CREATIVE COLLECTIVE: London fashion figures gathered on Tuesday night to mark the launch of “London Uprising,” a book by Tania Fares and Sarah Mower that spotlights 50 talents based in the British capital, and a look inside their studios and working spaces.
“What people usually see in fashion are shows and models and beautiful imagery, but by visiting the designers’ studios, I got to see all these different types of professionals employed by the designers who make up the 28 billion pounds [$34 billion] industry,” said Mower, the fashion writer and British Fashion Council’s ambassador for emerging talent.
“Having Christopher [Bailey] walk me through the Burberry headquarters, showing me the desks with all the tech people, seeing Sarah Burton’s very private studio, which is located on the top floor of the McQueen building, and then the bridal studio downstairs where Kate Middleton’s dress was created, or on the other end of the spectrum, visiting Molly Goddard’s studio in West London, gives you a very different perspective.”
Bailey, Burton, Simone Rocha, Molly Goddard, Erdem Moralioglu, Charlotte Dellal and Osman Yousefzada, whose work and creative studios are all featured in the book, were among the guests.
“It felt like it consolidated my work,” said Yousefzada of the shoot and interview that are included in the book. He said he’s starting to plan a celebration of his label’s 10th anniversary in September. Later this month, he will also be teaming with Barneys to host an event in New York.
Despite the celebratory atmosphere, conversations naturally veered toward Brexit and the atmosphere of instability that has been putting a strain on young designer labels, following news of Sibling’s closure last week.
“We provide support to designers as much as we can, and despite the climate, some of the labels we work with are continuously growing. We hope to see Sibling come back in the future in a different way,” said Fares, a cofounder of the British Fashion Council Fashion Trust, which supports and mentors young designers.
Men’s wear designer Lou Dalton, who is not featured in the women’s wear-focused book, said she went to the party support her peers. She talked about having to rethink her entire brand structure in order to survive, moving away from the catwalk and shifting production locally to John Smedley factories.
“I think it’s disgusting that because of Brexit we have to be in this situation,” referring to the sourcing problems created by the weaker pound.
“However, I told myself that I don’t want to walk out of this, it’s what I know and love, so I had to make some changes. Moving away from the catwalk was one of the best things I could have done, it made me bring back the collection to its core, focusing on what we really are about. This was the first season where I felt that I could breathe,” said Dalton, adding that the shift of direction also opened up her brand to newfound interest from Japanese buyers.