Last month Joanna Sykes sadly left her role at Aquascutum and at the time, nothing was said about what her next move would be. Today, though, Nicole Farhi has confirmed that they have appointed her as the new creative director of the brand.
'Nicole Farhi has always been about timeless style and effortless elegance,' Farhi said in a statement. 'Jo understands these qualities and bring a fantastic eye for detail, as well as a great understanding of cut, proportions and fabrication,' and it's true. Her work at Aquascutum always proved a hit with critics but was often clouded by the label's financial woes. Hopefully her new role will enable her to deliver more of what we know she can do.
Sykes will start at the beginning of September so her first collection will be for A/W13.
Last week's Nicole Farhi show was a big one for the brand, as it marked its 30th anniversary. Rather than making the anniversary the focus, Farhi made the emphasis all about the clothes. As the show began it quickly became clear why she continues to be a force to be reckoned with.
The collection was strong. Last season's emphasis on florals and femininity gave way to a new strength and easy confidence. Shapes were often tailored and severe and came in a dark colour palette of charcoal, grey and black alongside a series of rich colours like olive green and mustard. This idea also translated on the hair and make-up. Hair came slicked back at the front but with some texture at the back to play with this idea of androgyny and power without compromising on femininity, Sam McKnight told me backstage.
Simple pieces like a long sleeved dress and a classic high waisted pencil skirt teamed with a sheer turtleneck felt modern through the use of a metallic wave across the front. The use of colour alongside the metallics and confetti skirts that appeared towards the end of the show helped give a dark but mysterious twist to what would otherwise have been a very conservative collection
Just because we know you want to see more from backstage at Nicole Farhi, we've got more pictures from you from what when on backstage as the models hit the runway as well as more shots from hair and make-up.
Yesterday we were lucky enough to shoot backstage at Nicole Farhi's Spring/Summer 12 show held at London's Royal Horticultural Centre. This season Farhi bagged a winning hair and make-up team as Charlotte Tilbury took care of make-up, sending the models out in sunkissed natural but contoured skin and Sam McKnight created a sleek up 'do for the models hair.
Simple shapes were given an edge yesterday at Nicole Farhi. At first glance, the collection was ultra feminine but this season Farhi really played with textures elevating looks that we would expect for summer with a playful use of fabrics and textiles.
As we've seen elsewhere this season, floral prints appeared on tailored trousers teamed with bright tops that slung low under the arm adding a modern twist to what would have been quite a conservative collection. A selection of white pieces towards the end of the show also tapped into the floral trend but Farhi made it different but presenting them on lazer cut leather on a sleeveless top and knee length skirt. Though elegant at the front, even the closing gown was given a modern twist by having a T bar shape on the back with cut outs and classic summer dresses often came in racer back styles.
Nicole Farhi has reached new and exciting heights with her latest venture - NF Zoo. Across London, magical animal sculptures entered each of her seven stores to mark the month of May last weekend. Previous success of Nicole's collaboration with illustrator Esther Coombs who drew famous landmarks the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben onto the glass of store windows made Farhi eager to team up with yet another artist for this venture.
Benedetta Mori-Ubaldini is the Milanese sculptor behind the exquisite hand-made pieces in stores now which feature a giant bunny (very Alice and Wonderland-esque), giraffes, donkeys and even geese. Born from chicken wire which is twisted and then shaped to create the realistic figures, Nicole is said to be thrilled with the outcome and finished pieces. Juxtaposed with the ethereal mannequins sporting the latest high-summer collection in a grassy surrounding is a sight not to be missed. We recommend taking a stroll to the flagship store on New Bond Street where the largest display can be found. We won't spoil the surprise but it certainly will not disappoint. The zoo closes mid-June but do not fear, the animals will be needing a home and so they are available to buy, that is if you fancy starting your own NF zoo anytime soon.
One of the talking points each season at fashion week is the subject of models - who will walk for whom? Will there be any newcomers on the block? More recently there has been an element of surprise in the ways of casting for the shows - with Mark Fast and his tendency to shock with plus-size models, and Marc Jacobs and his mix of 'street casting', alongside using his overtly beautiful employees to bring back a sense of the 'real woman'.
This aside, there were the usual appearance of model newbies at London Fashion Week - some more prominent than others. Karmen Pedaru was lucky enough to be chosen by Christopher Bailey to open and close the talk of LFW,Burberry, whilst Kristy Kaurova opened her first show at Paul Smith. Opening for Jaeger London, Matthew Williamson and Nicole Farhi saw Sigred Agren continue to be in demand. However, there might be a new girl about town - Julia Nobis. Having being booked an exclusive for Calvin Klein in New York, she then opened Richard Nicoll and Topshop Unique in London, and then bagged the Pradashow in Milan. We'll be watching Paris with anticipation for Nobis, surely the one to watch for this season.