It takes a lot to stand out as an emerging designer at London Fashion Week, to say the least. The talent is plentiful, thanks in part to Fashion East: This season, spring 2022, marks Maximilian Davis’s third and final presentation with the showcase, paving the way for his first solo show. (On the heels of dressing Rihanna no less.) Meanwhile, first-timers are coming out in droves, many of whom graduated amid the pandemic. Stephen Stokey-Daley went all out for his debut, tapping the National Youth Theatre for a performance that caused some in the audience to tear up. Coming off of one hell of a year, the below up-and-comers put their all into their craft and their beliefs—and it showed. It’s not just about their beautiful garments, but also about their beliefs. Take a look at the ones to keep on your radar, including 2021 LVMH Prize winner Nensi Dojaka.
Jawara Alleyne, who was raised between the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, preceded the runway portion of the Fashion East showcase with an installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The format added to the artfully experimental feel of Alleyne’s mixes of upcycling, repurposing, and draping.
Spring 2022 marked Maximilian Davis’s third collection with Fashion East, which means next season, the London-based Trinidadian designer will show on his own. Known for his sleek, gender-fluid designs, Davis excited the audience with a polished, wearable art-piece as the last look. His grandmother and memories of visiting the Caribbean continue to serve as inspirations.
Central Saint Martins grad Bradley Sharpe’s spring 2022 collection served as the opening act for Charles Jeffrey’s. Known for his previous “camp” collection, which was actually inspired by camping—tents to be exact—Sharpe expanded a bit further with his latest, incorporating more tailored pieces and an intricate cape design that flowed seamlessly down the runway.
Nensi Dojaka made her highly-anticipated solo runway debut just weeks after winning this year’s coveted LVMH Prize. The Albanian-born, London-based designer’s roots in lingerie remain evident through her use of sheer fabrics like tulle, this time in new colors like beautiful pinks and reds.
In the days leading up to his first salon-style presentation, Harris Reed walked the Met Gala red carpet alongside Iman and got the New Yorker profile treatment. The 25-year-old designer has been seemingly everywhere, but technically, he’s also been “in residence” at the Serpentine Gallery, which is where he presented a demi-couture collection created with the use of secondhand wedding gowns.
Yuhan Wang, who launched her eponymous label launched in 2018, worked with the stylist Katie Grand for spring 2022. The collection featured delicate florals, butterfly motifs, and evening gloves. Adorned with floral-printed bags in the shape of pistol holders, it exuded romantic softness but with an element of strength. We all heard Wang’s message loud and clear.
Saul Nash graduated from Fashion East during the pandemic, just in time to kick off London Fashion Week with his solo runway debut. The opening slot of this season’s shows was always going to have a back-to-school feel, making it all the more fitting that the collection evolved from Nash’s concept of his childhood school uniform. The pieces are technical, unique, and most of all functional.
Source: W Magazine