Tata Naka Pre Fall 2012 EXCLUSIVELY at Selfridges!

As you may have gathered from previous interviews and show reports, I am a pretty big fan of Tata Naka. Given that the girls behind the hotter-than-hot independant brand are renowned for their incredible in-house prints, my love for their work can’t have come as any great suprise. The power patterns that earned twin sister design duo, Natasha and Tamara Surguladze an entire wall display in Barneys, New York devoted to their graduate collection are out in force for pre fall 2012, a collection that oh-so-conveniently arrives in Selfridges this sunday. Entitled, Toy Story and inspired by the work of Brit sculptor Robert Bradford, Tata Naka’s pre season offerings combine rubix cube brights in fine wool crepes with sleek tailoring and of course, their trademark prints. Anyone who thought colour blocking and pattern clashing were flash-in-the-pan fads will have to eat their words as one glance at these eye-watering beauties will no doubt put paid to that. The carefree brand of quirky chic introduced by a certain Miccia Prada is here to stay, long may it live.

Tata Naka

Tata Naka

Tata Naka’s pre fall 2012 collection will be available in Selfridges, and Selfridges along from Sunday 1st of July. Personally I’ve got my eye on the geometric, Peter Pan collared number (surprise, surprise), which one would you pick?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

Roksanda Ilincic Resort 2013

Is there no stopping Roksanda Ilincic? Every season the enviably gorgeous designer gains yet more accolades, high profile supporters (Michelle Obama anyone?) and general fashion kudos. I think it’s probably something to do with her uncanny knack for creating pieces that look every bit as elegant on civilians as they do when sported by a ten foot goddess on the catwalk. Having worn (but sadly not kept) a couple of Roksanda numbers myself I can vouch that they really do make you feel like a million dollars. I didn’t think she could top the fusion of eye-popping colours and ladylike silhouettes we saw for SS12 but having seen the Resort collection up close, I think she might just have managed it.

Roksanda Ilincic

Roksanda Ilincic

Roksanda Ilincic

For Pre SS13, Roksanda has offered up the clean lines and immaculate cuts that have become her trademark. The collection is perhaps a little more daring than the previous season’s with high shine and matt black fabrics sitting alongside sumptuous silks and sleek tunics layered over trousers (a look I usually loathe but Roksanda somehow manages to get oh-so-right). As usual bold, block hues take center stage but they are interspersed with striking monochrome looks. For me, it’s the prints that really steal the show. Floral silk peplum tops with sweetly matching cigarette pants? Don’t mind if I do!

Love Ella. X

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Marc Jacobs Resort 2013

Anyone who accuses fashion folk of lacking a sense of humour need only look to Mr Marc Jacobs to experience a seriously swift change of heart. I’ve always suspected that Marc is a man with a healthy sense of fun and his latest sartorial offerings prove it beyond all shadow of doubt.

Marc Jacobs Resort 2013

Marc Jacobs Resort 2013

Marc Jacobs Resort 2013

Marc Jacobs Resort 2013

Not only is Marc Jacobs Resort 2013 collection playful and charmingly childlike, it’s also a feat of sheer design genious. Multicoloured florals, polkadots and bold, geometric prints are all thrown into the mix, piled on one after the other with youthful aplomb. But adorable though Marc Jacobs resort creations may be, there is nothing unsophisticated about it. Jacobs has always displayed an uncanny knack for fusing fun and games with high fashion, as demonstrated here by cleverly distorted proportions and innovative use of materials which result in a deliciously girlish collection with a distinctly grown up edge. Shameless pattern clashing in eye popping hues, chunky platforms and oversized bows are given an avant guard twist with splendidly sculptural silhouettes. Marc Jacobs may not take life too seriously but when it comes to clothes, he always gets it right. I’m not entirely confident I could pull off that shocking pink, lace overlay confection but given the chance, you can be damn sure I’d give it a try.

Love Ella. X

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5 Minutes With… Nathalie Colin, Creative Director of Swarovski

As you, and the rest of the online population cannot failed to have realised, a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend the Scottish Fashion Awards as a guest of Swarovski. Aside from wining, dining and getting thoroughly and undeservedly spoilt, I also managed to wangle an interview with the brand’s Creative Director, Nathalie Colin. Unbelievably chic, French (duh) and a formidible businesswoman to boot, Nathalie is a force to be reckoned with. After 5, ok more like 20, minutes chatting with her I came away with a new career (and style) idol.

