Thomas Tait SS16

Untitled-1 Untitled-2 Untitled-3 Untitled-4 Untitled-5 Untitled-6 Untitled-7Thomas Tait is, in my humble opinion, one of the top three most innovative and thoughtful designers working in fashion today. His recent spring summer 2016 collection in London makes me more convinced than ever that my opinion is fact. He works with unconventional colours and combines out-of-the-box fabrics and somehow it all works. The man has taste. He does sexy allure that oozes elegance. His styling is unexpected but impeccable—I never thought a mustard tank top could look so fancy paired with a shaggy jacket. His ability to think of fresh ways to show skin is commendable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen strategically placed, embellished circular holes like these being used to show off some leg. I adore the dark denim with embellished knee holes, which are a welcomed riff on ripped-at-the-knees jeans that have been absolutely everywhere for the past season. I even love the super cakey mascara on some of the models. IT ALL WORKS AND I AM FLABBERGASTED. What a treat it is to experience Tait’s designs season after season. He certainly has a bright future ahead of him.

Images via Vogue.com

London Fashion Week AW15 RTW: Best Of

Fashion week is exhausting. OK, so I haven’t actually attended any shows yet and all I’ve had to do so far is keep up with the media coverage, but trust me, looking at collection after collection in my web browser gets very tiring after the 50th collection. I am excited to switch things up and see some clothes in person tonight, as I will be attending Toronto’s pre-fashion week show, The Collections, highlighting the best in up-and-coming Canadian designers. If I’m being honest, both the intimate setting and the quality of the designers make the Collections far more exciting to me than fashion week itself. Stay tuned for coverage from the shows in the next few days.

Until then, check out my picks for some of the best Autumn Winter 2015 collections from London Fashion Week. As a sidenote: London has become the fashion week each season that I look forward to the most. In many ways, the subversiveness and innovation of the designers who show here are comparable to what I’ve seen in Paris, but with more youthfulness and I-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. As such, I also find the collections in London to be the most polarizing. Let us know which collections you liked/disliked the most!

Caitlin Price for Fashion East

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2014 British Fashion Council Awards

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Erdem SS15; Marques’Almeida AW14

More than New York, more than Milan, and yes, even more than Paris, London is the global epicentre for bold, directional fashion design. No wonder our most exciting homegrown talents keep ditching Canada for these far more adventurous shores. Some of my most beloved designers in the past few years have paid their dues in London, which is also home to one of the most influential fashion institutions in the world. Even their bloggers are cooler than ours.

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And so it was with great excitement that I perused this year’s winners of the British Fashion Awards, presented at Central Saint Martins and by the British Fashion Council today. Canada has a lot to learn from the British government in the process of cultivating a vibrant and economically viable local fashion industry. After all, the biggest winner of the night was Montreal native and Ryerson grad, Erdem (Moralioğlu), who was named Womenswear Designer of the year. The British fashion industry must be doing something right to not only attract a designer of this calibre, but to also help him grow the international brand that Erdem is today.

Marques-Almeida-SS-12-12 maxts6 Marques-Almeida-2-Vogue-28Aug13-PR_bMarques’Almeida SS13 – Still so relevant

The Pack’s favourite Marques’Almeida won the award for Emerging Womenswear Designer of the year. It seemed like everybody and their grandmother was wearing the brand’s trademark distressed denim this year, so there was no doubt in my mind that they’d win by a landslide. Well deserved! ❤

img-simone-rocha_144932695054 l simonerochaThe designer; AW13; AW14

Simone Rocha was named the winner of the New Establishment Designer award, which is given to “a British womenswear or menswear designer that is taking the global industry by storm”. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. You can read our coverage of the designer’s stunning SS15 collection here.

COW1788 COW1789 blck wpid-picsart_1391980000929 Victoria Beckham AW14; SS14

Named British Designer Brand of the year, Victoria Beckham’s success and contribution to the British fashion industry is indisputable (albeit pretty surprising). Although her clothes aren’t the most innovative, they’re always expensive-looking and very wearable.

jw jwanderson2J.W. Anderson AW14; SS15

No surprise here. J.W. Anderson is one of the world’s most forward-thinking ready-to-wear designers, in both womenswear and menswear, so it was nice to see him get recognized for his contributions to British menswear design.

You can peep the full list of nominees and winners here. For photos of guests and select red carpet looks, click after the jump!

