The British Fashion Council has confirmed 202 emerging and established accessories, jewellery and ready-to-wear labels to show their spring/summer 2012 collections at the leading international designer showcase, The Exhibition at London Fashion Week. Renowned as London’s premier showcasing platform for emerging designer businesses alongside established brands, this season The Exhibition will showcase 74 designers new to London Fashion Week. The Exhibition is open to all UK and International media and buyers. Registration is available on site from 16th – 20th September, 10am until 7pm (closing at 6pm on 20th).
The Exhibition at London Fashion Week is based at Somerset House over 4 floors and, for the first time this season, as well as showcasing the most innovative womenswear ready-to-wear and accessories, there will be a dedicated menswear collective. Amongst the new exhibitors showing for spring/summer 2012 are J Brand with their newly launched ready-to-wear collection that is arriving straight from their presentation in New York, and The Exhibition will be the first opportunity to buy. J Brand are represented by Rainbowwave and will be located in a private showroom in the newly renovated East Wing of Somerset House. Other newcomers include previous Fashion East designers, Eliot Atkinson and Simone Rocha; luxury handbag designer Jerome Dreyfuss, and Howland London, a new label inspired by youthful sensibilities and luxury living. The Terrace Rooms at Somerset House will host a wide selection of accessories brands with Valery Demure showroom returning this season, featuring the best in British and international accessories designers including A-Morir; Eddie Borgo; Fleet Ilya; Jennifer Behr; Melanie Georgacopoulos and Swash.
Exhibitors are selected by an expert panel of media and retailers to guarantee the integrity and quality of the exhibition, and to ensure the collections will appeal to an audience of both UK and international retailers alike. As well as installations and multibrand showrooms, The Exhibition will have merchandised feature areas for each of the BFC’s showcasing initiatives. NEWGEN, sponsored by TOPSHOP will feature some of London’s most innovative designers on the terrace at Somerset House; Estethica, sponsored by Monsoon, gives a platform for eco-sustainable design; Headonism, brings new British milliners in partnership with Ascot Racecourse; newly announced BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad winners will have a show space in the Embankment Galleries; 7 menswear designers can be found in the East Wing, and The Navy Board Room collective, comprising of NEWGEN alumni, will be located on the first floor.
The NEWGEN, sponsored by TOPSHOP area, of The Exhibition will feature 17 of London’s brightest emerging talents, including those on both the catwalk and the presentation schedule. New designers for this season include Palmer//Harding, the Central Saint Martins design duo whose designs have already been seen on Bjork, Naomi Campbell and Lady Gaga, and progressive knitwear brand SIBLING, who are launching their first womenswear collection SISTER by SIBLING for SS12 in The Exhibition with support from NEWGEN. Tim Soar will also showcase his first stand-alone womenswear line in The Exhibition building upon his SHE:HIM project which he launched for SS11, where elements from his menswear collection were re-worked into womenswear. The NEWGEN designers will be situated on The Terrace at Somerset house and will have daily happy hour sessions between 2-3pm.
The British Fashion Council’s ethical initiative, Estethica, is showcasing 18 designers this season. Renowned as the BFC’s fastest growing initiative, Estethica has supported over 108 designers over the past five years who have all adhered to at least one of the three Estethica principles: fair trade and ethical practice in the production process; the inclusion of organic fibres; or the use of up-cycled and recycled materials and fabrics. Designers showcasing this season include From Somewhere, Ada Zanditon, Henrietta Ludgate, Pachacuti, and Partimi. Joining them for the first time are up-cycling accessory designer Lost Property London; ‘sustainable couture’ designer Eva Zingoni, who uses surplus materials from Parisian fashion houses to create bespoke pieces; ethical lingerie brand Charini; raincoats by Rajkumar Dyeing & Printing Works and Aiste Nesterovaite, launching their scarf collection. There will be a champagne brunch in the Estethica area of The Exhibition on Sunday afternoon, hosted by Gregory Barker, Minister of State, Department for Energy and Climate Change.
