London Fashion Week - Day 1

....follow the NJAL Team during the five exciting days of London Fashion Week

by Maxwell McBride Peterson and the NJAL Team
Today marks 5 days of madness and marvel as London Fashion Week begins! We at NJAL are excited for the approaching shows and we want to share it all with you, dear reader. Our diary will be updated daily to give you a front row – just about – seat. Check in as the team covers catwalks, exhibitions and parties where we mix and mingle with emerging designers to get the latest look at the newest creations. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @notjustalabel and if you spot us at a show don’t be shy!

Friday, September 14 - 10:00am
Our first show of London Fashion Week was Fyodor Golan! Now presenting their fourth collection, the design duo have taken this season’s inspiration from a book "Blue Tattoo" – the survival story of a young Victorian girl. The collection explored the transition of the main character as she gradually shed the restricted corsetry and shackles of an era.

Starting with a range of royal blue tones, followed by more vibrant oranges and pinks, the designs combined lightweight organza, chiffons and loose silhouettes against more structured shapes. The designers wowed the audience with their draping skills as well as imagination, the end result being a coherent, beautiful and wearable collection.

Friday, September 14 - 11:00am
The glamorous ballroom of the Italian Culture institute was the stage for designer Nico Didonna’s S/S 2013 collection. Inspired by the natural elements - Earth, Air, Fire and Water – the pieces follow a subtle approach of soft lines. Open back halter-neck waistcoats, paired with pencil skirts and thigh-split palazzo trousers that reflect Mother Nature’s palette – blues, sandy beige and flashes of crimson! This collection is perfect for dining in London, or dancing the night away along the Mediterranean.

Friday, September 14 - 1:00pm
For his S/S 2013 collection, jewellery designer Dominic Jones explored the darker side of his aesthetic. The result was an impressive and boundary-pushing collection, including stunningly sculpted neck and facial pieces, as well as claw rings and jaw-clasp purses. Rediscovering the hand-made precision of past arts has paid off with his most detailed collection yet! The overall look was powerful but elegant, and the stylish St Martins Lane hotel offered an intimate and immaculate setting for presenting his new range.

Friday, September 14 - 1:30pm
Anticipation was growing for Carlotta Actis Barone’s show, but when the lights revealed a model pirouetting down the catwalk, we knew we were in for something different. Cage shapes peppered with bright bursts of neon colour were starkly juxtaposed against the backdrop of dramatic opera music. Entitled The Magic Flute, and based on the opera of the same name, this collection evoked a strong sense of a bygone era. Using coiffed, operatic hairstyles, musical score-like prints and stripes and swirls of celebratory colour, the story told was one of happiness, protection, sisterhood and love.

Friday, September 14 - 2:00pm
Vauxhall Fashion Scout promised to bring the best young designers of tomorrow to the Freemasons Hall today and we were mesmerized. Shengwei Wang showed her stunning knitwear collection embellished with lace, sequins and beads to London before she heads to Milan next week. Serena Gili's resin coated knit skirts where reminiscent of church bells, structured and sturdy. Hailing from Argentina, Maia Bergman presented her mannequins in pastel pinks, yellows and turquoise tones. Taking a closer look at the fabrics, she uses an unusual approach to texture by filling the fabrics with polystyrene balls produced some spellbinding results!

Friday, September 14 - 2:30pm
Vauxhall Fashion Scout's nostalgic venue, of the Freemason's Hall, offered the perfect setting for the S/S 2013 womenswear collection of Krystof Strozyna. The mix of smooth silky fabrics and viscose in elegant pastel colours of lilac, white and coral made us already dream of spring. The pieces were elegant, yet powerful with precise sleek cuts. We see them worn at glamorous events or dressed down for casual date nights. Definitely a label to watch...

Friday, September 14 - 2:45pm
The S/S 2013 collection 'Space Oddity' by Eudon Choi was inspired by its namesake masterpiece - 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick – and Italian art-film Blow Up by Michelangelo Antonioni. The purity of unbroken lines and a focus on sharp cuts came together in a retro futurist-look to comprise the main theme of this collection. Exaggerated box cuts, neoprene and a basic colour pallet of white, black and silver were dominant – with flashes of hi-vis neon thrown in!

Friday, September 14 - 3:00pm
The saga of an English Princess becoming a Romanian Queen was the inspiration behind Bora Aksu's S/S 2013 collection. Finely knitted tops and soft floating shoulders gradually became darker with bold hues of blues, yellows and reds - mirroring the growth of the woman. Crowns and clutches of laser cut leather complimented the outfits with elegance. A favourite look was flirty fine-printed silk box jackets styled with brocade skirts.

Friday, September 14 - 4:00pm
Dans la Vie A.K.A Rira Sugawara's third catwalk and fourth collection, entitled 'Moving Print Bodies', was a visual feast of kimono sleeved, belted in hourglass shaped pieces that featured dramatically layered peplums, bold checked patterns and exotic python skin print. Inspired by Japanese gods, this jumbled mix of styles is intended to marry skin with prints to create a new contemporary style. One piece of this technically complex collection used 127 separate pattern pieces in its composition! Clearly this Vauxhall Fashion Scout designer follows her inspirations through to the end.

Friday, September 14 - 4:30pm
The models at Fam Irvoll shuffled onto the runway posing as grandmas - with hunched backs and moccasin clad feet - before breaking into their usual strut. This theatrical beginning aptly set the mood for their S/S 2013 collection, entitled, 'No Thank you, Mr. Botox'. Feminine and playful, the pastel tones were carried through a recurring cartoonish grandma print and poodle headed platform slippers. Airy yet sporty dresses covered the models with 50's style beehive hair.

Friday, September 14 - 5:30pm
Sensuality and femininity clash with the brutality of denim in Timur Kim’s S/S 2013 collection. The contrast between a delicate colour palette, light shapes and sharp tailoring is the fil rouge of the whole collection. Describing his works as everyday-wear with a touch of luxury, his pieces definitely appeal to a young girl looking for elegance and cool all in one.

Friday, September 14 - 7:30pm
The PPQ show always feels like a reunion. One where the East End kids meet the Yuppies, and the Mayfair nightlife skeletons bump into the Euro Trash. But what the label of Amy Molyneaux and Percy Parker bring to the stage every season is textbook branding. Without any sales points, the duo ignite their collaboration opportunities with the bi-annual show and simply run their type of fashion business and make it look easy. The front row is always sexy, the location beautiful, the after-party is the hottest ticket in town tonight and nobody will ask about the collection.