When it comes to fashion, London is a city that embraces the visionary and the eccentric. Although heritage brands like Burberry and Pringle of Scotland draw in editors and celebrities, it’s the fresh infusion of new talent that truly gives the ON and OFF schedule line-up that special buzz. The spring/summer ‘12 shows at London Fashion Week are no exception, introducing a batch of up-and-comers that reaffirms the city’s status as an incubator of innovation. Here’s our short list of the ones to watch this season.
Sister by Sibling
Launching this s/s ’12 at London Fashion Week, SISTER by SIBLING is the companion womenswear range to men’s knitwear label SIBLING. Designers Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery have developed a cult following with their creative knitwear designs, which integrate a strong fashion aesthetic with a side dish of British humor. This season, the collaboration-inclined trio have teamed up with Japanese illustration artist Yuko Kondo to transform imaginative animations into captivating designs like a twisted Tattoo/Skeleton Carousel and a Dachshund Hot Dog logo. SISTER by SIBLING’s new collection looks toward Britain’s oceanside and piers, boardwalk funfairs and the fit boys that spin the ever-popular Waltzer ride for inspiration.
Now in his second year, Australian designer Jordan Askill has received consistent accolades for his highly conceptual jewelry collection. Though he’s now known for detailed pieces (a galloping horse cuff, for instance), his roots are actually in clothing design. After honing his ready-to-wear skills at Ksubi in Sydney, followed by a three-year stint at Dior Homme in Paris, Askill made the successful transition into jewelry with the launch of his label in 2011. His hotly anticipated s/s ‘12 presentation will likely include short films and video installation collaborations alongside his sculptural creations.
No stranger on these pages, Central St Martins alum Saloni Lodha ran pop-up shops in Hong Kong, where she sold artistic collaborative collections, before embarking on her design career. Inspired by London’s innovative spirit, the India-born designer will make her second LFW appearance this season as the winner of the British Fashion Council / Elle Launch Pad. French romanticism is the muse behind her eponymous label, and its feminine silhouettes, handcrafted prints and draped fabrics are a hit with fans like Poppy Delevigne, Cory Kennedy and Charlotte Dellal. For her s/s ’12 presentation, however, things will head east as she unveils designs inspired by Japonisme and ‘30s Shanghai.
Fellow Central Saint Martins grad Claudia Catzeflis received both her BA and MA from the prestigious design institution before striking out on her own. With a professed love of iconic fashion houses like Chanel and YSL, Catzeflis is intent on creating a lasting statement rather than a fleeting trend. Her unique eye is evident down to the hand-worked textiles and considered details of her clothes, all of which speak to an appreciation of quality and distinctiveness. For her debut collection this s/s ’12, she channels everythng from ’70s resort glamour to Madame Grès.
With a resume that includes Moschino, Roberto Cavalli, Christian Dior Haute Couture as well as roles as the former Head of Studio at John Galliano and, more recently, Vice President of Design for Diane von Furstenberg, Spanish designer Elisa Palomino is a veteran of the fashion industry. Boasting an MA from Central St Martins, Palomino presented her first collection during New York Fashion Week autumn/winter ‘10, which was purchased in its entirety by Dolce & Gabbana. For her London Fashion Week debut collection, dubbed “A Fairy Dance,” Palomino has taken inspiration from the nymph-obsessed paintings of the Victorian era and will feature structured black Victorian shapes, taffetas mixed with leathers and opulent headdresses described as “an explosion of birds and butterflies all in pre-Raphaelite metalwork.”