Watch these names:

  • Ed Marler
  • Helen Lawrence
  • Louise Alsop

Mark them down. You’ll be seeing their individual collections soon, almost without question. While I typically don’t bother with many group shows, this one is an exception. Lulu Kennedy’s incubator has kick started the careers of people such as Hank Holland (House of Holland), Simone Rocha, and Marios Schwab among many others. The success of this organization is too significant to ignore.

Unfortunately, what everyone seems to be talking about at the moment is the fact that a man fell through the roof of the Topshop show space just as Ed Marler’s collection was taking the runway. He fell behind the seats, so the show went on as though nothing had happened, but everyone’s attention was temporarily distracted. That would be another fashion week first, I’m pretty sure.

There are some similarities bridging all three collections. They’re looks are very contemporary (no surprise), very youth-oriented, and very alternative. There’s not a finished hem between them and silhouettes tend to run pretty loose and low slung. Those trends probably speak volumes as to what we can expect on the younger side of fashion for some time to come.

Helen Lawrence presented her collection first. Ms. Lawrence seems quite adept at merging contrasting fabrics. Knits, sheer rubber/plastic, and linen all played quite nicely next to each other. Her looks were often extremely short, with a couple of skirts looking more the size of hot pads. The sheer layers tucked neatly under the knits and at times their sheer nude color was enough to catch one by surprise when the fabric actually moved. Her styles were very fresh, a little on the grunge side, and very urban.

If it says anything about her core audience, Louise Alsop had all her models wearing faux dreadlocks as they walked the runway. Hers is a much more deconstructed look, having taken a razor to several pieces and her use of very thready fabrics (I swear, one piece looked as though it were constructed of cheese cloth) was very sexy, very grungy, and still extremely impressing. Her silhouettes are new, her sense of layering is impressive, and she seems to have a strong grasp of what really works with her audience.

Ed Marler was more dramatic with his presentation and, at least judging by immediate reaction, was incredibly more popular. Of the three, Ed’s is the more finished look. He takes a hard Indian influence, with head pieces and extremely bright colors, and turns that into a very exciting, and sometimes very provocative collection that includes both men’s and women’s wear. What stands out are draping pieces of crystal, juxtaposition of tapestry against metallic, and a tremendous amount of embroidery. There seems to be a significant John Galliano influence to Ed’s work, which isn’t a bad thing at all.

Three designers, three distinct and marketable looks. Ms. Kennedy has once again brought us a set of winners whose names are likely to light up future fashion weeks. This was some very impressive work.

Photo credit: Yannis Vlamos

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