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Top Picks From The London Designers Exhibition


This season the static exhibition brought in the numbers with established names showing alongside a host of newcomers.

Fashion Capital dropped by and checked out a handful of the diverse labels on offer.

Huan by Chris Liu Presenting a strong, sophisticated womenswear collection – Chris Liu, is certainly one to watch. Since graduating from his Masters in Fashion Design and Technology, Liu has worked at Burberry Prorsum, alongside Director – Christopher Bailey. He set up his own company in March 2003 in partnership with the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, which is funded by the London Development Agency. For autumn/winter 2004/05 Liu has created beautifully cut luxurious pieces with dramatic construction and layering details. Jackets and coats envelop the body and cinch at the waist, while tweed skirts and jackets are given a contemporary feel with touches of contrasting glossy leather.


Karl Donoghue Specializing in shearlings, furs and leathers, Donoghue has built up his label over the past eight years. A popular choice with ‘What Not To Wear’ – Trinny Woodall, along with the likes of Kate Moss, Elizabeth Hurley and Victoria Beckham, Donoghue has successfully found his niche. Despite much backlash from protestors – fur has once again made a strong impact on the international catwalks, and Donoghue’s expertise has resulted in various collaborations with: Caroline Charles, Joseph, Ann-Louise Roswald and a more recent pairing with William Sharp. For winter 2004 there’s high quality fur, suede and shearling fitted jackets and coats in a variety of natural tones such as: conker, nude, sand and moss plus winter white and scarlet red.


Anuk Harvey Formed in 2003 Anuk Harvey launched at last season’s Pure and was also one of the design talents on show at Profile 2 last October. The label uses the finest quality Italian yarns and is produced in Hawick, Scotland. Focusing on fine gauge knitwear for women, Anuk Harvey explores a variety of textures and finishes that create striking, contemporary pieces. The autumn/winter collection features tones of black, brown, beige, pale pink and white in contrasting shiny and matt designs. Polo necks, fitted skirts, sleeveless tops and mini dresses cling to the curves of the body while fine ladder stitch details add a more directional slant.


Louis de Gama Inspired by the construction and prints of two vintage garments Gama has devised his entire autumn/winter collection packed full of unusual and distinctive details. Box pleats appear on silky pedal pushers, panel skirts feature appliqué insertions and deluxe coats arrive with shoulder cape sections. Gama also introduced his brand new diffusion line called Luigi by Louis de Gama at the exhibition. Straps, ties, mini lengths, asymmetric lines and a concoction of fabrics are all thrown into the mix. Working on the stand rather than on paper, Gama develops pieces that are fluid to the eye and yet complicated in construction. This time around he uses jersey, silks, wools and his personal favourite – leather in tones of black, white, cream, beige, pink, yellow and lime green.

Aei : Kei A regular at the Designer’s Exhibition Ana Krnjaski the designer behind the Aei : Kei label has successfully combined the seductive and glamorous with the cosy and comfortable for autumn 04. Sophisticated and wearable jersey dresses feature subtle design details, while cosy fleece is created into stylish crossover wraps. This collection is not just about style – it’s about feel, with quality fabrics that skim and flatter the body. Other Aei : Kei features include: crocheted wool, draped silk, symbols of love hearts, peace symbols and flowers, plus a continuation of the embroidered Japanese dolls that appear in the current spring/summer 04 range.


Jo Iles

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