About Dagmara Reczka

Polish born and bred (and proud of it!) but a Londoner at heart, I am currently studying at London College of Fashion's Journalism course, writing for .cent magazine and spending my free time discovering what the city has to offer. Apart from the obvious (yes it starts with an F and ends with and N) I am interested in everything new and exciting that surrounds me. Specialising in broadcast journalism, filming or photographing something always seems like a good idea to me. My life goal it to own a pug and travel the world with it.

The Whitepper

As it turns out, Tumblr is not only the most addictive blogging platform in the world. It can also be a good starting point when thinking of setting up a new clothing brand – that’s how it started for The Whitepepper back in 2011. Quickly, it led the brand to open their own boutique on ASOS marketplace and later start their own website and consequently being stocked by Topshop on Oxford Circus and independent retailers from all over the world.

Founded in East London, The Whitepepper are still loyal to their British roots with all of their products designed right where it started. Heavily inspired by streetwear and Tumblr culture, their clothes are original, eye-catching and just the right amount of quirky. Refreshingly, there is something for both boys and girls to have a look at and prices are high street affordable.

But The Whitepepper are not only about the clothing; they have their own magazine, TWP, where you can order for free, from their website. They also still keep their Tumblr page which is an endless source of inspiration and regularly share their own London secrets on the brand’s blog!

Finally, being a girl in love with everything sparkly, bubblegum-y and festive, I have to focus on the brands’ newest winter lookbook. Presenting not only a collection of perfect Christmas-party dresses (think velvet, collars and glitter), but also genius accessories (two words: UNICORN. CLUTCH. Ok, couple more: PINK. GLITTERY. SHOES). It is all you need to make these cold months a little bit more enjoyable and special.

If you are bored with your wardrobe and feel like you can’t find anything on the high street without looking like everyone else, check out The Whitepepper’s website. Be warned: it may result in vivid dreams about having your own, perfect unicorn clutch!

Lauren Smith

Graduate Fashion Weeks are the best occasions to spot new, refreshing talents on the British fashion scene and what screams ‘the next big thing’ more than winning a Gold award at London’s GFW? Not so many things, let me assure you. Last June, the award went to talented hands of Lauren Smith from Edinburgh College of Art.

The collection, that Roland Mouret himself described as “emotional” won Lauren £20,000 to launch her fashion career and a capsule collection for George. Don’t think that it stopped the young designer from developing her skills even further – right now, she’s doing her Masters in Textiles at ECA.

Lauren’s designs are really emotional indeed – delicate and dreamy they spread the feeling of nostalgia but also bring the unexpected with the strong, architectural structures being shown next to neon-yellow tulle and loose jumpsuits.  The collection, constructed around two primary colours – yellow and blue – is inspired by the relationship an artist forms with their sketchbook, making Lauren’s designs even more personal and even kind of intimate. After all, those are her sketches that we can see embroidered on the garments.

Other than winning a Gold award at GWF, Lauren has more successes in her portfolio. Recently, she designed a dress made of… 50 kilograms of chocolate for the National Chocolate Week to enjoyment of all of the sweet tooth our there (myself included).

I am more than excited to see what the future holds for this 23-year-old designer, remember her name,  this year you will see Lauren’s designs everywhere!

 

Santal 36

There is no bigger luxury than a beautiful accessory created from the finest materials with the greatest attention to detail. Well maintained, it can serve you many years and become your best style friend, no matter of changing trends and seasons. That’s why I am always on a hunt for new accessories designers and I have to admit it, my heart skipped a beat when I came across Santal 36’s and their beautiful bags.

Santal 36 is a brand started by Miryam Lozano, Spanish-born but  London-based accessories designer who graduated from London College of Fashion earlier this year. The philosophy behind her brand is a big focus on quality and original designs made using sustainable materials such as veg tan leather, laminated pony skin and wood-look laminated leather sourced from Italy. Bags designed by Miryam are also versatile and have parts that can be removed or adjusted, depending on the will of their wearers.

Amongst her biggest inspirations Myriam mentions furniture designers such as Charlotte Periand and Jean Prouve and clearly states she’s opposite the visible, vulgar branding of her products. As a result, the pieces designed by her are simple, classic, timeless and fresh and remind me a little bit of a good rawness of high-quality Scandinavian design. With their beautiful, wood-like pattern they are also in the running to become iconic items sought after by every fashionista.

