On Sunday 27th January, we visited the London Edge fashion trade fair for the first time. I was joined by my friends Julia from The Gothic Shop, and London promoter and colleague Victoria Fenbane. It was a great opportunity to check the latest trends in alternative fashion and discover some new brands. The venue for the event was rather impressive; besides numerous merch stands there was a small restaurant with delicious food and a huge runway. The place was not too crowded, which meant we could talk to some of the exhibitors for a few minutes.
We didn’t have nearly enough time to visit all stands we initially wanted, so we needed to make a selection. Naturally, we decided to stop by the stands which displayed items we liked a lot or were new to us.
The first stand we visited was Gothx, a UK Gothic bag brand. We were instantly drawn to the appealing design of the bags; these bags are a real must have for every Gothic lady! Not only do they look amazing, they are well made as well. The bags are, of course, black with metal accents like studs, skulls, crosses and you can choose between backpacks, handbags, strap bags… Bags which especially caught my attention were the “cat” and the “bat” bag, I absolutely loved those. You can find the Gothx bags online at: http://www.gothx.co.uk/en-gb. The bags will be a great addition to your Gothic outfit! Hope you’ll like them as much as we do.
The second stand we visited was The Original Atelier. In case you haven’t heard about it, we advise you to visit their web site: www.theoriginalatelier.com and get introduced to Alessio Benetti, the man behind this beautiful project. Alessio creates the most amazing handcrafted jewellery and accessories. This talented Italian works in his studios in Venice and Berlin and creates the real art pieces! It is not too difficult to imagine this kind of work originated from the beautiful city of Venice; some of the pieces reminded me of the Carnival of Venice. I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with Alessio in Italian. However, my Italian is not nearly good enough to discuss his astounding art. I spent more time on trying to get decent pictures of his creations, however, one would need a few hours to take pics of everything Alessio displayed. While I managed to find a few UK retailers who stock some of his pieces, like The Gothic Shop (visit https://www.the-gothic-shop.co.uk/original-atelier-m-96.html for The Original Atelier’s masks), I am yet to find out where one could buy the elaborate head pieces. I assume you can contact Alessio directly through the contact form and I’m sure this friendly art and history connoisseur will be able to help you.
The first brand we saw on the runway was Sinister, who presented their elaborate Gothic and Victorian style inspired dresses. Although I expected more of the same, the second brand we saw was the UK brand Hearts & Roses London, who specialize in Rockabilly fashion; black and lace was soon replaced by floral and polka dot swing and pencil dresses. Hell Bunny continued in a similar fashion; they presented their retro style inspired pieces, however the cuts were not as traditional. The colourful display was soon replaced by black leather jackets and futuristic looking shoes; we all knew we were looking at the New Rock collection! Collectif was another 50s inspired collection on the runway; we enjoyed seeing vintage cuts and colourful patterns. The next on the runway was Voodoo Vixen. Although inspired by retro fashion they combined retro cuts with modern patterns; I especially liked the striped overalls! During the stylist edit we could see the combination of different brands.
The next on my list were Steelground shoes. I was introduced to the brand just a week ago and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found out they were coming to London Edge where I could actually see the shoes and talk to the brand representatives. The factory is located in Portugal where they manufacture the entire collections. During the conversation with their sales representative and their head of development I learned a lot about the brand which I think deserves an entire article. Although the factory is 30 years old, the alternative fashion lines have been on the market since 2011.
Steelground focuses on Gothic, Punk, Steampunk, Rockabilly, Pin Up, Mod and Metal fashion styles. The designs are simply breathtaking, however, the pictures on their web site https://steelground.pt/en/ don’t do them justice; you really need to see the shoes and appreciate not only the style or design, but the quality as well. It’s very difficult to choose among so many different designs; they cover a wide range of styles from Beatnik, Rockabilly, Mod pointed toe shoes, Creepers, Brogue shoes to Gothic pikes, Steel toe cap combat boots, Gothic platform shoes for women and men… the list is almost never ending. Although models come in two variations, genuine leather and vegan, this brand focuses more on vegan friendly materials. The vegan line is produced with the best vegan materials, such as microfibres, cork, pineapple fibres and recycled materials which guarantee the durability as well as comfort and absence of odours. Especially interesting is the line created in collaboration with Alchemy Gothic! Although Steelground supplies around 100 retailers all over the world, it wasn’t so easy to find their shoes online. After extensive googling, I was able to find the UK based shop Midnight Rose Emporium www.midnightrose-emporium.com which offers a selection of Steelground shoes. Although you can only pre-order the shoes, it’s definitely worth a wait.
I also learned that some shoes are partially handmade; they either have handmade soles or other details like metal plates and screws attached by hand. Steelground doesn’t have a retail shop for now. However, I would advise retailers to stock their shoes, because I think they are the best alternative fashion footwear at the moment. If you were unable to see the shoes in person, maybe some of my pics from their stand can help.
Our next stop was a small stand with handmade jewellery. I was drawn to beautiful designs and I was curious about the materials. In conversation with the lovely designer and owner I found out that Kira Don Jewel came from Greece! Whether you like rings, necklaces, earrings or bracelets I am sure you’ll find something you’ll fall in love with. The jewellery is minimalistic and trendy; I loved the “Muerto” and “Moon” earrings! If you’re a fan of statement jewellery pieces and you love skulls, moons and hearts, then this is something for you. You can choose from various materials and get your jewellery in gold, silver, white, gun black or black tone. I left the stand with nice impressions and a hug! Yes, the owner is as lovely as her jewellery! You can shop for her jewellery at http://www.kiradonjewel.com/.
