23 posts tagged "British Fashion Council"
Some of fashion’s greatest talents have been NewGen winners, from Alexander McQueen to J.W. Anderson to Christopher Kane. Today, the British Fashion Council announced its next crop of rising stars who will receive support from NewGen and Topshop to show their Spring ’15 collections at London fashion week. Who will be the next Mary Katrantzou or Nicholas Kirkwood? According to the NewGen committee, it’s Lucas Nascimento, 1205, Marques’Almeida (Fall 2014 collection, pictured, left), Ashley Williams, Danielle Romeril, Faustine Steinmetz, Ryan Lo, and Claire Borrow. (Many of them are making their return to NewGen, but Williams and Steinmetz are first-timers.)
As part of the program, each of them will present on the LFW schedule (September 12-16), and they’ll have their own showroom for four hours after their show for sales appointments with buyers.
NewGen is the BFC’s primary outlet for supporting the best of London’s up-and-coming designers. Chaired by Sarah Mower, the NewGen committee selects designers they believe have the creativity, design aesthetic, and point of difference to handle NewGen’s program. The BFC also gives each designer individualized support and access to business seminars to help them build their global brands.
This morning, NEWGEN, the British Fashion Council’s Topshop-sponsored emerging talent scheme, announced the seven new talents who will receive sponsorship to present their Fall ’14 collections during London fashion week in February. Fledgling designers and brands including 1205, Marques’Almeida, Lucas Nascimento and Simone Rocha (left) will receive support for their runway shows while designer Ryan Lo, a Fashion East alum, will receive funding for a presentation. Meanwhile, Claire Barrow (another Fashion East grad) and Danielle Romeril will house their new collections in an exhibition space. The NEWGEN committee, chaired by journalist Sarah Mower, MBE, selects designers based on their creative strengths and distinct points of view. Past awardees have included Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Jonathan Saunders, and J.W. Anderson.
At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana held a press conference at which attendance had been all but mandated weeks in advance. The early, un-Italian hour was no doubt meant to indicate the seriousness of the occasion, as was a lineup of speakers that included Patrizio Bertelli, Diego Della Valle, and Gildo Zegna, all of whom have joined the organization’s new board. Essentially, these captains of one of Italy’s most important and cherished industries have banded together to reinvigorate Milan’s increasingly hidebound fashion weeks. “I’ve heard the word boring,” Zegna acknowledged, though he insisted that wasn’t the case. The speeches were heavy on sweeping statements and light on concrete details, which provoked the assembly of sleep-deprived journalists into a volley of probing questions. Bertelli had earlier compared his fellow board members to “senators of fashion,” and he might have been thinking, Et tu, Suzy? as the International New York Times‘ Suzy Menkes led a round of interrogation into everything from Milan’s inhospitality to young designers to its perceived shortcomings on the digital front. Bertelli is no pushover, and he gave as good as he got. When a French journalist asked why we were only hearing from old men (Angela Missoni was a mostly silent presence on the board today), the Prada CEO told him he’d be a dangerous old man himself if he didn’t change his attitude, and then unexpectedly pointed out that Italy was the first country to abolish slavery, in the 1300s. By the end, one attendee was muttering, “Business as usual,” but if the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then today’s announcement should be welcomed as a positive development. Certainly there is enough firepower and entrepreneurial know-how on this new board to solve world peace, let alone bring new energy to a fashion week. Zegna stressed that the process would be a dialogue and said suggestions would be encouraged. In that spirit, here are seven modest proposals for improving Milan fashion week.
1. Lure young, international designers to Milan.
Menkes wondered how Milan would be replacing Burberry and Alexander McQueen, two brands that have recently decamped back to their native London. But the city’s relatively uncrowded schedule could be one of its biggest assets. Given how ridiculously packed the New York and, increasingly, London and Paris schedules have become, you would think any number of hot young brands could be persuaded to believe that they’d have a better chance of standing out in Milan. If access to Italy’s unparalleled production expertise were thrown in as part of the deal, who could resist?
