It started with wine - three PETRIe editors (Editor-in-Chief Zadrian Smith, Special Projects and Managing Editor, Charlotte Sutherland-Hawes and myself) and our fresh-faced cameraman (the talented Edward Piper) - aka. Team PETRIe TV – gathered around Smith’s Notting Hill home to toast London Fashion Week SS16; and it turns out we were not the only team to do so...
We began PETRIe’s backstage coverage at Keiko Nishiyama. The young Japanese designer floated delicately from make-up artist to photographer as her team miraculously multiplied against a backdrop of Nishiyama’s intricately printed and insect-inspired Japanese-European designs. “I’ve brought my whole team [of 14] with me from the [London] School of Beauty and Make-Up!” Nishiyama’s chief hair and make-up stylist, Carla Morrow, explained as she perfected the first of two bright, butterfly-channelling looks.
Hot-footing it to Soho’s The Vinyl Factory, Wilson PK - the humble designer behind his attention-demanding geometrically glittered collation, perfectly narrated the busyness backstage:
The power players at Belstaff emitted the same sentiment, with chief executive Gavin Haig commending Delphine Ninous, vice president for women’s design, and her team for the noticeably more feminine and subtle take on the leather-clad fierceness of the iconic Belstaff woman, for which actress Liv Tyler has this week been named the new face of.
Later at TNBP’s fashion-cum-rock-gig hybrid, co-designers and band mates Robin Graves and Mark Murder explained to PETRIe TV how – despite trained illustrator Graves handling detailed t-shirt designs whilst Murder remains responsible for much of TNBP’s high end leatherwork - collaboration still lies at the heart of what they do: “You need different ideas to get the best out of each other,” Murder noted earnestly.
Though our second day of filming brought a fresh flurry of designers, talk of teamwork refused to subside. A thick-rimmed yet ethereal Mary Benson gleefully credited her collaborative team as she witnessed the methodical madness of her colourful, lyric-scrawled and heart-break inspired presentation come to life for the first time: “We’ve collaborated with Stephen Jones and Tatty Devine and Melissa doing the shoes... We all go through the original ideas together and everything so... it’s a bit of all of us really!”
Next, at Amanda Wakeley, the notorious and oft-praised designer - despite noting how as creative director she was involved in “every tiny little bit” of the show’s production, from the mirror covered set to the pulsing music that provided the backdrop for her elegantly draped, soft-but-strong silhouetted collection – noted that:
Likewise, the Ashish show – though similarly steered by the hand of Ashish himself - was alive with a tangible synergy that pulsed throughout his team. From make-up to hair to the infectious joy displayed by his models – both backstage as they handpicked the sequins they wanted to be made-up with and front of house as they skateboarded down the Brewer Street runway –
With a sense of ‘team’ pulsing through each of the shows that PETRIe TV attended; it is seemingly apt that it likewise permeates our own LFW SS16 experience. Behind each of the videos that PETRIe TV will be releasing over the coming days lies Sutherland-Hawes’ impressive industry intelligence and uncanny knowledge of London geography, as well Piper’s passion for production and unwavering patience in being bossed around by two feisty editors. I hope I bring something to the videos - other than outtakes - as well.
Words: Elizabeth Neep
Photography: PETRIe TV