From our special envoy in London
What will be the next british designer, promoted to the head of a claw international? The Scottish Charles Jeffrey with his brand Loverboy which the eccentricity of the show, Saturday night in a factory, disused East London, was not reminiscent of Alexander Lee McQueen in his debut? The duo Cottweiler, Ben Cottrell and Matthew Dainty, which is changing its sportswear urban between vespasiennes installed in the twelfth basement of a car park of the Barbican Centre? Alex Mullins with the entirety of her dressing male to volumes extralarge on women? Or Craig Green’s award-winning British Menswear Designer Award in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and, especially, already recruited by Moncler for its Genius Project for the past two seasons?
For three days, some twenty new talents from the Crown who have thus occupied the catwalks of the London Fashion Week Men’s with collections that are original, sophisticated and subversive. However, these names were already known beyond the borders of the kingdom have little chance of being found brands to be avoided, the london scene has always struggled to turn promising tests into thriving businesses.
On the other hand, his likes are champions to capture the artistic direction of the great house: John Galliano – the first at Givenchy and then Dior (from the mid-1990s), Kim Jones (currently dedicated to the male universe of Dior), by way of Clare Waight Keller (Givenchy), Paul Andrew (Salvatore Ferragamo), Paul Surridge (Roberto Cavalli) and Mark Howard Thomas (Helmut Lang), which have recently revealed in their new functions. But also Daniel Lee and Louise Trotter, appointed in 2018, respectively, at Bottega Veneta and Lacoste, which will soon follow the first steps.
“Follow its own path,”
no one is a prophet in his own country, however, it is Riccardo Tisci who has delighted in the spring of last year, the london institution, Burberry. But the Italian didn’t he, also, made his classes in London ? “There is, here, a freedom that is extremely formative and exciting when you learn or start in the business,” says Kim Jones, who came to cheer their colleagues. In 20 years, you get out further, you are curious and you are fed of all. And this city has no equal in terms of cultural cross-fertilization and networking opportunities. It allows, at the same time, to capture a maximum of influences and express their personality. Everyone does what he wants and there is no better context to forge his style. And then, our fashion schools, have always been remarkable.”
Daniel Marks, chief creative officer of the agency The Communications Store, which represents young designers beginners as institutional brands, attributes logically a part of this success to the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. “I don’t know if there are courses that are comparable in France, the United States or in Italy. Our curriculum grows to reveal the creativity of the students. All the artistic directors british we are talking about today, as well as plethora of other talents in senior positions but less exposed in large houses, are from these institutions. Most of them are even former students of Louise Wilson.” Who died in 2014, the director of the fashion department at Central Saint Martins from 1992 to 2014 was a mentor for many of them, including after their studies. “She constantly encouraged everyone to assert his point of view, to follow his own path,” remembers Kim Jones, graduate, dreamed about “launch my brand. It has worked quite well in Japan and the United States, until it offers me artistic director of Dunhill. Today, because it is more complicated to find the funds, and that the prospect of Brexit does not fix anything, the young graduates are tempted to directly integrate a claw”.
“Our Fashion Week is a platform for a talent rich and varied”
“Do his arms in a big house can expand the training to get out of a school in london, adds Daniel Marks. The stakes are not the same, one discovers what is the big business of fashion, the audience is much wider. Let us not forget that the industry has changed dramatically. It is increasingly difficult for an independent designer to build a profitable business and reach to define a style, to manage suppliers and subcontractors, organise a show, negotiate the financial conditions of buyers, deliver the orders on time… going it alone or take the direction of a studio, this is not the same as a life choice.”
The London Fashion Week Men’s, which ended Monday night, unveiled less talent in the grass than in the past. As for his best foals, they have a tendency, when they start to become famous, to go along with the calendar of Paris which attracts more professionals. Last (big) defection in date, J. W. Anderson, which will scroll to the first time our side of the Channel, on the 16th of January. In return, brands and stylists outsiders (Band of Outsiders, Per Götesson, Private Policy) chose to present their collection in Albion, in the hope of finding an audience more attentive to the individual approaches. “Our Fashion Week is a platform for talent, rich and varied, insists Caroline Rush, the director-general of the British Fashion Council, organizer of the event. It is a particular ecosystem that promotes new initiatives, and allows everyone to give free rein to his ideas.”