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Black Girl on the Front Row!

Tag: ELEGANT

STYLE, WITH A CAPITAL ‘S’, FROM ‘TITLE A’!

*STOP THE WORDPRESS!*

Fashion news, of the major kind, has hit Afrow-H.Q and left us all in a flurry of excitement!

You see, Agyness Deyn is backwith-a-brand and what a design-debut she has made!

With the dream-team of Tracy Moore (uber-inspirational designer, with whom Agyness had previously collaborated for ‘Doctor Martens’) and Emily (Deyn’s supertalented sister), the multi-hyphenated model-actress-musician, has launched a superslick collection, as recognisably ‘Aggy’, as her crown of megawatt, blonde tresses!

Imagine it…

Timeless twists on classic menswear, harmonised with flowing, luxe fabrics, for that undeniably feminine feel…

Price-points that reflect the wisdom of an investment-buy, without having broken the bank…

Find them, on ‘Net-A-Porter’s’ ‘New Designer’ roster, in such elegant separates as the cool, oversized, cotton shirt (£170), the drape-necked ‘Boa’ blouse, in sumptuous plum (£240), the metallic ‘Pillar’ skirt, in textural jacquard (£180) and the beautiful, bespoke aesthetic of the double-breasted, ‘Chesterfield’ overcoat, a celebration of the straight-line silhouette, in navy/white wool and pinstripes (£360)!

With these attributes, ‘Title A’ already bears the hallmarks of an enduring label legacy. However, don’t even think of blinking, since expansion plans are set to include a comprehensive complement of, wallet-welcoming, high-end accessories – from eyewear to footwear – completing the top-to-toe, ‘Title A’ appeal. Furthermore, the aforementioned collections are due to drop four times a year, which is fantastic news, as the ready-to-wear looks of this line, are ready-to-rise upon a perpendicular trajectory and will surely sell-out, sooner than they arrive!

Freshly-installed at the top of my ‘style alphabet’, as ‘Title A, for Awesome Apparel‘, I’d advise the shrewd fashionistas amongst you to also get very acquainted… ‘Title A, for ASAP’!

TITLE A ~ NET-A-PORTER

©AFROW2014-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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TWITTER SHOUT-OUT FROM TITLE A!

MARSHALL GATHERS MOSS AT IMITATE MODERN? ‘I’M’ IN!

To many, the mere mention of Marylebone conjures up one of two things… One, being the waxworks of Madame Tussaud’s, the other, being Mr Sherlock Holmes! However, make your way, on foot, via a concentration of Oxford Street shoppers, across, oft, car-clustered roads, along a, mainly-residential, thoroughfare, in the direction of this Fitrovian district and you will soon happen upon another reason to become well-acquainted with the area. The new name to add to your cerebral rotary-filing system, is that of the “Imitate Modern” Art Gallery.

First impressions of the building are that this is not your usual exhibition space. Then again, being situated amidst some of the finest chocolate-box environs of London, you would expect nothing less! In fact, it is akin to an ‘open house’, of the most elegant, listed ilk! Modest, classic, it is a mirror of its curator, Jaqui Pittack, with a warmth and effervescenct energy, which disseminates throughout her amazing team of Imitate Modern-angels and radiates out into the ambience. That it is situated without earshot of  the blaring horn-orchestra of motor-vehicles further facilitates the pleasing exchange which stillness affords, as you take in the array of modern-artistic talent, fastidiously hung upon the walls.

I have first-hand experience of this, since I had the distinct pleasure of attending two back-to-back events last December, spanning the worlds of altruism and art-inauguration. The former, part of of the ‘Christmas Wish List’ evening, not only served to toast the season, but also helped the homeless, by auctioning an original canvas by the incredible ‘Stik’, and raising a truly healthy sum for ‘The Big Issue’. The latter, unveiled the unswervingly dynamic collaborations between urban pop-artist Rich Simmons with, both, zeitgetist power-photographer, Tyler Shields, and inspirational street-artist, ‘Parlee Erz’.

In high-spirited accompaniment, were pieces from thought-provoking, statement-artist ‘Cartrain’, the relentless, Jackson Pollock-esque abstracts by George Morton-Clark, adroitly-complemented by a witty series of signature, monochromatic works from ‘The London Police’ and skilfully-balanced by the intense, yet, uniquely delicate, sepia-toned goddesses from the accomplished hands of Rosie Emerson. Yet, this group form only a tranche of the distinguished talent comprising the Imitate Modern collective.

Little wonder, then, that with such a diverse creative roster, the gallery has consistently caught the attention of the media, including such publications as “Tatler” and “Vogue”. Even less, that it is this beautiful West-London location, which has been chosen to house the imminent arrival of its latest exhibition by gifted artist, Russell Marshall, entitled “40 A Kate Moss Retrospective”. Presented in collaboration with Urban/Contemporary Art-brand, “Beautiful Crime”, it is in dedication to and celebration of the supermodel’s 40th birthday, featuring ten screen-printed canvases, in a selection of ten hues, themselves, available in ten variant colour combinations! Sourced from Marshall’s own photographs, each canvas captures the model at differing stages of her career, from the new-face, spotted at an airport, through to her meteoric rise to entrepreneurial/iconoclastic status… and the anticipation has set the world’s media on fire!

