12 posts tagged "NEWGEN"
Since its inception in 1993, the British Fashion Council’s NEWGEN has supported the best and brightest of London’s young designers, fostering their transitions from fledgling talents to global stars. Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Thomas Tait, and Simone Rocha are just some of its many success stories. Strangely, though, a designer has never sat on its prestigious judges panel, until today. The initiative announced that former NEWGEN-er Mary Katrantzou will join industry movers and shakers such as Sarah Mower, Kate Phelan, Yasmin Sewell, Ruth Chapman and more on the platform’s selection committee. Katrantzou, who launches her e-commerce site today, will step into her duties straight away and help choose the womenswear designers who will win sponsorship for the Fall ’14 season.
It has been a year of firsts for Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida. After being awarded NewGen sponsorship, the Central Saint Martins grads presented on the official London fashion week schedule for the first time during the Spring ’14 shows in September. And this week, the duo—best known for their raw and unexpected denim looks—made their inaugural trek to Los Angeles as part of the British Fashion Council’s traveling London Showrooms. In between press appointments and a trip to In-N-Out Burger, Marques and Almeida sourced inspiration from famed vintage emporium Wasteland—and they invited Style.com to tag along.
“Denim kind of found us,” Marques said of their now signature medium. “We were so obsessed with the early nineties, when it was like the code of dressing always had to involve a really nice worn-out pair of jeans or a jean jacket. We thought it was the foundation of cool.” The nineties is a decade that Marques and Almeida (who cut their teeth at Vivienne Westwood and Preen, respectively) reference often, explored through the lens of i-D and Kurt Cobain. “We started with the whole grunge movement and watching Nirvana documentaries. It was a lot more oversize, boy shapes,” Marques continued, later adding that they abandoned the era once “grunge became a trend.” Their latest reference is the noughties (i.e., the 2000s). “It was all about being sexy in a very obvious way,” she said.
The stop in Los Angeles was important for the designers, who produce their collection mostly in London. “Although we’ve never been here, we’ve always felt this weird connection,” Marques mused while browsing the store, which is just miles from some of the biggest denim factories in the world. But being based in London has its advantages. “We don’t have this preconceived idea of what jeanswear should look like. [In L.A.], we’d end up doing the five-pocket jean just because they have the machines to do it,” Almeida admitted. “We knew nothing about denim until we started, and we learned a lot through experimenting,” offered Marques. As Marques’Almeida stands poised to grow—and recent acclaim, as well as stockists like Opening Ceremony, seems to demand it—their future looks bright, and not just because of the SoCal sun.
London’s never-ending parade of young talent continues today, as NEWGEN announced the nine up-and-coming brands that will receive sponsorship for the Spring ’14 season. J. JS Lee, Brazilian-born knitwear maestro Lucas Nascimento (left), rising star Simone Rocha, design duo Marques’Almeida, and the clever trio behind Sister by Sibling will all receive catwalk funding, while Nasir Mazhar, Sophia Webster, and 1205 have earned presentation support, and Liam Fahy has won exhibition sponsorship. The designers will debut their Spring ’14 collections during London fashion week, which kicks off on September 13.
“It’s easy to go to extremes in fashion,” Palmer//Harding’s Matthew Harding told Style.com. This is especially true in London, where crazed creativity and over-the-top theatrics are to be expected. But, best known for their strict range of directional men’s and women’s shirts, Harding and his design partner, Levi Palmer, are proving that resisting the charms of London’s raucous avant-garde and favoring the middle ground needn’t be uninspiring. “For us, it’s about finding a balance between these two worlds—between what’s wearable and what’s interesting,” explained Harding.
Yesterday, Palmer and Harding, who were recently awarded a NEWGEN sponsorship, introduced their Spring ’14 menswear collection at London’s Hospital Club with a new fashion film. Directed by the designers and lensed by Boys by Girls editor in chief Cecilie Harris, the film, which makes its online debut above, sees its protagonist plunge, fully clothed, into a copper bathtub. According to Palmer, the shirts moving in water are representative of cleansing—a concept that’s integral to the pair’s design process. Stripped of all excess, Palmer//Harding’s latest menswear collection offers eleven shirts based off of the greatest hits from the last four seasons. There’s the trademark spiral pleating, the color-blocking, and Harding’s favorite—a crisp navy poplin with an overlay of crepe. If their womenswear is out to set the mood with its sweeping trains and voluminous tops, then surely menswear caters to craftsmanship. “London has a tendency to challenge menswear,” said Palmer. “Men don’t necessarily want to be challenged. Men want simplicity.”
London Collections: Men kicks off June 16, and while it might only be the platform’s third stint on the international scene, Spring ’14 marks Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East’s tenth Menswear Installations. The emerging-designer initiative’s latest lineup includes newcomer Liam Hodges, as well as alums Kit Neale (left), Joseph Turvey, and art director Tom Ryling. Also participating this time around is returning talent and MAN designer Craig Green, as well as Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida of Marques’Almeida, who, having already received NEWGEN support for their womenswear collection, will debut their first menswear range this season.