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August 2 2014

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23 posts tagged "The Next Big Thing"

The Next Big Thing: Sophia Webster

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But this season, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Sophia Webster

Label: Sophia Webster

Need to Know: A fine arts grad, footwear designer Sophia Webster has lately been studying the intricate prints hidden in nature, namely African butterfly wings. That research inspired her to spin out the notion in laser-cut leather on the back of a high sandal in candy colors, and to zoom in on patterns that are almost like leopard print. She turned these into silk prints, embroidered and sprinkled with Swarovski Crystals for extra sparkle. Other highlights include fun, cartoony footwear with messages like “Here Comes” and “The Hotstepper,” or “Queen” and “Bee.”

Webster has been on our radar since she started just three seasons ago, and now she’s already poised to go global: Pumps from her main line recently bowed on Net-a-Porter, plus she’s wrapping up her first capsule collaboration with J.Crew, which, comprising about sixteen styles of fun, colorful, printed shoes, is due in April. She’ll also soon be offering customers the chance to customize the messages on her towering, letter-block heels via her Web site.

She says: “I love to do a theatrical thigh-high boot for the runway,” Webster said of her laser-cut butterfly boots. “They take a while to get into, but it’s worth it!”

Where to Find It: Bergdorf Goodman, Kirna Zabête, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-a-Porter, www.sophiawebster.co.uk, and other select retailers.

Photos: Courtesy of Sophia Webster

The Next Big Thing: Nellie Partow, Spring ’14

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Nellie Partow

Label: Nellie Partow

Need to Know: Nellie Partow has been quietly building up her presence in the New York fashion sphere since debuting her namesake collection nearly four years ago. In that time, the designer has become known for her sharp yet feminine tailoring and intricate hand-knits. Every season, Partow sources luxe materials from European mills and produces everything from start to finish in New York’s Garment District. For Spring, she continued to develop her signatures, showing versatile pieces like perfectly cut satin trousers with notched slit details at the ankles, which highlighted a great pair of heels, as well as a densely crocheted cardigan jacket (which took artisans four weeks to weave) that had an armorlike quality about it. Another labor-intensive standout was a glossy tan car coat fabricated from strips of eelskin, which were plaited and stitched together. In addition to those specialty items, Partow had fun experimenting with bold pops of color and flashier fabrications in her own sophisticated way. A slouchy, pajama-esque set looked understatedly glam in a lightweight foiled jacquard, while a delicate pleated chiffon slipdress (with ultrathin straps that measured only one-eighth of an inch) was positively gorgeous in bold fuchsia.

She Says: “I was inspired by an old photo of my mother looking natural and beautiful in an off-the-shoulder sweater. At the end of the day, it’s always about addressing the needs of real women like her, and making clothes that will make them look and feel good. I always try to balance strength with femininity.”

Where to Find It: Saks Fifth Avenue nationwide and specialty boutiques. For more information, visit nelliepartow.com.

The Next Big Thing: Maiko Takeda, Spring ‘14

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Maiko Takeda, Spring '14

Label: Maiko Takeda

Need to know: Tokyo-born, London-based designer Maiko Takeda already has a leg up in the competitive young fashion racket: celebrity endorsement. Her biggest fan? None other than the sartorially scrutinized Björk, who noticed Takeda’s Royal College of Art graduation show (she matriculated just this past summer, with a focus on millinery) on a design blog and commissioned pieces for her 2013 Biophilia Tour. Not bad for a newbie. Following that coup, the British Fashion Council came knocking, asking Takeda to develop her spacey and aural headpieces into a full Spring ‘14 collection that the designer has dubbed Atmospheric Reentry. Hand-composed of thousands of printed-acetate wedges and acrylic disks, Takeda’s snoodlike caps are certainly statement makers, and they embrace the U.K.’s millinery heritage: She’s worked under such greats as Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy.

She says: “I wanted to create something like a cloud on the head. I saw this opera called Einstein on the Beach from 1976 at the Barbican. The whole mood and sound and imagery of it was very futuristic and minimal.”

Where to find it: Maiko Takeda online

Photos: Courtesy of Makio Takeda

The Next Big Thing: Luke Brooks, Spring ’14

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Luke Brooks

Label: Luke Brooks

Need to Know: Twenty-seven-year-old West Londoner Luke Brooks knows a thing or two about the danse macabre. After all, it was his stellar Central Saint Martins master’s graduate collection—a chewed-up and spit-out Candy Land dump yard of sorts, complete with eviscerated T-shirt dresses and an inherent call to warning, re: society’s abuse of consumerism—that won him the school’s top accolade for the Class of 2012. And for his first capsule collection outside of CSM, Brooks continued to plumb a deathly vein, jetting west to New England to render gravestone etchings on industrial-grade Tyvek (“They use the material a lot in hospitals,” he mentioned). On display in the British Fashion Council’s Ones to Watch installation at Somerset House, Brooks’ shapeless dresses featured rubbings off of tombstones from as far back as the 1800s and were all lifted from cemeteries in Maine. As for his decision to cross the Atlantic when England boasts plenty of perfectly stocked graveyards, Brooks said, “The icons,” pointing to an angel in particular, “you don’t see those here.”

He Says: “The etchings are just Crayola. We went to Walmart and went around nicking all the black crayons and putting them in one box.”

Where to Find It: Private orders only at this time.

Photos: Courtesy of Luke Brooks

The Next Big Thing: Helen Louise Lawrence, Spring ’14

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Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.

Helen Lawrence Spring '14

Label: Helen Louise Lawrence

Need to know: Only eighteen months out of Central Saint Martins’ M.A. fashion program, 26-year-old Helen Louise Lawrence has emerged as a multifaceted—if not prodigious—knitwear technician. Hailing from just outside northern England’s Newcastle, the designer spent a year assisting on-the-rise menswear star Craig Green (he shows under London’s MAN platform) before presenting her debut capsule collection this season with Fashion Scout. Here, Lawrence sought to bring a “bit more of a commercial angle” to her unconventional knits. That approach was gamely realized on a baby pink jumper replete with “scribble” embroideries on the sleeves. She also made use of PVC overlays and molecular patchwork—again, enlivened by her hand-drawn squiggle motif.

She Says: “Up close, the knits have layers and layers. Every piece is hand-dyed in my kitchen, and then it’s printed and embroidered. Oddly, they feel like rubber.”

Where to Find It: Visit the designer’s Web site to inquire about private orders.

Photos: Courtesy of Fashion Scout