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On a typically gray London day, Fashion East's designers — Ryan Lo, Claire Barrow, and Ashley Williams — forecasted a very bright spring '14. These emerging talents are three names you’ll want to remember, as Fashion East is responsible for launching the careers of Jonathan Saunders, Henry Holland, and Roksanda Illincic, to name just a few.
First up, with his third collection for Fashion East, Ryan Lo continued to demonstrate his penchant for child's play with a kitsch interpretation of Hansel & Gretel. Sweet but not saccharine, Lo's candyfloss confections — layers of mille-feuille pink lace, strawberry-shortcake knits, and juicy cherry prints — were paired with ladylike tweeds and '60s housecoats, suggesting that Lo's little-girl-lost might be ready to grow up, just not too quickly.
Next up was Claire Barrow, with her final collection for Fashion East. Continuing with her DIY aesthetic, Barrow's hand-painted silk, leather, and cotton separates featured frayed, raw edges and undefined silhouettes. Plus, her illustrated biker jackets made a welcome return to the catwalk, this time emblazoned with moons and stars. The magical and mystical was apparent throughout the collection — her star-sign tees an appealing alternative to the usual browse through your horoscope.
Closing the show, Ashley Williams took us all on a trip to Miami Beach for her sophomore Fashion East collection. Cheered on by her front-row-friends Pixie Geldof and Harry Styles, Williams gave the crowd plenty to smile about with her tongue-in-cheek tribute to '80s Americana. One-piece swimsuits, board shorts, and jumpsuits were emblazoned with the words "Dream Boat" and Williams' girls carried plush toy-shark clutches and wore pool slider sandals. Welcome to Miami, indeed.