Miryam still works on making her collection available to buy and plans to launch Santal 36’s online store in March 2014. I can’t wait!

Catherine Pape

Thanks to the great number of social networking websites and blogging platforms, inspiring images, illustrations and works of art have never been more accessible to those looking for their daily dose of some visual pleasure. However, the quality does not always come with the quantity and sometimes we may find ourselves furiously scrolling through another Tumblr, trying to find something actually worth looking at.  Today, I am going to make this tremendous work a little bit easier for you, especially if you like your things delicate and feminine, yet definitely not forgettable. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I present to you Catherine Pape.

There is not much information about Catherine herself – she is from Suffolk and graduated with First Class Honours from the University for the Creative Arts in Maidstone. As she says on her website she is inspired by

“Plants, maps, patterns and the bits of blue and white pottery that you find in the soil at the bottom of the garden.”

When you do some more investigating (also known as web stalking), you can find her Twitter profile and see a delicate, young girl smiling shyly from her profile picture. Exactly how I imagined her when I first saw her illustrations.

Catherine illustrates books and comics as well as creates murals, patterns and elegant prints which you can buy from her website. Her creations are incredibly delicate and feminine, with a magical touch of something mysterious and indescribable.  Thanks to that, the illustrator does not bore us and manages to stand out in the sea of aspiring artists and creators.

Catherine’s work has been recently noticed by WGSN and if someone knows who the up and coming illustrators are, it’s these guys so keep your eyes peeled for more news about this young talent!

To see more of Catherine’s work, visit her website.

Elly Cheng

Sometimes to let your creativity roam freely, you need a change of scenery – moving to another city or country can be a life-changing experience that will allow you to truly express your real self. For Elly Cheng, originally from Hong Kong, her hometown was a big but not open-minded or revolutionary place when it came to the young and emerging designer, so she decided to move to London after taking a pattern-cutting diploma and a year in fashion marketing in her motherland.

In London, Elly graduated from the London College of Fashion’s design course with a collection that is everything but tame and predictable. Inspired by her childhood memories of aprons and floral dresses, Elly has created designs bursting with pastel colours. Although colourful and childhood-inspired, her garments are incredibly feminine and grown-up thanks to the great amount of thought behind them. The collection took the young designer a year to research and design and another two years to make.With her attention to detail and use of unusual materials such as hand-dyed sheep skin (she couldn’t find one in London so she decided to use hair dye to dye it!), the results are astonishing.

What is more, other than clothes, whilst designing Elly thinks about the complete look and feel of her projects. That’s why amongst her work we can also find silicone backpacks and Velcro trainers that when matched with bubblegum pink fluffy skirts and glittery eyebrows, give the lookbook shots of her collection an eclectic feel of 1990s and Harajuku streets.

What does the future hold for this bright young designer? Right now Elly is working freelance as a pattern cutter but also, as she admits in many interviews, just experimenting and finding inspiration. Hopefully, we will hear more about her in 2014!

To see more of the designer’s creations and inspirations visit her Tumblr.

Dawson Denim

Are you a keen lover of vintage clothes but also like to see some innovation in your wardrobe from time to time? And maybe you also happen to be a lover of denim (don’t we all?)? If yes, I may have something just right for you: Dawson Denim.

With all of the products made in their own specialist workshop in Brighton, Dawson Denim is a family brand focusing purely on clothes made from red-line  selvage denim sourced from Japan. Coming from a 100-year-old mill, this type of denim is the oldest, most authentic denim woven on the original looms.

Working on antique sewing machines, Dawson Denim are real denim geeks – on their website, you can even find a denim glossary! Ever wondered what is a Japanese term to describe the fading creases and seams of a jean? Or maybe what Genoa, Italy, has to do with the denim history?  Well, these guys have all of the answers and made you think how much of history goes behind just one type of fabric.

With a great attention to quality and detail, Dawson Denim make sure every piece of clothing they make is historically accurate and could as well be found in a working clothes shop somewhere in 1930s. And if you are still worried whether your jeans are not going to fall apart in a month, every product comes with a little log book, entitling you to a free service within the first six months of wearing a garment, with all of repairs carried out in Dawson Denim workshop in Brighton.

