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London Fashion Week Emerging Talent A/W 2011: A Preview

Here's our illustrated preview of the BFC's chosen Emerging Talent for A/W 2011 who'll exhibit their collections alongside the best of London fashion…

Written by Matt Bramford

Sarah Baardarani, illustrated by Naomi Law

With Fashion Scout releasing their Ones to Watch for the coming season last week, it was only going to be a matter of fashion minutes before the British Fashion Council announced who was going to feature on the stands this A/W 2011 fashion week. And here they are!

I like the exhibitions a lot. You get to really get a feel for the collections – you can see them up close and touch them – hell, you can even smell them if that’s your bag. While a big-budget catwalk show has the atmosphere to accompany the clothes, I often miss many of the design quirks and fabric features because I’m just too damn busy photographing, tweeting and scribbling what will later become illegible notes. With the stands, you can see the colossal effort that a designer has put into their collection and often they’re hanging around, so you can EVEN chat to them too.

It’s also a great place to find up-an-coming design talent: fresh ideas and new ways of doing things. Sod the oldies on the catwalks. This year looks like it won’t disappoint. Here’s a round of the ‘Emerging Designers’ that the BFC has added to its roster:

Teatum Jones

Illustration by Alexandra Rolfe
Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones have done what no other designer duo have done before by cleverly combining their surnames to form new fashion label Teatum Jones. I mock, but this is a label to most certainly watch. Luxurious fabrics drape on models in their sleek look-book, with intriguing, organic prints and deep colours. Diagonal shapes keep this rich collection fresh, with fabrics like crepe and spandex. It will be interesting to see where all this drapery and elegant fabric usage takes the twosome this season.


Illustration by Abby Wright
Ongwat, surname of its founder Paranee, offers understated contemporary jewellery with architectural references; infinitely wearable but bold enough to stand out. Previous pieces include geometric ‘Scaffold’ rings, braceletss like bike gear rings and cuffs that a Gladiator might wear, should he be in London in 2011 on a mission to modernise his look.

Draw in Light

Illustration by Paolo Caravello
Harriet Barford and Polly Wilkinson, aka Draw in Light, studied at the University of Brighton in 2008. Since then, they’ve notched up awards, including Liberty’s Best of British this time last year. Their aesthetic is “elegant, minimal jersey shapes” with hand silk-screen techniques. Their beautiful, ethereal garments air on the body-con cious side, with mystical, loose patterns. Really looking forward to seeing what they come up with for A/W 2011…

Shao-Yen Chen

Illustration by Rukmunal Hakim
A Central Saint Martins graduate (oh, here we go again…), Shao Yen Chen is currently curating a window at Selfridges alongside assembling the A/W 2011 collection. He must be knackered. It seems like this will be the season for sculptural ready-to-wear and innovative accessories (well, I seem to be writing about them a lot at the moment…) Shao-Yen’s work has a sleek Japanese aesthetic but also combines elements of architecture and is full of surprises. In the past he’s knocked up voluminous frocks that defy gravity and his graduate collection from CSM was instantly snapped up by the people at the BFC. A showman in the making, I imagine he’ll progress to catwalk next season, or at least I hope he does.


Illustration by Holly Trill
Another jewellery designer, another bunch of geometric shapes. Wing Paris’ differ though – they’re discrete, slim-line and sophisticated. Designed by Jenny Wing Chan, a graduate from Studio Bercot in Paris, these pieces combine metallic colours with black and bright purple. Jenny hopes to create “timeless, statement jewellery” which oozes femininity. I think she’s on it already, and with her A/W 2011 collection inspired by “black metal”, I can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with next.

Tze Goh

Illustration by Joana Faria
My prediction is that Tze Goh will be this season’s hot tip. He’s everywhere. First, Vauxhall Fashion Scout announced him as part of their ‘Ones to Watch’ show, and now he’s on this fashionable list. I saw a special collection exclusive to LN-CC (more about them soon) and it is just mind-blowing. Come February, he’ll be everywhere. Promise.

Joanne Stoker

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins
Nicholas Kirkwood better watch his derriere, as I think Joanne Stoker might be in the running for his fashion crown. Joanne has a background in, well, all sorts – architecture, model making, engineering and, of course, shoe design. Her Art Deco-inspired S/S 2011 collection featured geometric shapes, transparent neons and patent leathers in all sorts of dreamy colours. The bold, statement shoes are for the fashion-forward only. Despite the zany colours and unusual shapes, there’s a real decadent period feel to them. Hopefully A/W 2011 will bring lots more colour and decadence from this First into Fashion winner.

Sarah Angold

Illustration by Karolina Burdon
Sarah Angold’s jewellery is pretty unique. Bold, geometric shapes create enormous statement pieces, and looking at her previous collections, it’s no surprise that her previous employers include Swarovski and Hussein Chalayan. Her work has both an industrial and futuristic aesthetic, and it’s “mathematical graduation” that’s inspiring her for this coming season. I can’t wait to see this stuff in the flesh.

Sarah Baardarani

Illustration by Naomi Law
Sarah Baardarani‘s graduate collection in 2009 was one of the highlights of all the graduate shows. Powerfully elegant, her collection featured luxurious fabrics that twisted and turned around models in an incredibly arcane fashion, as if by magic. The showpiece, adorned in beading, was breathtaking. She’s set to continue her delightful drapery over the coming season, and is inspired by “the fusion of contrasting textures and shapes.”

Keep an eye out in the run up to Fashion Week for lots more previews, interviews and coverage!


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One Response to “London Fashion Week Emerging Talent A/W 2011: A Preview”

  1. [...] As a Christmas gift from my mum, I was given a box full of brand new color markers. They are so delicious to work with, I decided to experiment on this piece. Their tips are so soft, the ink flows onto the paper. I am in love with them. – Read the whole preview here. [...]

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