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SS15 Trend Watch: Amoeba Shapes

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L-R: Mary Katrantzou; Issa; Helen Lawrence for Fashion East

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 L-R: IcebergAdeam; Iceberg

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L-R: Thomas Tait; VionnetChristian Wijnants

We spied enough splotchy amoeba shapes adorning S/S 2015 lines to hail them a bit of a Spring micro-trend. Perhaps taking cues from cult-label Jacquemusplayful atomic ameoba fixation over the past few seasons, designers like Adeam and Helen Lawrence plastered dresses with huge amorphous patches. Issa and Mary Katrantzou featured wavy fissures that morphed throughout their designs while Thomas Tait and Christian Wijnants played with inconsistent protozoan patterns. At Iceberg and Vionnet delicate cellular appliqués and lacework were especially astounding.

Simone Rocha SS15

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Simone Rocha always brings it. Her SS15 collection was one of my favourites from the now-finished London Fashion Week because it made me question my strictly monochrome, aggressively plain personal style. The Simone Rocha woman is feminine and wants to be dressed in beautiful things. Simone has successfully delivered this every season since her debut in 2010. Born to renowned Irish designer John Rocha, Simone has carved her own uniquely romantic space in women’s ready-to-wear, and the fashion world took notice. Early this year, she was nominated and considered a front-runner for the LVMH Prize. Although the prize eventually went to the equally-uncompromising Thomas Tait, the loss did little to slow her rise. Hugely influential players in the industry, including Suzy Menkes and Karl Lagerfeld, have since come out in support of her designs, and her collections have found more and more buyers like Colette in Paris and 10 Corso Como in Milan, Seoul, and Shanghai. rocha4 rocha5 rocha6

Her new collection, like much of her previous work, reflects a deep sense of romance with a touch of the erotic. Curly-tressed Victorian babes shuffled softly but not without purpose down the catwalk, dressed in various boudoir-like textiles like brocade, embroidered mesh, even marabou fur. Every piece is undeniably pretty, but never boring or wimpy. There’s power and grit in an all over gaudy red floral print, and similarly, in a woman who isn’t afraid to wear a completely see-through outfit. In fact, what makes these looks so memorable is their lack of restraint—why send down just one piece of transparent pink mesh when you can show an entire three-piece suit with the same fabric? rocha7 rocha8

When I read that a major source of inspiration for this collection was Wong Kar Wai’s films and Hong Kong, it made total sense to me why I couldn’t get these designs out of my mind. Wong is the master of romance done thoughtfully, and one of my favourite filmmakers. Every single one of his movies (In the Mood for Love, Chungking Express), from the cinematography to the costumes, from the music to the set design, have been artfully constructed to evoke love and longing and loss between the characters. I found that the red floral looks and the rose-embroidered mesh pieces, in particular, recalled the intricate, vibrant qipao dresses worn by Maggie Cheung in In the Mood for Love. Rocha’s grandmother is from Hong Kong and the designer visits the island every year. How lovely to see traces of her past in the beautiful clothes she makes.

All images via style.com

Thomas Tait Wins LVMH Prize

12-12-08.rebecca04 copyThomas-Tait-sketchbook-500x351Thomas-Taittumblr_mzev213IkS1rn12fjo1_1280Congratulations to Montreal-raised Thomas Tait for winning the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Designers! Catch up on this year’s finalists, and who Tait beat, in our earlier coverage here.

The technically gifted avant-garde designer wins a cash prize of 300,000 euros and a year-long mentorship at the luxury goods giant. The two runner-ups, Hood By Air and Miuniku, were each awarded 100,000 euros. A jury made up of some of the biggest names in contemporary ready-to-wear, including Pack favourites Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, and Raf Simons, chose Tait from a bevy of young international talent. Check out Tait’s post-win interview with The Business of Fashion here.

 

LVMH Prize for Young Designers

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Since first announcing their Prize for Young Designers in November of last year, luxury mega conglomerate LVMH has been narrowing down competitors in the highly publicized lead up to their final decision this May 2014. From an original pool of 1,200 applicants, first 30 semifinalists and now 12 finalists have been chosen. The competition pits young under-40 designers who have at least two ready-to-wear collections under their belts against each other for the chance to win the approval of a jury comprised of the Creative Directors of eight of LVHM’s fashion houses and its corporate executives (read: a pretty tough crowd). The winner also gets 300,000 euros and a year of mentorship under the gilded wings of the LVMH empire. The benefits flow both ways, though, as the prize is an undoubtedly philanthropic way for LVMH to discover and lay claim to the best and brightest up-and-coming designer talent. Unlike other fashion prizes, LVMH’s contest was held online and was open to applicants from around the world. After the 30 semifinalists presented their lines to jurists like Raf Simmons and  Nicolas Ghesquière and fashion-minded celebrities like Kanye West during Paris Fashion Week, only 12 finalists remain. With a few of The Pack’s fav designers up for the prize (Hood By Air ; Jacquemus; Simone Rocha) it’s hard to pick sides, but check out our listing and place your bets…

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