Shredded gowns, electric hues and body positivity: London’s young designers unleash at Fashion East

·2-min read
 (Fashion East)
(Fashion East)

It is notoriously the catwalk with the most creativity.

Fashion East, the London based talent incubator for young designers founded by Lulu Kennedy in 2000, once again hosted three independent labels for SS23, and each packed a punch.

 (Olu Ogunshakin/ Chris Yates Media)
(Olu Ogunshakin/ Chris Yates Media)

For Standing Ground’s debut, guests – which counted supermodel Jourdan Dunn and presenter Miquita Oliver – were welcomed by string of frozen models, draped in block coloured column dresses with a twist.

The label, founded by Michael Stewart this year, is based on subtle silhouettes. Intricate folding of jersey made for snaking rolls which hugged the body. “I want to offer something different from what we usually see from evening wear,” he told us afterwards.

 (Olu Ogunshakin/ Chris Yates Media)
(Olu Ogunshakin/ Chris Yates Media)

“It’s a study in jersey, and I wanted to treat it in different ways,” he said of the garments which take inspiration from ancient landscapes and artefacts. “There’s different motifs throughout. Embellishment, there’s beading. Lots of tailoring techniques.” Overall, it made for an restrained but enticing beginning.

Upstairs, and the sun was beating through the glass roof of the Mills Fabrica building in King Cross as Karoline Vitto’s first, slinky clad model stepped out. “It felt very emotional – to see everyone together,” she said of her London Fashion Week debut.

 (Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)
(Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)

“I like to say we accentuate the curves and celebrates the folds,” she continued, and her body positive array of cut out dresses looped with silver wire were the testament. “The clothes are all about embracing sensuality – but keeping it natural,” she said, of dresses which struck one note but did so with confidence.

 (Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)
(Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)

The loudest cheers came for Jawara Alleyne. The show was his third and final Fashion East moment, and delivered his signature in style: mixing his Caribbean heritage with artful draping and a DIY edge.

Shredded t-shirts made for free flowing, fringed dresses while the boys came in safety pin trimmed, sleeveless suit jackets and upcycled, block panelled denim.

 (Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)
(Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media)

“Everything is about drape work,” says the Rihanna-approved Alleyne (he dressed her as a spliff in Dazed magazine, which promptly went viral last year). “We also have a lot of chiffon this time, for a sense of eeriness in the collection as well.”

It was strong and encouraging step for the young designer who now heads into the industry solo. “I am excited for the future and potential of now,” he said. “For me Fashion East is about unravelling the narrative and the storytelling. I think I’ve manged to show that, and now I looking forward to continue to do it.”