After Nyne has always taken an extra special delight in seeking out and championing new talent, and, this Fashion Week, the team has trudged both the greater and lesser beaten tracks to take in more runway shows and presentations by emerging designers than ever before, in the name of bringing you the newest names you need to know now… So, without further ado, here are some of our Fashion Editor’s favourites…
First up was Jamie Wei Huang, who graduated from CSM in 2012. Inspired by multicultural symbolism relating to the afterlife, Jamie presented a thought-provoking, uncompromisingly bold twist on sports luxe, her “Nibbana” collection revolving around the culotte and pinafore silhouettes which had already proven such important stories on New York’s runways this fashion month. And those tassel earrings? We seriously heart.
From rivets to ruffles, it was onto Phiney Pet, who were holding an “Everyday Birthday” party in a chapel off Regent Street. So far, so intriguing… And yes, there was cake! Printed all over cute little co-ord sets… Founded just a year ago, the South East London label is on a mission is to bring back that party dress we all wanted to wear every day as kids, a feeling which has also, rather interestingly, echoed through several of the “bigger name” collections this week (e.g. at Simone Rocha). Personally? As the girl who, at the age of 8, organised her schedule around spending quality alone time with her favourite pink party frock each and every evening, I’m 100% on board.
Meanwhile, CSM graduate Edeline Lee had taken up residence on the top floor of the Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, the Edwardian studio’s former identity (almost) restored by Kyung Roh Bannwart’s captivating three-dimensional artistic response to the collection, echoing the combination of playfulness and rigorous tailoring employed in the garments’ construction in her use of colour and shape within the space.
Downstairs, however, VIELMA had gone vintage Vegas! To the sounds of ’60s pop classics, Gabriel Vielma’s models dolled themselves up for a night out on the Strip in his ’50s and ’60s showgirl-inspired pieces. And we all wanted to join in.
Proceedings at Omer Asim the next day (back up on the Painting Rooms’ freshly scrubbed top floor!) were rather more sober, but nonetheless compelling, exploring the interplay between darkness and light in a haunting presentation of a collection characterised by textural contrasts – if that wooden bodice takes off, the next generation is going to have perfect posture.
At Miuniku, it was back to the future for sister-designers Tina and Nikita, born in Mumbai and educated at the London College of Fashion, who scooped the 2014 LVMH prize for Young Fashion Designers. Inspired by the pre-digital age (vinyl, cassettes, CDs… all that jazz), and the space race-inspired future-focus which dominated ’60s fashion, the collection had a hint of the Dr Whos and the Star Treks about it – in a good way.
Upstairs, Georgia Hardinge had taken inspiration from the stars on an entirely different level, her romantic pleating and laser detailing drawing on the symbols of the zodiac. Officially a presentation, but, in effect, an extremely intimate catwalk show, the intricacies of Hardinge’s designs stunned up close and personal – as the models moved through their very own paper-fringed wind tunnel, the fabrics’ movement increased their impact many times over.
Across Trafalgar Square, meanwhile, NEWGEN designer Danielle Romeril had transformed the ICA’s cavernous presentation space into her own vision of “Paradise Lost”, inspired by images of African farmers’ work attire. Characterised by “improvised”, unexpected and off-key combinations of patterns and textures, this collection could just kickstart (appropriately, given Romeril’s collaboration with Kickers) the process of redrawing the boundaries of contemporary design as we know it.
But back to the runway, armed with an access-all-areas pass for Mimpikita’s LFW debut. The label’s founders – three Malaysian sisters whose designs, pretty incredibly, never retail above £150 – presented a dreamlike collection, seamlessly combining wearability with creative innovation (and topped off with the best updos we’ve seen all week!).