London Fashion Week - Day 4

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

by Maxwell McBride Peterson and the NJAL Team
The names of the days are quickly forgotten during fashion week. Is it Monday today? Let's just say Day 4! We hope you are all enjoying your NJAL front row seat at the shows and exhibitions... only two more days! 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 Instagram and Twitter at @notjustalabel

Monday, September 17 - 09:00am
Fred Butler started the day with her live presentation, curiously named “A Bee in My Bonnet, With a Honey Hair Comb”. Taking inspiration from bees and mixing it with an urban street style, we get a ‘Hip Hop Honey Bee”. Featuring iridescent gold undergarments with a patchwork of hexagonal pieces of rubber forming a 'hive' around the wearer. Butler’s worker-bee baseball caps, honey comb headphones, hexagonal hoop earrings and enlarged daisy chains make a really striking collection for SS13. Buuzzzz!

Monday, September 17 - 11:00am
Inspired by the pleasure island, Capri, Sur's collection of the same name is a very wearable range of silk, cotton panama and wool crepe pieces in a beautiful palette of baby blue, lime yellow, fawn and neon pink. The label, designed by Laura Figueras who hails from Barcelona, prides itself on the use of fine materials and high quality manufacturing in the designer’s home city. With layering, transparency and asymmetry as key details, a subtle polka dot texture adds a sense of cuteness to a collection which otherwise focuses more on elegant shape, drape and cut. This collection is the epitome of casual elegance with a healthy splash of directional design.

Monday, September 17 - 1:30pm
Christian Blanken stayed true to his signature style and presented a beautiful, feminine and coherent SS13 collection. Infusing sportswear elements, he also drew inspiration from the Russian Constructivist movement. This collection was about wardrobe essentials but with flattering cuts, fit and finish, together with materials such as leather, suede, python and metallics, he made sure each piece stood out. We look forward to seeing the new collection in NJAL’s online shop soon!

Monday, September 17 - 2:30pm
Without the use of trendy music or a light show, Edeline Lee just needed 2 minutes to present her live collection at The Royal Geographical Society. Full of tension and theatre, the audience is shown into a large library with 10 models dressed in Lee's long formal dresses in pastel greens, creams and bold black detailing mixed with classic pleated skirts and tailored shirts. The models were inspecting maps and whispering to one another and looking at the window. After 2 minutes we were shown out in silence. One of the most original presentations we have seen so far! Are private intimate performances the way forward in lieu of catwalk shows?

Monday, September 17 - 3:00pm
The fashion crowd's favourite, Louise Gray, pulled a full house once again to show her collection ‘Now What’ on the TopShop catwalk. Her pieces were full of attitude, colour and spark, mixing prints, textiles and knitwear unlike anyone else, which is exactly what we love about the designer. Her creativity has no limits, and she has a look and style that is completely her own. "There's all the things in it that I like,” said Louise, and we liked it too!

Monday, September 17 - 3:30pm
After a brief tour around the Fashion Shenzhen exhibition at the Waldorf Hotel, we got an insight into what we were about to witness. Learning that just 32 years ago, Shenzhen was a tiny fishing village that has now transformed into a modern metropolis which has created a young, vibrant and spiritual foundation for fashion in China to grow, we were eager to see what this young centre has to offer.

Aum: Stemming from classical simplicity of traditional Buddhist concepts, the SS13 collection explored Buddhist theory in the design through effortless silhouettes, loose fits and draping cuts of fabrics coming in at the waist and bust. Sustainable materials such as calico and bamboo cotton created a raw historical 'working class' look with a modern twist.

Jixiangzhai (Mascot): With over 90 franchises in China, Mascot has quickly become an in demand brand in Asia. Keeping in mind the graceful modern woman, she has mixed traditional Chinese dress styles with modern western fabrics and bright bold colours. A royal blue velvet floor length gown screamed 'British/Chinese royalty' and the almost fluorescent wide leg trouser appealed to the young, trendsetting city girl. This created an ultimate experience in graceful dressing. The Mascot woman perpetuates the heritage of China's tapestry of culture without sacrificing a modern feel.

Monday, September 17 - 4:30pm
Craig Lawrence’s SS13 show was a true play on texture and fabric. His sophisticated and elegant collection was nothing short of remarkable. His benchmark use of unlikely and varied materials was again clearly visible. The take on colours, focus on purity, and silver and white was the main scheme. The audience was encouraged to use flash photography and the finale of the show made clear why. The metallic silver dresses were reflective and shined in a dazzling storm of flash photography. The pieces can easily be worn casually by day and elegantly by night when the spotlight is on. Craig’s motivation was to give the saying 'day-to-night-wear' a whole new meaning.

Monday, September 17 - 6:30pm
After a long wait at Freemasons Hall, DAS Collection made up for the queuing with a mix of Middle Eastern and Indian styles to create a decadent SS13 collection. Inspired by the high societies of Dubai and Mumbai, full-length garments embodied the traditions of the Middle East with bold colours on heavily textured fabrics, featuring embroidered Arabic calligraphy.

Monday, September 17 - 7:30pm
Starting the Kingston MA show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout was InCrops with her very British and mod-esque collection of drainpipe trousers and single breasted coats featuring royal purple fabrics and sweet-wrapper like plastics. Another one to watch is Mayada Khammu and her amazing street wear with oversized leather jackets and platforms with metallic gold on all the detailing. Overall Khammu's collection gave off a very harsh and dangerous vibe! It was great to see some menswear with Gin Lee’s knitted collections featuring huge knitted masks and massive shoulder pads with extended sleeves using pastel greys, yellows and pink wools. Overall a fantastic show!

Monday, September 17 - 8:30pm
In an intimate corner of the Soho Arts Club, NJAL's Asudari presented its SS13 collection, Mashrabiya, which is inspired by window latticework found in Arabic architecture. A small collection displayed on just three mannequins, it is very concise and, as such, provides a lesson in quality over quantity. Enticing first with its beautifully sculpted facial masks and then luring deeper with laser-cut latticework in cork, the range is full of texture. The cork bolero showpiece features 3D flowers that are all hand moulded one at a time and then applied by rivets onto a backdrop of soft, minty blue suede. Continuing the latticework theme, a long, silky smooth bodycon dress and batwing blouse are covered in an all-over latticework print using a complementary blue and orange colour combination. Again with the inspiration being window work, the pieces also let in light with the silk pieces becoming slightly sheer against light and the layers of latticework over suede creating beautiful shadows. This is an enjoyable collection to see and experience and one which is clearly uncompromised on quality.