After visiting Graduate Fashion Week in London last week I realised the extent of the young design talent we have in the UK; some of the things recent graduates are doing are easily as good as their more experienced counterparts. I decided to do some research on the hottest up and coming talent. I realised that if you are into designer pieces, buying from a new designer means a potential saving if they are just starting out, and also the ability to have unique pieces from designers who may become famous, therefore turning your purchase into an investment piece! (I just wish I’d got my hands on a piece of McQueen when he started). Anyway, here are a few of my new favourite young designers. Please comment if you can recommend any others!!
I fell in love with Kirsty Ward’s intricate and quirky jewellery a few months back. It’s very of the moment and looks great on catwalks. After graduating from Central St Martins in 2008 (MA Womenswear) she was discovered by Alberti Ferretti and went to learn her craft in Italy. After finding her niche, she launched her own label in 2010. Her unconventional pieces include elements of womenswear (fabrics such as silk) combined with more traditional jewellery based techniques. She has been named as a designer to watch by Vogue and Elle.
J W Anderson
You may have heard of JW after he won a British Fashion Award in 2012 for Emerging Talent in the Ready to Wear category. He studied menswear at the London College of Fashion after becoming enamoured with stage costume studying drama. He debuted at London Fashion Week in 2008 and launched a capsule collection in 2010. He has shown at LFW since 2011. He now designs both womenswear and menswear and manages to combine both masculinity and femininity in his pieces.
Blurring the lines between fashion and art, London based Simeon’s pieces are perfect for fun loving, colourful types. He trained in Fine Art and is also a painter; he constantly explores the themes in his previous artwork in his designs. Each piece is unique as it is hand finished or hand dyed often prints are washed before they dry which leads to the individuality often sought by his customers. He gained widespread recognition with his illustrated “Kate Mouse” T-shirt, and more recently with the “Queen Delevigne” version.
I’m obsessed with prints and that explains why I adore Partimi. Founded by Eleanor Dorrien-Smith (who graduated from Central St Martins in 2008 with a BA in Fashion and Print) she honed her skills at Mary Katrantzou and John Galliano before starting her own label. The name stems from the architectural term ‘parmi’ meaning the conceptual starting point of a design project. Her designs are striking and evocative, and it’s like wearing art.
The anarchist in you will identify with Kelly Shaw’s work. Storming in on the current logo trend, Shaw designs clothes to make you feel empowered and up for the fight. She is influenced by such diverse things as Grayson Perry, the London Riots and George Orwell, and is fascinated by “sassiness and mischief, sweetness and subversion.”
All of the above designers are selling pieces on the Young British Designers website (many are in sale) – youngbritishdesigners.com
Please support our amazing British designers!!!!!!!!!!