The rise of game-changing designers

16 March, 2018

The rise of game-changing designers

London’s fashion scene is one of the most exciting, liberating and creative in the world, and February’s London Fashion Week AW18 was a spectacular expression of the city’s talent.

LFW has a reputation for showcasing exciting brands and the capital’s catwalks buzzed with individuality and innovation. We’ve rounded up our favourites; all game changers who are pushing some serious boundaries. After all, Arlette Gold is all about finding, championing and supporting exciting, new, creative designers and makers. 

Model and activist Adwoa Aboah told Vogue this year that “Wearing their designs make me feel like a show-stopper. I really love the idea of wearing a designer that someone else might not have known about before”. We couldn’t agree more. 

And the best bit? “Accessories are more crucial than ever” said the Independent.

Mary Katrantzou

The notes to Greek-born, London-based Mary Katrantzou’s tenth anniversary show read; “Ornament is crime Vs Ornament is everything” and her clever juxtaposition of minimal Bauhaus modernism with the opulence of Victoriana worked beautifully. Sharply tailored lines, slender silhouettes and geometric prints (Bauhaus) clashed gently with baroque tapestry, Chesterfield sofa fabrication and a sea of vintage sequins (Victoriana) and resulted in a satisfyingly cerebral collection from the queen of print.

Ashish

More anything? More everything! Glitz, glamour and glitter, and lots of it, please! Inspired by the flash of the sixties and seventies – Ashish’s ingenious Technicolor tinsel jumpsuit still stalks my mind’s catwalk – this dressing-up-box-of-dreams collection sparkled. Glitter-striped trousers and love-heart dresses, beehive hairdos and cartoon-like, painted-on lashes all twirled to a seventies disco soundtrack. The message? Love, peace and self-indulgence.

Michael Halpern

Michael played with the idea of inappropriate glamour, questioning what is too much in fashion, or goes too far. “What’s going on with women and politics has pushed me to want to make a statement with what I design” Halpern told the Observer. Dressing up was celebrated, outfits loud and maximalist. I loved his half-zebra, all-sequin jumpsuit, ritzy tuxedo jacket dresses and cut-out mini dresses. Flares, sequins and colour – all with impossibly high platforms. All eyes are on this designer’s relentless quest for disco Nirvana.

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi

Designer duo Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton presented a collection inspired by the female “Hanyeo divers” – women who search for oysters off the coast of Korea, who leaven their functional wetsuits with ultra-feminine accessories. Preen’s models wore outfits which combined scuba diving gear; neoprene coats and windbreaker dresses with seriously feminine, light silky materials in draping asymmetric cuts. 

Dresses covered in pearlescent sequins and bold iridescent make-up by Val Garland recreated the effect of emerging from the water into the sparkling sun. Val’s ethereal glittery facials – a halo of flecked shine along the  hairlines of every model, which cascaded down foreheads and upper cheeks were stunning. 

“We wanted it to feel like they were diving for pearls,” Garland said. “They’re strong women, though, not mermaids”.  Serious make-up goals.