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Fashion Gets An Equal Opportunity With LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN

With the celebrations for the Queens 60th jubilee just about put to bed, London has recently mustered up its strength to play host to yet another historic event of 2012 and we’re not talking about the Olympics. In January, the British Fashion Council announced that London will host its first ever exclusively Men’s fashion week, held from the 15th to the 17th of June with The Hospital Club in Covent Garden acting as the central hub for the LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN.  

After many years of playing little brother within the already established Women’s London Fashion Week, it was finally decided that the talent and buzz of the Men’s fashion day could no longer be contained to just one day at the end of the existing schedule. As it stood, the Men’s day would take place on the last Wednesday of London Fashion Week, which unfortunately coincided with the first day of Milan Fashion Week, and thereby somewhat restricting the collections from the overall international stage of fashion. 

The committee for LONDON COLLECTIONS: MEN is headed by Dylan Jones with other prestigious members including Alex Blimes, Christopher Bailey, David Furnish, Tom Ford and the Mayor’s Office adding emphasis on both the creative and commercial importance of British brands and fledgling designers. The emerging talent showcases of MAN and NEWGEN MEN, sponsored by TOPMAN and Fashion Forward, will show their support for the young creatives. Allowing new designers like James Long and J.W.Anderson to stand alongside established and iconic British Designers such as Margret Howell and Richard James in a tight schedule of salon shows, presentations and installations throughout the week.

Words by: Zara-Jade Bestwick

Image 1: Christopher Shannon AW12, Fashion Forward Winner SS13 (photographed by Billa Baldwin) 

Image 2: J.W Anderson AW12, Fashion Forward Winner SS13 (photographed by Billa Baldwin)



Wolf and Badger’s Flagship Sets Sail

Wolf and Badger are firmly on our radar here at Sketchbook; from their opening in February 2010, to their residential stint in the Wonder Room at Selfridges and 2011’s Spring Fete.

Fast forward almost a year and these furry critters continue to go from strength to strength as Wednesday evening saw us brave blustery April showers to check out the launch of the Wolf and Badger flagship store in the heart of one of London’s chicest shopping streets.

The Vol. 1 dresses of Scott B. Allcorn and illustrator Sam Cotton; each piece is hand painted on canvas and digitally printed onto fabric.

Current NEWGEN sponsorship recipient for SS12, designer J.JS Lee

AW 2012 Fashion Week favourite Zoe Jordan

32 Dover Street is where Wolf and Badger now call home to their second London boutique, bursting with London’s most exciting and innovative design talent. From the uber cool Mark Fast fringed knits to the bespoke, frivolously feminine designs of self taught Sia Dimitriadi and the quirky sustainable fashion of Lu Flux whose materials are all locally sourced in London; Wolf and Badger continues its mission of bringing designers directly to the fashion forefront, allowing people to come and check out their work first hand.

Sia Dimitriadi 

Lu Flux

Mark Fast

Welcoming us into the two level boutique, with its minimalist monochrome interior and overhanging chandelier featuring statuesque winged angels clutching gold stars, the theme is signature Wolf and Badger; the work of indoor architect Augustus Brown who outfitted both previous boutiques and the Wonder Room.

As Wolf and Badger asserts itself as a unique London lifestyle brand, exclusive to the Dover Street store will be a unique line of specialist perfumes in glass bottles blown by hand. 

Complimenting the collections are carefully selected ranges of jewellery, accessories, beauty and home wares displayed in light box shelves.  Party goers were privy to the first look which included gilded whimsical cupcake and matchstick charm necklaces and Anabel Campbell’s colour popping Navajo cuffs, handmade in London.  

Lining the windowsills were Jimbob Art’s fittingly furry statement crockery while letter embossed tea cups played table centrepiece.

