Dear blog, I miss you.  I miss the hours of photo editing and moments where I actually get to physically ponder what I’m going to write in WordPress (I lift my head up towards the ceiling, tap my chin a few times and bite my lips several times – that always seems to prompt the next sentence).  If you’re wondering where I’ve gone, it’s all here, here, here and a bit to do with this (there’s a cryptic sentence).

Longtime blog readers will know that it takes a little longer to process “the fashions” that are going on.  Especially whilst I’m in Milan, when the same names dominate headlines and there’s a dirge of copy repetition when it comes to news stories online.  So I turn to TheCorner.com and its partnership with Vogue Italia to find young talents and present them both within the publication and online on the e-commerce site.  It’s always an interesting selection that has increasingly not gone for the obvious “young” names but instead casts the net further afield.

It chimed in with the shock fairy tale story that Rahul Mishra, a fairly unknown designer from India, beat out big names like Joseph Altuzarra and Sibling to scoop the International Woolmark Prize in Milan over the weekend.  Could the LVMH prize, whose thirty finalists have recently been announced, also throw out a surprise or two, with a range of designers from the established like Simone Rocha and Meadham Kirchhoff to young graduates like Miuniku from India and Minju Kim from Korea.

I like the global aspect of fashion being reflected in the fashion capitals, and especially in Milan, where the hegemony of Italian fashion is so strong.  At the very least, you find yourself a few surprises.  The fact that seven out of ten names were completely unknown to me means I got to do some homework.  Learning.  Curiosity.  These are the things that keep interest levels up.

Unknown number one Achtland’s stitched appliqued leather motif caught my eye as soon as I entered the space.  The duo from Berlin, Oliver Luhr and Thomas Bentz founded their label on 2011 and named it after the mythical Queen Achtland.     It’s been a while since a Germany young fashion talent has been bandied about and so their work was a pleasant surprise to see, despite the shades of Dries van Noten in their current S/S 14 collection that’s available to buy.  Bevza reps up Ukraine with an unsurprisingly stark and minimal aesthetic – all clean lines and interesting plays on opacity.  I know I keep saying Kiev is on my destination hit list but now armed with a list of names, I definitely feel a lot more confident about getting the lay of the land when I do make it there  Another unknown quantity is Wadha Al Hajri’s label from Qatar, which began in 2010, inspired by the simplicity of Islamic and Bedouin prints.  Her work feels nuanced and in person, are beautiful pieces.  Designed by Phyllis Taylor, Sika from London makes dresses out of Ghanian printed fabrics.  It read a little too much like straightforward Africana to me but there’s definitely something charming about her work.

Achtland:

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Sika:

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Tome is probably the “biggest” name out of the lot and after a successful show in New York, where Ryan Lobo and  deft hand at fabric combinations and understanding of wardrobe essentials could really be seen, their inclusion in the line-up makes thorough sense.   In fact their standout piece from the S/S 14 collection, the plasticky purple trench has already sold out online.  I love that their pieces catch your eye without shouting too much.  It’s down to their fabric choices and ability to create a subtle bit of drama.

tomeBackstage photographs by Sonny Vandevelde

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Jewellery wise, there’s Valentina Sciumé from Milan, who only started her label of hats and jewellery last year.  Architectural and eye-catching shapes seem to be her  thing and I rather liked the solid ear cuff that she had created for her new collection.  Ryan Storer is one of the few names I’m familiar with only because of his Swarovski ear cuffs, which definitely make my chubby ear lobes look a whole lot better.  He’s still churning out that signature style but his new collection features a sweeping curve of silver and rose-gold anchored by a singular pearl.  Once again, Storer finds a striking way to adorn an ear.  Representing sunglasses, there’s British brand Finlay & Co and their wooden sunnies, beautifully crafted out of hardwoods like rosewood, walnut and ebony.  Their new collection features layers of maplewood, contrasted with coloured staining on the inside of the frames.

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On the shoe front, you have contrasts between the practical and the decorative and with something in-between.  Milan-based Farewell Footwear, who have only been going for two seasons were inspired by the Spanish espadrille but wanted to do it in their way.  For A/W 14-5, the rope sole becomes rubberised.  Their shoes are for everyday daily life and speak to a specific lifestyle.  The flatform lover in me was happy.  On the other end of the scale, you had the Sydney-based, Italian-in-origin Giannico designed by Nicolo Beretta, who plays with surreal elements like giant balls on shoes and has a penchant for Helmut Newton-esque imagery.

