Can you introduce yourself? I was born in a small industrial city in China. I started my own label in 2018, after graduating from Central Saint Martins womenswear course 3 years ago. What are your main inspirations for this collection? I was inspired by the […]
Auteur : Koura-Rosy
For the last episode of Little Britain, I kept the best for the end in order to finish on a high note. You might have guessed from the previous episode, this journey has been deeply enriching and calming. During this entire trip I have never been so happy. Nothing was missing. I know traveling doesn’t always mean comfort or extraordinary. However, some trips are just perfect and you can’t use any other words to describe them. I think these two days in Oxfordshire have been the most wonderful I ever had. It was the icing on the cake, the culmination of my happiness. Sometimes when I’m in doubt, I just need to think about those two days. I’ve never been to Oxfordshire before, and to be fair, I’ve never seen truly British countryside until this trip. Let me say that I was totally in the ignorance. Indeed, I only had the image of London in my mind when I though about Great Britain. Thanks to this travel, my opinion about this country is now totally different. Of course, I’ve been to places like Cambridge, and Leeds Castle before. And at this time, I was already falling in love with this country. This family trip has just increased my obsession. More and more, I am convinced that Britain can be the country of my heart. I could probably leave there without any doubts. Not only because of the fashion industry, but also the lifestyle, the philosophy and the landscapes are all seducing me a lot. I might glorify a little bit the life there, nevertheless, I deeply think that I could be like a fish in the water. France is as well a beautiful country with plenty of sceneries. However the mentality is more and more far from my own philosophy.
7:45am Last Breakfast in Chelsea
This morning, we woke up really early because my parents were leaving. They didn’t came with us in Oxfordshire. As my sister is living far from France – more precisely in Canada – those goodbyes were quite emotional to be honest. As you might bet, living far from family can be a really hard experience, especially in my family. We all are very close. So this day started with tears and nostalgia. We let our parents go in a taxi at the Hotel. Then after a small nap, we’ve been seeking for a place to eat in Chelsea. I’m not a breakfast person, I’ve never been one. My sister is totally the opposite. Breakfast is for her the most important meal of the day. Thus we had to do it properly. We took the full menu. I’m rarely replete so early but this day was the beginning of the most beautiful day of our lives. We had to celebrate. After a huge and happy breakfast, we took a cab to Marylebone train station to go to Oxford.
13:28pm Hello Oxford
To get us in the mood, we listened to music we love. Once arrived in Oxford, we were so motivated and just happy to be together. We started visiting the various Universities of Oxford including the Balliol College. The latter is famous because the well-known economist Adam Smith had studied there. Also, we went to Wadham College which is as well one of the prestigious university in Oxford. Those visits made us think about our own educational backgrounds. In my family, studies have always been placed as a priority. Our parents spent a lot of money to allow us to have the best education possible. They were no limits to our scholar ambitions. When I’m thinking about it, now that I’m done with studying, I realize how lucky I am. Indeed, I know everybody doesn’t have the same chances when it comes to education. This is one of main progress we need to make in our century. There are many inequalities concerning the knowledge access. Studies can be highly expensive, but luckily, in France we have ‘affordable’ solutions. As a Communication student, it was hard for me to go at uni. I needed something more ‘professionalizing’. I needed to do internship for instance. Unfortunately, public universities are not always requiring those type of experiences. Therefore I chose private schooling for my 5 years of Master, only my year of sociology was almost free. Being in this type of prestigious colleges made me think about the fact that I’m not from a well-known university and I might have some difficulties in life someday. Indeed, to me, companies are tempted to take the best when it come to recruitment, and honestly I get that, it makes sense. However, I found it quite unfair because people can have the same skills even if they made their studies in different schools – for instance one at Harvard and one at Université de Paris. The opportunities for those two individuals would probably be totally different even if their knowledge are quite similar. This visit was a good opportunity to discover Oxford famous scholar institutions, but besides that, it was a interesting way to put my own background in perspectives.
