THIS is definitely the year of the collaboration. This season, we have been treated to some of the best designers and most talented artists combining their skills to provide us with some spectacular results. These collaborations are seeking to create a fresh and contemporary fusion of prints and materials, showcasing one off capsule designs, which are getting us at London Confidential very excited. London Fashion Week saw hundreds of new collaborations, with celebrities making a mark as well as high-end designers and department stores. Earlier this year saw the actress, turned muse, Emma Watson's timeless collaboration with Alberta Ferretti. So, why do we love collaborations so much, is it the hype of two renowned names coming together, rather than the pieces designed themselves? Is it the fusion of two polar opposites to create designs that hold brilliant modern ideas and functions? Or are the designers simply running out of their own ideas? No doubt, it is impossible to leave your flat without hearing of at least five fashion alliances.
So, why do we love collaborations so much, is it the hype of two renowned names coming together, rather than the pieces designed themselves? Is it the fusion of two polar opposites to create designs that hold brilliant modern ideas and functions? Or are the designers simply running out of their own ideas?
One of the favourites has to be the Paul Smith and Henry Moore Foundation collaboration, revealing a mixture of brilliant iconic aesthetics with creative and clever designs. The legendary Paul Smith has been granted access to Moore’s graphics, drawings and sculpture archive, full of a huge amount of inspiration and imagery, creating extensive combinations of contrasting colours, patterns and textures. "I have always been a fan of Henry Moore and this is the first time a contemporary designer has been granted permission to make use of his prints and drawings on clothing," commented Paul Smith. Working closely with the foundation, Smith has created beautiful designs, with eclectic, contemporary prints, for both men and women. The ‘Standing figure’ printed silk scarfs have to one of my favourite pieces in the collection, a beautiful piece in itself, yet striking and homage to a fantastic artist. The Henry Moore Foundation claims to encourage public appreciation of the arts and what a great way to preserve Moore’s work.
Another exciting collaboration is that of the illustrious Christian Louboutin and London-based Bella Freud, inspired by the idea of fetishism. The collection is not whips and leather but rather a more luxurious collection made using 100% cashwool, with quirky and interesting shoe drawings by Louboutin incorporated onto the knitted dresses and jumpers. Bella Freud, a good friend of Louboutin’s has "often admired his drawings," Freud told Vogue, "I wanted to use some to put on my knitwear. I love the way a drawing comes to life when it is reinterpreted in another medium." Celebs are already donning the ‘dream teams’ edgy collection, including, Radio presenter Fearne Cotton, looking great in the unique designs. The collection uses a colour palette of black and green, with hints of Lurex glitter, which fuses Freud’s playful style and immaculate tailoring, with Louboutin’s fabulous sketches. Louboutin states, "I have always loved Bella’s jumpers, so I couldn’t have been happier when she asked me to give her drawings which, Bella thought, would look great once knitted."
Maia Norman is no novice when it comes to collaborations, in fact Maia’s Mother of Pearl label works with a different artist each season. This season Norman has acquired the help of artist Keith Tyson, a celebrated artist, known for exploring mysteries and complexities of human experiences. Describing Tyson’s work as ‘cerebral graffiti’, Norman – who is in fact Damien Hirst’s wife, a little fact squeezed in – describes Tyson as challenging. "I’ve been listening to podcasts about the history of mathematics just to try and understand him." The collection is beautiful, Tyson’s abrupt digital prints on the soft silk material, creates gratifying striking pieces. Tyson’s prints are extremely unique, ranging from mathematical formulae to photographs of cloud formulations, with the year they were taken printed too. The Eleck Tra Skirt is utterly fantastic; it is innovative and distinctive, yet so wearable.
You know when collaboration is truly remarkable, when the designer is granted an OBE for their collection and service to fashion! Move over Jimmy Choo, Beatrix Ong is the new designer to watch. Known for her stylish, yet feminine footwear, Ong is shifting her expanding line of designs away from merely shoes and has collaborated with the luggage brand Globetrotter. I am intently considering extending my overdraft further to purchase one of these elegant suitcases, at around a £1000 a bag, they are a serious investment. Not in any ways is the luggage pretentious, this sturdy creation is beautifully designed, aesthetically as well as in terms of practicality and claims to undergo the wear and tear of luggage handling. The luxury flight-apparel collaboration is a must have this season.
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