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Five rising stars on London's fashion scene

July 2014

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When it comes to emerging talent, the London fashion scene is world renowned. So who are the ones to watch? Katie Gatens asked some of the capital's leading designers to pick a new favourite
Couture milliner Philip Treacy (right) with his choice, Harry Mundy
All photographs: Jonny Storey for High Life magazine

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The designer Philip Treacy
One of the world's most famous milliners, Treacy was born in Ireland and is based in London, where he creates ready-to-wear and haute couture headwear. He has designed hats for Alexander McQueen for Givenchy, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel and Valentino, and his fans range from members of the British royal family to Lady Gaga and Madonna.

His rising star Harry Mundy
After leaving school at 16, tailor Mundy joined Vivienne Westwood's studios — after which he headed straight for the Holy Grail of menswear, Savile Row, where he was taught by Joe Morgan of Chittleborough & Morgan. His work emphasises handcraftsmanship and he creates clothes to the highest possible standard, making his own shirts, ties, handkerchiefs and suits. 

Philip says: 'Harry makes grand statements in a very elegant, English way. I admire his ambition: he left school and headed to Savile Row. He knows every detail, from the finest shirt makers to the proper bow tie, the correct way to dress. i think that's impressive' 

Marc Hare (right) with Mohsin Ali

The designer Marc Hare
Born in Croydon, Hare was a design and marketing consultant before he started his men's shoe brand, Mr Hare, in 2008 — having decided that there weren't enough shoes that he liked. Stripping the form back to clean contemporary shapes and using minimal colour, Hare's shoes have been worn by the likes of Javier Bardem and Robert Downey Jr. His second Mr Hare store has just opened in Notting Hill. 

His rising star Mohsin Ali
Ali was born in Huddersfield and moved to London to study at the London College of Fashion. After working with Donna Karan in New York, he started his own menswear brand three years ago. The foundation of his design is pared-back tailoring with few lines. Invest in the engineered T-shirt from his latest collection.

Marc says: 'Mohsin's clothes are formal but contemporary, kind of like the anti-suit. His design is quite basic and all to do with form and shape and quality of fabrics: it's an aesthetic that I really like. I think there's a bright future out there, if we can turn men into more contemporary dressers.'

Giles Deacon (right) with Ashley Williams

The designer Giles Deacon
Born in the northeast of England and brought up in the Lake District, Deacon studied at Central Saint Martins in London alongside Alexander McQueen and Luella Bartley. With ten years and more than 20 seasons behind him, he continues to produce show-stopping collections and has just collaborated with Ann Summers on a range of lingerie.

His rising star Ashley Williams
With a graduate collection modelled by Pixie Geldof and Alice Dellal, Williams made headlines before she had left the University of Westminster. The Londoner mixes colour-popping, graphic 1980s prints, strongly influenced by Americana, with a tropical twist. The must-have item from her autumn/winter collection is a fringed, black and white horse head appliqué jacket.

Giles says: 'Ashley's clothes have a fantastic immediacy of brilliant contemporary pop cultural references as well as historical ones. it's that kind of artistic irreverence and lack of pretension that I really like in design'

Markus Lupfer with Franca Berr

The designer Markus Lupfer
Lupfer studied at the University of Westminster and his graduate collection was snapped up by London boutique Koh Samui. His Pop Art-inspired graphic embellishment, humorous slogans and punchy sequined knitwear are instantly recognisable and a staple for Cara Delevingne, Katy Perry and Rihanna. 

His rising star Franca Berr
Berr moved from Germany to study jewellery design at Central Saint Martins and is now based in London. Her playful and bold jewellery is inspired by artists such as Philip Guston and George Condo.  

Markus says: 'Franca is making jewellery that is fresh, fun, humorous, colourful but also sophisticated and really luxurious. I love the fact that it's quirky, but has a longevity: that makes it an investment piece'

Haizhen Wang with Octavia Yang

The designer Haizhen Wang
The winner of the 2012 Fashion Fringe award, Wang was born in Dalian, China, and moved to London to study womenswear at Central Saint Martins and London College of Fashion. His trademark minimal bold designs, androgynous femininity and sharp tailoring have won plaudits across the industry, notably from Burberry's Christopher Bailey. 

His rising star Octavia Yang
Yang studied contemporary jewellery design in China before moving to London in 2010 and winning the Swarovski Elements International Talent award in 2012. With this prestigious award behind her, she has developed haute couture jewellery in parallel with her more commercial designs, making her collections wearable pieces of art. 

Haizhen says: 'Octavia's jewellery has glamour. It's a blend of Western and Eastern style which sets her apart from other designers. She has such great potential.' 


Visit our behind-the-scenes gallery and read how our rising stars are making this their best summer ever.

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Posted by Katie Gatens


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