In the ever decreasing days before Fashion Week, when days off vanish faster than people who'd previously offered to help you move flats, and sleep for the design team is but a long forgotten spinster aunt, being allowed into the studio for a crafty look at the near completed collection is a gift not to be sneezed at. When the designer in question is Corrie Nielsen, ascending star of London Fashion Week, you grab the opportunity with both hands, plummet deep into the depths of Somerset House, try desperately to take in the beauty before you and remember all that Corrie has said.
Vestiarium Scoticum her latest collection for Autumn Winter 2012, continues her near architectural construction of previous seasons. Inspired by her Scottish ancestry, Corrie is not someone that merely skims over her research looking for the right image. A fact that quickly became clear as I spoke to her, it's not just brilliant pattern cutting that holds the collection together, but solid knowledge and a love for what she has researched. Drop Corrie onto the set of Mastermind right now and her specialist subject would be the history of Scotland.
It's this knowledge, that allows her to inject modernity and freshness into a well of inspiration that is regularly run dry. Fans of Corrie's work will not be let down, her near couture like level of perfectionism and draftwork is here in abundance. A kilt is not just a kilt, pleats, peplums, tulle, and more are incorporated to resurrect it. Get Corrie talking about the pattern and the difficulties of construction and she is in her element. Having graduated with a first class honours degree from Central St Martins, and worked in both bespoke tailoring as well as for Vivienne Westwood for six years, this should come as no great surprise. Her no nonsense approach to design is as inspiring as it is seemingly at odds with the ornate silhouettes she sends down the catwalk.
This is only her third season at London Fashion Week, but for lovers of the craft of fashion and the skill behind the frocks, Corrie's show is without a doubt one of the top tickets to grab. Writing this article I can only hint at what will arrive this morning at London Fashion Week. Her fans will not be disappointed, and for those yet to be convinced amongst the collection are more ready to wear pieces than before. Something for buyers to really get their teeth into!
Speaking of getting your teeth into things, Corrie isn't just giving us a visual and sculptural treat with her collection but has teamed up with Scoop luxury gelateria in Covent Garden to bring us her own flavor of ice cream specifically for Fashion Week. It'll be available for the duration of London Fashion Week at all three Scoop locations. Chocolate and Parisian Orange Blossom, is surely enough to break any fashionistas resolve and it's never too cold for ice cream.
But I digress, the collection will hit the catwalk at 11 am (well probably 11.20 being fashionably late) this morning and I will be sat eagerly anticipating each and every look. It's one thing to see to a collection near completion with interns and design assistants still cutting out patterns and handsewing finishes with a silent yet tangible excitement and pride. It's almost nothing to seeing the collection in it's entirety and with all the drama it rightly deserves.
I can say no more until after the show, to give too much away would not be right, so in the meantime enjoy the images from Corrie's last collection Arbiter Elegantiarum