• Just got lashes @paperself - ed at @openingceremony #openingceremonytokyo 1st year anniversary party
  • Mega cute stuff from new brand @littlesunnybiteyoppy
  • Cute clutch from @peachesandcream_xxx new recommendation thanks to @reishito !!!
  • Sasquatchfabrix S4 pyjama look
  • Pleats Please roses

Continuing on from my "All hail the mighty words and works of Ghesqui√®re!" trail of thought, there was another excerpt from that 032c concerning the fabrics developed at Balenciaga, which made me think about the ubiquity of what was once an unlikely material, maligned to outdoor pursuits gear and now can be found everywhere on from the high end to the high street .  Why it's my good friend neoprene!  I have a real enduring love for the stuff and whilst Balenciaga may not have done it first (seriously where did that Tumblr disappear to?), you can definitely track the roots of neoprene's popularity to Ghesqui√®re's experimentations with bonded fabrics with foam…

"We made certain luxury materials like silk "technical" by applying foam, or doubling the face, or through laminations.  A few seasons later of course, others were showing foam-backed materials while it took us entire seasons to get it right, using foams that blistered or didn't combine well with certain textiles  It was research that started early.  By the time of the 'Scuba' collection S/S 06 – diving suits as dresses – we were already gluing fabric to jersey – using off-the-shelf neoprene would have beentoo basic.  This approach has become totally accessible and reproducible now." 

Neoprene doesn't seem to want to go away just yet and with the summer around the corner, its splashing around in the sea, sun n' surf friendly and general squishy/volume-creating properties still feel right on the money to me.  Weirdly a trio of neoprene-related labels/designers have popped up all at once, which handily adheres to the "Three's a Trend" theory.  

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The primary use of neoprene for garments is for water sports wetsuits and so it is that I'm tempted once again (remember my momentary love affair the Roxy x Cynthia Rowley wetsuit which played out on the sad beach of Westgate?) by a uniform that is clearly not meant for the likes of me.  Neon Wetsuits does exactly what it says on the tin, creating fun gear for serious surfers.  They've just launched their jaunty website which allows you to go wild with your own colour combinations on various styles of swimsuits, tops, shorts and all-in-one wetsuits.  From her studio in Newquayin Cornwall, founder of Neon Wetsuits, Elsie Pinninger makes to order all the wetsuits, something which is important to her.  I'm not going to saunter on to the site pretending that I'm likely to take up surfing when that is not going to be the case.  It is tempting however to play around the with the colours on a longsleeved cropped top and imagine it in a context beyond the choppy Cornish waves.  I'll leave it up to you to decide whether Neon Wetsuits should be left as a surfer purist's playground or not.     

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Here's something most people can get onboard with.  Witu is a fun Melbourne-based accessories label which focuses primarily on neoprene.  Again there's a sense of functionality which is ingrained in everything Witu does and so it is that their totes, clutches, belts, camera straps and pared-down necklaces find themselves in all manners of situs without looking remotely out of place.  I particularly love their drawstring rucksacks which remind me of an upgraded version of the FCUK, Miss Selfridge, Karen Millen logo-ed up drawstring rucksacks of teenage yesteryear.  All the cool girls carried their PE kit around in them.  These Witu neoprene ones certainly look a whole lot sturdier than the flimsy cheap-o nylon rucksacks of my secondary school heyday.  Witu's e-shop is at your disposal with fair prices to boot.  

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I've yet to do my Graduate Fashion Week round-up of fashion design collections but it's likely that many will slip through the coverage net either because they weren't selected for the individual college shows or the final gala show.  Thank god people are proactive enough to drop me an email.  Rebecca Robertson, who graduated from Bath Spa University (Louise Pickles, the course leader of Bath Spa's fashion course is doing a marvellous job with her students there)  in Textile Design for Fashion and Interiors, created a final year collection of fantastic embroidered neoprene sweatshirts.  Rebecca's speciality is embroidery design and with these sweatshirts, she was inspired by the distortion of light and used a wide range of digital, hand and machine embroidery to achieve the mesmerisingly tactile detailing.  I love the way that neoprene isn't the central feature here as it often is in garments which rely on its textural properties to create volume and shape.  Instead, they're merely ballooning sweatshirt vehicles to carry the intricate and highly skilled embroidery.  Hopefully Rebecca gets to take her dazzling skills to an embroidery house such as Jenny King (where she interned) or in-house at a label.  

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Comments (7)

  1. WOWS says:

    Stunning look!
    Don’t miss today my Comfy and fresh outfit…….with pleated skirt and a Neon touch!.
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  2. milex says:

    that’s actually not bad.

  3. Jayde says:

    These are beautiful! They remind me somewhat of Australian designer Jenny Kee.

  4. love the colors you appreciate. PERFECTION.

  5. Angela Fusco says:

    Absolutely love these! I’m a huge swimming/surfing fan and this company is so cool!
    Have a look at my blog too if you like :)
    I’d love some feedback!
    http://www.urbanattic.blogspot.com

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