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Brighton Fashion Week


Vanessa Austin Locke, editor of the Brighton Fashion Week blog, website and social media, is playing with the big kids at London Fashion Week


ORMALLY, I like to focus on local fashion, designers and events in this column. Twice yearly, though, all eyes in the fashion world turn to the capital for inspiration and opportunity, so I too made the biannual pilgrimage to where the streets are paved with gold, girls are born in heels and it really is just like The Devil Wears Prada. Day One saw me at Paul Costelloe, Caroline Charles, Bernard Chandran and Felder Felder not to mention LFW’s first hair show with Toni & Guy, which was opened by Naomi Campbell, no less. Costelloe, elegant and classic as ever, brought in some beautiful bell sleeves which reappeared throughout the week. Felder Felder brought back grunge with some (yes!) tie-dye. Hello Nineties… I missed you. Day Two began with DAKS, which was all about the British seaside in the Fifties, and completely charming. But my favourite show of the day, and possibly the week, was Ashish. I’m a keen gardener, and the huge sequined sunflowers, the daisies growing out of boots that looked like flower pots, the brick wall print and trousers held up by garden twine delighted me. Felicity Brown, Jaeger and Vivienne Westwood were next. The latter (of course) was great, bringing to mind mer-monsters with ropes of hair wound round their 202 SUSSEX LIFE November 2011

necks and dark, striking colours. I also managed to catch Brighton Fashion Week’s own headliner Edward Finney who performed a live guerrilla show in the Somerset House courtyard. Day Three saw Margaret Howell show a collection that looked like a rainy summer in the West Country, with the best yellow fisherman’s mac I have ever seen. Mulberry was a dogfriendly event with plenty of pooches in ponchos. Holly Fulton showed lots of bold geometrical prints with an Art Deco influence and a dark, vivid colour palette. The Topshop show, well… I must confess to not paying any attention to the show because I was sat directly opposite the Empress of fashion herself, Editor of American Vogue Anna Wintour. Final show of the day was Jayne Pierson and a collaboration with the Royal Ballet, which had all the models/dancers strutting en pointe. Day Four and I’m getting pretty exhausted, but I bravely solider on. The day began with Antipodium, who used some older models, which was lovely to see, and how striking they were. More animal print with a twist, a sport influence and straight lines. Martin van der Ham treated us to a champagne lunch at his show which revived flagging fashion writers. Mark Fast showcased fringing (another trend to watch) more grunge

and a volcanic colour mood. Todd Lynn had some great cut out detail on the hips and shoulders of an almost colourless collection. Hips and shoulders are, by the way, the body parts of SS12. Great use of different levels on skirts and shirts here. On Day Five I somehow manage to drag myself through Mary Katrantzou, Osman, Meadham Kirchhoff (which was entirely and wonderfully bizarre) and finally Danielle Scutt. The big themes for SS12 are mesh, fringe, sports, dark colours, animal print, levels, geometric prints, grunge, preppy, 20s50s and an overall mood of strength. These could easily be AW collections and it seems that England has finally given up on SS and resigned itself to the fact that no matter how many maxi dresses it buys, it’s just never going to be able to wear them.

Next month I’m going to be talking to Alexei Izmaylov, who I caught up with at LFW, and we’ll take a closer look at his collection. Contact Vanessa: Vanessa@ Follow Vanessa on Twitter: @VnessEnvy Follow Brighton Fashion Week on Twitter: @BFW2011 Facebook: BrightonFashionWeek

Fashionable Life London Fashion Week

Meadham Kirchoff

Meadham Kirchoff

Todd Lynn

Meadham Kirchoff


DAKS November 2011 SUSSEX LIFE 203

Brighton Fashion Week Talks  

My monthly fashion column for Sussex Life ­ November issue on London Fashion Week S/S '12

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