Posts Tagged ‘ Jonathan Freemantle ’

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL-FUTURE FASHION

 

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival- Future Fashion

 954840_465978903491448_828566177_nPhoto by Scott Trindle

This day long design market where designers mixed with prospective clients  followed by a runway show in the City Art Centre managed to encapsulate all that is inspiring and bvibrant in contemporary Scottish fashion. Often unfairly ignored on the international scene Scotland-and in particular Edinburgh- revealed itself as a fashion leader where tradition and innovation conspire to create a heady mix of forward looking styles.

 The glamour of the situation was perfectly housed in this gallery and Joyce Paton’s opening salvo of black/white combos, cinched waists, chiffon, elegant headwear and an overall feeling of exotica combined with classic style and Euan McWhirter jewellery made a great start to this finale to an interesting day.

 Moving along at a comfortable pace which never rushed the clothes but allowed the viewer to drink it all in the next collection was Bebaroque’s sheer and clingy mainly black offerings. Suited to those predisposed to a slight build and supported by only vertiginous heels this was a confident statement. Obscure couture continued this more erotic vibe with more daring clothes including a bondage coatdress bound up in a multitude of belts. Beautiful, exciting clothes suitable for a night out which made as much of a  statement  about the wearer as the clothes themselves.

 It was all not exotica and erotica however as Mairi MacDonald showcased extremely wearable cashmere and knitwear which seemed suitable to the more realistic Scottish climate we are more used to rather than the blazing sunshine of the last weeks.

 Other designers on show included Jacob Birge’s futuristic designs in funky, punkadelic colours and shiny fabrics as well as Rebecca Torres and Epitome. It was a mixed collection of various styles with something for everyone or for the more eclectic perhaps a little bit of everything.

 Future Fashion showed if any further eveidence were needed after this years festival that Scotland has a lot to offer in the fashion world and its contribution is multi-textual, innovative, futuristic, nostalgic, practical yet daring and most importantly effortlessly stylish.

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EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL: SYMPOSIUM

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013- Symposium

954840_465978903491448_828566177_n Photo by Scott Trindle

 Described by director Jonathan Freemantle as the core event of 2013’s festival, Symposium consisted of a day of interesting, complementary and contrasting talks on this year’s main themes: storytelling and performance. Fittingly held in the dissecting room at Summerhall various fashion subjects were opened up to investigation to show how the internal workings of the industry and its peoples create the outer subject matter with which we are so familiar without giving too much thought as to its origins. The talks ranged from the doyenne of American Vogue, the indomitable and indefatigable Diana Vreeland, to Amanda Harlech performing a piece wherein choice outfits from her life created a history of its own.

 The first talk of the day was delivered by author Amanda Mackenzie Stuart who read select passages from her biography about the legendary Diana Vreeland who established herself in the 1930’s with her ‘Why Don’t You’ column in Harpers Bazaar wherein she pointed her readers toward a glamorous lifestyle with some outlandishly ludicrous- and some not so –suggestions. From here she was promoted to editor before defecting to Vogue as editor in chief during the extremely culturally shape-shifting sixties which she promoted with ruthless abandon whilst embracing the decade’s spirit wholeheartedly.

Mackenzie Stuart read passages which took us on this journey and her talk was tinged with Vreeland’s acerbic wit and observations but at the same time also made clear she was not to be dismissed as some relic as she also brought to the fore the ideas that style had little to do with money and everything to do with ‘the divine spark’ that comes from within.

 The divine spark was a phrase which resonated throughout this day of talks and her biography Diana Vreeland Empress of Fashion is certainly an interesting work making an excellent companion piece to the 2012 documentary The Eye has to Travel about Vreeland which whilst not so insightful manages to provide some footage of Vreeland herself and thus provides the important voice which Mackenzie Stuart didn’t dare attempt to replicate to accompany much of this fascinating material.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-2 Photos by Igor Termenon

 The second talk of the day was a chaired discussion between the author of Fashion Scandinavia Dorothea Gundtoft, Lauren Dyer Amazeen and Jonathan Freemantle which threw up such topics as the high street as art and fashion gallery and how fashion is perhaps moving too fast as the seasons are all melding into one and having a wardrobe which is exclusive to a particular season is no longer necessary or even viable. The trio also discussed how many people look at clothes and cannot distinguish the art form contained within as they are too busy looking at the product or, in more extreme cases, no further than the label.

 One topic which I found particularly interesting was when they discussed the creative culture which actually exists in Edinburgh but so many locals seem to be unaware of as they are too busy complaining that nothing goes on. This is something I have always maintained and Freemantle summarised it perfectly when he said ‘Edinburgh never received the memo’ when it came to how much is going on here behind the scenes. The fact it has a climate and space which removes itself from clutter and noise-the fringe and festival not withstanding- allows art to grow and artists to consider what they are doing without their visions being influenced or compromised by the whirlwind and expense of a city like London or New York.

 The last talk of the morning session was delivered by Professor Sandy Black who authored The Sustainable Fashion Handbook. This discussion opened up issues about unnecessary wastefulness, landfill and how the fashion industry can do something to help these grave issues which affect the future of the planet. We already all know about recycling but there are many other ways we can help and Vivienne Westwood’s DIY ethos is something she supports as Westwood was the first major big name designer to recognise the problem whilst promoting it within her range. It is anathema to a fashion designer to suggest the public buys less clothes and this is what Westwood did but, of course, she would prefer if you bought less clothes then she would prefer that they were more of hers. An interesting and humorous talk about a very serious subject, it provided food for thought before breaking up the morning round of events.

