Last Tuesday left me with a second reason (after Pancake Day) to celebrate 21st February; my invitation to the Welsh Collection.
Held at the aptly named White Rabbit Studios, Shoreditch, the small space can be found following the side roads off the main street. Arriving about 15 minutes early, the queue grew substantially with press cameras coming out to capture the hub of anticipation outside the door. Near me were two other bloggers, one for their own blog and another for the Groupon website, stopping by before a trip to LA.
Once we were allowed in and handed our press leaflets, I took my seat in the front row- the press camera from various publications such as Reuters were set up at the end of the white runway. The setting was simplistic, walls and floor painted white and only a few rows of seats for an intimate number of people.
The first of the four collections was the controversial Robyn Coles Millinery show and the first model walked out wearing nothing but a teal fascinator with two maroon feathers. The cameras flashed enthusiastically as the seven months pregnant Sophie Cahill, a former Miss Wales strolled confidently and glowing around the floor seven months pregnant. Following her were three other women and a man, wearing a stunning collection of classic hats in cloche shapes and wide brimmed sun hats. The effect was somewhat mixed as some felt like the demonstration drew more attention to the models and others thought that the hats had full attention as viewers tried not to look at the naked models.
Second was Sabrina Khan with a clever androgynous collection that was made up mainly of black and grey toned clothing with the models made up in the same way with hair slicked back. It created a unique and interesting show as, looking at the clothes, I could see myself wearing things that both the male and female models were wearing with staple pieces such as black slouch trousers and comfortable cardigans.
Bek Cochrane’s collection was along the same unisex theme but had a smarter edge with some of the shirt and trouser suits. Over-sized shift dresses were also a highlight with hints of petrol blue throughout to brighten up the collection.
Finally Claire Andrew closed the show with an incredible collection of delicate prints and hand knitted pieces. The contrast in texture was both clever and subtle with the soft knits in pastel colours flowing effortlessly into the printed skirts or in some instances incorporating them into the same piece such as a dress or top. The penultimate piece was a floor length dress that had a printed, chiffon skirt and over the top, a cream, knitted panel that skimmed the floor.
The show was a great success and a fantastic show of Wales’ new up and coming talents. For more information about the designers and their Autumn/Winter collections, the sites are below: