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Bright Young Things

Mollie Lloyd introduces us to the five graduate designers we need to know right now

Published on June 29th 2011.

Bright Young Things

GET ready for some serious goosebump moments. It’s that time of year when London’s fashion world gets a taste of the future as fresh new designers from the capital’s fashion schools storm the runways. The caliber of talent emerging from London schools is always exceptional (think Christopher Kane and Phoebe Philo for a start), and 2011’s crop did not disappoint. Shivers were sent down front rows strung with style heavy-weights of the likes of Barbara Hulanicki, Jane Shepherdson and David Downtown. So sit up and take note as we bring you our pick of names to remember.

London, we’re punching high.  

Flaminia portrait by Kyoko MunakataFlaminia portrait by Kyoko Munakata

Flaminia Saccucci, Central Saint Martins (womenswear)

Age: 25

Provenance: Italy

Signature style: Clean with a twist but always balanced

Muse: It varies

Style heroine: Grace Kelly

Favorite trend for summer: Bold prints

What will be huge for autumn?: Tyres and latex

She says: For my graduate collection I took inspiration from tyres. I’m attracted by their texture: the smoothness and hardness they have. I’ve been looking at different combinations to obtain the feeling of a real, yet wearable tyre. My aim was to produce an unexpected use of latex: not expressly sexy but with sharps and feminine silhouettes and prints. So I used the material alongside a softer landscape print, to smooth off the rough.

We say: Although her plant-like prints are still very green on the fashion turf, we predict big things for Flaminia Saccucci. Her graduate collection showcases a statement pattern aesthetic to a T. Those fabrics remind us of early Erdem designs. Only ravaged by a motorbike, and entirely her own. Swoon.  

Prizes: L’oréal  Professionnel Talent Award, Best Collection of the Year 2011

To view collection click here.

Rexy portrait by Sean MichaelRexy portrait by Sean Michael


Rexy Sung, London College of Fashion (womenswear)

Age: 24

Provenance: London via Taiwan

Signature style: City chic, but edgy; feminine yet masculine

Muse: American supermodel Karlie Kloss

Style hero(s):  Riccardo Tisci (Givenchy) Alber Elbaz (Lanvin), Chirstian Larcoix

Favorite trend for summer? Layering, contrasting, mixing and matching. Just play with it. 

He saysMy aim is to rethink and reinvent by advocating a sustainable approach into my work. I hope people who wear my collection will think positively and vigorously in this economic recession period we now find ourselves in. Each of the eight collection outfits invokes that meaning. The collection balances recycling materials with a fashion forward sensibility in a luxury finishing touch.  

We say: Rexy Sung equals modern classic. From discarded pins used as embellishments on a shirt to playfully elegant gowns toughened up with salvaged heavy metals, almost every piece brings something extra. Dress Rexy and you dress for the times. His uncompromisingly lux take on environmental virtuosity is sure to garner fans from the upper echelons of fashion’s socially conscious brigade. Gwynne, we’ve found your man. 

To view collection click here.

Charlotte BarryCharlotte Barry

Charlotte Barry , London College of Fashion (surface textiles)

Age: 23

Provenance: England

Signature style: A combination of lady-like and slouchy with intricate detailing in the fabric design

Style heroine: Iris Apfel

What will be huge for autumn?: Summer’s emphasis on print will grow into a love affair with amazing jacquard knits  

She says: My latest design obsessions come from Pompeii – the vision of ‘perfect ruin’, giving an emphasis to rich colour, texture and detail. The shapes are feminine and wearable and the embroidery was engineered to fit each pattern piece individually. I love how the resulting details all melt into each other effortlessly.

We say: Meticulous attention to detail is something which picks certain designers out against others, and Charlotte Barry has got it in spades. Her graduate collection may reference antiquity but it packs maximum covetability for the thoroughly modern wardrobe.

Prizes: The Barnett Lawson Prize for Best Use of Trimmings, 2011

To view collection click here.

Ivan portrait by Vincent Le ChapelainIvan portrait by Vincent Le Chapelain


Ivan Curia Nunes, Central St Martins (menswear)  

Age: 25

Provenance: Brazil

Signature style: Quirky elegance

Muse: My aunt, Lucia Moreira Salles

Style hero(s): Alberto Santos Dumont, Lapo Elkman, Nick Wooster

Favorite trend for summer: Linen and pastels

He says: My graduate collection was inspired by the letters Oscar Wilde wrote to his lover Bosie. I came up with a story: Wilde was exiled in Brazil instead of imprisoned in London. Realizing the way men in my country dress I aimed for a relaxed silhouette, free from excess. I wanted to peel back the typical layers of tailoring. The result is an exterior of horse hair, canvas and linen. 

We say: Ivan Curia Nunes’ designs blend distinctly different influences into his whimsical yet masculine tailoring. From sunglasses and buttons fashioned from buffalo bone and horn sourced from a village in Bahia, to stylish shirt/jacket hybrids, his kooky take on timeless styling is so fresh for now. Someone give this man Bernard Arnault’s number.  

Prizes: Central St Martins B.A., Honors List 2011, Joint 2nd Runner Up

To view collection click here.

Alice Fern potrait by Louis BloomfieldAlice Fern potrait by Louis Bloomfield


Alice Fern, University of Westminster (womenswear)

Age: 23

Provenance: England

Signature style: Strong, feminine and fluid

Muse: Clara Bow; she was so beautiful

Style heroine(s): Audrey Tatou and Anja Rubik

Favorite trend for summer: Risqué sheer layering

She says: The focus of my collection is on movement and textiles, looking at how twisting material on top of and around the body can enhance and restrict mobility. One of the most important factors in the collection is the preparation of cloth: bleach ombre print is combined with different textile techniques to form the base to my garments.

We say: Sure, those designs might not be obviously wearable (dashing for a cab followed by plumes of drapey crepe can’t be easy), but Alice Fern’s styling is stellar. At her graduate show, models swooshed down the catwalk like bleached organza clad birds of prey. Craftsmanship at its best – to dye for.     

To view collection click here.

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