British fashion never ceases to impress me. Sure, it's creative, but the amount of attention that's paid to craftsmanship is what really makes it distinctive.
Earlier this week at the London Show Rooms--a sort of trade show set up by the British Fashion Council to introduce under-the-radar designers to buyers Stateside--I had the pleasure of meeting several of the city's most exciting talents.
The list is long, but distinguished, so I've included a sentence on each to give you a taste of what everyone's up to for Fall 2010.
KTZ. Favored by the Opening Ceremony crowd, KTZ--also known as Kokon to Zai--is the kind of avant-garde label cool people actually wear. For fall, designers Marjan Pejoski and Sasko Bezovski created a woven acid denim skirt suit, a black unisex woven puffer and a black leather skirt embroidered with a colorful cross that adventurous dressers will revel in.
Mark Fast. We're big fans of Fast here at Fashionista, so it was great to meet the designer in person and take a look at his knits up close. The Faster collection--which is a bit more basic and definitely a lower price point--can be used as a layering tool underneath Fast's ready-to-wear collection. We particularly liked the rose-colored frock embedded with shiny Swarovski pyramid stones.
Holly Fulton. Possibly my favorite of the day. Fulton's neo-art deco designs are bright, colorful and totally wearable. I pretty much wanted everything, from the electric blue necklace to the peach frock. And I'm seriously considering one of her clutches for fall.
Tim Soar. For his fall collection, menswear designer Soar did a "greatest hits" of British tailoring, with a '70s inspired blue velvet blazer and some marled knit sweaters that I'd like to wear myself. Next up, Soar wants to produce a few of his pieces in narrower cuts for his female fans. Hannah Marshall. A favorite of indie rock stars, Marshall's sculptural skirts--which jut out at the waist--create one of the most exciting silhouettes seen in years. I also love the designer's personal style, particularly her razor sharp fringe.
Craig Lawrence. This guy...this guy is special. Like many Brit designers, Lawrence is a knitter, but he uses materials like metal and plastic to do so. This season, it was all about thread woven with gold foil. Apparently, Carine Roitfeld's already shot the showpiece for Paris Vogue twice. Now you get why he's one to watch. For more proof, we've embedded this video featuring his latest collection:
Maria Francesca Pepe. Pepe's background is in ready-to-wear, but her jewelry-like this fan necklace--really caught my eye. I also loved her wolf t-shirt, adorned with real metal fangs.
Todd Lynn. Canadian-born Lynn is obviously influenced by Rick Owens, but he also does plenty of lady-like jackets that would work as well on the Upper East Side as they do in Nolita. We loved his sell-out, short-sleeved double-faced wool jacket in pewter.
Christopher Raeburn. If you're feeling the military trend, you're feeling Christopher Raeburn. His puffers, anoraks and backpacks are made from re-purposed military uniforms and other military gear. What's more, everything is produced in London, so you know that the quality of the workmanship is topnotch.
Fannie Schiavoni. This Swede's going to make body jewelry a real trend. Her epaulets would look amazing under a worn-in t-shirt.