Back To Bohemia

28 September 2012


'I'm a girl from a good family who was very well brought up. One day I turned my back on it all and became a bohemian'
Brigitte Bardot


Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing one of London's hottest up and coming designers. Her beautifully Bohemian designs have clothed the well known backs of Sienna Miller, Liberty Ross and now the Style StreetStalker!!!! I met up with Alix of Bohemia at her studio for a natter over a couple of glasses of her (of the moment) favourite vino!



Alix, what's your fashion background?
It starts in the genes. My father is from seven generations of an Italian textile and clothing manufacturing company. My mother is from a massive family of French artists. I grew up in New York, in my mother's studio, amongst my 3 siblings, in my parents respective closets: inspired by my mother with her sublime vintage archive and my father's impeccable ability to mix patterns really captivated me- both of them have this dreamy 70's aesthetic. I went on to study History of Art at St Andrews, but have sewn clothes all my life. People started noticing and asking me to make them this and that. I have worked in every area of the business: as an assistant designer, as a stylist, as an editorial and photographic assistant, in merchandising and on the retail floor. Beautiful clothing, like beautiful art, has always been my language, and for some reason my hands have always known what to do, though I have no formal training.
Genes are weird.
 



What inspired you to start Alix of Bohemia?

I didn't set out to start a brand. The I grew up wearing clothes my mother made for me, or vintage clothes from France, and my mother always went out of her way to have us dressed differently. I don't think I owed a pair of jeans until I went away to boarding school! As a teenager I was wearing lots of wacky things: old tie dye, jumpsuits, my fathers braces fastened into my linen trousers and long skirts I found in antique stores or in my mother's closet. I just wasn't convinced by the clothes I was seeing on my peers and I hated looking like everything else. I also found it super discouraging how badly clothing was being made.
So I spent a lot of time customising, sewing pieces, drawing on things. The cutting of my clothes used to drive my mother crazy. I was making clothes for myself and my friends all through Uni, and I was also super inspired by all the artists I was studying....Basquiat, Giacometti, Picasso....all of their muses....they were just so cool, 'Those Bohemians'.
So when I quit my job in New York as an assistant designer one year out of Uni, I put together a collection and hosted a trunk show in my flat. I remembered a painting in Scotland "Anne of Bohemia" and just knew that was me. So Alix of Bohemia was born.

 



This is one Alix's latest dresses and unseen by most, I was lucky enough to be able to cover this first!



I loove the way you name each design, may I ask why?

When I am crafting a garment, I usually have a muse in my head. Or I make up a story as I sew up the old girl. Ill have a pretty good idea about where this garment is going, what she likes to read, where she hangs out, what kind of shoes she will wear. I always name her at the end: sometimes its after a friend, sometimes it references something specific. For Example, my classic white blouse is called the "Camelia". Camellia's were Coco Chanel's favourite flower- I wanted to reference the timelessness of her brand and pay homage to refined simplicity.
There's always a story, behind every seam, and every name


What's your ethos?

My ethos? To make exquisitely crafted, timeless clothes that make the wearer feel the best version of herself: free spirited and confident, Lady or Louche.
I don't believe in making masses. I make limited runs, all hand finished (no one does that anymore, super old school style coming through there), with Love in London. Your clothes, like you, should have a soul.




Where do you see Alix of Bohemia in 10 years time?!

I hope in 10 years I will have created a beautiful haven where the Bohemian tribe can congregate. A great big space combining an atelier with a living/workspace/commune for fellow creative creatures and collaborations. There will be painted murals on the wall and hydrangeas and peonies everywhere.  I'll be able to sell my clothes alongside my favourite things from my travels, and I plan to cook massive dinner parties in the space. Imagine a Royal Tenenbaums Townhouse overrun with Bohemians and beautiful clothes! Its always been a balance of rustic and refined. I hope in 10 years people will realise the high st and fast fashion are fleeting. Its not about a million items in your wardrobe (all badly made in the 3rd world) its about your favourite pieces that you wear forever and then hand down to your daughter.

Its like food you know? Ethical, sustainable, local....and totally divine




Last question .. I promise ! - What would you say was your favourite item in wardrobe?

Favourite items in the wardrobe, its tough! I cannot survive without my Alexander Wang Chelsea boots. They make me feel like one of the Rolling Stones. Also I collect striped Breton Tee's- if you buy the Men's Xlarge from St James you can wear it as a dress like Edie Sedgewick, which I have been doing since boarding school, much to my mother's dismay.

Admittedly before I met Alix, this bohemian style I would never have thought I would have fallen in love with, but sure enough I have! It's hard to get totally enchanted by everything from the exquisite materials she uses, such as vintage Missoni and Liberty, to beautiful linens and silks from India and Italy. Everything is hand made by Alix which is all too obvious, as the fit is unbelievably amazing!

Not only does she make the most divine clothing but she also has the beautiful blog, find her here.

Find her stunning collections here at Alix of Bohemia




Stalked: Vintage Times

27 September 2012

At heart I'm an LA chick, dressed in vintage denim, a tee and cut off shorts, toddling down those Califonian streets, but in the meantime I'm going to have to satisfy my hunger to be an LA gal, by stalking the streets of Soho in London. This chicks style is spot in cool and that vintage denim jacket caught my style eye instantly.