2. Take the show on the road.
The British Fashion Council and, to some extent, the U.S.-based CFDA have done a good job of promoting their designers abroad. As part of the London Showrooms events, a dozen young U.K. talents have even careened around Hong Kong together on a bus. While there are barely enough young Milan-based designers to fill a Smart car let alone a minibus, and its more established designers are already well known internationally, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with the right kind of touring exhibition. Picture a mix of up-and-comers such as Umit Benan, Andrea Pompilio, and Fausto Puglisi; some cult brands like MP Massimo Piombo and Aspesi; and a couple of designer offshoots like Versace’s Versus line and Lapo Elkann’s highly covetable new made-to-measure collaboration with Gucci—all introduced by a charming, high-profile figure (yes, we’re talking to you, Lapo). That would go some way to showing the rest of the world the extent of Italy’s ambitions. Continue Reading “Seven Suggestions For Improving Milan Fashion Week” »
Today, the British Fashion Council announced the awardees of its Spring ’14 menswear Fashion Forward initiative—a year-old incubator fund that seasonally recognizes and supports all-star U.K. talent. Two new labels—Christopher Raeburn and Sibling—will join previous winner Lou Dalton. Raeburn is heralded for his tech-y outerwear, which strives to blend innovation, sustainability, and practicality. Sibling (left), on the other hand, embraces a grit-meets-glam East End aesthetic; designers Sid Bryan, Joe Bates, and Cozette McCreery have been known to send out boys in pompom masks and lots of leopard. All three winners will show during the third installment of London Collections: Men, which kicks off on June 16.
“I like a lot of embellishment and I like a lot of print,” said Holly Fulton. She might have been speaking for all her fellow English designers at the London Showrooms, the traveling, British Fashion Council-sponsored showcase which arrived in New York this week, following a stint in L.A. It’s almost a cliché that London designers trend bright and buzzy, but it’s become something of a calling card for the young talents nurtured by the BFC. To tweak the old saw, go big or stay home.
Fulton served up her groupie-inspired Fall collection, which featured lava-rock embellishments, hand-drawn prints, and a rather impressive dress constructed entirely of feathers. Others, like Simone Rocha (above), who’s currently selling stateside in Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony, offered less print but more color. Her key pieces were voluminous waffle-knitted neoprene looks in what she laughingly referred to as “Pepto pink.” Thomas Tait also played on unexpected fusion of spongy, bonded leather and quilted nylon in Day-Glo oranges and lime greens. “I feel like I’ve been shouting,” said Tait, whose line is also carried at Jeffrey. “I’ll be doing something mellower next season.”
Meanwhile, Fyodor Golan, designed by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, balanced elegant, elaborately embellished print dresses with more playful leather pieces embossed with smiley faces. Turns out Smiley—the company that owns the rights to the icon—approached the duo for a collaboration, and they jumped at the chance to create, as Frydman put it, a “sexual smiley.” Another duo, Teatum Jones (that is to say, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones) showed bright, seemingly tie-dyed dresses in perforated bonded jersey, as well as a few particularly interesting coats in latex-coated alpaca wool. Yet a third duo, Palmer//Harding, also in attendance, used a similarly clever technique on their wools to make them look like leather.
Men’s designers were on display, too, and they came with news to share. James Long whispered that half the designers showing on the Paris calendar had called to personal-order his sweater knitted with a giant picture of Divine. Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of Agi & Sam had news of an offbeat football (read: soccer) and owl-inspired capsule collection they’ll launch at Topman next month. And jeweler Dominic Jones revealed he’ll show his first-ever men’s collection during June’s London Collections: Men. In the meantime, he was showing his mainline collection as well as his recently-launched lower priced range, DJ by Dominic Jones. “I wanted to make something that all my friends could afford,” he said when asked about the gold-plated and bright enamel collection of baubles, which average about $100 apiece.