Fashion Scout showcased its brightest talent on day one of London Fashion Week in what was as much a display of diversity as it was of creativity.
Four designers were selected by an industry panel, including fashion critics Tony Glenville and Hilary Alexander, stylist Rebekah Roy and the British Council’s Niamh Tuft, to take part in the seasonal Ones to Watch catwalk show at Freemasons’ Hall, Covent Garden.
They originally hail from as far afield as Bulgaria, Poland, Japan and Nigeria and are now being lauded by one of London’s most prestigious fashion incubators as the UK capital’s most exciting fashion talent. It sends exactly the message that British Fashion Council chiefs Dame Natalie Massenet and Caroline Rush CBE said they wanted for London Fashion Week in the post-Brexit vote and post-Trump election era, which is one of openness and inclusivity.
London College of Fashion graduate Joanna Berling used the show to “stretch the limits of aestheric acceptability” with a collection that referenced the sculpture of Belgian artist Berlinde de Bruckyere and aimed to juxtapose “saccharine girlishness with an undercurrent of grotesque darkness”.
Krasimira Stoyneva continued to make a compelling case for the wearing of synthetic hair, as opposed to fur (this should please those who have called for London Fashion Week to ban fur). While it was boundary-pushing, her statement coats were also highly desirable.
Menswear was represented by Nigerian designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal’s Orange Culture, which combines classic western silhouettes with African sensibilities; his brightly colored and sharply cut pieces won over the panel and earned him his place on the catwalk today.
Finally Ru Chen presented a collection that demonstrated her “sympathetic consideration” of the female form and which drew on her experience of contemporary performance art.
Fashion Scout founder Martyn Roberts said: “This season’s Ones to Watch truly demonstrates what the award was created to showcase. The diverse nature of cultures and styles exhibited by our winners this season has come together in the highlight of the Autumn/Winter Schedule.”
Over the years Fashion Scout has help propel the careers of names such as Iris Van Herpen, Peter Pilotto, Eudon Choi, David Koma, Felder Felder,Piers Atkinson, Agi & Sam, Helen Lawrence, Georgia Hardinge, Typical Freaks, Phoebe English, Roberts|Wood and more, so the above four Ones to Watch are in very good company indeed.