22 Dec 2009

NewGen Talent

Whilst the snow falls and we begin to feel christmassy despite frostbite, piss poor public transport and slight nausea from too many festive chocolates, I am looking to the future! Admittedly, February 2010 is not that far ahead and we probably won't be wearing bacofoil dresses or driving flying cars by then, but it will still be a significant time thanks to London Fashion Week, which in the crowd of high end designers will make room for fresh talent in the form of NewGen sponsorship winners.

NewGen is an initiative from the British Fashion Council which is often sponsored by Topshop, and it rather cleverly acts as a promotional launch pad for young, cash-poor, talent-rich designers, getting them lots of press, orders and crucial money to take part in the enjoyable hoopla that is London Fashion Week, either in The Exhibition or on the hallowed catwalk schedule. Past winners include Alexander McQueen, Gareth Pugh, Giles Deacon and Matthew Williamson, so NewGen sponsorship is pretty bloody covetable!

Each season a powerful group of fashion bods decide who will get the cash and prestige of sponsorship and it's always quite exciting to see who gets chosen or kicked to the curb, so when the list for February was released I was on the edge of my stylecramping seat. The list is rather long and takes in names that may be on your radar such as sexy knitwear genius Mark Fast, slightly odd fashion editor fave Louise Gray, Greek goddess of print Mary Katrantzou, funky angular dress king Peter Pilotto, and so-weird-they're-almost-mainstream Meadham Kirchhoff, but my highlights are a little different and particularly focus on accessories.

Top of my list is Holly Fulton, who is a talented jewellery designer as well as a catwalk queen with witty designs featuring graphic prints in bold colours that are inspired by the art deco styling of the Empire State Building. This clever gal scooped the Swarovski Emerging Talent Award for Accessories at the British Fashion Awards and has created a modern, fun, interesting and wearable look that I would love to get my mitts on.

Holly Fulton

Next up is Maria Francesca Pepe, who puts jewellery at the forefront of her elegant and cool garments to achieve an unexpected aesthetic that has caught the eye of image conscious women including Roisin Murphy and Agyness Deyn. MFPepe, as she's known, has already worked on a jewellery collection for catwalk designer Roksanda Illinic and uses her own punkish jewellery designs to add a twist of personality to some more subtle pieces, with is very appealing to stylecramp.

Maria Francesca Pepe

The last of the jewellery designers is British fine jeweller Dominic Jones, who is besties with model Alice Dellal of trend setting hair undercut fame. Unsurprisingly with such a popular fashion pal Dominic has more than his fair share of celeb fans such as skinny indie chicks with a hint of substance Kristen Stewart and Alexa Chung. It's all about the sex with the presentation of this jewellery, which is made with traditional methods whilst obviously being proper edgy cos he uses lots of spikes, which everyone knows is well rock n roll.

Dominic Jones

Other NewGen winners who are definitely worth a mention are footwear designers Atalanta Weller and Michael van der Ham. Atalanta Weller is a very popular young lady at the mo thanks to her striking and ever so slightly space age shoes, which are often chunky, bright and potentially dangerous to walk in. The proportions and angles of Atalanta's designs are what makes her so interesting, taking inspirations such as Star Trek Deep Space 9 just far enough to be creative without actually beaming us up. At the more wearable end of the scale are the shoes by Michael van der Ham, whose clever use of rich colour combinations in familiar shapes displays a commercially aware fashion nous that is not to be sniffed at. These are the kind of shoes that are so well designed that you could happily wear any time you fancy but receive lots of compliments and envious glances for, which is always a winning formula in my book.

Atalanta Weller

Mark Fast

So readers, this is some of the future for fashion talent in 2010, which is interesting, accessible, and possibly too damned attractive for its own good. Smart arses!
Apollonia Gish x

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