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Category Archives: Designers

Noorin Khamisani | Outsider Fashion

I love styles that are lost in time

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So…I was fortunate enough to grab an interview with the Noorin Khamisani, the driving force behind Outsider Fashion. She was born and raised in London in the UK. She graduated with a first class honours degree in Fashion Design and runs Outsider Fashion, a boutique with an emphasis on ‘ethical fashion should just look like fashion’. This must be where fashion, tech and everything else that touches our daily life heads towards for a safe future for our planet and kids. I was super excited to meet her and ask her about her business and hope we can inspire. Anyone who’s ever wondered how it works, or plans on a life of running a fashion empire, listen up!

 

 

Noorin – How did you get into fashion?

I was always interested in design and became focused on fashion as a specialism I wanted to pursue early on. I studied Fashion Design at UCA Rochester and jumped straight into internships with independent designers after that. I had a great time learning from industry both in London and New York. After a few years I moved on to working as part of the buying team on the John Rocha Designers at Debenhams range. Some more time working with other brands like Hobbs and Ted Baker gave me a really good grounding in understanding the fashion industry.

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So what made you decide on your own label?

I started to question the ethics and sustainability of the industry as a whole. The more research I did the more dire the situation looked.

At that time, 7/8 years ago, there was little interest in switching to organic cotton or working towards a fair trade model for example. So I decided if I wanted to prove fashion could be made in a better way I would have to start my own label. Hence developing my first collection for Outsider and launching it in 2009. The whole I idea was that fashion can be produced using sustainable fabrics, in good working conditions and could still be luxurious and beautiful. My tag line was ‘Ethical fashion should just look like fashion’ which reflected the bad press ethical fashion had had at the time.

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How do you balance your role at Outsider with your lecturing work at London College of Fashion?

I am very fortunate to job share, so my lecturing work is manageable and complimentary to my own work. In fact I would say the two roles benefit each other. By running my own ethical fashion business I have up to date real life information and contacts to share with the students. When I teach them about sustainability, it’s not just theoretical but enhanced by the reality of trying to actually develop product in this way. Seeing which topics the students respond to helps me to ensure my own work is current with what my potential customers of the future will be looking for.

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Finally, what are your top tips for success in the fashion industry?

I say this all the time to my students and it is so important to remember. The fashion industry is changing and evolving all the time. The industry I was trained for when I was at University does not exist now. So to ensure your success you need to be constantly keeping yourself informed, updating your skills. You need to be adaptable to future proof yourself. Understand that everything and anything can have an influence on fashion so you need to ensure you know what is going on in the world. Finally persistence is key, in such a competitive industry.

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Check out Outsider Fashion’s website, Facebook and Instagram.

Personal note, thanks Noorin! Ben.

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Savile Row – London Collections: Men 2014

Savile Row, London Collections: Men at the Cabinet War Rooms. And Fridja. Yes. Oh yes.

“This January, for London Collections: Men, the bespoke tailors of Savile Row and The Woolmark Company, along with London’s best shirt & shoes makers and hatters, will present the modern face of British elegance to an international audience made up of buyers and journalists. The presentation is a reminder of the fact that London is the world capital of masculine style, and has been for over two centuries.”

This London Collections: Men, we provided steamers for a number of shows, but this one really stuck out. This is basically everything to me, Savile Row. Ever since the 17th century, Savile Row has been the hub for the world’s best menswear. Up and down this street, humble tailors have created pioneering gentlemen’s clothing. The names are endless, Lord Nelson, Winston Churchill, they’ve all been to this street. Household names such as Alexander McQueen and Ozwald Boateng began their trade there. It’s basically mecca, but I’m sure you knew that.

The venue was Westminster, the home of the British Government. Cue amateur photography!

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

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The venue was the Cabinet War Rooms, which is a bunker underground. This is literally where the war chat would go on as well as Churchill’s bunker and safe place for during the bombings. It was an eerie place of yesterday and was an incredible place to see the incredible clothes.

