Cowl necks are one of the most flattering and elegant neck lines HOWEVER the second you hit public transport they are no better than a bib for yourself AND everyone else in the underground carriage at rush hour drawing in sneezes and pie crumbs from every angle!
The real reason I was in London however and the real reason for this post was because I visited the Barbican Centre to view the Future Japanese Fashion exhibition there! It was amazing and I came away so inspired! With a strong interest in trend forecasting I loved to see the way in which Fashion has progressed and in particular to see how the lines and cuts and palettes of (for example) 80's Japanese couture which were so radical to the point of being confrontational to western design then, would still be considered modern and stylish today. A lot of the inspiration for the works displayed there came from traditional Japanese dress (ie. The Kimono) and it really highlighted how drawing inspiration from a historic source can give a garment such longevity.
Another technique I saw and loved was to create pattens on both the fabric and the body with cut-work, creating (when light was passed through) a dappled shadow on the skin reminiscent of a Kimono's floral prints. The way in which many of the designers viewed this relationship between the garment and the figure really drew a chord with me and my interests in bespoke design. Also I found it so interesting the way they same clothing almost like sculpture, not just in the structured nature of the design but, to be worn and draped as a still concept, looking at it's best when hung on a stationary figure as opposed to the more western idea of how the fabric and design reacts around a moving figure and in movement.
The best bit of all however which you CANNOT walk past (although it is always very tempting when there isn't a seat free) is a video interview and review of collections as you walk out. The ideas expressed by the designers as they explain some of the concepts behind their designs is so interesting and seeing the contrast and progression in their designs throughout time is amazing! Seriously, I want the DVD!
Anyway it finishes a week today so get on it! And buy tickets in advance from http://www.barbican.org.uk/artgallery/event-detail.asp?ID=10771 for 8 as opposed to 10 on the door! Just...wear a high neckline!