Young and outstandingly talented designers from all over the world congregated in Paris from June 30th to July 3rd for yet another edition of the prestigious Who's Next fashion trade show. The immense trendsetting show is an international rendezvous for upcoming and established designers and fashion professionals.
By developing an original approach to the fashion business and blending creativity and inspiration from all continents, the semiannual show has not ceased to increase its reputation and clout over the last years. Who's Next has become a genuine trend hub, allowing thousands of designers to showcase their collections and bring forth their labels during four pulsating days in Paris. I was delighted to chat to three of them:
Right at the entrance of the show I noticed Di Wu's stand. Di is a young designer from Shen Yang, China. She is one of the winners of the Who's Next Prêt à Porter – Arts Thread competition and is showcasing her graduate collection in Paris for the first time. Di attended the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I was struck by the maturity of her collection, which had already been shown at the Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion week earlier this year. The geometric figures fit perfectly on the angular pieces, mainly made from cashmere knits and double-faced wool. Di says she draws a lot of her inspiration from architecture and interior design for the silhouettes and graphic design for the prints. She is one of a generation of upcoming designers you want to keep an eye on. You can check her work out here.
Hasina is an exotic, luxury label which was launched by French designer Hasina Raonimahary in Singapore last year. Her first collection, Tropiques, was presented at the Blueprint show in May and received enthusiastic response from the press and audiences in Singapore. I expect the acclaim to be similar in France and the rest of Europe. The colourful and Wanderlust-inspired pieces are elegant and fresh, designed for an effortless and graceful transition from day to night. Hasina used nothing but Crêpe de Chine silk and exclusive, exotic prints to create this collection, with each piece being adorned with beautiful, discreet details.
Hasina was born in Madagascar, has lived in Paris, London and Singapore. She has travelled extensively and spends most of her time between Europe and Asia. Her collection is an illustration of every little bit of this, a subtle blend of tropical prints, vibrant colours and chic "à la française".
"My garments are designed beyond seasons and trends. Something unique and beautiful for you to wear time and again." Have a look here.
Another memorable encounter was with prominent designer and creator of the Franco-Peruvian label Stella Pardo Cinthya Guerrero. The label was launched by Cinthya, her mother and her aunt several years ago and is well established on the Parisian fashion scene. This was not her first appearance at Who's Next. Born in Peru, she moved to Paris at the age of 18 and has remained very attached to her culture and family, which have been a great inspiration for her various collections.
Stella Pardo is the first fairtrade luxury fashion label, its concept and style are rather unique: the pieces are designed in Paris by Cinthya and carefully handmade in Lima by a group of local women called "les Mères Tricoteuses" (the Knitting Mothers). Cynthia has chosen to use noble Peruvian fabrics such as silky Organic Pima cotton and soft Baby Alpaca wool. Handcraft is one of the distinctive characteristics that makes Stella Pardo a so very special luxury label. The result is a superb collection of sophisticated and timeless pieces. "L'artisanat est un luxe". Stella Pardo. See her work here.
Who's Next will be taking place again in January, so if you happen to be in Paris make sure you don't miss it.
Words – Julia Collier