By Julia Eskins
This season, London Fashion Week will bring an impressive line-up of designers to U.K. runways and showrooms. With returning favourites and international greats like Manolo Blahnik making their LFW debut, many will be anticipating the showcase of the spring/summer 2014 collections.
Ahead of London Fashion Week, which takes place between Sept. 13 and Sept. 17, FAJO highlights a few designers to watch this season.
Photography by Kareen Mallon at The shOws, fall/winter 2013
As a Montréal-born, London-based designer, Jean-Pierre Braganza often piques the interest of Canadians and Brits alike. His recent return to Toronto runways at the shOws, fall/winter 2013, brought forth a flurry of futuristic silhouettes and mesmerizing prints. The collection featured several layered ensembles, cinched with belts and asymmetrical hemlines.
Even for spring/summer, Braganza often gravitates towards a neutral colour palette, with the occasional pop of cool hues. This season, expect to see his masterful construction skills in action and, likely, a covet-worthy tailored blazer.
Photography courtesy of Temperley London, fall/winter 2011-2012
London’s ladies about town frequently turn to Alice Temperley’s ultra feminine party frocks. But in recent seasons, Temperley London has “grown up,” showcasing more sophisticated collections that have garnered international attention.
Temperley’s glamorous gowns have even caught the fancy of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who has been photographed in numerous pieces by the U.K. designer. While holding onto a sense of playfulness, Temperley consistently delivers chic gowns with luxe embellishments and, often, a touch of risqué.
With a new royal following, all eyes will be on Temperley’s next collection, which she says will suit a “sexy, strong, well-travelled and confident woman.”
Photography by Chris Moore, fall/winter 2013
Simone Rocha leads the emerging designer pack as a recipient of the British Fashion Council’s New Generation program. Last season, her autumn/winter 2013 collection, called Respect Your Elders, delivered classic 1960s silhouettes with a modern twist and pops of Pepto pink.
Praised for her sense of texture and shape, Rocha often incorporates patent leather, mesh, fur and tweed into her collections. Critical acclaim has continued to follow the Central Saint Martin’s College graduate, who first debuted at London Fashion Week in 2011. While still holding onto her whimsical point of view, Rocha has continued to evolve.
Expect to see the designer’s self-described signature “strong yet romantic” aesthetic in her spring/summer 2014 collection, inspired by west Ireland.
Photography via Shutterstock, spring/summer 2013 and autumn/winter 2013
Renowned for his bold use of colour and print, Matthew Williamson often presents breezy chiffon showstoppers that could easily go from the Red Carpet to an exotic locale.
Williamson’s 15th anniversary in fashion was celebrated last year with the showcase of his spring/summer 2013 collection. With flowy maxis, tailored separates and kaleidoscopic prints inspired by New York artist Shane McAdams, the collection cohesively represented the designer’s signature use of contrast and vibrancy.
His spring/summer 2014 collection, inspired by artist Keith Haring and the English country garden, will certainly be the one to watch this season.