Of all the 'big four' fashion cities, London has always been at the forefront of what’s new and exciting. Mostly, in part, thanks to Fashion East – the non-profit initiative launched in 2000 that supports young, upcoming designers.
Over the years, the likes of Kim Jones, Jonathan Anderson, Grace Wales Bonner, and Matty Bovan have graduated from its womenswear scheme and menswear equivalent MAN, which traditionally sees a trio of designers present their collections for three consecutive seasons. “The support from Fashion East has been all I had hoped for and more,” current Fashion East designer A Sai Ta tells us. “There is a sense of freedom and confidence that is instilled by the team at Fashion East and encouragement to pursue your creative thoughts.” This nurturing approach is something that's also recognised by one of his peers Supriya Lele, who says: “They are family!”
Spotlighting its current roster of womenswear designers – Asai, Charlotte Knowles, and Supriya Lele – Fashion East’s latest project is an exhibition in partnership with footwear brand Melissa, at its gallery space in Covent Garden.
Enlisting Dexter Lander to photograph the series, the project features an installation of images demonstrating the trio’s designs, as well as Fashion East’s debut campaign images and an accompanying film. In addition, each of the designers has created unique pieces especially for the project. While Ta’s signature ‘hot wok tops’ reappear in the form of multi-coloured bodysuits, Lele reinvented her draped dress to fit with Melissa’s young spirit. Knowles also looked to evolve from her previous collection. “We used a print from our AW18 collection, modernised in a bright, emerald colour,” she explains of the activewear-style slip dress she created.
The exhibition is open to the public, and completely free of charge, so it’s up to you to show your support for these upcoming talents, just like Fashion East has done.
The exhibition is open from May 24 – August 23 at Galeria Melissa, 43 King Street, London, WC2E 8JY