You Should Be Paying Attention To London Fashion Week — Here's Why

As a leading fashion capital of the world, London has become globally renowned for its raw dynamism, irreverence, diverse inspiration, and innovative design. Though often overshadowed by New York's week-long celebrity-driven bonanza (see: Kanye West Yeezy Season 5, Tiffany Trump making her front row rounds, Phillip Plein's disastrous spectacle that was all things people hate about the fashion industry: a late beyond measure start time, clothes that weren't anything worth balking at, and an obvious publicity play by casting "hot felon" Jeremy Meeks) and Paris' longtime legacy as the number one destination for, above all, beautiful clothes, the United Kingdom keeps it low-key — and that's even more of a reason to pay it attention. With less focus on the "who's who," designers are showing provocative and inspired collections that reminds us what the industry should actually be about: innate talent.

Think about it: Some of the most exciting, boundary-pushing players are coming out of London: 32-year-old Jonathan Anderson, the wunderkind behind J.W. Anderson (and the creative director of Loewe) has found the secret formula to creating It items for the modern age; Erdem Moralioglu has been designing evening gowns that actually make the red carpet worth watching again (look to Claire Foy's Golden Globes number for a recent example); Molly Goddard has completely revolutionized the way people view (and wear) tulle, with her girly, colorful numbers popping up in magazine editorials across the globe. They may not be mainstream household names like Chanel, Dior, or Louis Vuitton, but given their success without decades-long years of experience, we're confident in saying they're well on their way.

Ahead of the shows this London Fashion Week (which kick off Friday), we photographed three of our favorite new faces — Ayaana Stevens, Lais van Niel, and Patricia Missotten — in the wares of six designers completely redefining not just British fashion, but that of the entire world. If this is the future of style, let's just say we're in very good hands.

Shrimps
Take one scroll through a street style slideshow and you'll likely see many pieces from Shrimps, whether it's a fluffy, technicolor coat, a faux fur-trimmed jacket, a cartoon-print shirt, or a furry bag. Needless to say, Hannah Weiland has swiftly become one of the hottest names in British fashion. Having launched her label just four years ago, her instantly recognizable and playful creations are adored by Alexa Chung, Laura Bailey, Laura Jackson, and Poppy Delevingne, to name a few. Last season, Weiland's theme, which she describes as “modern Marie Antoinette, playful opulence, with Gauguin and Edward Wadsworth influences,” featured lace and broderie anglaise alongside her signature faux fur. Tonal, pearl-colored pajama pieces were presented next to exquisite, voluminous dresses, and gingham and ruffles (two of our favorite trends for spring) were a-plenty. It wasn't as much a foray from her aesthetic as it was an expansion upon it; one we can't wait to see continue to evolve.
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Ayaana wears Shrimps top, dress, and bag; Russell & Bromley shoes; Maria Francesca Pepe bracelet.
Ayaana wears Shrimps top and dress.
Ayaana wears Shrimps top and dress.
Marques’Almeida
Design duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, of Marques'Almeida, are responsible for some of the biggest trends in fashion over the past couple of years, from the ubiquity of frayed, ruffled denim to the return of the puffer jacket. Despite launching their line over five years ago, the pair has already made a remarkable impact on the industry: Their influence and unique creative vision were recognized in May 2015, when they were awarded the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers. If you're wondering what the next It silhouette, shape, or shade will be, consider their runway a crystal ball.
Lais wears Marques'Almeida top.
Lais wears Marques'Almeida top and jeans; Christopher Kane bag; Nicholas Kirkwood shoes.
Phoebe English
An alumna of the late Louise Wilson’s Central Saint Martins MA course, Phoebe English has received international acclaim for her immaculately cut, monochromatic, deconstructed designs, and uncompromising attention to finish and fabrics. Politically proactive, her last collection was inspired by her social and political frustrations, manifested in seven different characters: The Archer, The Water Bearer, The Enquirer, The Smuggler, The Chanter, The Strangler, and The Mourner. Given the current political climate not just in the UK and the US, but around the world, we have a feeling her presentation will encapsulate our feelings in just right way.
Patricia wears Silver Spoon Attire x Hello Kitty beret; Phoebe English top and jumpsuit; Loewe bag.
Patricia wears Silver Spoon Attire x Hello Kitty beret; Phoebe English jumpsuit.
Ashley Williams
For spring '17, Ashley Williams invited us to relive her teenage dream, caught nebulously between reality and fantasy. From a '90s-inspired T-shirt dress, adorned with an image of River Phoenix, worn under a beaded bralette and finished off with crystal-studded, sparkly creepers, to a purple, ruffled shirt dress and a white, fluffy cat bag or hoodies emblazoned with 'HAIRCUT' and boxy two-piece suits, the nostalgic, eclectic collection fused skater fashion with frilly femininity.

Since her fashion week debut in February 2013 as part of Fashion East, Williams' girl gang has consistently been cool and fiercely individual. Who else would suggest wearing a T-shirt with a tiara?
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Lais wears Ashley Williams shirt, T-shirt, pants, and headband; Christian Louboutin shoes; Maria Francesca Pepe earrings.
Isa Arfen
Italian-born designer Serafina Sama launched Isa Arfen in 2011 after graduating from Central Saint Martins (it's still churning out all the best, right?!) and gaining experience at Chloé, Marni, Lanvin, and Marc Jacobs. The label's ethos is all about dressing women in a wardrobe that's playful, beautiful, and chic, in eye-catching jewel tones and on-trend silhouettes, like off-the-shoulder tops and pieces with cut-outs.
Ayaana wears Isa Arfen top and leotard; Nicholas Kirkwood shoes; Topshop tights; Tuza Jewellery bracelet and earrings.
Clio Peppiatt
After launching her eponymous label in 2014, Clio Peppiatt quickly earned herself a loyal fan base who adore her intricate hand-appliqués, illustrative embroidery, and tongue-in-cheek sense of humor. In her work, she explores themes of modern femininity with the aim of creating unique and individual clothing to make women feel content, confident, and courageous. If there's anyone who says "fuck the rules," it's her (and we love that, obviously).
Patricia wears Clio Peppiatt dress, jacket, and scarf; Maria Francesca Pepe earrings; Clio Peppiatt x Tatty Devine necklace.
Patricia wears Clio Peppiatt dress, jacket, and scarf; Maria Francesca Pepe earrings; Clio Peppiatt x Tatty Devine necklace.
Special thanks to Wandering Bears Studio.
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