I love London. I love its convenience, its obscurity, the chaotic rush for the underground. But most of all, being a fashion capital, I love how every single person seems to be having an affair with their wardrobe. So when asked to attend the Coffin on Cake PR – SS’12 Press Day held at the Vinyl Factory, just off Carnaby Street, to preview some of the new season collections from brands such as Converse, Rip Curl, and Surfdome.com, I, of course, said yes.
Nothing says quality like underwear which has its designs laser-printed onto the fabric and a waist-band made out of the same material used for ski goggles. So it’s no surprise that the pull-in brand, established in 2001, which uses both laser-printing technology and the ski goggle material, is already big in France. Not French? Don’t panic, in England the collections are still available online on the pull-in website, or you may be lucky enough to stumble across a few pieces from the collection in boutiques around the country.
Pull-in have also branched into lounge wear, swimwear and fitness wear accommodating to a wider market. One popular feature of pull-in underwear is the obscure, reoccurring fruit designs. Spring/summer 2011 saw pull-in underwear covered in an explosion of kiwi fruits while the autumn/winter 2011 collection now features strawberries and berries.
Rip Curl has always been designed for the adventurous I-love-the-outdoors kind of person and their spring/summer 2011 collection is no different. They have emphasised a focus on those taking surfing more seriously, and rather than only designing wet suits for women, bikinis suitable for the purpose of surfing feature amongst their new collection.
The bikinis are both well-made and fashionable. Ripcurl has also developed a ‘Mirage bikini’ which clings to the skin when wet rather than the usual bikinis which become heavy and lose their shape. I dare not mention the little ‘accidents’ with bikinis many of us have had when diving or jumping into water… Solution? Buy a mirage bikini – the added bonus being that they even dry faster when wet, and also last longer.
Who would have thought that one of the world’s most iconic shoe brands would have been established by Marquis Mills Converse when, in 1908, he opened the doors of the Converse Rubber Shoe Factory for the first time. One hundred years later, the brand has been in accordance with every change across society and fashion, and time has had little effect on their popularity.
Backwards seems to be the only way forward with a blast from the past. Yep, retro returns, Chicago style with the spring/summer Converse collection. Rather than being lasered onto the fabric, the converse logo is embroidered onto the fabric, increasing the quality of each piece.
Surfdome.com has over five-hundred brands and has gone global. They have 2,499 styles of t-shirts, 1,370 styles of shoe, and 858 styles of bikini to name but a few of the clothing types that they stock.
The swimwear collection caters to all different body types. They seem to understand that not every woman is a 6ft2 supermodel and that not all guys live or spend 24/7 in the gym. Tie-dye designs take inspiration from the Isle of Wight and will be making an appearance in main-stream fashion come spring/summer 2012. Note and watch out for the Havana style shirt: it will be the most popular design featured amongst the collection.
One of the designers for this skater brand is a world class skater, James Hardy. What is clear from Hardy’s designs is his love for his homeland: various snippets Alabama have been printed onto the inside of the skate shoes.
The brand is also inspired by a love for baseball and has produced four styles of shoe based on four American baseball teams including the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The brand has also designed a leather shoe which is inspired by the traditional skate shoe yet is designed for normal, smart wear…
Last but not least we have a brand dedicated to shoe laces. Not only are some of Mr. Lacy shoe laces designed to glow in the dark, and under UV light, but also in direct sunlight. Last season, the brand designed a pair that were white in normal light and then turned purple in direct sunlight.
For spring/summer 2012 think black and red laces, black and yellow laces, black and blue laces. Basically black and any other colour; but whatever colour you choose, one thing is clear:, Mr. Lacy laces are the perfect companion to lace your favourite pair of shoes.
Images courtesy of Jessica Fearon