Our verdict: One of the most exciting parts of any fashion week is new discoveries, and Fashion East – the industry’s equivalent of a sniffer dog – can always be relied on to unearth some treasure. This season that came in the form of ART SCHOOL – the duo of Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt – who both graduated last year (Loweth from BA Fashion at Ravensbourne and Barratt from BA Art Criticism, communication and Curation at CSM). Both designers identify as non-binary and their first collection as part of Fashion East explored non-binary identity and dressing, reinterpreting pieces from their wardrobes and those of their friends into a cohesive collection. And that was a genderless mix of Swarovski encrusted jackets and trousers, velvet cowl neck dresses and satin slip dresses and trousers worn with 90s strappy tops. With the aim of telling the story of queer style ART SCHOOL are covering new ground, and may perhaps be on the cusp of a creative revolution. Watch this space very closely.
Out for their sophomore season with Fashion East Rottingdean Bazaar subverted luxury with a collection that was both irreverent and witty, and proved that fashion can have a sense of humor. Founded by CSM alumni James Buck and Luke Brooks the brand worked with ‘tightogrophy’ for AW17 – the process of using flesh coloured tights to spell out words (OK, Yes, No) onto jumpers – and elsewhere used similarly mundane material to great effect with a collection of Blu Tack accessories. The biggest crowd pleaser though was their instructional care labels that offered advice like no other – “use this label to patch a hole in an old t-shirt”. Round of applause all round.