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The Fold London: a cut above for the fashion-forward career woman

Filed by Lucire staff/March 21, 2021/12.14





Falling in love with a brand’s style is easy. Now if only said brand’s marketing department asked you what you really wanted or if their entire collection could fit into your busy lifestyle without concessions on style, quality, and individuality. The Fold did just that, and the results are getting the brand and the women who wear it noticed in all the right places.
   Armed with an MBA from the London Business School and a Ph.D. from Cambridge, brand co-founder Polly McMaster fulfils the archetype of the high-achieving businesswoman who knows her strength. What you may not know is that McMaster studied fashion at night school while earning her graduate degrees in business and molecular biology. ‘I always loved fashion, right back from when I was in school,’ McMaster recalls. ‘I even took evening classes to make my own clothes since I couldn’t afford the ones I liked in the shops.’ Though she chose science as her initial career path, she never abandoned her love for art and fashion.
   ‘My decision to set up my label, the Fold London was a mixture of instinct and numbers.’
   While in business school, she met fellow fashion fanatic and future partner Cheryl Mainland. Together they crunched the numbers and envisioned a fashion brand that fused everything they loved about clothes and knew about business. ‘The idea for the Fold came out of understanding the professional woman’s needs in her daily life and trying to create a stylish, contemporary wardrobe particularly focused around work,’ asserts McMaster.
   After surveying over 8,000 businesswomen across the globe, the Fold has pinpointed what women are looking for in workwear. The Fold’s collections define the needs of career women through versatile pieces that are designed to create a clean, modern æsthetic. Form follows function, but design is never compromised in its pursuit. Luxury in its truest sense, the Fold’s garments are unique, high quality and indulgent. To view the Fold London’s spring–summer 2021 collection, visit www.thefoldlondon.com.


Above: The Fold London co-founder Polly McMaster

 


Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor models Self-Portrait’s autumn–winter 2021–2 collection

Filed by Lucire staff/February 24, 2021/11.50



Nigel Shafran/Self-Portrait

Bridgerton’s Phoebe Dynevor is the face of Self-Portrait’s autumn–winter 2021–2 collection, photographed by Nigel Shafran.
   Given the UK’s difficulties with COVID-19, Self-Portrait forged on with showing its key looks with a more down-to-earth campaign, rather than a traditional fashion show, opting to photograph at Dynevor’s home in London. The aim was to capture a day at home with Dynevor, ‘finding joy in simplicity and solitude’.
   Malaysian-born Han Chong, Self-Portrait’s founder and creative director, noted, ‘As I was designing this latest collection, I was thinking a lot about the British sensibility and that effortless approach to British style, which I am so often inspired by. I felt we needed to work with someone to bring this to life rather than present the collection in a traditional show format, and having captured the hearts and imaginations of so many people over the last few months, I knew Phoebe would be the perfect woman. The moment I met her, I loved how down-to-earth she was whilst still having this incredible spirit and energy that perfectly emulates the attitude and values of the Self-Portrait brand. She is warm, independent, sensitive, expressive and completely captivating. It’s been a real joy getting to know and work with Phoebe and I’m incredibly excited to have her on this journey with us.’
   Dynevor added, ‘I was delighted and honoured that Han chose me to work with him and such a talented team on his latest collection. I first spotted one of his dresses on a photo shoot and it was an instant love affair. Han’s collections for Self-Portrait have always been an inspiration, I love the strong structures he creates from such delicate and stunning fabrics and this collection is a testament to his incredible work. I’m so proud to be a part of this new project and hope to have a chance to wear the pieces when life goes back to normal again!’
   Chong creative-directed the campaign, and was joined by Marie Chaix as stylist, Isamaya Ffrench on make-up, and Gary Gil on hair.
   The season sees a reworking of Self-Portrait’s staples, as well as new, relaxed styles, with an emphasis on simplicity and lightweight fabrics. Dresses, knitwear, cardigans and jumpers form part of the collection, in fabrics ranging from organic cotton to recycled polyester chiffon.
   Self-Portrait uses responsibly sourced fibres and began introducing organic cotton and recycled chiffon and polyester in 2019. Last year it introduced recycled viscose.
   The collection will begin retailing in July, both online at self-portrait-studio.com, and offline at Self-Portrait stores (including flagship stores in London, New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Taipei), and select retailers.

