David Koma new Artistic Director at Mugler

London based designer David Koma has been named as the new Artistic Director at French fashion house Mugler, a position previously held by Lady Gaga’s ex-stylist Nicola Formichetti. Koma has long been a draw at London Fashion Week and celebs such as Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams have all donned his frocks for red carpet events.

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A portrait of the man himself, David Koma

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Jennifer Lawrence in one of his designs (Image: Getty)

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Amy Adams in a dress from Koma’s SS14 collection (Image: Getty)

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Miley Cyrus (pre tongues and Twerking) in a futuristic David Koma garment (Image: Getty)

It is a great match for the brand, with Koma’s fierce architectural designs bonding well with a French fashion house whose beloved 80s muse was the grand dame herself, Grace Jones. Definitely one for independent ladies, Thierry Mugler’s dramatic body-con designs garnered huge success in the 80s and 90s, and he famously created the iconic black dress worn by Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal. And what 30-something isn’t familiar with the brand’s blue-bottled star-shaped ‘Angel’ scent? Aah, the sweet smell of nostalgia…

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Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal – in the much replicated cut-out Thierry Mugler dress

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Angel by Thierry Mugler was launched in 1992

Koma himself is also a name that has been lauded for several seasons, after first presenting at London Fashion week in 2009 and winning BFC NewGen sponsorship in 2011. Yet this new appointment should catapult the 28 year old into the fashion stratosphere. Of the post (announced on Friday 13th – clearly not unlucky for this young chap) Koma says “I am deeply honoured to take up the role of Artistic Director at Mugler. For me, Mugler is the most extraordinary fashion house with an undeniably audacious heritage.”

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All above images (and main holding image): David Koma Spring/Summer 2014

With Koma’s first Resort collection for the label due in June 2014, and the first catwalk show in Paris next September, I can’t wait to see what this exciting designer will do to re-energise the revered brand and bring it back to its former iconic status.

http://int.mugler.com/uk/en/    http://davidkoma.com/

Another darn good collaboration…

Sometimes I feel all I write about is designer high-street collaborations, so sorry if you’re a little tired of the subject, but there have been so many awesome ones of late that I find it hard not to mention them all.  Isabel Marant for H&M, L’Wren Scott for Banana Republic, Meadham Kirchoff for Topshop – the list is constantly being added to.  Today’s announcement is about the lovely British designer Georgia Hardinge (whom I have met and can attest is both gorgeous and supremely talented) and her new range for River Island, which launches in-store and online tomorrow.  If you think this sounds familiar, you’re not mistaken, as this is Georgia’s second collection for the high-street store (the first was clearly a winner) and coincides rather nicely with the forthcoming party season.

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The lovely lady herself – Georgia Hardinge

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An image from her first collaboration launched in-store in April 2013. 

Renowned for her stunning use of digital prints, voluminous shapes and a savvy way with an origami fold, Georgia’s designs are inspired by her passion for architecture and sculpture.  Her main collection has been worn by fashion icons and new label champions such as Jessie J, Florence Welch, Lady Gaga and Nicole Sherzinger – who looked stunning in her printed frock (& is that a cake pop I see there?)

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Nicole Scherzinger, Jessie J & Florence Welch – all sporting pieces from Georgia’s main collection

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The book sculpture that inspired her latest print (as seen below)

Georgia’s 13-piece collection for River Island includes dresses, skirts, crop tops and leggings.  My best-seller predictions are the printed cap-sleeve dress, and the chic knee-length number with folded waist detail, which comes in bold cobalt or classic black.  All three would be perfect for a Xmas party and would look stunning paired with a chunky gold choker and sexy stilettos.

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From top: Structured printed dress, £80; cobalt blue dress, £60; black dress, £60, all Georgia Hardinge for River Island AW13.

For those that are a little braver the printed leggings are amazing and would look great with a biker jacket and long line tee.  Or if you have killer abs, then pair the neoprene cropped top with the pencil skirt and shrug on an oversized white jacket to channel this season’s key minimalist trend.

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From top: Printed leggings, £30; printed top, £35; cobalt blue crop top, £35, and cobalt blue miniskirt, £40 (both also available in black), all by Georgia Hardinge for River Island AW13

With prices starting at £35 for a top and peaking at only £80 for the structured dress, this is the perfect way to tap into some edgy, in-the-know designer chic at an affordable price.  And with the unique prints and architectural shapes these garments will ensure that you stand out under the mistletoe this year.  So go on, treat yourself, it’s nearly Christmas (well, sort of) and you’ve been such a good girl…

Georgia Hardinge for River Island AW13 launches in key stores and online on 20th November at http://www.riverisland.com/women/design-forum

Only the Brave

On Friday I had the privilege of meeting and interviewing (albeit succinctly) Lady Gaga’s talented ex-stylist Nicola Formichetti – he of the controversial meat dress and armadillo shoe fame.  Fresh from a week of promo that included the Diesel Tribute launch party in New York and an event in Japan, it’s fair to say that he was suffering from both jet-lag & fatigue.  However, despite partying the previous eve at the London launch at Hoxton Gallery, he still managed to exude warmth, charm and a near endless enthusiasm for fashion.

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This month sees the launch of his first collection as Creative Director at Diesel. With his Italian-Japanese heritage, love of street-style and propensity for controversy this is a fine fit for the brand.  And with his legion of loyal Twitter fans, Formichetti brings a wealth of new customers to the label that once ruled the denim world.  This first collection made up of 22 pieces, all referenced from Diesel’s previously untapped 35-year archive.  Naturally, aside from some printed tees denim rules, with the stylist-turned-designer applying studding and biker badges to sleeveless jackets, high tops and shirts.

