Wednesday, 21 January 2015

The NikeLab x JFS Spring 2015 collection launch in Berlin, Part 2

Here is a visual diary of the weekend spent in Berlin for the NikeLab x JFS Spring 2015 collection launch inc, top to bottom:
The view across town from our Yoga class, our personalised yoga kit w/ "studio wrap" shoes, Georgia having her Nike manicure done by Effy Nails at Cheeky, Josey Rebelle dj'ing at the afterparty in conjunction w/ "eVe without adam" at Watergate for Berlin Fashion Week,  shots of my time staying at Soho House Berlin, and the beautiful sunset whilst flying home.

Weds 21st January: The NikeLab x JFS Spring 2015 collection launch in Berlin

The launch of the latest NIKELab line brought us on a mystery tour to the hometown of the designer Johanna Schneider.  It’s been a year since she first presented samples of the collection and an all encompassing collaboration even longer in perfecting.  As soon as you see Johanna you can understand why NIKE hit gold in working with this wonder-women who combines both passion for sport with knowledge in performance-wear.  After an introduction to the background of the partnership, she then leads us thru an NTC workout that she has specially devised for us to physically experience the designs.  A combination of Vinyasa yoga postures, flow into high intensity cardio military style moves.  Each transition plotted out for our bodies to test and highlight the shapes in unison.  Our team of taste-makers, influencers and journalists brought together from across Europe are all put thru our paces and fitness levels put to the test!  It’s this extreme focus on fitness that Johanna has tailored the modular system of training pieces for.  From a running, ski and surf background herself she knows the needs of women’s expectations from sportswear.  The individual pieces can be put together in various formations to fit to each stage of a session:  travelling to the gym, whilst in motion and leaving the work out.  Across the spectrum of styles this offers volume to breath and more structured shapes for protection.  The Pièce de résistance is the rectangular cape with ties, breakpoints and belt that allow it to act as a coat, wrap and skirt for each different area of your activity.    It’s almost martial arts in style but a clean graphic formula which folds up neatly into a square of fabric to slot into your kit.   Johanna’s inspiration was to develop garments which play with the body and come to life when opened up like a butterfly from a cocoon.   The dri-FIT stretch garments have her hand-painted illustrations in print placement to interact with the silhouette.  The complete colour palette is subtle to compliment diversity in skin tones.  It's all been devised to integrate with your daily routine with “diversity” as a key theme also in relation to women sharing a workout.  Johanna has identified that the current trend in fitness is training becoming a meeting time for girlfriends to socialise.  With this in mind it was lovely to travel to Berlin and meet a whole new network of girls from different cities, jobs and life experiences.  Thanks to NIKE for this opportunity to have a trip to Berlin to coincide with it’s Fashion Week and be treated to this privileged insight to the range, direct from the designer.

Read all about the collection here, with a breakdown of each item - available from January 26th. 

Photos top to bottom:  The NIKEXJFS Kit Bag, The designer in Q&A, athletes in the collection demonstrating its functionality, the cape in its rectangular flat format, the installation at KOW Gallery, my kit before the workout including the long sleeve crop top which I LOVED!

Friday, 16 January 2015

Friday 16th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Alex Mattsson "Modulus" via Louis Ghewy

To round up LCM AW15 here is a pop of colour to brighten up the cold dark season in the form of yellow, lilac and green in hats, scarfs and mittens at Alex Mattsson.  Each look has it's own modular design inspired by technical construction of objects and processes with workwear details such as pen-holder pockets. Entitled Modulus, the collection was presented with light box platforms for each of the Mattsson style super-hero models.  This season Alex side stepped recent digital print detail to return to his experimentation in 3D surface pattern with symmetrical line logos constructed from vinyl shine.    This emphasis on texture was carried through to the hair design - I contacted hair stylist Louis Ghewy to find out more: 

"The stylist Harry Lambert told me he wanted each boy to be different and individual. The day before the show they decided to give all the boys a hat but they wanted the hair to stand out and be extreme. Always keeping the urban feel in mind we looked at Mischa's casting and gave each boy a different hair treatment.
Working with beads, dreadlocks, braids and elastics all in the same shades of yellow and green as the fabrics that were used in the collection."

To see more of Alex's cosmic collection, click over to and see more of the LCM collections in collaboration with Fudge, head over to their Instagram.

(All photos form Louis except group shot w/ George Hard by Celia Arias and Set Design snap from Alex's Instagram)

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Tuesday 13th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Cottweiler

After last season's presentation with FKA Twigs at the ICA, Cottweiler continued with the gallery location theme and showcased AW15 at the Alison Jacques Gallery.  The large white box room was used like a set from the TV scene of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory or Space Odyssey 2001 with a futuristic sci-fi feel..........  in their words "a posthuman environment, merging the natural with the man-man to create a world surrounded by contradictory aesthetics".  For the NIKE geeks out there in cyber space, you will have noted the new white / reflective Nike Free Inneva Tech which will be launching this Thursday at NikeLab wherever you are in the world.  Cottweiler's "comfort through nostalgia" perfectly matching Nike's "balance between modern and traditional".

Monday, 12 January 2015

Monday 12th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Katie Eary (backstage)

"Brain Braids" at Katie Eary's show earlier today which she twisted and curled from hair dyed by colourist Tracy Hayes at Fudge using their Paintbox palette.  Here you can also see Katie's own two-tone coral and aqua hair specially done for the day to match the collection and those glitter Nikes!  Thanks again to Fudge for backstage access to capture the action of London Collections Men and their collaborations.
Head over to the site to see more.

Monday 12th January 2015: London Collections Men AW15 - Craig Green (backstage)

At Craig Green's show last season I was part of the mass Mexican-wave of emotion that flooded thru the basement of Victoria House, as the emotive music and sheer beauty of the collection mysteriously overtook us.  This time round I had another privileged experience but from a perspective at the other side of the process, behind the scenes.  The storm of the show starts with the serenity of Craig's calm and remains still like a mill pond throughout.  The ease of his nature filters down from the top, all the way out to the rest of his team with an atmosphere of reassurance that is almost disquieting to the site crew more used to backstage mayhem.  It's with this military precision in planning and confidence before his models step out from the trenches of preparation onto the frontline of the runway that I understand his affinity with all things uniform.  Each look of multi-layered sections is exquisitely pieced together from the body-con second-skin out to the voluminous waterproof  sail size coats.  My favourite thing is the quilted gilets that cocoon the torso, becoming a Craig Green classic.  For the first time the designer edited the collection down to its purest essence without the finale of sculptural wood frame accessories.   Although I am a fan of his fine art vs. fashion approach, I wasn't upset not to see it.  He's established that sensibility and now with his second solo show at LCM stripped back the presentation to deliver a focus on the functionality of his organised wardrobe.  Colour-block groups continue to choreograph the order and seemingly style the show itself.  
Aside the obvious ingenuity ooozing from the clothes, I think it's an indication of a truly gifted talent that can conduct his operation with this quiet ease.  If surviving the fashion industry could be compared to entering battle then no army (brand) could do be better then led by this compass of calm.