If you're unfamiliar with British Fashion, New Gen might be an unfamiliar concept to you, so to clarify, New Gen is a British Fashion Council award scheme that recognises and supports new design talent. Since its inception in 1993, New Gen has helped establish many great British designers including Alexander McQueen, Matthew Williamson, Julien Macdonald, Boudicca, Sara Berman and more recently Giles and Jonathan Saunders.
London-based Poltock & Walsh were part of the New Gen line-up this season, and were possibly my favourite of the new talent at the recent London Fashion Week.
Fiamma Poltock (half English, half Italian) spent her childhood in the North of Italy, moving to Scotland at the age of nine. Katie Walsh (born in Canada, half Irish, half German) grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and moved to London in 2000.Since graduating from Kingston University in 2004, Katie Poltock and Fiamma Walsh first worked for Alexander McQueen and John Richmond respectively, gaining skills, knowledge and experience which they put to good use when they pooled their creative forces and formed Poltock & Walsh.
One of the highlights of the show was the amazing footwear; I've been yearning for a pair of the vertiginous feathery ankle-boots the models sported in the show, clothed in fine pheasant and quail feathers that nicely offset the tough silhouette of the shoe.
The clothes (and the designers) embodied fresh, edgy, youthful London, and Lula stylist Leith Clark (who, as readers of this blog will know, I love) has said of them, "I'm really excited about these girls. I love their enthusiasm."
Destined to become one of London's cult offerings, the collection had an easy elegance, with silky nudes, iridescent shades, plums and almost-blacks.Besides the striking feathered shoe boots (which each took six hours to make), I loved the the duo's use of folding and draping techniques on on silk shorts, dresses and skinny trousers.
I can't wait to see more of their strong, structured pieces next season. But until then, here's my picks of the best: