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Up and Coming – what to expect from some of London Fashion Week’s Newest Arrivals?

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This modern street wear-inspired brand with foundations in deconstruction is what happens when two Central Saint Martins graduates join forces to create a denim wear line with a twist.  Simplicity of shape and complexity of texture come together in an unpretentious display of cool and conceptual.  There’s a casual ‘90’s feel about the oversizing and frayed edges, simple shift dresses and boxy silhouettes.   

Spring/Summer 2013 saw Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida show on schedule at London Fashion Week after previous seasons under the Fashion East umbrella.  And if SS13 was anything to go by, AW13 will be a continuation of their contradictory rough yet elegant signature style, perhaps with a couple more fabrics slipped in between the distressed dark denims, billowing coats and architectural silhouettes that encapsulate the effortlessly edgy, thrown-on aesthetic they do so well.


Yet another dynamic duo from Central Saint Martins that have piqued the interest of the British Fashion Council.  Levi Palmer and Matthew Harding’s design focus rests squarely on the shoulders of the humble shirt, giving it a directional edge while maintaining its sophisticated simplicity.  Their collections for both men and women tackle tailoring head on, using shape, seams and layering to breathe new life into traditional pieces.  Cut-outs, colour, pleats and proportion are played with to dramatic effect.  It’s all about the unexpected.  A clean white shirt could be completely unassuming from the front and be contrasted with theatrical gathering at the back. 

Their collections remain technically masterful season on season, with SS13 having focused on the purity of classic white but contrasting the austerity with playful experimentation in cut and colour.  We predict that their AW13 Presentation at LFW will push the envelope even further when it comes to volume – something we’ve seen a bountiful and unabashed amount of in fashion recently.

Huishan Zhang

Zhang’s Chinese heritage, Central Saint Martins education and time spent in the couture atelier of Dior (no less), have definitely culminated in an enviable East meets West aesthetic.  Chinese-made fabrics, delicate lace and luxurious embellishments add to the air of tradition, while fanciful colouring, experimental panelling and modern shapes take the collection out of the traditional and into the directional.  The cultural subtext that runs through his work was evident in his SS13 offering where lady-like dresses bore floral motifs and crystal embroideries with hidden messages - Chinese symbols for ‘good luck’, ‘freedom’ or ‘toughness’.  There were bold colour clashes as well as pretty pastel looks, ensembles for high tea and dresses for cocktail parties. 

Previous collections have seen Zhang combine plaid with lace and embroidered dragon motifs, so his AW13 presentation will surely follow suit with one foot planted firmly on each continent.  Fashion’s increasing obsession with print and juxtaposition may see him experiment further with colour and print combo’s - a look he perfected with clashing pant suits and bi-colour shirt dresses in SS13.  

Image credits: 

Marques'Almeida images from Marques'

Palmer/Harding and Huishan Zhang from


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