Fashion East hosts London’s hottest new designers

It is notoriously the catwalk with the most creativity.

Fashion East, the London based talent incubator for young designers founded by Lulu Kennedy in 2000, once again hosted three independent labels for SS23, and each packed a punch.

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For Standing Ground’s debut, guests – which counted supermodel Jourdan Dunn and presenter Miquita Oliver – were welcomed by string of frozen models, draped in block coloured column dresses with a twist.

The label, founded by Michael Stewart this year, is based on subtle silhouettes. Intricate folding of jersey made for snaking rolls which hugged the body. “I want to offer something different from what we usually see from evening wear,” he told us afterwards.

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“It’s a study in jersey, and I wanted to treat it in different ways,” he said of the garments which take inspiration from ancient landscapes and artefacts. “There’s different motifs throughout. Embellishment, there’s beading. Lots of tailoring techniques.” Overall, it made for an restrained but enticing beginning.

Upstairs, and the sun was beating through the glass roof of the Mills Fabrica building in King Cross as Karoline Vitto’s first, slinky clad model stepped out. “It felt very emotional – to see everyone together,” she said of her London Fashion Week debut.

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“I like to say we accentuate the curves and celebrates the folds,” she continued, and her body positive array of cut out dresses looped with silver wire were the testament. “The clothes are all about embracing sensuality – but keeping it natural,” she said, of dresses which struck one note but did so with confidence.

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The loudest cheers came for Jawara Alleyne. The show was his third and final Fashion East moment, and delivered his signature in style: mixing his Caribbean heritage with artful draping and a DIY edge.

Shredded t-shirts made for free flowing, fringed dresses while the boys came in safety pin trimmed, sleeveless suit jackets and upcycled, block panelled denim.

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“Everything is about drape work,” says the Rihanna-approved Alleyne (he dressed her as a spliff in Dazed magazine, which promptly went viral last year). “We also have a lot of chiffon this time, for a sense of eeriness in the collection as well.”

It was strong and encouraging step for the young designer who now heads into the industry solo. “I am excited for the future and potential of now,” he said. “For me Fashion East is about unravelling the narrative and the storytelling. I think I’ve manged to show that, and now I looking forward to continue to do it.”

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