16:45pm Tea Time
I’ve never took a proper British Tea before. So for this perfect day, my sister booked a nice place in Oxford at the Old Personnage Hotel, a Luxury place to have afternoon teas. I don’t know if it’s because we look young or because we are black, but people – from this particular moment until the end of our trip – didn’t stop looking at us. We were thinking, perhaps they are not use to see young people, alone, without any parental figure going into those places. To be honest, we don’t really mind, we were too excited. So this first tea time experience was the best I ever had obviously. My sister prepared a fabulous surprise. She asked for an extra plate with a specific message « My heart is happiest when I am with you – Didi ». This is the most beautiful attention I ever had. This moment was really perfect and I was so overwhelmed by it all this day. This little attention had a deep impact on me. Some of you can think it’s nothing, but what is really affecting is all the preparations beyond. She kept her secret until the end of our journey, and she tough about it away before we’ve met. At this exact moment, I tough I couldn’t be more happier than now, but it was before our night in Eynsham Hall.
18:04pm Post Tea Time Walk
After this delightful tea, we decided to go back to the city center to enter into the various streets and decor Oxford has to offer. As you might guess, the architecture is quite impressive, you feel like you’re playing in a Harry Potter movie. We’ve seen two famous landmark, The Codrington Library and The Bridge of Sighs. We were very tired because we had been up since 7am. Thus this little walk went wild. We were screaming, dancing and jumping in the street. That’s what a lack of sleep does to us. Then phase three started. The motivation dropped down and we decided to take the bus to Eynsham. We didn’t realize how far and how complicated it was to go to this place. The bus was dropping us off far from the castle. So after two stops in it, we decided to get down and call a cab. We were waiting near to a pub were drunk talk were already initiated. Many funny anecdotes happened in this little street corner, but if I try to count them, they will be deprived of their funny aspect. It took almost 45 minutes to the cab to fetch us. Then as we were exhausted, we secretly hoped that it would be a quiet drive. Unfortunately, the driver were too chatty and he felt he could talk about his entire life during the drive. We were not in the mood so we opted for short answers and onomatopoeias.
19:45pm Eynsham Hall
Arriving at Eynsham was like seeing a temple of coziness and sophistication. We were like religious people coming to church. With the tiredness, our emotions were doubled. The facade was so impressive. You could be afraid by big castle. You might think about scary stories, ghosts and spirits. Here it was not the case at all. We were enchanted by the idea of staying here for the night. The field were sprinkled of sheep. As I have an obsession with them, I became totally crazy. My sister had to calm me down to make me drop my luggage in our room. During our way to our chamber, I was so distracted by all the surroundings. But then, when we entered the room, classical music was playing at the radio. It was like a dream. The entire room was beautiful and full of comfort. We felt so alive and well when we came in. The little music detail made this moment unforgettable. After dropping our stuff, we went back to the gardens to admire the little sheeps. Daylight was fading and it gave a special ambiance. Indeed, we felt as if we accomplished a wonderful day and abundance was in the air. The necessity to eat appeared slowly. The time came and we sat at the hotel restaurant. During this nice dinner we’ve talked about our deep thoughts. By explaining all those emotions, we tried to make things clear. It it always useful to have someone like this in your life. Someone who understand you without many explanations. Someone who literally read in your mind because of your common backgrounds. You feel less alone when you have someone like that. After this long day and a bath, we slept as little babies in this snug bed.
7:33am Morning in Eynsham
This morning, when I woke up I really felt peaceful. But as my mind is a redoubtable player, few minutes after I woke up, nostalgia knocked out in my mind. I tried to not think it was the day of our departures. My sister and I would have to say goodbye. I decided to focus on the present to avoid depression. We woke up with classical music to remind us we were still in paradise. Here again, we had a huge breakfast, a little too big for me to be honest. I felt quite swollen by all of this. But we didn’t have the time to draw out so we packed our luggages and then we ordered another cab to Blenheim Palace.
