One of the great things about London is that the schedule isn't so packed that you don't have time to see the presentations of smaller, newer labels.
Dion Lee: Dion Lee is an Australian designer who's had a lot of success in his native country.
Bolzoni & Walsh: Katie Walsh and Simon Bolzoni, the husband-and-wife team behind Bolzoni & Walsh, have a hit on their hands--British fashion ambassador Alexa Chung has already been snapped wearing the contemporary label out and about in London. I wanted the entire line, which was full of cool and timeless pieces, like long columns of chiffon with subtle cut-outs at the collarbone, gorgeous coats, and shirtdresses. Walsh had had a previous successful line, Poltock and Walsh, which folded after her partner had a baby and decided to pursue family life. Walsh had a baby, too, and is currently pregnant with number two, but she's pushing on with this brand new label. Her husband, Simon, is a former bespoke shoemaker and he runs the business side of things.
She told us, "I really concentrate on natural fabrics like cotton, silks, wools, shell buttons. Everything is French seamed and really well finished. But we’ve managed to keep the price points really competitive. Also it’s timeless. You can imagine people from 18-50 wearing this." Indeed we can, and we hope it hits the US really soon. (Heads up, Barneys CO-OP!)
Lucas Nascimento: Lucas Nascimento is a Brazilian-born, London-raised designer, who showed his sophomore collection at Somerset House this season. This year he was one of the autumn/winter 2012 Topshop Newgen winners, which means he gets a lot of high level industry mentorship and attention at fashion week. His collection, which was a combination of ladylike and street, was based on things he remembers from his childhood in both Brazil and the UK--like bottles, skaters, and graffiti. Nascimento told us of the collection, "I love its lean look, and skirts that go below the knee. You’ll always see that. It’s always elegant, but how do you bring that into the street? I want to be fun as well. I like textures and colors." The support and guidance he received from Newgen was invaluable, and he happily reported to me that buyers have been intersted.