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Although backstage is chaotic as usual, there was a different feeling in the air from the designers. In this case I saw humble tailors dressing the models, rather the typical highly caffeinated stressballs of other fashion events. I chatted to one, Oliver. He was a student at London College of Fashion, but also a tailor on Savile Row at Welsh and Jeffreys. Other than being impeccably dressed, he reminded me of a timeless gentleman that you’d meet on Savile Row in any year. He told me how there is little glamour on Savile Row. It was a quiet marathon rather than a loud sprint. Not sure if you get what I mean, but anyway, he looked sick and was really friendly.

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

I didn’t like to hang around too much as there was plenty of work (steaming) to be done. I awkwardly took some photos of some of the clothes being steamed, here’s some of the pics.

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The show was a little different from the standard catwalk format. Press, buyers and blaggers were invited to walk around the bunker and see the models in character dressed to the nines. It was a little like theatre meets fashion, think less Bowie, more Punchdrunk or You Me Bum Bum Train.

The whole thing was pretty damn awesome. Press from all over the world were there. Here’s what it looked like:

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

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The event was amazing, with no expense spared. Press were interviewing the bigwigs at Savile Row.

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

MPs

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

Even these guys were there! Amazing. Photo credits to Daily Mail.

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

It really was a fabulous event and we are so happy to have been a part of it. Well done Savile Row, well done Britain, well done world.

I’m sure he’s proud!

Fridja Steamers for Savile Row

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Central Saint Martins King’s Cross Campus

I’ve no doubt that some of the people that might stumble across our blog spent some time studying at Central Saint Martins. St Martins is steeped in history and I’d argue the best fashion college in the world. From their graduates (McQueen, Westwood, Leigh, and so many more), mentions on pop hits, to the campus on Charing Cross Road, Central St Martins is iconic. British and fashion history has been carried out in that concrete building, so when I found out it was to be moved, it was a little sad.

Then I got invited to see the new one. Oh boy.

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First thing you think is, ‘bugger it’s big’. A short walk from King’s Cross Station, the campus is a combination of an old Victorian granary, two former transit sheds and a 1.3 newly laid timber blocks. The architects really have done quite well combining the old buildings with the new. There is 10 acres of floor space and enough concrete to fill 8 Olympic swimming pools, that equals a lot of art students – a bargain at £200 million.

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The campus has four levels devoted to multi-purpose workshops, specialist studios and state of the art lecture theatres. One massively cool thing about it is that the building is naturally lit by a translucent roof. The campus is so big, you can imagine how this will literally inspire art! Everything was new and working, but not in a horrible 2 bedroom flat in commutersville, in a Grand Designs kinda way.

Leni Bjerg, the Technical Co-ordinator showed us round and you could tell she was super excited about the venue. The same feeling was amongst the students, it’s a real pleasurable building. And the fashion department? That was pretty cool too.

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We stumbled across this massively cool machine that cost over £20k, it can do cool stuff like below. Peggy told me not to touch it, sound advise.

An incredible fashion department, good luck to everyone starting there. Who knows when the next genius will graduate and turn fashion on it’s head again?

Oh and btw? They use our steamers too…

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Henry Holland

Ain’t life sweet sometimes? This is Henry Holland of House Of Holland fame using his Karl F-1000 Fridja Professional Garment Steamer.

Steam when you’re winning!!

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Hermoine De Paula

Basically, Hermione De Paula is a bit cool. She’s worked at McQueen and Christian Dior Couture and has been a print consultant for shoe God Nicholas Kirkwood for three seasons now. Here is a piece in Elle on her:

She was kind enough to say how she loves her white F-1000 steamer and how essential it was when in Paris last month for AW 2011-2012 when showing to press and buyers. The press said this about her collection:

“Magnificent Pieces!” – Daphne Guinness.

