emerging designers

The global hub of creativity and business, London attracts emerging fashion talents from all around the world. Amidst cutthroat competition this year, Fashion Scout shortlisted a group of up-and-coming designers to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2015 collections at Freemasons’ Hall, Covent Garden. Here are five talented international designers to watch:

SHAANXI, CHINA

A graduate from Central Saint Martins, Minnan Hui studied fashion and textile design. A designer who embraces the concept of ‘3-D’ whole-heartedly, Hui is known for her voluminous works of art that strike the perfect balance between fashion and modern architecture. With this philosophy in mind, her graduate collection at CSM featured voluminous details, from flamenco-inspired dresses, to three-dimensional headpieces.

The Business of Fashion (BoF) shortlisted Hui’s graduate show at CSM as one of the top six in the BA Fashion Show. With past stints at John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Mary Katrantzou and Como Italy, her wealth of experience translates into her current work. Her collection has thus been shown in Indigo Paris, Italy and London.

Citing her signature style, Hui emphasises “triangle shapes”, “layering”, and the “two-dimension cut” for the ultimate 3-D combination.

An interesting and distinctive AW15 collection, the designer’s catwalk show at Freemasons’ Hall boasts an expert amalgamation of contrasting colours, patterns and fabrics. With the 3-D aesthetic in mind, Minnan makes a splash with bold colours, with metallic injections in between. For a collection targeting the Autumn/Winter season, Hui revolutionises the colour palette as well as the geometrical silhouettes. Layered fabrics and patterns uphold her 3-D vision and the effect is a beautiful explosion of origami on the runway.

SOUTH KOREA

Hailing from South Korea, Minju Kim is the winner of the H&M Design Award 2013. Drawing on global influences, her designs unite exaggerated peplum silhouettes, heightened curves and dramatic shapes. Having graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Kim’s collections are currently stocked at Opening Ceremony stores in major fashion capitals: London, New York and Los Angeles. Impressively, she has also been shortlisted for the LVMH prize. In a unique collaboration, Kim merged fantasy and reality alongside Disney: by reinventing the fashion aesthetic of classic character Minnie Mouse.

Labelled by Fashion Scout as one of  the“Ones to Watch” designers, Kim’s AW15 collection is a refreshing bout of bright pastel colours and feminine silhouettes. True to her aesthetic identity, Kim’s collection was upbeat and fun, in line with the music in the background. Models bounced down the runway donning a a wide array of patterns and textures. Perhaps hinting at her collaboration with Disney, this designer introduced a fresh take for AW15 with pops of colour and whimsical cut-outs. Who knew Disney on the runway could be so chic?

SHANGHAI

Raised in Shanghai, Judy Wu graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2009. Having launched her eponymous label in 2013, her debut collection received international acclaim. Inspire by the balance between womenswear as a work of art and modern wearability Judy Wu’s signature style welcomes “intricate modern beading, bold prints and sharp tailoring.” As such, her target wearer is “a confident, courageous woman who is expressive in her art form”. 

Judy Wu’s AW15 collection showcases her skills and creative talent, as clashes of colours meld together to form a beautiful line of clothing. Influenced by the past and present of Shanghai (think Romanticism meets modernity), the designer’s home city was her source of inspiration. This is perhaps most evident in the collection’s geometrical prints and shapes that evoke the Shanghai skyline.

Wonderfully forward-looking, this collection somehow gives us a glimpse of the future of fashion as Judy unveils her fearless vision aesthetically.

TURKEY

Combining style and elegance, Zeynap Kartal’s signature aesthetic stems from Hollywood glamour and sophistication. A go-to designer for the red-carpet, Kartal’s collections can be found worldwide. Known for creating a beautiful sense of femininity with a wide array of natural fabrics, Kartal’s clothing is admired by celebrities as well as major fashion publications. Female empowerment and ladylike elegance is at the forefront of the brand.

A classic yet modern showcase of dresses at Fashion Scout highlighted Kartal’s creative direction and her aesthetic intuition, as pretty, shimmery dresses in a simple, monochrome palette were the highlight of her collection. A wonderful blend between Turkish traditional dress and Western Hollywood glamour, Kartal’s collection evokes a sophisticated sense of elegance. Perhaps besides Posen and de la Renta, Hollywood celebrities can now look to Kartal for the next outstanding look.

SINGAPORE

Having also graduated from Central Saint Martins, Ashley Isham is a Singaporean designer currently based in London. His debut collection was launched in November 2000 to wide acclaim and he is a Fashion Scout veteran.

Distinguished by his “signature draping and razor cut tailoring, a distinctive blend of high-octane glamour and contemporary chic,” Isham’s label is unique and globally recognised. One to embrace modern elegance, Ashley Isham was named the Official Designer at the 2004 BAFTAs and has a series of admirably high-profile clientele. Fans include Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch, Kylie Minogue, Cheryl Cole and Lady Gaga.

With dramatic headpieces draped over his models, Isham’s AW15 collection is dramatic, stylish, glamorous and highly sophisticated. With fringes at the forefront, as well as luxurious fabrics and floor-length gowns that are skilfully created with beautiful embellishments and subtle yet significant details, Isham’s AW15 collection is sure to increase his already growing fanbase.

Words by Kristina Teow Minju Kim and Judy Wu photos by Kris Mitchell

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