Elliot Atkinson, a graduate of Edinburgh’s Royal College of Art, is making his debut on the London Fashion Week schedule, where he’s showing as part of the Fashion East group show.

Although he’s a new name on the schedule, Atkinson’s fall 2010 collection was carried exclusively at Browns Focus in London. The designer — who describes his look as “tough and feminine” — said this season he was inspired by the idea of “Americana,” from elements of Native American costume, to Westerns, to extreme body art.

“It’s sharp tailoring and shirts, and then mixing fabrics like animal skins against fine woven jackets — it’s a very sleek silhouette,” said the designer.

He has also refined his aesthetic by working with the stylist Vanessa Coyle of British Harper’s Bazaar, whose edgy look is a favorite of street-style photographers. Though Atkinson has now planted his flag in London, he noted that studying in Edinburgh — well away from the British capital’s bustle — had influenced his work. “You have that space to really think about who you are and who you’re dressing,” he said. “You are really isolated there — that’s very me, a bit of a misanthrope.”



James Long has already made a name for himself showing men’s wear in London. This season, the designer known for his leather and knit creations is taking on a full women’s wear collection, too.

The women’s line was conceived because Long found himself selling a lot of his men’s designs — such as oversize, intricate knit sweaters — “to girls” he said.

“We thought maybe we should translate what we do into women’s wear, but with a new twist,” said Long, a Brit who’s a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art’s master’s of arts course.

The fall women’s collection will feature plenty of Long’s men’s wear signatures, such as knitwear, embroidery and leather. His touchstones this season include Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks and Nancy Spungen. He will show as part of the Fashion East lineup.

Among the looks: chiffon shirts with macramé details, Aran knit dresses and leather biker trousers.

“There is an element of glamour to it, but it’s not in-your-face,” said Long. “It’s understated, but still very sexy.”

— N.J.

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