London’s Young Guns Get The Beyoncé Boost
In the hierarchy of London fashion, there’s a whole stratum of designers who’ve been thrust up the totem pole recently by the competitive dressing stakes of the music world. Lady Gaga, Rihanna, and Beyoncé, God bless them, have set the pace in ever more extreme image production, and London’s become a happy hunting ground for stylists who want their women to appear unique—and to be the first with a new name.
David Koma, a designer from the Republic of Georgia, fresh out of Saint Martins last year, had Beyoncé and Cheryl Cole (Britain’s biggest tabloid darling as an X Factor—think American Idol—panelist and frock duelist with Dannii Minogue) fighting over a dress. Hannah Marshall, Jean-Pierre Braganza, and Felder Felder, who showed together on London fashion week’s opening day, are in the same sort of zone—in their case, underground, goth-y gone mainstream. It’s certainly broadening out the visibility of young London—even if fashion purists tend to look askance at too much celeb involvement. The litmus test, when it comes down to it, is who can produce something of more substance and quality than stuff that just looks good on stage or video, and fits the general trend. At this round, Koma’s zigzag geometrics in caramel leather and black wool (pictured) looked exceptionally made, and Jean-Pierre Braganza did well to break away from the short and tight into long and printed. Otherwise, someone please tell them the giant box shoulder is O-V-E-R.