Topshop always deliver amazing collaborations. Over the years they've teamed up with everyone from Michael van der Ham to Mary Katrantzou and now the fruits of their partnership with JW Anderson are about to drop.
Today images from the designer's women's collection for the store were released online ahead of the launch on September 14 to coincide with the start of London Fashion Week and the line is everything we hoped for. Rather than being a watered down version of his mainline, Anderson made it clear that he wanted the collection to feel like more of a continuation of what he does best. 'It's for the same girl and is based upon the same idea. I feel collaborations should be a reflection, not something that veers off into another zone,' he revealed. The high street and luxury market are inherently close. Without one the other doesn't exist. I feel like that is modernity now.'
'For me, Topshop is integral to London Fashion Week,' Anderson told Vogue. 'It's everything that sums it up. I have worked on this collection with my sister in mind because I wanted it to be accessible. I feel like we are at a time where we want a fanfare; something fun, accessible and easy,' so expect fun prints and his signature pieces alongside classic shirts, footwear and stationary pieces too.
Earlier on this week Peter Pilottospoke to the Wall Street Journal about how exciting London Fashion Week has become in recent years. 'London Fashion Week is becoming a stronger fashion week,' he said. 'I guess London has realized it has to support its new talent' and if there's someone that's supported young British talent and made that happen, it's Lulu Kennedy.
Yesterday her commitment to supporting fresh design talent through Fashion East was recognised as she was honoured with an MBE at Buckingham Palace. Big names on the London Fashion Week schedule like Jonathan Saunders, Michael van der Ham and Roksanda Ilincic all have Kennedy to thanks for helping kick start their careers. 'Today was such an honour for me and something I will never forget,' she told Telegraph Fashion. "I only wish I had been able to take each and every one of my dedigners with me. I can't wait to celebrate with them this evening.'
Michael Van Der Ham's fall collection on Monday was highly anticipated for several reasons. The success of his last show helped him secure Net-A-Porter as a new stockist, which is a big deal for any designer let alone one that is only four seasons old. Aside from that, I was really interested to see how the Dutch designer would push the brand forward. Last season was particularly successful for him as it marked a return to the patchwork aesthetic that grabbed our attention when he first arrived on the scene, especially since he moved away from it for his velvet-heavy Fall 2012 collection. But with that said, there was always going to be a time where people would want to see what else he could do and that's exactly what he proved this week.
The patchwork wasn't there so much this season. Instead, the collection was more refined and accessible than what he has shown before. The intricate incorporation of mixed prints on the dresses hinted at the patchwork whilst allowing him to push the aesthetic forward. "I've really moved on from the patchwork," he told me after the show. "It was much more intricate today and many pieces were handmade." But this wasn't the only change this season. Knitwear featured more prominently compared to their seldom appearances in the past. They often came in bright printed styles that and were among the most wardrobe ready pieces of the collection. "We've done knitwear before but just not on such intricate pieces," he explained. "I really wanted work on it and develop them this season." And it's this attention to detail and emphasis on quality that is keeping buyer's interested, especially at a time where department stores are less likely to take a risk on young brands.
You'll be forgiven for forgetting that Michael Van Der Ham's S/S12 show was only his third stand alone collection. The confidence in which he showed his latest collection was that of a season pro and he has everything to be confident about.
Last season he went down a completely different route from what he showed for S/S10. Instead of working on his signature patchwork aesthetic that was went down really well with press and buyers, he opted for a collection full of velvet. While good on the eye, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed that he strayed away from the key aesthetic that set him apart from all of other designers showing in London. But not to worry, all is restored as the Dutch designer went back to his roots yesterday playing with the patchwork style that got us all excited last September.
You could see that the collection was well thought out and that van der Ham had seriously relooked at how to take his S/S10 collection to the next level. The mismatched prints felt a lot more focused coming in shades of colours like bright yellow, pink, orange, blue and white but not all on one look. Instead, van der Ham played with complimentary tones like varying shades of blue teamed with white on one look for example, which made the collection feel a lot more wearable for the print-scared consumer. London is often a dichotomy between wearability or avant garde and creativity but with his latest collection, van der Ham proved that designers don't have to compromise one for the other.
Over the last few years, Fashion Fringe has become a highlight and unmissable addition to the London Fashion Week schedule. Some of London's finest including William Tempest, Basso & Brooke, Michael van der Ham and Erdem have all participated in the competiton and now, they're on the hunt for the next big accessories designers.
Today it was announced that Roger Vivier will be the partner of the competition and the brand's creative director Bruno Frisoni will serve as the chair. The winner will join Frisoni for a six month work placement with the brand."I was lucky to be able to follow my dream," Firsoni said. "Therefore for me it is a privilege to play but a small part to encourage our next generation of yound designers to create their own vision - to set out on their adventures with confidence and conviction and with the support of Fashion Fringe Accessories these may become a unique reality."
If you want to be involved in the competition, sign up here.
Last season we all had the British Fashion Council's New Gen to thank for sponsoring our favourite shows. Holly Fulton, Michael Van der Ham and David Koma all received sponsorship to produce their critically acclaimed spring/summer 11 collections and today, the British Fashion Council revealed that all three will receieve sponsorship again this season. Come february they will join Louise Gray and Mary Katrantzou who will also get funding for a runway show.
Claudia Schiffer, Jefferson Hack and Nicholas Kirkwood
On Thursday the British Fashion Council announced the 2010 nominees for the British Fashion Awards. Chosen by the British Fashion Council Press Committee - which includes British Vogue's Alexandra Schulman, Harper's Bazaar's Lucy Yeoman and Sarah Mower - the nominees didn't come as a surprise. Case in point: Phoebe Philo is nominated as designer of the year for her work at Celine, which is fitting considering the fact that this year's trend towards minimalism has been branded a result of the 'Philo Effect'. Similarly Burberry is unsurprisingly nominated for designer brand of the year and quite rightly so.
Unfortunately we still have a while to wait before the winner's are announced. The event will take place on Dec 7th in London's Savoy Hotel.