Thursday, February 23, 2012


Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

Fred Butler AW12
Fred Butler is a clever girl- she's created a niche for herself amongst the plethora of designers competing for attention over the fashion week schedule. On Monday afternoon, Fred presented her latest collection of out-there shoes and accessories. Although she mostly works on commissions for editorials and shoots, Lady Gaga being a recent client, Fred uses the LFW platform to show the potential of her creations. For AW12, that's sushi. Yes, that's correct, the Japanese rolls of raw fish, vegetables and rice. Add to that obi belts and kimonos and you'll see that Japan is a major theme here; that's not surprising given the that Butler's aesthetic probably has most appeal for cool kids who are already massively influenced by Japan.

Lady Gaga wears Fred Butler headpiece in the Telephone video (from
Shoes by Rosie Nicholas (image from red
The collection is called 'Tank Top-Ranking Tongue Tied and Twisted'. The name gives some indication of all the knots and plaits which Fred has incorporated into that sushi theme so that end result is a collection of origami-like 3D creations in the sweetest of colours which make the wearer look like they may have walked straight off the set of  a souped up fashion version of Star Trek.

A high collar gilet 
This harness which looked like a string of marshmallows was my favourite
This presentation wasn't just about the amazing pieces on show. Butler has teamed up with singer Charli XCX, together they have worked on a track which accompanies the collection and which Charli performed during the presentation. Red Bull brought the two together as part of their Catwalk Studio project which brings together young musicians and designers. Charli explained that Fred had already began working on the Japanese theme when they met so she used Taiko drum sounds as the starting point for the track. The pair spent plenty of studio time together which means that the whole project is a true collaboration as well as being an exciting way to do a fashion show, after all fashion doesn't exist in a vacuum but is created from all manner of cultural references. 

Fred Butler and Charli XCX (image from red
I loved that there was nothing literal about this presentation. The song was catchy and the accessories certainly didn't immediately bring to mind a tray of sushi- thank goodness!

Any pop stars/ performers/ lovers of exuberant costume reading, take note, Fred Butler should be on your wardrobe radar!

Backstage at Fred Butler AW12 
An obi/ origami belt
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