The shows may only be winding down in New York today but fashion week has well and truly begun in London with the launch of Charlie May's first commercial collection for S/S 2012. Perhaps better known as the face behind style blog Girl a la Mode, Charlie's eponymous brand builds on the experience she gained as a fashion student at the University of the West of England as well as an intern at Louise Goldin, and most recently, Thomas Tait. She chose the Soho Collective looking out onto Old Compton Street as her showspace, a bright and airy room filled with sunlight that showed off perfectly the subtle details and layering in the pieces. She managed to make leather or even pony skin feel lightweight and summery, but the collection is made mainly from silk and cotton punctuated with hard studs, chunky zips and bondage-style buckles. I could definitely see influences from Charlie's idols like Ann Demeulemeester in the vanishing collars or backless tops, but it still felt fresh and new. I definitely hadn't seen a summer coat made out hessian before, soaked in fabric conditioner until the dye ran and the fabric softened. It really feels exciting to see a brand at the very beginning of its life and I so hope everything's going to go well for Charlie! I've already placed an order for those spiky headbands...
I'd also like to point out the excellent job in styling done by Charlie's best mate Alexxsia Elizabeth, who was the art director for the accompanying short film shot on the Dorset coast (link to come soon!).
Never one to miss a cocktail or two provided courtesy of Patron, it was also the perfect opportunity to catch up with some online friends before the madness of the on-schedule shows starts on Friday. Other blogging/tweeting guests included Matthew Zorpas, Jennifer from Style Crusader, Nik from Karl Is My Unkle, Kit from Style Slicker, Shini from Park & Cube, Nick from Bainser, and Susie from Take-out in Couture!