Fashion is changing – more and more often we find ourselves nearly attacked by the “Made in China” labels and try to look deeper and find something regionally made.  It is a good thing to know that more and more brands decide to stick to their roots and offer us clothes made in Britain from responsibly sourced fabrics.

Way to go, Dawson Denim!

 

Visit Dawson Denim’s website! Click here.

Eastie Empire

In majority of my entries I tend to focus on recent art school graduates, high fashion designers who have just entered this big and competitive industry and sometimes have not yet produced any clothes that a fashion lover can buy.  This time, I am more than delighted to write a few words about a brand with a wide range of beautiful clothes available to buy and love.  Hope you are as excited as I am, because your wallets will not be! (At least mine, hey, I’m on a student budget!)

 Eastie Empire is a creation of Sara Weston, a self-taught designer with a love for vintage menswear. Echoes of her personal style and passion for every tiny detail, cut and piece of fabric can be seen in each garments she creates with all of the items and fabrics sourced and made in England. Designed in London, Eastie Empire’s clothes are also heavily inspired by the trip to India taken by Sara a couple years ago – the charm and elegance of old-fashioned East struck the designer so much she decided to incorporate this part of the world into her brand’s name.

The fun fact? Eastie Empire is all about menswear… made for women! Sara’s designs blur gender boundaries and can be worn by anyone. Unique and worn by individualities, yet for all – sounds like a philosopy every fashion brand should follow and the vision of fashion of the future.

As a girl spending approximately 6 out of 7 days a week wearing an item from her boyfriend’s wardrobe, I am all in. As a fashion journalism student – even more!

Vist Eastie Empire’s store here.

Thea Sanders

I am sure everyone appreciates the great feeling of putting your favourite jumper on when the little chill starts hitting in. Let’s talk knitwear then! And not just any ordinary knitwear, but the creations of winner of the Stuart Peters Visionnary Kintwear Award 2013.

Thea Sanders recently graduated from Nottingham Trent University and won the hearts of last year’s Graduate Fashion Week judges with her eccentric but wearable collection of colorful knits. Dresses and skirts in the vivid shades of blue and yellow paired with even more boldly-coloured tights are present in Thea’s collection, brightening up even the coldest winter ahead. Inspired by the patterns of floor tiles, the young designer incorporates domestic knitting and weaving into her collection, the results of which are one in a kind garments that create a strong statement the second you see them on the models walking on a runaway.

Being in early stages of her career, Thea managed to achieve something that a lot of young designers try to get for ages – strong and distinctive sense of own trademark style that helps her with standing out from the offerings of other creators trying to make a break in the fashion industry.

There is not a lot of information on Thea or her work to be found and that is what makes me look at few pictures available online with even more interest – I don’t know what we can expect next from this one, but let me ensure you, it is going to be SOMETHING!

Image source: knittingindustry.com 

Rosie Ingleby

Is minimalism a key to a successful life? Recently, the discussion on how to make our lives easier by shopping less, having less and leading a simple lifestyle has spread all over the media. Well, I am not a life coach but I can tell you one thing – in fashion sometimes less is more and many young designers seem to forget about that.

Not Rosie Ingleby – this 1st class Kingston graduate showed her first collection at the runway of Graduate Fashion Week last summer and won hearts of fashion editors and lovers all over the globe.

Her minimalistic designs play with asymmetry with the unusual but wearable outcome. In her first collection, raw materials and harsh designs played unexpectedly well together and produced fantastic and mesmerising creations that, despite reminiscing works of art, are ready to be worn, played with and be loved by their owners; Exactly what the young designer tries to achieve through her work – to produce conceptual clothing that is relevant, current and exciting.

Personally, I find this approach something new and exciting – of course, every talented designer graduating wants their clothes to be wearable but usually their creativity is the thing that suffers the most while trying to achieve that. For Rosie, nothing is impossible – she wants her designs to be simple, yet conceptual, yet wearable.  And guess what? She succeeds in doing that.

After winning a design competition while still at Kingston, Rosie secured herself an internship with a clothing retail giant H&M that gave her technical experience and commercial knowledge and right now she interns at Yunus and Eliza. Having a balanced knowledge of both commercial and high fashion industries she is ready to lead the revolution.

Will you join?

To find out more about Rosie, visit her website.

