Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch AW19

Fashion Scout's Ones to Watch showcase for emerging designers presented its 12th season with collections from Shie Lyu, Bowen Hu, 1x1 Studio, and Aurelie Fontan. Ones to Watch winners are selected from a long list of up and coming designers, with a judging panel including industry experts from Fashion Scout, Browns, British Council, WGSN and The Guardian.


Shie Lyu

Opening the show was Shie Lyu. With a background in finance and accounting, Lyu has a passion for meticulous construction and sculptural silhouettes, taking inspiration from composite index curves and cubes found in financial charts. Fuelling the designer's vision for her AW19 collection were the light installations by Bauhaus professor Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. The designer also took unlikely inspiration from unusual materials, including Perspex, rubber, and heat shrink tubing. While these mediums would normally provide a tough look, the collection was feminine and delicate.

Lyu's AW19 offering was a bright and creative womenswear collection, with unusual cuts and use of shape providing a playful feel. Pastel tones of lavender and peach were accentuated with pops of teal blue and rich coral. There was a deconstructed look to the pieces. A Perspex corset sat askew over a graphic bodysuit, and dresses featured folded bodices in contrasting fabrics.

Bowen Hu

Also taking a scientific approach to her collection was Bowen Hu. The New York-based designer is heavily influenced by her understanding of psychology, and crafts designs that psychologically or physically support the wearer and the environment. The garments are also designed to be standalone sculptures.

Hu's AW19 collection was titled Lucid Dream, and took direct inspiration from brainwave patterns. Research was undertaken into dream analysis, with each garment being given the background story of a personal dream. All textiles were handmade with a 'side on' layering technique, using the edge of the fabric as the final surface of the garment.  The result was garments with a ruched, wavy appearance, representing the brain waves of dreams. This was a knitwear-focused collection. Slouchy pieces were layered on top of each other, creating looks with gentle motion and an overall softness. A light, neutral palette of taupe, blush pink and cream added to the dreamy feel.

1 x 1 Studio

Knitwear was a prominent feature throughout the showcase, including the work of menswear brand 1x1 Studio. The label is currently working with designer Wei Yao Lin, under the direction of founder Yi-Ling Kuo, focusing on creative knitting techniques using playful 3D textures. The AW19 collection was inspired by the Greek myth of Icarus, with the 'don't fly too close to the sun' message representative of modern society's relationship with technology. With this analogy in mind, models walked the runway wearing futuristic headpieces and eyewear, which created a tough, cyborg-like look.

1X1 Studio aspire to blend formal and casual, and the brand takes inspiration from modern streetwear trends. With this aesthetic in mind, the collection featured formal outerwear styled with a hoody and trainers, a collared shirt worn with tracksuit bottoms, and smart trousers paired with boxy knitwear.  Charcoal grey, navy and black formed the basis of designs, with accents of neon green and metallic silver.

Aurelie Fontan

Closing the show was Aurelie Fontan. The designer is passionate about sustainable fashion, and focuses on bio-design and zero-waste production. Fontan's work represents the 'techno-craft' concept, where feminine, inspirational, and eco-friendly luxury womenswear is produced from the latest technology and unconventional techniques.

The AW19 collection was about the fashion of the future, where technology and craft engender ethically produced luxury clothing. It included a dress bio-designed from bacteria, and four fully recycled leather outfits. This was a collection of two parts. The first used bronze and black leather to create a series of kimono-style garments. These had a shaggy effect, with cable ties taking the place of feathers. The second half of the collection was crafted in collaboration with Samsung, and all of the designs were created using a smartphone. The handset was used to sketch, wirelessly communicate with production tools and a 3D printer, and paint fabric patterns. The resulting garments crafted from layered white panels adorned with a neuron-like pattern were both futuristic and classically feminine.

AW19's Ones to Watch showcase was an exploration into the future of fashion. Through innovative design techniques and novel styling, all four designers demonstrated how old and new can collide with striking effect.

By Alice Cruickshank. Images via Fashion Scout.