Chutzpah’s Weekly Barometer – London Fashion Week special

by Katie on September 23, 2011

A light hearted look back over the past week’s good, bad and indifferent including the “don’t even go there’s”.


THE TWENTIES – Blame Marc Jacobs, or maybe next Summer’s remake of F.Scott Fitzgerald’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ directed by Baz Luhrmann, but the refined elegance of the Roaring Twenties was brought bang up to date by the savviest London designers. Having an impact in Milan’s catwalks, too.

AQUASCUTUM MENSWEAR – Aquascutum wowed with their slimmer silhouette and focus on cloth, cut, and construction. Team Chutzpah needs the entire collection (pictured right).

TEATUM JONES – Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones became the new names to drop amongst the cognoscenti after a sensational third collection.  Katie LOVED.

CLASHES – Colours, fabrics, textures, prints – even the bright blue lips at Mary Katrantzou, it’s a Fashion Fail next season if your look isn’t making strangers wince.

THE PARACHUTE COAT – Billowing and oversized outerwear FTW. We especially liked Jena Theo’s version (left).

SUPER-NATURAL – Many designers found inspiration in the world around us, from Ashish’s sequinned sunflowers to Jordan Askill’s swallow necklace.

CHAMPAGNE – It’s not a fashion event without the pop, and boy did it flow.

CRAFTWERK – Raffia-threaded knitwear at Mark Fast, hand-painted prints, intricate applique, designers forced us to examine the disciplines and techniques used. Fashion slows down and is all the more beautiful for it.

VERSACE MOMENTS – Marios Schwab had one. So did the Felder sisters. Will you?

TODD LYNN – A creatively-tight collection christened by us as “a future-perfect punk Armani”. Our favourite of the week, and a heavyweight editor and British Fashion Council presence appeared to agree with us.  (Pictured right).

THE PRESS LOUNGE – Crushed and lacking plug points for re-charging (BFC don’t completely ‘get’ social media and having LFW trend on twitter), this season’s press lounge was (like a number of collections) great in theory and poor in execution. How about monitors showing the live-streamed presentations next time too and providing a rolling screen of tweets mentioning #LFW.  We need to push London in the global market.

STREET STYLE CELEBRITY WANNABEES – Hoardes of fashion students and bedroom ‘blaggers’ desperate to be photographed, all striking poses (mostly in badly thought-through outfits) at the entrance to Somerset House and in front of the BFC tent.  Smacks of desperation and not original at all.  All they did was hold up the show queues and we all know how we feel about *that*

ELIZA DOOLITTLE – (Pictured left) The granddaughter of Sylvia Young (yes, THAT Sylvia Young) did a Diana Vickers and was EVERYWHERE this season – and we all know how much that helped La Vickers’ career.

PUFF ‘N’ NONSENSE – Frou-frou frills, ruffles, crocheted breastplates…haven’t they heard of the old adage “Less is more”?

CHEEK – No, we won’t review this collection or that party if you didn’t invite us, nor will we drop everything for a last minute e-vite. FYI we have a schedule too. 

THE FIFTIES – An extension of previous seasons’ Fit-and-Flare, or a nod to the 65th anniversary of Dior’s New Look, the tailored top and full skirt of the 1950’s became the no-brainer commercial path for less creative brands.

FASHION DENIAL – Desperate-to-appear-“cool” journalists push taste aside and laud middling collections overwhelmed by the presentation (eg Meadham Kirchhoff). You can trust Katie & Team Chutzpah to tell it how it is.
MEN’S FORMAL SHORTS – The jury is still out on this trend. We’d like to see a pair on someone other than pallid fashion students who’ve been dieting into leggings for the last few seasons.

CELEBRITY LAUNCHES – Whilst Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow label was tucked away deep in the bowels of Somerset House, catalogue shopping giant Very’s decision to launch their latest collaboration with Fearne Cotton at the end of an event-packed week was met with widespread yawns. Misguided PR advice and bad timing methinks.

THE MODEL DROUGHT – Some newspapers are running stories how London Fashion Week is “in crisis” following the decision by some big modelling names to cut straight to Milan after being stranded in New York by Hurricane Irene. This is in direct contrast to a fortnight ago, when these publications were bigging-up London as the global focus for fashion this season, following interest in Kate Middleton and Tom Ford’s decision to show his Spring/Summer 2012 womenswear collection in the city. Lest we forget, London isn’t selling aspiration, handbags, or lipstick. London is selling cutting-edge creativity and street-style savvy – and we don’t need Brazilian supermodels to do that.

Barometer compiled by Katie Chutzpah and Lee Clatworthy (@Teamchutzpah).  Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment in the comment box below.  Thank-you.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Verena Hafner - musings of a fashion stylist September 29, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I so agree with the street style wannabes! T’was the same at Lincoln Center. People have no shame…


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