10:27am Blenheim Palace
Home of the 12th Duke of Marlborough and his family, this palace is a real art and architecture treasure. However, when we came in and started the visit, my sister made a good point. A big painting was exposed in a long corridor and a black servant was painting at the bottom in a small size. My sister quite irritated by this representations, told me « Is that the only representation of black people in art? » When you think about it, it’s hard to find a noble representation of black people in this western art culture. I know this issue has been quite mentioned in the public debate lately. However, I think there are many improvement to do. Except that point, the castle was really beautiful and the paintings as well. This palace was a part of Churchill’s inheritance. An entire room consecrate to him. The gardens were, as well, a delicious discovery. New castle means new flock, so we’ve been seeking out for those lovely sheeps. They were more aggressive this time, so we stay within safe distance. During our lunch break, we were quiet and in a bad mood. The end was definitely coming and also we were sick of restaurant foods. The all way back was a question of hold back our chunder urge. The driver was really efficient and we came back to Oxford just in time for our bus to Gatwick. Our goodbye were harrowing. At this time I didn’t knew that I would see her few months later for our Cuba-Mexico trip. Each time I take my flight to Gatwick straight to Lyon I got to deal back with the French behavior based mainly on incivilities. When I have connections before Lyon, it is always better for me because I get to slowly go back to the routine.
Can you introduce yourself? My name is Camilla Damkjaer. I am a Danish designer based in London. In 2017 I graduated from Royal College of Art and launched my own label in early 2018 What are your main inspirations for this collection? For Spring-Summer 2019 […]
When I started Platform, I wanted to express my fashion vision and show things beyond simple trends and clothes. This multi-disciplinary approach is a way to present fashion as a part of a bigger project. At the beginning, I didn’t expect any results. I was doing this because I had something to say. It still is the case today. Except that now, I’m trying to go further in my analysis and also in my content. I think many people feel concerned by this other conception consisting of gathering emerging and alternative fashion together. Some of us are really into fashion but can’t project ourselves in it because of the exclusive image often advocated by main fashion brands like Chanel, Saint Laurent or Givenchy. We can be easily fed up by those types of imaginary and ideal. Because of this main reason, Platform took its sense to me. Without all the support on Instagram, I wouldn’t have been able to do this first Fashion Week. It’s because we feel that it’s time to move on to another vision/philosophy concerning fashion that I’ve been able to live this experience in London. To be honest, I was quite anxious to do it for the first time and plus to be alone. But actually, I think it was the best way to do it, on my own. I’ve met many interesting people because my aura was invited to the conversation. I was always smiling because I was excited like a child. Many people noticed me because I was almost the only one smiling. Indeed, in fashion people are often showing boring facial expressions, even in London. But now, I decided to be true to myself and to not deny my natural personality. From the beginning until the end of this experience, I really felt accomplished and happy to do what I love the most. The peak had been when I had the chance to do my Mix & Match project with Courtney Mitchell’s collection. I prepared this video since April, and it was not easy to find all the collaborators. At the end of this journey, all my expectations and even more have been met.
Why the London Fashion Week?
In the interest of consistency, I chose to do my request for the London Fashion Week. This is the major event for emerging talents and alternative fashion. London is where fashion can be dealt with incongruity, boldness and creative aesthetic. There are no limits in this field. Everyone who has a message can find an audience. I had an interesting conversation on it, and we agreed that London can have this type of Fashion Week because this event is not only about business. It’s not the place where money rules everything. Of course it has a impact but it’s faint compare the one in NYC or in Paris. Milan is of course ruled by money but in the common sense, this is the fashion week of luxury fabrics work and splendid aesthetic. Thus, London Fashion Week appeared as an evidence. Besides, I follow and publish many British designers. I started doing my request really early to make sure that I would not have the usual « too late » messages. Also, thanks to Patrick McDowell, I had the opportunity to do the British Fashion Council Showroom. It was the perfect chance to hunt for emerging designers. I met many lovely and interesting people including Paola Russo. I could probably have a nice experience in the other cities, and hopefully I’ll be able to have this opportunity. Nevertheless, LFW was the right place to start my networking in order to make Platform grow. I left the UK with many ideas and upcoming projects.
How do I feel after this first experience?
