Monday 18th February

| BY Richard Gray

Fashion East: Ready-To-Wear AW19

The world’s style press and department store buyers made their way to Lambeth this afternoon for the Fashion East show. It’s this, not-for-profit organisation, founded by fashion legend and fairy godmother to the capital’s design graduates, Lulu Kennedy, which has become a well-spring for the new and breaking talent. The show, which showcases the work of three lucky young designers every season, provides advice, sponsorship and a venue for three fashion designers and their collections. First up:

Charlotte Knowles

Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexander Arsenault sent out a beautiful collection, which riffed on the world of lingerie and it’s accompanying saucy and elaborate fastenings. These came fused with club-wear snappy dresses and separates. Its Knowles’ next-level experiments with fabrics and prints, and her constantly evolving thoughts on what constitutes contemporary sexiness in womenswear right now, that sets her head and shoulders above many designers in the capital this week. Her thoughts for autumn: a battle-ready and city-girl wardrobe, which chimes with her sexy and confident customer base. What a great show.

Gareth Wrighton

This St Martin’s grad, has worked as a stylist and assisted designer Charles Jeffrey. He has been a video games designer and filmmaker too. Now, Wrighton – a man of so many talents – has turned his hand to womenswear. And what a debut: political and playful, his collection toyed with feminine tropes and the idea of “pretty”, to create a series of standout looks – the landscape knit first section of the show was beautiful. A bra strap, attached and hanging from the back of a pink stain cocktail complete with big bow, came strewn with rifle cartridges: was the Wrighton girl like one of the characters in his computer games? Was this a country house shooting-season party gone wrong? His woman is certainly strong. And sassy. We predict store buyers will be whipping out the cheque books for this one.

Yuhan Wang

What a beautiful way with fabrics this talented London based designer has. Wang played with candy-coloured fabrics ruched and cut, folded and stitched into a “day at the races”, sugar-coated wardrobe, complete with floppy hats and ruched fabric lady-heels. Too sweet? No. It actually felt quite sinister in parts. And refreshing: while the rest of the fashion world explores streetwear, Wang moves us on. There’s something very clever about her work and also underhand. If those around you dress down – dress up! she argues. Count us in.

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.