Kiki London clutches

Print from Helen Ruth’s ‘a leopard can’t change its spots’ scarf

While designers, press, family and friends wet their appetite with cocktails by Buffalo Trace and Asahi Beer, the basement gallery and future creative event space played host to dj Goldierocks and the fashion illustrations of the genius Andy Bumpus, culminating  in animated drawings projected onto the gallery wall.

budding designer Ali Rose in her own creation 

Ekaterina Kukhareva’s designs

Fashion illustrations by Andy Bumpus

The evening was by all means a success and with so many talented designers we can’t wait to see what future creativity and collaborations Wolf and Badger bring our way.

Words and Images: MARISSA BAXTER



Easter treats: Egg hunting with a twist

The deliciousness of the long bank holiday weekend it’s escaping from our hands as we scoffed chocolate away, but fear not, there are still many ways to seize the free days and we have a proposal that will take you away from the Easter table and still reward you with a delicious surprise. 

Monkey Shoulder whisky is offering an irreverent and most amusing alternative to the traditional egg hunting. If you ever dreamed about getting the golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, this is something you don’t want to miss.

In collaboration with London Cocktails Club and chocolatier Niko B, Monkey Shoulder has set up an in doors herbal garden where hidden eggs await for you to find them and then take you to an experience of flavours. Each chocolate it’s paired with a cocktail made with Monkey Shoulder, a malt whisky made from three Speyside’s finest single malts, which gives it a smoother taste whilst keeping the warmth and intensity of a good whisky. Find an egg, take it to the bar and exchange it for a cocktail paired with a bespoke chocolate design to match the ingredients and flavours of your drink. The Monkey Jam Sour with Masala Chai Truffle was by far my favourite. 


The Monkey Shoulder Chocolate Trail will be open to the public until Monday 9th from 12.00 to 7.00 pm at 63 Broadwick St. 

Check out their FB page

Words: Mariana Moyano Menta



LFW A/W 2012 Day Five: Aminaka Wilmont

Described as ‘obsessive about shape and silhouette’, design duo Aminaka Wilmont (Maki Aminaka and Marcus Wilmont respectively) serve up a feminine yet fierce collection full of body wrapping form and exquisite draping.

For their ninth catwalk collection and one of the last shows of A/W 12, the pair create a minimalistic yet incredibly detailed collection of jewel toned graphic print dresses inspired by ‘apophenia and the composition of structures in glass, crystal and stone’, signature washed leathers and directional ‘sculpted, woven’ pieces.

Drawing on the dark Yurei figures of Japanese folklore, models stare down the runway with charcoal smeared eyes, clenching black dipped fingers as hair is wrapped and straggling onto shoulders.

The labyrinth of structural, bold prints captivate entangled across the collection on skinny pants, silhouette skimming softly draped dresses and shift fitted skirts. Mid length hems mix with above the knee angles while delicately tailored shirt dresses meet with slender over the knee boots.

These complex prints are offset with tough slate grey wools, echoing the minimalist feminine silhouette in constructed floor length dresses, sweeping skirts and high waisted woollen pants.    

Fur capes, snoods and long line gilets keep out the Autumn chill with cropped leather jackets provide a chic and quirky cover up.

In keeping with the Aminkia Wilamont aesthetic, this deliciously dark, sleek collection with a gothic edge is perfect for the autumnal city.


Images: Courtesy of CHRIS MOORE at Catwalking



LFW A/W 2012 Day Five: Ji Cheng

Tuesday saw the fashion East meet the fashion West as leading Shanghai designer Ji Cheng made her Vauxhall Fashion Scout LFW debut with ‘Zen Awakening’ as composed models treaded softly in heelless Chinese slippers and the fashion crowd was drawn into a mumbled hush.

Encapsulating the essence of her designs with the opening look, a strikingly shaven-headed model took to the runway draped in a form fitting angular cut gown from which escaped deep red folds that swirled like water.

Presenting a serene and blissful collection, simple but strong silhouettes are inspired by the philosophy of the Zen monks and evoking classic Chinese art with the use of modern Western techniques.

