Earlier on this week the British Fashion Council played host to the third British Designer's Collective pop-up shop at Bicester Village and just about every journalist in London was there to celebrate. As we reported, Alexa Chung replaced Thandie Newton this year to open the shop in line with her new role as the BFC's Style Ambassador.
'I am proud to support Value Retail on their British Designers' Collective pop up store at Bicester Village,' she said. 'The initiative opens up a whole new market to the participating designers that they might not otherwise have access to at this stage in their career. I look forward to choosing some key pieces from their collections for myself.' Starting from this week, great British brands like Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders and Holly Fulton will be available for up to 60% percent off but for a limited time only so don't waste time. Get down there soon.
Since Alexa Chung was announced as the new Style Ambassador for the British Fashion Council, they've been keeping her busy. Aside from her more general duty to promote British fashion talent abroad, Chung has also been booked to host the Scottish Fashion Awards and now she's working on something else too.
Today the BFC confirmed that the presenter will serve as the spokesperson for the annual British Designers Collective, which takes place at Bicester Village. Chung will replace Thandie Newton and open as well as host the launch of the initiative on March 21. Now in it's third year, the Designers Collective is a six-week pop-up shop based at the outlet shopping destination allowing international shoppers to discover great British brands like Holy Fulton, Jean-Pierre Braganza and Emma Cook, which are all available at discounted prices.
By Tuesday at London Fashion Week, most are extremely sleep deprived and already anxious about doing it all over again in Milan so with that in mind, Holly Fulton's fall 2012 collection was the perfect antidote to the fashion week blues. The show opened with a hot pink oversized blazer with her signature graphic prints as the model stepped out to a great soundtrack. Even the die hard minimalists at the show left with a smile on their faces and that's all part of Fulton's charm.
Anyone that has followed her over the last few years would not have been surprised that she experimented with colour for fall. While this is something that many designers have done this season, colour has become synonymous with her brand and it's this uncompromising commitment to her aesthetic, regardless of what everyone else is doing, that has quickly won her a legion of fans. "It's not something that I'm conscious of when I'm designing," she told me backstage. "I just always design what I want to wear and what I think looks great and hope that other people will like it too." And it's working.
Holly Fulton is a designer that we all look forward to see. Her collaboration with Swarovski always feels organic and natural and works perfectly when combined with her signature prints. Fulton's collections always feel special. There's no gimmicks, no jumping on trend bandwagons. Her shows are always true to the brand and this season the intricate embellishments, bold colours and reworked prints proved exactly why her pieces are worth the investment.
The coloured fringed hemlines on dresses that have appeared over the last few seasons popped up again and like for A/W12, yellow featured heavily throughout. But don't get me wrong, the collection was far from being samey. For spring, Fulton introduced a new zebra print on bags, oversized cardigans, super luxe pantsuits and on a cropped bomber jacket. The collection also had subtle 60's undertone but done in a modern way. Typically sixties mini dresses came in monochromatic printed styles heavily embellished with Swarovski crystals, adding a tough edge to the reocurring style.
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.
I always prefer the Fall collections to spring/summer but this season the London collections have left me disappointed. On the whole, creativity and freshness has been lacking in the capital but Holly Fulton managed to the buck the trend this morning showing a collection that left editors (and Samantha Cameron) leaving with a smile on their face.
As you would expect from Fulton, colour was everywhere. Mini dress came in bright yellow and black and maxi dresses came in teal, azure and reds and pinks. A loose fitting white dress came with a Mongolian fur trim in Fulton's signature skyline print which was accompanied by red lips. The evening dresses were a lot sexier than we saw last season, with maxi dresses coming with cut outs showing off the small of the back.