In its second year, the Fashion Fringe competition, organized by veteran Sunday Times journalist Colin McDowell, garnered some serious entries. From hundreds of applicants, four (who had to present business plans as well as samples and sketches to qualify) made it to the runway.
As the show began, it became immediately apparent that two collections would be slugging it out for the prize. Modernist, a new label by Andrew Jones and Abdul Koroma, had sophistication sewn into every seam of its all-blue, perfectly executed line, featuring powdery suede coats and jackets with pouchy pockets, a mean pair of pants, and a couple of drapey bubble skirts and dresses. Pretty impressive for a pair of newcomersthough not quite so astonishing once you know they met while working for MaxMara in Italy.
Erdem Moralioglu beat them, though. Showing lastalways a bit of a giveaway in these circumstancesthe Turkish-Canadian, who was educated at London's Royal College of Art, sent out a romantic collection of fan-pleated chiffon dresses and softly whimsical tailoring. Just guessing, but odds are it was the high-neck, sleeveless printed Edwardian dress, trailing a frilled lemon train that swung it for him.