ACCESSORIES! Scream it loud, scream it proud.
Accessories probably mean more to me than clothes or being able to afford dinner (even my Twitter handle is @BowTieBoy_CD) so you can imagine my delight when I was invited to Bloody Gray’s SS13 Press Day showcasing the UK’s newest brightest talent with star accessories designers such as Culietta, Gabriella Ingram and Maria Piana.
Taking place at the trendy Gallery in Soho this event was a great presentation of the next seasons collections, and old friends from my LFW experience popped up including Jayne Pierson and Martina Spetlova who were greeted with the usual double peck air kiss whilst I scanned the room. Now everyone at the showcase had bundles of talent, dynamic concepts and marketability but 3 collections really shone out for me: Maria Piana, who does the most amazing Wonder Woman/Sci-fi-esque jewellery; Barbara Alan, a team of two that create utilitarian laser-cut clothes that are effortlessly chic and wearable; and finally Gabriella Ingram, who makes some of the zaniest, wearable handbags I have. ever. seen. Let me break it down.
Maria Piana – Wonder Woman/ Gladiator Jewellery which everyone man, woman and child should have and all fashionistas are coveting.
Maria’s collection is inspired by the ‘notions of power and femininity’ which are both consistently emerging themes across women’s fashion trends right now and which she executes to a great degree. The innovative design and structure to the abstract pieces make them so distinct and identifiable, which is something every fashionista in London craves – to be truly unique. In addition to the artistic, warrior-esque power of the pieces Maria hand-forms and produces these pieces in London which adds a nice hand-made, bespoke feel to these eccentric items. The contrast of sharp and soft lines for the necklaces and in the ornate arm pieces (below – my faves) shows why Maria Piana will have such a bright future in the industry and why she already has such a great following including the queen of abstract herself, Lady Gaga.
Barbara Alan – hot, cool designers who make laser-cutting an art form and wearability a science.
Barbara Allan showcased a wonderful capsule collection which was effortlessly chic, laser-cut beautifully to show no stitches or design imperfections and represented easy ready-to-wear pieces you could take off the hanger, wear instantly and feel comfortable whilst still looking utterly elegant. In this they are pioneering, this effortless, comfortable chic which every fashionista is craving deep down BA have down to a tee. The meticulous attention to detail that Alan and Barbara described and showed me excited me as much as a fashion lover as it did as a consumer which is so important because we are now such demanding and knowledgeable consumers, we want to know everything. From dresses that cascade from front to back like a waterfall to sheer, sexy crop tops that have no stitches or visible imperfections, this collection was natural feeling, forward thinking and effortless – defo something Tilda Swinton would be bopping anyday.
Gabriella Ingram – the arty beaut who makes the snazziest, zaniest, Willa Wonka-funnest bags you will see this season.
My final ode or spotlight at this press day was Gabriella Ingram whose collection of abstract handbags blew me away with their usability (unlike half of my Timmy Woods bags that can just about fit my keys in and that’s it) and their absolutely refreshing design. She had bags that lit up at the bottom which you could have flashing at all times and recharged with a USB to on-trend wooden bags made of MDF and then oiled, greased, polished whates finished with a wonderfully ornate, baroque-style handle (see below). TO DIE FOR.
The Gabriella Ingram bags are one of a kind but are also so much fun and usable because they are so roomy inside which shows just how much thought and time she has put into making each of these pieces, and why she should get involved in even more fashion offerings as well as artistic showcases because I am definitely buying a bag real soon.
The innovation and thought of all these designers was refreshing and uplifting and underlined the fact that fashion too is changing within these ‘constrained times’ with designers really thinking about usability as well as comfort and aesthetic – that’s why I see such a brilliant future for all of them.
Final note – if any of these designers fancy sending me some samples or even joyous gifts I can assure you that I will accept them like hungry fashion hippos and eat up their fabulousity with extreme delight.
Twitter – @BowTieBoy_CD (DM me for more details).