Love List

Monday, December 12, 2011

Best of British

I visited the BOB boutique tucked in the old shophouses along Tiong Bahru way way before in November but I didn't get around to talking about them until now. The boutique is seriously worth a visit even if you are not intending to buy anything - you can still browse and look at their curated selection of emerging British designers, which include Hermione De Paula, Belle Sauvage,  Boudicca, KTZ Kokon ToZai, Tim Soar and Vassilisa among many others. They also carry plenty of accessories designers from exclusive scarf designers to handbags and jewelry, so it's definitely a good opportunity to check out the emerging young talents from UK, which is definitely having a fashion moment currently with its surge of new talent.

Tweed print on silkscreen, with interlacing geometric stripes in a threaded fabric
KTZ's SS12
Graphic 3D butterfly purse at KTZ

Boudicca and Tim Soar

Boudicca, Tim Soar and Haiwen offered a slightly more tailored look with emphasis on cut and fabric, rather than KTZ, Vassilisa and Belle Sauvage that focused primarily on innovative prints. The palette for those three labels are rather subdued, with primary colours in black, white and varying hues of metallics, showcasing the designers' specialty in cut in the form of a triple origami collared wrap blouse, asymmetric tunics and wrap dresses. The collection seems to be made with the working career woman in mind, but yet indicates playfulness with this mix of fabrics in a single item of clothing - such as suede and faux leather and also silk combinations.

Vassilisa, named after classic Russian fairytale heroine "Vassilisa the Beautiful", encompasses the feminity, fairytale and beauty that lays at the heart of the brand's aesthetic concept. The design process is based on a sketchbook method that includes the research of Russian iconography, cinema, modern art and architecture, producing limited edition prints with distinctive animalistic and geometric patterns. The collection features lots of cute prints such as rabbits, doe deers, furry foxtails to evoke a sense of nursery folklore and wide-eyed wonderness. Nothing can get more feminine than the combination of prancing baby animals and stars, it seems. The designer also likes to incorproate chiffon and uses silk as the base fabric for most of its floaty dresses, that seem almost like a magical caftan worn with a venture into the woods alone.

Maxi dress from Belle Sauvage
belle sauvage
Graphic clash of prints and colours

My favourite collection out of the bunch is Belle Sauvage, which is not just aesthetically extremely attention grabbing and attractive, but also interesting in the way their silhouettes are presented.
For the BELLE SAUVAGE RTW 2012 COLLECTION, designers Christian Neuman and Virginia Ferreira presented their most sensual collection yet for their 4th season at London Fashion Week. Lines of powerful feminine elements and voluptuous shapes, are strongly evident throughout the collection of sweeping long gowns, petit cocktail dresses and smart tailoring. The lip cutouts on some of their dresses, corset and harness shapes are refined by decorative pleating techniques and rococo elements. The effect equals sleek volume and interesting silhouettes that are sometimes the combination of both a bell bottom and pleated pencil skirt, rather like the silhouette explored by Givenchy's sensuous panther&violet collection for FW11. Fabrics are a mix of soft light silks blended with contrasting luxurious heavy silks and French embroidered tulle.

Upon closer inspection reveals some exquisite thread embriodery onto the shoulders of some of its dresses that glisten in the light. I especially like that the designers incorporate mint green chiffon that contrasted against the hard edge that the pixelized prints presented. It somewhat subdues the loudness of the print slightly and gives a movement to the dress that a pencil maxi might not otherwise give. At other times, chiffon and tulle was iron pleated and seen peeking out from the bottom of a structured dress, or used as decorative cap sleeves that equally softens the computerized prints.
 I'll definitely keep my eyes on a lookout for this pair of young designers in the future, next to Mary Karantzou, the queen of mixed media prints.

Best of British is located at 59 Eng Hoon St #01-55. Do drop by if you're in the fab indie area of Tiong Bahru, which I intend to fully explore this month!


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