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Lucy Topping

Lucy Topping

CONTENTS Journalism

Magazine work

trend prediction


final major project


Journalism A selection of reviews, interviews and features for print publications and fashion websites worldwide

LFW a/w 2012 Womenswear review


Written for the 1883 magazine website 1883 digital

ondon Fashion Week has officially concluded, and the question on everyone’s lips – has there been a better season for British based designers? The incredible collections offered up by some of the very best labels in the world did little to dispel this wondering. Not only were some of London favourites, Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane present, but, this season also saw the capital play host to the very first McQ catwalk show, courtesy of Miss Sarah Burton, as well as a surprising relocation for Moschino Cheap And Chic. Renowned for its edgy design prowess and unrivalled sense of creativity, London is fast becoming the schedule on which to show and is finally being rightfully acknowledged for its abundance of both emerging and established talent… Day one of the AW12 collections kicked off with the likes of Bora Aksu, PPQ and Felder Felder showcasing their latest offerings within the walls of the Courtyard Show Space. The Felder Felder girls were synonymous with dark, grungy pieces which came in a fairly exclusive colour palette consisting (nearly) entirely of black. This season sees the label staying true to their aesthetic whilst taking an altogether more mature approach to design, colour and fabric. True, there were still some key black dresses in the collection but a thoroughly autumnal colour scheme was also utilised throughout with vivid reds, sunset oranges and dusky browns, all offset with gleaming metallics. An exploration of print paid off, with ambiguous, galactic swirls adorning dresses, separates and even an all-in-one. This Edgy yet infinitely cool, the Felder Felder girl has grown up. Vauxhall Fashion Scout has helped launch many emerging talents over the years and this season is no exception. The buzz around Merit Award winner, Phoebe English, was palpable and guests were not left disappointed. A well rounded, exciting collection was on offer, playing with asymmetry, textural juxtaposition and the reinvention of the classic LBD. Glossy leathers were placed with matte fabrics, waistbands were elasticated for emphasis and cut-out detailing adorned the shoulders of dresses. Mesh-like weaving came undone at the edges to form a fringe-like trim which was also present on matching headdresses. Trios of sugared pinks were kept tonal and complementary whilst adorning dresses which came complete with pleated slices that were enhanced beautifully with movement.

Feature However, English was not the only designer to embrace a bold use of colour this season. Erdem took a whole hearted approach to the use of vivid explosions of colour, including a dominant use of one of LFW’s favourite hues – purple. Signature floral prints were present, however this time they were bold, graphic and more ambiguous in appearance than those of his previous collections. Black velvet flowers were placed on top of sheer lilac chiffons, whilst purple tweeds were updated with black floral overlays. Optical illusion styled checks were found on exquisitely tailored pieces, in a palette of pink, blue and yellow - a combination which proved (oddly enough), extremely effective when combined. A personal favourite came in the form of the first look – a rubber and lilac tweed dress which, although shouldn’t work in theory, most definitely worked in practice. Lace and florals are considered Erdem staples, however this season saw them toughened up with the use of rubber and accessorised to perfection with Perspex-heeled ankle boots. A favourite of many a fashion editor, Christopher Kane managed to wow his eager audience once more by offering a collection of well-executed clashing prints in the form of leopard and florals. The purple shades used were kept tonal, with an effective use of black accenting and required little in the way of accessories. Iridescent blue roll-neck knits were modelled with knee length skirts for a nonchalant, yet chic, youthfulness. Cut-out detailing once again made an appearance, quite the mini-trend judging from various London shows, whilst leather was used to accentuate water-stain effect fabrics. The overall effect was an interesting experiment in textural juxtaposition, whilst retaining a refreshing unpredictability.

This season saw Fashion East director, Lulu Kennedy, showcase the work of Maarten van der Horst, Marques’Almeida and James Long through a show at the Topshop show space. Van der Horst provided some truly spectacular looks for a label still in its infancy, experimenting with pastel tailoring and intense floral print work whilst Marques’Almeida took an undone, grunge aesthetic and stripped it down to basics, complete with fraying edges and a predominantly dark colour scheme. James Long combined print, knitwear and leather quilting to come up with a collection which played with various textures to great effect.

It is no exaggeration to say that no-one does print quite like London does

It is no exaggeration to say that no-one does print quite like London does. The Capital is celebrated for its emerging and successful array of print designers, who are quickly making names for themselves on a global scale. Peter Pilotto brought us printed garments in an aquatic colour scheme which was punctuated with punchy, citrus hues placed on skinny trousers, knee-length skirts and the perennial puffa jacket – possibly the coat of the season. Candy striped furs were draped on jackets and dresses in the form of stoles and collars. Another name which is inextricably linked with all things print is Mary Katrantzou. Favouring geometric, colourful designs, this season saw Katrantzou take a sci-fi route with the use of a grey colour palette and architectural silhouettes. Peplums were a major design feature and adorned many of the dresses shown in the collection. The show was a riot of clashing colour and pattern and successfully showed the vast breadth of the Greek designer’s print work.

Spijkers en Spijkers meanwhile, had definable 1940’s and 1920’s influences to their collection, which was a recognisable continuation of their previous season. Geometric slicing was present in jewel tones on dresses, skirts and even a token jumpsuit. The Twenties influence could be seen in the flapper style dresses complete with feather trims and collars. Always a crowd pleaser and a London Fashion Week favourite for many, Christopher Bailey referenced ‘town and country’ for the Burberry Prorsum AW/12 show, successfully amalgamating the two into a coherent vision for the season. Candy coloured bow belts, flat caps and suede duffle bags were used to accessorise looks where layering was a key element. An earthy colour scheme of ochre, grey, muted green and teal adorned striped skirts and dresses. Whilst novelty knits came complete with dogs and birds, bags and belts featured metal owl and fox heads, undoubtedly the country influence seeping through. Like Erdem, tweed was featured heavily, but this time on coats with peplum waists.