I didn’t expect to do more than 10 fashion shows and presentations. I think for a first experience it is quite well and I’m actually really satisfied. After the first experience, I’m happy to see that I may have found my place in this wild and big industry. Indeed, by meeting people I realized that I can do interesting projects with them. I though it would be harder to approach them because of my lack of self-confidence. Of course, the first day was not so easy, however, the more I was going though this experience the more I realized that fashion is no so frightening. On the creative aspect, I deeply enjoyed the design proposed by the various designers I’ve seen for the SS19 collection. Sometimes it was really colorful, other times it was all about simplicity scenography and ambiance. But what I loved is the fact that every collection has its own meaning and inspirations. Through those presentations we could easily experience the storytelling. From bikers to dance and theater, the offer was boundless. This fashion week has feeding my own inspirations and opened my spirit. Before leaving, in the morning, I’ve met Kahn a wonderful knitwear designer and we’ve had one of those thoughtful and interesting conversation. Here again, this experience makes me realize many things about my personality – why creating Platform? Why Fashion? We finally concluded that every motivations you have in life came from your childhood. It’s all about the socialization process, how you’ve been raised and how you experienced elementary school and college. Coming back to my life, full of questioning, has not been easy. But at least, this experience gave me a useful present. Now I know what I want to do. I just don’t know how to get there. I assume I’ll figure it out, hopefully shortly.
Which collections left their mark on?
Mother of Pearl
The presentation was in a fancy hotel named Café Royal in the center of London near Soho and Oxford Circus. This season was really important because the brand turned officially sustainable and ethical. I asked Amy Powney herself because she was among the crowd for this SS19 presentation. There were also Aweng Chuol, one of the most characteristic model these days. It was one of my favorite show because of course, the creations were really inspiring, but also the ambiance and the meetings were truly interesting and enriching. Powney stayed true to herself and gave us a decadent and elegant version of sustainable fashion. Silk, floral pattern and smooth shapes, we felt her signature everywhere. The scenography for this presentation was unique. It was taking place in a classy decor peppered of domestic furniture. A washing machine, a tv broadcasting Annie Hall and wonderful carpets, the scenery was warming and splendid at the same time. A little touch of retro was tangible.
This show was really dynamic. A Dj was playing music during the entire presentation and models were walking though a catwalk made of mirror. It was a mischief game with the reflection. The creations were made to evoke the essence of comfortable. This SS19 collection plays with the contrast between volume and fitted silhouettes. Through this exploration of extremes, Knorr reveals obscured shapes, together with figure-hugging silhouettes. Fabrics include soft viscose crepe, light stretched cotton and shiny metallic lamé. The color palette combines soft pastel and crème tones with warm pink, oranges and steel blue. Knorr uses also multicolored Swarovski crystal on draped shift dresses. The crystals creating an illusion of movement by trancing and accentuating the natural body lines.
This collection foundation is a quote from Claude Cahun – a french artist born in Nantes. « Sous ce masque un autre masque. Je n’en finirai pas de soulever tous ces visages » which means « Under this mask, another mask. I will never finish lifting up all these faces« . This show was a real delight. It was a mix of theater and dance, a real artistic performance. Edeline Lee investigating the feminine state through design and performance. Inspired by the lives contemporary women leads and the multiple roles that they play in their lives, Edeline Lee has curated a performance piece juxtaposing the woman’s vulnerable, internal person versus worldly, exterior facade. The outfit itself is quite simple but staging was everything. The performance was cut in different act. From the classic fashion moments : red carpet, runaway show, photographers, afterparty, an all story about women duality were presented. The choreography includes tributes to the work of Pina Bausch and Trajal Harrell.
What stricken me the most in this presentation is the groovy and excellent playlist. I stayed almost 2 hours to make the most out of it. You know this feeling when you don’t want to miss anything because it is too good. This SS19 presentation was like this. Sadie Williams investigates an original and surprising worlds. I could spot notable points of reference include everything from old school Americana bikers, Japanese Bosozuko gangs, motor cross riders and the familiar jackets worn by her own parents during authentic punk London. The Dr Martens moccasin were also customized with chains, safety pins and razor blades. Sadie’s much loved shimmering prints are exaggerated to their full potential, sweeping in seams across garments or paneled into richly bonded, labor intensive jackets. Vivid, graphic prints appear on unique editioned scarves, heightening the sense of the individual.
