As we took our seats on the catwalk at Freemasons' Hall, Fashion Scout’s home for London Fashion Week, the excitement in the room was palpable. And rightly so; this prestigious competition, which has in the past showcased designers such as Eudon Choi and Phoebe English, presents the top four designers out of the best emerging design talent this year.
Whilst enjoying a SNOG freebie fro-yo on the frow, the collaborative showcase kicked off with with J Moon, a recent LCF graduate and favourite of Vogue Italia. The collection was a veritable feast of textures, 3D shapes and complementary colour palettes, juxtaposing sheer and woollen fabrics in random geometrical patterns to create solid silhouettes and unusual hemlines. This unique aesthetic that ran throughout the garments was exuded further through the bags carried by the models - they became not only an extension of the shapes and colours of each look but also an extension of the models’ own limbs.
Minju Kim’s line was fun and shouty, much like the soundtrack the models walked to, combining an array of prints, textures and colours. Pretty pastels contrasted with colour pop crowns and sultry cut-outs, creating a feeling of Disney princesses gone wild; perhaps a continuation from her re-imagining of Minnie Mouse for Disney last year. More subdued looks followed, entering once more into geometrical manipulation and playing with curves and peplums, before giving way to a dramatic bralet and skirt combo, paired with a woollen balaclava, heating up the show once more.
Stark, then, was the contrast when the pace slowed for Angel Chen’s romantic yet rebellious collection. Lurid prints blended with gingham and tweed in earthy tones and a juxtaposition of heavy and floating fabrics to create a dreamy woodland aesthetic, manifesting further through the twig and branch effects carried by the models. From a piece made entirely of tumbling frills and lace to a military jacket paired with a glittering rifle, Chen once again took us on the magical journey that we have come to expect from her previous collections, Les Noces and The Rite of Spring.
The show finished with Kim Stevenson under her brand name, Autonomous. An Australian designer whose work on ethical, hand-crafted textiles are the bedrock of her inspiration; Kim presented a collection which is very cohesive with her previous lines. The pieces blend Navajo inspired-colours and textures with on-trend structures, notably her tall, fringed hats, once again entering into the conversation between the rural and the industrial.
As the lights went up, buzzing filled the room as guests started animatedly talking about the collections and picking out their favourite pieces, before hurrying to the exhibition to see the lines in the flesh. To absorb such a wealth of new talent in such quick succession was a sensory overload of patterns, textures and colours, but one which inspired and delighted, and promised of even greater things to come.