Fashion’s most exciting new names right now make changes, not just clothes. With a strong sense of community and inclusivity, these budding fashion designers bring the real world to the runways.
From Telfar Clemens to Marine Serre, these designers are definitely the ones to watch this coming 2019.
Scroll down to find out how they got the fashion world buzzing:
In a relatively short amount of time, he has built a reputation for the singular way he incorporates art, music and other diverse strands of the larger cultural conversation into his work.
In recent seasons, his fashion shows have become performances – in the best sense of the word – with clothes modelled by his singer and musician friends, who would write and perform original compositions for Telfar shows, giving his shows the throbbing energy of a rock concert.
Clemens might be much lauded by the fashion elite now, but he remains grounded and democratic; recent projects include making uniforms (which were later cleverly made available for purchase) for the White Castle burger chain – a staple of his Queens childhood – as well as doing a pop-up in discount store Century 21.
It shined a light on how black accomplishment has often been left out of history and pop culture. Modelled by an all-black cast and soundtracked by a powerful gospel choir, there were slogans that asked defiantly, “See Us Now?” Jean- Raymond also collaborated with artist Derrick Adams on a series of prints depicting black people beautifully going through the simple motions of life.
Jean-Raymond is no stranger to using his platform for empowerment and resistance – he screened a film in support of Black Lives Matter at his previous show – but he also uses it to pay tribute to POC designers and brands before him. For S/S ’19, there were shout-outs to Daymond Johns’ FUBU while the season before nodded at Cross Colours.
In the span of 2 runway shows, she’s established a signature – melding old-school couture tropes like opera coats, fish-tail skirts, ball dresses and ruffles with extreme sports elements from the worlds of scuba, motorcross and Formula One.
Her clothes strike notes of whimsy and fantasy, but remain rooted in the realities of everyday life – these are garments made to move, drive, stride and run in regardless of age, size, religion and as of S/S ’19, gender.
Her casting this season expanded to women of all ages (including our own Atikah Karim), a few toddlers and children, and several boys in her signature crescent moon prints and converted fleece blankets. That is another talent of Serre’s – an utterly fresh approach to found materials and upcycled garments.
White t-shirts and fishing vests are believably turned into couture-level confections – a continuation of last season’s sensational scarf dresses.
If that seems a little bleak, it’s because they have woven their personal experience and identity of being migrants and brown-skinned amidst Euro-centric ideals and these nationalist times.
The result was Survival Stories – a collection of clothing that offered and conveyed grace and power, strength and vulnerability in equal measures. The models they cast are the physical embodiments of these qualities.
In a few short seasons, they’ve made a splash for casting men that go against the grain; not just in terms of skin colour or age, but also for their powerful muscular builds – a rarity in an industry full of lanky boys.
Their approach now that they’ve significantly expanded their womenswear offering remain consistent – powerful women who don’t fit into conventional ideals of beauty, including Malaysian-German artist/model Soraya Jansen.