This performance and collection was marked by a playful and colorful designs. Minki SS19 collection takes inspiration from Lorenzo Vitturi book named « Money Must Be Made« . He re-imagines Vitturi’s journey through the Nigerian Balogun Market in Lagos Island. The set was really interesting, it reminded me of Marni Playland. This market is know for being eclectic, by selling absurd amount of variegated goods with a constant flow of people, voices, styles and gestures. The ‘randomness’ creates an exciting and edgy visual. Minki places this collection in a relatable context of an ideal and desirable world presented in an exaggerated, fanciful and dreamy way. The collection is build up around contrasting fabric such as amble cottons, seersuckers, canvases, plastics and silk twills. Also, we can notice a clash between different outlines such as bold prints, patches, colored, crushed leaves and stripes. The color palette interprets the energy of this imaginative land and re-adapts the market concept created by Vitturi, creating new volumetrically disorientating images.
I think that I have truly been passionated by fashion, by watching Phoebe Philo’s collections at Céline. Even tough it sounds like a social cliché, I should admit that I’ve been passionated by fashion since my childhood. To a certain extend, I don’t think that […]
Since the beginning, I’m trying really hard to propose a varied content on fashion. For my Mix & Match, with Fashion & Music, I’m trying to work on different ambiance and type of songs. What is really wonderful is the fact that I’m able to do so thanks to the creativity of fashion designers. They propose heterogenous collections and styles that allow me to create those associations. I explored desert blues, french old song and even post-punk and new-wave. Through those Mix & Match I tried to use multidisciplinary perceptive to show that fashion slot into an all universe bigger than trends. This imaginary is not limited to clothes. Indeed, fashion labels are proposing an identity based on various elements which are coming from other fields. Music allowed them to reinforce their image because songs can be more relevant than words. Above all, music combined with images makes an efficient communication cocktail. When I saw the collection of A.W.A.K.E, this association immediately made sense to me. I could choose many other songs but this one was the most representative. Not necessarily because of the lyrics but more because of the ambiance of this song. As this new collection has more than 80 looks, it took quite a long time to create this Mix & Match. Thus, I had the time to dissect the atmosphere and the inspirations of those new creations. Here again I’m playing with temporality. At the same time, it is one of the goals of those works – underline the continuity of fashion through time.I always have been fascinated by the 60’s and the 70’s. The values, the ideology, the songs and the artists from this period were deeply unique and had influenced the upcoming history . A few days ago, I’ve watched an interesting documentary on Arte on this epoch. They went though many aspects of this age, from the civil rights to the women emancipation. One activist from this period was saying that now, the philosophy of this age is less present in our society. We’ve selected the values from this period and many of them have almost disappeared. I quite agreed with this statement. Of course, there are some leftovers of this time, nevertheless, many hopes have been disappointed and the capitalism ideology is still the main philosophy in many cultures. Thus, can we say that the 60’s and the 70’s are a temporal ellipse in history?
This Mix & Match might be a relevant way to propose a modern version of this period. With a point of nostalgia, this association can be at the same time a throwback and a actual version of 60’s and 70’s. You can be in the present and in the past thanks to a simple association based on a fashion collection and a song. Here again, we have a relevant demonstration of the power of those elements in a fashion label strategy.