 


Alexander McQueen, Vestiaire Collective move toward circular economy practices

Filed by Lucire staff/February 16, 2021/9.32

Alexander McQueen and Vestiaire Collective have announced they are collaborating on moving toward circular practices, and a new app makes pieces that have been bought back available through a new online store.
   Vestiaire Collective is using the high-profile collaboration to launch its Brand Approved programme.
   The companies explain, ‘A select group of clients will be contacted by a sales representative at Alexander McQueen. Any pieces the clients wish to sell will be assessed and if eligible assigned a buy-back price. Once the pieces are received and authenticated by Alexander McQueen, the client will be issued with a credit note with which they will immediately be able to purchase new items from specified Alexander McQueen stores. Once processed by Vestiaire Collective the pieces will carry an external NFC tag giving prospective new buyers access to information confirming the authenticity of the piece. The pieces will be available to purchase on a dedicated “Brand Approved” page on the Vestiaire Collective app and site.’
   The app reveals more on the collaboration, as does Vestiaire Collective’s website at vestiairecollective.com.
   Emmanuel Gintzburger, CEO of Alexander McQueen, said, ‘Alexander McQueen is committed to a move towards circular practice, both in the design studio and in the development of new business models. We are delighted to be the first house in the world to collaborate with Vestiaire Collective on its Brand Approved programme and to give beautifully crafted pieces a new story. We are confident that our customers will be equally excited to take part in an initiative that challenges a linear economy and sets a new and more sustainable standard for the future. We hope many houses will follow because to have impact at scale, we need to act collectively.’
   Fanny Moizant, Vestiaire Collective co-founder and president, added, ‘There is an urgent need to address the way we currently produce and consume fashion. Vestiaire Collective’s Brand Approved programme offers a sustainable solution, reinforcing the importance of durability, whilst empowering first-hand fashion players to disrupt their linear business models and embrace circularity. We are incredibly excited to launch the new service in collaboration with the prestigious house of Alexander McQueen, driving a shared mission to embed circularity at the heart of the fashion ecosystem.’

Top photograph: Alexander McQueen spring–summer 2020 show finalé, photographed by Chris Moore/Catwalking.com.

 


Freya Rose shows jewellery edit for Valentine’s Day

Filed by Lucire staff/February 2, 2021/20.58





In our pages, Freya Rose is known more for shoes than for jewellery, although she grew up in the jewellery industry—her mother is Barbara Tipple, the four-time de Beers award-winning jewellery designer, whose work is exhibited at the V&A.
   For Valentine’s Day, she has a jewellery collection of occasion and bridal items at the ready, and in true Freya Rose fashion the collection is sustainable with luxurious materials, including pearl and precious metals, with prices around the £75–135 mark. These are handmade in Bali, Indonesia. ‘We’re proud to being keeping these ancient Balinese crafts alive, supporting the talented artists who help bring our designs to life,’ they write.
   Going up the price range are items with a hand-crafted bee motif: the Kate bag, at £245, and a pair of bee shoe clips at just £95. Going well with those clips is Freya Rose’s Soraya Ivory shoes at £695 a pair.