This season saw a repeated use of recognisable themes, the most dominant being florals, purple, autumnal turquoise and cut-out detailing which appeared in numerous guises in many different shows. Colour palettes were either vivid and intense or dusky and autumnal, ensuring there is quite literally something for everyone. It appears as though the London girl has come over all ladylike this season but don’t worry, she clashes her mismatched prints with irony and wears her rubber knee length dress with a decidedly nonchalant attitude. Well don’t expect her to change completely...

Words by Lucy topping

Jet- Set: Hotel Missoni, Edinburgh Words by Lucy Topping Published on


What? Hotel Missoni Where? Edinburgh, Scotland Who? The Rezidor Hotel Group have partnered up

with Italian design house, Missoni, to create an innovative ‘designer boutique’ hotel. Five star accommodation right in the picturesque city of Edinburgh.

Look? Quintessential Missoni. Think bold, vivid prints adorning textiles and walls, bright clashing colours and super sleek design. Every seemingly minor detail has been thought through carefully, from the Missoni branded soaps, to the plasma television which welcomed you with a personalised message upon your arrival, ensuring a thoroughly luxurious experience.

Fringed, monochrome curtains complement the lime green and cobalt blue interior of the rooms whilst the hallway is a bold combination of orange and brown, a pairing which sounds dubious in theory yet is utterly convincing in reality. The iconic zig zag knit prints were found on the rich, towelling bath robes as well as the incredibly chic kilts of the doormen, who are only too happy to offer their help, and a cheerful greeting, to the Missoni guests. My room also had a floor to ceiling window which showed off the hotel location to its best advantage; its surroundings including classic architectural churches and the cobbled street of the famous The Royal Mile.


The hotel definitely goes above and beyond in terms of service and amenities, as to be expected from its 5 star rating. Free movies are available in each room, including a wide and varied selection of recent titles including The Hangover, The Proposal and the final instalments of Harry Potter. A complimentary Nespresso machine is provided for you to enjoy a range of teas and coffees in your floral Missoni mugs, naturally, as well as a free mini fridge stocked with soft drinks. Local newspapers can be delivered to your room every morning upon request and free Wi-Fi is available for those who are unable to neglect their technical gadgets whilst they are away.


Everything from the hotel’s incredibly convenient location right down to its exquisite design and friendly staff combined to provide a truly amazing experience. Yes it will set you back a considerable amount compared to other accommodation in Edinburgh, which is to be expected, but the service you receive will ensure the stay is more than worth it. A great place to stay for a Scottish city break, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a luxury hotel with a difference.

Written for the 1883 magazine website 1883 Digital words and photography by Lucy Topping

Gareth Pugh in conversation with Fashion Fringe founder, Colin McDowell areth Pugh does not live in Paris. Contrary to his Wikipedia page, which he admits he has no idea how to change, the Sunderland-born designer still lives and works in London, in the very same studio he started out in. What is immediately apparent, from this fact and the conversation between Gareth and Fashion Fringe founder, Colin McDowell, is the humility and maturity of the young designer. Thoroughly refreshing characteristics to see in any designer, never mind one so young, Pugh has the sensibility of a seasoned veteran.


The two speak with the colloquialism of old friends, despite Fashion Fringe turning the designer down at the beginning of his career. It is clear that Gareth is not holding this decision against them, having decided to participate in the Fashion Fringe Road Show which has brought him back to his roots in the North East of England in order to visit fashion students and creatives at Northumbria University. The Road Show is a series of events which sees six leading UK-based designers visiting Universities throughout Britain in order to give advice and share their opinions with those looking to follow in their successful footsteps into a highly competitive industry. Judging from the conviction and clear vision with which Pugh designs, it would be difficult to imagine him doing anything else as a day job, however he talks with enthusiasm about his early love for practicing contemporary dance, which was a combination of ballet, classic and tap. “I danced because I enjoyed doing it, which is kind of true of what I do now” states Gareth, who makes no secret of the fact that he would like to take up the hobby once again in the future. He reveals that at present he is busy working on costume and set design for a ballet called Carbon Life at The Royal Opera House, a production which also sees Mark Ronson, Alison Mosshart and Boy George involved, and is, naturally, not your average ballet. A task he claims to be incredibly daunting, which is more than likely just his humbleness talking, there is very little doubt that if he approaches this in the same way as his theatrical fashion design work, he will pull it off in a spectacular fashion. After completing his initial steps into fashion at City of Sunderland college, Gareth then took a place studying Fashion Design at the prestigious, Central Saint Martins in London, where he developed his signature aesthetic. Despite gaining entry twice onto the MA course, he had no choice but to decline the offer, after not being able to afford the substantial fees, illustrating his point regarding the ever-present practical restrictions that exist within the industry. Nevertheless, Pugh managed to forge an impressive pathway, one which, after six seasons in London, led him to win the ANDAM prize of €152,000 to spend on his very own show in Paris. Going from a £6,000 London show to a Parisian catwalk and after party which cost over twenty five times the amount, it was clear that the fashion world was recognising this extraordinary talent. Although not recommending such a rapid progression into the industry to others, he claims that he himself “didn’t feel ready” at the start, he does not regret taking the opportunities which came his way and which inadvertently set his career in motion. It seems Paris suits Pugh. He talks with fondness for the Parisian fashion scene and describes it as a direct juxtaposition to London, claiming it to be: “A different league”. A different league indeed. With competitors including the houses of Dior and Chanel, Paris is the home of haute couture craftsmanship, a capital which has serious credentials when it comes to the art of fashion. “I don’t think I was being taken seriously”, says Pugh on the subject of London Fashion Week and so when he received the funds to do so, he moved his shows to Paris and never looked back.


