You might not have noticed that New York Fashion Week is well underway, soon to be followed by London Fashion Week, kicking off this Friday. But if what's going on on the catwalks rarely catches your eye, we're hoping your interest will be piqued by the following six female visionaries, at the fore of the London fashion scene, each with an idiosyncratic signature aesthetic and all focused on dressing the modern woman in inspired, dynamic and beautifully crafted designs. From the emerging names who launched their brands just a few seasons ago, to the more established designers who are now mainstays on the London Fashion Week schedule, these six female talents are some of our very favourites, who we'll be watching closely for SS18.
Ahead of the unveiling of their latest collections over the coming week for SS18, we've selected the looks we loved most from their current AW17 collections. And who better to model them than the three new models we're betting will be the breakthrough stars this season? Introducing Storm's Juliet Soane and Chawntell Kulkarni and Premier's Zarina Green – the future faces of fashion.
Mary Katrantzou first caught the eye of fashion editors almost a decade ago, back in 2008, with her powerful graduation show that centred on trompe l'oeil prints on jersey bonded dresses. Fast-forward nine years and the Central Saint Martins graduate is one of the biggest names on the London catwalks, fondly referred to as the Queen of Prints and renowned for her digital technology and ingenuity. In 2015, Katrantzou received the Vogue Designer Fashion Fund and also won the British Fashion Award for New Establishment Designer.
For her AW17 collection, Katrantzou took inspiration from Walt Disney's 1940 film Fantasia, with dresses featuring swirling cartoon landscapes in which centaurs lounge and play lyres, as seen on Juliet above.
If you like feminine frocks and admire couture-level craftsmanship, then you'll love Molly Goddard. Completing an MA in Fashion Knitwear at Central Saint Martins in 2014, Goddard set up her eponymous label that year, swiftly establishing her signature of boldly coloured tulle smock dresses to critical acclaim. In 2016, Molly won the British Emerging Talent award at the 2016 Fashion Awards and was a finalist for the 2017 LVMH Prize.
For Goddard's AW17 show, the young designer transported us to a sophisticated candlelit dinner, held in the Tate Modern Tanks. Molly returned to the idea of the transformative power of dressing, as well as coming of age and nostalgia. In keeping with those themes, this collection centred on a party for a woman of any age – whether it was the young girl dressed in her best for her first-ever adult occasion, the confident teen coming into her own, or a more mature woman elegantly parading her chicest frock. Chawntell wears our standout piece from the collection – this frothy, bright blue delight.
Born in Poland and raised in Germany, Jakubowski graduated with an MA from the Royal College of Art in 2014, next gaining experience with heavyweight designers including Hussein Chalayan, Alexander Wang and Jonathan Saunders, before launching her own label. For AW17, Jakubowski focused on tailoring, asymmetric silhouettes and cut-outs, rendered in eye-catching vibrant shades of purple, yellow, fuchsia and red. This quilted red dress is just as well suited for the streetwear-obsessed club kid as it is for an elegant evening wear devotee with a penchant for more daring designs. We just can't get enough of Jakubowski.
Simone Rocha made her debut at London Fashion Week in September 2010, having graduated with a BA in Fashion from The National College of Art and Design in Dublin, as well as the Fashion MA at Central Saint Martins. Adored for her designs, which are simultaneously rebellious and romantic, Rocha's stockists include some of the most important fashion stores in the world, including Dover Street Market, Browns, Colette and Bergdorf Goodman, and in 2015, Rocha opened her first store on the leading luxury shopping destination that is Mount Street.
The designer on the LFW schedule who really pulls in the international press, Simone Rocha is also a red carpet favourite. For Rocha's AW17 show, she invited generations of models to showcase her stunning collection. Though we could scarcely decide between the furry coats and military silhouettes, these pink and black floral two-pieces were undeniable favourites.
If you're a keen follower of street style stars such as Pandora Sykes, Jan-Michael Quammie and Lisa Aiken, chances are you're already familiar with Rejina Pyo's designs, even if you don't know her name. Another Central Saint Martins graduate, Pyo joined Roksanda Ilincic's team to work as her first assistant designer, before launching her eponymous brand in 2014. Inspired by modern art and architecture, the Korean-born designer is adored for her exploration of proportions and volume. Just look at those sleeves!
Though we'll never tire of Pyo's form-flattering dresses and playful proportions, the crushed velvet baby-pink suit, worn by Chawntell above, was the real showstopper in the AW17 collection. Expect to see it on several street style stars over the coming weeks, if it's not popping up in your Insta feed already.
Another Central Saint Martins graduate, Faustine Steinmetz worked for Jeremy Scott before founding her own eponymous brand when she acquired her first handloom in 2013. A dedicated proponent of sustainability and a denim doyenne, Steinmetz has almost singlehandedly elevated the common jean into a statement fashion piece and work of art. Once you've tried on a hand-crafted piece, spun, dyed and woven by Steinmetz and her studio team, you'll never look at your beloved trusty jeans in the same way again.