For the first time at The Exhibition, there will be a new menswear feature area, located in the East Wing of Somerset House. Five of the menswear designers who will showcase for 6 days in this dedicated space include Berthold, Cassette Playa, Katie Eary, Rose and Rose, and William Richard Green. Menswear day will be held on Wednesday 21st and is once again expected to be a highlight of London Fashion Week, with 9 on schedule catwalk shows and 6 presentations.
Headonism will be supporting four of London’s most exciting emerging milliners in The Exhibition, as part of a new partnership with Ascot Racecourse that was announced in June 2011. Designers showcasing include newcomer Charlie Le Mindu, J Smith Esq, Noel Stewart and Piers Atkinson. An evening with the milliners, hosted by the BFC and Ascot Racecourse will be held on Friday 16th September from 5-7pm, in the Embankment Galleries, with a speech from renowned milliner, Stephen Jones OBE.
Four new recipients of the BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad award, Claudia Catzeflis, Saloni, Sophie Hulme and Vassilisa will showcase their collections in the dedicated space in The Exhibition. In September 2011, the four designers were announced by Elle magazine to receive support to develop their businesses and grow their relationships with regional retailers. The winners receive sponsorship to exhibit at London Fashion Week for two seasons, as well as access to Elle’s top stylists and marketing materials. A launch event will be hosted for the winning designers on Friday 16th September in the embankment galleries.
The Navy Board Room collective has expanded to showcasing 10 designers who are all NEWGEN alumni. These designers have gone on from winning NEWGEN sponsorship, to develop their businesses, and now drive the sales at London Fashion Week. Emerging London talent Mary Katrantzou will join Atalanta Weller, Bora Aksu, Cooperative Designs, Fannie Schiavoni, design duo Felder Felder, Mark Fast, Maria Francesca Pepe, Michael Lewis and Yang Du in the Navy Board Room collective on the first floor.
Seven prominent multi-brand showrooms will be representing designers at the Exhibition: Bloody Gray PR, Claret Showroom, Eastern Block, Place Rouge, Rainbowwave, Trace PR and Valery Demure. Rainbowwave will be championing 6 emerging design talents, with ready-to-wear from Raquel Allegra and Tucker, footwear from Ancient Greek Sandals and Camilla Skovgaard, and jewellery from Deepa Gurnani and Husam El Odeh, who won the Emerging Talent Award - Accessories at the 2010 British Fashion Awards. Place Rouge will be returning for a second season, bringing six brands including A Friend by A F Vandervorst, Agent Provocateur Jewellery, and Jean-Pierre Braganza. EasternBlock is a high-end seasonal showroom who are joining The Exhibition for the first time. Since 2004, they have strived to work with the avant-garde of the next generation, helping them to develop lasting business relationships with high-end retailers. Showcasing brands Krystof Strozyna, Tuesday Night Band Practice, Klavers Van Engelen, and Steve J and Yoni P, they can be found on the first floor in the Navy Board Rooms.
To support the British Fashion Council’s dedicated digital schedule, designers Ada Zanditon, Cassette Playa, Damanis and Tze Goh will be showing their latest collections through digital presentations in the on-site screening room in the Embankment Galleries. Digital showcases will also be presented in the BFC cinema, which will have daily themed screenings from selected designers. To view the full digital schedule, please visit:
Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council, commented, “The Exhibition offers media and buyers the most comprehensive and exciting edited collection of British design talent that’s available for spring/summer 12, all in one location at Somerset House. This season we’ve welcomed back returning exhibitors, taken on new talent, and created a dedicated menswear collective for the first time to provide the best possible selection of London’s brands.”
Opening Hours of The Exhibition
The Exhibition at London Fashion Week will be open from 10am – 7pm 16th – 19th September, and 10am – 6pm Tuesday 20th September. Menswear Day is Wednesday 21st September and NEWGEN MEN and Fashion East installations will be open from 1-5pm in the East Wing. The dedicated Buyers Lounge will again be located in the embankment galleries.
Press releases on this season’s NEWGEN recipients; BFC/Elle Talent Launch Pad designers, Headonism initiative and the Estethica collective are available at www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/press