FASHION TREATS LFW A/W15

London Fashion Week can seem a bit of a chaotic time. From the outside it could look like a lot of fuss over frivolity, peacocks parading for street photographers and avant garde outfits sailing down catwalks in outrageous styles and unnatainable prices. For me the whole point of going to fashion week is just the same as visiting a museum or gallery. It's chance to see the outcomes of everything the designer/artist has most recently been obsessed and in love with. Their fascinations, what they have been dreaming, eating, living, and now created as beautiful things we can wear

But the serious side of fashion means this is a crucial time for designers, their chance to promote and sell their creations to international buyers and gain press coverage for their work be seen and known. As Alexander Fury writes in Issue 1 of this Febs Fashion Daily; "There's one thing that frequently gets overlooked about the fashion business. Namely, it's a business...Hence I aplaud the BFC's new Business Pillar. It emphasises the industrious work behind fashion, which generates billions for the UK economy."

Inspiration "mood boxes" in Topshop's NewGen area of Somerset House

Inspiration "mood boxes" in Topshop's NewGen area of Somerset House

With all this in mind, I'm happy to say that the joy of fashion is still being upheld. The escapism, fun and enjoyment you can gain from what you wear keeps us creative and individual. This is what makes it such a lucrative business. Enough with the mundane, the sensible option, the reality of life. We can have that any-time. Here are some of the designers I saw with the theme of enjoying life and the freedom of wearing your favourite things, evoking a time of innocence, excitement and curiosity. So let's  pour ourselves a bowl of (designer) sugary cereal and enjoy...

 

First up is Sadie Williams. I loved her collab for & Other Stories so it was great to see some of her catwalk pieces up close in their scrumptious textures. Indulge in softly metallic stripes reminiscent of luxurious Tunnock's teacakes and playful shapes assembled on diaphanous fabrics these were sophisticated, wearable versions of collages we might have pritt-sticked and glitter-glued out of sweetie wrappers at playtime.

Sparkling textures from Sadie Williams

Sparkling textures from Sadie Williams

Sadie says her own childhood was hands on and creative, with a DIY  attitude encouraged by a mum who loved textiles. You can tell from the way these pieces seemed free and light, unaware of anything else apart from the enjoyment of colour, shape and texture.

These combinations of woven fabrics and futuristic flashes was like seeing a scrap box of snippets of salvaged fabrics curated with a magpie's eye. It makes sense that her mum also had a bric a brac stall, from these combinations of old and new stating her influences as "early constructivist Rodchenko and folky shapes" and with an auntie like Venetia Scott, Sadie really makes it work to feel fresh and desirable for a fashionable fan-base.

Space Age plants for Sadie William's showroom

Space Age plants for Sadie William's showroom

Walking on a Sugar High! I was addicted to these PEZ shoes- a fantastic idea dreamed up by Camilla Elphick. 

My eye was immediately draw to Kirsty Ward's new collection as I wandered the corridors of Somerset House. Kirsty studied her Womenswear degree in my own old uni city of Manchester before her MA at London's Central Saint Martins. Her latest offerings featured sugary shades with baubles and beads reminiscent of strawberry bon bons and twists of licorice.  "I like to make pieces that the wearer will love, with thought going into every last detail. I also love to mix jewellery with clothing - blurring the line where one stops and the other starts."

 

Kirsty Ward has also collaborated with another favourite of mine- William's Handmade, to make her neat but usefully sized and shaped bags to put the fun into functional with their embellished leather cubes in the same sweet palette.

Here are the rest of William's own bags in her new collection shown at London Fashion Week. These portable pouches, and takeaway totes are an everyday version of the asymmetrical  silhouettes and jukebox inspired steamer trunks from her big luggage pieces I first fell in love with a few years ago.

Casual leanings, these smart bags will always put you at ease wherever you take them.

Casual leanings, these smart bags will always put you at ease wherever you take them.

Williams Handmade, fun, functional and beautifully made in quality materials, bags to fill a niche in your wardrobe.

Williams Handmade, fun, functional and beautifully made in quality materials, bags to fill a niche in your wardrobe.

If Warhol was doing Pop Art in the Thirties...  getting an appetite for Cleo Ferin Mercury's "Diner" scarf.

If Warhol was doing Pop Art in the Thirties...  getting an appetite for Cleo Ferin Mercury's "Diner" scarf.

I would have to combine this scarf from Cleo Ferin and and a pair of Termite shades for the ultimate brunch outfit.