In a predominant palette of bright, warm vermillion hues and earthy beiges against deep blacks and lime accents, Cheng creates softly tailored wearable separates and flowing dresses that follow the lines of the body. Effortless femininity and the fluidity of the fabric is balanced with clean, angular lines trimmed in pops of block colour as the art of symmetry, equilibrium and awakening to a new season hold true.

 Wrapping, binding and bow detailing is key, alongside kimono draping and Mandarin inspired collars, while asymmetric shoulders, side slits and triangular cut outs create movement and contrasting shapes.

In AW, this inspiring collection lifts us up to another place full of Eastern promise.


Images: CHRISTOPHER DADEY courtesy of Forward PR



LFW A/W 2012 Day Four: Lako Bukia

Georgian born Lako Bukia is fast becoming one to watch. With clean flowing lines and architecturally structured shapes her collections are at once simple and complex and AW’s ‘Broken Mirrors’ is no exception. Perhaps the young designer’s most intricate to date, this collection demands attention.

Washed in a reductional palette of luxurious blacks, reflective silvers and metallic slate greys in wool, leathers and lame, geometrically cut shards of fabric and visual symmetry explore the angles, reflection and vision of looking into broken glass.


Contrasting sleeves, sharp collars and dangerously sheer panelling is offset against wrapped pencil skirts and fitted skinny pants while elsewhere flippy skater skirts soften up the directional designs.




As models charged the runway sporting sky high metallic cuffed ponies and fiercely painted brows, a floor length body-fitted metallic gown wowed the crowd. But the real show stopper and centrepiece that echoed the core element of the collection was the final sheer chiffon panelled gown covered in individual pieces of glass that cascaded across the bodice.

 Closing with an eruption of silver confetti and cheers of excitement from the fashion folk, Lako Bukia’s collection has us looking into the future.


Images: courtesy of Felicities Ltd.




LFW A/W 2012 Day Four: Sophie Hulme

Bathed in the morning light of Somerset House’s Portico Rooms, Sophie Hulme’s A/W presentation stole our hearts with immaculate tailoring, delicate lace detailing and opposing leathers and wools.

Inspired by toy dinosaurs and classic men’s fairisle jumpers her AW collection of girly yet grown up silhouettes in a predominantly navy and rich pink palette featured intricate detailing of gold hardware, delicate dinosaur cut outs and  fresh clean lines.

 On pretty lace dresses and panel blouses tiny dinosaur shapes prance in subtle creams and midnight  navies or run tangled up across mohair fairisles paired with skinny tapered pants or brave bare legs.


Prehistoric patterns and the bare bones of inspiration.


Elsewhere, they hang gilded in brass, dangling from chains, pinned as brooches and as Hulme’s signature charm for the collection.


As models casually walked the runway and  lined up for onlookers to take in every detail they kept warm in long line coats of standout shearing and leather and femininely tailored wools with contrast sleeves (a trend that was also seen at Eudon Choi and later at Lako Bukia.)


      Adding to the collection models toted classic clutch bags in textured leathers, calf and eel skins, in juxtaposition to a capsule collaboration of modern, gold hardware suitcases with Globetrotter.

What Hulme delivers for her first on schedule presentation at LFW is an incredibly cohesive collection in which the pieces lend themselves to each other while making an individual statement, with a modern twist on classic shapes that we will definitely be wrapping up in come Autumn 2012.


Words and Images: MARISSA BAXTER



LFW A/W 2012 Day 3: Prophetik by Jeff Garner

Earlier that day on a bright but hazy morning we headed to the beautiful Freemasons Building in Holborn to check out Prophetik’s show. And what a treat it was. Bright, clean and fresh it was the perfect way to start the day. With a live violinist soloing on the runway, models strutted their stuff in Garner’s romantic renaissance gowns, pretty party dresses and courageous kilts.

