Wang X H&M

Alexander Wang X H&M Collaboration a-w swedish designer high street fashion affordable new

We’re a little late on giving you our verdict on the highly anticipated new range. One thing we love about H&M is their effort to make top end designer wear more affordable and accessible to high-street shoppers. Since Wang disclosed that he would be the first American designer to collaborate with the Swedish high-street favourite H&M back in April, everyone has waiting in line to see what themes would be incorporated in the line. With it’s official unveiling having taken place last Thursday it’s seems as though Wang has gone for all out aesthetic sporty with elements of athleticism taking the fore front. Here’s a sneak peak of the range. Now all we have to do is wait for November 6!

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See here for more pictures on the range.

An Interview with… Gudrun Vickery

Networking – it’s a great thing. You meet someone, whether it’s through friends or work events, and then if you’re a chatterbox like me, you find some common ground. Favourite pastimes, interests or quite simply, your perspective on a number of things. That’s kinda how it went when I met Gudrun Vickery a couple months ago. And we literally spoke about everything before stumbling on to her underwear range.

IMG_0442In all honesty, I’d actually heard about Gudrun’s range long before I had the pleasure of meeting the mind behind its innovation. Its quirkiness is what struck me first; Gudrun’s desire to create an unorthodox line that focuses on the needs and wants of women first. So when we spoke about the brand we covered just about everything, including motivations and inspirations and so forth. Here’s what Gudrun had to say for herself.

GV Underwear

  1. GV Underwear is pretty much a baby brand. What was it that encouraged you to start making your pieces in 2013?

I’d worked as a media consultant since graduating university and was craving something creative after studying art at school. Plus I’d also wanted to learn to sew, it started from there really. I’ve always really been into clothes and underwear, I wouldn’t say fashion as such, but the way people dress, and very sporty. So making sports inspired items was quite natural.

  1. Did any of your past experiences help you in launching your brand? If so, how?

Hmm… I think my friends have helped me more than anything! I would have given up a long time ago without them. They definitely gave me the confidence to believe in what I was doing. Also spending a few years doing something I didn’t feel was quite right for me helped spur me in difficult times. Oh and my research skills, to find YouTube tutorials for sewing! There are some really funny American videos out there made at least ten years ago.GV

  1. Your creations are perfect for this modern age in British fashion where girls are layering, trading in heels for brogues and entertaining the thought of comfort as a decisive factor. What was it that encouraged you to take these factors into consideration way before they took over high-street outlets?

I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy – I have four brothers – so being comfortable in what you wear has always been my approach to clothes. And I think its important that women wear underwear they feel comfortable in but that also makes them feel sexy and confident.  

  1. On your website, it says that you are inspired by female athletes and the muted chicness of French style – what is it about these sources that inspire your creativity?

Having always been a very sporty person – I’m doing the Hackney Half Marathon in June – I admire the strength and determination of female athletes. It takes a lot to push your body that far, and of course athletes have to dress for the peak performance of their bodies while being comfortable. I’ve always loved the relaxed sexiness of french women and the subtlety of their style – the colours and cuts are what influenced mine to be so simple. 

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  1. Underwear is a pretty interesting choice of garment to design. What drew you to creating and specialising in underwear? 

It was sort of by accident. After learning to sew I started to experiment with making pants, and then the kind of sports style tops I like wearing, and the more I learnt the more interested I became. It was me challenging myself I think as it’s actually a very specialist area as opposed to tailoring and making clothes. It’s a difficult area and I’m going to be getting some more detailed designs produced by sewers much more talented than me! 

  1. If you were to create another garment, what would it be and why?

A pair of classic cigarette pants, the ultimate in simple comfortable chicness.

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  1. If you were to choose 3 words that best described GV Underwear, what would they be and why?

Comfort, sex appeal, fun.

  1. Do you have any advice that you could give to others interested in creating their own brand?

Have faith in yourself and work hard.

Such good words there. As a relatively new brand, this is one that I’ll be keeping an eye on for sure. The subtle shades that Gudrun has incorporated into her s/s 2014 range are simply gorgeous and I’ve particularly have fallen for the Maxime and Torraino Set and, additionally, the Lilac Jo shorts which have all been captured for you above. They are all just stunning.

Interested? Be sure to have a peak at Gudrun’s website here.

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An interview with… Katya Kovtunovich

Whether it’s a new boutique brand, well-established designers or, quite simply, something that makes us go ooh, you probably have noticed that here on The Coup we enjoy sharing our fashion findings with you. Today we’re saying hello to Katya Kovtunovich.

