1.Her Majesty The Queen made a surprise first ever visit to this month’s London Fashion Week to present the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to emerging fashion designer Richard Quinn. This new prize will be awarded annually to a talented new British fashion designer of womenswear, menswear, or accessories who also demonstrates value to the community and/or strong sustainable policies. Richard Quinn’s colorful English floral prints on puffer and biker jackets were standouts while a floral trenchcoat was sure to have appealed to Queen Elizabeth II.
2.Rising star Sadie Williams is a London-born designer who is quickly developing a reputation for creating innovative, textile-driven fashion. Strong prints, often with the addition of her signature use of metallic featured in her sporty new collection. Sadie was listed in Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for the Arts in 2016, alongside fellow Brits, Simone Rochaand Grace Wales Bonner. Following a hugely commercially successful capsule for Other Stories, Sadie launched her own label, which is now available internationally at stores including Machine-A, Boon the Shop in Seoul and Beams in Japan. This year Sadie will also be working on an art piece for The Royal Academy/Christies Auction House.
A.V. Robertson presents her first solo show at historic St Andrews in London. Video by andfotography.com
3. After debuting at London fashion week two years ago in a group show with Fashion East, Amie Victoria Robertson presented her first solo show at London Fashion Week this month at a Christopher Wren designed church in London. In a nod to her Scottish roots, Amie’s pieces included Prince of Wales check and a series of traditional plaids, including the designer’s family Tartan. This collection has a 1980s feel with pairings of clashing fabrics, metallic lamé panels, plaid, satin, sequins and silk organza. And I loved the designer’s hand-stitched Swarovski crystal floral embellishments adorning many of the garments. Before launching her own label, Amie worked for Marc Jacobs in Paris and New York developing embroideries and prints.
4. Oxford Fashion Studio’s showcase of emerging designers at Devonshire Square featured a standout collection by Puerto Rican native Nasheli Juliana. Nasheli’s striking pieces were inspired by Missouri activist nuns who support environmental initiatives in the US and overseas. A strong advocate of sustainable fashion, the designer’s fall/winter 2018 collection in black and white, is made of organic cotton twill. Alongside designing her own collection, Nasheli is also the Chair and Associate Professor in the Fashion Design Department at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia.
5.Underage Studio, a British brand established in London 2017 by Ying Shen, showed a new collection with a lot going on, both in materials used and concepts. Fusing youth culture movements from the 1970s to today, from the punk movement of the 1970s and the youth culture of the 1990s to today’s current popular culture, the strong, edgy collection featured spray painted Doc Marten style boots, metallics and bold screen prints of skulls.
6.Siberian designer Naya Rea worked with Russian artist Uldus Bakhtiozina (the first Russian TED speaker) to present a film showing Naya’s fall/winter 2018 collection. Presented at Pushkin House, the film featured brightly colored ruffled dresses with loose silhouettes, tailored trousers and trenchcoats in yellow and black check.
7. In the LFW showrooms, I spotted several new designers who are bound to do well. New brand Sykes has just launched with checked overcoats and a zebra patterned coat also caught my eye. With over 15 years’ experience designing for international fashion houses like Giorgio Armani, Cerruti, Alberta Ferretti, Aquascutum and Nicole Farhi, Jo Sykes’s own new label offers refined, tailored classics with a sporty slant.
8. Rocky Star’s Indian heritage and his designs for Bollywood movies was apparent in his fall/winter 2018 collection shown as part of Fashion Scout, known for promoting new designers. Intricate prints and satin and brocades in a color palette of soft nudes, red berry and plum, pay homage to the Nagara temples of Northern India. Lovely handcrafted embroidery and flowing silhouettes made for an etheral feel, especially as they were shown in the stunning Art Deco Freemasons’ Hall.
9. Toronto Fashion Incubator brought nine emerging Canadian designers to London Fashion Week, presenting their designs in a showcase at the Canadian High Commission in Trafalgar Square. TFI helps designers at the start of their careers with access to training, sales and marketing resources. Highlights included Hilary Macmillan’s cruelty-free designs using faux fur and faux leather.
10. Monoxide’s Toronto-based designer Tyler Ferguson uses brass plated rhodium, 18Kt gold and semi-precious stones in her handcrafted jewellery to create stylish items in short run collections.