This season marks the 20th anniversary of Lulu Kennedy’s emerging talent support platform Fashion East, which over the years has helped 144 designers — including Kim Jones, Craig Green, JW Anderson and Martine Rose — gain recognition at the beginning of their careers.
This season, four brands showcased their collections via films: Goomheo, Nensi Dojaka, Saul Nash and new addition Maximilian Davis.
“I’m incredibly grateful I’ve been able to do what I love doing best. I wouldn’t change a thing,” Kennedy said. “It is an honor to get to work with and present these four fabulous talents this season. I am in awe of their visions, creativity, optimism and the resilience they have shown throughout these difficult circumstances.”
South Korean designer Goomheo drew inspiration from the erotic paintings of German artist Paul Wunderlich for her second collection. Her design explores what it means to be watched, and how one responds to becoming the object of another’s attention. In the film, artist Zhuo Chen makes continual jump kicks to show the movement of flowy fabric and fringe details on the clothes.
Albania-born Dojaka continues her interest in lingerie and for spring expanded her offering into swimwear, bodywear and long evening dresses, mostly in black. Influenced by dance, the female body, and the abstract interplay of shapes and shades, the designer said her design process is all about draping and the silhouette. Harley Weir shot 12 looks against a green screen with city scenes added in post-production for her film.
In his film, Nash takes his rhythmic dance numbers to the Seven Sisters cliffs in Eastbourne. He has been presenting his collection through choreography from season one. “I wanted the pieces to open up and move, with this image in my head of men spinning in space. After lockdown, I took a trip to the coast, which gave me a feeling of escapism. It made me think about transformation, about shape-shifting through what we wear,” Nash said. His collection was inspired by the billowing fabric of 1890s dance pioneer Loie Fuller, and costumes of the Sufi whirling dervishes while maintaining functionality and durability.
Davis, a London College of Fashion graduate trained under Grace Wales Bonner, looked to his Trinidad and Tobago heritage — Carnival — for his Fashion East debut. He mixed it with aristocratic frock coats, white cravats and fashion trends from the Aughts, such as low waist and micro miniskirts. The result is a minimal aesthetic that champions Black beauty, history and identity.