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Finally, Lily Kamper is another familiar name, because I remember her work from way back when she was still at the Royal College of Art creating mixed media cityscapes.  That sense of architecture and odd combinations of materials have carried through to her present jewellery line.  The work has definitely been refined with dip-dyed perspex and kitchen surfaces used to create standalone pendants or larger collage pieces on neckpieces.  Guess my prediction about her work transitioning from admirable object to functional design kind of came true!

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Comments (24)

  1. C. says:

    Amazing! Love all the coats and shoes

  2. Viktor Man says:

    I know, it sounds cheesy, but I love all the outfits. Great use of textures, materials and colours. Excellent.

  3. Jessica Rose says:

    Beautiful photographs…hope your enjoying Milan!

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

  4. Vivian says:

    Love the floral embellished jacket!

    LIVE.IN.LOVE

    ~

  5. Lauren S says:

    I tried to pick a few favourites, but i love all the fashion designers. i think it’s really important to promote unknown and emerging artists and creatives, they are the ones who are looking ahead and changing everything now 🙂
    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk
    Support my Photography Project here !

  6. Mariama says:

    Susie, I love your blog! I can see you really take a great deal of time presenting to your readers; trying to do the same. As far as this post, I see I’ve got homework to do as well! Thanks for the amazing pictures and info.

    Mariama

  7. Naz says:

    Beautiful post, love these designers amazing work

  8. Bodil Loïs says:

    The Farewell shoe collection is so great!

  9. DinoB says:

    Sciumé jewelry must be my favourite – it’s that combination of Italian style sense and a Scandinavian point of view. At moments presents kitsch with a dash of clean lines, while other pieces look almost surreal in their simplicity but a colour gives of that dolce-vita state of mind…

    And about the Farewell shoes – how do they look in flesh, are they really high quality? I’ve heard both positive and negative reviews, which for such a young brand really seems bothering. Thanks in advance for the answer!

    xx d.

  10. Jamie Holder says:

    Absolutely love the jacket at the top

  11. Christina says:

    That floral jacket from Achtland is going to haunt my dreams. What I would do for a showstopper piece like that. Thanks for sharing Susie!

  12. Denisa says:

    That collection looks nice. I like that patterns.
    http://www.fashiondenis.com

  13. Lianne says:

    wow, the Achtland dress with flower appliqués is amazing

  14. kiri says:

    I am really impressed with Lily Kamper’s pieces – especially photo one that depicts the dip dyed perspex… 🙂

    I have been telling myself for ages that I will own a ryan storer cuff and you’ve reminded me again to look at his site.

    Thanks once again for introducing new and inspiring designers.
    I have to say my favourite pieces are the first few photos from Achtland.

    Kiri
    http://www.fashionblender.com.au
    http://www.facebook.com/FashionBlender

  15. Sophia says:

    Susie, you always provide an exciting environment for discovering new brands and taking an alternate view on fashion.

    Although it’s important to keep up to date with what the big, established names are doing, it’s also refreshing to be introduced to what smaller/newer brands are up to during this period of spectacle – it is of course, so much harder for them to get airtime.

    I look forward to following Achtland in particular!

    Soph x

    http://www.girlinmenswear.com

  16. Carlos says:

    These shots are amazing as usual, photography in this blog is superb! Great post. Loved jewellery and floral jacket.

  17. sasa says:

    Dear Susie, we miss you too, hehe:) Love the floral print:) <3

    New on http://www.shallwesasa.com

  18. Gladys says:

    Really like Sika’s bold prints. They really make a statement. Great eye!

    Gladys
    http://sweetvintagelady.com/

  19. J. says:

    Thanks so much for this post, so much to look at. I agree with Gladys that Sika’s prints are particularly special. They seem to me somehow a cross between Japanese and African print textiles. Really something.

  20. […] while ago, Susie Lao, from The Style Bubble blog, wrote a small little line about Sika, (Turning A Corner, February 24, 2014) Designed by Phyllis Taylor, from London, UK. Taylor makes dresses out of Ghanian printed fabrics. […]

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