Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion

WHEN you hear the name Cristóbal Balanciaga, most people can picture one of his modern, graphic shaped couture dresses. Known as the master of shape, the Spanish designer was famous for his exaggerated silhouettes, modern simplistic patterns and clever tailoring. Designers have been inspired by his work for many years with his designs still being classed as modern now, 45 years after his death.

 “His work is still so modern” Nicolas Ghesquiére

Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion at the V&A is a chance to see some of his original houte couture upclose. From his cutting patterns to his fitting techniques, it's a fascinating insight to the man behind the garment and some of his most iconic fashion designs. Upstairs in the exhibition there's a chance to see first hand how Balanciaga has inspired some of the most successful designers of today including the likes of Paco Rabane, Oscar de la Renta, Nicolas Ghesquiére, Hulbert De Givenchy, Issey Miyake and Gareth Pugh to name a few. Divided into sections to represent each of his particular design traits, it really gives you an idea of how he has contributed to shaping the future of fashion.

“He laid the foudations of modernity… entirely” Emanuel Ungara

Balanciaga was clearly a very influential designer and the impact he had on the fashion world has been phenomenal. I love how so many great designers have been inspired by his work. Not only have I gained a better understanding of his design style, technical abilities and creative process, I now find myself recognising particular Balenciaga design characteristics in todays fashion that he may of inspired. L

Left: Balanciaga dress, Right: Sybilla dress inspired by Balanciaga

Left: Balanciaga dress, Right: Sybilla dress inspired by Balanciaga

Balanciaga: Shaping Fashion is on at the V&A until February next year. For further information and tickets visit the V&A website.  

London Fashion Week Men's AW17

LAST month I was lucky enough to be invited along to London Men’s Fashion Week. It was the first time I'd attended the event and I thoroughly enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere and creative environment.
   The event itself is made up of a series of shows and presentations all over central London, with its main home being 180 Strand.
   The invite only event is a chance for fashion designers to present their new lines to industry experts and fashionistas from all over the world. Everyone had dressed for the occasion and style inspiration was everywhere I looked and I even spotted a few celebs amongst the crowds.

Here's a couple of my highlights:

My footage of the KTZ show finale

Trendy contemporary London based brand KTZ designs ready to wear clothing with a couture twist. The show had a urban vibe, edgy sound track and a cool crowd wearing some of the most daring and eye catching outfits I spotted at Men's Fashion Week.
   Monochrome, corset detailing, different textures, layering, are themes that featured heavily throughout the collection which really created an overall style for the collection. Every outfit had movement through some detail on the clothing and the attention to every little detail was something I really admired about this show.

Video I took at the Sibling show finale

Completely different to KTZ, Siblings show had a Spanish theme as the collection was heavily inspired by Barcelona’s Park Güell and architect Antoni Gaudi’s ‘trencidis’ technique.
  Terracotta, reds and blue featured throughout the collection, as did angular shapes inspired by the shapes of tiles in Gaudi's designs.
   Sibling had applied those influences to the brands “typically British” style to create the collection.


What I learned from Men's Fashion Week
As a designer I think its important to take inspiration from all different areas of design. Sibling has has reminded me to look at other art forms to pull inspiration from, whether it be architecture, fashion or fine art.
    As for KTZ, after watching their show I feel I have a better understanding of their brand and could easily recognise one of their pieces. As a designer I want to work on developing my own style and brand that's recognisable and shows my individuality as a creative.
   The final thing I learnt from Fashion Week is regarding the dress code... the bolder, braver, brighter, the more outrageous, THE BETTER - I can't wait to put together my outfits for next year!  L

If you want to find out more about London Fashion Week Men's visit the website here.

Left: KTZ Collection. Image Credit: @JAB for KTZ Right: Sibling Collection. Image Credit: SIBLING

Left: KTZ Collection. Image Credit: @JAB for KTZ
Right: Sibling Collection. Image Credit: SIBLING