That is not to say Gareth has abandoned London completely. He remains in the same studio space where he first started his work, of course back then he was paying £250 a month and only had one electrical source to power the lighting, heating and sound system, whereas he now has every amenity needed for the small team who are housed within. It is this quiet, intimate atmosphere which Pugh needs to be able to give him “the chance to breathe”, the chance to design his fantastical creations. These then get sent to a factory in Italy, where production is undertaken by a single pattern cutter and his assistant. The process ensures maximum quality control whilst simultaneously providing the space and distance Pugh admits to needing in order to work successfully. Nowhere is the phrase, ‘No man is an island’, more relevant than in regards to those who work within the creative industries. Gareth Pugh speaks with the utmost admiration and affection for those who have helped him, specifically naming his boyfriend, Daphne Guinness and Michele Lamy , wife of designer Rick Owens, as sources of both support and inspiration. As a poet and songwriter, Pugh’s Glaswegian boyfriend also knows a thing or two about the world of the arts. “He’s my Amanda Harlech, he’s the one who can see the stories” says Gareth, a moving compliment illustrating the creative dynamic of their relationship. Flick through the pages of many a fashion publication and you will often see Daphne Guinness sporting one of Pugh’s bold ensembles and her support goes above and beyond the mere wearing of his work. She offers her opinions and advice on his collections, with Gareth claiming her to be “incredibly intelligent” when it comes to the theory and creation of fashion. “My fashion fairy godmother” is how he describes Michele Lamy, as Pugh credits her as being the one person who has always pushed him to do better and who has helped him get to the impressive position in which he finds himself today. As the conversation between Colin and Gareth starts to wind down, the audience, who have been utterly rapt for the past hour, have been left with a renewed appreciation for the designer and his work ethic. “Gareth is a very bright and unusual guy” states Colin, an opinion no doubt shared by the entire auditorium at this point. His humble attitude and captivating eloquence are teamed with an exceptional talent, made all the more surprising considering the completely unassuming figure these traits are housed in. “If you always remain a little dissatisfied with what you do, you’ll always want to better yourself”, another self-effacing thought undoubtedly, yet an exciting one nonetheless. After all, if everything up to this point is just the beginning for Gareth Pugh, the future looks set to be nothing short of extraordinary…


‘Majestic clothing for majestic people’. That is how emerging designer duo, Sideara and Devon, describe the pieces they create under their California-based label, Nin3. An impressive proclamation by anyone’s standards, but one that is not altogether unwarranted. As with all good creative pairings, this one progressed from a close friendship, a friendship in which collaborative design played an essential role. It was through this love of the design process that the two came to experiment with the notion of garment creation, an idea which, judging from the girls’ seriously cool personal style, seemed to be an obvious choice for the two. Combine this with editorial-worthy look books, not to mention numerous pairs of Jeffrey Campbell boots, and you have a label which knows exactly what it stands for and where it is headed, a feat which is thoroughly refreshing to see in a line so early on in the game. What is being produced by Nin3 so far is a seriously exciting selection of pieces which would not look out of place adorning the bright, young things featured in the party photographs of Mark ‘the Cobra Snake’ Hunter. Graphic, fringed tees and printed kimonos are paired with sheer maxis and lace bell-bottom flares to create looks that instantly appear both effortless yet ridiculously stylish, a description which could easily be applied to the Nin3 girl herself. Tantrum caught up with Sideara and Devon to find out just how they do it and what we can expect from the future of Nin3…


First of all, congratulations on the progress you’re making with Nin3, the pieces look great! What made you decide to create your own label? Thanks! As best friends since 4th grade, we’ve always enjoyed creating things together, whether it be a comic book or a talent show, we’ve been business partners from the beginning. When we started creating clothes, the feeling that the products gave us was undeniably good and we wanted to share that with everyone who was willing to experience it.

How would you describe Nin3 in three words? Bold, mistique and individualistic. Ultimately, NIN3 is what you make it. Whether you’re wearing one piece or your whole outfit is from us, it’s your decision how you wear it and it’ll be different on everyone. We’d like our clothes to be the bullet to your gun, our goal is for the wearer to embrace their decisions and wear it how they want with the confidence that they can do no wrong.

Do you think being based on the West Coast effects your design aesthetic? Do you find it to be an inspiration for your work? Oh yes. Living in San Diego, home of perfect weather, it’s easy to forget that keeping warm is priority number one for most. The sun isn’t a direct inspiration, considering how dark most of the pieces are, but it definitely is in terms of how much skin is showing. We are SoCal girls through and through so we do like to keep the mood light.

It’s impressive to see an emerging design duo like yourselves creating a line with such a clear vision. Do you design with anyone specific in mind? A Nin3 muse perhaps?! Thanks! Our aesthetic has been with us since the beginning, drawn from our own personal style. We’re inspired by what we were raised on; from pop icons like Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, and Gwen Stefani to Deborah Harry’s vibes. Sources of our inspiration are vast, favourite movies such as The Runaways and The Craft definitely come to mind. We’d like to see the careless 90’s girl make a comeback.

If each of you had to choose just one item from the collection so far as a personal favourite, which one would it be and why? We have a crop top that says “WHATEVER MOM” on it that we love because it’s so angsty and we find that hilarious. Also, our kimonos, because they have holographic details on the shoulder and that fabric is our absolute favourite.

What are you guys working on at the moment and what does the future hold for Nin3? Finalizing our production! It’s a long process and we find it extremely important to get the perfect fit, so that the quality of the clothes is up to our standards. The future of NIN3? Well, 9 is the number that comes after 8, representing infinity, so we say NIN3 is the future!

Follow Nin3 at and

Images by Nin3

Photography by Lucy Topping





nd so London Fashion Week rolls out of town for another season. The editors have flown South followed closely, no doubt, by their controversial, blog-based counterparts. Ah the bloggers. Recognised by their, often nonsensical, mismatched ensembles come show season, one can typically spot such an individual from a mile off. Now I’m not claiming that all members of said community take the frequently predictable off-kilter, Louise Grey-esque approach. Nor am I saying that they all dress in a ridiculously hideous fashion. They don’t take themselves too seriously, generally speaking, which is refreshing to see in amidst a crowd whose style is often dictated solely by seasonal trends.