They’re right to be excited!

Imitate Modern is the perfect backdrop in which to showcase the visual journey of Kate Moss, who  has been a fearless and bold protagonist within the Fashion Industry. Her ability to encapsulate and inspire trends has seen her career catapult her into the upper-echalons of her field, yet she has maintained an inner poise, which has infused each campaign with greater depth and authenticity. So, here’s to you at 40, Kate…and to being 25 years, strong, in the one-off world of la mode….

…..Long may your fashion-forward meteor continue to rise!

“40 A KATE MOSS RETROSPECTIVE” RUNS FROM: 17TH JANUARY > 15TH FEBRUARY 2014 AT: IMITATE MODERN, 27A DEVONSHIRE STREET, LONDON, W1G 6PN ~ MON>FRI: 10a.m > 6p.m ~ FREE!

www.imitatemodern.com ~ www.beautifulcrime.com

©AFROW2014-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

SPOTLIGHT ON: ‘KITTY FERREIRA UK’… AN EXTREMELY ‘GOODE’ BRAND!

‘You know it when you see it’, is a phrase which is often bandied-about, with such frequency, as to become cliché. However, let it be known, that in referring to ethical womenswear-brand ‘Kitty Ferreira UK’, no other phrase will fit-the-bill!

Living-the-dream of designing the range is Founder/ Creative M.D., Valerie Goode, and if ever a moniker described both a person and a mission, it is hers! As I type, the question ‘What qualifies this statement, Afrow?’, is undoubtedly winging its way through to my side of the Blogosphere… Well, my having spent a day-in-the-life with Miss Goode should serve as due qualification!

You see, last week, yours truly was given free-reign of ‘ The Ideal Home Show Christmas’ event, at Earl’s Court! Yes, another wonderful PR Company (in this case, that of ‘Incentive Media’), gifted me a press-pass for the entire 5-day duration and, for an ‘I.H.S Xmas’ newbie, it was AMAZING!!!

Imagine a Noughties-Narnia (except a lot warmer!), lit by an indoor aurora-borealis, a floor filled with stands, as far as the eye could see, scents saturating the atmosphere with the most divine Yuletide fayre and mood-music, apt for retail-merriment! The scene reverted this visitor into a jaw-dropped juvenile, in anticipation of being a tinsel-halo-wearing angel in the Nativity play and sharing memory-making, festive family-fun!

Now, Afrow-Family, follow me to Wednesday 14th, which I have come to address as ‘Kitty Ferreira Day’, in part, because her designs were runway-bound to the Ideal Home Show Christmas Catwalk for an exclusive showcase of exceptional UK design-talent and also because that evening, her collection was to be displayed at a Pop-Up Fashion Exhibiton, curated by online UK-fashion boutique, ‘London Ethnic’ and held at the exclusive private members club, ‘Apartment 58’.

Without further ado, I must explain the riches of Miss Goode’s ‘Kitty Ferreira’ designer label! Heartwarmingly named after her late Grandmother, whom she described to me in one of our many email communiqués, as being ‘fierce like a lion, soft like a cat’, the line comes with this familial brand-boldness, yet delicacy of a bespoke design-aesthetic, which is woven into the warp and weft of every bolt of fabric!

Engrained in the ‘Kitty Ferreira’ ethos, is the stalwart passion to produce high-end pieces, manufactured solely in the U.K, the carbon footprint of which is closely-monitored, due to her personally sourcing top-quality, upcycled materials. Otherwise destined for landfill, these same fabrics, are eco-dyed, in a variety of natural stains, with her latest derived from pomegranates and onion skins, as can be seen in her stunning SS14 garments. As with such tried-and-tested dyeing methods, the beauty of the resultant pieces stems from the drying process, which facilitates unique variations-on-a-theme. Thus, each will be a bespoke creation, perfectly reflective of she who chooses to buy and wear her own idiosyncratic example of craftsmanship.

Following in the tradition of all-things with a bespoke, there is an air of exclusivity to Goode’s goods, bucking-the-trend for batch-process uniformity, whilst helping to save the bucks, with purse-friendly prices! Not only does this serve to satisfy the ‘one-off template’ within us all,  but it is ever-more marvellous to see, at close-quarters, the fruition of harmonic parallels between the ideal of ethical manufacturing and the production of such timeless separates. Furthermore, the fast-turnaround of her ‘luxe-for-less’, limited-edition collections, offered in a rainbow of size-silhouettes, ranging from 6 to 26, only adds to their desirability, whilst perpetuating the element of having acquired something extra special, for one’s wardrobe. It is this desirability which has already seen celebrity-endorsement by such names as ITV Newscaster, Charlene White, and earmarks the trans-seasonal/ transferable glamour of a ‘Kitty Ferreira’ garment as a go-to option, as suited to a high-stakes work environment, as to the atmopshere of a restful afternoon tea or a playful party-vibe!