Natalie Colin, Swarovski

LPA: You initially studied Marketing at the prestigious French Business School “Ecole Supérieure de Commerce”, before going on to study Fashion at the – equally prestigious – Fashion Institute of Technology in the US. Was a career in the business side of fashion always your ultimate goal or was it something you realised during your studies or because of a specific experience?

NC: I definitely always wanted to work in fashion or at least, an artistic field but unfortunately I was very good at maths so everyone pushed me to do that! After my graduation my parents and teachers said that first I had to do something serious, then I could do what I wanted so I did the business degree and then I could go and enjoy studying fashion.

LPA: Talk me through a typical day as Creative Director of Swarovski… 

NC: There’s no such thing as a typical day. Every day is different but the fact that it’s not repetitive is the best thing about it. I generally arrive at the office at 8.45am after I’ve dropping my daughter at school. Then I have 15 minutes before my first meeting at 9am and from then on, another meeting every thirty minutes or hour either with the designers, with the collection director or the communications team… Then I also prepare information for my boss in terms of strategy and overall direction. We have so many other catagories besides jewellery – watches, eyeware, accessories and all the things we have to prepare for the shows – and a large part of my day is always spent communicating with all the different teams

LPA: From what I can gather, your role at Swarovski is both a creative and a business orientated one. How do you balance the two on a day-to-day basis? Which aspect of your job do you enjoy the most?

NC: As Creative Director for a big, international company with thousands of stores around the world and over 26,000 employees, you can’t do things purely based on intuition. The design approach has to be very structured. My background is in marketing and communication so I think that really helps me to balance the creative and the business sides of my job, which are both equally important. Everything starts with a creative vision but then during the course of the design process it has to be edited to make sure that the end product is wearable and commercially viable. I’ve never seen something start from a pure rational point of view but it’s vital to the success of the product.

LPA: Would you advise someone who hoped to work in branding or marketing for a brand like Swarovski to do a specialised degree in fashion marketing at a University like London College of Fashion? Or do you think it’s better to study a broader subject then gain experience in a specific field through internships?

NC: What was really important to me was the fact that I studied abroad, rather than specifically that I studied fashion. Getting exposed to a different culture was a great eye opener and taught me a lot about different approaches and of course, the course itself taugh me about the fashion business. I’d definitely recommend completing one’s studies with the experience of working abroad, whether you’re studying or working. Of course when you study fashion on top of your studies it will help develop your skills and knowlege in that field, but you can also learn directly in the company as long as you’re interested and motivated.

LPA: Fashion Marketing is one of the most in-demand aspects of the industry and you must be absolutely inundated with job and internship applications. What qualities do you look for in a potential employee or intern? 

When I recruit people to my team I don’t necessarily look for people coming from a fashion background. For me there are two main things I look for. One is the creative side, I look at applicants’ portfolios and try to spot the people who have a real talent. The second thing I consider is whether they would fit in well with the team and the values of the brand. I don’t really look at where applicants studies, having a diploma is one thing but the talent of the person is more important.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Interviews 2 Comments

Nanette Lepore Resort 2013

Nanette Lepore is one of a select group of New York designers with a reputation for providing the ultimate in killer party dresses. Indeed, this reputation is a well deserved one as I know few women who wouldn’t leap at the chance to wear a Nanette number to an important event. But while Nanette Lepore undoubtedly knows how to create a fab frock, her latest offerings serve as a reminder that she designs some pretty fantastic other stuff too. 

Nanette Lepore Resort 2013

Nanette Lepore Resort 2013

Nanette Lepore Resort 2013

Nanette Lepore Resort 2013

Take the hot pink blazer/geometric print cigarette pants combi with which she opened her Resort 2013 collection. Skinny fit, 7/8th length trousers are perfectly balanced out with a long-line, beautifully tailored jacket while costume jewellery adds to the elegantly excessive effect. Eye-popping colours, clashing patterns and bold geometric prints have been applied to everything from shorts suits to simple shifts, with paisley prints and lace lovelies softening the overall effect. Fun, flirty and fantastically wearable, after 20 years in the business Nanette Lepore is still showing us how it’s done.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment