London Fashion Week SS22: Emerging designers to watch out for
London Fashion Week returns today, with plenty of designers set to showcase their (entirely gender-neutral) Spring/Summer 2022 collections via a mix of physical shows and digital presentations. Alongside a cast of British stalwarts, including Simone Rocha, Erdem, Matty Bovan, Richard Quinn and Vivienne Westwood, a multitude of burgeoning brands will also be taking to the catwalks from September 17 to 21––some for the first time, while others in the newly minted show space by TikTok, who's also an official partner of the British Fashion Council's NewGen programme this season.
So who to watch and what do we need to know about them? With so much incredible British talent on display, we've rounded up the top designers everyone will be talking about at London Fashion Week SS22:
When: Friday, September 17 at 8pm Malaysia time
Having worked under Kim Jones for a decade (during his tenures at Louis Vuitton and Dior Hommes), Edward Crutchley creates clothes that are intelligent, impeccably crafted and a reflection of true contemporary luxury. Alongside collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Kanye West and Pringle, the British designer was awarded the 'Innovator' and 'Menswear' awards at the prestigious International Woolmark Prize in 2019. His AW21 collection was a homage to his Northern roots and the characters of his childhood in Yorkshire––think cashmere-blend tracksuits and jacquard donkey jackets paired with animal-shaped clutches, the latter crafted by iconic accessories designer Judith Leiber.
When: Friday, September 17 at 11pm Malaysia time
As the 2021 recipient of the prestigious LVMH award for emerging talent, Albanian designer Nensi Dojaka's runway debut is one of the most highly anticipated shows in London this season. Her fresh take on modern femininity fuses '90s aesthetics with sheer fabrics, deconstructed panels and asymmetrical shapes––seen on the likes of Bella Hadid and Dua Lipa––to create pieces that are elegant, sexy and empowering. It's no wonder that her signature mini-dresses have been hailed as the most coveted LBDs of the year––there's no better way to do revenge dressing than in her strappy, delicately layered garments.
When: Saturday, September 18 at 6pm Malaysia time
If you're keen on whimsical elegance and silky floral fabrics that play on proportion and layering, Yuhan Wang is the answer. Since launching her eponymous brand in 2018, the Chinese designer has gained worldwide attention for her celebrations of femininity under the lens of romantic nostalgia. Her collections are gracefully rebellious in the way that it subversively deconstructs traditional notions of female fragility and sensibility to explore the relationship between Chinese traditions of femininity and Western culture. Inspired by the cultural backdrop of Tang Dynasty landscapes, her recent Autumn/Winter 2021 collection presented fantastical, nature-embossed watercolour prints across signature draped dresses and ruched tailoring, photographed on a cast of mothers, daughters and girlfriends.
When: Saturday, September 18 at 11pm Malaysia time
KNWLS is one of the brands behind the recent underwear-as-outerwear movement. Recognised for her deconstruction of femininity through fashion, South London founder Charlotte Knowles channels the feline spirit through offbeat, sassy pieces that manifest in the form of structured bodices, bodycon tops and dresses with flares of revealing cutouts in a utilitarian '90s-tinged aesthetic. Together with her partner Alexandre Arsenault, she's steadily built a brand that celebrates the female gaze––Ariana Grande, Grimes and Kylie Jenner have been frequently spotted in her pieces––and since their rebrand earlier this year, there's doubt that everyone will be eyeing their brand 'debut' this week.
When: Saturday, September 18 at 8:30pm Malaysia time
Born in Pyongyang and raised by her Ethiopian mother in Sweden, recent Central Saint Martins-graduate and Isabella Blow scholar Feben Vemmenby draws from her own transcultural background to create work that reclaims feelings of displacement. The young designer takes a surrealistic, genre-bending approach to create tailored designs that fuse fashion and art in an exploration of the visual codes of her identity, Black heritage and culture. The result is an altruistic vision rooted in community––one that is both familiar and otherworldly, easy to wear and spirited but bound to handcrafted luxury. It comes as no surprise that she was selected as one of the costumiers for Beyonce’s 'Brown Skin Girl' music video in 2019.
When: Monday, September 20 at 4.30pm Malaysia time
Since launching her brand in 2016 and debuting her first collection in 2017, British-Indian designer Supriya Lele has garnered international attention for her cross-cultural, decidedly female perspective to create work deeply rooted between her Indian heritage and British cultural identity. Previously part of Fashion East, her first stand-alone show in September 2019 was a highlight on the London schedule of the season and in 2020, she was named a finalist for the prestigious LVMH award. For AW21, she referenced Indian folkloric motifs to create pick-me-up pieces in a palette of bubblegum pastels and twisting silhouettes that hug the body in flair. If her design trajectory says anything, it's that her second in-person show is definitely not one to miss.
When: Monday, September 20 at 11pm Malaysia time
Founded by Lulu Kennedy in 2000, Fashion East is one of the industry's greatest incubators for young talent, having launched the careers of multiple household names––incuding Kim Jones, Simone Rocha and Jonathan Anderson––and the one to watch for future industry heavyweights. This year's line-up features cult-favourite Maximilian, who celebrates Black history and identity in his work; Korean designer Goom Heo and her future-forward tailoring; accessories connoisseur HRH; subversive menswear designer Jawara Alleyne; and visionary durian-inspired knitwear designer Chet Lo, the newest addition to the initiative.
Find more stories on the Spring/Summer 2022 season here.