In London, there’s a rare category of designers that is somewhere between emerging and established. While technically all of these designers are definitely still emerging, they’ve joined a group of talent which is noted by the industry, but not yet the public. From the city that spawned Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, and almost every other super buzz-worthy designer in the past few years, it’s worth taking a second look at the collections of these four remarkable womenswear designers whose names are floating around the city as the big ones to watch.
This Australian designer’s star has been steadily on the rise for the past two years but his debut in London placed him firmly on the map. His architectural silhouettes paired with the quality of his construction have industry members swooning. His work (above, left) is inherently sexy but in a very grown up, body conscious way. I would hazard a guess that major labels have their eyes on this one, even if he did allow Kanye West to design his latest collection's footwear.
Since her debut at Fashion East, Rocha has quickly garnered a loyal following. Her Perspex-heeled brogues were only the tip of the iceberg, though they provided a fantastic catapult for the rest of her collection, and now young women are flocking to her for simple, well cut separates (above, right) with just enough embellishment to keep you looking. Her pairing of textures and materials lifts her subtle palette to an extraordinary place.
J JS Lee
Korean-born Jackie Lee had good luck right from the start. After finishing her MA at Central St Martins, she was awarded the prestigious Harrods Award which saw her clean, minimalist designs in their windows. After which, she launched her label and her first post-school collection was awarded NEWGEN sponsorship. With accolades like these, it’s no surprise Lee is on everyone’s radar but her clean, androgynous looks (above, left) are already so sophisticated we can only wonder where she’ll go from here.
After winning Student of the Year and Best Collection upon graduation from Kingston University, Sophie Hulme set up her own label right away. She immediately garnered attention for her accessories but her ready-to-wear line, which features bold hardware and tailored shapes, has been catching up. This past fall she was named one of three winners of the BFC/ELLE Talent Launch Pad and her fall presentation, her first on schedule, showed exceptional outerwear (above, right) and cool, wearable separates.
Images: IMAXtree, Style.com, ELLEuk.com