Here I’m mixing:
- A.W.A.K.E – AW18: No need to present you A..W.A.K.E, I talk about this fashion label a lot. If you need more informations on this brand, here is an article I wrote a few months ago. As you might know, I deeply admire the work of Natalia Alaverdian. Inspired by the tales of her childhood, she always creates a unique version of contemporary womenswear based on the re-appropriation of classic shapes. Thanks to her misty vision she is behind a lot of splendid collections. For her AW18 collection, she chose to present all the creations through a photoshoot. The fashion label usually presents its collections via the traditional catwalk. This time it is not the case but it doesn’t mean this collection doesn’t deserve any attention. For sure, I would love to see A.W.A.K.E collection on the catwalk, nevertheless, the photoshoot allows to put the creations in a specific atmosphere. Indeed, this time Natalia, creative designer and photographer at the same time, presents her creations in a stunning Russian State Library in Moscow. This collection was inspired by many references including the 70’s and the American West. The British mark is, of course, perceptible in this new collection. While I was watching this new season, I feel that love, passion and duality were highly present, as much in the postures as in the faces expressions. Those elements might represente our time or another epoch such as the 70’s. Those feelings are conversing each other through time. The main advantage of this new collection is the way Natalia redefines the West and the 70’s classic style. Cowboy boots are associated with structured suits and shaped dress and tops. Personally, I would wear those looks on a daily basis. This new collection makes me realize how nice those inspirations can be in the fashion industry. Before that, I have to admit, I was not a huge fan of cowboy boots. However, Natalia allows me to look at those shoes with a new and fresh eye. I’m now able to see the potential of those items in a silhouette. Of course, before her, other designers had introduced their own vision of cowboy boots. Here we have a nice example of the power of fashion designers’ vision. By spreading their conception they can make people change their mind. The art of design…
- Dolly Parton – Down From Dover: It would be fool to present Dolly. First because she is a leading light in the country music, thus she is really famous, and because it would take too much time to go though her life. The elements selected for this short artist presentation are the most important to me, doesn’t mean it is the reality though 🙂 Dolly Parton is born in 1946 in Tennessee. She grew up in a poor family with twelve children. She starts her career in her early years thanks to her uncle Bill and his radio station. Her first big success was in 1973 after she decided to leave her country town to devote her time to music. Passing through the years like a real monument, she has her own amusement park since 1986. She had written many successful songs such as ‘Jolene’, ‘Early morning breeze ‘ or ‘When possession gets too strong’. I didn’t know this song and the album where it comes from. This album has been released in 1970 and is named ‘The Fairest Of Them All’. This discovery allows me to dive back into vintage country music. I don’t know why I love this type of music. It might be explained by the fact that my parents used to listening at lot country music. Even if this is quite far from their culture in the first place. Thus, this songs from the 70’s is a relevant illustration of this period’s atmosphere. Thanks to this specific melody, we can go back to this time in a flash. The song I chose in this Mix & Match is marked by sadness, love and nostalgia. Indeed, in this music, Dolly is explaining her complicated love story in which happy ending is not a possibility. Her man left her while she was waiting a baby. The latter is dead because of having no father. This tragic and melancholic story is her way of mourning. Even if, Dolly Parton is at the source of beautiful songs, she is as well a possible Trump’s supporter, which is the worst position to have. I don’t try to find excuses, nevertheless, I think that we need to dissociate her political opinions to her music. She might have critical positions, her art doesn’t spread a message full of hatred and violence. Her lyrics are rarely linked with this sphere of her life which is good for us. But I’ll understand those who don’t want to listen her music because of these political opinions.
The Mix: As I said before, by mixing fashion with music I try to explore the different possibilities in term of identity. Fashion labels don’t only express their personality through physical elements, indeed, the imaginary sphere has an important role to play in this tedious process. Music might be a way to reinforce their identity. Here, with this Mix & Match, we have a relevant and efficient proof that music and fashion are stronger together. Of course, the association is working because Natalia has been partly inspired by the American West and the 70’s, Dolly Parton is the illustration of both. However besides this, I think the message from this song matched quite well with the ambiance of this photoshoot. With a refined and structured architecture, Natalia chose a space that defines her creations. She used the models to tell us a story through postures. When I saw it, I instinctively thought of a story about relationships, family, love and duality. Those four features are deeply present as well, in Dolly’s lyrics. Other country music could fit as much as Dolly Parton’s song. But this one especially describes well the ambiance of this Autumn – Winter 18 collection.