Just around the corner from the not-so-sunny Strand the buzz of London Fashion Week continued, where the Kiev Exhibition AW14 Showcase was held at Fashion Scout in Holborn. Although it was a small exhibition, for a LFW newbie, who has ironically always lived in London and never actually made it to Fashion Week, in my mind, I felt like I was in The Devil Wears Prada.
I was greeted by about 10/15 LFW volunteers, pointing me in the right direction to the exhibition. The excitement was building and I was ready to switch on my critical mind and put on my metaphorical fashion lenses. On finally entering the room, it all felt, well slightly anti-climactic. The room itself was pretty small and on only two walls lay 4 hanger rails, with only 8 (or so) garments on display. But to be perfectly honest, this didn’t matter. The minimal display made it feel plainly intimate.
Each collection had its own uniqueness; be it the fabric, textures or colours, it seemed that the twenty-something crowd, full of preppy (for lack of a better word) ‘fashionistas’ and journalists found at least one item which they couldn’t put down.
Anna K’s collection left me chuckling, and I wasn’t alone. Quite simply, she had a rail of large white t-shirts with the traditional bold statement printed on the front. Of course, whenever you wear one, someone will awkwardly, but inevitably end up staring at your chest, attempting to read what it says. However, it wasn’t merely the case of ‘FREE HUGS’ or ‘CHELSEA GIRL’, but instead an ironically sarcastic statement perfectly summarising the fashion industry. ‘If you are cheap, nothing helps’ and ‘If you want to talk to me, talk to my agency’ were particular favourites.
Next up and Lera Leshchova’s rail couldn’t have been more different; a distinctly dark rail, consisting of thick and heavy coats, amongst other garments. The press release tells me that the designer’s trip to a regional museum in Western Ukraine sparked her design inspiration. The rugs Leshchova saw left such an impression, that she ‘mastered the technique of count stitches and transformed into runway designs’. Yet, the dark shades that dominated this rail were accompanied with a few statement, eye – catching pieces. In this case, a two tone purple jumper which perfectly highlights Leschchova’s inspiration…is it too early for Christmas presents?!
Krashlinikova’s presentation is the most difficult to describe. Monochrome prints once again dominated this rail, and she married a range of different fabrics and textures to make very ordinary, everyday garments – whether it be the comfortable leggings and jumper combination, or a classy evening dress, Krashlinikova had it all covered. The outright winner for me, was a very Zara-esque jumper; black fur around the shoulders and thick wool around the body, unusual but endearing.
Lara Quint’s inspiration was the most interesting; she wanted to express the ‘heroine character, brave female warrior’ by ‘studying traditional Japanese armour and calligraphy’. The big pieces and kimono shapes, in simple neutral colours made this obvious – I’ll let you see this for yourself in the picture.
The final rail caught my eye. Perhaps it was the bright colours which boldly stood out in comparison to the mellow colours of Quint’s presentation, or maybe it was the shiny, patent material of the garments which seemed very on-trend? Long line pencil skirts and long coats made up most of the rail, but also numerous garments made from the same print. Thumbs up to Yasya Minochinkina, I really liked this one.
I guess you could say that this little exhibition showcased the talents of ambitious, young designers. It sounds weird, but the music played definitely matched my conceptions of LFW music. The repetitive, techno beat was almost hypnotic, and as I walked around, nodding my head to the beat, I realised that I wouldn’t be half surprised if these names crop up on the fashion catwalks in seasons to come.
All images: Emily Goodman