Fashion East: The Force Behind The Industries Rising Stars
Faced with a copy-and-paste culture industry, the city's creative breed is blazing a collaborative trail. It's time to get to know this seasons Fashion East round-up…Four of London's hottest emerging talents sponsored by Topshop and spearheaded by Editor-at-large at Love magazine and Fashion East founder Lulu Kennedy. They debued their SS17 collections at the Topshop show space on the 17th September - Fashion East is on a bit of a roll.
Words by Kirsty Lee
Lulu Kennedy - The Woman Behind The Magic!
With powerhouse brands taking centre stage at London fashion week, it's easy to lose sight of hidden gems waiting in the wings. Lulu Kennedy propels the young designers into the arena and gives them the perfect launch pad for showcasing their collections under the banner of the not for profit organisation Fashion East. The rising stars are mentored by Kennedy and her in-house PR team throughout the season. Designers receive a bursary, free venue and complete catwalk show production, professional catwalk photographs and video - giving them the creative freedom to expand and explore their interpretation of fashion today.
Kennedy hadn't actually planned on working in fashion - her background was in organising raves around London - and what we know today as Fashion East. The highlight of LFW schedule started out as a "project". Armed with said madness - aka enthusiasm - Kennedy explains, "I had a beginner's ignorance - 'It's going to be fine - just shove a massive sound system in it and have a party afterwards.' I wasn't concerned about the nice, glossy details, it was all very raw, noisy and raucous. I just didn't get my knickers in a twist about it" - which is all part of Fashion East's charm and, ultimately, why it's worked.
Spring Summer 2017 Round-Up
Fashion East is renowned for plucking bright new names - those still a bit rough around the edges, that have an idea and need help with what to do with it; those with a leftfield point of view - and giving them a chance to be heard. So who are the new wave of emerging designers following in the footsteps of Fashion East's alumni - Gareth Pugh, J.W. Anderson and House of Holland? This year's roster includes Central Saint Martins graduates: Mimi Wade, A.V Robertson, Richard Malone and newcomer Matty Bovan.
Check out our Rokit vintage cowboy boots, showcasing in Jenna Young's This Is The Uniform presentation. Were geared up and ready to see the southeast London-based label that's riffing on the semantics of dressing in unexpected ways!
shop: Cowboy boots.
Mimi Wade is fresh out of Central Saint Martins having graduated from the Fashion Print BA course in 2015 and gained experience with Margiela and Jitrois. She is joining Fashion East's SS17 showcase, following on from her celebrated Old Hollywood-inspired graduate collection. Mimi's key inspiration is her grandmother 'Granny Panny,' who was a Hollywood actress and appeared in films such as 'The Blob.' Whatever her inspiration is for SS17, we expected loud party prints.
Mimi Wade's kitschy cutesy mini dresses were packed with vibrant colour, mad-cap textures and glittering embellishments bustling down the runway. .
Amie Victoria Robertson launched the label in 2015 after graduating from Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Print in 2014 and working at Marc Jacobs as a Design Assistant. Amie already has an impressive following within the industry: she was personally recommended to Fashion East by Katie Grand and Katie Hillier and last season Marc Jacobs sat on the front row at her Fashion East show.
Last season Marc Jacobs turned up to watch his former design assistant Amy Robertson's knock-out debut. He'll be kicking himself he missed Saturday's show. One felt for Robertson, whose hand-made crystal embellished gauze and linen separates felt a little flat given their immediate presentation post Bovan's harlequin-hued riot. Still, she had a strong roster of styling extras in crystal earrings and sunglasses, a collaboration with Linda Farrow.
Richard Malone made his London Fashion Week on-schedule debut two seasons ago with Fashion East. He was awarded the Deutsche Bank Award for Fashion for his graduate collection - an award previously given to Christopher Kane. Malone is all about celebrating the individual - for his debut LFW show Malone cast diverse models ranging from 'artists to solicitors.'
He rounded things off with a bold, accomplished selection of knitted body-con dresses cut on the bias, some tight and bright, others sculptural and headline-grabbing. The news from London: the future looks bright.
Newcomer Matty Bovan joins the Fashion East bill for SS17. York-born Matty launched his brand in 2016 after completing his Central Saint Martins knitwear MA in 2015. His twelve- look graduate collection opened the show exhibiting his cacophony of sculptural knits, textures and handmade adornments. The collection won Bovan both the L'Oreal Professionnel Creative Award and the LVMH Graduate Prize 2015. Following a stint at Louis Vuitton as junior designer, Matty has collaborated on illustration, make-up and styling projects with Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, LOVE Magazine, i-D and more.
Fresh from customising mannequins for the Miu Miu resort 2017 collection, and after a spell at Louis Vuitton as junior designer, Bovan presented a collection conceived in a shed behind his parents' house in York which serves as his studio. A DayGlo kaleidoscope of a collection, he served up glittering tendrils of crystal-studded ribbons and psychedelic, sculptural yarns that weaved around bodies alongside neon-edged vinyl skirts and rainbow-bright streetwear. It was Instagram-friendly fodder, not least because Hailey Baldwin was modelling, and the clothes, alongside Bovan's whimsically decorated Coach bags (donated by Stuart Vevers) received rapturous approval on social media.