New blood at London Fashion Week
Tuesday 24 September 1996
In addition to these big names, we have the lifeblood of British fashion to consider, the young designers who are showing their debut collections. Stephen Fuller holds his first solo catwalk show on Saturday. And Thai designer Chamnan Phardeesuk is premiering his label Flynow by Chamnan tomorrow morning.
Today sees two off-schedule shows: the first is from Marcus Constable, who graduated with an MA from Central Saint Martin's in 1995. The second is from Earley Palmeiro. They will be showing their first catwalk show in the Clink Street Gallery, a converted wharf building opposite "the Clink" prison beside the Thames.
They met at Saint Martin's, where Rebecca was seen as something of a maverick with her own printing techniques. "I can come up with something different every season, and not do one flower print," she says. Just after graduation she worked for Karl Lagerfeld, and was then commissioned by Bjork to make a couple of dresses. One of them was covered by what look like electrified neon pins. Rebecca calls the technique "heat photogram printing".
The sketch (right) features an electrified fencing print on a tailored suit. Giovanna designs all the clothes, and adapts them according to Rebecca's print, sometimes making seamless silk wrap dresses that can hold an entire Earley print without breaking it. Today's collection, their third together, has been named after Jack Kerouac's book The Subterraneans, and is based loosely on its characters, but it is more strongly influenced by the City of London - the architecture; the river and the culture that surrounds it. The pair are currently stocked by Liberty, the British home of print, and Koh Samui.
The newest label to show in the UK this season is Flynow by Chamnan, who is the most successful fashion designer in Thailand, where he is head of design at CRC Creation (the Thai equivalent of Harvey Nichols). Now Chamnan wants to spread his wings. Given the choice of showing his own range in any world fashion capital, he chose London. "London is the right place for now. It is more creative than Paris, and I can relate to the people on the street," he says. So he has designed a 200-piece collection, inspired by flight, Peter Pan, and fairies.
The clothes are delicate yet strong, with super-strength stretch lace, sheer organza and fabric combinations that create interesting textures. Trousers are cut off just below the knee, into what Chamnan calls "the Peter Pan knee-length". There are also sculpted tailored pieces, to ground the collection. Chamnan has composed the music for his show, and he is styling it as well. Phew.
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