Article: Roy Hilton
Young emerging Saudi Arabian fashion designer Noa Couture is blurring the lines between the sexes and redefining the Silhouette role in this modern gender fluid sociality, with his latest prêt-à-porter collection “Windows”.
Paying Homage to the works and life of Zaha Hadid was the backbone of this sessions collection. However the real soul and inspiration comes from the life struggles of any artist. The duality of realty and creativity, body and mind, life and death, the awareness of our limited time, and finally our stamp and place we have made in the universe.
In this refreshing unisex collection, the attention to fit is impeccable. Having to deal with numerous challenges not only in the form of chromosomes but to try to compliment any shape and height.
Noa Couture has raised the bar in this field, using a muted colour rang of white back and navy blue, and off tones, representing the modernist idealism: Line, form, structure as-well as making it classic and wearable all year around.
Article: Christopher George
The 25th anniversary of Viktor&Rolf couldn’t be better displayed than at the Kunsthal Museum, Rotterdam. The duo exhibited works spanning through extreme and unique career.
With Rotterdam barely an hour’s flight from the UK, it’s just as easy to pop over to the Netherlands as it can be travelling across London to see any exhibition. Personally, I find journeying to Rotterdam a far more enjoyable experience than battling the crowds and congestion of smoggy London. It has so much to offer with its wealth of chill time, architecture, arts and entertainment.
Recently, some of the biggest contemporary artists have opted to show their exhibition in the city of Rotterdam. Such as Jean Pail Gaultier in 2013, Peter Lindbergh in 2015, and most recently, the Viktor&Rolf Fashion Artists exhibition. Their 25 year retrospect at the Kunsthal Museum was curated by Canadian Thierry Maxime-Loriot.
Fortunately, 55 has managed to attend all the above exhibitions. One reason being, we love these contemporary artists and their unique vision of the fashion and art world. These artists often push the boundaries of acceptability and fashion itself. Also, we love Rotterdam and we will find any reason to spend a few days in this Utopian City. In fact, we even arm wrestle around the board table at 55factory to see who will bag the Rotterdam trips these days. And yes, I have been working my biceps out especially for the opening of the Viktor&Rolf Fashion Artists at the Kunsthal Museum. (It helps to be creative director).
75 spectacular items on display covered 25 years of the Viktor&Rolf fashion house. The Kunsthal Museum, with its ethos to make art accessible to the public, are exhibiting exclusive fashion to the public. Much like the Gaultier exhibition in 2013, (also curated by Thierry Maxime-Loriot), this new exhibition highlights Viktor&Rolf with huge video installations from the infamous duo’s legendary catwalk shows.
Viktor&Rolf are more than creators of pretty clothes. They are innovators of ideas through which they tell their stories. Each of their collections over the past 25 years are completely different to any other collection they have ever produced.
Working with obscure narratives, it remains clear who the designers are with their unique take on fashion, art and ideas.
The Viktor&Rolf collaboration began in a classroom at school in a small village, far, far away from the dizzy heights of hi-fashion and its exclusive culture. Both coming from simple working families, and equally solitary and reclusive characters, it is a huge contrast and achievement to be where they are 25 years later. Their unique story and stability in their relationship and creative friendship is inspiring to young, introverted designers globally.
In response to 55 asking the duo if the idea of working independently was something they would like to explore, and if working together for so long has had its issues... they replied:
“We have a great friendship and a hugely successful creative relationship for 25 years in fashion. We have our own individual private life of course, so its not like we are always together. But for us to have such a successful creative relations that has evolved from when we were children is unique, and we are both extremely fortunate to have this. At school we would dream of working together, and it is something we have done now for many years”
For Viktor&Rolf, art always has and will continue to be before fashion. Before entertaining and entering the fashion industry with their first show in 1993, the first 5 years in their initial collaboration completely revolved around experimental art and installation. Creating conceptual and avant-garde fashion shows, the pair changed the path of contemporary fashion forever.
Using their personal emotions and the opposition of fashion to be their creative inspiration. Language has also always been vastly important to Viktor&Rolf as their starting point. The visualisation of an idea only comes once the duo have eliminated items over long discussions. Neither being argumentative; it is a matter of finally agreeing over time with level-headedness rather than agitation.
For the luxury experience of the exhibition and an overnight stay in Rotterdam visit ‘The Viktor&Rolf VIP arrangement’ at the 5 star hotel Mainport. This offer includes an overnight stay in a City XL room, entrance to the Kunsthal ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’, a signed catalogue of Viktor&Rolf, a poster, champagne breakfast buffet, access to the spa, swimming pool and fitness centre and free WiFi throughout the hotel.
The offer is 144.50eu per night until the 30th September.
Book via Mainport hotel here
Article: Sara Darling
Creative Director: Christopher George
Gupta Ashish is the sequin man; And he knows how to do them well, having won the hearts of the fashion industry and won the best New Designer Award three times.
