Its that time of year again! Whilst most of us have packed away the delights of winter, are starting to browse the holiday brochures and dreaming of the day we can leave our coats at home, the fashionista’s of the world are ready and waiting to see what we indeed shall be wearing when the leaves turn orange again. In the countdown to London Fashion Week, we are bringing you the lowdown on the top five designers you should look out for.
1. Mark Fast
His decision to use size 14 models to showcase his bodycon creations last season caused an uproar in the headlines as it challenged the on-going obsession with size zero. But catwalk aside, Fast’s technique is the attraction in his work, with his holey knitting crossing the boundaries to that of hosiery, perfect for the cheeky exposure of our womanly curves that we should embrace. To say that I am excited is an understatement for what he has up his sleeve this time round, as he describes his Autumn/Winter 2010 collection to take essence of Dimitri Chiparus’ bronze sculptures infused with the colours of coral and exotic sea creatures yet combined with a sense of warmth.
2. Holly Fulton
Sharp silhouettes, graphic prints and embellishment are all key parts to the concoction of Holly Fulton’s eye-popping designs that she best describes as ‘art deco on crack’. Her creations make the modern woman look robotically and industrially masculine with their geometric nature. Jewellery takes a central theme throughout her work, creating a closer relationship between the garment and the accessory. Monochrome is key to her colour palette, whilst flashes of acid yellow, turquoise and orange set a swinging 60s feel. I am eager to see how Fulton’s work evolves from her signature architectural prints to a showcase of work influenced by ‘pythons, telephones and Louis Barillet’.
3. Hannah Marshall
Usually conceived as a garment that flatters femininity, the Little Black Dress has a darker, and slightly sinister side in the world of Hannah Marshall. Fascinated with body modification and the ways in which people mark, track and alter their identities, she juxtaposes architectonic structures with body-con forms to create androgynous garments. This will be her second season on schedule at Fashion Week and we hope to see more of her innovative tailoring to launch a nonconformist female phenomenon further around the globe.
4. Todd Lynn
Yet another designer inspired by the fearless woman, Todd Lynn’s androgynous tailoring promises to involve hints of the African warrior for his latest collection at Fashion Week. You may not be familiar with this designer, but you would more than likely have seen his creations on stage without knowing as he has been hiding behind the scenes creating clothes for some of the music industry’s elite. Now he’s the one taking the spotlight.
5. Sophie Hulme
Since graduating in 2007, Sophie Hulme has already been named as one of London’s brightest talents. She gives womenswear a new toughness by injecting masculine and military influences into luxurious feminine pieces. In fact, many garments from her previous collections have too been sold as menswear. With each item coming with a specific trinket for that season, they are designed to be special and kept.
As the first of the decade, London Fashion Week is evolving womenswear into something exciting and new. With staple, comfortable items in our wardrobe, our investments in trends will go a long way. This decade is about the powerful woman, the fearless woman, the woman who likes to take risks. No longer are women to be subjected to the rules of thumb within the fashion industry. We have choice, we have freedom, and we certainly don’t need to aspire to be size zero anymore!
By Gina Mollett