Today, partnerships between retailers and designers on diffusion collections is the norm. With Topshop continuing to collaborate with their NEWGEN designers and Whistles teaming up with Roksanda Ilincic, it's easy to forget that Debenhams spearheaded this all. The department store is known for teaming up with British heavyweights like John Rocha and Julien Macdonald and now, they've just snapped up Marios Schwab to design four collections under their Edition concept.
The premise of Edition is simple. It allows less established designers to introduce customers to their brand at purse-friendly prices. The news comes just two days after Schwab showed his spring/summer 2012 collection at London Fashion Week to critical success and the move means that he's joining an impressive line-up. Ilincic and Jonathan Saunders have designed collections for the department store.
'It has been a great experience to introduce elements of the DNA of my lavel to a wider range of women, taking inspirations from signature pieces of my collections and adapting them into a product for a customer who is confident and knows exactly what she is looking for in her wardrobe,' the designer said in a statement. 'I wanted to introduce her and challenge her with a capsule range that incorporates my vision for the perfect dresses for all occasions.'
On the whole London Fashion Week has failed to excite this season but you can always count on Marios Schwab to get us interested. This season he cited Marlene Dietrich as his inspiration and it translated instantly on the opening looks like a selection of a ultra feminine but powerful belted knee length dresses teamed with elbow length leather gloves and T-bar heels that were the source of conversation long after the show ended. Considering that the screen siren was Schwab's starting point for fall, it only made sense that he showed a trouser suit. Rather than taking the obvious route and doing a copy of the white version she famously wore, he created a brown one instead teamed with a beautiful sheer blouse.
While the beginning of the collection felt geared to a mature customer, as the show progressed he introduced playful and youthful pieces like a cream dress with black cap sleeves and a shorter hemline than the opening dresses . His body conscious styles came in patterns that looked like harmonographs, which helped add a modern twist from the conservative beginning. Evening dresses were as strong as always and came in sheer styles that tapped into the mermaid feeling that we saw at Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Valentino last season
This season's London Fashion Week is a special one for Topshop as it marks the tenth year that the retailer has been sponsoring NEWGEN, an intitative to fund the shows of London's best design talent. To celebrate the anniversary they have teamed up with twenty designers that they have worked with, past and present, - including Holly Fulton, Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou - to create a special line of t-shirts that will be available in strores and online from Friday February 17 to Tuesday February 22.
The stylist looking after Emily Blunt is doing a good job. Whether she's papped off-duty or on the red carpet, she always gets it right. Yesterday she looked spot on this lattice-constructed Marios Schwab dress to attend the premiere of 'Salmon Fishing In The Yemen' at the 23rd Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.
In the past London Fashion Week was the city that everyone felt like they could afford to miss but with the support of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund, things have really turned around for London. The program, which provides all of the short listed designers with an industry mentor and £200,000 for the winner, has helped propel the businesses of previous winners Erdem Moraliglu and Christopher Kane. Both designers success in the UK and beyond is testament to the success of the program.
Yesterday the BFC announced that this year's short listed designers are: Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou, Richard Nicoll, Marios Schwab, Peter Pilotto, Meadham Kirchoff and Zoe Jordan, as well as Nicholas Kirkwood.
London Fashion Week was off to a slow start until Marios Schwab showed his S/S12 collection earlier this week. There was a collective sigh of relief when the first model hit the runway in a monochromatic strong halter neck dress with a netted effect that had a chiaroscuro look. The perforated fabrics dominated the collection appearing in peach, white and lavender on dresses whilst also popping up on cropped jackets teamed with high waisted wide leg trousers. The swimwear were not my favourite pieces of the collection but his experimentation with fabrics definitely serve an applause. The shiny layered fabrics that dominated the end of the collection felt fresh and modern and were different from what we've seen elsewhere.
Yesterday saw the second opening of the British Designers Collective pop up shop in Bicester Village. The event marked the second time the British Fashion Council and the discount retail outlet have collaborated to bring the best of Britain's new designers under one roof. A/W2010 pieces were made available at the event for a select group of press and industry before the carefully selected pieces will be made available for the wider public today.
The collaboration is all in aid of pushing awareness of British brands to an international market. In the welcome speech, a representative from the shopping village explained that their loyal customers are usually from the Middle East and Russia, making the partnership the perfect idea to propel the designers brands globally. 21 designers have participated this year including Jonathan Saunders, Todd Lynn, Felder Felder, Marios Schwab and Fash Pack favourite, Holly Fulton. Accessories were also available from Georgina Goodman, Jane Carr, Fiona Paxton and Lara Bohnic.