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Just like in New York, every runway at London Fashion Week AW22 featured bold silhouettes and bright colour. And after multiple seasons of online and digital presentations, it was refreshing for everyone to witness the event come back in the flesh.
Typically featuring household names like Vivienne Westwood, Erdem, and Simone Rocha, among other titans in the fashion industry, the event has also been a platform to showcase innovative collections from new and emerging designers in the country. Here are just a few British designers from this year’s London Fashion Week who are creating waves with their clothing.
This year marked Priya Ahluwalia’s first collection on the London Fashion Week catwalk, where the London-born designer expressed her principles of sustainability using upcycled deadstock, yarn, and denim. Inspired by Nollywood and Bollywood films, Ahluwalia’s clothing takes inspiration from her dual Nigerian-Indian heritage.
Labrum London is a brand that began in the living room of its creative director, Foday Dumbuya, in 2015. The mission of the brand is to “tell the untold stories of West Africa to help bridge the gap between Western and West African culture.” With classic western tailoring mixed with vibrant colours and patterns, Dumbuya is definitely headed in the right direction when it comes to underscoring multiculturalism in one house.
Central Saint Martins graduate Molly Goddard has been one to watch since she first made waves in the industry after debuting her first collection in 2014. She stunned the fashion crowd with her huge tulle dresses and skirts, and Goddard has since dressed British model Agyness Deyn for her wedding day and was awarded the accolade of British emerging talent.
After being awarded the 2021 LVMH prize, beating out other British designers like Bianca Saunders and Christopher John Rogers, audiences were curious to see what Nensi Dojaka had in store for her fall 2022 collection.
The designer, known for her romantic, sexy, and minimal designs for women that have been worn by the likes of Bella Hadid, Sophie Turner, and Dua Lipa, introduced new silhouettes and fabrics, such as puffer coats, leather tailoring, gowns, and sequins at London Fashion Week.
Saul Nash is another graduate from Central Saint Martins who initially took performance design and trained as a dancer before taking a Master’s course in menswear at the Royal College of Art. The designer’s style utlises relaxed silhouettes and bold, printed fabrics to create luxe sportswear. Using his education as a dancer, Nash’s runway featured his own choreography performed by friends.
After spending numerous seasons under the mentorship of Fashion East, London-based designer Yuhan Wang founded her eponymous brand in 2018.
Fans of her fashion will easily recognise hyper-feminine printed clothes that merge influences from Eastern traditions and Western culture based on the designer’s experiences living in various parts of the world including New York, London, and Beijing.
Another designer who is a part of Fashion East and also a co-founder of Nii Agency, Jawara Alleyne’s collections aim to explore masculinity and are influenced by his youth in Jamaica and Cayman Island. Known for embellishments and layering, his creations have been spotted on celebrities like Lil Nas X and Billy Porter.
Growing up in the Surrey countryside, Alice Archer made the rounds of London’s top art schools before moving to Antwerp to work as an embroidery designer for Dries van Noten. Now, worn by the likes of Susie Lau and Pandora Sykes, Archer’s distinctive embroidery has captured fashion’s current fascination for embroidered and artisanal.
After gaining experience at a number of high-profile fashion houses including Marni, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, and Chloe, Isa Arfen went on to launch her first collection in 2012. “Isa Arfen is about a real woman dressing for her real life”, explains womenswear designer Serafina Sama, a sentiment that is reflected in the brand’s off-beat feminine designs, which count Alexa Chung as a fan.
Discovering new designers is always a delight, and it’s incredibly refreshing to see so many fresh and experimental collections on the British fashion runway that take inspiration from upbringings and cultures from around the world. Just a few of so many up-and-coming brands and individuals in the fashion realm today, we can’t wait to watch how these minds will create and influence the trends of seasons to come.