It seems like London is particularly dizzy with excitement this season. Big names like Burberry Prorsum, Pringle, Jonathan Saunders, Matthew Williamson and Alice Temperley have made a comeback to the city. But beyond the presence of big shot brands and powerful fashion tastemakers, London is still a breeding ground for emerging design stars. With that in mind, JC Report has selected a few ascending names that we’re putting our bets on.
With an MA from Central Saint Martins and an extensive resume working for the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Max Mara, Christian Blanken is not your average fashion star. Already known in fashion circles, he recently decided to revive his namesake brand with a distinctly more mature approach. Clean, sharp and precise, the brand is the perfect assemble of sportswear and luxe. Exuding urban glamour, the masculine silhouette is softened up by fluid fabrics like satin and silk. The spring/summer ’11 collection was snapped up by Dolce & Gabbana to be featured at their new concept store, Spiga2, which will spotlight new designers. At London Fashion Week, Blanken showed a functional, modern yet deeply feminine and sensuous collection. The mix of shirts, tuxedo separates and silk organza is rich and stunningly timeless.
After graduating from the Royal College of Arts MA, Matthew Miller has been making a mark in menswear by working the perfect balance between traditional and high tech. Pushing the boundaries between tailoring and urban aesthetics, Miller, who is only on his third collection, breathes fresh air into the modern gentleman’s wardrobe as well as the notion of contemporary male dressing. With his latest collection picked by Selfridges and a nod from Vogue as a designer to watch, it will only be a matter of time before Miller’s passion conquers the world.
Already featured in high fashion magazines such as Vogue UK, Harpers Bazaar Japan, I-D and Dazed and Confused, it would be possible to mistake J JS Lee for an industry veteran. Freshly out of a MA in womenswear at Central Saint Martins, Lee is only on her third collection but has already managed to establish a place at the ultimate luxurious department store, Harrod’s. Showing for the first time on the official schedule, Lee wowed a room full of buyers and editors by showcasing simplicity at its very best. Inspired by the Russian constructivism, she brought to life a group of sleek separates lined with neoprene, which gave the shape a strong but delicate shape. With her simple tailored pieces, minimalist chic approach and understated femininity, Lee is giving womenswear a new spin.
Minimal yet highly architectural, Tze Goh‘s singular aesthetic is the perfect expression of subtle luxury. Technically daring, his autumn/winter ’10 Central Saint Martins MA collection was presented in pure white because he wanted all attention on his structural silhouettes. For autumn/winter ’11, he bagged himself a place at Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s “Ones to Watch” show by presenting three-dimensional pieces of outstanding beauty. Always pushing the boundaries of tailoring, his collections are conceptual but always carry a surprising hint of romance. Luxurious yet discreet, Goh’s vision of glamour fits perfectly with the new wave of restrained elegance.