Backstage at Christian Blanken AW11

On the last day of LFW I was invited to go see Dutch designer Christian Blanken‘s presentation at Somerset House’s beautiful Portico Rooms. By then I was absolutely exhausted and tired of the endless queueing, pushing and shoving to find a good spot to take decent pictures. Presentations take away all that stress, they’re far more quiet, relaxing and personal.

Blanken had a generous 3 hour slot in which he could present his clothes to the world, so he had his models on a continuous rotation. I spent some time looking from the front, then I popped backstage to meet the designer and take a proper look around the collection.

The Christian Blanken woman is confident, strong, likes luxurious materials as well as comfort. Blanken’s background is in sportswear, and you can tell. Think Alexander Wang meets Jil Sander: jerseys, exposed zippers, functional yet at the same time luxurious materials like shearling, leathers and furs, strong tailoring and a fairly basic colour palette.
My favourite piece has to be the reversible fur black fur coat – 2 for 1, right? Or the white shearling overcoat – the strong tailoring is softened by the playful furriness.

Whilst Blanken oversees the goings-on from a small screen backstage, we have a good chat in Dutch (I have to grab every opportunity to talk my mother tongue around here after all). We discuss everything from fellow Dutchman Michael Van Der Ham to his design ethos – strong women, strong tailoring – before I have to skip off again to the next show. Shame, because I would actually have liked to hang out there for a little longer…

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