Lulu Kennedy, the founder of the talent incubator Eastern Fashion, has given many young fashion designers a home for their collections and ideas. His list includes Charlotte Knowles, Nensi DojakaRoksanda Ilincic and many more – all designers who are now on the official London Fashion Week calendar.
So it’s no surprise that the three new designers she’s representing this season – Standing Ground, Jawara Alleyne and Karoline Vitto – have all decided to focus on the idea of home away from home.
No more WWD
Michael Stewart, the man behind Standing Ground, held firm by presenting a standalone presentation before the shared tracks, which became a formula for Eastern Fashion designers. His models stood like sculptural columns in the middle of an empty concrete room in draped dresses.
“I’m inspired by very old landscapes and artifacts, especially from Ireland, where I’m from, they’re dotted across the landscape,” Stewart said.
Jamaican-born designer Alleyne wrote a story around his collection about a yacht crashing into a pirate ship to comment on the current collapse of cultures.
“I feel like it suits London and the state we’re in in the world right now, where everything is colliding, from BrexitCOVID to the dying queen,” the creator said backstage.
The light and airy chiffon garments he showed were an ode to the clothes many people wear in his home country.
“The way we wear clothes in the Caribbean is very casual and we have a lot of recycling, reuse and ingenuity in our way of life,” Alleyne said, adding that he collects fabrics from friends, haberdasheries and vintage shops.
Brazilian designer Vitto called London home when she moved over five years ago to study at Central Saint Martins. His work has always been personal before being lucrative. She founded her brand in 2020 and has since strived to create more sensual clothing for tall women.
“Brazilians are known for showing their skin and thinking about beach bodies, which was always a problem for me when I was growing up,” Vitto said candidly, sharing that she was a size 14 or 16 since she gravitates between both.
Her mission was to figure out how the clothes felt on her body before she could gift them to friends and family.
“It started from this wearability experience that turned into an image exercise,” she said.
Vitto works primarily with viscose and silk jersey for the purpose of movement – she wants her clients to move freely while conforming to their body shape.
Launch the gallery: Fashion East RTW Spring 2023