Friday, 15 January 2010

An interview with Slovenian brand niOka...

Our Danielle Ross caught up with Nika, the designer behind the contemporary Slovenian brand niOka...

You recently graced the Catwalk at the INFLUENCE festival in Slovenia which was a great success. Can you share with us more about that whole experience?

International Mediterranean Fashion Festival “Influence” was a 3-day fashion festival including lectures, workshops, fashion shows happening in the lovely town Koper by the Slovenian seaside in July 2009. There were participating young fashion designers from all over Europe. I showed my Autumn/Winter 09/10 fashion collection called “LoLoDiOrRo” on the final evening. The collection was arty, focused on digital printed patterns and colours, what made it different. It was very well excepted.

How does Slovenia living influence your designs?

Well, life in Slovenia is quite peaceful and easy going, which I like. But I love to travel a lot and have a dynamic lifestyle aswell. So my design is influenced by bits and pieces of every day life in general, I like to focus on unimportant, small, boring things and topics that usually other people don't put much attention at. I try to put more sense in it and make something valuable. This is a challenge for me. On the other hand, there are everyday problems and ugly things happening in every day life, which people usually want to avoid and there is also where I find the inspiration, in the ugly and negative emotions, which keep me going. I try to make beauty out of it.

In your opinion how does British fashion differ from Slovenian styles?

British fashion is more daring, the Slovenian one is more casual.

In particular, what materials do you favour and why?

Mostly the natural ones like cotton, wool, silk, viscose.I do favour knitwear aswell and create my own patterns, which are normally used in digital print technique.

Because they are useful, comfortable and special for every day wearing, which my design is about.

You say your designs are inspired by "The ugly and boring side of life’”. Can you tell us a bit more about that concept?

As I mentioned before, I'm inspired by things that other people consider ugly, negative, boring or insignificant. I try to find beauty in ugly things and ugly emotions, which are unfortunately part of our lives and we just need to accept them.

I find challenging to create something beautiful, positive, interesting, valuable out of the opposite meanings. That prompts me to care about life. Sometimes there is a deeper meaning and message behind my work and sometimes there it is just a simple irony, but there it is always a story that everyone can interprets on its own way.

Can you tell us a little about your current collection, inspiration, the thought process etc?

My current women’s collection consists of 10 looks for Autumn/Winter 2010/11. The inspiration are the (in)visible scars, emotional or physical that can mark us forever in one or other way. This is reflected in the collection by focusing on the structure of materials with using a combination of knitwear, woven fabrics and digital printed patterns. I’m also playing with the lines and organic shapes, to which I allow to appear by themselves. Even though the inspiration has a negative meaning, I didn't want to use any black colour in any garment on purpose, because I want the collection expresses a warm feeling.

What makes your designs different yet appealing to your target market/buyers? Who is the 'niOka' customer?

In niOka's designs the colours and my authorial patterns are the main elements, the shape upgrades them. I love minimalism and funny kitsch aswell, that's why I try to mix both feelings in my work, so I define my design as kitschy minimalism. There is a mixture of avant-garde simplicity, artistic craftsmanship, tender provocation and timelessness. A 'niOka' customer is someone who wants to be cool and chic at the same time.

Where/how can individuals purchase your pieces?

To get in contact with me personally, in my showroom ( ) , I'm also selling in Prostor ( Zagreb, Croatia / ), Ostblock ( Zurich, Switzerland / ), but I'm looking for new agents all over the world.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Extraordinary High End knitwear designer ‘Hanako Narahira’ to showcase at ‘A La Mode’ during London Fashion Week

London based Japanese designer, Hanako Narahira, will present her new knitwear collection at the ‘A La Mode’ catwalk show hosted by LGN Events on 19th February during London Fashion Week.

Hanako, a previous graduate of the acclaimed Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design, has taken knitwear to another level, by experimenting with colour, pushing the boundaries and employing new, contemporary techniques. Her unique approach to knitwear has certainly set her pieces above the rest!

Her fun and youthful pieces make her definitely one to watch!

Hanako Narahira will present her collection to an audience of press, buyers, other fashion professionals and upscale consumers at the LGN Events third season of their flagship show “A La Mode.”

Limited public Tickets are available at £18 via:

Sponsors of the high profile event include Guoman Hotels, Yelp, Collection 2000, Quick Energy, Fiji Water and

For more information:


For press/buyer queries, please email Terri at:
For all other enquires email:

Notes to editors:

About La Geneve North Events:

Since its launch La Geneve North (LGN) Events have directed and managed Catwalk shows for numerous high profile clients and at venues such as Olympia, The Mayfair Hotel, The Park Lane Hotel and the O2.

Their bi-annual Catwalk show 'A La Mode' Takes place in Feb and September during peak times in the fashion industry and showcases some of the most outstanding emerging and Independent designers to an audience of buyers, press, public (fashion enthusiasts) and other fashion professionals.

Events directed by La Geneve North have been featured in various prominent publications and opened many doors for emerging UK and International designers.
La Geneve North Events have been previously sponsored by the likes of globally recognised, established brands such as 'Hush Puppies', Quick Energy Drinks, Yonka, and L.A Sugar.


