In fashion, London is known as an incubator of talent. Its schools – Central Saint Martins, the Royal College of Art, and the London College of Fashion – has produced some of the best designers of their generations, everyone from rivals John Galliano and Alexander McQueen to the buzziest designers of the moment, like Jonathan Anderson and Christopher Kane. But, where's the next generation? As London Fashion Week gets underway, these are the new designers to keep tabs on:
ROBERTS | WOOD
Katie Roberts-Wood did not grow up thinking she would be a fashion designer. Instead, she enjoyed science and went on to get her medical degree at the University of Glasglow. After discovering that she needed to nurture her creative side, Roberts-Wood enrolled in the Royal College of Art in London and completed a master’s degree in womenswear. Just two years later, she has earned a Vogue Talents Award, and her wares are stocked at Dover Street Market and 10 Corso Como. This season, the designer showed a collection that juxtaposes the quotidian with the unreal, in order to show what really lies beneath. The spring collection “features transparent x-ray like garments,” which are set side by side with ordinary workwear elements, like aprons, ties, and denim. The result is an interesting yet wearable collection, which will be sure to excite the DSM girls once they hit the selling floors.
Amie Robertson showed her second collection this week, which grew from the experience of letting her imagination go wild as a child, and an affection for the post-apocalyptic novel Day of the Triffids. The collection may be derived from a tropical paradise gone awry, but the Swarovski-crystal flower buds on sheer mesh dress was not nearly as sinister as the inspiration. The designer had apparently been adorning her clothes with embellishment since age 12 – in the time in between then and now, she’s completed a degree at Central Saint Martins, and worked for Marc Jacobs. Robertson is certainly one to watch, and to shop – her pieces are available in Paris’s L’Eclaireur and H. Lorenzo, in Los Angeles.
Matty Bovan hails from York and, like Amie Robertson, attended Central Saint Martins and worked with Marc Jacobs on his spring 2016 collection. If he looks a bit familiar, it may be because he was cast in that collection's campaign, shot by David Sims. The designer’s focus in school was knitwear, and that is the core of the collection he showed this week – his first, under his own name. Bovan ripped and cut fabrics, knitted and crocheted those fabrics back together, and then hand-painted the garments using acrylic, spray paint, nail varnish, and every crafter’s favorite, puffy paint. The result is a cacophony of colors, that somehow works. The industry is taking note of Bovan’s talent – last year, he won the LVMH Graduate Prize, for which he received a year’s placement as a junior designer at Louis Vuitton. We’ll be sure to hear more from Matty Bovan in the coming seasons.