Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Supporting Success

      The fashion industry is noted as being one of the most notoriously hard industries to get into. From fashion college to fashion courses there is no easy paint-by-numbers way onto the catwalk. You can't cheat. Fashion just isn't that simple. Not only that but it is also one of the hardest industries to stay popular within. One bad move and your career can be upturned. One minute you're on the runaway and the next minute you've fallen off it and landed in a MacDonald's commercial. In the infamous words of Heidi Klum: one day you're in and the next day you're out.
        Although, this is not altogether true, the industry is not quite as black and white as it would seem and whilst many models, designers, photographers and journalists alike make fleeting appearances within the industry, others establish themselves. Of course the majority of fashion hopefuls, do remain fashion hopefuls forever but it's the same within the industries of music, books, film and theatre. Success isn't easy but with talent, hard work and, more often than not, Internet exposure it's accessible. How else would Lana Del Rey be the success story she is today?

      Del Rey put in the hours. She wrote her own music, created her own videos and posted them online. She took control of her own career and as a result, she is now both number one on this week's UK album chart and on the cover of the March issue of Vogue. And if we look at many of today's fashion success stories, they did the same. Ricardo Tisci was not immediately embraced by high fashion after his stint at Central St Martins but he worked at the likes of Puma and other outlets before eventually becoming the praised Creative Director of Givenchy, which he is today. Tisci worked.
        However, what's interesting about the industry is that alongside hard work it does give the talented a helping hand. In the U.K. not only does British Vogue offer it's popular Talent contest to help aspiring fashion journalists enter the business but, along with the British Fashion Council, it gives out a Designer Fashion Fund of £200,000 at the start of every year. It helps British Fashion's most exciting names cement their positions within the industry. And as we can tell from 2012's nominees and, of course winner, the U.K. is not short of talent:

       Marios Schwab launched his eponymous collection just two years after graduating and from awards to collaborations the 33 year old never fails to produce some of LFW's most exciting shows. SS 2012 is no different as he plays with the contours of the female body to brilliant effect. Meadham Kirchhoff, on the other hand, have been the focus of continuous fashion attention due to their eccentricity, as they play with old fashioned images to create thoroughly modern looks, whilst Mary Katrantzou has alternatively earned her praise through creating innovative prints that impress even the most hardy of critics.
       There is an abundance of talent and that is not even including Jonathan Saunders, the well-deserving winner of this year's award, who having been short-listed for the award last year against the tough competition of Christopher Kane, was finally paid his dues. In the short space of a year his brand has developed from the work of a gifted young designer to that of a sought-after talent. His oriental inspired designs for AW held the spotlight this season and looking at his array of ethereal SS calf-skimming dresses it looks as though the spotlight will be his for years to come.

         However, despite Saunders' success it is 2012 nominee Roksanda Ilincic who has particularly caught my eye. The London based designer has created an array of looks which combine both boldness and subtlety to perfection. They are colourful and yet not fussy. Ilincic plays with the likes of pleating and printing but doesn't overdo it and as a result it would seem that Saunders is not the only winner this season. There are plenty of other young talented British designers to look out for and luckily because the industry is so supportive, it looks as though these brands will not fade into obscurity but prosper just as the likes of Amanda Wakely and Burberry Prorsum have done so before.
Who will you be supporting this SS?

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