London is notorious for its cutting edge fashion, and high street favourite Topshop knows it. They have been supporting NEWGEN, a scheme intended to fund up and coming designers, allowing them to show their work on a professional scale. Previous winners include Alexander McQueen, Giles Deacon and Marios Schwab.
Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of London Fashion Week and the British Fashion Council, NEWGEN is back to support the next crop of fashion designers flying the flag for the LDN. Here are the seventeen creatives chosen by the British Fashion Council to show at London Fashion Week in September 2009.
Atalanta Weller (exhibition sponsorship)
After completing apprenticeships at brands such as John Richmond and Hugo Boss, Atalanta Weller started her own label. An exciting collaboration with BMW saw the designer create a shoe made entirely of car parts. Weller’s shoes have been featured in the shows of designers such as Gareth Pugh, House of Holland and Sinha-Stanic. Weller has also been featured in magazines like Vogue, Dazed & Confused, and Nylon. She was recently named as one of the world’s most progressive shoe designers by i-D magazine, which ranked her alongside the likes of Pierre Hardy and Giuseppe Zanotti.
Cooperative Designs (exhibition sponsorship)
Design duo, Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann created Cooperative designs after meeting at Central Saint Martins in 2007. Knitwear has proven to be the label’s strong point and often the focus of the collection. In 2009 Vogue Italia hailed the designers as the new talents in knitwear and their work was exhibited at the Design Museum in London. They have also completed a second season consulting for Hussein Chalayan. S/S 10 will be the duo’s third season at London Fashion Week.
Craig Lawrence (exhibition sponsorship)
London based designer Craig Lawrence is certainly one to watch. After showing off schedule at London Fashion Week for the first time, the designer succeeded in winning NEWGEN sponsorship. Since then, the designer has gone from strength to strength. His garments were recently featured in Another Magazine who named him in their showcase of Britain’s finest new fashion talent. Not only this, but his designs graced the cover, modeled by actress Tilda Swinton. Lawrence’s collaborations with Levi’s and Cassette Playa have also been successful suggesting that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this guy.
Danielle Scutt (presentation and exhibition sponsorship)
WAH favourite Danielle Scutt is a recognisable member of the London design renaissance alongside Gareth Pugh, Marios Schwab and Christopher Kane. Her upcoming S/S 10 collection will be the fourth time that the designer has received NEWGEN sponsorship, undoubtedly launching her label higher than she could alone. Scutt’s ability to play with sexuality and combinations of high and low culture is definitely a crowd pleaser.
Dominic Jones (exhibition sponsorship)
Dominic Jones makes jewellery for bad girls. And boy do they love it. He invents items that you never knew you needed, step forward: Gloves with nails attached – for those days when the Freddy Kruger in you wants to let the world know it’s there. After studying contemporary jewellery design at The Sir John Cass School of Art and Design, Jones was snapped up to do collaborations with the art and design collective, “WOWOW”. Alice Dellal is his business partner…lucky girl.
Fred Butler (exhibition sponsorship)
Since graduating from the University of Brighton in 2003, Fred Butler has had a successful career in multiple fields. She began her career as an assistant to set designer Shona Heath, while also working as a freelance prop designer and art director. Understandably these designs were in demand among many musicians, providing a showcase for Butler’s work. For her AW09 collection, the designer created a film to display her trinkets. The film was later included in the Birds Eye Film Festival at the ICA, suggesting Butler’s skills aren’t limited to fashion.
House of Holland (catwalk and exhibition sponsorship)
House of Holland, designed by the ubiquitous Henry Holland, achieved premature success through his collection of bright slogan tees. Fashion East provided sponsorship to Holland for two collections before NEWGEN’s sponsorship allowed him to hold a solo show on the main schedule at London fashion Week, a ridiculous achievement for a designer with only two seasons under his cumber band. A dress from his SS09 collection was worn by M.I.A and her baby bump at the Grammy’s, leading to yet more exposure for Holland.
KTZ (exhibition sponsorship)
Throughout careers that have combined everything from designing to buying to DJing, Sasko Bezovski and Marjan Pejoski have developed a distinct eye for good taste. Using this, the two designers were able to create the refined style of KTZ. Pejoski, previously won NEWGEN sponsorship for his self titled clothing brand. Fans of Pejoski should expect brighter, more futuristic items from KTZ, the current collection is inspired by Aztec and Mayan Symbolism.
