Memories of last week: Burberry Prorsum Women's SS2010

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury
It’s said that there is no place like home, and for Burberry Prorsum that is certainly true as the fashion house received a big welcome during their comeback to the London Fashion Week this month. During the days leading up to fashion week, anticipation was building up to eventually be satisfied by a climatic and costly fashion show on the 22nd of September.
Though a part of LFW, Burberry Prorsum Women’s SS10 runway show was a startling event by itself with a impressive guest list that many designers wouldn’t dare dream of. From the Secretary of State Lord Mandleson and editor in chief of US vogue Anna Wintour to Gwenth Patrow and even Mathew Williamson, Burberry managed to secure attendance of the country’s most prominent celebrities.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxuryThe guest of honour was undoubtedly Burberry’s current campaign face, Emma Watson, who stole the thunder from the ambiguous clouds looming above Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground where Burberry held the show inside a 1,600 man tent. Watson stunned the handsomely dressed crowd amongst which dark and sober colours dominated. The contrasting golden confetti tailored to fit immaculately on Watson’s body, made her look antagonistically breathtaking as no other dress could have possibly have replicated the same spectacular looks. Fellow guests enjoying complimentary elder flower soda couldn’t stop themselves from passionately admiring the magnetic beauty before their eyes.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury, women's, Burberry, Christopher Bailey, AngelaFashionable ladies swayed by the sparkling confetti dressed need to look no further than the Spring Summer 2010 collection itself which comprise of compelling pieces highly alike the golden mini dress worn by the Harry Potter star on the magical evening of September the 22nd. Draped chiffon hugging the thighs and hips of the models with amazingly slender legs paves the way for a summer of sexiness and aesthetic confidence. Burberry is one of the few heritage brands in the UK that have gone to great efforts in making their product offerings relevant in present time epochs. Burberry’s astounding headquarter on Horseferry road, just three blocks away from the Parliament in Westminster, is a principal statement of the company’s evolution in reigning as one of the world’s most innovative fashion brands. Liquid metal pastel colours gracing the signature trench coat featuring curled shoulders is an original and vibrant edition of a classic accented by crafty amulet belts.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury, Women'sBurberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxuryBurberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury
The collection signals attitude and summer romance not seen in the men’s collection which is also dominated by soft shades of yellow, green, blue and purple. Nevertheless, Burberry’s homecoming to London Fashion Week received overwhelming support from invited guests who pledged their allegiance arriving in Burberry Prorsum clothing from both contemporary and past seasons. It was an electric atmosphere inside the tent -- alike a Chelsea FC home game attended by devoted fans wearing the colour of their favourite team. Lindsey’ Buckingham’s acoustic version of ‘Big Love’ was an upbeat soundtrack that kept the audience nodding their heads in excitement while enjoying the multitude of edgy outfits showcased on the runway. Much of the exhilaration was carried over to the after party held at the headquarters on Horseferry road where press mingled with Sir. Philip Green, Victoria Beckham, Liv Tyler, Carine Roitfeld, Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Mario Testino.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury
Although Burberry’s annual revenue trump the combined one of fellow LFW designer, exhibiting their latest collection in the home country has proved to be majorly successful. Previously the Milan Fashion Week has been the preferred venue because Gucci, Prada, Versace, Missoni and Dolce & Gabbana are all powerful brand of the same statue. It’s understandable choice, but should be reconsidered after last week’s success and most notable because of the increasing prestige of brand such as Viviane Westwood and Mathew Williamson who have contributed well in bringing attention and glamour to the London fashion scene.
Burberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxuryBurberry Prorsum, Spring Summer, 2010, Runway show, London, London Fashion Week, English Fashion, luxury, Women's


IAA 2009: The Frankfurt Auto show.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Never mind the London fashion week which opened up its guest lists and runway shows to the media this week, but the news dominating the media the first half of this week come from the IAA 2009 Frankfurt auto show. Several thousands of horse power all under the same roof to satisfy the human hunger for petrol, pistons, stitched leather and carbon fiber.