 


Simone Rocha is H&M’s next designer collaboration

Filed by Lucire staff/January 14, 2021/15.28




H&M

London-based Irish designer Simone Rocha is the next collaborator with H&M, with a collection launching March 11, comprising clothing for women, men and children—the first time Rocha has completed a collection for the entire family. Each category includes a full wardrobe. Also under the Simone Rocha × H&M banner are jewellery and pearl-embellished footwear.
   As with previous designers, the collection makes references to previous work, especially Rocha’s mixed heritage of Hong Kong and Ireland, but with new twists.
   H&M says in a release, ‘We see glimmers of Tudor courtiers, wild florals, portraits and photographs, dolls and trinkets. There is tartan, beading, florals, pinks, reds, and bespoke fabrications, developed in-house, exclusively for this collaboration.’
   The launch date coincides with Rocha’s 10th anniversary.
   ‘I am so thrilled to be working with H&M on this very special collection,’ she says. ‘It truly is a celebration of the signatures of my brand, and the influences that have shaped me. As a designer, and as a customer, I’ve been such a fan of the H&M collaboration concept. Margiela, Alber Elbaz, Comme des Garçons—it’s such an amazing list of alumni to be a part of.’
   Rocha says she is pleased that she can offer her designs to a wider audience, and for those who may have missed a piece the first time.
   Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative adviser for Hennes & Mauritz, adds, ‘Simone Rocha has been on the H&M wish list for some time. This collaboration offers a new audience the chance to own a very special piece of design history. All of us at H&M have been so inspired to work with a female designer who spends so much time thinking about contemporary femininity, and womanhood, and who is so committed to excellence in craft and design, from the process of developing special fabrications, to pushing silhouettes, shapes and embellishments. Every garment within this collection is unique, special and the result of years of work and meticulous research.’
   Daisy Edgar-Jones, Adwon and Jesewa Aboah, Robbie Spencer, and Tess McMillan appear in the campaign.


H&M

 


British Fashion Council announces the Fashion Awards 2020, with Beijing, Shanghai screenings

Filed by Lucire staff/December 3, 2020/23.01



With the UK continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Awards (formerly the British Fashion Awards) announced its 20 winners with a digital film première.
   The 30-minute film went live at www.fashionawards.com today and on YouTube on the BFC’s account, and was screened in selected cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. It features some of the year’s events as well as opinion leaders and young creatives giving their thoughts on its impact. Physically appearing in the film voicing their ideas were photographer Jermaine Francis (on the work of NHS workers), entertainer Miss Jason (on the impact on younger queer people), model Salem Mitchell (on Black Lives Matter, and why activism is important), photographer Lauren Woods (that Black Lives Matter is not a hashtag, but real lives are involved), and photographer Myles Loftin (people of colour are still not represented sufficiently). Wilson Oryema, a writer and activist, followed in a later set (on building a better world for future generations), along with Kasper Kapica, a model and content manager (who recalled doing a Miu Miu campaign in the forest), Bohan Qui, communications director (China in its post-COVID mode and the world’s added interest there), Choom, magazine editor (community in the age of COVID-19), Harry Fisher, store owner (selling virtually this year), and from the class of 2020, Bradley Sharpe (Central St Martin’s), who learned he would not get a graduation show, but it turned into an opportunity.
   In the first set of award presentations for communities, Priyanka Chopra Jonas noted that people’s expectations have shifted and that the industry can directly help communities. First to be honoured was the Emergency Designer Network, set up by Bethany Williams, Cozette McCreary, Holly Fulton and Phoebe English. The Network helped create 50,000 surgical gowns and 10,000 sets of scrubs for UK health workers.
   Secondly, Michael Halpern eschewed a London Fashion Week show in favour of a tribute to frontline workers, capturing eight women from the public services in film and portraits, and contributed to the production of PPE for the Royal Brompton Hospital.
   Chanel has committed to improving the economic and social conditions of women worldwide. Its Foundation Chanel has developed a racial justice fund to support grass roots’ organizations led by people of colour. It has also committed to supporting independent artisans and ateliers. As reported earlier in Lucire, Chanel has also produced PPE. Finally, its climate strategy, Chanel Mission 1·5° aims to reduce its carbon footprint.
   Kenneth Ize has supported the communities of weavers, artisans and design groups across Nigeria, placing the country’s heritage on a global stage. He has also celebrated his Blackness and the LGBTQIA+ community with his work.
   A Sai Ta, who tells the stories from his east Asian culture through a British lens, has called for the end to discrimination against marginalized communities. His eponymous brand, A Sai, has committed profits to organizations that support the end of systemic discrimination and racism. The brand supported Black Lives Matter, in a manner which the Council labelled ‘exemplary.’
   Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton highlighted the protests against systemic racism in many countries, and believes the fashion industry has a platform on which to make change and creating a more equal society. Hamilton’s set of recipients were people who have led change by encouraging equal, diverse and empowered workforces at all levels of the business.
   Edward Enninful was the first recipient in the category, for his work contributing to diversity at British Vogue. The magazine’s covers have featured frontline workers, activists and Black Girl Magic.
   Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles for Black in Fashion Council were next: launched in June 2020, the Council’s aim is to build a foundation for inclusion. It has organized a creatives in the sector to foster the change and create diversity.
   Menswear designer Samuel Ross, behind the label A-Cold-Wall, created the Black Lives Matter Financial Aid Scheme, pledging £10,000 to the organizations and people on the frontline supporting the movement. He also awarded grants of £25,000 to black-owned businesses across a diverse range of areas.
   Aurora James called on retailers to dedicate 15 per cent of their shelf space to black-owned brands. A controversial winner as far as this magazine is concerned, as James has yet to respond in depth to questions we posed to her in 2017 over a Moroccan artisan’s account, having missed her own deadline by which she promised to provide us with answers.
   Finally in this category, Priya Ahluwalia has been a pioneer in sustainable fashion, and a tireless advocate for the black community, especially this year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
   Maisie Williams and Aja Barber presented the awards for the environment, calling on a united effort to making the planet better.
   First up among the winners was Stella McCartney, whose record is already well known among consumers and industry alike. She has stayed true to her brand, promoting and practising sustainability, with innovation and circularity.
   Anya Hindmarch has worked hard to reduce waste in the fashion supply chain in her business, adopting new techniques and practices. She also supported the NHS with the creation of a holster for frontline staff, as well as reusable and washable hospital gowns.
   Christopher Raeburn is a pioneer in the upcycling of surplus fabrics, proving that the designs can still be creative, premium and desirable. He believes that innovation, creativity, technical excellence and partnerships can solve current issues in sustainability.
   The Fashion Pact united top-tier fashion CEOs toward collective action on biodiversity and this year, doubled its number of signatories. It represents 200 brands and a third of the industry. It has made its first strides, notably with a digital dashboard of KPIs to measure impact, and with its first collaborative activity on biodiversity.
   Gabriela Hearst has sourced materials carefully, looking at where they come from, who makes them, and what impact they have. Her spring–summer 2020 show was the first carbon-neutral catwalk presentation. Hearst wants to make the highest-quality product with the lowest environmental impact.
   The last set of awards were for creativity, introduced by Rosalía. Jonathan Anderson was awarded for his innovative approaches to showing fashion for J. W. Anderson and Loewe during the COVID-19 pandemic, with show-in-a-box and show-on-the-wall concepts, as well as inviting people to become part of the show experience.
   Grace Wales Bonner’s fashion designs celebrated black culture, evoking its history, and challenged the norms surrounding black masculinity and identity.
   Third up were Prada, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, demonstrating the importance of conversation, collaboration and dialogue in reimagining fashion for the future.
   Riccardo Tisci and Burberry were honoured for their inclusivity and sustainability. The Council noted the label’s innovative use of technology at London Fashion Week in September 2020 and in campaigns and launches. In addition, Burberry donated 160,000 pieces of PPE to the NHS and health care charities, repurposing its trench coat factory in Castleford. It has also donated to aid vaccine research, and to food charities.
   Menswear designer Kim Jones, introduced by David Beckham, was recognized for his creativity. He said he felt it was important to bring joy to people in a tough year, and he intended to do so with his fashion.
   The Awards were supported by Getty Images, Lavazza, Rosewood London and Royal Salute. The trophy was designed by Nagami and created by Parley for the Oceans using Parley Ocean Plastic.

 


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