Summer breeze: A breath of fresh air at London Fashion Week

 

As London Fashion Week got under way yesterday, Alison Roberts, who co-founded Antoni & Alison 25 years ago with Antoni Burakowski, painted a picture of their humble beginnings.

"It was the winter of 1987," she said. "There was a recession and not that much awareness of fashion. We were naive but headstrong things straight out of college, working out of our council flat." And it seems that, in its maturity, the label is ready to put a few things straight: "We are chic, beautiful and arty," continued Roberts. "And not at all kitsch or quirky."

To create the 51st collection and celebrate a quarter century in business, the duo created a collection of dresses entitled simply "New Work", using "every colour we own". And a refreshing start to the day it was, as a series of dresses decorated with brush-textured stripes of paint, ink drawings of flowers, charcoal smudges and colourful squiggles all rendered by hand and printed digitally alongside blown-up images of gems and buckles to create a trompe l'oeil effect.

Silhouettes were neat and elegant on T-shirt dresses, sleeveless shifts and floor-length columns, some with deep V-backs and gathered waists. These were new works that retained the brand's signature.

"We can't believe it's been 25 years," said Roberts. "We're not that business headed and we didn't start with anything. We're proof of what you can generate from nothing. I look at it as a 25-year apprenticeship: we're still learning and as soon as we get fed up we'll stop," adds Burakowski.

Another pairing that has displayed that continual learning process is the married couple Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman who, as Fyodor Golan, showed a sixth collection that demonstrated a refined touch. It was inspired by The Blue Tattoo, a Victorian novel that charts the true story of Olive Otterman, a child who was captured by native Americans and sold from one tribe to another before becoming a celebrity for her titular facial tattoos.

This was used as a literal reference by the recipients of last year's Fashion Fringe bursary, interpreted not only in the models' make-up, but in the extravagant swirling illustrations that adorned many of the dresses, while a bodice heavily encrusted with shards of smashed porcelain spoke of the shattering of Victorian repression. The practices and aesthetics of the Mayan and Aztec people were delicately rendered as an elaborately beaded body-plate, woven into a figure-hugging black knitted dress. Latticing was used on skirts, leather bolero jackets and the backs of dresses largely wrought in royal blue with amber, bronze and yellow accents recalling Ottoman's travails through the desert. Bronze and silver face sculptures and huge bell-shaped hats were statement pieces.

Corrie Nielsen, who won the Fashion Fringe award in 2010, showed a romantic, overblown silhouette full of volume. Colours were soft and dusky, with pale pinks, creams and blues enlivened by a sheer jungle-print dress in a verdant green. Before starting out on her own Nielsen worked for Vivienne Westwood for six years and her former employer's influence is evident.

Transport kindly provided by Mercedes Benz.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Sport
Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man
transfers
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Marketing & PR Assistant - NW London

    £15 - £17 per hour: Ashdown Group: Marketing & PR Assistant - Kentish Town are...

    Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer

    £250 - £300 per day: Orgtel: Senior Network Integration/Test Engineer Berkshir...

    Software Developer - Newcastle - £30,000 - £37,000 + benefits

    £30000 - £37000 per annum + attractive benefits: Ashdown Group: .NET Developer...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

    Day In a Page

    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
    eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

    eBay's enduring appeal

    The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

    'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
    Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

    Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

    Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
    Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

    Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

    After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
    Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

    Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

    After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
    Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

    Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

    Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
    7 best quadcopters and drones

    Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

    From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

    The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

    British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
    Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

    A descent into madness in America's heartlands

    David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
    BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

    BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

    Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home