In the past few seasons, the British Fashion Council has really done well to build LFW up to NYFW's level. The designers are bigger, the shows are better, and the overall production of the week is seamless. The one problem with LFW's success is that the young designers that put London on the map have become collateral damage. Topshop and the BFC do well to include the emerging designers who are already making waves but there are few individuals who do more for emerging designers than fashion fairy godmother, Lulu Kennedy. This season, the presentation for Fashion East, which features three up-and-coming designers, took a different turn. Instead of showing back to back, as has been done for the past few seasons, Claire Barrow and Ryan Lo chose a presentation format that preceded Maarten Van Der Horst's catwalk show.
With Barrow, it was all about nouveau punk with wearable pieces with not-so-subtle punk rock references. In her fashion week debut, the designer built on the significant buzz that she garnered from her impressive graduate collection. The looks worked retro shapes alongside rock references for a quintessentially London showing. Adjacent to her presentation was Ryan Lo whose collection could not have been more different. It's almost difficult to describe Lo's saccharine collection where every splash of pink was met by a burst of glitter and the models looked like they were attending an event that was a cross between an east London fashion party and a small town junior prom.
Last but not least was current fashion darling, Maarten van der Horst, who is riding the wave of a successful Topshop collaboration. Luckily, he left his Hawaiian prints behind and moved forward to a more urban and print clashing environment. With a great mixture of statement making looks ripe for the editorial pages and wearable pieces for the modern woman, van der Horst proved he's not a one trick pony with this showing and perhaps next season he'll break out and show on his own.