 Afternoon was kicked off-in the highest, most stylish heels obviously-by shoe designer Georgina Goodman in conversational mode with journalist Jackie McGlone.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-3 Georgina Goodman by Igor Termenon

 Mentored by Manolo Blahnik, Goodman made an interesting raconteur who described shoes as being weapons accessing emotions. She made a convincing point concerning this argument and her style was intriguingly captivating but simultaneously down to earth whilst she delivered anecdotes which throughout never failed to fully engage.

 Next up was Bella Freud who, also in conversation with McGlone, somehow made her whole career sound so effortless. Whether it was deciding to start up a knitwear company or make a film it seemed she had no qualms about embarking on these projects and utilised whatever skills she had at her disposal to make them succeed. The fact she has been a name ‘brand’ since the early nineties indicate it is not all as haphazard as it initially seems and a strong artistic vision lies at her core as well as some serious ‘editing’ which was another key word of the day.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-5 Bella Freud by Igir Termenon

 Of particular interest was a clip from her debut film ‘A Day at the Races’ which emerged  as some statement of intent with its slinky soundtrack-The Stooges and Bryan Ferry’s  malignantly malevolent but sashaying ‘Casanova’ were highlights- accompanying images of supermodels all driven around in her family Bentley. The grainy homemade feel only made it more glamorous and otherworldly.

 Amanda Harlech then gave a short but captivating performance which was simply entrancing. Pulling out select pieces from a large trunk, to create a narrative, which included baby clothes, Westwood, Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel each item took us on a very personal journey which was hers alone but told the story of all our fashion evolvements, albeit with different garments. It was a truly mesmerising piece and one which brought a reverent hush to the hall.

Future-Positive-edinburgh-fashion-9 Amanda Harlech by Igor Termenon

 Concluding with a panel discussion –think Question Time for glamorous people- where the afternoon’s participants were joined by David Lindsay-Net A Porter- and Paula Goldstein-digital editor of Purple.fr- it was a fitting and more relaxed finish to a highly innovative and enjoyable day which never once allowed the pace to drag or its audience to flag. It is about time fashion was discussed and appreciated as a serious art form which, whether we like it or not, plays an important part in all our daily lives and days like these merely provide conclusive evidence of this.

EDINBURGH INTERNATIONAL FASHION FESTIVAL

Edinburgh International Fashion Festival 2013

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Following hot on the heels of last years success husband and wife team Jonathan and Anna Freemantle unveiled the line up for the second instalment of the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival in the opulent surroundings of the Peacock Gallery in the Waldorf Astoria on the hottest day Scotland has had in years. Melting under the glass roof were design team-another husband and wife duo- Clements Ribeiro- whose love and patronage of Scottish Cashmere which is simply the best in the world they revealed at the press conference although they, like many others, were unable to establish exactly why. Their new collection will preview at Mansfield House tomorrow evening in an opening gala which features a runway show then an after party launching things in suitably stylish fashion.

 Mixing tartan, punk, rebellion themes alongside those of romanticism and femininity is a trademark of Clements Ribeiro and one which they have wisely never deviated from too radically. From their first headline grabbing collection which remade/remodelled the old fashioned twin-set which had no cachet with a younger audience until they gave it an edgy twist and what was formerly the preserve of spinster aunts suddenly found a whole new younger audience as well as winning celebrity endorsements from the likes of Madonna and Nicole Kidman. This success launched them onto an international market almost immediately and this is a stage they have managed to negotiate from successfully ever since.

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Inacio Ribiero and Suzanne Clements at the press launch of EIFF 2013 . Photograph by Tibor Galamb.

 The new collection does not move too far from the ethos of their original collection which is fitting as they first emerged in the midst of a recession-one of the reasons they work together is because it was hard enough to get one job never mind two- and buying clothes which last and stand the test of time is important when there is no money to spend on the frivolous and latest dictates of the so called fashion cognoscenti.

 This is merely the very glamorous beginning however and various events will take place over the next two weekends focussing on fashion as performance and storytelling. Following Friday’s extravaganza there is the launch of Life Story’s ‘Sutori’ collection in London Street on Saturday which sounds like the perfect hangover cure for those who have partied a little too hard at the opening festivities.

Sunday unveils Symposium, a collection of talks and panelled discussions on various subjects and with luminaries such as Amanda Harlech and Bella Freud guest hosting-among many others- it sounds an intriguing prospect which anyone with an interest in fashion’s origins and what it articulates would be unwise to miss, Taking place at Summerhall the day rounds off with drinks in the Royal Dick and with another sweltering weekend on the card it could make for an exceptional day out.

 During the week several other events take place including an Open Studio on Wednesday in Leith and a men’s collection at Harvey Nichols on Thursday. Saturday sees Future Fashion taking place during the day at the City Art Centre and this is followed by a fashion show at 5pm. The weekend and festival closes with Gianni Scumaci unplugged followed by a closing party in the Voodoo Rooms where everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, knock back a few drinks and upstage each other with their party outfits.

  Although last year’s festival was a success this year has built on that and taken things to a more sophisticated level and looks like not only repeating that success but actually improving on it! Definitely a worthwhile event and one worthy of support in a city where fashion and style, although lacking the effrontery of Glasgow, actually has more individual and less generic tastes than many would presume.

 Follow the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival link below for full details of upcoming shows and information on how to buy tickets for events.

http://edinburghinternationalfashionfestival.com/

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