- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Fashion Scout has gained a reputation for championing the very best in emerging design talent during London Fashion Week and this season it showed the strength of talent from around the world with its Ones to Watch platform that introduced four new, exciting international designers that you need to know.
Ji Won Choi
A graduate of Parsons School of Design, and the winner of Kering Empowering Imagination Award and the Yooxygen Award by YOOX, Ji Won Choi came into London Fashion Week with a lot of confidence for her first London Fashion Week showcase.
“To be part of the Ones to Watch show has been incredible, there’s such a support team and everyone has been kind and supportive, said Won Choi. “It has been amazing to come straight out of school in May and to be part of London Fashion Week, that’s incredible.”
Her ‘Excessivism’ collection of billowing silhouettes, featured linear patterns and stripes, in a colour palette of black, white, pink, red and blue. The genderless designs were striking and made for a cohesive collection of tunics, floor sweeping coats and trousers, featuring waist ties to accentuate the figure.
“Its about over consumption and the excess waste in all of our closets and how we tend to hoard things we don’t really need, while wearing disposable clothing,” explains Won Choi. “Sustainability is the core concept and I’m working on producing this collection with Net-a-Porter and that’s going to be a completely ethical collection.”
The most colourful collection to hit the catwalk was from Starcisa founded by Ike Seungik Lee from Seoul, inspired by the idea of “what if aliens came to the Earth just for a holiday”.
The brand originates from the “Star Seeker” a character in a fantasy novel and the spring/summer 2018 collection showcased the brand’s colourful and experimental approach to fashion. With tulle and ruffle dresses, cropped flared trousers, tailored outerwear, and oversized jumpers, teamed with artificial grass bags, skyscraper heels and florescent coloured accessories, as well as models covered in stickers.
“Being part of Ones to Watch is a great stepping stone, I’ve heard a lot of stories about Eudon Choi, he’s also Korean, and I decided to follow in his path as he has been very successful,” said Seungik Lee. “I’ve been impressed with the support and passion of the Fashion Scout team and I believe it is a great opportunity for me to grow my brand internationally.”
Estonian fashion designer Triinu Pungits, who has taken part in numerous fashion shows before, has seen her designs featured in Vogue Italia and British Vogue for her use of texture and shape, and was also a finalists at the International Talent Support competition in Trieste.
For spring/summer 2018, Pungits takes inspiration from her dreams and the idea that mind and body should be in harmony. Her collection of bold designs impressed from the opening model, who strutted down the catwalk wearing a digital printed leotard with a foam constructed cape constructed with arms and hands that moved independently from the model.
Other pieces included a number of grey, and black and white trench coats, dresses and jumpers featuring zig-zag lines, and an oversized black and grey knit with a red heart in the middle.
“It was a great opportunity to show during London Fashion Week,” said Pungits. “It can be quite a challenge for an emerging designer to break through and show their work to a wider audience and I’m grateful for the support I’ve received from Fashion Scout.”
Serbian label Neo Design wowed with its all-black collection, which had an element of Game of Thrones about it with the tribal jewellery and layered, texture approach to the clothing. The label strives to connect the last and the future in its designs and did so with its bold layered silhouettes and details from quilting to appliqué, across its genderless collection of tailored jackets, drop crotch trousers, and capes.
“This wasn’t my first show, but if was completely different, as we were the stars, the ones people came to watch and that’s why it was so exciting as well as being challenging,” said Neo Design. “The award motivated me to push myself to do better and to test my boundaries, ideas and possibilities.”
Established in 2014, Neo Design has been awarded multiple awards in the past year, including Fashion Scout’s South.East.Europe Award, which allowed them to showcase during London Fashion Week, and they also qualified as a European finalist in the Woolmark Prize.
Fashion Scout founder Martyn Roberts added: “This season’s Ones to Watch truly demonstrates what the award was created to showcase. Our most international show to date, the diverse nature of cultures and styles was exhibited by our winners for this season.”
Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch is now in its 9th season, previous winners have included Eudon Choi, Georgia Hardinge, Phoebe English, Helen Lawrence, Edda, and Joanna Berling.
Images: courtesy of Fashion Scout