The next stand we visited was Restless ‘n’ Wild stand. They are a Swedish based alternative clothing and accessories brand which was established in 2010. Although we saw a lot of Victorian and Steampunk style overcoats, I checked their website www.restlessnwild.com later and I discovered they offered a wide range of styles for women and men, from glamorous coats to more casual pieces. However, the web site is wholesale only, and I yet need to discover were we can actually buy their clothes and accessories. The lovely gentleman at the stand mentioned we could find their clothes at festivals such as M’era Luna, Amphi and WGT. Whether you like Victorian, Steampunk or Cybergoth fashion, you should have this brand in mind when shopping.
It was already time for the second fashion show and the first one on the runway was Burleska Corsets. We could enjoy the recognizable style of their corsets, skirts, tops and dresses. Hearts & Roses came back for the second round with their floral retro style dresses. The next one was Sheen Clothing, another vintage inspired brand. Besides floral dresses, I really enjoyed seeing bright red polka dot shorts and absolutely stunning yellow polka dot dress. Innocent Lifestyle brought black to the runway. They presented casual street wear pieces which could work well on an evening out. I would absolutely love to own a few pieces and will definitely check them out. However, I would need to find the retailers first! Hell Bunny came back with even more vintage looking pieces this time. And the winner of this round were 50s high waisted denim trousers! Unique Vintage presented a selection of very elegant and classy evening dresses. However, my camera failed me during the first few minutes! I was lucky to get the pics of the last two dresses. Gatsbylady London presented their timeless and exquisite 1920s inspired dresses. I had the feeling I was at the high end fashion show! I was sorry there weren’t any maxi dresses on the runway but I checked their stand and could see them there. Collectif was back again with their vibrant and elegant vintage dresses and they were the last we could see on Sunday. The stylist edit closed the fashion show with a bold selection of sparkly and colourful outfits; probably not something you would wear unless you had a very good reason or lost a bet, however the outfits were fun and entertaining.
We didn’t have much time left, so we rushed to check out Altercore, a footwear brand from Poland who specialize in combat boots and alternative footwear. Their footwear is not a mass product and is made with love and passion for alternative footwear fashion. Besides vegan lines, some shoes are made of leather. They offer steel cap combat boots, platform shoes and boots, creepers, sneakers and sandals. Most models can be ordered from Poland, however, I haven’t found many online retailers with a great selection of their shoes. I was rather impressed by designs and quality; the shoes are well built and solid, however not heavy. Piotr from Altercore was so kind to show us different models and explained the difference between leather and vegan shoes. We made a few jokes in Polish and Croatian language and we agreed not only the shoes are top quality, but large beer is pronounced the same in Polish and Croatian. Now I know how to order a beer if I’m ever in Poland. I am sure that wouldn’t be the only thing I’d order, because their shoes are even more tempting that the beer. This was another great shoe brand I discovered recently and I was over the moon to see them at London Edge. I really hope more retailers in the UK will stock this fantastic footwear brand in future! You can find out more about Altercore at http://www.altercore.co.uk/.
We had a very friendly chat with Steve at T.U.K stand. Brexit was the unavoidable subject we tried to joke about. However, I was more interested in T.U.K’s new models. And indeed, there were a few. Steve told us they would probably be on the market in July or August. I really liked the mat finish of the new vegan models and can’t wait to get myself a pair.
We had about half an hour before the closing time and still so much to see. Alchemy Gothic had huge displays and even though I thought I was familiar with the whole range of their products, I saw pieces I’ve never seen before. Amazing designs as always!
Our last two stops were Gatsbylady and Bibian Blue. At Gatsbylady’s stand I found dresses which I couldn’t see on the runway and maxi dresses were my favourites. Designs and fabrics were stunning; each dress had lovely details and was made of rich and high quality materials. It was incredible to see how much work went into each dress and the textures were amazing; I could see sequins or beaded dresses and combination of different fabrics. I thought some of them would made an excellent wedding dress! After I checked their web site I discovered they indeed offered wedding dresses. If you’re looking for a stunning dress for a very special occasion, Gatsbylady offer a wide range of glamorous dresses up to size 32 and every lady can feel like a Gatsby lady! You can find their creations here: https://www.gatsbylady.com/. It would be really interesting to talk with the designer but we had time for just one more stand and we had to be fast.
Our last stop was Bibian Blue. We were instantly drawn to two dresses which were on display. One of them was the butterfly pattern dress and the other was a two piece set which consisted of the corset and the skirt. They also had a black lace beaded shrug I couldn’t take my eyes off. Bibian Blue is a well known designer from Spain who specializes in hand made exquisite corsets, dresses and accessories which are inspired by art, history and fantasy. We went through the catalogue and checked some pieces. We were told that Bibian Blue hasn’t been exhibiting at London Edge for the last 8 years, and we really appreciated the opportunity to see the amazing creations this year. You can find out more about this brilliant designer at http://www.bibianblue.com/lang/en.
We stopped by the Punk Rave, Burleska, Jawbreaker, Fantasmagoria, New Rock and Sinister stands, but time ran out. It was 6 PM and we had to go. We were exhausted but happy! We found a few brands we haven’t seen before, talked with some lovely people and enjoyed the fashion show. It was time to head back home. We thank all the lovely designers, brand representatives and owners who took time to talk to us and introduce us to their work. London Edge 2019 was a great experience and we’re looking forward to the next one!
Visit fashion show gallery: http://www.altvenger.com/london-edge-2019-gallery/
The Original Atelier
Kira Don Jewel
Restless ‘n’ Wild
Review and pics by Marija Buljeta