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Some of Katya’s biggest fans include Hollywood celebrity Vanessa Hudgens and Princess Charlene of Monaco; it’s not suprising then that Katya’s designs are no stranger to the red carpet. So when we recently caught up we wanted to discuss everything, from Katya’s previous role as a fashion journalist to the inspiration behind her designs. Here is what Katya had to say:

Q: It says on your website that you started designing dresses for your Barbie dolls when you were only 7 years old. What was it that drew you in fashion and, in particular, designing garments?

As, I think, every little girl I was dreaming of being a princess and wearing beautiful dresses. But in my childhood Russia was still a Soviet Union and we did not have anything particularly beautiful in the affordable stores. Beautiful clothes were very few and were very expensive. I come from a very modest family, so I could only dream about wearing those ball type of gowns. And with the help of my mom I started realising these dreams in the dresses for my Barbie, my most precious toy that I was lucky to have. I would create dresses out of lampshade fabric, curtains. I would spend all my free time doing it. I even won a Barbie fashion competition in my home town when I was 9. At around the same age I started making clothes for myself.

_MG_1745Q: How has your time as a fashion journalist helped you in launching your own brand?

When I came to London to do fashion internships in order to learn about the industry I was not sure what exactly in fashion I wanted to do –  And as I did not get much luck with “designer” internships I went into journalism. I started writing about everything that I saw and that inspired me and I happened to have a flair for writing as my editors kept asking for more articles. So it really was a coincidence.

Of course it was an incredibly enriching experience and I am very lucky to have had it! it opened a lot of doors and allowed me to meet the most outstanding people in the fashion industry – Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, Gianfranco Ferre, CEO of LVMH Bernard Arnault to name a few, as well as the most talented models, actresses, photographers. It was a dream life. And it was incredibly inspiring. I constantly wanted to get more knowledgable, learn to write better, ask better questions, be more professional. This passion made me into a true fashion industry professional – when I applied for Masters of Fashion Journalism at London College of Fashion I was told I was overqualified :). 

It taught me that sometimes in order to be a real professional – you do not have to study, you can just work and learn from people who you admire. In a way it made me believe that I can be a designer without a formal education.

Also, of course, as a journalist I was given a great privilege to interview a lot of fashion designers and hear their stories. It is an incredible sensation – when you sit with a talented person admired by very many people around the world in a one on one meeting and ask them questions. In one moment you really start feeling that that person has truly opened up and suddenly you almost understand it beyond words – the things and the experiences he or she is talking about. I learned that all of the designers worked very hard, that success was not an overnight thing, that they were not afraid to dare to do things differently, sometimes against the circumstances. I also learned that no one had a fairy tale story. Everyone worked very much for their success and created their own luck. It reassured me that if they could do it i could do it to.

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Q: What was it that made you specialise in dress making?When I was a journalist, I kept making my own dresses and wearing them while travelling for fashion weeks in New York, Paris, Milan.

And I would always get compliments from people in the street. They would stop me and ask where I got that dress from or wanted to have my number to get the sme coat made for their girlfriends. I was thinking “Hey, I must have some sort of talent that makes people notice my clothes” – I promised myself if 10 more people stop me and tell me that I should be a designer – i would have to become one. So, thats how it happened.

Q: What sources do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from successful women that I admire. I like to think – what would they like to wear to a business meeting, to the beach or a lunch on a yacht, a romantic dinner, a St Tropez trip or a skiing holiday. It gets me inspired.

Q: If you were to chose 3 words that best described Katya Kovtunonich creations, what would they be?

Head turning, elegant, timeless

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Q: Do you have any advice that you could give to others interested in creating their own brand?

To not give up and always ask people (who in the end are going to be your final clients) to decide if what you do is good or not.  Sometimes it may be easy to get discouraged by opinions of some industry professionals when you are a growing brand. But if people around you notice what you create and want to have those pieces – this should be your motivation and a “sign” that what you do is right.

Q: You’re quite a traveller by that sounds of it.  How has your time in Russia, London and now Dubai influenced your work?

My travels help me to understand the needs and tastes of people in different parts of the world. When I used to travel to fashion weeks – I would wear totally different clothes in Paris, Milan, London and New York. Each city has its own vibe and inspires you to look different. hence, when I create a new collection – I can imagine and combine what a girl in New york would wear, a girl in Paris and a girl in London.