A mere one hour and ten minutes south east, Frankfurt Am Main is conveniently close to London leaving I Luw Fashion with no legitimate reason not to attend the fair. After all, 70 minutes in economy class is not tedious to the level that one’s legs begin to contract from lack legroom. Neither was it a mission getting to and from the airport in Frankfurt. Whisked away in a taxi, the journey from the impressively large to the city center was no more than a quarter of an hour. Logistically the Frankfurt is well planned with the airport, train station, fair and head quarters of major German banks like Deutsche Bank all within very close proximity of one another. Greeted by gusty showers we bought umbrellas and undertook some light sightseeing and an unsuccessful search of an out of print book which we only managed to find in German and not English. Down town, street performers were playing harmonising classical songs using harps, violins, percussions and chimes that reminded us that we were in the home country of Mozart, Handel and Bach. Impressed by the sound waves that hit our eardrums we purchased two CDs off a group of young performers, and fell asleep to the music as we recharged our batteries for the autoshow.
With the first press conference scheduled at 08:30am on Tuesday morning, waking up at the crack of dawn was mandatory. Armies of journalists, people from press and others working in the auto industry had invaded Frankfurt for the press day that took place on Tuesday the 15th of September. The sheer size of the fair is daunting. Thankfully cars from various manufacturers had kindly been organised to shuttle people between halls – some halls were a tiresome 20-30min walking distance apart. Several exciting launches were lined up for the show such as the Ferrari 458, Mercedes SLS, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Ghost, Audi R8 V10 convertible, Lamborghini Reventon Roadster, BMW X1, Aston Martin Rapide, Jaguar XJ and the facelifted Porsche 911 Turbo. As car enthusiasts there were little else to ask for, the line-up was impressive. Present as well were some of the most influential and powerful heads of the auto industry.
Most powerful at the event was Ferdinand Piech who is one of the largest shareholders of Porsche with a 13% stake. Furthermore, he is the grandson of Ferdinand Porsche who is the founding father of the legendary VW Beetle and subsequently the Porsche 911. Seated down on the front row at the Porsche press conference he and his wife received the treatment of a royalty with press photographer taking endless number of photos. The paparazzi session continued on for 10 minutes as other senior figures from Porsche and VW arrived. One of them notably the newly appointed CEO of Porsche -- Michael Macht -- who replaced Wendelin Wiedeking in July 2009.
Similar to a snake attempting to swallow a cow, Porsche failed to successfully takeover VW and have had to settle for a 51% stake. The proprietor behind the genius but volatile takeover that got hampered by the bank crisis last year was Wiedeking. He turned around the fortunes at Porsche during the late 80s at a time when the company was on the brink of bankruptcy but ironically did a full 360 degree turn back to square one. Loans financed the acquisition of VW shares but the steep decline in car sales strangled Porsche’s ability to repay their astronomical debts. The financial worries were quickly resolved in August this year when Porsche received a multi billion euro injection of fund from Qatar. Judging by the mighty display of affluence at IAA, Porsche is proceeding unharmed by the recession. At the press conference, Porsche branded notepads and pens were given to journalists who at lunchtime enjoyed majestic hospitality at the Porsche stand. Wine, champagne, coffee, tea, juice, hot food and desert were served a temporary restaurant/bar to specifically serve everyone visiting the Porsche stand. All was fine cuisine with Porsche branding on even the smallest things like sugar bags. Accommodating approximately 200 people, the Porsche stand and restaurant can be deemed a success further reinforcing the prestige of the iconic brand.
Elsewhere at the auto show were beautiful promotional girls who had been excavated from all around Germany to work at the auto show. They represented a tiny fraction of the colossal population at the show and not alike the average visitor who was a male above the age of 40. The auto industry is a man’s world. It clearly emerged that cars are for boys as the number of female visitors encountered could be counted on one hand. Ranks and position speak louder than words as inflated male egos filled the halls to the roof. Handshakes were formal and the black chauffeur driven cars were provided for the upper most senior personal that showed no concern for the visiting press. The voices they listen to are those of the market, everything is meaningless vapour.
Individuals under the age of twenty five represented a dreary percentage. Me and my comrade found ourselves mingling with individuals who could well be our fathers. But all was positive since most power figures present were wise and influential men. One of them was Adrian Van Hooydonk who is the newly appointed head of design at BMW. He’s a well spoken industrial designer with an alternative view on what an automobile should represent. Wearing a slim tailored suit he did not conform to the norm of his peers who were dressed not to impress but to demonstrate corporate authority.


Geometrical shapes does math and style well.

Monday, 7 September 2009

Audi’s design team must have rulers and protractors as favourite drawing tools given the neutral Bauhaus appearance of their cars. Stretching back to the 70s Audis have bared geometrical lines and shapes most commonly found in math books. Rectangular head lights, logo composed of four rings and horizontal lines in the grill are all traits characteristic of an Audi with the exception of the R8 ,which is a rather unconventional Audi with an imposing face dominated by sinister LED projectiles.

The beauty of geometrical lines is the purity in their expression. Although they fall short in stirring joy and emotions like Ferraris, Audis do not lack in impressing the eyes of the beholder similar to the stunning patterns featured in Dries Van Noten’s SS10 collection. Patterns and prints are fields of landmines that can spell for fashion disaster. The line separating success and distasteful failure is thin as sheet of A4 paper, though the greatest challenge is filtering through thousands of different patterns to end up with an expressive one that say a few words as possible. Patterns and prints tend to carry with them a mood, feeling, message, tone or meaning which is what makes them invigorating. Through dark or bright, straight or curve lines, small or large shapes we can dictate the vibes we want to emit. Striking result can do wonders for alleviating a negative mood but the charm can find itself degrading overtime as daring designs fall victims of getting out of fashion.
Dries Van Noten has with eloquence mastered the challenge of designing male patterns tied with visual beauty that also hold a neutral position in what they express. This has been accomplishing with the careful selection of symmetrical Persian, Mayan and mosaic shapes. Deep colour shades makes the patterns hard to decipher from a distance but upon close look they are brought to life -- the silk trousers in particular which have a grandiose presence.

The words sterile and clinical do not apply here because the patterns are vivid and have a personality, and so does the new Audi S5 Sportback. Gracing the sides, the wavy character line contently adds emotion to a car that heavily resembles its more conventional sister -- the Audi A4 sedan. Differentiated using a sloping roofline that creates an illusion of a coupe, Audi have simplified the concept of a four door coupe. This is the opposite path of Aston Martin, Mercedes and Porsche which all three have gone to great lengths in making elaborately designed four door coupes that were developed with headline grabbing designs. Audi on the other hand, decided to use the Audi A4 as a technological and artistic basis for a four door coupe that some perceive as pedestrian. Giving it a few minutes of thought and stare it the purpose of the design comes clear. Handsome and modern, the S5 might not excite but is objectively an alluring design that is attractive without distracting.