What are we watching?
Ones to Watch is a show that’s put on every season by Fashion Scout (it used to be called Vauxhall Fashion Scout, but I guess they’ve done away with the carmaker sponsorship), presenting the wares of three designers who are starting out and tipped for big things. Current London Fashion Week hot tickets Peter Pilotto and Pam Hogg are previous OTW finalists so they panel of journalists and industry folk has got a pretty good track record with their predictions.
Who was on show this season?
First up was Yeashin, whose dozen or so looks were heavily influenced by designer Yeashin Kim’s native South Korea, spliced with 1960’s Britain. This meant a riot of colour and texture, like a double-breasted emerald coat with a cream faux fur bib front and long-sleeved babydoll dresses in lilac, powder blue and raspberry pink. (I wouldn’t have been able to place the ethnic origins, except that last summer I went to a Korean music festival at the Southbank and the clothes were reminiscent of those costumes.) There were also lots of corsage-like embellishments all over the place.
Sounds kind of kooky.
It was. The hats were even kookier. There was one tall, black top hat that I thought was surely a nod to Daniel Day-Lewis’s recent turn as Abraham Lincoln, and then another that was even taller – maybe an homage to Dr Seuss?
Lol. Were all the collections quite so wacky?
No, the others were a lot more mainstream. The second One to Watch was Chinese born Patrick Li, whose looks had a singular focus, which helps when you’ve only got a small offering on show.
So what was the focus?
You hear the term ‘deconstructed tailoring’ bandied around London Fashion Week a lot, but this was just that: lots of sharply cut black asymmetrical dresses with inlaid sparkling silver and bronze panels. Shimmering collars were added to crisp white shirts and just about everything else – the glitteriness meant this was more overtly eveningwear.
Nice. Who was third?
Central St Martin’s graduate Yulia Kondranina, who was fixated on one thing only: tassles! All over everything.
Like in a 1920’s flapper kind of way?
No. These weren’t flippy short tassles, they hung all the way to the floor, swinging and criss-crossing seductively as the model’s walked. The collection started off all monochrome (long-sleeved jumpsuits and maxidresses), but the last few looks were vibrantly coloured with gold, red and royal blue fringing. The finale dress, a scarlet sleeveless number with a cut-out décolleté detail was ravishing.
Not so practical though?
It’s true, I would worry about getting all those tassles caught in the escalator or tube door, but for special occasions those dresses would go down a treat.
So are these the designers stars of the future?
Hard to say. Kondranina especially showed a very accomplished and well-crafted collection. The whole tassle thing could be the sign of a one trick pony, but hey, designers have launched careers off a lot less (here’s looking at you Henry Holland).