Published on

Words by Lucy Topping


“You cannot help but ponder when it comes to the wearing of these eccentric outfits, who these fashion fanatics are really dressing for..." However you cannot help but ponder when it comes to the wearing of these eccentric outfits, who these fashion fanatics are really dressing for. Before the rise of the blogger, you rarely saw such clashing, outlandish outfits being praised in mainstream fashion publications. That is not to say that such people did not exist, I have no doubt that they did, just that they were not well publicised or praised for what they were doing. Fast forward to 2011 and the fashion bloggers are regularly featured in the major, as well as independent, magazines. They gain photography projects, styling jobs and writing positions off the back of their own blogs. Much to the chagrin of some, they are a vital part of this fast paced industry. It goes without saying that the strange and downright bizarre sartorial choices get far more exposure that those who refrain from wearing such bold choices. With such extreme competition from the millions of bloggers worldwide, each must have something which differentiates themselves from the sea of others. Often they seem to perpetuate this avant-garde, crazy cat lady take on personal style. If this is what pleases them personally, then I have no problem with that. However it is becoming increasingly apparent that such outfits are being worn purely to capture the attention of the group of street style photographers lying in wait to capture and publicise their outfits to the worldwide web.

It is a well-known fact that there are a couple of sure fire ways to get spotted whilst outside of fashion shows. One is to be wearing a head to toe catwalk look, and let’s face it, if you do not happen to have Anna Dello Russo’s wardrobe that does not seem a likely option for most. Option two is to be wearing something verging on, or often surpassing, the ridiculous. A shoe as a headpiece, various brightly coloured pieces which hint at some kind of Crayola obsession or an immense fur reminiscent of P Diddy in the Nineties are all effective. It is here that the act of dressing starts to turn into a competitive bid for attention, more than an act of making oneself feel, and look, good. It is not a given that the crazier the outfit the better you look. In fact quite often the opposite is true. If the bloggers are dressing with such eccentricity because they genuinely feel like it, genuinely feel as though this is a visual representation of their character then kudos to them, more people should be doing just that. However if the ever increasing presence of fashion bloggers in street style columns next to some of the best editors in the industry is anything to go by, I do not suspect that is the case for the majority of them unfortunately…


Phillip Lim pre-fall 2012 Published on

images from

Words by Lucy Topping

Review Inspiration: Sophisticated tailoring and playful comic-strip graphics hardly sound like a match made in heaven, but this is exactly the winning combination behind the 3.1 Phillip Lim pre-fall collection and, crazy though it sounds, it totally works. Top Trends: Razor sharp tailored pieces were a significant feature within the collection as was a bold use of colour blocking. These trends combined to provide a super sleek, minimalist approach which was then juxtaposed with the colourful comic strip pieces. Accessories: Shoe boots with pointed toes, metallic sandals, skinny leather belts and handheld totes and clutches were used to accessorise looks. The accessories were subtle, ensuring the main focus remained on the impressive cuts and silhouettes of the garments being shown. Favourite Looks: The appeal of the impeccably cut grey coat with deep v-neck paired with the comic strip clutch lies in its very simplicity. The leather and suede longsleeved tee with knee length camel coloured skirt is perfect for that ‘edgy yet prim’ look. Thoughts: For pre-fall 2012 Lim has produced a collection which, although not breaking boundaries, plays up to his impressive strengths, the most noteworthy being his well-executed tailoring. The comic graphics add a much needed youthfulness which also brings the pieces bang up to date for 2012. This collection gave an exciting glimpse of a direction which Lim will hopefully explore further with the fall season.

The Allure of the Scarlet Shoe

An intoxicating contradiction of the negative and the positive, why, after so many years, do women still crave red shoes? Words by Lucy Topping


he first glimpse we get is mesmerising. Adorned completely with ruby sequins, covering everything from the neat bow on the toe, to the slightly curved Louis style heel these are the ultimate statement shoes. Teamed with baby blue ankle socks, they are placed on the feet of an innocent, young girl. On the big screen, in glorious Technicolour, the ruby slippers glistened and sparkled like no other. They transformed a rather plain Kansas farm girl into a force to be reckoned with and, in turn, placed her at the top of the Wicked Witch’s most wanted list.

Clearly Miss Garland’s slippers have not lost their magic. In fact to celebrate the movie classic turning seventy, Warner Brothers teamed up with Swarovski Elements and a host of luxury fashion designers to reinvent the iconic ruby slippers for a modern audience. Giuseppe Zanotti, Jimmy Choo, Moschino and Oscar de la Renta, were joined by a host of other designers and came up with some truly innovative reinterpretations featuring crystal studded heels, oversized bows and lashings of red snakeskin, ensuring that even the most fashion forward Dorothy is catered for.

We are talking, of course, of The Wizard of Oz. Taking into account the movie’s immense fan base, it is perhaps no wonder that these perfect pumps have managed to retain their enchanting, ageless appeal, despite the film reaching the grand old age of seventy two this year. The public’s great love of the ruby slippers is made all the more impressive when considering the ruby slippers were, in fact, never meant to be ruby at all, but silver instead. The production team on The Wizard of Oz made the creative decision to change the colour of Dorothy’s infamous shoes from Baum’s intended silver, in order to utilise the great technical advancement that was taking place within the film industry at the time – the introduction of the Technicolour process. Despite an inconclusive number being created for the 1939 classic, only five pairs of the slippers are known to have survived. The most significant pair, which Dorothy uses to return home to Kansas at the end of the movie, are going up for auction in December with a cool price tag of $2 - $3 million. Named “the most important film prop in the world” by the Californian auction house, Profiles in History, who are selling off the beauties, it is perhaps therefore no surprise that they are expected to spark off a worldwide bidding frenzy amongst eager Hollywood memorabilia collectors, film, and red shoe fans. No wonder considering this may be the only chance for a lucky member of the public to own such an item. The additional three pairs, some of which are said to have been used for the films’ test shots, reside in The Smithsonian in Washington and in the home of a private collector. The final pairs’ whereabouts are currently unknown after being stolen from the Judy Garland museum in Minnesota.

