Fashion Scout, the international showcase for fashion pioneers, is delighted to announce the four winners of The Ones to Watch Award for London Fashion Week AW18; Maddie Williams, i-am-chen, Susan Fang and Kristel Kuslapuu.
Selected from a long list of emerging designers, the Ones To Watch winners receive the opportunity to showcase during London Fashion Week. Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch provides a unique platform for the brightest new designers, with many going on to become established labels in the international fashion industry.
The Judging panel consisted of six industry experts including Martyn Roberts – Fashion Scout’s Founder and Director, Hattie Crisell – Acting Fashion Editor at The Times, Ida Petersson – Womenswear Buying Director at Browns, Emma Firth – Online Fashion Editor at Hunger, Kendall Robbins – Fashion Programme Manager at The British Council and Fabio Piras – MA Course Leader at Central St Martins, gathered to make the decision at Selection Panel in November 2017.
Created in 2014, this collaborative show is now in its 10th Season and continues to be one of the most anticipated shows during LFW. Ones to Watch is instrumental in raising the profile of emerging design on a global scale. Previous winners include; Eudon Choi, Georgia Harding, Phoebe English, Typical Freaks, Joanna Berling, Helen Lawrence, EDDA and Typical Freaks, alongside SS18 winners; Neo Design, Starsica, Ji Won Choi and Triinu Pungits. The Ones To Watch show and presentation plays a major role in the promotion of design innovation. These showcases are designed to develop business internationally and has been created to generate maximum media and buyer attendance.
Graduate of Edinburgh College of Art, British designer Maddie Williams presented her eco award-winning graduate collection in June 2017 at Graduate Fashion Week scooping the Catwalk Textiles Award and Dame Vivienne Westwood Ethical Internship Prize. Through her work she shows that ‘eco’ fashion can still be exciting and avant garde, aiming to dispel the assumptions of it having to be minimal. Her work plays with silhouette and texture and crossing the boundaries between fashion, costume and ne art.
Maddie Williams has been featured in Vogue, Vogue Italia, Hunger, Schon, Marie Claire, You Magazine and The Evening Standard to name a few. Her collection imagines a group of Goddess like figures and is inspired by the merging numerous threads of research, from Art Brut and Ancient Greek philosophy, to the French Revolution and the dress of contemporary Matriarchal Societies. Her silhouettes are greatly influenced by ancient carved fertility figurines that were made to celebrate female regenerative power, which accentuated and glorified the form of the female body.
Maddie Williams said upon winning a Ones To Watch award, “Receiving this award was something I was 100% not expecting, and took me completely by surprise! It was a very good surprise though and I am really humbled and excited to have been picked, it’s a great opportunity to get to generate some new work and show to a wider audience! I want to thank Fashion Scout for being so supportive of me and my progression as an emerging designer!”
Three years out for university, Susan Fang has continued to develop her eponymous label whilst working under major design houses. Her brand presents original alternatives to the usual garment, exploring the interaction of the body with clothing, through the exploration of new colour dimensions and fresh silhouettes. Her 2015 Central Saint Martins graduate collection was widely applauded by press and was featured in Dazed, Dezeen and The Evening Standard.
Her new AIRWAVE AW18 collection will present an entirely new air-weave technique that allows the fabric itself to float between the two and three dimensional. This new technology leads to a design and textile innovation that presents interdimensional colour and mirage movement, creating a ceaseless illusion of wave between colour and form with the wearer’s natural body movement. This allows the garment or accessory to be accessibly worn in uni-size, as it can expand to any size and shape of human body as well as transformed entirely flat in 2D when unworn.
Susan Fang said on winning a Ones To Watch award, “It’s a great honor to be awarded for Ones To Watch with Fashion Scout this season. For an emerging designer and brand, Fashion Scout is a great platform and show to immediately be seen by such an wide audience and the press, as well as generous support from the Fashion Scout team and sponsors. I am extremely excited for this amazing opportunity to showcase my labels debut collection.”
Hong Kong based designer ZHI Chen, is behind knitwear label i-am-chen, now in its third season. i-am-chen strives to bring the fun and light-hearted spirit to people who embrace an eternal sense of childish playfulness. Focusing exclusively on knitting, i-am-chen aims to challenge the definition of knitting by creating garments made by advanced machines with new techniques, using unconventional yarns. By playing with different machines and yarns, Chen creates unique garments full of eye-catching shapes and bold yet wearable colour combinations.
After graduating in 2014 from Donghua University in Shanghai, Chen continued her studies with national scholarship at Parsons School of Design in New York and completed a Masters at London College of Fashion in 2017. A winner of the 2017 Łódź Young Fashion Award, i-amchen is currently stocked in concept stores Machine-A, Desperado, Resitr and HUG. Also, a winner of Creative Callout by Lane Crawford, a collaboration between the two will take place in 2018. i-am-chen has been featured in British Vogue, WGSN, Dezeen, L’Officiel, Modern Weekly, Because and CHIC China.
ZHI Chen said upon winning a Ones To Watch award, “It is truly an honour to be awarded Ones To Watch among so many top fashion talents in the world. While I do believe in myself, the recognition by Fashion Scout is tremendously reassuring and encouraging. It strengthens my belief in knitwear. I am extremely excited about the runway show; it is going to be the first time I come back to London since I graduated.”
Fashion Scout Founder and Director Martyn Roberts commented: “This season’s Ones to Watch truly demonstrates what the award was created to showcase and we are excited to have expanded the award across the catwalk and presentation studio to fit with our winner’s creative views. We have a bold and colourful eclectic mix of designers from diverse cultures, making Ones To Watch the highlight of the A/W 18 schedule.”
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