The Factory set might also be wearing some of the amazing shades on offer from TERMITE, mixing materials for fabulous frames in modern shapes with a 6Os sense of psychedelia.

The Factory set might also be wearing some of the amazing shades on offer from TERMITE, mixing materials for fabulous frames in modern shapes with a 6Os sense of psychedelia.

So it looks like there's plenty of fun to come with the next Season's offerings from our designers. Let's enjoy having fun with fashion a little bit of what you fancy and a LOT OF WHAT YOU LOVE!

"What Is Jewellery?" Exhibition Piece No.2 Sweet Ruin Ring

Jewellery Is...JOY

The exhibition this ring is in is about answering the question "What Is Jewellery" by using unorthodox materials. With this piece I have included a marble, a lovely object to enjoy but not considered precious, or a usual material for jewellery as it is, although it is delicate and made of glass. By working in resin I also get to explore colour in my work. This sweet pink shade brings many comments on how tasty it looks, "nougat" being a word often heard from people seeing some of these pieces for the first time. 

Sweet Ruin  Ring, 2014 silver, resin, glass marble, granite, Jade Mellor.  Read about this ring and the Modern Ruin series in the shop   HERE

Sweet Ruin Ring, 2014 silver, resin, glass marble, granite, Jade Mellor. Read about this ring and the Modern Ruin series in the shop HERE

Chanel Jelly Shoes! 

Chanel Jelly Shoes! 

Playing marbles. The milky white one above was used in the Sweet Ruin Ring!

Playing marbles. The milky white one above was used in the Sweet Ruin Ring!

One of my studio snacks, sweet dried papaya! I love the bizarre chewy, squidgy crystalline texture and it gives me a sugar buzz!

One of my studio snacks, sweet dried papaya! I love the bizarre chewy, squidgy crystalline texture and it gives me a sugar buzz!

Here's a wonderful comment from a visitor to our annual open studios last month on seeing my work for the first time:

They’re playful, not stuffy. They cheer me up.
— Michael Flood 2014

This ring is about enjoying life and celebrating and sharing the things you love! By wearing jewellery you are offering it to the world. You are communicating, you nearly always HAVE to touch it, it invites you to interact, it is playful. It is sharing a bag of sweets. It is saying to the lady on the bus, "I like your hat..." it is smiling at a funny looking sausage dog on the street. That extra effort of dressing up, to take pleasure in life and decorating the world around you, taking the time to finish off an outfit, making a statement of who you are or what you like. 

My mother was very chic and she used to say you could have a single dress but with different accessories you could have 27 different outfits.
— "Rare Bird of Fashion" The Irreverent Iris Apfel.

Even the plainest outfit is transformed with an interesting piece of jewellery, or that exquisite piece could also be the cherry on a delicious, fruity, multicoloured, hot fudge, nutty ice cream sundae of an ensemble.

Iris Apfel The "Rare Bird of Fashion".

Iris Apfel The "Rare Bird of Fashion".

So now let's spread the jewellery rainbow! If you don't do it already, or if you have gotten out of the habit (I know my studio scruffs don't always lend themselves to "accessorising" beyond safety glasses) then let's take that extra two minutes to put on something extra, not for habit or practical reasons, but just for the sheer pleasure of choosing something you like. And if you are already a strong card carrying member of the accessories club, how about acknowledging someone else you see who has worn something just for the joy of it. 

The "Sweet Ruin Ring" is currently in the exhibition "What Is Jewellery?" at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, curated by Eve Redmond. Details HERE.

Mellor/Booty Bag

I'm really enjoying collaborating with fashion designer Charlotte Booty at the moment. Her garments push the boundaries utilising unconventional embellishments but still really wearable through their carefully considered design and construction. The opportunity of creating pieces using her beautiful crochet skills has been a joy, and combined with my studies at the moment into Mesolithic hunter-gatherers has resulted in this bag which combines her intricate textiles with sturdy leather, metal jump rings, nuts & bolts and natural stone.

jade mellor charlotte booty crochet black bag collaboraton.JPG
jade mellor collaboration charlotte booty crochet bag.jpg

I have made it big enough to accommodate my big sculpture books (regular totes are frustratingly a tad to small) and a few other essentials for a modern hunter gatherer existence. I think I may eventually make several liners in different colours so I can change it as they will show through nicely in the open weave. 

jade mellor charlotte booty bag collaboration black leather.JPG