On Saturday the 15th of September I was lucky enough to be invited to Fashion East at London Fashion Week. When telling friends that I would be seeing collections by Claire Barrow, Ryan LO, and Maarten Van der Horst, not many recognised the names. However, these three designers have been recognised by Vogue, Grazia, Dazed & Confused and various other magazines and have been claimed to be “the ones to watch.”
On entering the glamorous building on St James Street, I was greeted by two highly contrasting rooms opposite one another. To my right was the presentation of Claire Barrow, and to my left Ryan LO. Immediately I was drawn to the fusing flamenco and Asian cultured garments created by LO. The image of candy floss and Barbies rushed into my head as I laid my eyes on LO’s collection of glitter frocks. His creations did not fail to amaze and his talent did not go amiss due to the intricate glitter details and his signature DIY knit aesthetic with smocking, embroidery and applique. What sets LO apart from others is his experimental endowment of creating his own materials.
Claire Barrow’s debut at LFW was greatly anticipated by Vogue and Grazia. Not only is Barrow renowned as a designer, but her creations are also classed as art. With hand painted leather jackets, monochromatic illustrations and portraits in expressive brush strokes, her designs are highly unique and interesting. Her models resemble as ‘50s gang and are truly portrayed as young creative enigmas. It is said that each piece refers to a different drink: Bourbon whisky, martini, tequilas and gin. In the words of Barrow herself: “a line up of emotions from euphoria to dependency and destruction.”
The catwalk show, however, was the highlight of the event for myself. Maarten van der Horst did not fail to impress. His spring/summer ‘13 collection both astounds and confounds as he uses the mundane everyday objects in life and transforms them in to high fashion—with a hint of late ‘70s punk. Silk screen prints with wild patchy mash ups present Maarten’s harsh urban outlook on fashion- influenced by the streets of New York.
Fashion East was set up in 2000 to support “emerging talent in British fashion design.” This season, the mission was definitely accomplished as the three designers presented definitely forced their way into my favourite designers.