Independent’s Day

by Grandin Donovan
Somehow, the many reveals of Fashion Week always seem to raise more questions than answers, especially in the case of new designers. But among the Indie masses, there were still a handful of faces that ignited a well-deserved buzz. Here are our picks for the most promising names, those designers whose work Refinery29 is eager to see—and wear—much more of.
3.1 Phillip Lim
The “street elegance" Phillip Lim aspires to uses subdued detailing and some vintage nods for a refined but modern effect. Drawing from the '60s, Lim's outerwear favored double-breasted cuts, whether in the loose, fur-trimmed camel hair box coat or the slimmer white walking coat. Fall pieces have a fun '70s feel, veering from relaxed vests, bibs, and bow skirts a la Annie Hall, to glammier bits like a leather band jacket and ruffle-fronted dress.
Unapologetically technocentric, Roberto Crivello and Savania Davies-Keiller's DDC Lab rehabilitates the future moderne with unique textile combinations and finishes. High-twist Italian silk, a heat-crinkled poly-silk blend, coated poplin, and persimmon dyes feature in both men's and women's staples. Adding to the collection's rebel aesthetic are wild woven scarfs, bags, and earrings evoking something dredged up from the sea by New York City-based artist Michael Capotosto in collaboration with the line's accessories designer.
Vena Cava
Young and easygoing but with a coy reserve, Lisa Mayock and Sophie Buhai's Vena Cava spring line features many gossamer light dresses with delicate hand-drawn prints and deep V-necks. Braided rope detailing recurs throughout many of the pieces, lending a dockside insouciance that's right in step with the warming weather.
Nathan Jenden
Although Jenden gestured toward the "Goya silhouette," the British designer's debut collection seemed to take notes from Spanish son Velazquez as well. With massive puff-sleeved tops and a gorgeous, patterned short infanta dress, Jenden played baroque forms alongside more sober, clean-lined suits, skirts, and jodhpurs for an almost aggressive effect.
Aussie designer Kit Willow's background in lingerie helps explain her taste for restrained, almost constricted forms and elements that inspire the notion of undress even in her modest high-waisted skirts and dresses. The tight-bosomed petal dress gathers four straps at the cleavage with a small window below, starkly reminiscent of Japanese rope bondage. Her Ladybug and Newton dresses feature lapels peeling away from the breasts that are at once suggestive and sweetly demure.

3.1 Phillip Lim images courtesy of 3.1 Phillip Lim

DDC Lab images courtesy of DDC Lab

Vena Cava images courtesy of Vena Cava

Nathan Jenden images courtesy of Nathan Jenden

Willow images courtesy of Willow

Fresh names—and their promising collections—were aplenty at New York Fashion Week. But whose star was shining brightest? Here's the Refinery29 roundup of our favorite newcomers.

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