His Wet and Wild collection for SS19 was showcased by models who were drenched in sweat (or it could have been water), in preparation for next summer's heatwave?
With silver, muted tangerine and lime green making an impact, boys can dress like girls and wear S & M sweats if they like!
Article: Christopher George
55s fashion department just cannot keep its feet on the ground at the moment with the international fashion week’s blossoming all over the globe.
Our latest destination was Belgrade, as we have been hearing that the city is bursting with fashion from international talent fighting to platform their collections on the Belgrade catwalk.
Belgrade Fashion Week has participated in introducing almost all-important Serbian fashion designers and made a great contribution to the development of the independent fashion design scene.
This season we were blown away with the creative ideas from these young designers, and especially captivated by print design, pattern cutting and tailoring along with the use of striking colours.
Here are our 6 designers of choice from BFW 2018.
Andy Warhol’s sentence “Kiss me with your eyes” was used as the inspiration for Ana Ljubinkovic’s collection of the same name. This statement describes the relationship between a work of art and its admirer and which represents freedom, love, happiness, joy or sadness… It is obvious that the silhouette is flawed and ripped on purpose, but at the same time is still feminine and soft. With the visuals of classical art and Northern European style mixed in with a contemporary PUNK edge. The collection was both editorial and wearable.
SIDHU JI by Anupreet Sidhu
Founded in 2014 by Anupreet Sidhu with the aim to create simple garments with a twist. Experimental techniques have embraced the laser cutting of materials, such as metal and wood, are extensively used to enhance the appearance of the garments. The designer creates pieces that are practical and interchangeable, making a more diverse and functional collections available to a wider audience.
With striking print designe in a art-house style, 55 found the collection exciting and daring.
FAKTORY by Bosko
Faktory by Boško has launched its new collection for AW18/19 which is inspired by the style of the 80s. By focusing on individuality, the younger market can acquire a sporty but sophisticated look. BOSKO has emphasizes comfort and quality without forgetting to make it visually attractive. The idea is to create an everyday look that is always different and with a twist. All the fabrics used in the collection were sourced from Serbia. One of 55s favourite designers of the season!
RAEGUN by Kamran Patel
Kamran Patel is showing at Belgrade Fashion Week for the second consecutive season. While building a reputation as a talented and innovative designer who continuously pushes the boundaries of design, he also explores the traditional crafts of India that are modernised with today's technological advances in fashion. This season he brought bold colours along with the 70s hippie style and an ethnic stroke of enchantment.
The inspiration for this mini collection came from the futuristic dream scape and visuals in film making and costume design. The film Matrix inspired the sharpness of the cuts, along with a nod to hippie culture contributing to the 70s’ silhouettes in a futuristic look. Attention to the detail and cuts really made this collection power dressing! We loved it and cant wait to see more from this talented new kid on the fashion block.
Inspired by the powerful energy of engines, the collection resembles visually and physically the edgy look and feel of being ready for a race. The complex concept of designing with zips and patents placed under different angles gives a structured, geometric aspect with elements of the futuristic look.
The use of leather and special materials such as latex and neoprene creates a stronger visual that is directly associated with motor bikers. The combination of colours (white, black and grey with red) is an important part of the collection because it challenges the traditional idea of the everyday aesthetic.
An incredible men and women's collection with direction and continuity throughout. Being able to dress comfortably and excessively without too much drama. This is a city collection to be seen in the urban edges to the sophistication of the city highlife.
Review: Jaswant Bhachu
Our 55 Editor-in-Chief had the pleasure of previewing the incredible PHYA over a spot of breakfast at The Ivy London last week. It didn’t take long for the buzz of this exciting brand to get back to the rest of the team and make us want to find out more…
PHYA is a Thai brand focused on creating atelier, high-class leather bags and goods. Founded by Jirayong Anuman-Rajadhon in 2016, there is a perfect combination of craftsmanship from Thailand and Italy along with premium materials from both countries. I true mix of East and West luxury design.
The striking designs are based around the hexagonal shaped logo, which depicts a beehive dwelling of the queen bee, who only deserves the best.
It is clear that these bags have been designed with great subtlety and restraint, having enough personal detail whilst still keeping in line with the luxury feel of the brand.
A 55 favourite was the striking NAPAT collection. This is a limited collection in remembrance of the late King Rama IX of Thailand. The mix of engraved brass with textured fabric and embroidery makes these pieces really prominent to the eye.
Article: Christopher George
Athens is one of the most enchanting cities on the planet as well as a centre for the art, learning and philosophy. From theatre to design, architecture and literature. Athens really does have the arts running through its veins.
