Piers Atkinson is the craftiest milliner around. A lecturer at LCF by day and moonlighting as couture headwear designer, he is one talented cookie. Last night me and my boyfriend slash illustrations editor slash student of Piers visited the launch of his AW11 collection, 'Paris'.
Stylists, journalists and fashionistas crept out of the woodwork and made their way to Franny's Pop Up Gallery in Soho. There were eccentric characters every which way you turned, a man head to toe in PVC, a drag artist sporting some painfully incredible heel-less stilettos and generally beautiful, stylish people, amongst those was Piers himself. A cool and handsome man, with one of the most happiest exteriors I have ever seen, he clearly loves his work and the people he works with, the smile didn't leave his face all night.
The collection was a 33-strong gathering of noir felts, neon piping and delicate nature inspired adornments. It was all very dark, in a grungy yet glamorous way, with that typically Parisian 'je ne sais quoi'. Normal isn't in Piers' vocabulary, he doesn't do regular and he certainly doesn't conform. Each design was more original than the last.
With a colour palette of royal purple and navy blue for the foundation of the hats, gold embellishment sparkled from every corner, including some of the mannequins they were displayed on.
An insight into the side of Paris you don't see on a typical touristy trip, instead he displays the beauty of the side streets, the late night smoky cafés and the Parisian showgirl scene. With dark plumage and 1930's netting shading the faces of the famous, (or arrogant) and the signature neon smut of the 'belle du jour' character. Studs and glitter fed a fetish of rock and roll into this otherwise classical mix, covering pillbox and beret styles to update the looks into modern day grunge.
Nature played a large part of inspiration for the collection too, gold sprayed apples and exquisitely varnished, oversized cherries were available to take pride of place on your head. (And where else would you put a giant pair of cherries?)
The lookbook was shot by Morgan White, with the absolute perfect model for this collection, Nikoke at FM Models. Her Parisian look complete with sleek black bob created the ideal juxtaposition for the collection.
Anne Pigalle performed at the launch, but unforunately we didn't stay long enough to witness this, a mistake I shall regret for the rest of my life after getting home and actually listening to her music, and so should you. Overall it was a fantastic launch party, in the perfect venue thanks to the wonderful folks at Ella Dror Pr. We had the pleasure of meeting two amazing Americans, Alex and Nina, too: