Last week we talked about a not-so-little line called Chanel and its most recent resort line – but even Coco had to have had a first! No designer is born into the limelight, and some of today’s most well-known designers started out working the trade by their hands, be it in retail or the textile industries. Thanks to fashion education, we’ve developed a way to help aspiring designers discover and hone their skills, but once they’re out of school…well, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Staying afloat isn’t easy, but making a big post-graduation splash is even harder. Who is the next Alexander Wang, Jason Wu, or Zac Posen? While there isn’t a perfect formula, some research (plus some stylegasms – yowzah!) have brought us to five designers you should know about.
1. Ashish. Delhi-born but London-based designer Ashish Gupta has been dubbed the “King of Sequins.” And rightfully so – the designer has managed to infuse them into his collections effortlessly and seamlessly, time and time again. His designs feature a dash of Bollywood mixed with an overload of playful references to American pop culture and rock n’ roll – think Hawaiian prints, 90s inspired florals, plaids, cowboy boots, leopard, and huge Nike logos. The end result? A line for a creative and confident young woman who enjoys a healthy serving of sparkle. Though perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, hopefully this creative gets more shine in the American market sometime soon. We can’t wait for his next collaboration with TopShop so we can get our quirky little hands on a piece of this!
→ Stand-out piece: Brick print sequined blazer.
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2. MSGM. The most talked about up-and-comer in the blogosphere right now, MSGM is the brainchild of Italian designer Massimo Giorgetti. Born in 2008 after a partnership with Paoloni Group, MSGM has slowly made its way onto the fashion radar and has been on numerous “Must watch” lists. Applauded in 2010 by the Who’s Next? Contest sponsored by Vogue Italia, the designer seeks a sophisticated and colorful aesthetic that combines elements of rock n’ roll with a 5th Avenue lady. Thanks to the MSGM Pre-Fall 2012 collection, we learned about mixing florals and checks, sweatshirts with skirts, textured sunglasses, cleverly placed zippers, poofy skirts, capes, spike-studded heels, and sporty details. The blogging community is quite eagerly awaiting the next line from this designer. No pressure at all.
→ Stand-out piece: Silver princess-styled mini-skirt…ideally with that perfectly fitted sweatshirt.
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3. Ellery. Ah, no fashion article would be complete without at least one shout out to the fashion scene down under. Ellery, a luxury fashion house hailing from Australia, speaks the language avant-garde by providing us with shapes in regal colors and more subtle patterns than Ashish and MSGM. The designer, Kym Ellery, was educated in both Australia and London, and spent 4 years working on the creative team for highly-acclaimed RUSSH magazine. Clearly, good taste breeds good taste. Things have been looking good for the designer recently, seeing requests from the likes of US Vogue and Madonna’s stylist.
→ Stand-out piece: Printed suit featuring a sleeveless jacket instead of a blazer from Ellery Resort 2012.
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4. Thomas Tait. Named a newbie to watch by Kate Phelan on WWD, Thomas Tait has a simple, modern aesthetic which dabbles in “poppy bubblegum” as well as rock depending on the season and the designer’s mood. His Spring 2012 line featured sporty-clean cuts, trainers, round sunnies, black, white, baby pink, and minty green. Shapes either ignore the female body or completely hug it. The Canadian-born designer has British roots and was educated London – in fact, he was the youngest to ever graduate the Central Saint Martins MA course. Clearly, he is personally as fascinating as his charming designs.
→ Stand-out piece: Minty shell top.
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5. Mary Katrantzou. Too far along in exploding to be called a newbie either, Mary Katrantzou is a Greek designer who studied at Rhode Island School of Design and then completed both her BA and MA at Central Saint Martins. While the color palette of her designs differ seemingly every season, two things remain constant – bold, almost digital-inspired graphics, and a flattering female form. Her stellar and unqiue designs have won her Emerging Talent – Ready-to-Wear award at the British Fashion Awards 2011 and international acclaim. Her designs can be found at Net-a-porter, Opening Ceremony, and Nordstrom, to name a few.
→ Stand-out piece: Graphic print gown with tail.
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Did we miss someone? Chime in and tell us who is on your up-and-coming list in the comments below!