Without continuous renewal, fashion ceases to be fashion. While major publications by nature continue to focus on the so-called relevant names in the industry, the lesser known designers must fight and claw their way to the top. Sometimes they never reach the top per se, but their designs are no less relevant. In the continuing emerging designer feature for Papierdoll, one of the more interesting aspects to come about is creativity. Attending the recent fashion weeks, one could not help but wonder if there was more out there. The answer is a resounding yes.
The search for the best lesser known designers was not complicated. The power of the internet and some leg work facilitated an eye opening revelation: the great unknowns of fashion are all around us, you just have to look. The allure of wearing a fabulous design is unbelievably tempting. Walking down an avenue in New York city being questioned by fellow mavens on the origins of your wardrobe and simply replying, Etienne/Helene, to a blank look is simply delicious.
The one who asks won’t know where to get, how to find or even know how to spell the designer’s name.
Throw out names like Etienne/Helene, Rapp and Posavek, Wai-Ching, Steve Rosswick, Totiefor,and Thieves; and you will get the aforementioned blank looks. Where can I get this? How do I get this? Is it still even available?
The answer is yes. In the previous weeks, various Papierdoll writers looked at unknown designers on the cusp of a breakout. Today we look at designers still finding their voice in fashion, but producing great pieces nonetheless.
Rachel Schwartz started the Etienne Helene line working out of a loft in Brooklyn, New York. She studied in a variety of places most notably Milan. She moved back to New York and created her first sketchbook.
Her line is a cross between modern and classic glamour. Schwartz named the line after her parents and is working on a Spring 2006 line. You can view and purchase more items at virginthreads.com
Rapp and Posavek
I would love to come back to New York, says Suzie Rapp of Rapp and Posavek. You could still hear the distinct New York accent in her voice. Though now living in Texas, Suzie Rapp and Amy Posavek studied fashion in America’s fashion mecca, New York City.
They worked under Marc Jacobs and Cynthia Rowley but refused to rest on their laurels. Today they are designing high quality, high fashion handbags. There’s the vintage look in some of the bags, with a of southern flare. Rapp and Posavek bags have been featured in Lucky and Accessory magazines. You can view/purchase more items at virginthreads.com
Don’t underestimate the value of a sexy t-shirt. Steve Rosswick makes t-shirts synonymous with style. Started in November 2004, Rosswick built his business from the ground up. He played the role of designer, accountant, publicity, PR, customer service and marketing, even creating and managing his Web site.
You would think that doing this might detract from the quality of shirts. Negative. The shirts are top quality and he designs each one by hand. You can view/purchase more items at Steve Rosswick.com
Chrissy Wai-Ching does something few designers do: she takes exotic fabrics and creates artwork in her designs. A lover of far-east fashions, Wai-Ching places an incredible level of attention in her skirts, dresses and tops.
They wear well and feature color combinations not often used by the more known designers. This really separates her pieces from the norm. Most breathtaking is the Riga skirt. It combines hues of red, green and a muted orange in contrasting harmony. This is a designer to keep an eye on. You can view/purchase more items at wai-ching.com
What do the Canadians know about fashion? Apparently a whole lot. Sonia den Elzen, puts together pieces that look like they are coming from top fashion designers. Clearly den Elzen knows the look she wants and achieves it by making unconventional capris, dresses and bags. Her fall collection features darker grays and pinstripe designs. It’s amazing watching it all come together and knowing these are designs that will be on the runways sooner than later. You can view/purchase more items at wai-ching.com
A laundry list of upcoming designers can be found at Virgin Threads. Virgin Threads is a on-line specialty retailer started by owner Jason Yang that sells nothing but the best new designer wares at reasonable prices. Take a look at virginthreads.com.