In an uncertain climate, some of London's new names are taking the
now-or-never leap to the official runway, after several seasons of informal,
off-schedule shows. One such is Michelle Lowe-Holder, a Canadian designer
specializing in knitwear who made her way onto the London scene via the
prestigious fashion school Central Saint Martins.
With sponsorship from London's New Generation scheme, Lowe-Holder put on a show that signaled a change in direction since her last appearance. Her asymmetrical knitwear, in a bubbly sparkle-shot chenille, made for interestingly odd-shaped, almost free-form capes and sweaters. But she also made an effort to move away from London's underground rawness to something more grown-up and chic, with flowing divided skirts in jersey, high-waisted, pleated pants and, most successfully, a full-length hooded bathrobe dress in matte gray sequin.
The strain of moving from low-key presentations to the full glare of the catwalk seemed to have put the designer under pressure to perform in a different character, leaving even some of her followers wondering who the real Michelle Lowe-Holder might be.