Fashion Mode - Ones to Watch LFW S/S 2011

Fashion Mode, the London based initiative which fosters cutting edge new design talent through bi-  annual catwalk events and PR and Marketing support converged on the Vauxhall Fashion Scout catwalk this London Fashion Week, showing that they really know how to pick ‘em and that when young and fresh design talent is nurtured and supported and allowed to be creatively unconstrained by “the business side of fashion”  – amazing things can happen.

The Ones to Watch show was running slightly behind – I guess that’s what happens when you have to organise 4 creative’s instead of one! Whilst waiting to get in, two young girls were trying to get a nice Facebook worthy photo of themselves at LFW, doing what (rather embarrassingly we all do) and holding the camera up and pouting. “Oh give me that camera!” we heard. A hatted man we had seen at various other shows ran over and grabbed the camera. The girls reviewed the photo afterwards (as again embarrassingly we all do) and the man pipes up “Uh – I was the head features editor at the Evening Standard honey, I think I know how to take a photo.. “ On that note....
Once in we spied lovely Kit Lee from Style Slicker sitting front row with her buddy Matthew Zorpas – the most fashionable male we have ever seen... as well as – randomly – that guy Nick Knowles from DIY SOS sitting with a very popular and well known man in a boiler suit (we should probably recognise him but are new to LFW....) We were seated with the grandparents of one of the models and when a woman in a very large hat sat in the front row gran said “Ugh, no one is going to be able to see past her ridiculous hat! It’s just like when people wear hats to the theatahhhh – she should be shot!” She was by far my favourite person of the whole of fashion week as when her grandson sashayed down the catwalk she stood up and clapped and whooped, smacking her husband to stand up too – it was the cutest thing I have ever seen!

Carlotta Barone opened the show with a collection titled “Wear My Skin”. Kelis bumped from the sound system, Barone’s first outfit emerged and I literally felt out of breath – this was my idea of heaven. I respect anyone who is brave enough to make a political statement with their designs and Carlotta’s inspiration was taken from her fight against racism and the plight of Africans deported to America before the 1865 civil war. The colours and tones were reflections of skin tones, light to dark with amazing second skin like bodywear printed with phrases taken from her inspiration and made of lycra or modal (but without the unsightly stitch lines you would expect from these difficult stretch fabrics). Heavy drape made from simple cottons like those from the plantations were used to mimic the garb of slaves working in the fields. Bold curved shoulders on jackets showed strength in the face of adversity. For the encore Carlotta emerged proud and glowing and we can see why. She took an issue she is passionate about and used it as her inspiration for a strong and beautifully poignant collection. On my wish list!


James Hillman was next, with his sleekly tailored army of rainy day grey. I felt calmed by this collection which was chic, simple and unfussy yet a bit cheeky with drops of pastel green and hints of school boy, DooWop and feminine sheer fabrics. Inspired by the 59 Bike Club and the Teddy Boy look with slim square masculine silhouettes with oversized collars and elegant tailoring of silk chiffon, leather and jersey. My favourite pieces were a white collared shirt with a V pocket and sheer arms and back which reminded me of Baz Luhrmans Romeo and Juliet as you could see the models delicious tattoos (Perfect for those hot and muggy days driving around Verona in vintage drop top.....). Also a grey boxey man-dress - though dresses are feminine in their nature, the cut of the garment was extremely masculine and sexy, like something a modern William Wallace might don. HOT HOT HOT! James emerged with a bashful smile followed by his serious faced army of masculine men in grey. 

Elson Figueiredo. Before I get started on the clothes (which were fabulous), I have to compliment Elson on his model selection. Never have I witnessed such a precise selection and line up. Muscley testosterone oozing men perfectly book ended by two tall, elegant and beautifully androgynous (Mel who was busy taking the fab photo’s for this show turned mouthed the word to me because she knows I always forget it and confuse it with ambidextrous) men who in their touch of make-up had the entire room confused. Un-tranny like and beautiful as members of either sex – or both! We loved it. Figeuiredo took his inspiration from 19th century European carnival workers which I find fascinating. At that time it was less £10 for pic&mix and £5 a game and more human cannonballs and freakshows! The on the move lifestyle of the carnies made for hard wearing purposeful utility clothing like tight fitting jerseys of tight rope walkers in the bright colours of the carnival, primary blues, greens and reds. Lion tamer style suits in white, navy and black, hooded rain jackets for the guys putting up the tents and the sexy ticket taker in a light blue collared shirt with perfectly fitted dark blue trousers. I LOVED this collection – this is one carnival I would be sure to attend again any day....


The shows finale was Florian Jayet, who previously interned at Alexander McQueen. Jayet’s S/S 2011 collection was inspired by insects and using clothing as armour and this was so well presented in his work. Futuristic, fierce and fervent down the catwalk were Jayets ladies, commanding attention – and they had ours! Shiny metallics paired with neutral creams black and white. Sculptural dresses which exxarurate the female form and exude strength through femininity not despite it. This was Mel’s favourite collection as she was lusting after a fitted low cut skirt suit with ruched side panels on the skirt, beautifully squared shoulders and armadillo like panels over the hips. I was more partial to the nervous system print, which was like bringing the things which makes one “work on the inside" – outward. This is my blood pumping, my muscles moving, my nerves bringing feeling to all of the parts of my body and that’s why you can never take me down.... Sounds dramatic I know, but I think that’s what Florian Jayet was hoping for....



  1. We would have put a pic of you too but we were behind you! : )