With the media heavily focused on the work of established designers during London Fashion Week, it was always too easy to miss emerging talent. Thanks to legendary fashion writer Colin McDowell, that all changed in 2003 when he created Fashion Fringe, an annual award platform that offers new designers the chance to launch their labels in London. Last year’s winners were Fyodor Golan, a design duo from Latvia (Fyodor Podgorny) and Israel (Golan Frydman) who got a very enthusiastic response to their recent spring/summer 2012 show, but it’s Vita Gottlieb I want you to meet.
Vita was one of this year’s three finalists and though she didn’t win, the debut capsule collection she created for the competition inspired by 20th-century French fashion king Paul Poiret deserves to be seen.
Fringe chairman Christopher Bailey of Burberry described Vita’s talent and skill as “remarkable”, and though the north London-born designer is subdued not getting carried away by her success, I’m sure you’ll agree her handmade textile fabrics — also used on scarves - are mini masterpieces that should be hung in a gallery rather than a wardrobe.
Having waved goodbye to the £100,000 prize that went to winner, Haizhen Wang, Vita is hopeful she’ll catch the eye of an investor and though wary of celebrity muses, she wouldn’t mind seeing Natalie Portman in her dresses.
I think it’s an invitation the new Mrs Millepied should consider.