International Emerging Designers Shine At New York Fashion Week

It's fantastic to discover new creative talent at the leading fashion showcases in New York, London, Paris and Milan and great to find those organisations supporting budding designers. Global Fashion Collective (GFC) is just such an initiative. Led by Vancouver Fashion Week, a semi-annual industry event known for presenting new talent from around the world, the recently formed Global Fashion Collective produces runway shows in various fashion capitals. GFC launched at Amazon Fashion Week Tokyo last October, followed by the first presentation at New York Fashion Week this month. The venue was Industria, an impressive former warehouse in the Meatpacking district where seven international designers at the beginning of their careers displayed their Fall/Winter 2018 collections. Also on show, as part of a CAAFD (Council of Aspiring American Fashion Designers) event were three emerging brands, including the standout Port Zienna by Francesca Canepa, a Peruvian designer now based in New York.

NiuNiu Chou of Chinese brand MRHUA MRSHUA uses a clever combination of vintage military and pop art designs. Fitted tailored pieces adorned with lace, tassels and embroidery, featured unique patterns and vibrant clashing colours. Gold buckles, plaited rope and soldier hats worn by male and female models made for a striking, energetic catwalk show.

Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Caroline Ann is finishing her studies at SCAD in Atlanta while launching her new fashion label. Flowing silks and crepes in bright colours, all produced in Atlanta, featured in Caroline Ann's show. Her collection would work well in mild climates and as stylish cruise wear. Soft ruffles and embellishments evoking seashells and the beach adorned many of the garments and the loose silhouettes would suit all body types. I approve of Caroline Ann's aim to produce fun pieces that "infuse joy" and show that "every day is an occasion worth dressing for."

Canadian designer Kirsten Ley has shown at Vancouver and Tokyo fashion weeks but this was her first time at New York Fashion Week where she presented her third collection. While Kirsten's previous two collections have focused on bespoke, haute couture art pieces, with this third collection, the designer is clearly expanding into ready-to-wear showing smart, fitted mid-skirts and straight leg trousers. Leather and flowing silks predominated in earthy colors like forest green, burnt orange and camel, some adorned with hand embellishments. Her eco-friendly, organic collection is produced locally without any synthetic materials right down to the threads in silk and cotton. Kirsten's designs have a Gothic feel, no doubt inspired by her love of Victorian romantic poets, Keats and Shelley.

Given that Japanese designer Monaca Nishi is already a well-known model and instagram star in her native Japan, her new fashion label Fiction Tokyo, launched in 2017, was a natural progression. Monaca's inspiration for her fall/winter 2018 collection was heroines from favourite childhood movies. I'm guessing she's a fan of Jessica Rabbit as all her models wore black leather rabbit ear masks. The collection featured high-waisted leather shorts, flared trousers and blouses with flared sleeves, in a colour palette of soft pink, khaki, burgundy and yellow.

Wild Fraulein71, is the label of Japanese designer Roop Shimura who is the veteran in this young group of designers, having launched in 2014 and shown in Tokyo and Vancouver. Male and female models showed a range of punky, edgy, unisex fall and winter garments from cardigans and sweaters, coats, vests, hats and mittens, all in earthy autumnal tones and patterns.

Chinese-born designer Melissa Yin launched her eponymous label last year in Vancouver where she now lives. Her powerful, leather-based pieces in a collection called "Nine to Five" are aimed at business women wanting a smooth transition from day to night. Red leather contrasted with cream and black. One of the strongest looks was a long black leather dress with short capped sleeves and a cinched in waist. Silver star-shaped zippers and rhinestones were lovely touches.

German designerKim Tiziana Rottmüller is still in her final year of studies at Polimoda in Florence but she has already shown at London and Vancouver last fall. Her theatrical pieces, appearing for the first time on a New York catwalk, featured oversized cylindrical sleeves, dramatic ruffles and cage-like skirts in black and pale pink

I discovered New York-based designer Francesca Canepa's Port Zienna label at Vancouver Fashion Week last September so I was pleased to see the designer make her New York debut this month during a showcase by the Council of Aspiring American Fashion Designers. Francesca's collection featured monochrome simple pieces that use the haute couture technique of draping. After working with Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford and Carolina Herrera, Francesca Canepa launched her first collection last year. Canepa's designs, produced in her native Peru, using sustainable eco-friendly fabrics, include chic black and white separates: asymmetric skirts, high waisted, wide trousers and jumpsuits.