I was reading the Evening Standard tonight and was delighted to see
that London’s evening paper has singled out in a Leader how the
capital is a ‘magnet for talent’. Some of the collections may have
been wacky, ’eccentric’ and ‘provocative’, the Standard said, as well
as being about as commercially minded as an Isabella Blow business
plan but the talent ‘proves the creativity ad vibrancy of out fashion
I was especially pleased by the news that Grace Wales-Bonner, a former
Fashion Futures finalist has won the L’Oréal Professionnel Talent
Award 2014 at the Central Saint Martins BA Fashion show.
This is because I made four special hats for Grace’s St. Martin’s
Fashion Show (previous winners of the B.A graduate show include haut
milliner Philip Treacy). Grace supplied me with some hat designs and I
turned them into her hand-stitched bespoke millinery creations.
I was introduced to Grace through a fashion world friend called Lucy
Archibald (now Guinness) who has a company called Poplin that makes
chic pyjamas which I also can’t recommend enough (I love my Gatsby PJs
with their decadent emerald green piping).
Grace (or Gracie) is not be confused with Grace Weller, another
equally talented young fashion designer from Bath Spa University, who
won two awards at this week’s Graduate Fashion Week gala at London’s
Brick Lane’s Truman Brewery. Over 1,000 fashion students entered the
awards from over 40 universities.
Like the graduate shows of the art world, competition is intense to
get noticed. Damien Hirst was first noticed at Goldsmiths art college
in London as well as when he staged his break-out art college show
Freeze. Collectors like Charles Saatchi often bought their first YBA
paintings at the graduate fairs.
Grace had to battle with 39 other fashion students who were showcasing
their collections at the St Martin’s Fashion School graduate show. Now
feted by the fashion editors of Vogue and Dazed, Gracie has had her
talent noticed ever since she was a finalist in the FAD teenage
fashion designer awards back in 2008.
I know how hard it is to break through with an original voice and
style in the fashion industry. So I congratulate Gracie and look
forward to collaborating with her again with her collections in the