Oriental Style cuts a dash in East End

SHELLEY FOX, winner of the first Jerwood Fashion Prize, showed her autumn/winter collection at London Fashion Week yesterday.

Less than one month ago, she was sleeping on her studio floor after her boiler broke at home and she could not afford to have it fixed. On 10 February, however, she won the largest-ever fashion prize - pounds 20,000 in cash, a guaranteed order from Liberty worth pounds 25,000, an interest-free loan against further orders for up to pounds 50,000, and access to a panel of judges who include designers Betty Jackson and Alexander McQueen.

Although her show was off the official schedule and in east London, the other side of the town from London Fashion Week's headquarters at the Natural History Museum,, the viewing was packed.

Yesterday's show was a development of Fox's Jerwood collection, fully representing her signature style. This starts with the fabrics, mainly felted wools, often buckled and scorched, in sombre colours: black, grey and burnt orange.

Fox, a 32-year-old of Scunthorpe, starts her cutting with geometric shapes, then cuts randomly placed neck and arm holes, the fabric being pulled into shape on the body around them. The resulting is reminiscent of the work of Japanese designers.

In an earlier show yesterday, Luella Bartley's crisp little dresses in high-quality men's shirting material looked sweet. Others in corduroy with biker zip fastenings were equally London-girl in flavour. Fondant coloured knits - powder pink, blue and cornflower - will no doubt sell.

Bartley has attracted interest from American Vogue, Barneys and Saks.

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