The next generation of catwalk kings and queens

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Young designers have been rewarded for their ingenuity with British Fashion Council

The high street may have been hit hard by the financial storm but it is still eager to invest in tomorrow's big names. The British Fashion Council announced yesterday which young designers would receive Newgen sponsorship to help them show and exhibit at London Fashion Week in September. The scheme, supported by Topshop, was set up in 1993 and has helped many a style luminary achieve fame – previous winners include Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon and Christopher Kane. You might not have heard of the latest crop but it's just a matter of time before they scale similar heights.

"It's now even more imperative to create inspirational products. Customers want things that are exciting and new," said Mary Homer, the managing director of Topshop.

In a celebration of ingenuity and originality, the Newgen panel has handpicked 17 recipients for its bursaries, including new names in womenswear, jewellery design and shoe making. This will be the fourth season that London's favourite scenester, Henry Holland, has received funding for his catwalk show. And Michael van der Ham receives the money for his first show after leaving university. The grants go towards the designers' catwalk shows, as well an exhibition stand to showcase their collections during fashion week.

Economic hardship has helped London's designers before. In the 1990s the capital was a breeding ground for designers who fulfilled their visions on meagre budgets. John Galliano, McQueen and Stella McCartney were snapped up by larger fashion houses when the economy improved, before striking off to create their own labels.

Designers like Gareth Pugh and Henry Holland have emerged from an East End contingent of craftsmen who have helped re-assert London's position among fashion cities.

London Fashion Week, often dismissed and seen as a smaller event than those in New York, Paris and Milan, has a reputation for showcasing more conceptual, outlandish work from new designers. Whereas in New York spectators may be faced with trousers suits and cocktail dresses, in London their senses are more likely to be assaulted with bondage outfits, PVC poodle suits (courtesy of Gareth Pugh) and bright, cartoonish pieces.

This year, which marks the 25th anniversary of the British Fashion Council, Burberry will feature on the schedule. The British label has previously only shown in Milan. Its international importance means it is sure to attract buyers from around the world. It is hoped those buyers will attend shows by other labels as well – and so get to know new designers.

Louise Gray

Who Scottish designer Louise Gray showed her first collections with the help of young designers initiative Fashion East.

What Gray's heavily embellished T-shirts and dresses are often finished with coils of wire, tassels and circuitboards. Having worked for Lanvin and Diane Von Furstenberg, she also recently designed a range of men's T-shirts for the Comme des Garçons concept store, Dover Street Market, which quickly sold out.

She says "There's such a feeling of support in London, with Newgen and Fashion East. There's a lot here to nurture, help and protect. It inspires all kinds of people because it's such a mixture. It's great that they can all exist here."

Co-operative Designs

Who Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann met at Central Saint Martins where they both specialised in knitwear.

What The duo subvert traditional knitting techniques and patterns to create a singularly innovative take on cutting-edge knitwear. They use their collection as platform to collaborate with jewellery designers, artisan embroiderers and other brands, and have just completed a second season consulting for one of London Fashion Week's brightest alumni, Hussein Chalayan.

They say "We have got so much exposure through Newgen – they have a showroom in Paris, too, so they really push you towards commercial success and meeting the press and the buyers. They really try to put you in contact with all the right people."

Mark Fast

Who 28-year-old Canadian who studied fashion design knitwear at Central Saint Martins.

What Fast's imaginative use of wool in his graduate collection caught the eye of buyers from the boutique Browns Focus. One of his spider-web, body-conscious dresses graced the form of the actress Tilda Swinton on the cover of AnOther Magazine earlier this year and he has contributed to a catwalk show for the Spanish label Loewe, which will be shown in Paris in October.

He says "They took a chance on me, but Newgen is like the roots of my career. Without it, showing wouldn't be possible, and they give such great support, from advice on financial matters to finding you a lawyer. I'm going to mix things up with my work next season – so expect something cinematic."

Peter Pilotto

Who Christopher De Vos and Peter Pilotto are graduates from Antwerp's prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

What With Pilotto's focus on textiles and prints and De Vos concentrating on form, structure and silhouette, the duo are known for combing the two to create a modern, space-age elegance. Style.com recently identified the Peter Pilotto label as one of the "Ten Most Promising New Talents" in the industry.

They say "London is such an exciting place – you get such quality out of it in every sense, far from just one-offs or one-trick ponies. The scheme is great on so many levels, not just for exhibiting our work but also for training in the business aspects of fashion."

Meadham-Kirchhoff

Who Englishman Edward Meadham and French-born Benjamin Kirchhoff graduated in 2002 from Central Saint Martins.

What After launching their womenswear collection in 2006, the pair has shown in London with Newgen help for the past two seasons. Their label has become synonymous with the tough chic trend seen in recent seasons, mixing sophisticated, bourgeois pieces with slashed and ragged details inspired by hard street culture.

They say "Newgen's a great platform for young labels to gain international recognition. People expect a real thrill from London fashion and the programme is such a good introduction in to how to deal with that, the press and the buyers. The panel is made up of such influential and interesting people, they really know what they're doing."

Michael van der Ham

Who Dutch-born van der Ham graduated with a masters in fashion womenswear from Central Saint Martins last year.

What His graduate collection opened the college's autumn/winter 09 show in February and won him the L'Oréal Professional Award. Inspired by the artist Andy Warhol, the pieces he showed were highly conceptual but sexy and wearable, fusing a vintage feel with tough-looking modern design.

He says "My designs are like a mismatched collage of different decades all stuck together – I like the irony of cutting up clothes to make a new garment. I'm only just out of my MA, so it's great to get this attention. No other city would organise this kind of thing and I wouldn't be able to show without it."

News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
Sport
Sean Abbott
cricketSean Abbott is named Australia's young cricketer of the year
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Sauce Recruitment: Partnership Sales Executive - TV

    competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: An award-winning global multi-media...

    Sauce Recruitment: Account Director

    £26017.21 - £32521.19 per annum + OTE $90,000: Sauce Recruitment: My client is...

    Recruitment Genius: Linux Systems Administrator

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of UK Magento hosting so...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Development Manager - North Kent - OTE £19K

    £16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen...

    Day In a Page

    Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

    Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

    Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
    DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

    The inside track on France's trial of the year

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
    As provocative now as they ever were

    Sarah Kane season

    Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

    Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

    Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea