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Black Girl on the Front Row!

Tag: SHIRT

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!

‘SPOTLIGHT ON: THE SARTORIAL RISE OF MR HUDSON’

Dearest Afrow-Family, might I prevail upon you for a moment, in order to regale you with the very happy news that Mr Hudson has returned!

Yes, he’s back on-the-‘b’-of-the-bang, with his soulful new single, ‘Fred Astaire’ suitably-paired with a couture video-clip of exquisite elegance.

We catch him in collaborative mood, with photographer-extraordinaire, Rankin, his willing creative-accomplice, and what results is a snapshot of a man-in-love, making himself ready to meet the object-of-his-affections, herself, in preparation for his arrival. It is, indeed, a  romantic narrative, but don’t think for a minute that co-created visual-art would ever remain simple, in a Rankin-Hudson world!

What ensues is a glorious homage to the entire process of manifesting such a stunning end-result. With the objective of giving status-to-the-apparatus, we, the viewers, become an invited-audience of a site-specific, behind-the-scenes, movement sequence. Thus, in one shot, we are exposed to the make-up artist, putting the final swipes of non-reflective base onto Hudson’s gossamer-skin, whilst in another, a snake of crew-members process after him as, rose-in-hand, he winds his way to his date’s door. It is, in a word, stunning and witnessing the work-in-progress would be one thing, but the merging of the emotive element is a sight to behold. The crew seem to be a support-system to Hudson’s ‘Eynesford-Hill-style’ character, in parallel to the real-time support-group of professionals whom they form, in facilitating the succesful outcome of the project.

Stylistically, the video is an undeniable tour-de-force. From the trademark black vest, at the beginning of his dressing ritual, to the crisp, clean, lightning-white shirt, razor-sharp, Hardy Amies suiting, efficiently-cut, so as to accentuate Hudson’s compact frame, to the timepiece which tantalises at the wrist and the beautiful, old-faithful brogue, constituting the Astaire-footwear, the look hails to the top-to-toe glamour of the quintessential, reel-to-reel screen-star, with an anglo-edge!

Just as our protagonist takes to the look with a cool and quiet confidence, so too, has Mr Hudson stuck his stylistic-perspective above the parapet, along his journey to greater public visibility. At times the classic country-gent, in tweed flat-cap and waistcoat, at others the ‘Singing Detective’, in a dipped trilby-and-trench ensemble, he has always held an air of wit, to match the wisdom of his open-hearted lyrics. As his career has developed, so too has his foray into the realms of the fashion-cognoscenti deepened. Courting the extremes of the on-trend, has found him ahead-of-the-game when it comes to expressing his sartorial approach. He makes no bones about having a wardrobe, which incorporates either a T-shirt with a stark, geometric design, a vibrant, primary-red two-piece suit or super ankle-skimming, tapered trousers, seemingly tailored to within-an-inch of their perambulatory efficacy! He has an innate sense of freedom-of-fashion-speech, which promotes the continuation of his brand-conversations on many levels, whether high-end, via Jil Sander, Burberry or Dior, or high street, through the likes of Top Man, and the excitement rests in the fact that he is such a chameleon…ergo his model-status with the top-tier ‘Next’ Agency!

Of late, he has been off our radars, building his production-repertoire, thus any glimpses which we have seen of him, have showcased another of his ‘go-to’ looks, of striped, loose top, rolled-up, straight-legged pants and, more often than not, his beloved brogues…without socks, mind you! However, with the release of ‘Fred Astaire’, we get to see the a man who is a symposium-on-style… On this track, we hear just how gifted a vocalist he is, with a faultless falsetto, (better than I’ve ever heard him sing before), reminiscent of the scintillating skills of Daryl Hall, and the lyrical ability to verse the vulnerability of a type of man with a ‘stiff-upper-lip’, who is courageous enough to admit he hurts but still gets out there and loves, all the same.

Mr Hudson shines in the constellation of U.K and global artists and whilst he has named David Bowie as his style icon, I believe that this troubadour-for-our-times, is fulfilling his potential of being a top man and gentleman, for generations to come.

‘Fred Astaire’ video: http://youtu.be/ikvxrC2mI1g courtesy of HungerTV! Enjoy!

©AFROW 2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED