5 Emerging Designers to Watch at New York Fashion Week
From expat Brits to homegrown talent, there's no shortage of new and noteworthy names showing at New York Fashion Week, which kicks off February 7. Here, ARTINFO highlights five of the most promising.
One might say that Katie Gallagher, the waif-like 26-year-old who claims to have been "born between the farm and the forest somewhere in the United States," had auspicous beginnings as a designer. Her first art-school project— a dress made from plexiglass dowel rods — turned the taste-making heads of Daphne Guinness and Lady Gaga. Now on her eighth collection, the RISD alum is garnering serious attention with her minimal, goth-inflected pieces made from unconventional, architectural patterns in a strict palette of black and ivory.
Last season, she sent her models — outfitted in hooded bathing suits, diaphanous bias-cut frocks, and cropped jackets made from kangaroo leather — down the runway on a bed of white flour to the haunting dirge-like folk songs of South African singer Ella Joyce Buckley. In seasons past, Gallagher has been synonymous with tightly fitted layered pieces that conform to the body, particularly her futuristic paneled leggings. For fall 2013, Gallagher says she'll venture into new territory, sidestepping her emphasis on bodycon layering to explore more voluminous shapes.
Provenance: United Kingdom
A master of knits, Louise Goldin spins downtown-chic sportswear with a London edge. While British-born and -bred, Goldin relocated her business to New York a few years back (and married an American), building buzz on this side of the Atlantic ever since.
Goldin completed both her BA and MA over a 7-year period at London's famed Central Saint Martins. She also spent two years living and designing in Brazil, where she familiarized herself with the production processes required of high-tech knits. And, head's up, she was Kanye West's right hand when the rapper thought he was a fashion designer (hey, in the end, a $6000-dollar pair of shoes made the Paris news).
Goldin is poised to break out as a bonafide star this coming show season, where she'll present her third New York catwalk since jetting west. If her spring '13 collection — with its windswept girls in gold-lamé-sleeved cardigans in abstract houndstooth motifs — is any indication, expect more greatness from this very welcome addition to the city.
Perennial cool kid Mandy Coon moonlighted as a model, a DJ, and a member of the all-girl electroclash outfit W.I.T. before she enrolled at FIT. Since launching her quirky label in 2010 (with a collection inspired by the jellyfish), Koon has steadily accrued insider interest for her dark, leather-heavy aesthetic, electrified with jolts of pattern and color (think rave-ready photo-prints inspired by the pattern of moth wings).
In a few short years, Coon has honed her tech-savvy, cyberpunk sensibility. For spring 2013, she mapped the digital pattern of MIDI music files onto laser-cut leather, a coup that got her into the Museum at FIT’s permanent collection.
Provenance: South Korea and Germany
Relative newcomer Siki Im has been gaining traction in the menswear industry of late, defining a goth aesthetic with his avant-garde, intellectual approach (think Rick Owens, but softer). Thus far in his burgeoning career, he's tackled seemingly random topics ranging from xenophobia and globalization to Native American dress and the Amish, developing his own codes along the way. Moreover, there's an androgyny apparent in Im's designs. While the men-in-skirts thing may feel overdone, his iterations possess an innate sophistication.
Siki Im's spring '13 collection found its roots in American artist Georgia O'Keefe's personal style and not, as one may expect, her work. Earthy elements like clay and bone paired well with ecclesiastic draping, producing an assortment of men in gray, without a dandy in sight. For fall '13, we're sure to see bold cultural clashes once again.
Provenance: New York City and Florida
Partners Timo Weiland and Alan Eckstein know a thing or two about how to make it in New York. The duo launched their label after college out of a "mutual interest in European history, travel, and flair for dapper dressing." Their goal? To bring artfulness back to dressing.
While some may see Weiland as more of a social figure than a designer, the brand's output has evolved significantly as of late, with a particularly strong showing for spring. Based on artist Keith Haring's graphic punch, the collection incorporated herringbone, houndstooth, abstract prints and neon galore.