Thursday, 18 September 2008

Reinventing the wheel: British fashion houses have their day (again)

Avsh Alom Gur at Ossie Clark has quickly stepped up to the mark, it seems after a somewhat shaky start. In his second collection for the reinvented label, Gur captured that quintessential 70s bohemia mood that the original designer was so revered for. And he harnessed it in a kaleidescope of bright colours for a modern take on effortless dressing. Yes there were the commercial tailored pieces and the "order one in every colour silky draped dresses"; but let's hear it for the sprig and leaf print kaftans or the floor length crepe jump-suits - it's what modern day hippy chicks will want to wear not to mention a legion of Ossie fans. Talking backstage Gur told us: "I wanted the collection to be really simple and elegant. Minimalism in block colours and pared down prints. It's a modern femininity."

Meanwhile over at Mulberry it's ex-Marc Jacobs designer Emma Hill's turn for a spin at the creative helm most recently left by Stuart Vevers. For spring, Hill has given the British leather goods and clothing label a "warm fuzzy" feel (her words) - as befits the brand's classic heritage, that's like a national treasure according to Hill. With a girlfriend/boyfriend vibe at the youthful presentations during LFW there were playful denim shirt dresses and beige safari-esque pocket shifts among silky halter dresses with warm paisley prints in raspberry or tobacco and plenty of leather. As for the continuation of the Mulberry "it-bag" phenomena; all the editors will mostly be wearing the new Bayswater clutch in a range of mouth-watering shades for chic summer dressing.

Oh and if you didn't know edgy British menswear designer Kim Jones takes over as creative director at Dunhill next season. The classic menswear brand has just unveiled its brand new flagship location: Bourdon House on Davies Street in the heart of Mayfair. And it just happens to be steeped in a healthy amount of reinvented history, from the underground humidor to the rather authentic and therefore slightly scary Sweeney Todd-esque barber, not to mention a light and airy bespoke tailoring room and the Discovery Room - full of vintage delights and a range of "collectibles" such as art-deco lighters, monogrammed pens and backgammon sets. And this is only Jones' first foray into designing for the classic menswear brand, we can expect much more to come.

Whoever said you can't teach an old dog new tricks hasn't heard of the new designer teaching an old house new tricks.

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