5 Emerging Talents from London Fashion Week AW18

March 22, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Emerging talent has long been regarded as the backbone of London Fashion
Week, out of all the fashion week’s London seems the most ready to
celebrate and champion new talent, and the autumn/winter 2018 showcase was
no exception, with five incredible new designers shining through on a very
busy fashion week schedule. FashionUnited has long been a supporter of
emerging talent, and these are the five hot designers we think will be one
day be household names.

Xu Zhi

One of the hottest tickets at this London Fashion Week was for Central
St Martins graduate Xuzhi Chen and his label Xu Zhi. The designer, who
graduate with a BA degree in womenswear, has already received recognition
within the industry since launch his own label in 2014, including being
nominated for the LVMH Prize, International Woolmark Prize, and H&M Design

The Chinese-born designer splits his time between London and Shanghai
and for autumn/winter 2018 Chen looked to Jane Morris, wife of the textile
designer William Morris and the lover of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who is one
of the most recognised faces in art history for her famous pout, as well as
the relationship between artist, muse and now, designer, which he states in
the show notes as so important in the era of #TimesUp.

The collection is filled with painting references, with the ankle length
skirts and coats featuring a waxy finish, which mimics the sheen of oil
paintings, while Chen’s yarn-braiding technique has been developed to make
the fabric appear to have a brush stroke effect, and the deconstruction
effects to the tailoring adds a textural element when paired with wide-leg
trousers and pleated skirts.

Images: by Danielle Wightman-Stone

Claire Tagg

Using London Fashion Week to launch her eponymous label, recent graduate
Claire Tagg brought an energy and glamour to proceedings at Fashion Scout’s
Freemasons Hall for her debut collection inspired by her travels as an air
hostess, combining glamour and destructed textures to create a dramatic yet
opulent range.

A graduate of University of Creative Arts, Rochester, Tagg was awarded
the New Designers Hainsworth Statement Award, as well as being named the
runner-up in the prestigious womenswear award at Graduate Fashion Week, and
her debut collection showed Tagg’s signature layered aesthetic using
digital printing to create rich textures of ripped paper alongside a cherry
blossom print and elaborate embellishments, which were all placed by hand.

Inspired by formal airline uniforms, the AW18 collection features
structured jackets and blazer style dresses that are juxtaposed with
oversized full skirts and ballgowns constructed in luxurious Duchess Satin
that really creates a sophisticated and elegant debut collection.
Accessories also play a strong part in the brand with colourful beaded
jewellery alongside fabric belts with plane seat belt fastenings.

Prices for her debut range starts from 500 pounds for separates to 1,600
for hand embellished ballgowns.

Images: by Danielle Wightman-Stone

Kristel Kuslapuu

Named as one of Fashion Scout’s autumn/winter 2018’s Ones to Watch,
Estonian knitwear designer Kristel Kuslapuu decided to host a presentation
over the traditional catwalk showcase to highlight her fun and playful
collection inspired by dark secrets, phobias, social anxieties and traumas.

The pieces themselves, talk about serious and inconvenient subjects
through highest levels of self-irony, as most of the bold, colourful
designs are hand knitted as a protest against fast fashion. Kuslapuu has
also added a twist by portraying serious topics with cute and fuzzy
materials, such as yarns from alpaca, camel, goat and sheep.

Flirting with sculptural forms, bold colours, unique patterns, the
collection shares provocative messages and symbols, transcending
traditional gender conformity.

On winning a Ones To Watch award, Kuslapuu said: “For me winning was a
reassurance that I am at the right place doing the right thing. The
excitement of fulfilling one of your dreams is indescribable.

“I really do feel like I have found something that I am meant to do.
Whilst years are passing I feel more and more obliged to give back to
mother earth and having this opportunity to share my art with the world is
as given from above. I feel very grateful.”

Images: courtesy of Fashion Scout

Amy Thomson

Emerging designer Amy Thomson poses the question what does a princess,
baker and a hairdresser look like from a child’s perspective with her
playful autumn/winter 2018 collection ‘Chasin’ Dreams’.

With the models standing amongst floating clouds, the eight oversized
pink outfits really brought the idea of focusing on your dreams and each
showcasing the profession as seen by a child, with a little help from
Thomson’s larger-than-life hand-rendered drawings that produced charming
prints, motifs and illustrations to form the narrative of the collection,
ensuring that no two garments are the same.

Thomson also collaborated with headwear designer Katie Hamlett from
Sassy Freak that included a range of tiaras featuring iconic childhood toys
including Barbie heads, My Little Pony and brightly coloured trolls. Other
accessories included printed scarves, motif tights and embellished

Commenting on the collection, Thomson said: “Telling a narrative and
connecting with an audience is very important to myself as a designer.
Chasin’ Dreams is based on real muses, real stories and my own and there is
no story truer than the one you are living.”

Images: by Danielle Wightman-Stone

Cassey Gan

A graduate from London College of Fashion, Malaysian-born Cassey Gan
impressed with her autumn/winter 2018 collection inspired by Maria
Svarbova’s ‘Swimming Pool’ series of photographs, filled with a print heavy
collection of wearable separates with oversized detailing, cutouts, and
flaps with interesting shapes inspired by objects in Maria’s work.

“When I first saw Maria Svarbova’s work, I thought they were paintings.
But in actual fact they were photos of real people and real sets. Although
the colours in her photos are cheerful and bright, the overall mood is
rather somber, lonely and somewhat silently eerie,” explains Cassey Gan on
the inspiration behind her autumn/winter 2018 collection. “The subjects she
photographed are robotic featuring repetitive poses. I am very much
intrigued by the tension between the real and the fake; with is so strongly
portrayed in her work.”

The ‘Picture Perfect’ collection sees pieces layered over one another,
while showcasing print and colour clashes, as Gan aims to challenge beauty
standards and explored the idea that we create fictional versions of
ourselves due to the pressures of social media. As well as the prints
taking centrestage, the accessories are a highlight with tote bags
featuring the print clashes teamed with round handles and coordinated
stripe straps.

Images: by Danielle Wightman-Stone