The world of fashion – An incredibly difficult and competitive industry for most designers and those who are involved in it. Whether there is financial struggle or the pressure to create something new and exciting that will catch a client’s eye – It can be more than just an occupation or lifestyle; it is a cause that is fought for.
However, like any industry – if you have the motivation and what it takes to get ahead, you’ll get what you’re striving for.
Introducing NEWGEN (New Generation) – Created in 1993 by the British Fashion Council to help promote and recognise internationally exceptional talent. Since 2001, Topshop has helped sponsor this scheme, helping the production and benefit of this idea come to life. Those who are chosen to participate in this scheme are selected to present their designs on the catwalk or in an exhibition space to showcase their collections. This becomes the perfect opportunity for new and young UK-based designers to showcase their work to international press and buyers from all over the globe.
In addition, might I point out – These aren’t run-of-the-mill designers. This ‘competition’, so to speak – Besides being internationally renowned, chooses the best designers in the United Kingdom to exhibit their collections at London Fashion Week.
So, instead of showing you every one of these amazing designers, I picked one out of the bunch that I thought best represented the talent that these designers have as a whole, as well as what it means to truly be British.
Introducing…Michael Van Der Ham
You’ll recognise this designer from the Olympics Opening Ceremony – Paired with fellow Brit designer Nazir Mazhar, they created mostly all of the designs worn by the choreographers in the ceremony (Seen here). Born in the Netherlands, van der Ham migrated to the U.K. and worked his way through the fashion industry with internships at the likes of Sophia Kokosalaki and Alexander McQueen. Soon after, he graduated with an MA in Fashion at Central Saint Martins, where his graduation collection was so successful that it led him a spot in exhibiting it at London Fashion Week. He has even been nominated for the British Fashion Awards ‘Emerging Talent’ award – Definitely not a designer to be missed this season.
Not one to create subtle-styled clothing, Van Der Ham creates his designs based off of bold, colourful fabrics. As shown in his AW 12 collection, it’s all about the layering, paired with bold colours – But don’t let that fool you. Somehow, he is able to layer without appearing too gaudy and intrusive; It’s just the right move. I love how he is able to take fabrics and colours that would otherwise appear to clash and look out of place, putting them together and making sense of their differences. It’s beautiful, and definitely unique! Don’t be surprised to see this designer become BIG in the industry soon enough.
If you would like to keep up to date on Michael’s work, check out his website – http://michaelvanderham.com and his twitter for more updates – https://twitter.com/m_van_der_ham