NEWGEN At London Fashion Week
For many of us, the steady departure of summer as we move into Autumn months is a pretty depressing time. However, for those of us working within the fashion industry, or for those who would consider themselves avid followers of fashion, there is a ray of light that will follow us around until the 22nd September at least. That ray of light being? LONDON FASHION WEEK! Fashion Week is one of those ever so rare but beautiful events where history is made and the fashion world opens itself to be completely turned upside down within a twenty minute presentation. Menswear at London Fashion Week continues to go from strength to strength since they dedicated a whole day to showcase everything we need to know, see, feel and wish we owned.
Recently introduced to the Menswear day at London Fashion Week is NEWGEN MEN (sponsored by Topman). Formally known as MAN, NEWGEN is a scheme launched in September 2009 by The British Fashion Council (BFC) to find the elite of up and coming Menswear designers. Chosen by a panel boasting some of the most highly respected names in the industry from the likes of Topman, GQ, Esquire and Style.com, not to mention the BFC joint CEO (trust me, this is a very daunting crowd) these designers have truly earned their place on big stage. Those lucky enough to be picked are given full sponsorship, funding, business support as well as the opportunity to showcase their collections at London Fashion Week itself in either a full catwalk show, presentation, or an installation during the Menswear day.
The last London Fashion Week only saw four NEWGEN Menswear designers. Seven months on and its already been bumped up to ten! A clear indicator of the ever growing popularity and talent that Menswear is producing recently.
So without further a due, your ten finalists due to exhibit their Spring/Summer 2011 collections this Autumn are…
DESIGNERS RECEIVING CATWALK SPONSORSHIP
Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007 with an MA in Menswear and Accessories, James Long has fast become one of the most sought after new menswear talents in London. With a huge fan base ranging from Alister Mackie (Fashion Director of Another Man), Luke Day (Arena Homme Plus), and Lanvin’s Lucas Ossendriver praising James as his “favourite young Designer”. James has certainly made his mark as the menswear designer to watch.
James Long debuted in February 2007 at London Fashion Week’s MAN show, a show that introduced London menswear to a new level of refinement according to Dazed and Confused. Since these early days James has gone on to become the NEWGEN MEN favourite, winning its first ever award, as well as glowing reviews from Style.com and Tim Blanks, thus cementing James Long as the one to watch. For his AW10 collection James used texture and a minimal colour palette to showcase his signature Biker Jackets and knitwear, which are always widely acclaimed and sought after by the likes of Simon Foxton and some of the world’s leading stores. His latest projects have included limited edition accessories for Browns, and limited edition T-Shirts for concept store Colette in Paris. It is his instantly recognisable use of leather, print, denim and hard-wearing utility wear that is key to the James Long aesthetic. Whilst working closely with stylist Bryan McMahon, James Long has become one of the hottest tickets at LFW.
Liverpudlian Menswear designer Christopher Shannon graduated from Central Saint Martins MA in 2008. After his graduate collection was presented at London Fashion Week he has gone on to show three seasons at MAN. Famed for his ‘Refined Scallyism’ and overbearing prints, Christopher continues to work on his colourful luxe sports inspired clothing gaining legions of fans in the process. Last season saw him launch his first collection for Topman and the commercial release of ‘Eastpak By Christopher Shannon’ both lines ensuring the brand is seeded into top stores internationally including Liberty and Selfridges.
J.W. Anderson was established in 2007, presenting menswear and accessories. Constantly aiming to push the boundaries of traditional and iconic menswear imagery and perceptions. With diverse inspirations often stemming from historical contexts and literature to challenge the established protocols of men’s fashion and the visual aspects surrounding it.
DESIGNERS RECEIVING PRESENTATION SPONSORSHIP
A 28 year old London based British Menswear designer, Carolyn completed her MA at the Royal College of Art in June 2005. After “frustration, boredom and demand” she launched her self-named label, Carolyn Massey in June 2006 in Paris. Carolyn Massey is known for her quintessentially elegant English cuts and details. A detail obsessive, her work starts with a military tailoring perspective and is inspired by how Menswear has been appropriated during times of civil or social unrest. Carolyn Massey exhibits in Paris during men’s fashion week and for the second time running, has also just been one of the first brands to be awarded ‘NEWGEN MEN’. Massey showed for a second time on schedule as part of Menswear day at London Fashion Week in February 2010, as well as receiving sponsorship and ongoing business support from both the BFC and CFE.
Lou Dalton’s career began back in her home county of Shropshire when she left school at 16 to take up an apprenticeship in bespoke tailoring and pattern cutting. A desire to play a more creative role led on to further studies, resulting in an MA in Menswear from the Royal College of Art in 1998. On graduation Lou moved to Italy and worked as a design consultant, a job she would remain in on her return to London, with her clients including the likes of Hamish Morrow and Stone Island. Ever honing her own aesthetic and eager to create her own Menswear collection, Lou Dalton collection was launched and has since steadily developed a reputation and gained recognition for its rebellious ‘English’ sportswear.
SIBLING is a bold, progressive men’s knitwear label which was launched on May 29th 2008. With Collection 1 including such statements as beaded Ratus Ratus and Big Rat knits, Parkas – authentic in every detail and a traditionally tailored School Blazer, their mission was clear from the offset. Collection 2 pushed their precise ideology further with a show stopping knitted Biker Jacket laminated to mimic worn leather and sculptural Deviant silhouettes.
Today, the motifs, art and comic references and a very English sense of humour have gone beyond aesthetics, mixed with a love of traditional knitting techniques they become integral to the label’s DNA. Knit house signatures, if you will. A collaboration between Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, SIBLING is all for one and one for all. The three bringing with them a strong heritage of experience with top name designers. Beyond “it-knits”, SIBLING is for life… not just for goalposts.
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