With the Marc Jacobs show officially closing NYFW, we, along with the rest of the fashion circus, head to London – a city which is doing a fantastic job at promoting its young and vibrant fashion industry.
With the word vibrancy on everyone’s mind as they leave NY, it should be expected for London to be right on target this season. The designers who decide to show in London often are daring and experimental (to good and bad results) but have proven to always be entertaining and most importantly, youthful and vibrant.
With that said, this city probably provides the most new designers for me to choose from and so far many have developed into major international players such as Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders…etc. For this season, I’ve chosen 4 incredibly talented powerhouses who based on past collections and current trends, I believe to be ready to step it up a few notches.
1.) JAMES LONG
Last season he debuted his women’s collection after designing menswear for 3 years. It is often skeptical for designers to make such a switch without being already established, so it was all the more impressive that his signature styles translate so well from one sex to the other. In his first outing, he featured his signature bold and directional knitwear incorporating colors and fashion forward proportions and made knits fun. He quotes Gianni Versace as his design hero and for Spring 2012 he cited the movie “Casino”, Sissy Spacek, as well as ginger as his departure point for inspiration. If all three are true then it is shaping up to be a collection not to be missed. With all the knits we saw on the NY runway, this could be the season where Long hits a homerun with his signature style.
James Long’s Spring 2012 presentation: Fashion East 9.18.11 Noon London time
2.) SIMONE ROCHA
A distinguished graduate from Central St. Martin, Simone Rocha has garnered quite a strong support from the British fashion community and all for good reason. With two seasons under her belt, she has scored quite an impressive stockist which includes Colette in Paris, Curve in the US, and IT in Hong Kong. With the aid of organizations such as Fashion East, Rocha is starting to develop her signature aesthetic while receiving opportunities and resources to grow awareness of her line. Her strengths include employing sheers, cut-outs, and tailored silhouettes which reads like a current NYFW trend report already. With that said, it looks like this season so far is one that she will only shine even brighter.
Check out Simone’s teaser video for her Spring/Summer 2012 collection here.
3.) MICHAEL VAN DER HAM
I’ve been keeping an eye on Michael van der Ham since his inaugural collection during the Spring 2011 show season. His collaged clothing mixing prints and fabrics really stood out and set a mood for me last year. Last season he moved toward the right direction by subverting slightly on the piecing of fabric to allow room for more fluid silhouettes in rich materials such as velvet and silk. There seems to be an ever clearer balance between making a statement and wearability which is something major department stores always look out for. He is clearly someone who has an unique point of view and thinks outside the box and a new talent like that surely cannot be overlooked.
Spring 2012 collection presentation: 9.19.11 at 1:00pm London time.
4.) MARK FAST
Arguably the most experienced of the group, Canadian Mark Fast’s continuing development prompted me to urge you to keep an eye on him. This past week marked the American launch of his diffusion line “Faster by Mark Fast”. The collection received good reviews which heightens the expectation for his main collection due to hit the runway this week on Monday 9/19. He hit a breakthrough last season incorporating leather into his repertoire as well as loosening up the silhouettes to include roomy A-line shift dresses and voluminous knit gowns (one of the few showstoppers). He is gathering a dedicated Hollywood hipster following, Rihanna included, and with knitwear developing into a major trend , there is no way but up for this rising talent.
Spring 2012 collection presentation: 9.19.11 3pm London time.
London Fashion Week has an expanded schedule this year and starts today 9.16.11 and runs till Wednesday 9.23.11. Visit www.londonfashionweek.co.uk for all the info you need including schedule, news, reviews, PR and sales contact info…etc.