It seldom gets more fresh and arguably, more fierce, than the Fashion Scout 'Ones To Watch' show. The internationally recognised platform celebrates the up-and-coming Donnatella Versaces and Karl Lagerfelds of tomorrow, which unsurprisingly manifests itself into a whirlwind of eclecticism - four vastly differing designers hitting the peripherals in quick succession. It's 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' and rest assured, you wouldn't want to do that.
If ruralism was ever made sexy, it would be at the hands of Sarah Ryan. Melding together traditionally humdrum methods of weaving with the occasional flash of lambswool, Ryan definitely plays homage to her Irish roots with her debut collection. However, the pieces are far from trapped in tradition: skin subtly peeked through the modernity of mesh - while the predominantly monochrome colour palette teamed with woven chest-pieces conjured images of power: armour.
Contemplating the torrential floods outside, Hiroko Nakajima's wool-oriented work struck a particular chord for me. Colour-blocking had its day again; potently coloured fabric clung to frames with the odd questionable addition of pointed woollen hats. However, with her penchant for luxurious cashmere, I think we all could have done with said hats in the metropolitan monsoon that was Day 1. And one of those gloriously form-fitting dresses while you're at it...
Condensing the complexities of Serbian designer George Styler into one mere sentence is proving quite the feat. His collection was, in the fewest of words: loud. Boldly thrashing a myriad of 'World Ethno' influences into one finely tuned package, Styler's work became true art - designs that you just had to leave your seat for, just to crane for a better look. Eastern European florals clashed delightfully against hologram dresses and sequin-bejewelled leggings that packed more wattage than a 70s disco ball on LSD.
With more gritty working class influence than a record by 'The Smiths', Carrie-Ann Stein's work focuses predominantly on tongue-in-cheek allusions to industrial mundanity: seeing a Birmingham Council sign dressed up to print definitely wasn't something I'd expected on the catwalk. The Pop Art-esque inferences, teamed with abstract design made for an interesting statement - bold and brash like the streets often are - yet still refined enough to hold its own on the catwalk. Next time, don't add the hyper-erect ponytails: teamed with the dress shapes, they struck a queer resemblance to Capri Sun pouches.
Words: Ebony Nash | Fashion Week Press