Page last updated at: Mon, 22 February 2010 17:14 PM GMT Printable version

On the fringe of the London Fashion Week, day 1

by Akilah Russell and Fardusa Hassan

The London Fashion Week has its fair share of official events, but Arts London News will also guide you through the less travelled roads.

Welcome to our report of the life on the fringe of the Fashion Week, day 1!


Pre-Fashion Week show at Movida

LCF graduate Valentine Avoh's portraitLondon Fashion week kicked off in style last night at an exclusive pre-London Fashion Week cat walk show which showcased six designers, including the critically acclaimed London College of Fashion (LCF) alumnus Valentine Avoh.

Held at the award-winning, exclusive members only club Movida in west London, Design and Pattern Cutting graduate Avoh displayed a stunning womenswear collection reminiscent of 1940’s movie star glamour, equipped with perfectly tailored dresses, intricate detail matched with built in waist belts – all rendered in regal golds, purples, and reds. 

Belgium born Avoh spoke exclusively to Arts London News about the show and what we should expect from 2010 fashion week: "My collection means so much to me, and it really is so exciting to have it showcased at such a like event like this one.

"It is so different to see it on the runway, so I am really nervous but still excited to see the reactions from people.

"I am launching my brand in Belgium this year, so everything is starting to come together," said Avoh who graduated in 2006.

"This year’s fashion week is going to be huge! I am happy to be apart of the pre shows, it is amazing here!’’ she added.

 LCF graduate Valentine Avoh's design on the catwalk  LCF graduate Valentine Avoh's design on the catwalk  LCF graduate Valentine Avoh's design on the catwalk

The night's honourable mentions of excellence must go to Loise Porte whose brightly coloured knitwear collection was quirkily inspired by "the underrated butterfly" that is the moth.

The other designers included Sally Ellis with her 'SVE' collection, Nicole Hellrung, and Rosie Keating.

Akilah Russell

Pictures: Allie Suwanrumpha


McQueen tribute at Somerset House opening ceremony

Hundreds gathered at Somerset House on the morning of Friday, 19 February to pay their respects to the late Alexander McQueen at the opening of London Fashion Week, by holding a one-minute silence.

Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council and alumni of University of Arts London began the opening ceremony with a touching tribute to the iconic British designer who committed suicide last week.

Tillman described in his speech that McQueen’s impact in the fashion industry was extraordinary and that he’d be sorely missed. 

A memorial wall was also put up in the centre of Somerset House for people to post messages for the much-loved designer.

One message read: “Your shows inspire the work I do. You are a true creative genius and one of the reasons why Britain is what it is. I cherish the one item that I have. Zoë.”

Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s wife Sarah Brown, who opened the ceremony, highly praised young designers who were shaping the future of UK fashion: “I am uplifted by their passion and fearless determination. Fashion has taken its place as one of the most dynamic parts of the creative economy," she said.

Fardusa Hassan

Read the full story here.


Portrait of Harold Tillman


Wall of tributes to McQueen, with cards pinned to the wall

Wall of tributes to McQueen, with cards pinned to the wall





Wall of tributes to McQueen, with cards pinned to the wall


Danny Tang at Freemasons Hall

The Vauxhall Fashion Scout, an off schedule event on the fringe of London Fashion Week that focuses on emerging and talented designers was set up at Freemasons Hall in Central London today.

Queues were packed-out for the event but we managed to squeeze in and at 4.15pm, Danny Tang, former London College of Fashion (LCF) student made his catwalk debut with his Autumn/Winter Collection 2010, Urban Victorian.

Inspired by Queen Victoria, the show was based around a simple colour pallet of three main colours: red, black and gold.

Tang produced exquisite feminine pieces dashed with black French lace, chiffon and silk reflecting the beauty and elegance of Victorian era with a modern twist.

The models presented a variety of designs, themed in gold, black and red and ranging from full length elegant gowns layered in chiffon and lace.

On top of some of the dresses were short, puff sleeved jackets. The colours  stayed within their themed range and never strayed beyond the sophisticated and glamorous look.

To match, each model had sequins and beads decoratively worn across their eyes. Danny Tang’s standouts included a stunning full bodied black dress with a daring plunging neckline and a chic silk wool navy cape with black lace trimmings around the pockets.

After the show, Danny explained his theme and ideas about Urban Victorian and what it represented.

He said: “I had a lot of red, black and gold. Each colour represents a different feeling for me, red represents passion and romanticism. Gold represents royalty and class and black represents conservative, sophistication and all of this mixing together makes my collection basically.

“Urban Victorian is about grace and elegance and little bit of edginess. It’s because I believe that London fashion has moved to the edgy side and that the elegant side of it acquainted with Paris and Milan, so for me I wanted to bring back some grace and elegance back to London fashion.”

Fardusa Hassan

Pictures : Flora Savastano

For an account of the high-profile shows and event, read our Inside the London Fashion Week, day 1 report!


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