From production agents to catwalk choreographers, there’s an entire network of talent behind the lights, camera and action of the world’s premier campaigns, catwalk shows and fashion images. Indigo Clarke talks to eight industry insiders who make fashion fantasies happen.
In the buzzing surrounds of London’s Shoreditch House, the endlessly amusing Charles Anastase lounged in a deep easy-chair and made his predilection for ridiculous tropical cocktails known. Pina Colada’s all round, Anastase talked art, life and obsessing over women with Indigo Clarke.
Off kilter and thrown together, but in the most effortlessly chic way possible, New York designer Alexander Wang's collections are for 'cool girls' who prefer attitude over explicit sex-appeal. With loose tank-tops, jeans, and ripped and raw fabrics making up an intentionally sullied collection this season, Wang is outfitting the kind of girl who can roll out of bed wearing her boyfriend's wife-beaters and jeans and make it look like a fashion statement.
From classic 1940's twin-sets through to 80s bejewelled bat-wing numbers and fluoro 90s lycra-mix band-aid dresses, knitwear in its endless forms has been a constant fixture in fashion throughout the decades. It's recurrently moved in and out of favour over the years as various designers, notably reigning 'queen of knitwear' Sonia Rykiel (who proved knitwear could follow any trend), have revealed their enduring obsession with all things knit from season to season.
Where to start with designer, artist and garage-band musician Pamela Love? Put simply, the girl is multi-skilled, multi-faceted and an NYC it-girl – oh, and to top it off, she's a true-born Love. Over recent years the 27 year old has become known for both a chicly thrown-together personal style and successful eponymous jewellery line – a range of iconic designs melding symbolic remnants of nature (she's a self-described science and nature obsessive) with rock'n'roll attitude that strike an easy balance between the masculine and feminine.
Favoured by the beautiful and modern – iconic stars Kate Moss, Chloe Sevigny and Amy Winehouse among them, London label Preen has since it's inception been snapped up by the coolest it-girls around. Going strong for over ten years, design duo and long-time partners, the endlessly affable Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, have carved out a niche for their effortless and experimental aesthetic and approach to fashion – an attitude they put down to growing up in the Isle of Man, a sunny little island where anything goes.
Evoking magic and nostalgia with 'dreamy electronic pop', Brooklyn's all-girl all-keyboard trio, Au Revoir Simone, have the world head-over-heels for their idiosyncratic sound. With songs inspired by love, life and thoughts in motion, what may have begun as a side project (and way to celebrate the oft-forgotten keyboard) for creators and best friends Erika Forster, Heather D'Angelo and Annie Hart, soon took on a life of its own.
Wallflowers step aside, Nicholas Kirkwood’s menacingly seductive heels are for legs that demand a bit of ogling. Never a kitsch frill or bow in sight, these angular kicks channel 80s power stilettos with jumped up sex appeal, rejecting ornamentation in favour of sculptural glamour. Sitting back on a sunny afternoon, London’s most promising young shoe designer got talking with Indigo Clarke over a glass or two of champagne in his South London pad.
Following a personal philosophy to, “make the world a prettier place,” London-based multi-faceted fashion label Eley Kishimoto is doing just that – one dress, pair of shoes, wallpaper print and house-hold product at a time. Launched in the early 90s after designers Mark Eley and Wakiko Kishimoto fell in love as graduates undertaking internships in New York, got married and embarked on a fashion partnership, Eley Kishimoto began with the humble ambition of creating fabric prints for fashion labels. With influential designers including Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan employing their designs in their collections soon after, the duo saw the potential in creating their own clothing using their trademark bold, bright and pop floral prints.
Fashion's mood relaxed as designers welcomed the new season with day-to-night and classic sportswear-inspired creations. Whether purposely becoming more relevant, or just more saleable, the pragmatism of many Spring/Summer collections pointed at wearability as a defining trend, writes Indigo Clarke.
Inciting a momentary anti-fashion movement in New York when it arrived on the scene eight years ago, cult label Imitation of Christ from the outset aimed to shock. Seemingly as invested in theatrics as fashion, the label, started by former art students Matt Damhave and Tara Subkoff, kicked off with a debut show featuring re-worked vintage upon models in faux mourning at a downtown Manhattan funeral parlour, while a successive season saw press and buyers forced to walk the catwalk while models lounged in the stands, and yet another unconventional show demanded money for charity from an unsuspecting audience.
Grunge made an unlikely comeback over the last year with cult New York label Phi's fusion of androgynous tailoring and monochrome layering of lightweight, feminine fabrics. Inspiring women everywhere to adopt a darker attitude and approach to style, Phi's creative mastermind, Andreas Melbostad, has a vision encompassing everything from punk revelry to the photography of Helmut Newton. Taking a moment out of his hectic schedule, Melbostad let Indigo Clarke in on Phi past and pending.