Pattern-cutting, provided by her highly-skilled assistant, Katie, is a dream-of-precision, underpinning the sublime tailoring which is present in the exquisite apparel. For example, a rich mustard-hued pant, with the most sumptuous pleating detail, is an utter triunph and a joy to see, styled with her sheer, silk ‘Saffron Shirt’ with the signature ‘notch’ pocket. In fact, it was this look, which all-but stole the Ideal Home Catwalk Show, and was one of many which had guests at the London Ethnic fashion showcase, flocking to meet-and-greet her! Having witnessed a selection of the collection in-motion, it is easy to see why so many sought to celebrate the fruits of her creative labour! There is no mistaking Miss Goode’s couturière-eye-for-detail, which is absorbed throughout the design, as expressed through a fine floral motif, here, or a high-necked front, balanced by a revealing backless ‘moment’, for the ultimate in effortless, elevated drama. The overall effect pronounces the ‘Kitty Ferreira Woman’ as one of distinct elegance, presence and allure, with a stylisitic self-awareness and an ability to fearlessly experiment with it.

As Valerie herself says, ”…fashion can tell a story not only based on style or an era, but based on values”*. Thus, the most wonderful element for me, is the fact that one can be safe-in-the-knowledge that a purchase from the line is not just another acquisition, which might, all-too-soon, be forgotten! No, a ‘Kitty Ferreira-wearer will always know that she has made an eco-friendly retail choice, not only in support of the best-of-British manufacturing, but also in contribution to the development and success of one of the best-of-British design-talents.

In Afrow’s words… ‘That’s not simply a Goode thing, but a great thing!’

©AFROW 2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

* www.kittyferreira.co.uk  ~ www.londonethnic.comwww.idealhomeshow.co.uk ~ www.apartment58.com ~ www.incentivemedia.co.uk

Many thanks to Valerie for inviting me to such a special day and to Incentive Media for inviting me to such a special event!

MASONBENTLEY: STYLE AND SUBSTANCE FROM A UNIQUE FASHION-DUO….

Barely have the curtains on a most resplendent London Fashion Week come down, than my head has been turned by the wondrous collection from design-duo, MasonBentley!

The brainchild of Anna Mason and Kate Bentley, the eponymous label was birthed in 2012, with the objective of ‘carefully selecting and sourcing vintage clothes to be re-loved for the modern wardrobe’*. The popularity of their brand of one-off pieces left savvy consumers wanting more and to that end, an idiosyncratic capsule collection was created in order to satisfy the rumbling style-stomachs of their ever-increasing number of supporters!

You need only peruse their blog to notice how much they are relishing every precious moment upon, what they call, ‘the journey’, as well as to quickly recognise how seamlessly their respective talents combine. Delve deeper into the collection and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that they are totally in the fast lane to exponential success!

Their design aesthetic is effortless glamour, which you can expect to see represented in timeless separates such as their ‘Harper’ blouse, alluring, both in white or black cotton-broderie anglaise fabric. Add the ‘Deneuve’ collar, for a perfect complement to the leg o’mutton-style sleeve and evoke a look with inflections of ‘elegant equestrian’. The ‘Hepburn’ skirt and ‘Audrey’ top are aptly- named, offering than a nod to the ‘Roman Holiday’-spirit of Audrey, herself (after she had the elfin cut!) and the beige/ ivory and black options make for ultimate versatility in the wardrobe of any woman.

Let it be known that MasonBentley have a delightful way with detailing but do not shy away from colour or print either! Such examples can be found in the range, from the ivory piping in the aforementioned ‘Audrey’ top and the precisely-positioned black horizontal stripes on the ‘Billie’ dress, to the ‘Dante Blouse & Belt’, the ‘Romy’ dress and the ‘Birkin’ bikini, flamboyantly adorned with ‘Royal Peacock Print’ in grey, fuschia pink and teal colourways, respectively.

A House signature must be their ‘trans-seasonal’* silk/ crepe-de-chine blouses, such as the ‘Macaroon’, available in shades of baby pink and ivory and with silhouettes suited to all body shapes, featuring flattering butterfly sleeves, as on the grey ‘Trilby’ blouse.

Prices ranging from £120** for the Deneuve collar, through to £340** for the silk/ crepe-de-chine blouses, competitvely reflect the high-quality of design and execution, however, I believe that in purchasing a garment from MasonBentley, you are getting so much more… The creative journey which we are all invited to share and to which we can all respond through their blog, and the love which clearly goes into manifesting a priceless, ‘total experience‘ are at the root of this rare gem of a design-partnership…

Long may the ever-increasing success of the MasonBentley legend continue!

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

*Quotes from masonbentleystyle.com   **Prices correct at time of publication, from masonbentleystyle.com