London Fashion Week SS15 showcased a bounty of new and emerging design talent, who brought a heavy dose of daring and DIY to the landscape of British fashion. New names such as Faustine Steinmetz and Charlie May, and young brands including Louise Alsop and Claire Barrow dominated the schedule. The atmosphere and aesthetic emerging for SS15 was about fun and fantasy, but also craft and technical innovation, and these designers proved that they had it all, shaping what British fashion is today.
East-London based footwear label Kult Domini presented Babylonia, their aptly named SS15 collection inspired by the earth and its minerals. Vegetable dyed leathers in midnight blue and dusky pink were used for the uppers on shoes, along with chlorophyll-like cellular prints and crocodile skin textures. The label, which has gained recognition for its wooden stacked heel and open-back brogue, have the shoes produced in Italy using fine Italian leather to ensure quality. But this is not precious footwear, Kult Domini shoes are made for pacing the pavements.
Look out for: The Kult Domini croc platform pool slider.
Denim and ready-to-wear designer Faustine Steinmetz deconstructed the American classic and any conventional notion of it in her SS15 collection, which featured hand-woven and hand-dyed jackets and jeans in ethereal matted threads and puckered fabrics. Washed out denim tones and iridescent silver hues made for a light otherworldly aesthetic. The designer, who works on handlooms in her East London studio, referenced the mega couture houses of her native Paris through playful branding on pens, sweets and plinths that read ‘Faustine Steinmetz – Whitechapel’.
Look out for: Security tag jewellery in scuffed silver, made in collaboration with jewellery label Niomo.
Charlie May presented a collection of wearable loose-fit trousers and drop-shouldered T-shirts in a palette of white, the softest blue and camel brown. Inspired by her upbringing on the Devon coastline, the sea breeze is almost palpable in the botanical-print tops and easy sliders, created in collaboration with Adidas.
Look out for: May’s painterly leaf print tops.
Graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2012, Minki Cheng’s first full collection, for SS15, was made up of simple, clean jackets and dresses with pleating and sheer panels, in charcoal, black and navy. Using neon rubber, to create contours on soft organza slip dresses, brought an interesting contradiction in surface texture.
Look out for: Minki Cheng’s drop pleated sleeveless dresses.
Emerging designer Claire Barrow used her sci-fi influenced vision of the future, involving deadly viruses and medical wonder women, as the inspiration behind her SS15 collection. Disregarding the norms of warm-weather wear, Barrow adopted her gothic DIY aesthetic to create leather vests and silk dresses depicting cavemen-style paintings of Chagall cats with human faces and other unidentified creatures.
Look out for: Barrow’s cat-adorned zip-up biker vests.