London - Friday marks the 62nd outing of London Fashion Week, with a schedule that can easily rival other global fashion cities for showing some of the world’s most powerful creative talent. There are the international British stalwarts that are firmly seeded on the world's fashion stage, like Burberry,
Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood, who will show alongside a new generation of successful designers like Christopher Kane, J.W. Anderson and Mary Katzantrou.
But it wouldn't be London without its platform welcoming a new breed of emerging designers. And by emerging we are not referring to NEWGEN or the Simona Rochas and Sophia Websters of this world, as they are now emerging veterans.
There is still a newer breed - designers who are fresh out of school and only recently showed their graduation collections - who have already caught the eye of London's talent-spotters. Some graduated from Central Saint Martins just last year, like South London-based Caitlin Price, who was incidentally also awarded the Armani scholarship.
Price worked at Christopher Shannon for three years before being selected to showcase her collection as part of Fashion East. What makes her interesting is her styling, which takes inspiration from her own photographs, garments she has archived, and photos of friends. Caitlin's aesthetic is sportswear luxe with an edge, a direction that can have ample possibilities.
Richard Malone also graduated from the Central Saint Martins BA fashion course in 2014, where he was awarded the prestigious LVMH Grand Prix scholarship. He is also part of the Fashion East Collective and will be debuting his S/S 16 collection at LFW. Malone's signature aesthetic has sustainable appeal, using upcycled fabrics while experimenting with drape, piecing and embroidery.
Leaf Xia is another burgeoning designer on London's emerging fashion radar. Her background started in China and she is now based in New York. After graduating from Parsons School of Design earlier this year she was selected to showcase at London Fashion Week as part of Fashion Scout. Her signature style is a striking collage of bright primary colour against monochrome, worked through experimental shapes and proportion. What is great about London is it's openness for new talent from all over the world. It celebrates unique talent, undeterred by geography.
Southeast London-based Jenna Young is also a part of Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East collective and will be debuting her S/S 16 collection at LFW. Her label, This Is the Uniform, explores the creation of clothing for a 'woman who's very confident and who isn't really trend-led'. Her fascination with youth culture and urban sportswear is evident through the tracksuit-esque sillhouettes, reworked in sheer gauzy fabrics and silks.It will be interesting to see how her background in fine art and luxury textiles will be worked within her collections.
Last year there were 10,000 hours spent on mentoring LFW designers through BFC initiatives and it looks set to increase this year with strong pool of new designer breaking through.
Image:Caitlin Price AW15