Beginning his fashion career in Australia back in 2009, with an impressive showing at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, after graduating from the Sydney Institute of Technology’s fashion school only two year’s prior, 28-years-old Dion Lee’s big ticket came in February 2013. As the designer prepared to show his collection at London Fashion Week, he acquired one more runway presentation before his stop in The Smoke: New York. For the designer, this would clench the international fame presented him just the prior year, when he was announced winner of the International Woolmark Prize in the Australian region.
Admired for his body-con style dresses, Lee’s designs are distinguished by their intricate twist — literally. Woven for glamour, Lee’s choice of organic fabrics are imagined so they both reveal and conceal, creating ultra feminine silhouettes.
On top of the designer’s impressive Ready-to-Wear collection, Lee also dabbles in swimwear, an added bonus this SS ’15 fashion season. Our interest is especially piqued after seeing what his Resort 2015 collection yielded in Paris, which saw structured and fluid fabric juxtaposed, while crisscrossed fabrics and geometric patterns were paired in perfect harmony. Let’s all bare witness to what Dion Lee presents this season, we predict it to be a standout.
A graduate from Central Saint Martins, the Parisian designer Faustine Steinmetz has carved out a unique niche that has her recreating a classic pair of Levi jeans and the iconic Burberry trench coat from scratch. Applying her pioneer prowess to fashion, the designer uses traditional methods of craft to loom together these everyday pieces with her team in her East London studio. Here she works hard at reviving and redefining the meaning of value, and as her line of couture basics showcases, while we may have long passed the Industrial Age, craftsmanship need not be lost.
The proof of this is in each piece from Steinmetz’s collection. For SS ’14 she created a pair of tapestry jeans that took 10 pairs of hands and countless hours to make, and for AW ’14, the designer tailored a pair of jeans woven with copper that mould to the body of the wearer. Don’t believe us? When you order your own handmade pair of Faustine Steinmetz jeans, you can watch their process by checking in on the status of your order via Steinmetz’s site.
Sitting on the edge of our seats to see what the designer has in store for us this SS ’15 season, we’ve been trying to decode the meaning of her new collection’s statement: “I am exploring the gap between the physical garments you buy in the shops and the image you have of those same garments.”
A favourite amongst the hipster sect, Steinmetz has fittingly been selected by TopShop’s initiative NEWGEN, to showcase her collection for the first time at London Fashion Week. Loom sales are about to see a rise.
Born in Rome, Stella Jean is a true Italian…well, a mix of Italian and Haitian, but truly Italian in her commitment to classic tailoring. Before her creative vision made it to the runway, Jean began her fashion career modelling for Egon von Furstenberg (designer and ex-husband of Diane von Furstenberg).
For the designer, who had a short go at studying political science before dropping out, this was a foot in the door and ultimately a way to break into the industry with no formal training in fashion design. An unschooled maverick, Jean’s designs were born from simply pinning fabric onto models.
In 2011, the designer broke into the big league after being crowned the winner of Vogue Italia’s 2011 Who Is On Next contest, which came with a feature spread in the magazine and international media exposure.
Having captured the attention of critics, Jean continues to impress with career highlights that include her showing at last season’s Milan Fashion Week, where the designer made fashion history by becoming the first emerging womenswear designer to be shown at Giorgio Armani’s Teatro space.
A melange of fabrics sourced out of west Africa, as part of the International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative, a United Nation’s project, Jean’s SS ’14 collection was a singular showing, that demonstrated her talent for modernizing the feminine charms of ’50s and ’60s silhouettes and her eye for vibrant patterns and sensational prints. And, the same can be said for the designer’s AW’ 14 collection, for which she collaborated with Christian Louboutin, designing shoes featuring her signature Burkina Faso stripes.
Between the geometric patterns and animal prints (as in the whole creature, not its spots and stripes), Jean’s designs are not only impossible to miss on the runway, but also not to be missed.
Gaging from his career trajectory thus 26-year-old Yang Li, isn’t one to worry about the status quo. A Central Saint Martins dropout, Li’s natural talent has made up for ditching the books, as his past internship for Raf Simons and current runway success demonstrates.
Raised in Australia, Li is based out of London these days, while Paris is where the designer goes when ready to make waves.
Debuting in first formal collection (FW ’13) at Paris Fashion Week a year and a half ago, Li has since become known for his voluminous maxi skirts, which have become a signature piece of his designs. True to form, his most recent FW ’14 collection, entitled, “the dreamer,” is composed of floor length skirts made of fur, seen on the runway paired with fur bra tops. A standout for us appeared in the form of a nod to the skateboard culture popular in Li’s hometown of Perth, a black fur shirt with the fuzzy imprint of the word “dreamer” marking it.
A rebel with talent to spare, Li is Paris Fashion Week’s new up-and-coming “it” boy.
This past spring, when Nova Scotia native Matthew Gallagher closed Toronto Fashion Week with his FW ’14 collection, it was clear from the critical praise, his show left a lasting impression.
Shortly after graduating from the Istituto Marangoni and Istituto Europeo Di Design in Milan, Gallagher launched his eponymous label, intent on showing off his Italian training.
And like the Italian fashion masters before him, his designs are simultaneously seductive and sophisticated. The feminine nature of the collection subtly shows off the female body, focusing on flattering necklines with curves of fabric and the legs with high cut slits.
The burgeoning talent that has the Canadian scene buzzing, Gallagher’s designs are knocking on international fame — we’d bet our seat at his SS ’15 show on it.Published September 3, 2014