Fashion For Life Capital City Of Seams 2009: Talent Peter

Fashion for life Capital city of seams

New Talent: A Peter Pilotto dress The penultimate weekend in August always spells winter to me, the moment when you can allow your fashion-seeking
self to dwell upon the prospect of something different, something fresh, something delicious from the new season’s clothes fest. And while you and I are doing that, guess what The world’s designers are adding the final flourishes to their collections for next spring! We haven’t even fixed on a new winter coat, and they’re already knee-deep in tomorrow’s bikinis. In less than a month, London Fashion Week will be in full swing. There’s a step change this year, though, as London looks set to be the blazing high point of the international collections. It’s partly a matter of fluke that the event is celebrating its 25th birthday, which means that there’s extra fizz in the mix, particularly now that the cavalcade has moved to the grand and gracious precincts of Somerset House. But it’s also that London’s distinct brand of searing creativity comes into its own when times are tough. Economic tribulation can leave the luxe of Milan looking redundant, the easy sportswear of New York a bit samey, the chichi classics of Paris too smug. On grey days, people want the shock and the shudder of unfettered imagination – and that’s precisely where London comes in. Little wonder that established talent is returning to show on these shores. Burberry Prorsum, Jonathan Saunders, Matthew Williamson, Clements Ribeiro, Pringle – they’re all coming home, which means the schedule is chock-full of heavy hitters, easily enough to engage the interest of the most jaded international buyer. Giles Deacon, Richard Nicoll and Henry Holland are now household names, at least in households that give two hoots about fashion. Luella isn’t a girl any more, she’s a brand. Marios Schwab has developed the kind of technical skill that puts him at the cutting edge of progressive and dynamic design. Christopher Kane was recently likened to Oscar de la Renta by Net-a-Porter, while Erdem was dubbed the new Christian Lacroix by American Vogue.
Then there are the names that are bubbling under, their designs starting to produce the kind of buzz that makes news, sales, reputations… Mary Katrantzou, Meadham Kirchhoff, Mark Fast. They are worth remembering. Hell, they’re worth buying – you may as well get ’em while they’re young and (relatively) unsung.

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