So what is so extraordinary about scarlet hued footwear? The connotations are endless and the messages mixed, yet women are still enticed towards their beauty, towards their vivaciousness. People tend to mar the red shoe with negative implications and derogatory personality traits, particularly with regards to women. An overt display of feminine sexuality, a desperate cry for attention, the list could go on. That is not to say that all associations are negative. Initially red shoes were thought of as a status symbol; think the Louis Vuitton bag of the Roman era, a sign of increased wealth and power during times when few could afford extravagant shoes. This was due to the high cost of natural red dyes which explains their appeal with Roman emperors and royalty alike. Red is symbolic of life and fertility within certain European and Asian traditions, whilst it is also the colour adorned by high ranked priests of the Catholic Church. Some see the red shoe as a demonstration of confidence, for who can look past a woman with such audacious footwear? There is no doubt that the wearer is the life and soul of the party, willing to be bold in her sartorial choices and to make sure everyone knows it. Who says this is a bad thing? It also hints at an element of danger, an element which surely makes her all the more attractive, a mysterious femme fatale type which, in a decade where sexy tends to mean baring all, is thoroughly refreshing to see. So why do we not see more women choosing to wear such a controversial colour? Maybe too many agree with Carson Kressley, of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame, when he claimed, “Only whores and children can wear red shoes, a quote which no doubt left feminists reeling.



he connotations are endless and the messages mixed, yet women are still enticed towards their beauty, towards their vivaciousness...

But does this still reign true, or is it merely a reference to a time when red was seen as the colour of the devil? A symbol of a scarlet woman? For although there are plenty of positive associations, there are an equal amount of negatives which still spring to the minds of many when they hear the term ‘red shoe’. The negative is often depicted in the guise of fairytales, written with the intention of providing a warning against straying from social conventions. Hans Christian Andersen explored this with his aptly titled tale, The Red Shoes. Later reworked and made into a film, directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressbruger in 1948, the story follows young girl Karen, whose love affair with her own red shoes, and thus material possessions, leads to her demise. Forcing her to dance forever against her will, the shoes take her into the perilous forest where she has no choice but to seek help in the form of an executioner, who takes pity on her condition and makes the shocking decision to amputate her feet, with the possessed shoes still attached. A disturbing notion no doubt, feeding into the perceived idea of the red shoe as a product of evil. The film differed from the fairytale in a number of ways. It roughly follows the same Christian Andersen story, however there is more of a focus on the ballet and dancing of Karen, effectively glamorising the tale. The red shoe has fared well over time, never once showing its age. There is no doubt that these days a flash of a red sole has an equally glamorous, albeit more subtle, effect. Step up King of the Red Sole, Mr Christian Louboutin. Next year sees the maker of some of the worlds’ most exquisite shoes celebrate twenty fabulous years in footwear. A red carpet favourite, celebrities and mere mortals have fawned over his designs for years, meaning his have adorned the feet of some of the biggest stars in the world. What has made him stand out in a sea of other shoe designers? What has ensured he has enjoyed longevity with his exquisite luxury brand? It could all very well be down to a single element – the red sole. A trademark which is found on every pair of his magnificent creations and ensures you can spot a pair of Loubs a mile off. The ingenious idea was conceived when Louboutin observed his assistant painting her nails a vivid red in his studio whilst sitting amongst his creations and voila, the two have been inextricably linked from thereon in. Louboutin claims to have had a great love affair with colour as a child which perhaps explains his choice of such a bold, eye catching trademark. However such a unique trademark was bound to trigger a copycat effect amongst his competitors sooner or later. Enter Yves Saint Laurent with their monotone red ‘Palais’ pumps complete with, you guessed it, red soles. Christian Louboutin consequently took their Parisian rivals to court in an attempt to stop their red sole production but to no avail. The judge ruled Louboutin could not prove that their red soles deserved trademark protection and that therefore he would not halt the YSL production line of said shoes. Despite this fashion fans will always no doubt link the vivid red sole with Mr Louboutin.


So where does that leave the red shoe in the Noughties? Still residing in a complicated tangle of mixed messages and ambiguous connotations? This probably remains the case in the, most likely narrow, minds of some. However with both emerging and established footwear designers still choosing to redesign and reinterpret the ‘devils shoe’, it is apparent that they are still as popular as ever, if not more so. Jimmy Choo’s red hued designs go by the names of ‘Star’, ‘Pigalle’ and, ironically ‘Quiet’. Manolo Blahnik prefers ‘Campari’, ‘Florette’ and ‘d’Orsay’. Names which evoke a certain elegance, a sense of mystery when spoken. So next time a pair of new shoes beckon enticingly, why not go for a bold scarlet hue? By putting on a pair of ruby shoes there is no doubt that the femme fatale inside every woman will emerge. Like wearers before her, they have the power to mesmerise. If that is not a good enough reason to don some scarlet heels I am not sure what is.


Radenroro: New York Dreaming


ndonesian-born designer Liquica Anggraini is the brains behind cult womenswear label, Radenroro. Focusing on fashion-forward design, each garment withstands fleeting seasonal trends, providing true statement looks which can be worn year after year. Fall/Winter 2011 sees a selection of beautifully executed, feminine pieces, offset with unexpected elements. Demure, lady like midi dresses are backless, whilst separates come layered for a mix and match look. As well the innovative collections which are being produced each season, the brand also display a refreshing take on the design process. With each step from design to manufacturing being completed in the heart of New York City, customers can be assured that each piece is of the highest possible quality. After being featured on the reality show, All on the Line, featuring Elle Magazines’ very own Joe Zee, the brand now counts Nordstrom as a stockist of their much-coveted line. Taking this into account it perhaps comes as no surprise that Radenroro are already enjoying a huge amount of, much deserved, success.