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The Diesel Tribute sleeveless jacket, shorts and tote – Formichetti’s favourite piece in the collection

When I asked about his favourite piece Nicola championed the tote bag. ‘I took the idea from the back of the vest (sleeveless jacket) and replicated it onto the bag so it looks like you’re carrying a jacket. It’s cool. When you see a tote it’s usually a cute pretty thing, very girly, but this is quite tough. It’s unisex, boys can wear it and girls can wear it.’ Indeed the collection is far from girly, channelling more of a rebellious biker chick aesthetic, a theme that is even more evident in the ad campaign, which features self-sourced heavily tattooed and pierced models.

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A few of the campaign images, shot by Nick Knight, and featuring a selection of models that ‘represent the fearless Diesel spirit’

Describing the difference between Diesel and his previous appointment as creative director at fashion house Mugler, he says ‘At Mugler we had two head designers that had a much more important role. With Diesel I’m directing it, but with a great big team. That’s the difference. The Diesel atelier is massive, we have a whole floor dedicated to denim, and scientists working on new treatments all the time.  It’s incredible to work like that. The possibilities are endless.’

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Images of the Diesel Tribute range taken at the in-store event, featuring studding, biker badges and colourful buttons

Formichetti is a champion of new media, saying that ‘young digital bloggers are the future; they’re going to take over the world. I love when new things happen. It’s shifting and we’re changing.’  A fact further supported by the campaign, which was shot entirely on an iPhone by renowned photographer Nick Knight. Formichetti gets very animated when discussing the speedy delivery of the campaign. ‘Sometimes you can do this spontaneous thing (sic), going directly to the consumer, not showing the product to the press 6 months before. It’s super quick, going straight to the digital world. And it’s exciting’ he says, before adding of the industry’s predisposition to work 6 months ahead. ‘I think if you keep trying we’ll get to a point where we can do something bigger and new for the fashion system. I don’t know what’s happening anymore, what season or what month we’re in. This has to change, don’t you think?

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Printed tees and digital moving images

Whilst this is an idea that has also been explored by Burberry (customers can order the next season Prorsum collection straight from the catwalk), I can’t see the whole of the fashion industry following suit.  Despite the instant appeal of new media, the major monthly titles as well as the dominant department stores need the 6 month lead time to place orders and create editorial content in time for the fashion season.  With Diesel, where seasons are less crucial, the concept is more of a reality.  And with his endless energy and thousands of Formichetti fans, this is just what Diesel needs to return to its position as pioneer of the denim industry.

Diesel Tribute is available now at selected stores. For more info head to www.diesel.com. The campaign (shot by Nick Knight) can be viewed on specific social media platforms including Facebook and Instagram, as well as digital installations in key stores.

Main image- the Diesel Tribute collection as it appears at the Covent Garden store.

Colour & Culture at Cosmetics a la Carte

Today’s blog is about a beauty brand that has just turned 40 and, rather than letting the date quietly slip by, has spent the year marking the occasion.  Knightsbridge based Cosmetics a la Carte, has been bringing ‘colour and culture’ to our faces for four decades.  The label has seen many famous names grace its hallowed beauty halls – Princess Diana was a fan, as is Grace Jones, Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Gaga and even U2, who used their cosmetics for their tour.  Renowned for its ultra bespoke beauty range (they will mix a foundation to exactly match your skin tone), Cosmetics a la Carte was the first luxury make-up company to make all its own products. And one of the owners, Lynne Sanders even has a science degree to back up her innate talent.

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I was introduced to this brand about a year ago and am a huge fan.  Whenever I use their foundation I get compliments on my skin, and the product is so light that people really think it’s just my natural glow.  I have forgotten the amount of times I have had to correct them with the words ‘honestly, it’s my foundation’ (FYI it’s called Moisture Tint).  Furthermore, their cream Bare Blush adds just the right hint of ‘I’ve been for a walk in the country’ rouge to my cheeks

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This spring saw a commemorative exhibition that celebrated the company’s use of colour and iconic status, including the first nude lipstick bought by Princess Diana in the 1980s. Also showing were four monoliths, a collaboration with revered artist Alex Noble.  I saw these at this week’s press day and they are so stunning.  Inspired in turn by Grace Jones, Princess Diana, Lady Gaga and Kate Moss, Noble was given four iconic moments in the brand’s history and used these to create the pieces.

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH I – GRACE JONES BY ALEX NOBLE

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH II – PRINCESS DIANA BY ALEX NOBLE

The first was inspired by the midnight blue face powder worn by Grace Jones on the cover of her album Nightclubbing (the product itself was inspired by Grace asking for skin similar to the boutique’s Egyptian black cat).  The gorgeous broken pearl bust is a tribute to the late Princess Diana and her devotion to the Nude Toast lipstick.  Monolith III represents Lady Gaga in one of her early appearances on BBC breakfast news, where she wore Bubblegum gloss in a heart shape on her lips.  The final piece, and my personal favourite, references a May 2000 Vogue cover, where Kate Moss wore Candy lipstain in pink with two boldly coloured eyelids.

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH III – LADY GAGA BY ALEX NOBLE

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‘CUTTING THE EDGE OF BEAUTY’ MONOLITH IV – KATE MOSS BY ALEX NOBLE

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The May 2000 Vogue cover that inspired Monolith IV, featuring Kate Moss in Candy lipstain 

If you’re going to a Halloween party this weekend, take inspiration from these gorgeous monoliths and be creative with your make-up.  Or book in for a masterclass with the boutique’s talented artists.  Why be boring when you can be bold?

Visit Cosmetics a la Carte at 19b Motcomb St, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8LB. T: 020 7235 0596 www.alacartelondon.com

Exhibition curated by Ryan Lanji: http://www.ryanlanji.com. For more information on Alex Noble head to: alexnoblestudio.com.