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Adut Akech AnOther Magazine cover AW20
Adut Akech is wearing TOLU COKER

Cover Story: A Celebration of Emerging Designers

New Beginnings: For AnOther Magazine Autumn/Winter 2020, Craig McDean and Katie Shillingford capture creations by a host of emerging designers on the model Adut Akech

Lead ImageAdut Akech is wearing TOLU COKER

Tolu Coker

Central Saint Martins, UK, BA 2017

“This collection was inspired by my childhood spent growing up on a London council estate, as well as my late father Kayode Coker’s involvement in fighting for equitable justice for marginalised communities. The appliquéd prints feature my father and Angela Davis, both inspirational figures. This is also contrasted by florals and touches of colour which represent a playful and somewhat naive essence of youth. I knew people would question and ask about the prints and the people in them as they are really dominant and stand out. I use clothing to spark important conversations. This is at the forefront of my mind every time I design or create.”

Stephanie Uhart

Central Saint Martins, UK, BA 2020

“This collection is called Altered Perceptions and it’s about giving a shape to the unseen within all of us. This look is called ‘Obsessive Comfort’ and it aims to emulate the feeling of seeking comfort and hiding within yourself. The soft and fluffy texture seemed like an ideal way to evoke that emotion. It’s deeply personal because every look in the collection represents an emotional stage that I went through while making the collection in lockdown. I really wanted each one to communicate a different phase of that journey. I hope to be able to work as an artist and keep pushing and challenging myself and my aesthetic – to be able to always create in a way that works towards inclusivity and consciousness.”

Jordan Dalah

Central Saint Martins, UK, BA 2017

“These pieces actually capture the core of what I do as a designer. I want my pieces to be a balance between theatre costume and contemporary clothes. I love finding the fine line between the two and also sometimes taking it too far in either direction. I’ve realised that, as a young designer, it is incredibly important to have a point of view and something to say. It would be easy to respond to this difficult time by making things that the market demands, but I would not be fulfilling my purpose. Moving forward with my collections I am going to make sure that anything I present or show to the world continues to excite people and encourage them to be creative and to create things that enrich the world.”

Jo Miller

Royal College of Art, UK, MA 2014

“I chose to collaborate with Matthew [Needham] on his Central Saint Martins MA 2020 collection Øyeblikk because there was a natural synergy to our work, us both being material- and process-led. My work comes from life, responding to the world around me – what I consider the alchemy of the everyday. Now, more than ever I feel a strong responsibility as a designer to actively play my part in promoting positive change within the world. I hope in the long term this period can bring meaningful shifts in consciousness and change in the way we live, work, treat each other and treat the planet.”

Sinéad O’Dwyer

Royal College of Art, UK, MA 2018

“This work stems from my own debilitating experiences with body dysmorphia, drawing on friends’ and family members’ experiences to help tell the story of the often tenuous relationships many women have with their bodies. I make garments by letting the body dictate their form, as opposed to the garment dictating how the body is shaped. I hope to continue to grow my business in a way that supports both my artistic and fashion practices, continuing to challenge the fashion industry’s outdated obsession with ‘sample size’. Looking forward to a future where people acknowledge how unethical it is to only design, produce and market garments towards one size and proportion.”

Pierre-Louis Auvray

Central Saint Martins, UK, BA 2018

“There are so many prejudices in fashion and now it is time to produce considerate, meaningful work. I spent a lot of time in lockdown questioning myself. I hope it will show in what I create in the future. This dress was actually the product of me trying to go back to who I was as a creative. I’ve been drawing since I was very little and while I was in isolation and looking back at what I’ve produced so far I realised that you wouldn’t be able to tell when looking at my work. So it made sense for me to want to do prints. I completely lost touch with illustrating and I’m glad I was able to learn to love it again. And a bodycon dress is the best canvas for it.”

Bradley Sharpe

Central Saint Martins, UK, BA 2020

“Working as a bartender at a sex club throughout my studies at Saint Martins, I became aware of how difficult personal space is to find. Using upcycled fibreglass tent poles, I wanted to design a collection that is extravagant but also declines an invitation to come too close. It was important that the pieces carried the manual, so they all arrive flat with their poles separate which enables the wearer to have an interaction with the garment before they even begin to wear it. I think this could be a new way to encourage consumers to introduce longevity in their wardrobes; if you build something yourself there is always that feeling of accomplishment. Maybe this could be the start of the end of fast fashion?”

Ellen Hodakova Larsson

Swedish School of Textiles, Sweden, BA 2019

“The purpose of me creating and upcycling things that already had a life is that it honours the remembrance of that history. It feels more meaningful when a piece surprises you because of the recognition of the past. I feel the future has a bright opening now. As the change is present, the value of craftsmanship and innovation is higher. I hope the future will be joyful.”

Sarah McCormack

Central Saint Martins, UK, MA 2020

“For my MA collection, I was thinking a lot about our generational disconnection from primality, the disregard for the underbelly, grit and the complexity of the human condition polished by superficial sterility. The characters in the collection were the kind of protagonists of this tale: the couture reference was the idea of a decadent and excessive desire for fame and beauty, tarnished and broken by the world, with the real evil inside twisting through the perfect facade.”

Karolina Widecka

Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium, MA 2020

“My collection is inspired by conspiracy theories and pseudo-spirituality, representing various conspiracies through the prints
and through working with the concept of deception and the selective revealing of information. This look refers to the Men in Black conspiracy theory, which presents the idea of men dressed in suits who claim to be government officials, but are in fact aliens. Therefore it’s a double-layered shirt, which is deconstructed and peels off to reveal a reptile-skin print.”

Anna Isoniemi

Aalto University, Finland, MA 2019

“I hope to use creativity as an indicator – a tool to reconnect the dots in a disconnected world. In order to describe our everyday life accurately, one should try to find the connecting lines between cultures, arts, designs, sciences and nations. My work involves breaking out of settled patterns in order to look at things in different ways, to find the joy of placing the pieces in unexpected order and mixing the tapestry. Instead of having a fixed outcome in my mind, my design process starts from intuitive research and experimenting with materials, colours, patterns and forms. The aim is to explore the positive power of patterns to find the joyfulness of our everyday life.”

Hair: Eugene Souleiman at Streeters using Wella Professionals. Make-up: Peter Philips for Dior Beauty. Model: Adut Akech at Elite Models. Casting: Noah Shelley at Streeters. Manicure: Hanaé Goumri at The Wall Group. Digital tech: Nico Fallet. Photographic assistants: Nathan Jenkins, Dani Bastidas and Paul Jedwab. Styling assistants: Molly Shillingford, Rebecca Perlmutar and Christelle Owona Nisin. Hair assistant: Claire Moore. Make-up assistant: JinDian Yang. Production: North6. Post-production: Gloss Studio.

A version of this story appears in the Autumn/Winter 2020 issue of AnOther Magazine, which is on sale internationally from October 1, 2020.