Hannah Williams

Say whatever you want about fashion bloggers but if Susie Bubble falls in love with something, it means that it IS the next big thing. When I saw one of the world’s most important style bloggers saying that she rooted for someone and proclaiming them the next big thing, I instantly knew that it is a person that Born in Britain is looking for.

Hannah Williams graduated from University for the Creative Arts in Epsom in 2013 and since then her works has been positively received not only by the bloggers’ world but also publications such as New York Times and the Independent. Getting the Womenswear Award at the last Graduate Fashion Week she made sure her first showcased collection is a one to be remembered – what we saw on the runaway did not look like a newbie’s first steps, it was a fashion statement. Delicate pastel colours played surprisingly well with silicone pieces and beautifully embellished accessories.  Yeah, these feminine designs you see next to this article are made of silicone – that’s an innovation right here!

The young designer’s inspirations are also vast, including the surreal sculpture work of Daniel Ashram and 1920s flapper girl jewellery. Knowing that, we can also see a tiny bit of 1920s nostalgia coming from her designs that helps them not to be obviously futuristic but truly one in a kind.

With the amount of work she puts into her research and designing process, natural talent and backing from one of the fashion industry’s most well-known names, this young (she is only 22-years-old!) designer has a bright future in front of her and I can’t wait to see what the future brings for Hannah Williams.

Want to keep up to date with the next big name in the making? Go check her website!

Image Source: Gwf.org.uk

Phiney Pet

Ever felt like fashion designers are too serious constantly putting their creations into archaic frames and trying too hard for their clothes to mean something? Well, sometimes you can design the most meaningful garments while simply having fun and taking inspiration from everything that surrounds you. Phiney Pet, a fresh fashion graduate has been following that pat and so far the results are exceptional.

Phiney Pet is really Josephine Pettman (“Phiney” for “Josephine”, “Pet” for “Pettman”, now you see it?), a recent Ravensbourne graduate specialising in print. Coming from South London, she takes her inspiration from people watching and wants her designs to not only be wearable but also to bring a bit of fun into their wearers’ lives. And they do indeed, full of her tongue-in-cheek, colorful clashing graphics and prints.  In Phiney Pet’s world, there is no reason why one should not put a tyrannosaurs on a girly dress with a tulle petticoat underneath or why a girl eating worms can’t be made into a centerpiece graphic of an outfit – there is a place for every, even the craziest idea, as long as it is fun.

Having said that, Phiney’s designs are not a chaotic pieces as you can imagine them to be. When looking at her designs, you can see that they have been carefully thought through and although the inspirations behind them may be random, they are not. Rebellious yet feminine they carry a really strong aesthetic. The word that comes to my mind when trying to describe it is “TumblR” but there is actually a lot more to them than the craziness and eclecticism of this micro-blogging platform.  There is something that is really unique and personal that make you just want to see more.

Phiney has been recently hired by Topshop to help them bring life to their print department so watch this space – the new big name is in the making!

To soak in Phiney’s unsual and fun world, visit her website.

Liron Kliger

The craft of making beautiful, quality jewellery seems to be associated only with the luxurious brands with long history behind them that offer their customers breathtaking but rather classical and non-adventurous designs. For the experimental, colourful and a little bit crazy, there is the other side of the spectrum – an array of cheap, plastic accessories offered by popular chain stores. Liron Kliger, a London-based jewellery desgins breaks these unwritten rules with her bold and standing out designs.

Born in Israel, Liron attended West London College where she completed her foundation course before graduating from the London College of Fashion’s Jewellery Fashion Design. Thanks to her travels around the world and living in cosmopolitan cities such as Tel Aviv, Milan and Paris, the designer gained a lot of self-confidence, making her more fearless about the designs she wants to create. And this is exactly the perfect way to describe her jewellery – fearless.

Made for confident women with strong personality and an attitude, Liron’s designs are wild and full of extremes. Created using raw materials, the designer’s jewellery bursts with colours and patterns which gives it a cosmopolitan feel.  Liron’s bangles stacked one on another reminiscent travels and inspirations you bring with you from the different parts of the world but are definitely not one dimensional. Depending on way you decide to style them, they can be more hippy and earthy, raw and tribal or bold and modern, it is all up to you.

Look into your more adventurous side and let Liron’s designs inspire you not only when it comes to your personal style but also attitude – be fearless, not scared of change and standing out!  For more inspiration check Liron’s Facebook Page.