About the Charing Cross Hotel

Elegant and cosmopolitan, Charing Cross is perfectly located for guests who like to be at the heart of things. The grade II listed building has been lovingly restored to truly reflect its Victorian splendour. Located in the centre of London it has 239 bedrooms including 37 junior suites. For meetings and events, Charing Cross has nine meeting rooms including the spectacular Betjeman suite with its ornate domed ceiling and marble dance floor. The hotel also has a lounge, restaurant and bar, with stunning views of Trafalgar Square available from the floor-ceiling windows in the Terrace on The Strand restaurant.

For more information on Guoman Hotels


Sunday, 3 January 2010

An interview with designer Borris Powell by Danielle Ross

Danielle Ross from our team caught up with the incredible designer Borris Powell, who will be showcasing his amazing creations at our London Fashion Week Show on February 19th 2010 to find out more about his luxurious self titled label.

Models wearing Borris Powell

Your early love of fashion came from watching your mother, how do you incorporate this older more refined and sophisticated style into your current collection?

It really isn't anything that I think about. Once I set down to sketch, this is what comes from me naturally. I dream this way. Maybe it's from all the years of watching such a beautiful person as I was growing up, or maybe it's just how I was born. Does that mean, I'm really an older, refined, sophisticated woman? LOL

What makes your designs different yet appealing to your target market/buyers?

My work is very conservative, but an understated sexy appeal to it. I design
to make the woman feel even more beautiful then she is. I'm only wanting to
enhance the beauty that she's come to know of herself. There are certain parts of the woman's body that I find the be extremely sexy and I focus on highlighting those parts.

How does Chicago living influence your designs?

I'm not only influenced by Chicago living. The world is my muse. You will see this in the Fall/Winter 2010 Collection. Here my inspiration drives from a Holiday in Italy. Rome to be exact.

If you had to pick one aspect of the female body that should be emphasised by clothing what would it be?

Just one? Why would you do that to me? LOL... I have to give you two. The back and shoulders. You will hardly ever see sleeves on my gowns.

Will the 'A La Mode 'show be the first time you will be showcasing in London? Are you excited?

The "A La Mode" show will be my first time showing in London and I can't put into words just how excited I am for this opportunity. I still can't believe this. I haven't even shown in New York yet and I'm from the States. This is so amazing to me. "THANK YOU, A LA MODE!!!"

In your opinion how does British fashion differ from American styles?

American styles seem to be a bit more conservative.

You have travelled all over the world, in what way does your travel inspire your creations?

As I stated early, "The world is my muse." I love to travel and will often gain my inspiration for it. I can learn my message/concept from travels, I can find my color pallet, I can find my over all look. The world is a beautiful place and I try to always view it now matter where I am with an open and creative eye.

In particular, what materials do you favour and why?

Luxury fabrics. I love working with silks, cashmere, satin, fur, leather, and brochades.

Can you tell us a little about this current collection, inspiration, the thought process etc?

My current collection for Fall/Winter 2010 is called, "The Rise of an Empress." Mostly comes from a Holiday in Rome, Italy. I came across a picture from a visit to this area outside of the colossuem. There is this fabulous site which I call the fallen Ruins. Broken stairs and original columns from back in the day of Colossuem Game days. I was instantly moved and decided I wanted to do a collection based on that period. My next task was to come up with a name and a way to show that period and put my twist on the concept to make it relatible to todays woman. I can't have a collection without a complete concept and a beautiful story and title. It's my job to take you all on a journey from start to finish.

By the end of the show, you need to be able to say, "I see exactly where he was going." This collection is about beauty and power. She starts off being the lady that she was expected to be in the early part of time and then she becomes more then just a beautiful extention of her King/ruler and starts to take the stage and become her very own. She's soft and very powerful all at the same time.

Can you tell us a little about what we can see next season/year on the runway from Borris Powell?
Maybe I'll find that spark in London. But you can guarantee it will be full of long, beautiful, and elegant gowns.

From this collection showing at "A La Mode", what pieces are your favourite and why?

I love them all. That changes every time that I work on a new dress. The collection as a whole is so beautiful and I'm not "at all biased." LOL. I am in love with this dress that we're working on. I call it Armor. It's an Asymmetrical dress that reminds me of armor because of the bodice. There are 3 seams that curve around the upper body and a very rare way. It's the perfect mix of hard and soft.

How would you recommend we wear these favourite pieces and to where ideally?

My work is always designed to wear to luxury affairs. High Society Parties, Charity events, award shows, and amazing house parties. Whenever she wants to feel like a star and wants all eyes on her, she should pull one of these dresses from her closets.

Your pieces have been described as romantic, tea party fairytale, is this a genre you will develop and evolve or will you go in a completely different direction next season?

All I ever want to do for the rest of my life is to create romantic, and beautiful gowns. Gowns that can inspire a woman to enter a room feeling 4 inches taller and as beautiful as she ever has.

How do you think the clothes women wear can enhance confidence?

It has to be something special. Something that everyone will desire. And that's always my goal when I create.

How has the recession affected your work and how has your label adapted to this economic climate?

We all have seen a cut back, but I've never given up. And I've had an amazing support system of family and friends to see me forward. And it's in my blood. I can't do or see anything else. I have been working a full time job as I build my brand, so I have that to support my dreams, but it's getting harder and harder to do both. But until the recession lifts, this is the only way that I see things for me. Things haven't changed for me too much, because a lady wanting a special gown for a special event, is still going to get her gown. She still has a budget for it.

Any final notes to add about the up and coming London Fashion Week 2010?
I am so excited to be in London showing. I hope that I will not disappoint you guys. :o) Ok, please. Just be prepared to be WOWED!!!

To find out more visit