New talent on show at Profile 2
"The Profile event may only be in its second season, but it already has all the attributes of a well-established show. Held at the Carlton Tower, just off Sloane Street, SW1, Profile 2 combines a static exhibition with Catwalk shows and a fantastic competition – to win selling space at a flagship House of Fraser store.
Capturing the imagination of the industry, Profile gives much-needed exposure for up to 30 womenswear and accessory designers to exhibit their creations in a static show, from which a shortlist of 10 will get to see their designs come to life on the Profile catwalk, along with being entered into the prestigious House of Fraser competition.
David Jones, director and chair of the London Fashion Forum said at the Catwalk finale last Wednesday night that, "we've had 140 applications to exhibit at Profile this time around."
Amanda Burrows, House of Fraser, womenswear business manager added; "House of Fraser are Britain's leading retailer for innovative new brands. We work closely with our designers building on a working relationship that hopefully lasts. It's all about finding your niche in this industry."
I-Saw, the winners of Profile 1, were also in attendance, fresh back from a business trip in Japan. I-Saw's designs are currently stocked in the Bluewater House of Frazer store and the label has even got a mention in the style bible Vogue this month.
Back to Profile 2 and a wander around the static exhibition revealed a diverse range of fashion talent. From the delicate yarns of Anuk Harvey to the simple, flowing lines of Natasha Heaslip's jewellery and right back again to the colourful urban style of Almost Famous.
By late afternoon Profile 2 was buzzing with activity with plenty of advise and support being given out by the likes of Sew-East, Business Link for London, London Fashion Forum and FashionCapital. Many young designers commented on the difficulties of marrying the creative with the business, which is why such non-profit organisations are invaluable to this tough industry.
Filled up to capacity, the main room was ready and waiting for the finale of the evening – the Profile 2 catwalk show and the announcement of this seasons winner. The ten finalists were:
Bodyamr – Combines jewellery, fashion and art in order to create bespoke and limited edition pieces. Sexy, sheer kaftan shapes, dropped waist dresses and underwear glittering with Swarovski crystals has already caught the eyes of celebrities – Lisa B, Caprice and Girls Aloud.
Aspen de Luxe – Showed a subtle collection of feminine, tailored pieces with plenty of attention to details such as gathers, drawstring ties, binding and bows, all in a palette of beige, cream, gold and crisp white.
Labour of Love – Casual style is given a touch of the hand-finished treatment with sports inspired tops in perforated leather and screen-printed crepe covered in a strong black and white pattern. Key colours for their spring/summer collection arrive in bold tones of black, white, red and purple.
Ian Kettle – Produced a transeasonal collection that covers six main selling seasons all at once. From his unusual tops and dresses that wrap around the body in muted tones to his heavier black silhouettes teamed up with rainbow coloured ruffs, Ian Kettle's style proves to be eclectic and unique.
Sam Souci – Showed three capsule underwear ranges that included cami-knickers worn with plunge-neck camisole tops, a two-piece in black tulle-mesh decorated with a stripe of striking satin and white cotton/lycra sets featuring a naughty printed message.
Michelle David – Inspired by the 1970's film 'Funny Girl' Michelle David produced a quirky but fun spring/summer collection. Cropped trousers, sailor tops and retro style prints resulted in pieces that were both slightly different but incredibly wearable.
Onjoo Mac – Created simple and delicate pieces that carried a comfortable and calm feel. Unstructured with wrap tie blouses, loose pants and scooped neck tops in patterned tones of pale blue, lemon, poppy and pure white.
Dabra – A collection for girls that like to party with a series of body revealing black evening dresses. Low-cut necklines, thigh high splits and acres of back exposure are the order of the day. Sexy – while maintaining a touch of the classic 1950's vibe.
Simon Wang – Playful and bright, Simon Wang offers a new take on silk cashmere knits with bold jacquards and motifs. Combining some eye dazzling colours – it's a playful look that's also high on the 'feel good' factor.
Vera von Garrel – Oversized sunglasses worn with fitted white trouser suits and simple shift dresses makes Vera von Garrel's designs perfect for the modern day Audrey Hepburn. Sticking with a palette of black and white the show ended with a nod to Paco Rabanne as a dress created from circular discs made its way down the catwalk.
Michelle David was announced as the lucky winner, a decision that took her by total surprise! Congratulations Michelle, hopefully we shall be hearing more about your progress in the near future.
by Jo Iles