the designer graduates to watch out for
Another year and another batch of insanely good designers all hoping to make it big in the industry. What with fashion’s constant musical chairs, and countless young designers all clamouring to be heard, it’ll be tough times ahead for the next...
Grant-James Povey, LCF
Enter Grant-James Povey the LCF graduate making some noise on the menswear scene. For his final MA collection, the menswear designer channelled all things Tudor, with a series of ruffles, puffed up sleeves, smocking and quilting, but reimagined for a modern generation. Think King Henry VIII meets Issey Miyake. This one will go very far, indeed.
Lydia Smith, Westminster
From bright orange velvet suits and leafy prints to patchwork jackets teamed with velvet shorts in ochre for her BA menswear collection, Westminster graduate Lydia Smith channelled 50 shades of autumn. One to watch for sure.
Joseph Standish, LCF
Joseph Standish. Now, where to start? The LCF graduate blew our minds with his recent BA collection, in which he sent a horde of masked models, part human, part monster (think shredded denim hair and furry orange eyebrows), and part Basquiat painting. Truly bizarre, but utterly incredible. Inspired by Japanese cartoons and traditional men from the Midlands who've worn the same denim jackets for over five decades, Joseph's collection is a backlash against high-end fashion not being relatable to normal people.
Supriya Lele, RCA
RCA womenswear graduate, Supriya Lele, presented her plastic fantastic MA collection titled An Intimate Distance; a dreamy candy-coloured exploration of femininity. Lele offered a new spin on materials that may be deemed as trashy, transforming them into a luxurious collection of floating bubble-gum pink PVC pieces, pulled together with gold tape and modelled by Jess Maybury. Definitely one to watch.
Sophie Schmidt, RCA
A futuristic cyber-babe look, i-D want to visit the galaxy where RCA womenswear graduate, Sophie Schmidt's designs have hailed from. In her otherworldly collection, Schmidt explored light, form and its correlation to the human body, through iridescent floating structures, which hung beautifully, like a vision of the northern lights highlighted by the minimal, sheer dress underneath. Yes please!
Yasemin Cakli, Westminster
Oversized cuts were the order of the day for Westminster's Yasemin Cakli, in a menswear collection that mixed heavy denim and flowing cotton, surf-shack gradients and tie-round-the-waist colour. With a presentation this strong, it's no wonder she stuck her name all over it, patterned scarves coming emblazoned with the moniker "YAZ" for all to see.
Philip Ellis, CSM
CSM graduate Philip Ellis draws inspiration from the multiculturalism of his hometown in the Peak District. For his BA menswear collection, the former Vetements and Meadham Kirchhoff assistant sent an array of models turned activists down the catwalk, armed with politically charged slogans ("don't bite the hand that feeds you" was sprawled across some of the models' chests) and colourful badges, borrowing cultural tropes from all over the world, from the Palestinian Keffiyeh - a type of traditional headscarf - to Rupert Murdoch's divisive newspaper The Sun.
Sergiy Grechyshkin, CSM
Ukrainian designer Sergiy Grechyshkin has been making all the right noises. In 2015 he won the LVMH Scholarship Grand Prize while last year he won the Sophie Hallette Award for being, well, just fabulous. Inspired by the ritual of bacchanalia throughout history, for his CSM graduate collection Sergiy sent a procession of 20s style flappers down the catwalk. Using a combination of mesh, lace and wire structures, and a palette of shocking pinks and violet, Sergiy perfect tempered a feminine look with a masculine attitude.
Philip Luu, Westminster
Turning the Brexit storm clouds peach, purple, yellow and blue; that was the modus operandi of Westminster graduate Philip Luu's BA womenswear collection. With billowing rosettes of colour, layered both over and under the well-constructed garments, the strong silhouetting read as a both nod to the proto-power dressing of the women's suffragette movement, as well as a testament to keeping your head in the, well, clouds.
Mao Tsen Chang, RCA
Womenswear Knitwear student Mao Tsen Chang tackled animal rights issues with her wild and hard-hitting collection. Rethinking the fur industry and animal rights, the young designer explored the relationship between humans and animals. Her eclectic pieces used a wide range of fabrics, patterns and colours including faux fur and leopard print.