So we all know the vinatge scene in LA is incredable but personally I think London could also give it a run for its money! Some of my favourite vintage shops in London include, D&Me/One Vintage in South Kensington, this is one hell of a gem, stocking everything from new designers, to an archive and treasure trove of one off pieces, find them here. Then other places which are cool are Bang Bang, Pop Boutique and of course the whole of Portobello Market in Notting Hill!!


Bye Bye London Fashion Week!

25 September 2012

Last Tuesday London Fashion Week came to an end, with much sadness, as this season there have been some fabulous shows and parties. For me I was able to get out down and dirty with some real Style StreetStalking around London and Somerset House - the hub of fashion week. For my final post of this week, I've zoomed in on some fabulous details that simply can't be missed!

  


Loving these Burberry Prorsum's from the AW11 Collection!




How could I not make a bee line for these bad boys, Jimmy Coo, who else! 






Street style photography is fabulous but there’s one thing that you miss when only taking these kinds of shots, all those little details that make up the outfit! Last week during London Fashion week there was no shortage of fabulously styled fashionistas and their attention to detail was like no other, from aligator brief cases and leather gloves to sparkly Jimmy Choos high tops worn by Natalya Kanj from Five Five Fabulous.



The Minimalistic Aristocrat

24 September 2012

Since Frida Giannini took the helm of this Italian brand in 2004, she has revamped it, bringing forth the Gucci Woman! This woman is strong, confident yet feminine, she wears beautifully tailored linear shapes in colours in which she is not afraid to say 'look at me I'm utterly fabulous!!'

 


I have always been a massive Gucci fan, from those divine metallics and thigh high boots in AW09, to this seasons refined exotic-ness, Frida hits the style spot season after season.




Gucci's SS13 collection designed for every aristocratic lady inside and out of us, with elegant and sophisticated shapes in vibrant colours. This season is a fusion of purism and sensuality, inspired by Richard Avedon and Gian Paolo Barbieri's historic photographs of their female icons.



High neck shirts, jackets and the stunning dresses with bell sleeves, gave the feel of oriental origin, perfectly suited to the well travelled Aristocratic Gucci Woman. Again this came through in the evening wear with a long black high necked dress with Organza mixed with embroidered tulle in geometric net. One of my favourites was the kimono style dress in shiny white, big ruffled sleeves contrasted to the sleek lines of the dress creating a stunning dreamlike sculpture.

I truly beautiful collection and perfectly designed for the iconic strong woman in all of us!

Images: Courtesy of Gucci


LFW: Somerset Stalking

21 September 2012

There is no doubt that one of the most fabulous things about Fashion Week are the people and like bees around a honey pot, all the most stylish swarm around Somerset House, the hub of Style!!!!






As you know I'm a sucker for anything spiky!!! I adore this blogger, he is so outrageously cool, I also spotted him at the Burberry show the day after!




Like me there are hundreds of style bloggers there all snapping away, but we all love being style snapped!!!







I adore this chicks style, she also has the coolest blog!



Once situated at National History Museum, Fashion Week moved to an equally stunning location - Somerset House is now the home and suits this fabulous week down to the ground!

LFW: Ada Zanditon's Tigress Reign

20 September 2012

As the beautiful tiger wandered across the hot planes of the desert, she was oblivious that her life was in danger, as the hunter rose the gun to her shoulder, her finger pressed firmly onto trigger, the faint click, was the sound as she realised her fore finger and this time spared the life of this beautiful creature for a little longer......
This is the story of the hunted, the endangered, the beautiful, this is also Ada Zanditon's stunning SS13 collection!



After a weekend of show and after show, it was refreshing to attend the private showing of Ada Zanditon's new collection, which was presented by film rather than runway. A decision that Ada made so that she could achieve huge impact, which is something that is difficult to achieve on the runway. With this film she was able to clearly portray her main message;  the fight against the hunting of tigers. As well as Ada's, this subject is extremely close to my heart, as I have been a massive supporter of this cause since a young girl.



Not only is Ada contributing to the fight for this beautiful creature, she is also making her mark in the world of ethical fashion, by using sustainable fabrics only, for example Fairtrade organic cotton and Tencel are her current favourites, because they are machine washable - hooray!! 



 



I popped behind the scenes away from the crowd for a chat with the director Thomas Knights and an exclusive preview of the film. Inspired by Kill Bill, he shot this in the beautiful hills of Cyprus, with some awesome shots and lighting, the film screams sexy! No surprised that he was chosen by Rankin to feature in an exhibition showcasing emerging fashion photographers and has worked for publications such as LOVE, Dazed & Confused, iD, Wonderland, Marie Claire, InStyle and Vogue Italia.

As you can tell I'm totally in love with this film and after originally being a sceptic of this medium of presentation for a collection, I am totally converted. Watch this film on the full screen!

Ada Zanditon's ethical ethos has attracted support from big brands such as Ecover, read more about this exciting designer here.  I look forward to following this designer, as exciting times are in store!


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