Louise Gray (presentation and exhibition sponsorship)
Central Saint Martins graduate, Louise Gray has been busy since graduating in 2007. Her label, launched shortly after her graduation has continued to gain popularity and has been featured by the likes of Vogue, Elle, Nylon and the New York Times. Her AW09 collection received heaps of praise from press and buyers; suggesting the only way is up for Gray.
LP.BG – (presentation and exhibition sponsorship)
After studying the trade from the other side of the fabric, model Ben Grimes is ready to try out a new career. Teaming up with friend Lily Parker, a London College of Fashion graduate, the duo concentrate on a strong silhouette and the tailoring used to achieve it. Parker has previously worked for Henry Holland and Richard Nicoll, whom Grimes is a muse to. The duo have exhibited to the press over the last two seasons and even achieved an exclusive contract with Browns Focus.
Mark Fast (catwalk and exhibition sponsorship)
Knitwear designer Mark Fast is a recent addition to the NEWGEN team, but is by no means less significant. The designer worked for Bora Aksu for three seasons before graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2007. Fast managed to impress the buyers from Browns Focus very quickly and is now stocked in seven countries worldwide. Like Craig Lawrence, Fast’s clothes were featured in Another Magazine modeled by Tilda Swinton.
Mary Katrantzou (catwalk and exhibition sponsorship)
Mary Katrantzou is a multi-talented designer, able to work print and structure in an extremely inventive way. Originally from Greece, Katrantzou transferred to Central Saint Martins to study BA Textile Design, in which she achieved a distinction. She’s often influenced by design, like her recent collection that saw the designer take inspiration from perfume bottles. She then created a print solely intended to accentuate the female figure. As if that didn’t show enough skill, Katrantzou is also a talented jewellery designer, as many pieces soon become an integral part of the collection.
Meadham Kirchhoff (catwalk sponsorship)
Meadham Kirchhoff has gained quite a following over the last few seasons. The label gained sponsorship from NEWGEN two seasons ago and was previously sponsored by Fashion East. The duo, consisting of French born Benjamin Kirchhoff and English Edward Meadham juxtapose hard-edged street wear with more upper crust styling. The rough but smooth esthetic offered by the brand calls for a girl who may look sweet as pie, but underneath is hard as nails.
Michael Lewis (exhibition sponsorship)
Until now he has been considered “footwear’s best kept secret”, but it is time for Michael Lewis to step out of the shadows and into the spotlight. He cut his teeth working for Jean Charles de Castelbajac, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Burberry, so chances are, at some point you’ve lusted after his shoes. He now limits himself to his own label, as well as consulting on all things footwear for brands like Luella, Loewe and Jaeger London. If you haven’t heard of him by now…you will soon, he’s soon to be King of the shoe game.
Michael van der Ham (exhibition sponsorship)
In a time when it’s believed that no idea is original, van der Ham is an extremely refreshing designer. Dolly Jones, editor of Vogue.com claimed his dresses were “a perfectly executed refreshing new idea”. No mean feat for a young designer in the 21st century. The design process is a lengthy one as van der Ham has an in depth approach to research, ideas are eventually merged together creating an intense jumble of concepts, most notably retro and modern. Internships at Alexander McQueen and Sophia Kokosalaki predated his Central Saint Martins degree, so it’s no surprise he opened the graduate show on the official London Fashion Week schedule.
Peter Pilotto (catwalk and exhibition sponsorship)
Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos met while studying at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 2000. Combining their individual talents, (Pilotto is skilled in print, de Vos in silhouette) they have discovered the perfect formula for subtly sexy dresses. The brand was recently named as one of the ‘Ten Most Promising New Talents’ to watch by Style.com. They were awarded NEWGEN sponsorship for their fourth catwalk show, which is sure to launch Peter Pilotto to super star status. Although they are already on their way, as they are currently stocked in cool boutiques in 24 countries
SYKES – (presentation and exhibition sponsorship)
Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2001, Joanna Sykes has built heavily upon her knowledge of design. Instead of launching her own label immediately after graduating, she learnt the tricks of the trade at two significant Italian brands. Six years later she launched SYKES, now in its fourth season. The clothes are smart but simple and will add a classic touch to any wardrobe. Luxury fabrics such as silk and cashmere will make you feel special, as will the tiny ‘beauty spot’ made out of gold or silver which is placed on the garment as a sign of the quality.
London Fashion Week will run from Friday 18th September – Tuesday 22nd September 2009 and will be located at Somerset House, The Strand WC2.
Published by WAH Magazine.com