Fashion Scouts’ international showcase ‘Ones To Watch’ is imperative in raising the profile of talented emerging designers. Taking place during London Fashion Week, the recipients of this season’s award are Shie Lyu, Bowen Hu, 1×1 Studio and Aurélie Fontan. Here’s an exclusive first-look at their winning collections on the runway.
Born in China and having spent time in almost every fashion capital in the world, Shie Lyu has created a personal identity for her brand aided by her travels. With a bachelor’s degree in finance, an untraditional background for a designer, she was inspired to play mathematician for her AW19 collection which is represented though her scrupulous designs.
Her collection entitled ‘Precise Romance’ uses unconventional materials such as moulded Perspex, rubber and heat-shrink tubing. To fulfil the romantic element of the collection, the colour palette was ethereal hues of pastel pinks, lavenders and buttery yellows, creating a selection of delicate, modern outfits that look as if they had stepped straight out of a futuristic fairy tale.
New York based designer Bowen Hu studied at CSM and Parson’s and worked at The Row before launching her own label. She creates unisex clothing that reflect her perception of personalities and psychology, looking at how clothes can support the wearer and the environment around them. She often includes handmade layering using the edges of the fabric to create 3D surfaces. The sculpture-like garments can be walked down the runway or displayed in a gallery, but will never cease to amaze due to the artistic details in every piece.
The designer was inspired by the subconscious mind for A/W 19 collection titled ‘Lucid Dream.’ The models walked down the runway in a sea of soothing muted tones to a dreamy soundtrack created specifically for the collection. The shapes were slouchy but the fabric was meticulously layered to look like the weaves and patterns of the brain. Some would call her a designer, some a sculptor, but either way Bowen Hu is, undoubtedly, an artist.
The designers Yi-Ling Kuo and Wei-Yao Lin met at the London College of Fashion and founded the luxury menswear brand in 2017. Studying textiles and menswear design respectively, the duo share their expertise to create innovative knitting techniques which produce technical three-dimensional textures made from recycled materials. Each season, 1X1 Studio collaborates with different brands in order to expand their identity and ideas as a label.
This season, 1×1 Studio was inspired by futuristic technology displayed in cult movies of the 80s and 90s. Furthermore, designer Yi-Ling Kuo decided that the message of this collection was also that as a society we are becoming too reliant on technology, and that it is physically becoming a part of us. This was reflected in the usage of sci-fi masks that were so bespoke they looked like they were permanently attached to the model’s faces. The colour palette for the AW19 collection was predominately black and grey with accents of vibrant green and neon blue. The ensembles caters to both streetwear and formal attire of the male consumer, with sweatshirts, trousers and suits accessorised with reflective fabrics and digital accessories.
A graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, Aurélie Fontan is making avant-garde dressmaking sustainable by exploring bio-design, circular economy, and zero waste production. The designer launched her brand in 2018 and has won numerous awards for creating eco-friendly and digitally tailored womenswear. Her AW19 collection was made up of pieces of art that looked as if they could come from 2050. There were four completely recycled leather outfits which used recyclable fastenings rather than sewn stitches, giving the wearer a freedom to assemble the pieces in an original manner. There was a rose gold-toned dress that wouldn’t look out of place on Game of Thrones, but the fabric of it was developed from bacteria, making this couture piece completely bio-friendly. Fontan has shown the possibilities of positive change in fashion by combining technology with sustainability and the designer promises a series of recycled accessories and an RTW line produced entirely with sustainable textiles.
‘Ones to Watch’ is one of the most exciting shows to watch at Fashion Week. Four brand new distinctive designers wow the audience with new, inventive collections that set the tone for seasons to come, leading fashion towards a technologically advanced and a positive future. We can’t wait to see which new designers are picked for SS20.
Who was your favourite designer from this seasons winners?
Text: Sylvie Marilyn Keen and Pinanki Shah
Images: Angie Farrell, Amy Smith, Jade Berry, Fashion Scout