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HOEWAN (Simulation) SS'13

filmed by JEJ for FACADES

Okay.  I love irony.  Cuting-edge yet comprehensible; futuristic yet familiar; outré yet hinting at establishment.  This man is one to look out for.  He seamlessly marries leather to fabric, and more, as one does to gin and vermouth.  The models enjoyed wearing his creations more than the spectators ogled at them.  And eerily modern as his take on construction and design are, the wearer is rendered enviably thin and superiorly comfortable.  He also started in men's wear and José and I were lucky to have met him at his exhibition.  I shall hunt him down.  Enough said.

Timur Kim SS'13

filmed by JEJ for FACADES

Seriously.  A fresh talent who showcased basic dressmaking skills in the mode of fabric blocking: denim, juxtaposed with twill and other cotton weaves of the same weight and hand.  Patternmaking 101 although quite sound.  As evidenced by Jose's choppy videography, we couldn't get over the ill-fitting (white!) pumps that either terrorised the otherwise gorgeous mannequins, or literally flew off their feet on numerous occasions.  Minutes after the show, we were driven to drink copious amounts of champagne.


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

The 90s were alive and well. Impeccable grooming.  With every piece having an occasion at which to be worn.  Each model wore their outfits as their own and I personally know women who will blithely have a go at each outfit. As a prêt-à-porter collection, this is beyond reproach in terms of fit, timelessness and value.  The fall of the garments is poetic and faultless.  Some of the best shoes of the London collections, too.  Not bad, at all. 


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

Minimalism is best served with a sure hand.  The absence of flourishes and decoration forces the beholder to concentrate on line, proportion and workmanship.  I saw very little of the sort in this collection.

The opening number, a shift in pleasing eggshell white, which quietly gradated to a shimmer of yellow toward the hem, was a welcome feast to the eye.  Alas, when the following pieces of trouser ensembles followed, the brevity one expects from all things minimal was transmogrified by pyjama-cut trousers topped by sleeved and sleeveless jackets that may have brought the word, 'frump' back to the vocabulary.  I adore garments that flow away from the body.  The sort that tricks the eye into imagining an oscillating figure within the garment.  But the absence of well cut sleeves and graceful armholes is akin to a statement devoid of punctuation.  The jumpsuit that was part of this bifurcated portion of the collection, with its V-neckline, flowed smoothly down the ramp.  Still, the sleeves needed more attention.  They were matronly.

My favourites:  the shimmery, bronze, three-quarter sleeved jacket worn over a pale terra cotta pant; the long shimmery dress in yellow and white; and the finale dress, resplendent in gold shimmery embroidery.  The models could barely walk in them.  But I trust, that would be noted for the next collection.  Charlotte Simpson shows promise.


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

This young designer has a grasp and understanding of synergy: the relationship between a woman and the clothes that woman wears.  She doesn't seem to dress clients; she seems to dress friends; people she knows.  With fringes generously strewn all over, panels of trousers, superimposed on dresses, and the occasional vine swaying unapologetically from otherwise 'acceptable' ensembles, Hana Cha renders her wearers dressed for certain and real occasions without making them look quite the victim.  Perhaps, because the clothes don't eclipse its wearers.  Or maybe, Hana's happening.

There were two pieces that punctuated this lady's philosophy for me: the all-white pantsuit ensemble and the simple, black jumpsuit.  This talented designer has either a keen understanding of what women want, or perhaps, she's mature beyond her years.  I suspect, she possesses both attributes. 


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

I could be wrong.  But I don't expect her next season.  A Dutch talent who apparently, as seen through this collection, thinks within the box (literally). 

With permission, here's an excerpt of a write-up on the the lady, by her compatriots: 

Her process involves little cutting or sewing. Instead, van Rees weaves each fiber directly into the desired shape. A modern fresh take on Chanel's tweed, whatever-she-means...bless her.

She lost me on "involves little cutting or sewing".  If you want tweed, go to the British Isles.  Chanel is all about cutting and sewing in all fabrics, with tweed being the easiest to manipulate.  Want something easier? Try bouclé.

And if her basic clothes had fit better, it would still be a laugh.  We were there. We got the keychain.  Even my housekeeper wouldn't accept it.  Do you even wear your own clothes, Mevrouw?  All the best of luck.

Ask José.  The worst of the collections.  And we love the Dutch.  Honestly.


filmed by JEJ for FACADES

Ming Pin Tien was one of the hottest tickets at the London Shows.  We were not only lucky to attend his catwalk show, we were also treated to meet him at the ensuing exhibit, where we were able to peruse, feel, smell, ooh and ahhh at his creations which were amongst the most Londonesque (for lack of a better word) of all the clothes we had seen.  What makes it more meaningful and startling is how a Taiwanese-born designer is able to inject his culture into his exquisite works whilst rendering them quintessentially, undoubtably English.  The piece that most astounded me: a hybrid coat in thick strips of leather constructed in the manner of ancient Chinese military armour, patterned after the quintessential English trench, replete with a tailored raglan sleeve.  What a talent.

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