THE JUST-ENDED London Fashion Week has confirmed what the big money has known for some time: Dalston is at the centre of the world of style-setting. Two of the biggest hits at the event are based in a street east of Kingsland Road.
Both Christopher Kane and JW Anderson work in studios in Shacklewell Lane in mid-Hackney.
Of Kane, fashion editor Laura Craik said: “How Kane’s collection look so slick with so little funding is a wonder as mysterious as the inner workings of the brain.”
Try to ignore the absurd overstatement (it’s near obligatory for fashionistas), the point is that the two designers are exciting the right people: Kane recently attracted a majority interest in his studio from PPR, the French company that has controlling stakes in Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen.
The 30-year-old Scot runs his Dalston studio, which has 26 staff, with his sister and a friend.
Anderson was born in Derry/Londonderry (“Stroke City”, as the Northern Irish call it) 28 years ago. When he designed a range for Topshop last September 2013, the fashion chain said it sold better than any other designer’s that the store had commissioned. Five lines sold out within a few hours of being offered on line. It seemed to confirm what The New York Times said of the Northern Irishman in 2010: “A new star is born” (see earlier explanation of fashion-writing overstatement).
How long before a big multinational decides to back his success with big money. As he said when asked whether he’d like big money to back him: “Yes. Why not?”
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