Central Saint Martins alumna Liz Black demonstrates ready-to-wear regal with her Imperial Russia inspired line for River Island
Luxury womenswear label Liz Black is the latest designer to collaborate with high street mega-brand River Island. The 2010 Central Saint Martins alumna will soon premiere her Imperial Russia inspired 9-piece capsule collection as part of the retailer’s highly successful Design Forum, the platform showcasing the UK’s best emerging talent. Come September 2014, River Island customers can expect appropriately grand designs from the 2011 Fashion Fringe Awards semi-finalist: Black’s line is symbolic of Princess Anastasia’s rumoured survival during the Russian Revolution.
In suitably royal, dark blue tones, Black’s collection is nothing less than ready-to-wear regal. The recent Scottish Fashion Awards ‘Creative Excellence’ nominee offsets her dark eveningwear pieces with a striking blue, grey and black print specifically designed to represent Princess Anastasia’s escape through the Russian woods. The line features sculptured separates in neoprene and wool, with laser cut leather-look panels and silver metal hardware detailing throughout. Traditional Russian muffs also receive an update, modernised on Black’s contemporary coats, and oval clutch bags emulate the Romanov family’s extensive collection of Fabergé eggs.
Black’s designs, ranging from £30 to £100 a-piece, will go on sale online and in selected UK and international River Island stores in September 2014. Previous Design Forum collaborations include incredibly popular capsule collections from Eudon Choi, Katie Eary and Joseph Turvey. Of her River Island collaboration, Black says: “The first time I visited London I went shopping in River Island, where I ended up buying much more than I intended! I never imagined that 14 years later I would be asked to design a capsule collection especially for them. Working with the River Island team has been a fantastic experience and professionally very rewarding.”
To accompany the release of Liz Black for River Island, a short film directed by Mary Nighy will be premiered at London Fashion Week’s Fashion Film event in September. The film forms part of British Fashion Council’s Fashion Film initiative, which, now in its sixth season, aims to recognise the ongoing development of fashion film as an important industry medium, while helping to foster relationships between fashion designers and fashion filmmakers.
Words: Steph King