Sometimes I create a piece that I imagine worn only in Russia – but it turns out to be adored by a girl from Los Angeles. This happened with  my coats made out of traditional Emirati Tent and sofa cover fabrics. Also my Parisian clients liked them very much. It was a very unexpected success and made me feel very proud – that I managed to anticipate the wishes of such different women in such different countries. 

Also living in different climate zones made me more practical in terms of designing. When I create winter clothes – practical features come to my mind first, as I know very well what it feels like to have cold winters from my time in Russia. On the opposite, when I create summer collections – I take on my Dubai experience and try to use as much as possible cottons, cooling fabrics and lose silhouettes. 

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Q: What kind of woman are your designs for?

For successful, confident, intelligent and fun women, who know that they deserve to be admired.

Q: What has been the highlight of your career to date?

When Andrea Bocelli’s wife and CEO Veronica Berti ordered 5 dresses from my collection.

Q: What is next for KK?

We are looking forward to creating more beautiful dresses that will help more ladies all over the world to look and feel very special.

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Such beautiful designs! If you’d like to find out more about Katya and her work, be sure to check out her website here.

Images by Gleb Osipov

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This Week: Spot On! Edie Campbell, pretty in pink!

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Here, at The Coup, we thought model Eddie Campbell looked heavenly, attending 2012 British Fashion Awards! The colour of this dress by Christopher Kane matched her skin tone perfectly, and minimal make up- what a fresh look for the red carpet!

An Interview with… Paulina Liffner

Say hello to the Little Liffners; fashions newest and cutest accessory!

Perfect for adding a little character into your daywear, these bags are ‘small in size but big in style.’ They are just so cute! I’m looking forward to purchasing one on my next trip to Sweden, which hopefully will be sometime this winter. Team Coup recently spoke to the lovely Paulina Liffner; mastermind behind these beautiful creations.

Q: Did you have any experience of working in the fashion industry before launching Little Liffners?

Yes. My magazine jobs basically consisted of styling and during my years in PR I have worked closely with many fashion labels which gives quite a lot of insight, so its all different sides to the same coin really.

Q: What was it that made you specialise in designing bags?

 I always thought of accessories as the icing on the fashion cake. Also many of my friends and I seemed to have trouble finding beautiful bags in a clean style that didn’t come with a price tag of a two week vacation.

Q: Which sources do you draw inspiration from?

Art exhibitions, street style photos, architecture and cool interiors. Traveling is also a major source of inspiration. I’m a major people watcher, a starer even, haha. I love to make up imaginary life stories for the people I stare at.

Q: What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?

Leather of course, the possibilities are endless and it’s a natural material that ages well. But I look much forward to working in other exciting materials to like rubber, woven wools and canvas.

Q: If you had to choose 3 words that best described Little Liffner bags, what would they be?

Clean, all round and chic

Q: What has been the highlight of your career in fashion so far?

Taking the leap and starting Little Liffner for sure. But also being a fashion assistant at ELLE Sweden at my first photo shoots was amazing.

Q: What is next for the Little Liffners?

To do the best bags I possibly can and develop the concept of add-ons further with additional shoulder straps, handles, name tags etc.

Heels by Aquazzura

I often hear ladies proclaim how ‘comfy’ their heels are. Really?

I’m one of those girls whose heart skips a beat at the sight of beautiful 3 inch heels. But I do have a little problem; I can’t walk in heels. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. But I must say, I find the pain beyond excruciating. So much so that I often opt for a pair of classic brogues instead. So, after hearing about Aquazzura shoes, I must say that I’m intrigued.

The mastermind behind the brand is a young chap, Edgardo Osario. Only 26 years old, with already an impressive resume under his belt (he’s worked for both Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli before launching his own collection), Osario has opted to create show-stopping heels with extra padding. Talking about his designs, Osario has said; ‘everything I was seeing was a huge platform – it was almost as if the weirder and higher you could go, the better. No one was making something beautiful and understated. I want to create shoes that make a woman look and feel beautiful.’

Finally, someone’s talking a little sense. Now I’m all for forward thinking and innovative designs, however, if you’re someone who also has comfort high up on your list then I’m with you too. I’d much rather spend the night dancing away in heels, then bare foot. Looks like Osario has hit the nail on it’s head. Finally!

Shoes pictured, from left to right

Taylor, T-AmoSexy Thing, Fiona, Carissima

All available at http://www.aquazzura.com/

Maison Martin Margiela X H&M

I’m loving the collaborative work H&M have been doing with designers as of late. Here’s a little insight into their latest collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela. Pieces with personality. Hmm…!