Lucy Topping


Q: WHAT WERE YOUR INFLUENCES FOR THE FALL/WINTER SEASON? The best way to understand our influence is to check out the editorial look book on our website. The phrase “Raden Roro” in Indonesian, Liquica’s native language, translates literally to “little princess”. With this in mind, you’ll often see our looks mix sophistication with playful and youthful touches. Our prints are a great example of this. Each season we’ve themed them around objects that are special or significant in a girl’s life. Last spring we did a diamond print that was really popular, this fall we did our Teddy Bear print, and for S/S 2012 we are continuing the theme with an abstract unicorn themed print. Working with Joe Zee on Sundance’s All on the Line show was also helpful as it encouraged us to really embrace these concepts and run with our ideas. Q: WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE TO KEEP PRODUCTION IN NEW YORK CITY?

There are many reasons why we continue to produce in New York, even as we’ve grown to a point where we’re producing several thousand units every season. First and most important reason is quality control. Being able to walk just a block or two to our factories during production means that we can keep a close eye on every step of the production process and ensure that Radenroro products are always of the best possible quality.

When the inevitable bumps in the road come up during production we don’t have to fly to the other side of the world or trust in an overseas assistant, we can just go next door and take charge until things are sorted out. We also know most of the workers who cut and sew our garments on a first-name basis and are friendly with all the factory owners. We trust them and go out of our way to be good business partners to them, in return they do great work for us, pay attention to the important little details, and give us fair pricing. Another benefit of producing locally is that we can be a lot more agile and responsive to the needs of our customers. We can turn around re-orders and fulfil smaller quantity orders for specialised styles much more easily than someone who has all the overhead of international shipping and large overseas factory minimums. There have been many occasions when we’ve been able to say “yes” to difficult or last-minute customer requests because of this agility, and that’s something which is very important to us.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC MUSE WHO YOU ENVISION WHEN DESIGNING? ARE THERE ANY CELEBRITIES YOU WOULD LOVE TO SEE WEARING RADENRORO? I mostly just design clothes I see myself wearing. This is not an egotistical decision or even something I do consciously… it’s just how my brain is wired. My creative process has always been very organic. I never lie awake trying to think of clever themes or outlandish muses to “inspire” my collection… my designs seem to evolve much more naturally than that. I’m sure many things subliminally influence them but the toughest thing for me is not coming up with ideas but rather pairing my many ideas down into what will work as a cohesive collection.

“You don’t need to wear a lobster on your head or dress like a man to make a fashion statement”

Finally, as long-time Manhattanites with a brand that got its start in the garment district, we want to see it continue to survive and prosper. It’s sad to see historic stores and factories that were open for 20 plus years close down because all their customers started sourcing overseas. In addition to all the good business reasons mentioned above, the fact is that we live and work in NY and like to support our community whenever we can. As we continue to grow and expand our international business there may well come a day when we do move some of our production overseas. If and when that ever happens, it will only be because we found a way to make the adjustment that does compromise the quality of our products or our ability to rapidly respond to customer needs.

In terms of celebrities, I adore the Middleton sisters. I think it’s so wonderful that they’re bringing back tasteful, sophisticated style. They’re influencing women to get dressed up again which is great to see. Also since the name “Raden roro” is a royal title in Indonesia, I naturally love the fact that they’re stylish and classy royals who aren’t afraid to mix it up with their fashion. They’re a perfect match for our brand and I’d kill for a chance to dress both Kate and Pippa. I’m also a big fan of the original Charlie’s Angels. I watched the show when I was growing up in Indonesia and still love its style today. Some of the silhouettes worn by Jaclyn Smith, Cheryl Ladd Farrah Fawcett and Tanya Roberts have definitely inspired me. In general, I think I like strong women who are confident in their beauty and style without being too over the top. You don’t need to wear a lobster on your head or dress like a man to make a fashion statement. Great style should appear effortless yet polished… anything that looks like it took hours of work to put together just feels ridiculous and silly to me.


Q: THE LABEL SEEMS TO BE GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH! WHAT’S NEXT FOR RADENRORO? A: We have been enjoying some great momentum lately and are just trying to make the most of it. It’s taken us nearly 4 years of incredibly hard and exhausting work to get to this point and we’re not planning to slow down anytime soon. We launched in Nordstrom stores this past spring and are excited to be working with them again for Fall/Holiday. That partnership is very valuable to us and they’ve been wonderful to work with. Our spring 2012 collection is coming along really nicely and we’re hoping that’ll be the season when we finally start breaking into some of the other large department stores. On the design side, we’ve started exploring the idea of adding some accessories to our collections each season. I just designed my first handbag and sampled it in three different fabrics which was tons of fun and a new challenge.

magazine work Original fashion concepts designed for print publications

photo shoot



Fondant magazine issue O1 An original concept A romanticised view of fashion through rose-tinted glasses

Spring 2012 ÂŁ6.00 $13.00

original concept

Editor’s Letter Dear boys and girls, Spring is officially here! Ah spring. The time has come for us to wear all the much-coveted spring/summer 2012 pieces which tantalised during the September show season. Make like Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander and Celine and opt for crisp white ensembles which suddenly seem so now. Feeling particularly daring? Then embrace one of Fondant’s favourite collections - Miss Miuccia Prada showed us leather pencil skirts teamed with exposed midriffs can be both incredibly sexy yet undeniably ladylike, which is, admittedly, quite the feat... However we’re not just looking to the future for sartorial inspiration. Here at Fondant we recognise the significance of a classic (see why women still flock to the red shoe like bees to honey on page 37) which is why our screen style siren of choice this month is Miss Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz fame (page 34), a heroine who clearly understands the power of crimson-hued footwear.

Get the Look

We used...

Pastels are used to enhance the ‘barely there’ beauty trend, a trend which is reinterpreted for each and every season. Baby blues and pale pink shadows adorn the eyes, whilst rosy blusher is placed high on the apples of the cheeks. Brows are bold, adding a modern twist to the wearble look. Complement with a pale lip or, for the daring amongst you, a strong fuschia. English Rose does the 21st Century.

