London Fashion Week estethica highlights: Beautiful Soul
March 4, 2010 by Mandy Barder
Now in its third season and propelling confidently through the ethical fashion area, Beautiful Soul introduced ‘No. 3, AW10 collection’ at estethica last week. With an enticingly diverse and structured take on sexy, feminine styles, founder and designer Nicola Woods tells Mandy Barder what she deems important to make her fledgling brand a success.
Beautiful Soul may only be a youngster on the ethical and mainstream fashion circuit, but judging by its latest collection it looks set to make some well deserved headlines. It has rapidly developed into a smart, off-beat and elegant brand, where unusual cuts are explored and rich, indulgent colours on similar materials are swiftly becoming a signature style. Despite its infancy, it is already evolving into an unusually forward thinking label but with a timeless quality that simply ripples through the entire AW10 collection.
One of the strongest prevailing qualities this collection has is its clever and diverse edge, which gives it that sense of practicality as well as a beautiful look. “The idea with a Beautiful Soul garment is that it remains in your wardrobe for a lifetime, so I create timeless pieces that are multifunctional depending on the mood we’re in at the time, which is important because you have to realise that a woman changes her mood and her mind” says Nicola.
The coats in the collection do exactly this. The sleeves are reversible to give the piece a little more variety with colour and are also removable allowing it to be worn as a waistcoat during the warmer months. As one of Beautiful Soul’s newest materials, Izzy Lane’s ethical wool is used to make these stunning coats, which come in a deep wine red or in a black kimono style, each perfecting an indulgent and smoldering winter look.
These very grown-up and provocative silhouettes are born from a mish-mash of influences, including veteran Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto in his use of wool, which Nicola proudly admits her No. 3 collection is in homage to him. The dark and sophisticated way colour has been treated was also inspired by him with the rich monochromes of white, black and red. An alluringly indulgent blue is integrated into the jackets, layered tops and short skirts as a result of some recycled denim Nicola found and transformed into short dresses and relaxed, feminine tops.
Layering plays a key role in the makeup of this collection, from the Japanese inspired tops with wide sleeves and folds of material clasping at the chest to the sumptuous coats. Cleverly structured cuts also feature heavily in the lengths of skirts and design of jacket collars.
Beautiful Soul’s intelligent style is all down to Nicola recognising the absolute need for inventive thinking and swatting up on new materials. She says: “It’s not just about silhouettes it’s about delving way past that and discovering new ways of incorporating new fabrics. As an ethical fashion designer you are more of a researcher than anything else and each season I hope to integrate new sustainable and inventive fabrics”.