FW Awards 2016 – Best Independent Designer

It’s just over eight weeks to the most glittering awards London hosts each year, The FashionWorked Awards 2016, (our 5th year of doing them). The picnic rugs are at the dry cleaners, the shorts are having a crease ironed into them, and the cheese and pineapple hedgehogs are on order.

There are two sets of awards, the ones my panels vote on, and two that I nominate and choose. The long standing Best Independent Designer, and to recognise even more talent, this year I’ll be adding Best Independent Accessory Maker as well.

These awards are the ones that are very special to me as the whole reason this site exists is to celebrate the designers that are off the High Street, the very best of the industry as individual creative’s and labels. Now in the 4th year this award just gets harder and harder to pick. Anyway, on with the shortlist . . .

JG Award

Jasper Garvida – Ethologie London

Jasper is the reigning award holder having taken the title in 2015, his SS16 and AW16 collections bettered even the previous year. Jasper continues to set new heights with the Ethologie label bringing fun youthful designs to the catwalk.

Photo – Chris Yates

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Ong Award

Ong-Oaj Pairam

Nobody does high end chic and couture like Ong-Oaj Pairam, its like someone took clouds of beautiful colours and textures shaped them into dresses and sent them down a cat walk. The natural themes that appeared in both the SS16 & AW16 collections assured that Ong-Oaj was always going to be making it two years in a row on the shortlist.

Photo – Chris Yates

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James Kelly

I love to find upcoming young designers who are going to be huge, step forward James Kelly. The AW16 collection evoked those beautiful garments of the 1950’s and 60’s horror movies and brought them right up to 2016. He has smashed his way onto the 2016 FW shortlist and he should be on your mind any time you think about fashion stars.

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SP Awards

Sports Philosophy

A sports brand, yes a sports brand. Creative Director Stella Heng is a true fashion lover and this is reflected in the collection, comfortable to work out in, yet elegant and chic. It’s in the detail like a lightening pattern that is reflective lift their collections above just sportswear. I also want to say that their Freedom For Children programme is amazing, pledging at least 10% of profit to fight child labour through their foundation. It’s quite simply the future this industry needs.

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josh award.jpg

Joshua Kane

Simply put Joshua Kane is a tailoring genius, his LCM catwalk was just hit after hit. Everything he sent out was beautiful, as is the entire content of his shop. Trying to choose 10 or 15 images from a designer for a review and still being unable to edit down to that number is the best indicator of someone special, Joshua is exactly that.

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Charlotte Zimbehl

I met Charlotte on the eve of LFW AW16 at an event where she was showing. It’s hard to hide excitement about a designer, even with my deadpan abilities but as she showed me her lookbook I knew not only that she’d be a featured designer but that she had to be on the awards list. Chic, elegant, beautiful, quality, it’s a 4 word review that sums up the label for you.

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Vin & Omi

How do you explain Vin & Omi, I’m still not sure. Creative artists, insane magicians, imaginations more out there than any episode of the X-Files. The duo produce stunning looks that defy explanation, they take it up to levels that shouldn’t but do work, and that my readers shows brilliance, when you can not only think the unthinkable, but you can bring it to reality as well.

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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