As Victoria Beckham prepares for her first show at London Fashion Week, following her tenure in New York, there is an amplified buzz in the capital. While shifts at large fashion houses mark monumental change in London – Burberry’s new era under Riccardo Tisci being one such example – it’s always the up-and-comers that we’re the most excited about.
Emerging Irish designer Richard Malone is a bit of a sartorial rebel. Subverting traditional cuts and the placements of lines, his pieces form remarkable shapes in jarring colours. From custom pieces for private clients who spotted his designs in Dublin’s Brown Thomas department store to avant-garde surprises, sculptural showpieces are spectacles to behold. His collections are sustainably sourced and often machine washable – all are cleverly designed to spring into shape after hours spent in a suitcase. In short, he’s the kind of designer we can get on board with.
With a flair for the dramatic (and the floral) Richard Quinn’s designs are unwaveringly bold, brash and beautiful. Few could forget the front row first at his February 2018 show which drew the attention of Her Majesty The Queen to the Strand. When the Queen makes her fashion week debut at your inaugural show, you can guarantee that the ticket request list is going to be on another level this season. Combining handcraft with a refined high-fashion sensibility, Quinn’s powerful prints and silk head scarves have been given the royal seal of approval (it goes without saying that Liberty is a big fan too).
This year the British Fashion Council have awarded Nabil Nayal funding and mentoring via the charitable initiative BFC Fashion Trust – a notable vote of confidence for the Syrian-born designer. Nabil moved to England at the age of 14 and has been categorically obsessed with Elizabethan craftsmanship ever since. Nayal’s use of pleats, dramatic construction and powerful silhouettes are indicators of that regal leaning. In-depth archival research is central to the brand and recontextualises historic techniques using the latest technologies, such as 3D printing. Counting Karl Lagerfeld and Rihanna among his fans seems like a pretty great endorsement to us. Other BFC Fashion Trust awarded young designers this year included Aries and Teija – be sure look out for their names on this season’s schedule.
Balloon headdresses made Matty Bovan’s first solo show at London Fashion Week in February 2018 unmissable. His tatty grandeur – compiled in a suburban garage in York – proliferated the pages of every fashion glossy and broadsheet for days after LFW’s end. The 27-year-old star alum of Central Saint Martins’ success is in part due to his roots in Northern England, and how he communicates his heritage in his collections. Championed by LOVE magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Katie Grand, who is consultant stylist on his shows, his tailoring, and wider vision, is utterly unique. We’re curious to see what he will spin out this season.
Archer’s ready-to-wear collections feature specialist techniques combining embroidery and print through the use of hand, digital and Irish machine embroidery. Immediately after completing her MA in textiles at the Royal College of Art in 2013, Archer moved straight to Antwerp to begin work as an embroidery designer for Dries van Noten. Pre-Dries, she worked frequently for Tracey Emin, producing her hand-embroidered art works. Her delicate pieces highlight the beauty of a less showy fashion show. But just to show she’s not opposed to a bit of flash – P Diddy has worn her garments on a number of occasions.