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LFW 2013 - Fashion International

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Young Ladies About Town
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on Monday, 16 September 2013
It was Friday night at The Charing Cross Hotel and Fashion International’s first instalment of their seasonal showcase of Spring/Summer 2014 collections was about to begin.

Fashion International

The evening started at 7:30pm with guests pouring into the chic Betjeman Suite. There were bursts of colour, flowing gowns, embellished, translucent dresses of neutral earth tones. Each collection shone brightly and was extremely well received by the audience.

I caught up with the designers at the VIP after show reception to find out more about where they drew their inspiration from.

Fashion International

AGA made her debut on the night and showcased a range of evening dresses together with smart, tailored separates. With a focus on neutral, earth tones, the attention to detail and her craft was obvious, from the handpainted birds that adorned dresses to the crystal and beading detailing.

"I love browns and earth colours - it’s my favourite," she told me. "It’s my first time here. I’ve only shown a little bit of me with this collection, I didn't have as much time, but next year... I love fabric, then design.

"My favourite fabric is silk, it’s like a second skin. I think it’s nice to wear things that make you feel sexy, I know I do... Not showing too much but hints of your figure. I'm not really inspired by anyone, I really just like to design what I love."

Dee Duce’s collection embraced powerful colour; cerise, purple, bright yellow and punchy greens. Sweeping strapless gowns and short one-shoulder dresses with embellished crystals and beading, highlighted the ruched fabrics that had been used - there was a strong summer feel to the collection, one could envisage wearing an array of dresses while at an exotic location.

"It took me four hours to put all of the crystals on this gown last night," confessed Dee Duce. "Really, each one is my favourite - they reflect the personality of the girls, and they wear them really well. When speaking of who inspires her and the effect of The Great Gatsby, Dee said: "I actually like, Roberto Cavalli and Valentino also inspires me. I get inspired by 1920‘s and 30’s, in those days nobody had clothes made in China and I want to make sure they get made more locally, to help the economy. It sounds silly, but I like to talk to fabric, let it do what it wants to do and not force it. I really like being funky and quirky and that’s what i’m about."

Fashion International

Gianni Lilliu presented a range of exquisitely tailored pieces that ranged from beautiful cobalt blue jumpsuits to organza peplum styles.

Gianni told me about his creative process and what inspires him: "My inspiration is always drawn from wanting to exalt femininity. I’m inspired by David Begbie, the sculpturer who works with bronze mesh. I like to create a structure around the female form. I don’t like exaggeration too much, just clean and wearable and glamorous things. I love all designers - Dior, who doesn’t? I try to match different looks”.

Wajahat Mirza’s collection consisted of bright, punchy colours with plenty of back detailing, beading and jewels to create the effect of a birds wing. I found out a bit more about his inspiration: "The first time I went to Africa, I saw these amazing birds. This collection is inspired by exotic birds, the vibrant colours that they have. I’ve incorporated the skin. My forte, I would say, is in embroidery and colours. I would really love celebrities to wear these dresses and for people to experiement with lots of colour. I like designers that have used nature and African prints."

The very first model of Yuvna Kim’s collection, who wore an intricately embroidered, ivory delicate gown received a resounding ‘WOW’ from the audience. What we witnessed was something rather beautiful. There was a bridal quality to the ‘BIJOUX’ collection and the glamour of the 20‘s and 30‘s was evoked perfectly.

Yuvna Kim, from Mauritius has as she says, “huge dreams” for her future. "From a very young age I suffered with dyslexia, studying was hard but drawing and sewing came naturally. The inspiration for me is just women; I love to look pretty and we all, as women, want to look like a goddess. So, I exploit that. It’s not any era but really what someone wears. This collection came really naturally to me. For me, the dream is very big - I come from nowhere and I don’t want it to stop. I’d like to design for celebrities...I just love creating. I have been doing a lot of bridal but also Red Carpet and even prom gowns. Bespoke is also very important to me and that relationship with my customer, is so precious."

Words by Natalie Letch
Photography by Daniel Day
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