The Next Big Thing – Huishan Zhang

Huishan Zhang was, by far, the breakthrough star of this years London Fashion Week. Having studied at the presitigious Central Saint Martins,  the 29 year-old impressed all with his modernistic take on Chinese motifs at Londons Somerset House last month.

All of Zhangs lace trimmings and crystal embroideries represent good symbols; thus creating a traditional yet modern fusion of Anglo-Chinese fashion. With the bulk of innovate designs coming from the East, Zhangs work truly embodies the perfect equilibrium between Western society and the Asiatic world. But, as Jason Wu has done in New York, will Zhang become the first person to champion Anglo-Chinese fashion? This, I do not know. But if the success of CSM’s previous alumi is anything to go by (Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen) along with Zhangs stunning designs, then he could very well be the one to watch…

Image source: http://www.vogue.co.uk

Jewellery Designs by Alice Menter

It was only recently that UK jewellery designer Alice Menter launched her label. Since, her beautiful, handmade, unique designs have deservingly been featured in powerhouse fashion magazines such as Marie Claire, Harpers Bazar and InStyle.

Photos taken by The Coup

Through incorporating the use of household items such as bolts and zips, Alice Menter’s designs perfect a harmonious balance between ‘hard and soft.’ This really is statement jewellery with a twist. Above are some of her beautiful designs that we saw at LFW;  you can check out her whole range here. I can’t wait to get my hand on a few pieces!

Get to Know…Kate Spade

Westfield Store (photo by The Coup)

I get so excited when I get introduced to a new label! That’s exactly what happened when I wondered into a new Kate Spade New York store in Westfield (White City) shopping centre. This boutique is lovely, ambient and all of the products were presented with great style and composition. I must have spent good 20 minutes walking through the shop, constantly stopping, looking and touching every item. From clothes to jewellery, to bags and shoes, you see the trademark Kate Spade’s design being carried through.


It all started in 1993, when Kate Brosnahan Spade set out to design the perfect bag. She created only 6 silhouettes, playing with sleek colour palettes and textures. Everyone fell for that fresh take on the everyday accessory and from then on Kate Spade New York with its graphic approach and trademark became a visually recognisable brand all over the world.


In 2012 you see this brand carry it’s colourful design through handbags and clothing, jewellery, shoes, stationery, eyewear, baby, fragrance, tabletop, bedding and gifts.

At the average price of £200 for a designer bag – it is very good value. You can see one of them being featured in your ‘Work It’ bag post here. Cannot wait to pop in there for another look next time I am in Westfield! http://www.katespade.com

Take me to the candy shop!


‘Damaris’ was launched in 2001 by Damaris Evans, who started the business from her kitchen table with a small loan. The deigner saw the gap in the lingerie market during that time, and created a high fashion and avant-garde designs using natural fabrics. The line is cheeky, seductive without being overly sexual. Pieces were snapped up by stores such as Selfridges and Le Bonne Marche in Paris, and sold at a retail price ranging from £125-£3,000 per piece.


“Queen of lingerie, and bottom cleavage”- Tatler

To my and many other ladies delight, in 2003 Damaris has finally created a diffusion line ‘Mimi Holliday‘. Mainline inspired pieces at a much more affordable price – are an absolute hit! The designs which work all types of figures, come in real silk, satin and French silk chiffon and are produced in the Far East. What attracts me to this collection is the use of bold colours. These fun candy shades, make you feel so special and brighten up any day! Great for your every day underwear or a special occasion. I really haven’t seen any other undies quite as special as this, I am sure anyone can find pieces that they love!

Images sourced from http://www.damaris.co.uk

All Eyes Fixed On

After Fall Winter 2012 shows were over everyone was buzzing about one particular designer Mary Katrantzou. Her collection is truly a work of art! Just prints alone will make you go weak at the knees. Colourful, catchy and attention craving, they call to be inspected and digested with your eyes. Mary created graphics from everyday objects such as clocks and cutlery…I have spent ages looking all over until I spotted the elements and hapes!

These pieces are bright, not for the quiet little mouse, but also surprisingly wearable. I am in love with every look from this collection, hope you enjoy them too! Keeping my eyes firmly focused on Mary Katrantzou!
Following items available from Net-A-Porter.com
Printed jersey T-shirt £255
Printed silk-satin tulip skirt £620
Intarsia knitted sweater £945

(Top photo: Evan Sung)