LFWM: Show Reviews featuring Vin + Omi, Blindness & Barbour International...
Following Fashion Week, no matter which one I attend, I always return home with an army of content to wade through. This season of men’s fashion week in London was no exception, however due to the shows not being as diverse as I expected, I wont be covering as many as I usually do, though it’s still taken me an age to finish my articles! Below is a small round up of notable or exceptional events from the shows back in June, with plenty of photos to gaze at. Vin + Omi Designers Vin and Omi held an intimate press call amongst the shows this season to launch to the fashion world its new initiative. Vin + Omi in partnership with the London College of Fashion have launched Bin 2 Body, a collaborative project to turn single use plastic bottles, collected during London Fashion Week Mens into fashion, which will be showcased at Vin + Omi’s next show in September.
Vin + Omi with the London College of Fashion (UAL) placed special bins at LFWM this season. These bins that were designed by students at the London College of Fashion are to collect as many used plastic bottles as possible. The bottles collected are processed into plastic flake and pellets, then further processed into new rPET textiles with a low microfibre release. Once the textile has been made using the waste plastic, the designers will work with students from the London College of Fashion to develop the new textiles into fashion and accessories for Vin + Omi’s next show, how fantastic!
I had so much fun listening to all the speakers at the presentation and I’m not only excited to see what Vin + Omi along with the students of the London College of Fashion create, but I’m excited that designers are trying to work within a sustainable and groundbreaking way. This project is to not only to highlight the abundance of plastic that London uses without any awareness to the damage it’s creating to our environment, but it helps bring awareness of recycling options to London Fashion Week and tie into the British Fashion Councils Positive Fashion Initiative. It’s also helping develop an educational programme with the London College of Fashion and it’s students to raise awareness, spur creativity and hopefully pave the way for fresh talent to also champion the process of recycling to the runway. “Consumers are becoming much more aware of where and how their clothing is produced. They are also conscious of how decisions they make can impact the planet. The fashion industry needs to respond quickly.” - Vin + Omi I personally love this initiative and I’m extremely grateful of designers Vin + Omi plus LCF and the BFC for bringing this to the public. It’s raising awareness of issues that we are currently facing, as well as showing us solutions, and how waste can be used positively and creatively. I’ve loved Vin + Omi for sometime, and have attending their runway shows in the past in awe, but now I’m in love, keep it up guys, I can’t wait to see what you do next...
Blindness Wow wow wow, what a show! Blindness certainly slayed the runway this season with their avant garde menswear, a show that ended in a huge round of applause with so much excitement and buzz in the air that I felt the need to record every moment in my phone! Blindness is a new brand on my radar, a brand I’m seriously in love with. It’s a progressive ready to wear brand founded in 2015 by Seoul based designer duo, Kyu Shin and Ji Park. Unafraid of self expression and through provoking material, the blindness concept is for fashion as a whole to become cross cultural, genderless, and to defy today’s binary society by challenging the status quo and showcasing their collections as both men’s and women’s.
The Blindness SS19 Collection saw the designers dissect the subject of ‘First Love’ with its emotion, beauty, vulnerability, curiosity, naivety, confusion and turmoil. Shin & Park encapsulated the conflicting emotions of love through the juxtaposition of untraditional fabrics, jumping from firm to soft, with a mix of layering. Romance was seen through exaggeration with a mix of silhouettes, flowing tulle and opulent costume styling. Decadent patterns, ruffles and the brands signature use of pearls in accessories, masks and corset embellishments all added to the mix.
The collection has a clear and precise message in its defiance of sociological binary norms and aims to be totally gender-fluid, cross cultural and unafraid of self expression. Blindness hopes to evoke the value of diversity in love and continue to challenge cultural and political values through their collection.
The collection is iconic and perfectly placed for what is happening in the current world which makes it so relevant to not only fashion but to society. Now before you laugh at the men stomping down the blindness runway just think... remember that people laughed at Gabrielle Chanel for dressing women in black, something that is now the ultimate colour for fashion but was once only for servants and not a colour to be seen in. She changed the world with fashion at a time the world was ready for change. Chanel pioneered the fact women didn’t need corsets, women wanted to move freely, not to be restricted, a time women started to free themselves from men and were hungry for their own rights. Fashion is always at the forefront of what is happening in society. For the uneducated it’s just clothes and totally silly, but fashion is something that is happening now, it’s evolving, it’s changing the world without you even realising it... and this show, I see was at the front of what is happening today, the breaking of gender norms, the rise of rights for LGBT, the freedom of expression and the right to not have to define your gender, masculinity, femininity. We were once strictly men and women, isn’t it time we are just individuals?
Barbour International Barbour this season held a fabulous presentation which was packed with bloggers, fashion insiders and celebrities. Barbour the brand shot to fame in 1936 when Duncan Barbour introduced into the range a one piece wax cotton suit called the Barbour International. As the name suggests it was developed specifically for the 1936 International Six Day Trials (ISDT) event, most famously worn by actor Steve McQueen in the ISDT during 1964. Today, a separate stand-alone brand, Barbour International celebrates this long and rich motorcycling heritage where the men and women’s collections are inspired by the biker look.
As my fellow fashionista @StyleGrimoires and I sashayed around the room looking at all the pieces drinking our complementary drinks, we noticed the brand had stuck to its usual aesthetic, everyday sportswear that was elevated with technical details. However after a lap of the room it wasn’t the clothing we were looking at, or the cheeky models, the room was a buzz with some of my favourite personalities ranging from those within the fashion world, to social media and tv stars, and of course, we mingled, gossiped, and took photos while having a fabulous time!
From Made in Chelsea we spotted Proudlock, someone whom always oozes killer Streetstyle. His personal style which came across when he was in the reality show Made in Chelsea helped him stand out, and he’s an advocate for men who can develop there own elevated style without any ostentatious avant garde, also, he’s genuinely super nice!
What a cutie!!! Georgia Toffolo is also one of the stars of Made in Chelsea, however after winning peoples hearts with her down to earth personality from appearing on I’m a celebrity, she’s become a household name. At first it was her super cute bag I spotted (after all, I’m a fashion boy, I look at the shoes and bag first!). So I sashayed over to say hello, and like the rest of Britain, fell in love with her cute down to earth personality.
It's Jim Chapman!!! I adore how genuine, kind natured and elegant Jim Chapman is. He’s an editor at GQ and a huge social media personality that I’ve followed for some time. Not many people reach over a million followers and still stay humble, but Jim is naturally a kind soul, who’s elegant but relaxed Menswear looks show how a true gentleman should not only dress, but act. It was really nice that his social media personality matched his actual personality as I’ve met many fashion insiders who honestly are nothing like they seem in the press. Jim is a true gentleman, not only in his style but in his mannerisms, it really was an honour to have a little gossip and say hi. As you can see, the clothing may have got a little lost as Saffy and I spent most of our time gossiping and making new friends, but the atmosphere at the Barbour International Presentation totally matched the collection, easy, relaxed, but totally hardworking.