As 2016 begins, it is time to get properly excited about the coming London fashion week, for which the catwalk shows begin on the 19th of February. Out of the one hundred or so designers that are soon to present their latest designs, here are a few that are definitely worth a watch.
Caitlin Price’s description of her aesthetic in five words is “Tracksuits, shiny, frilly, girly, tough, luxe.” These words seem full of contradictions, but what Pirce does so well is to confront you with these contradictions and work with them: she makes tracksuits luxurious and girly without taking away their toughness – and it is this which makes her interesting. Having graduated from a Central Saint Martins masters in 2013, she is a relatively new face at London Fashion Week, but her career has strode forwards in recent years. She creates an irresistible mood with kiss curls and shiny pastel colours and creates pieces which have a feeling of being utterly relevant to the times, concentrating on the personality of the models. She has described Marques‘ Almeida and other people who have gone through Fashion East as designers she admires – “people who really consider the girl in their work. You can see the character, and you want to be friends with her.”
The first thing that comes up when you search her name in google is “Molly Goddard buy” which says something of the popularity of her ethereal designs. Her work goes between themes of nostalgia and coming of age, which is evident in her staple dresses which are an exaggerated girly style. With their childish frothy shape and awkward oversized feel, her sheer party dresses are a nostalgia trip into the playful world of childhood. She embraces this image of the awkwardness of childhood but simultaneously creates something fantastical, with elaborate ruffles and floaty fabrics. Another relatively new face, but definitely one to watch.
Gareth Pugh fuses fashion and performance art in spectacular way and has garnered great critical acclaim – British Vogue has declared that “his genius is undeniable”. He is a staple in the fashion world, but only recently came back to the UK to present his collections after seven years in Paris. He is famous for his theatricality and has dabbled in performance art as well as fashion. Performance art plays a strong role in his fashion shows, which adds a certain drama and atmosphere to his collections. Pugh’s casting director, Shaun Beyen, said that when casting models they they specifically chose “girls who could perform—act, almost”. His recent spring/summer 2016 collection is a tribute to Soho nightlife, about which he describes what he felt when he first arrived there: “there was such feelings of euphoria, of danger and of possibility. I guess that’s what this collection is about. A place where you feel like anything can happen.” Whatever he thinks up next, it will surely be one to watch.
Ashish Gupta stands out to all those that love a bit of sparkle. He has been using sequins for years and describes them as an “art form”. Finally, fashion is starting to catch on to the brilliance of sequins but from Ashish we can expect great things as he has stuck with them through thick and thin. His distinctive style of sportswear crossed with glamour and his enjoyment of shock factor makes for a great show which has become a staple at London Fashion Week – for which he is now celebrating 10 years of shows. His spring/summer collection for 2016 featured models skateboarding down the runway as well as two male models walking the runway hand in hand. These details make for a striking play on the norms of a fashion show. Whatever he comes up with this year, we can predict that it will dazzle.
Osman Yousefzada’s aesthetic can be described as architectural, elegant and strong: his creations are all about clean lines and precise tailoring. However, from a glance at his most recent collection, I am more inclined to describe him as a master of sub-fusc-chiq due to the inescapable sub-fusc connotations to any Oxford student. A good few of his creations would tick all of the sub fusc regulations, with white shirts and black bows alongside high waisted trousers. Apparently he is inspired by an interest in the costumes of ancient cultures, so perhaps sub-fusc fits into this category. Whatever the case may be, Osman Yousefzada’s work presents us with some high fashion inspiration so during exams we can at least be happy in the knowledge that our outfits are catwalk-worthy.