“A great look. One, as they say, for the archives” – STYLE. COM

“Sexually charged yet nonchalant, which creates her own mark aesthetic and remark her meticulous attention to detail” – VOGUE ITALIA

Here are some photos she sent us. Thank you sweetheart! x

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Braille

Braille is the menswear label creation of Ben Vorono and Samual Kientsch. Here at Fridja, we love their stuff. Their modern take on classical gentlemen apparel is something that any dapper man wants to fill his wardrobe with.

For us to all spend our pennies in, they open their Pop-Up shop in London’s Rivington Street from 29th November to the 5th December, 11 AM to 7 PM. They’re also are having a press night on Tuesday 30th November from 6:30 to 9:30 PM. You never know, you might even spot a couple of Fridjas there..

 

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British Fashion Council

We are super happy to say that the British Fashion Council (responsible for London Fashion Week) have a hot pink F-1000 professional garment steamer in their press room.

Ain’t life sweet sometimes?

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Cassette Playa

“my Fridja is pink + matches my hair / is new best fwend”.

Carri ‘Cassette Playa’ Mundane now uses her F-1000 in her studio in Hackney, East London and takes it with her for her work at countless fashion events, woop woop!
Her biog reads:
“Cassette Playa is the label of London-based designer Carri Mundane. Mundane studied at the University of Westminster, showing Cassette Playa collections as part of the MAN, the London menswear initiative, four times, beginning with A/W 2006. Mundane was nominated for Best Menswear Designer at the British Fashion Awards in 2007.

Cassette Playa was listed as Best Fashion Designer in Rolling Stone’s Best of Rock 2008 and has worked with artists including M.I.A., Klaxons, Dizzee Rascal, Late of the Pier, Patrick Wolf, Ruff Sqwad, and Boy Better Know. Mundane has styled and art directed for Dazed & Confused, and the ‘DUNK BE TRUE’ exhibition with Nike. In collaboration with Nike, a Cassette Playa Nike Blazer Premium was exclusively created and featured in her Spring/Summer 2008 show, to be released in selected international stores during late 2008. In July 2008 a series of portraits by Cassette Playa was featured in Exactitudes, an exhibition at Selfridges London and Mundane’s work was included in the 2008 ‘Fashion V Sport’ exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.


Cassette Playa’s collection is currently available at Dover Street Market in London, Colette in Paris, SlamJam in Milan, Seven New York and Side by Side in Tokyo.”

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Fashion East

We had such a laugh when delivering the white F-1000 professional garment steamer to Fashion East. Lulu Kennedy and all the gang there…

“Love Fridja, our new little addition to the fashion beast family :)”

It also seems that the Fridja has found a husband in the form of a Henry Hoover. We are proud to see one of our girls go to such a good home.

Fashion East:

“Fashion East is a pioneering non-profit initiative established by the Old Truman Brewery in 2000 to nurture emerging young designers through the difficult early stages of their career. It receives sponsorship funding from Topshop, TOPMAN and The London Development Agency.

Designers are selected by Lulu Kennedy and a panel of fashion industry experts. Successes include Richard Nicoll, Holly Fulton, Jonathan Saunders, House of Holland, Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab, Louise Goldin, Roksanda Ilincic and Meadham Kirchhoff.

n 2005 the team behind Fashion East initiated MAN, an identical support scheme for emerging menswear designers, sponsored by TOPMAN. Successes include Cassette Playa, Christopher Shannon, James Long, JW Anderson, Katie Eary and Jaiden Rva James. Since 2009 they have staged menswear installations on menswear day at London Fashion Week, giving up to ten menswear designers a platform to showcase their collections to UK and international press and buyers. Designers we have worked with include H by Harris, Husam El Odeh, Mr Hare, SIBLING, Lou Dalton, Mattew Miller and Gosha Rubchinskiy.”

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Christopher Kane

The hot pink F-1000 Fridja steamer seamlessly fit into Christopher Kane’s wonderful world. Used at his show at London Fashion Week 2010, the steamer fit perfecly next to his neon collection. The steamer now resides at his Haggerston Studio in East London.

PS….

WE LOVE CHRISTOPHER KANE!!!

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