It is often said that if you’re looking for the best and brightest young designers in the world, you look to London. But if you don’t have the time to scour the off-schedule for a lone bright star, just look east – towards Fashion East. By far one of the most highly anticipated shows this week, Fashion East is a non-profit project set up to nurture and support emerging British talent and its director, Lulu Kennedy, has a reputation for having a keen eye for talent. Past participants in Fashion East include Gareth Pugh, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, and Michael Van Der Ham, with the list going on to include most of London’s bright young things. This season’s three designers, Simone Rocha, Elliot Atkinson, and James Long, showed to a packed presentation at the Topshop sponsored venue.
First in the presentation was Long, who is already revered as an excellent menswear designer and men and women alike covet his looks. After overwhelming request, he made his womenswear debut with his ‘punk, mountain style’ collection. While the inspiration was hard to decipher, his knit dresses with shredded skirts and chiffon robes over leather trousers left us wanting more.
Next was Atkinson, the Cyprus-born Edinburgh-educated designer whose collection, like Long’s, was a medley of inspirations, but most prevalent were the notions of post-depression America with sharp, conservative tailoring, and colonization, with graphic tartans and native feather accents. Atkinson managed to capture a few of this season’s biggest trends but let’s hope he gets another chance to show next season as his collection could use some refining.
Lastly was Rocha, by far the most highly anticipated of the day. Last season, her sharp wit and unique perspective captivated viewers and the buzz around her next collection was palpable. Her surreal work demands your full attention as the backs of the looks rarely match the front, and hidden panels often reveal a contrasting texture. Beyond what was already a successful collection, the accessories, including a pair of Perspex heeled brogues, had the crowd buzzing from the moment they stepped out.
Photos from Style.com