MUA lipstick in shade 04; Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes in Black; MUA eye shadow in shade 22; Benefit Dandelion blusher; MAC Matchmaster foundation; Models Own nail varnish in Jade Stone

In this issue we also prove that the geek can be exceedingly chic, in our fashion shoot which puts an unabashedly girly spin on one of our favourite trans-seasonal trends (page 45). Combining tailoring, florals, silks and even a sequin reindeer mask, the stunning Abbey Larissa shows us why nerds have never been hotter... Enjoy.

Lucy Editor

Screen Style 1.


Dorothy Gale of The Wizard of Oz Style yourself up for a trip to modern 3. day Oz. This time around, Dorothy is a little more streetwise and style savvy. Her rosy blush comes courtesy of a magical bottle of Benetint which can easily be carried around in a trusty wicker basket. Choosing to add a stacked wooden platform heel to the infamous ruby slippers, in the form of the cult classic Jeffrey Campbell Lita boots, means the ever-stylish Ms Gale has learned to accessorise to perfection. The sparkling Emerald City is calling...



1. Glitter platforms by Jeffrey Campbell, £100; 2. Blue socks by Falke, £10; 3. White shirt by Topshop, £12; 4. Dress by D&G, £289; 5. Benetint stain by Benefit, £24.50

A selection of interior spreads taken from Fondant magazine.

trend prediction ‘Sub-Britannia’ is a predicted womenswear trend for S/S 2012, focussing on the reinvention of significant British subcultures

sub-britannia A dissection and reinterpretation of the most innovative of British subcultures. Their indelible influence continues to be felt throughout the worlds of design, politics and psychology. The fundamental elements are all there, but this time with a sleek, modern approach to design. We have arrived in a time when we now, more than ever, need to act upon these progressive views in order to fashion the future. Our future. The rest of the world is poised, waiting for our next move. Gravitating towards a British sensibility. We are seeing an increase in the return of our world class designers to our capital, those who learnt and honed their trade on home turf. International brands are also upping the ante, creating stunning architectural feats of design aimed specifically at their British audience, an audience whose taste they appreciate as utterly unique. Emerging from the throes of a tiring financial recession, we find ourselves regaining our power, with employment rates slowly starting to increase. The masses are demonstrating an active political voice in the opposition of war and the formation of our government, no longer taking a passive stance on issues which affect the people, as well as resources, of the country. Welcome back Britannia.

A trend that effectively promotes the individual and the act of customisation, or portrayed customisation, Revolution Rising is very much an active trend, discouraging a passive ‘copycat’ effect. Garments and materials are worn and distressed in appearance, think frayed denims, lightweight cobweb knits and sheer cottons. Mesh inserts provide a subversive element to pieces. Textural juxtaposition can be found in the layering of soft basics with heavier, statement articles.

trend prediction

colours. Pantone 485 m Pantone 2728 m

Pantone 3252 m

Pantone 5305 m

Pantone 806 m

Pantone 5415 m

Pantone 7404 m

Pantone 7418 m

Pantone 4655 m

Look to the power of nature for inspiration. From the colossal thunderstorm, to the rippling ocean, interpret the elements into your sartorial choices. Now more than ever, we need to appreciate the beauty of our natural surroundings, yet also acknowledge the devestating effect it can have upon mankind. Preservation should become priority.

Pantone 587 m

Pantone 263 m

colours. Pantone 566 m

Pantone 2582 m

Pantone 7451 m

Pantone 345 m

Pantone 120 m

Pantone 489 m

materials. Think traditional fabrics, such as wool and tartan, combined with the futuristic. Matte and lustrous pieces are paired together to add multi-dimensionality. Organza and chiffon are used on draped silhouettes, whilst brocade brings a rich, regal texture to the look. The only rule? Mix and clash to your heart’s desire. Accessories are created out of the unexpected, with materials such as Grilamid TR, an incredibly durable clear plastic, being used on handbags and statement jewellery.

colours. PANTONE 2365 m



PANTONE Yellow 012 M PANTONE orange 021 m

Colours used are intense and varied, as to be expected. The daring will push the boundaries and apply the majority of them all into one look. Wallflowers need not apply.


PANTONE blue 072 m

pantone185 m

trend prediction

beauty. Let your creativity run riot! Vivid colour explosions, hair tamed into animal forms and two-tone candy coloured lips are all present, amongst an array of artistic techniques. The only real restriction in regards to this trend is the scope of your imagination...


Look to the fantasy world of film where nothing is as it seems. Wonderland welcomes the curious, whether it be in regards to state of mind or appearance. Try taking a cue from the gothic Lydia in Beetlejuice, an eccentric of a different, albeit darker, kind, but an eccentric nonetheless.

photography A selection of fashion photographs taken in a studio environment as well as on location


These images were shot by myself and feature an array of garments created by Northumbria University’s final year fashion design students. The look book was created especially for Mulberry, after the clothes themselves were shown to Creative Director Emma Hill, to showcase the very best design talent Northumbria has to offer.


Northumbria University for Mulberry

final major project An anthropological, style oriented city guide series. Two separate titles provide guides to the cities of London and Newcastle upon Tyne

After being named, ‘The Wealthiest Borough in Britain’ based on the typical annual household income, it only makes sense that the residents of this area work hard and play even harder. With a luxury retail scene to rival even that of Bond Street, many flock to the area to visit high-end stores such as Anya Hindmarch, Hugo Boss and Kate Spade, all of whom sell fashion and accessories for the super sleek, not to mention super wealthy, Sloane.


cityscape CityScape is for those who like their travels to be as visual and creative as they are. For those who want to stray from the beaten path and find their own hidden gems, whilst experiencing all a city has to offer, CityScape brings you the very best in visual city guides showcasing retail, architecture, graphics, street fashion and so much more. We want our readers to experience a city like a local, appreciate the veritable visual delights on offer and look past the surface to the real destination beyond.


cityscape web presence

Signs are displayed throughout the area which target tourists, visitors and locals alike in order to encourage them to financially support the borough by shopping at local stores and market stalls. By doing so, the local area can continue to thrive and maintain many peoples’ livelihoods who reside within the area. With the threat of office blocks and High Street stores moving to the area, this support is more important than ever for those who endeavour to keep Camden as independent as possible, with its originality and uniqueness intact.

