NYFW is go – stay ahead of the game with these emerging names to watch
This New York Fashion Week might be the most promising yet, with a distinct focus on young, local talent, rather than the played-out household names. Designers with a unique, hands-on approach, like Area, LRS and Bror August, are being celebrated this year, while vibrant brands like Sandy Liang and the controversial Namilia will bring the wow factor. Discover more about them below.
For Bror August designer August Vestbo, details are everything. The Norwegian teen intimately customises each of his garments with painted zippers and hand-stitched sequins, making each piece one-of-a-kind. Vestbo collaborated with artist Maria Storm Gran last season to immortalise his inaugural collection, creating short film “FILM ORANGE” where youthful girls are seen dancing in romantic orange dresses and boxy pant sets.
“For this collection, I have worked with very old techniques that are in respect to the craftsmanship of making clothing, but with the knowledge that I am young and coming of age,” the designer said. “I like the contrast of trying to embrace something so established without being established myself. This collection is autobiographical.”
LRS Studios designer Raul Solis’ Mexican roots are very apparent in his collections. From handmade caiman boots to his work with Mexican artisans, the New York-based designer combines his cultural background with progressive and avant-garde aesthetics. The SS16 collection was filled with sculptural silhouettes and rigid and textural fabrics, demonstrating the designer’s obvious appreciation for art and elevated design.
“I hate talking underlining themes as my collections are always multi-referential,” Solis said in reference to his upcoming AW16 collection. “LRS is more so a fixture of ideas where I explore the friction between them. This starting point for this season was sleepwear silhouettes that lead me to research common bedding materials. After some initial sketching, I started to really explore the friction associated with sleep; insomnia, sleep walking, nightmares are all dark points associated with bedtime.”
Sandy Liang makes day-to-day clothes for the downtown girl. Her garments combine lush looks with comfort, with collections that splice in “wow” pieces with everyday essentials. New York is always a point of reference for Liang’s collections – SS16 draws upon the Lower East Side’s history of skateboarding.
“New York affects the overall attitude of the clothes in many ways,” Liang explained, “more so because every piece is carefully considered and personal to me, and my point of view is constantly affected by my relationship with the city.” Although still incorporating the same New York inspo, her AW16 collection will take the Sandy girl upstate, with a dialed-down, countryside-inspired look.
#NSFW label Namilia don't believe in boundaries. Designers Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl specialise in “made you look” garments that combine phallic imagery with uber-feminine textiles. Their debut collection, which premiered on the VFiles runway last season, was a whirlwind of sequinned penises and socially conscious text like “My Pussy, My Choice”.
The label rejoices in the new age of feminism and encourages people to celebrate the human form, rather than being afraid of it. Although their solo AW16 show themes are a mystery, if it’s anything like last year’s spectacle, it won’t be one to miss.
Inspired by New York’s after-hours club scene, NYC-based brand Area makes textile manipulation look ultra-glamorous. The duo, Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk, take their collective experiences working at Chloe and Calvin Klein and apply them their own designs, with garments that are both detailed and wearable.
Although a departure from their earlier, more athletic collections, SS16 was a Studio 54-inspired dream, filled with flirty pieces cut from their signature hand-punctured fabric. This season, the designers are reinterpreting the word “glamour” and looking at the concept of femininity from several different angles. “This season is all about hardcore femininity, and different ways it can be played out or interpreted,” the designers explained. “Whether it’s hardcore, fem, drag, or traditional.”