No stranger to London Fashion Week this Nashville, Tennessee eco-designer creates beautiful, intricate pieces that last a lifetime and most importantly are sustainable and chemical free. With his ‘low-impact’ philosophy Garner uses organic, earth grown dyes and favors hemp and cactus silk, recycling and reusing materials to create wearable works of art. 

For Autumn/Winter Garner has created a fashion fairytale for the modern age. Inspired by Princess Grace and the tale of the princess and the stable boy dresses were ruffled, pleated and corseted in soft pastel shades while the boys took to the runway in riding boots, daring kilts that featured patchworks from Garner’s own grandmother’s quilts and Regency inspired tailoring.

Silhouettes were long and flowing with empire waists fit for a princess alongside signature cut mini dresses featuring individual prints or bustier inspired paneling.



While ruching, delicate lace and gold button hardware add romantic detailing as floral and check patterns bring a modern twist.

This unique collection for Autumn/Winter brings all at once fresh yet wistful pieces to get swept away in.


Images: courtesy of Forward PR





LFW A/W 2012 Day 3: Jeffery Michael

Here at Sketchbook, one of our favourite things about fashion week is discovering fresh and talented new designers so we couldn’t wait to check out Sunday’s Jeffery Michael presentation. And we weren’t the only ones! With a queue that stretched half way round St Martin’s Lane Hotel we could feel the anticipation in the air of frenzied but freezing fashion folk.  Once inside it become clear this creative Canadian designer’s LFW debut was well worth the wait.  

Inspired by the beauties of old Hollywood (Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few) and the world around him, the architecturally trained Michael creates collection of streamlined gowns, playful dresses and corset separates where feminine ease meets sharp modern edge.     

With fluid shapes and sharp detailing, floor sweeping gowns are adorned with soft luxe feathers or lit with three dimensional panels while mini dresses sport casual texture with easy to wear perfection. Across the collection a clean block colour palette of bright pastel whites and burning reds mix with earthy olives, chocolate browns and midnight blues.

Playing with texture from the most unlikely of places (delicate corsets feature intense textures in the shape of little green army men, individual keyboard squares and wheat dipped in resin) Michael’s designs are displayed on lithe limbed models who hold themselves like mannequins in various corners of the room, moving only to further display the dresses they wear like second skins. This is what Michael has hoped for, to create a shape on the body rather than the body creating a shape in the clothes and as viewers circulate to take in the collection the response is overwhelming.

This is a big moment for Michael, with family and friends who have a come a long way to support him, ecstatic but knowingly he says ‘ if the first collection is medium you can go up from there but that first time will always be remembered as medium.’ With nothing to worry about there, there is a real sense that this is his fashion story, with the keyboard corset alone completed over 9 months, down to the detailing of which keyboard square would be threaded where on the garment.

This is a unique debut from a designer who draws on technical detail, shape, and his environment, with the wheat corset literally born of Michael’s sitting in a Canadian wheat field constructing the corset of army men only to see a material all around him, dipping strips of wheat in resin to take on a corset form.

After falling for these at once simple yet complex designs and can’t wait to see what Jeffery Michael does next.  





Khaleejesque First Print Issue Launch Event

Earlier this month, the 360 Mall Kuwait played host to Khaleejesque as it unveiled a new string to the magazine’s existing bow. "Khaleeji", previously an online lifestyle magazine is now available in print! The event showcased several pages of the magazine blown up into a life-size 3D installations and gave passers-by; invitees and fans of the publication, an opportunity to enjoy a gallery-like experience whilst they shopped. What’s more, guests were invited to meet the team - the collective of creative minds - whose hard work was the subject matter of the exhibition. The newest issue is the magazine’s latest offering - The ‘Cultural Issue’ - which is filled with an array of articles; features; advertorials and other such varied reflections of the Arabian Gulf. To mark the occasion, guests enjoyed free copies of the magazine and fun-filled goodie bags; before striking a pose in the BonkerBox photobooth.  
Look out for future issues coming soon…

For more information visit