• VINSIGHTS

    V&C London Fashion Week Review!

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    September 2019

    V&C London Fashion Week Review by Jasmin Nathan, Consultant

    September is in full swing which always means two things:

    1) Unseasonable warm weather and the "do I need a jacket or will it give me damp armpits" morning dilemma. 
    2) London Fashion Week! 

    We weren’t quite sure what to expect this year after so many big changes in the industry and protest campaigns, however London has shown that is has no plans to slow down despite being caught up in a furore of activism and is very much included in the forefront of creativity and trend direction and the all-important sustainability movement.

    This season gave us all of the drama with none of the need for shock value.
    Here is my review of some of my favourite shows from this seasons showcase…

    Julien Macdonald
    Never one to disappoint with his intricate feminine designs, Julien Macdonald made a glittering showcase at the Southwark Cathedral.
    Known for always bringing the drama that London fashionistas so love, Julien made a point of including “real women” in his show, saying “I am bored of young girls on the runway. They look fabulous on the runway in my clothes but they are not the ones who buy the clothes. I want to produce a collection for real women, not just 16-year-olds.This collection is about celebrating being a woman.
    Presenting Julien x Gabriela, a collaboration between the iconic designer and socialite Gabriela Gonzalez, Julien made a point of expressing that the brand is actively making an effort to be sustainable, and stressed the importance of sustainability in the industry, saying “It is really important to try and be sustainable. My clothes are made from as many organic fabrics as possible. I am trying my very best to do better ... I think it is a good sign designers are taking it more seriously.”
    Bringing a controversial edge to the beautiful setting of the Southwark Cathedral with raunchy designs, the collection was a dreamy whirl of glitter, embellishment and marabou feathers (what more could anyone want in a fashion show!?) Arguably one of the most hotly anticipated shows of LFW, Julien cited long term friend and client as a muse for this collection, with surprising additions of marble-print poolside meets beachside looks mixed in with the high end glamour we all know and love from Julien. With his signature fine knit sheaths and elaborate bedazzling and embellishments that he does like no other, proudly shunning modern sewing technology in favour of his beloved vintage machines, each delicately and painstakingly beaded, fringed and glittered design was a show stopper in its own right.
    All hail the king of partywear!

    House of Holland
    Known for his effortlessly cool designs with a unique edge, fashion favourite Henry Holland put on a public facing show at Gasholder Park, Kings Cross with an impressive celebrity guest list eagerly anticipating the new season’s collection.
    Dance The Pain Away was a follow up from last season’s politically charged theme, encouraging us to go out, have fun, dance our troubles away and escape the pressures of modern society. With nods to 90’s acid rave, and 70’s disco as inspiration, House of Holland displayed an eclectic selection of mini dresses, country and western inspired denim, power tailoring and a revamped take on his signature sports luxe brand DNA, including zippy sweatshirts and cropped joggers. Graduated leopard print took centre stage as the collections signature print in an array of bold colours, with some effortlessly chic monochrome prints thrown into the mix to create the perfect balance of edgy and cool. Pixie Geldof strutted her stuff on the catwalk in an 80’s style mini dress in a lush green, in keeping with the surroundings of the setting, among an array of fellow gracefully cool models.
    Henry is one of the biggest champions in the industry for sustainable fashion – who can forget his “Single Use Plastic Is Never Fantastic” slogan tees of yesteryear? – so we had expectations of another infamous rhyming slogan tee to add to his iconic collection, however we were surprised to in fact be presented with a collaboration with leader of the fashion fintech field Klarna, with the “Shopping Drama Averted With Klarna” slogan, modelled by Isabeli Fontana underneath a sure fire trend setting sheer shirt. Is this a collaboration showcase or an example of paid advertising gone mad?
    Perhaps it’s up to the individual to decide, but one thing is for sure – Henry Holland continues to lead his House into the forefront of young, trendy and sustainable fashion.


    Victoria Beckham
    As a long time and incredibly loyal Spice Girls fan, I am often more than a little biased when it comes to Victoria Beckham, so I went into this season’s collection with an open mind and firm desire to remain critical. It turns out that my energy was wasted as this season was arguably her most impressive collection to date since the start of the VB brand back in 2008, this collection struck an impeccable balance of Victoria’s beloved masculine tailoring and feminine skirts with her unique attention to detail. Exaggerated lapels were a key note in the unstructured blazers in classic beige and grey tones, as well as powerful pinstriped blazers paired with glorious feminine ruffles that were also a key theme taking centre stage in the collection. The designs were the perfect mix of classy and sexy without trying, and one could be forgiven for assuming the inspiration for this collection was drawn from the 70’s, with a louche vibe coupled with smart tailoring and odes of camel tones. The light fabrics in the full skirts create beautiful movement and would have even the most devoted skinny jean lover twirling, skipping and basking in the glory of feminine floaty panels that have cemented Victoria’s status as an iconic British talent in the fashion industry and her impeccable taste once again shining through. With her hotly anticipated foray into the world of beauty being a huge success, it would appear the girl power movement is still going strong for our favourite fashion spice!

    Burberry
    One of the biggest – if not the biggest – headliners of London Fashion Week, Riccardo Tisci’s iconic reign in his third season at Burberry had us all wondering where the heavily Victorian influenced designer would lead the brand for the upcoming season.
    Riccardo is a self-professed obsessive of Victorian era fashion, often incorporating corsetry and oversized sleeves into collections. This season was no different, with tassel and lampshade elements adorning sleeves and hemlines, not so much so that it drew away from the lightweight fabrics and stunning tailoring and structure of the designs. There were nods to the iconic Burberry mac that is a classic wardrobe staple for every die hard fashionista which set the tone for a clean, neutral colour palette for the most part, as well as the ever cool monochrome palette with a modern twist, adding mesh, ruching, balloon sleeves and a dash of sport luxe to appeal to the ever profitable Gen Z market. Showing us that the brands core style cemented and established in the Victorian times is truly timeless, Riccardo combined modern corsetry and relaxed structuring with classic shapes such as boxy trousers and tailoring including hourglass suits, and a whiff of 80’s piping thrown in for good measure, and we absolutely loved it.
    Riccardo cites life in London as a huge inspiration for the collection, comparing it to last season by saying “The biggest difference is that I feel more comfortable in my place, living in London and understanding living in London. When I arrived two seasons ago, I wanted to take it slow because it’s very important to understand what British style is. It’s a style that’s been so strong in history, and to interpret it in a modern way, you have to be very meticulous. After three seasons, it’s been about the response of the market. The trench and the check will forever be the icons of the house but the world is changing and people want to wear whatever they want. It doesn’t matter which country it comes from. This globalisation of style means a different approach to fashion nowadays”.
    Coming from the man who has not only brought back the smoking jacket, but belted it and made it into a must-have dress, I’m sure we can all agree that as Londoners we are proud to have offered inspiration to one of the most iconic talents in Burberry’s history.

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    15/01/20

    Denim Production - YOUR Way Forward...

    Did you know… Denim laundries are one of the highest polluting facilities on the planet. 3 – 4% of a factories production is waste. UK is predicted to buy 87 million pairs of jeans this year SO… The UK Retail needs near-shore flexibility to reduce over production and respond to the market’s needs. About 70L litres of water is what it currently takes to finish one pair of jeans. This can be reduced down significantly to 5 Litres by companies like Sartex. Within 5 years jeans will be able to be created with only 100% recycled water through the Ozone or harvested rain water.   The fashion industry is unable to continue the way it is going and is desperately looking for more sustainable means to suit the needs of the consumer. Denim is one of the most contaminating industries and over 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are created by the fashion industry. Waste garments represent about 3-5% of every factory's inventory. Asia production is planned 6 months in advance and Turkey (the main close to home supplier of denim) lead times for repeats are 3-4 weeks. This gives little flexibility for companies to react to consumer trends. Subcontracting is still rife in many countries due to large demand. Visits to factories are infrequent and checks made on factories are often done by 3rd party services - Sartex are completely verticle from Inspection of Fabric, Laying, Cutting, Confection, washing and finishing all in Monastir. Retailers are under a considerable amount of pressure to meet ethical and environmental targets. £140 million of clothing goes into landfill each year – washing garments in the UK will reduce over production and waste. We are working to help sustain and introduce better alternatives to Denim production which of all the garments manufactured worldwide utilizes the most water, waste, chemicals and energy, as such we are launching the Sartex/Denim House services here in the UK - already working with UK brands Fat Face and Whistles as well as Global brands from 7 for all Mankind, Diesel, Replay to Boss amongst many others. Using organic, sustainable and recycled fabrics together with their advanced eco production. Sartex/Denim House have committed multi-million Euro investments in their incredible facilities in Monstir, Tunis. From Jeanologia and Tonello’s state of the art Ozone and Laser machineries to their Water treatment plant that recycles 70% of used water back into the factory and the balance clean enough to enter the Tunisian water system. Sartex/Denim house’s senior management team will be showcasing their new innovative developments, processes and commitment to Sustainable Denim in person on the 21st January 2020 – for more information about attending contact shelley@vandc.uk #commitedtosustainaibility

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    December 2019

    We've got the 2020 vision!

    As we wave goodbye to the last decade, we welcome 2020 of what V&C believe to be a positive and exciting start to the next decade. With Sustainability and Digital being at the core of our business focus. It is moving to reminisce on how many iconic brands have left our high street due to the retail apocalypse, those include Mothercare, Jack Wills, Karen Millen, East and Bon Marche – to name few. This creates opportunities for the new brands to step up and deliver innovation and style to the ever-changing retail landscape, most of whom are incorporating sustainability, recycled and organic fabric development into their collection, seeing the evolution of sustainable brands such as Veja, Raeburn and others. V&C continues to grow it’s event side of the business that have included content rich and exciting topics in collaboration with Google and Facebook for the digital side and launching Sartex/Denim House collaboration for the Sustainable Denim production. It is apparent, due to the successful attendance of these events, that UK brand and retailers continue to explore and grow their business through ecommerce and drive their sustainable action plan as the consumer become mindful on environmental issues – a paradox in itself. Our digital growth both in terms of recruitment and our Digital Marketing Services across PPC and Paid Social delivers excellent returns and campaigns for our retail partners. The UK seems to be ‘Online - all the time’ with the average British household now owning a staggering 7.4 internet devices. Our Digital event in November 2019 partnered with Michelle Capp (Head of UK Retail at Facebook and Instagram) where we discussed how brands can drive traffic to their websites through the power of social media, PPC and SEO. Brand awareness is key, all brands have a story to tell - it’s just how you tell it! We look forward to the start of 2020 for many reasons, in January we have our new event scheduled around Sustainability, we have new brands on board to start the digital campaigns and we have lots of fantastic new opportunities for our candidates across all retail sectors from Technical, Commercial, Buying and Merchandising.  V&C wish all our clients and candidates a very Merry Christmas a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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