So it’s with little surprise that Athens fashion industry houses some of the most exciting designers during its fashion week under the name of ATHENS XCLUSIVE DESIGNERS WEEK, held in the heart of Athens at the spectacular Zappeion Hall.
55factory attended the 4 day event and obviously had front row during all the shows, to hunt down designers we believe are creating a fashion storm for the modern woman and man.
We also found some incredible couturiers designing incredible collections for 2018 as well as some beautiful models walking the shows.
Heavy wrapped fabrics seemingly simply designed, but with crafted cuts and layering. Oversized cuffs, dropped shoulders and synched waistlines create a dramatic and statues silhouette, theatrical yet easy to wear and extremely modern with a classical narrative flowing through.
One of our favourite designers this season with the Simple and easy to wear creations of new minimalism. Fine detailing in the cuts, strong lines, detailed and tailored shoulders creating geometric shapes that are casual but sophisticated. A timeless collection that can easily be brought to trend with simple styling.
This talented designer could have been showing this collection in London with its unique and creative approach. The art direction was superb, quirky, strong designs, beautifully cut fabrics and spectacular print design from this once interior architect graduate. Having studied at Glasgow School of Art, she became inspired with alternative techniques in making her own fabrics.
This collection took reference from the entertainment of freak shows during the Victorian era across Europe and America, this became the central source of research with her print design for this 2018 show. Klelia creates her own happy and colourful freak show, and what a spectacular show it was from this talented young designer. Definitely one to watch!
Strong fabrics and silhouette with oversized and boxed shoulders, synched waistline and strong colour combinations. The collection is unsophisticated and more utilitarian, yet retaining a sharp atmosphere and mood. Sure to be a huge success for Autumn.
One of the highlights during the Athens Fashion Week from the duo partners MI-RO.
The catwalk show was dramatic, simple, beautifully and feminine. MI-RO woman’s wear have brought a new aesthetic to the fashion world since the appearance of the brand in 2003. Not being afraid to take control with their fresh and timeless style, graphic designs, detailed designs and dynamic silhouettes. Know for dressing special occasion, but not dominating them.
The MI-RO woman is in control without a doubt - VAMP !!
Using black as a base with the accents of vivid electric blues and purples. Oversized items with the popular and wearable trend of synched waistlines, that seems to be a firm favourite on the catwalk and hi-trends. Inspirations come from the New Romantics Vamp theme, and geometric shapes of Japanese fashion, to the elegant romantic military uniform from the 1940. This was a stunning and strong collection from a designer not afraid to take some risks.
Asymmetric cuts, oversized fabrics, beautiful tailoring and layering. Ready to wear and extremely sophisticated, greys and blacks holding the collection together with some shocking reds and blue bringing one of the best collection of the Athens Xclusive Designe Week. The international fashion brand, one of the leading Greek fashion houses has a strong following and has shown collections in Paris, Barcelona and Milan.
Know for their continuity and eco friends fabrics, its no surprise the fashion house has been featured in VOGUE , Dazed and Confused as well as ELLE to mention a few.
The show was an indulgence in women’s luxury and femininity. With striking associations to the glamour of Hollywood during the golden era and of the hi society from the 1960s French Rivera.
Incredible outfits feeling comfortable at the most grand of occasions and events, for the sophisticated and exclusive woman.
Vassilis Zoulias offers a pret-a-porter collection and Haute Couture bridal service at his atelier.
I will be definitely be heading there for my next big day outfit, wedding number 2!!!!
Article: Jaswant bhachu
Welcome back resin. If you are a former art student like me, you may recall those slightly random workshops where you played around with resin. The fumes. The headaches. The hours of filing your resin creations down and thinking what on earth am I doing?
Well, it all seems to make sense now, as resin has been the latest craze in the fashion world for some seasons now, and looking damn beautiful.
Whether it is an oversized chunky bangle or a vibrant set of loop earrings, it won’t be long before your favourite accessories will be resin based.
Australian brand Dinosaur Designs are one of the few brands honing in on resin products. All beginning from the designers and happy couple Louise Olsen and Stephen Ormandy, their range of resin interior and fashion accessory products have not been shy to grace many pages from Vogue Living to Elle Australia.
If you’re looking for a bespoke piece where a modern aesthetic is met by carefully crafted hand, Dinosaur Designs will exceed expectations.
Why not pop into see these stunning creations over on 35 Great Windmill Street
London W1D 7DT or for a quick fix head over to
BY SARA DARLING
Mention the name Gianfranco Ferré, and his pristine white shirts might spring to mind. In fact, his career as a fashion designer is far more celebrated than his work as a jeweller. With a degree in architecture, his conceptual jewels and highly structured fashion complement each other in their diversity. Using precious stones, his jewellry interprets his clothing collections, cleverly intertwining an element of reference. Particularly utilising eye catching ornaments for the neck wrists and the waist.
