The finalists are getting ready for London Fashion Week by Kristina von Oertzen, editor & founder of myshoppingspy.com
In less than a week’s time Fashion Fringe will present the collections of this year’s finalists at London Fashion Week. It will be a big event for the three finalists who have been preparing for this day since they’ve been selected in April this year.
Fashion Fringe was founded in 2003 by Colin McDowell to provide a platform for young emerging designers to showcase their talent and launch their label in London. The winners receive intense mentoring and financial support including the chance to show their collections at London Fashion Week. It is a huge opportunity for young designers and a well-respected industry award.
I met Fashion Fringe for an exclusive studio tour and an interview with the three finalists. One of my urgent questions was of course when and where we will be able to get our hands on their designs.
Teija originally from Finland thought about setting up her own label when she left college but without any experience it seemed too ambitious at the time. Working for high-end luxury brands like Michiko Koshino and UK’s leading lifestyle brand Ted Baker has given her the confidence and skills to launch her own label earlier this year.
After managing designs sold globally Teija now loves spending time with individual pieces and sculpting them with no particular rush. Teija positions herself clearly in high end using suppliers mainly from France and Italy. There is no compromise on quality and a generous use of fabric to give the garments a luxurious feel. Fitting is important to her since it can make all the difference. This is why every garment will be altered until it sits perfectly.
Her debut collection is a wonderful journey from fairy-tale Finland to edgy London with quite a lot of pieces to get excited about.
If you don’t want to wait until spring next year have a look at Ted Baker’s current collection. It was created when Teija was working as head of design.
Store details: www.myshoppingspy.com/london/ted-baker-chelsea
Chinese born Haizhen accidentally ended up in fashion after his father enrolled him in the wrong course because the apparent saving on fees seemed so attractive. He soon fell in love with designing clothes, moved to London to study at Central Saint Martins and was picked up by Max Mara shortly afterwards.
Haizhen worked for a few couture and high-end labels and eventually set up his own label in 2010. This is how I met Haizhen originally by dropping into his workshop boutique nestled under the Westway in the Portobello Green Arcade in Notting Hill.
Haizhen’s SS13 collection follows his love for uniforms and avant-garde couture with looks that are sophisticated and feminine but with a hard edge to it. Soft silk combined with leather, tough accessories and details like 3D pockets make the collection stand-out.
I highly recommend checking out Haizhen boutique BEFORE he launches his collection at LFW to secure a piece of this hugely talented designer
Store details: www.myshoppingspy.com/london/haizhen-wang-workshop-boutique
Vita, the third finalist has an interesting background She is fairly new to fashion but has a wealth of knowledge from other areas under her belt. With a background in film making, her love for photography and art and working in textiles printmaking the launch of her fashion brand seemed a natural next step.
You can clearly see the eclectic mix of talents in her designs, which are a vibrant mix of colours, textures and unusual details.
Inspiration for the collection was Paul Poiret’s 1911 party ‘Thousand and Second Night’ where guests were asked to wear Persian dresses and indulge in dancing in the moonlight. Vita loves the idea of dressing up and how your mood changes depending on the outfit you wear. I wonder how it feels to wear ‘the cones’ – They are the signature detail of the collection and can be found on vests and shoulder pieces in generous amounts.
With her background of film making I’m very much looking forward to her catwalk show which I’m sure won’t be just an ordinary show.