Not many knew London-based designer Samantha Cole had any African affiliations until her showstopping showcase at the ARISE Fashion Week held in Johannesburg earlier this year.
The label Samantha Cole London is well known and loved for its dazzling pieces with a gothic edge. The label has won various awards over the years and has been featured in high profile publications such as the New York Times.
Samantha Cole London has just released the lookbook for their Autumn/Winter collection and it is a WOW-inducing collection of bold structured pieces in black and silver using a variety of unique fabrics.
Inspiration for Collection
This collection differs from my previous simply because of the inspiration behind it. My last season was inspired by watching Jane Austen films (Pride and Prejudice, Emma etc) not usually a fan but actually enjoyed them hence the victorian and edwardian influences – Click to see last season’s Samantha Cole Collection. However, this period for me in its current state was a little too delicate so I took a modern feel that was popular last year (Soft Goth) an incorporated the dark essence into it an the results are what you saw; a modern soft goth collection with period influences.
This time round the collections influences were drawn from the current social an economic climate that we are facing today.
This interpretation through my work repesented a darker more agressive collection with harder edges, structured layering and inspiration drawn from modern architecture not built from indulgence but reminiscent of medieval buildings; powerful, sobering and stark.
My Muse or should I say Muse’s would have to be the female characters that I drew inspiration from to reflect my interpretation of the power, determination and strength that a woman reveals in times of hardship which is why the collect is called “WARRIOR”.
My muse’s where kate Beckinsale in “UNDERWORLD” meets Tina Turner in “MADMAX” sprinkled with Jane Fonda in “BARBARELLA” set against a futuristic backdrop.
A woman can show strength, power, dominance an even be agressive without loosing her feminity, she can be strong when required an submissive if so desired the point is its her perogative.
In regards to influences or inspirations one important thing to note is I dont copy but rather use them as a guide to help direct the collection, so when looked at as a whole you can sometimes feel the essence but also appreciate the interpretation drawn from them.
Details on Fabric Choices
The fabric choices varied from silk mixes to leather an my love of working in black (as Im sure you’ve already noticed) made it more important for my focus to be on mixing textures.
I like plain simple palettes but love details, layering, textures, an deconstructive fabrics that can take a simple silhouette, with a plain fabric an make it look couture, these are the things that excite me about working with fabrics.
In regards to the colour palette used this was based around the theme of the collection which had a futuristic backdrop an I felt a shimmering metallic silver was appropriate to incorporate an black for me was standard.
The ARISE Johannesburg Experience
Showcasing in Jo’burg was so amazing an being Nominated for Innovation in Design from Arise was truelly fantastic but what it really did was bring awareness to the fact that Im Nigerian, which is great!
The response to Samantha Cole in Nigeria (The brand is currently sold at Temple Muse in Lagos)
With regards to selling in Temple Muse In Lagos I’m really pleased the collection has been so well received an about to re-stock for the 3rd time in 3 months, though I have to be honest at first I felt my style may be a little too left field but pleased to be proven wrong.
With this particular collection in Nigeria I may have to make some adjustments will do some pieces exclusively but will be in limited quantities because the fabric is specially made an does take a while so please be aware of the Temple Muse monthly newsletter which will let members know when this collection will be in stock an if they would like to order in advance please contact the boutique directly an place these orders before the stock arrives because once its gone its gone.
Plans for 2010
There are so many things in store for the label in 2010 which are currently being developed but I guess to find out more you’ll just have to watch this space.
PHOTOGRAPHER: Rebecca L
HAIR: Kim Roy
MODEL: Kayt Webster-Brown
MAKE-UP: Sandra Bermingham
RETOUCHING: Monica Chamorro
LOCATION: Rebecca L Studio, London