Inspired by a love for all things vintage, best friends Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey dreamt up RIXO in their living room in 2015. Fast forward four years and the brand has built a devoted global customer base. Their classic-inspired dresses and skirts have been spotted on A-listers including Margot Robbie and Kylie Minogue. Each print is hand-painted at the duo’s London studio and no outfit is mass-produced, which adds to the brand’s cult appeal.
2. Roberts Wood
Katie Roberts-Wood describes herself as both inventor and designer – and she’s spot on. For her master’s degree in 2014, she created an entire collection with nary a stitch, instead featuring a series of laser-cut elements. This spirit of ingenuity continues to inform her practice as she reinvents the very nature of garment construction. Pieces include a knotted dress and a wool pinafore with hand-linked organza ruffles.
3. Xu Zhi
Central Saint Martins alum Chen Xuzhi made his mark with highly technical womenswear pieces that strike a delicate balance between Chinese and Western craftsmanship, often relying on raw, reconstructed fabrics. Recently, he ventured into menswear, showing his first collection at the last London Fashion Week in February. His creations now sit in notable retailers like London’s Dover Street Market and Tokyo’s Opening Ceremony.
4. Gayeon Lee
Seoul-born Lee also graduated from the prestigious design college Central Saint Martins in 2013, going on to work for big-name labels such as Marc Jacobs. She launched her eponymous womenswear label the following year, which is characterised by asymmetrical silhouettes and contrasting textures. Her recent AW19 collection includes balloon-sleeved dresses with high-low hems, as well as skirts that marry pleats with tartan.
5. Alice Archer
Intricate floral motifs figure heavily in Alice Archer’s ready-to-wear collections. From elegant silk dresses and kimonos to billowy cotton jumpsuits, all are made in Como, Italy, via a sophisticated combination of hand, digital and machine embroidery. They’ve found favour with celebrities such as Sandra Bullock, Ellie Goulding and even Sean “Diddy” Combs – the rapper paired his kimono with a white shirt and a chain necklace.
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This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of SilverKris magazine.