the success of their last collaboration, with streetwear superstar Astrid Andersen, the Topman team have partnered with Nasir Mazhar. Starting his fashion career with headpieces and hats, Mazhar soon expanded into full menswear and womenswear RTW collections soon after creating hats for the 2012 Olympic Ceremony – iconic!
 
The 10-piece Nasir Mazhar collection for Topman takes his super cool streetwear aesthetic and translates design signatures including embroidery and distinctive oversize fit into accessible high street pieces with a price tag between £40-80. The collection can be broken down into 5 outfits, including an incredible hot pink towelling co-ord set. The collection is super covetable, here are the five pieces I have my eye on:

 
  1. Nasir Mazhar x Topman track shorts - £50Rihanna is making a strong case for dressing basketball shorts up with heels and crop tops, which is exactly how I’d style this sporty pair, which are typical Nasir.
  2. Nasir Mazhar x Topman bluetowelling sweatshirt - £50I love the towelling pieces in the collection, especially this baby blue sweatshirt. Perfect for pairing with denim cut offs or dressing down a metallic midi skirt.
  3. Nasir Mazhar x Topman blend tshirt - £25I love the colours in this tee, really bold and fun. I’d either get an oversize version to wear as a dress or crop a small tshirt.
  4. Nasir Mazhar x Topman pink towelling shorts - £50I am totally obsessed with this co-ord set! Obsessed. I want them both and I want to wear them together and separately and with heels and trainers. Just everyday. http://tidd.ly/ead5dd88
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Friday, 5 August 2016

Life


Life is  a funny thing. We go hurtling through it at a seemingly relentless pace, which only seems to speed up as years go by. As a kid, I remember an hour stretching between the present moment and infinity. Now, days and even weeks go by at the blink of an eye. Life, particularly in  city like London, just doesn’t seem to stop. It just presses on with ruthless force. Living and working in London sometimes just feels like getting swept up by the tide. But every so often, it needs to stop. For your sanity, your peace of mind, your wellbeing. Sometimes it’s good to just step back for a while. This is the point I’m now at. I need to take a little hiatus from life to recharge, recoup and restore.
 
I haven’t blogged for a little while and I’m not quitting, I just need some time for myself to sleep, fall in love with cooking again and to curl up with all the good books I’ve been meaning to read. I’ll see you in a month, just before Fashion Month kicks off. In the meantime, you can keep up with my life on Instagram or Snapchat (Reena_Rai).
 
See you on the flipside.
 
Reena
x
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