His fashion credentials established when he designed his first collection in 1974. In 1978, he founded his own company and in1989 became artistic director of Christian Dior. Ferré designed haute couture and women's prêt-à-porter collections for Dior until 1996, when he returned to working exclusively for his own company.
Ferre’s trademark reinvention of the white shirt in the nineties, allowed him to enter the realm of every woman's wardrobe, and his incentive cuts reflected his passion for travel, with later collections inspired by cultures from all over the world consisting of highly structured garments with trademark, strong, prominent seams.
Dubbed the Frank Lloyd Wright of fashion, which is a reference to his architectural roots, he blended his love of practicality seamlessly into fashion design; Declaring ‘fashion is logic’ his jewellery is made with a much more experimental eye.
Choosing to work with unique and unusual jewels, his catwalk jewellery collections are intensely detailed, and using pearls, polished shells, crystals, corals and painted wood, the avant-garde creations are like no other. Not bound by any constrictions, the jewellery is timeless as it does not fit into one particular style.
In the mesmerising coffee table book, Gianfranco Ferré: Under Another Light. Jewels and Ornaments, over 100 colour photographs have been catalogued into a digestible slice of the glamorous world of couture jewellery. Art directed by Vogue Italia’s Luca Stoppini, it is perfect for jewellery and fashion lovers alike
Order a copy here
Article: Jaswant Bhachu
Since making its mark in 2002, the ON-OFF show has become a staple in London Fashion Week. They pride themselves in being pioneers of showcasing fresh new talent mixed in with well-established designers. Over the 16 years ON-OFF has been going it has become renown for pushing the boundaries of creativity and nurturing individuality.
Kicking off the show was brand ‘This is Uniform’ by designer Jenna Young. The handmade pieces hold the essence of British street wear whilst exploring issues of gender, race, status and sexuality. These bold themes were demonstrated clearly with a wide range of unconventional models, ranging in size, ages and ethnicity. Fabric manipulation is key in this collection offering a great sense of fragility using voiles and mesh. The juxtaposition of masculine shapes with the femininity of the fabrics makes this a stand out show.
Next up is Honest Man and this collection was anything but minimal. Exaggerated masks and props teamed up with heavy layering had the audience captivated from the word go. Known for their use of ethically sourced materials and using reclaimed clothing; there was a great sense of fun and playfulness throughout. As a former PPE clothing designer early on in my career, the hi-vis work wear references were thoroughly enjoyed. The use of mix media added a great dimension to the collection. This ranged from hand drawn illustrations to applique to mark making brush effects. Each garment could be dissected and seen as a piece of art in it’s own right.
Fresh new talent launching in SS17 the dynamic brand Longshaw Ward. Created by husband and wife designers David Longshaw and Kirsty Ward, you can see a clear mix of their two styles of work. Ward offers the masculine tailored structures mixed in with Longshaw’s more feminine hand drawn aesthetic. The collection is predominately made up of block colours. However the intricacy and boldness comes from the detailed embroidery in the colours of the sea from turquoise blues to lemon yellows. The use of delicate net fabric creates the illusion of simplicity and clean lines. Yet when inspected closely the level of work in the embroidery, embellishment and accessories creates a great unique voice to the collection.
At last but definitely not least, the ever-fascinating Jack Irving. Best known for dressing the likes of Lady Gaga, the Costume Designer and Artist left everyone’s jaws on the floor. The realms of wearable art, fashion and a unique cosmic world of its own amalgamate to make this stellar collection. Metallic, shiny, futuristic and dramatic are just a few words that could be used to describe this catwalk. The use of inflatable forms and oversized silhouettes takes onlookers into another world. The models are transformed into alien showgirls with references to the natural world of the sea. One would question is it fair to call this just a fashion show or is this live art and theatre.
One thing is for sure; it is a finale we won’t forget.
Article: Jaswant Bhachu
If you hear anyone say to you fashion has no substance anymore then they need to be pointed in the direction of Tata Naka. The AW18 collection is bursting with rich significant references to Eastern European fashion, a true visual culture dream.
Designers Tamara and Natasha Surguladze pay homage to the Russian shawls of Pavlovo Pasad with the famous floral prints incorporated into the collection. The classic punchy reds, blues and purples are highlighted but often paired next to a subdued pastel colour to add their own twist. The bold figurative prints reference Georgian Kilims of the 1920s and 1930s commonly featuring traditional Red Army officers on horseback, two lions or deer.
Despite the heavily traditional inspiration, there is still a strong sense of modernity and relevance to today’s fashion with current styles such as bomber jackets and oversized cardigans. The fabrics jump from velvets to tulle frills mixed in with a bold vibrant selection of prints and pattern. But the main common thread is the clever use of pleating. Whether it is a full sleeve pleated or a pleated midi skirt, it adds another dimension to the already exciting collection.