BFW 2013: Zeitgeist

Intro Words > Lyssa Rutherford
Main Words > Jennie Davies
All Photos > Emma Bailey Copyright Pretty Litter Magazine

INTRO > Brighton Fashion Week offers an incredibly exciting and dynamic series of events crossing all sorts of creative boundaries, with how they pick their venues and present their shows, the models, the music and of course, the designers, who travel from all over the globe to our wonderful city to showcase their brilliant new collections.

No year fails to impress with the amazing talent, production and sheer dedication to creating such a thrilling experience, whether you are there purely for the show, or to be part of creating it. This year was made even more exciting for us as we were media partners with Brighton Fashion Week. So we packed up over 1500 of our latest issue to be on the seats and in the goody bags, and off we went to enjoy the glamorous event; myself, Jennie Davies (AKA Hooting Miss Owl – Brighton’s coolest fashion blogger – and also our new Fashion Editor) and one of our brilliant photographers, Emma Bailey. This is what we saw!

Brighton Fashion Week always takes place in a Church, somewhere in our fantastic city. This year’s event was set in St. Bartholomew’s; an incredibly opulent building with epically high ceilings where the roof is visible for miles around. It was a perfectly gothic venue for this year’s fashion event. The opening show for the week was Zeitgeist. Zeitgeist has historically been the Saturday night headlining show but this year it was chosen to kick the event off. The 13 collections on show included excellent the work of Faye Baldwin, Brian Chan, Francis O’Leary, Dioralop, Rebecca Pearson, and Hyung Tae Kim. All that showcased blew us away (as you’ll see in the pictures), but here I will focus on the designers that stood out for me:

We’ll start with Tata Christiane. Her collection had psychedelic kaleidoscope prints of tigers and horses and the lightweight fabric she chose to use with the chunky knits worked perfectly. All delicately decorated with fringing and pom-poms. The contrast of the techno-tribal threads, and inflatable Dora The Explorer accessories against the setting of the cavernous church made it a really fun start to the night.

Aimee Matthew-John’s collection was very different to the above, consisting of elegant tailored trouser suits styled simply with plimsolls and wide-rimmed hats. When the models turned on the catwalk, backless bolero jackets were revealed, adding a little twist to the simple yet effortless garments.

Icelandic designer, Magnea Einarsdóttir, showcased her Scandinavian craft techniques, translating them beautifully for the catwalk. Finely weaved panels of rubber and lambs wool were intricately layered together to fabricate simple, delicate dresses and trousers, almost gossamer or iridescent. It was a very monochrome ensemble so bold undergarments in metallic blues and golds added a splash of colour.

Ending the first half of the show was Nav Bains, leaving the audience on a high with her hip-hop inspired collection. You could see a huge amount of work had gone into each piece with denim being re-worked using bleach, dye, applique and spray paint. A huge eye for detail, Bains has captured a look that I can only describe as Bayeux-Tapestry-Meets-Street-Art. The colour palette was kept very girly by using shimmery pastels paired with colourful chains, topped off with similarly detailed wedge shoes.

The second half swung into action with pieces by Jovana Markovic. A very fairy tale inspired ensemble with large peter pan collars and leather capes and a touch of delicacy added with lace and floral embroidery detail. There was definitely a dark side in the colour scheme of ox-blood red and black, which added a bewitching effect, especially with the eerie wind-up music box sounds that were playing as the models walked up and down the catwalk.

The next collection quickly brought us careening out of our fairy tale daze and brought us screaming into the colourful world of knitwear designer, Katie Jones. Mexican Day of the Dead skulls were combined with granny square heaven, a rainbow hued South American Stitch ’n’ Bitch! The colours were fun and bold and instantly got me dreaming of sunshine and festivals. Brighton’s own ‘La Choza’ restaurant would have been proud!

The headliner of the show, Jess Eaton, I can imagine her collection was everyone’s favourite of the night because as always it was immaculate. This year her collection was inspired by and called ‘Air’ and was split into four sets. The first to come out on to the catwalk was quite a wearable look with khaki dresses, given a pop of colour with bright red feathers adorning shoulders and the head. The second set had 1940’s style dresses paired with brightly dyed feathers in primary colours, resulting in a ‘modern vintage’ look. The third set featured two samurai inspired outfits that seemed to represent Yin and Yang in opposing blacks and whites. Then the final set (the jaw-dropper), was upon us; beautiful evening and bridal wears tailored from old parachutes, birds and antlers. Parachutes were a wonderful material to use as the fabric drapes and moves beautifully on the body, coupled with Jess Eaton’s trademark RoadKill Couture this made for some truly wondrous garments.

Read PL Editor Lyssa Rutherford’s six page interview with Liz Bishop, founder of Brighton Fashion Week, in our current issue where she heads our entrepreneurial series, South Side Up >




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