The London CityScape guide covers the boroughs of Camden, Kensington and Chelsea, Hackney and Westminster, showcasing just what makes each area so unique.




Hip-hop influences can be found even on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea...

cityscape newcastle upon tyne



This Chinese Art and Calligraphy exhibition showcases the work of three artists who specialise in traditional Chinese methods to create their pieces. This display illustrates the importance of heritage within this area for the Chinese society, which is of a considerable size due to the city’s two major universities, who have created a small yet pertinent culture all of their own within Newcastle. 22

Launches 10/06/2012

online animated mpu





events A range of fashion events work experience including two seasons at London Fashion Week and multiple design events in the North East

Events work experience I

completed various front-of-house duties that included greeting and liaising with guests, assembling goody bags and distributing press material.

Private opening night of ‘Catwalking’ by Chris Moore at Northumbria University - 25th November 2010 London Fashion Week A/W 2011 with Essence Communications Ashley Isham -18th February, 2011 at On|Off Studios Jena Theo - 18th February 2011 at On|Off Studios Belle Sauvage - 19th February 2011 at My Beautiful City London Fashion Week S/S 2012 with POP PR Ashley Isham - 6th September 2011 at Il Bottacio Bernard Chandran -16th September 2011 at Il Bottacio Spijkers en Spijkers - 17th September 2011 at Il Bottacio Live photo shoot with Bryce Aime -17th September 2011 at The May Fair hotel

photography by lucy topping


Lucy Topping

Mobile: +44 (0)7564 260278 Email: Address: 18 Busty Bank, Burnopfield, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE16 6NF Fashion Communication graduate with extensive experience in freelance journalism, seeking a role within fashion magazine publishing. Punctual and hard-working, I can write high quality copy to meet tight publishing deadlines

Journalism: Fashion writer for 1883 Digital

February 2012 - Present

Contributor to 1883 Magazine, writing fashion features covering subjects such as London Fashion Week and the movement of creative directors within the fashion industry. Contributor for Tantrum magazine

December 2011 - Present

I research and write articles for Tantrum magazine. Subjects include Pyrrha jewellery and an interview with the designers behind emerging fashion label, Nin3. I have liaised with PR companies to gain press material to aid with writing copy for the website. Fashion writer for The Flaneur

September 2011 – February 2012

I was given full creative control of articles, allowing me to enhance and hone my research skills and write a variety of features on fashion related items of my choice. Contributing Writer for

July 2010 – Present

I am a contributing writer for LA-based fashion and entertainment website, Trés Dope. I have written a number of articles including runway reviews and interviews, one of which was with New York label, Radenroro. I have also been approached personally by companies via Twitter in regards to reviewing their products. This position has improved my written analytical voice. Events and Retail: POP PR live photo-shoot in collaboration with Bryce Aime

17th September 2011

Front of house duties included greeting and liaising with guests, for a live stream photo shoot event in collaboration with designer Bryce Aime, which took place in the penthouse suite of The May Fair hotel in London. London Fashion Week intern for POP PR

16th – 21st September 2011

Assistant at Bernard Chandran, Ashley Isham and the Spijkers en Spijkers shows, all of which took place at Il Bottaccio at Grosvenor Place. I helped assemble and distribute goody bags and press material within the venue. London Fashion Week with Essence Communications

18th + 19th February 2011

I worked with Essence Communications for the A/W 2011 show season, assisting at the Jena.Theo, Ashley Isham and Belle Sauvage shows. This gave me valuable experience in problem solving, dealing with VIP guests and personal organisation skills. Topshop Sales Advisor (Part-time), Metrocentre, Gateshead

August 2010 – October 2011

I made myself aware of the current trends in-store and the influences behind the collections, as well as their key pieces, enabling me to give styling advice and recommendations to customers.

Skill set Journalism      

Reporting Research Sourcing Interviewing Proofreading Liaising with PR companies

IT     

MS Word MS PowerPoint Adobe InDesign Adobe Photoshop WordPress

Workplace     

Working to tight deadlines Problem solving Teamwork Client liaison Flexibility

Education: 2009 - 2012: Northumbria University, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication Course includes modules on journalism, PR, magazine creation and photography 2007 - 2009: Long Road Sixth Form College, Cambridge A-levels: 3 x A grades in English Literature, Photography and Film Studies AS-level: C grade in Psychology 2002 – 2007: Sawston Village College, Cambridgeshire GCSE’s: 11 x grades A – D, incl. English, Maths, Science, Design Technology and IT

Additional Achievements:  

Short-listed in the Skinny Cow Ice-cream Photography competition for Graduate Fashion Week 2010 I was selected, through my university, to present my Visual Merchandising concept to a representative from Dunhill. This was a live project, resulting in the winner’s concept being implemented into the Dunhill store window on Jermyn Street in London

3rd place in a ‘capsule wardrobe’ styling competition by South Molton St Style blog, which was voted for by blog readers (

Won 1st place in the 17–18 age group of the Cambridgeshire Young People’s Film Festival 2009 for an original short film which I made in a small group

Interests and Hobbies:     

Reading fashion magazines – Bon, Dansk, Tank, Lula, Elle, i-D, Nylon, AnOther, LOVE Fashion films and documentaries Going to museums and art galleries Travelling - within the UK as well as abroad Photography – Shooting rural and urban landscapes around the North East of England and London

References available upon request.

© Lucy Topping

Lucy Topping - Fashion Communication portfolio 2012  

The portfolio of a Fashion Communication graduate. A collective of academic and freelance work.

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