Meet the five rising talents of Fashion East AW20

Ahead of today’s show, we spoke to this season’s recipients to hear what they have in store.

by Mahoro Seward
|
15 February 2020, 8:55am

Photography Raphael Bliss

If London Fashion Week’s reputation is as a hotbed for the most exciting young designers, Fashion East is the reason. The non-profit initiative, founded by Lulu Kennedy in 2000, has long-since established itself as the cradle for burgeoning talent, launching the careers of designers that have gone on to become household names. Listing them all here would be an indulgent exercise, but a select edit includes Kim Jones, Jonathan Anderson, Simone Rocha, Charles Jeffrey and Craig Green.

Historically, Fashion East recipients have presented their collections in two gendered shows on both LFW calendars -- though that’s not to say that the designers’ work has ever been so discretely categorisable. It’s partly why this season, for the first time, Fashion East is going co-ed, bringing together it’s two talent streams for a bumper show of five (5!) collections.

As well as the three returnees -- Gareth Wrighton, Saul Nash and Ancuta Sarca -- are two fresh faces: Nensi Dojaka and Goom Heo. Their names may ring a bell from last year’s Central Saint Martins MA show, in which they fielded two of the standout collections. Nensi’s was a masterclass in soft-yet-strong lingerie-inspired bricolage, while Goom’s was a recuperation and validation of all that’s off-kilter, mediated via form-fitting sportswear.

To find out just what this season’s fab five have in store for us today, we pitched them just as many questions. Meet Fashion East’s class of AW20.

Nensi Dojaka by Raphael Bliss

Nensi Dojaka, 26

Where are you from? Tirana, Albania.
Where did you study? Central Saint Martins.
How many times have you shown with Fashion East? First time!

Could you describe this collection in four words? 90s, strong, soft, meticulous. How do you hope your work will change what fashion looks like? I hope it will add to the repertoire of emerging designers in London by bringing my contour background into ready-to-wear. What’s been the best thing about your experience showing with Fashion East? Their continuous support has been crucial to my collection. I have learnt so much in many aspects. What would be your advice to anyone thinking of applying next season? Be true to your work, be honest, be willing to learn and to push your boundaries. What’s the first thing you’ll be doing after the show? Rest, then prepare for London showrooms in Paris.

Saul Nash

Saul Nash, 27

Where are you from? London
Where did you study? Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art
How many times have you shown with Fashion East? Two.

Could you describe this collection in four words? Movement, shelter, duality, liberation. How do you hope your work will change what fashion looks like? I think when you act from a place of honesty you build connections with others. What’s been the best thing about your experience showing with Fashion East? It’s been a wonderful journey; I love the lead up to the show and watching everything come together. What would be your advice to anyone thinking of applying next season? Do what you believe in and have confidence in it. What’s the first thing you’ll be doing after the show? Party :) Rest for a day, then back to work!

Goom Heo

Goom Heo, 28

Where are you from? South Korea.
Where did you study? Central Saint Martins.
How many times have you shown with Fashion East? It’s my first.

Could you describe this collection in four words? Different experiences of romance. How do you hope your work will change what fashion looks like? I want it to end prejudice against menswear. What’s been the best thing about your experience showing with Fashion East? The great support and trust in my work. What would be your advice to anyone thinking of applying next season? Be yourself. What’s the first thing you’ll be doing after the show? Having a drink!

Ancuta Sarca

Ancuta Sarca, 28

Where are you from? Romania.
Where did you study? University of Art and Design of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
How many times have you shown with Fashion East? Two.

Could you describe this collection in four words? Speed, Knight Rider, otherworldly. How do you hope your work will change what fashion looks like? My work process is quite unconventional and aiming towards improving the quality and techniques season by season in an environmentally friendly way, so I hope that this will leave a footprint within the fashion landscape. What’s been the best thing about your experience showing with Fashion East? Having the opportunity to show my work at LFW with other amazing designers. What would be your advice to anyone thinking of applying next season? Just do it. What’s the first thing you’ll be doing after the show? Probably sleep

Gareth Wrighton

Gareth Wrighton, 26

Where are you from? Watford, London.
Where did you study? Central Saint Martins.
Number of seasons showing with Fashion East: Three.

Could you describe this collection in four words? Day at the Maul. How do you hope your work will change what fashion looks like? I’d personally love more jokes about cum printed on T-Shirts. What’s been the best thing about your experience showing with Fashion East? It is run by the kindest group of people, who have left an indelible mark on British fashion. What would be your advice to anyone thinking of applying next season? It's a brilliant blank canvas, a slice of Fashion Week you can truly make your own, for five minutes, all eyes are on your creations. What’s the first thing you’ll be doing after the show? I haven’t thought that far ahead yet...


Credits


Photography Raphael Bliss

Tagged:
London Fashion Week
LFW
fashion east
gareth wrighton
saul nash
Goom Heo
ancuta sarca
Nensi Dojaka
aw20