British designers take Manhattan

London Show Rooms hit NY

For two days only, a little piece of the London fashion world set up shop in New York’s West Village.

Travelling en masse through the British Fashion Council’s London Show Rooms initiative, 22 designers—womenswear, menswear and accessories all represented—made their way to Manhattan to meet and greet top editors and retailers.

Designers setting up rails in the airy studio space included Simone Rocha, David Koma, Holly Fulton, Michael Van Der Ham, Thomas Tait and Teatum Jones, among others. Van Der Ham, Fulton and Koma also participated in the Show Rooms’ residency in Los Angeles last week, with side trips to Coachella (for Van Der Ham) and Las Vegas (for Koma, who didn’t have time to gamble) between the events.

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The trip gave Koma a chance to talk editors through his autumn winter 2013 collection—and to praise perhaps his highest-profile client, Beyonce, who wears the designer’s custom black-and-gold performance ensemble in her Mrs Carter Tour.

‘She’s incredible,’ Koma said, noting that Knowles first wore one of his MA collection dresses to an MTV awards show in 2009. ‘It’s been quite a big pleasure to work with someone like her long-term.’

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Although orders have closed for the season, the group-showrooming format helps younger designers build influencer fan clubs. In LA, Salma Hayek borrowed one of Van Der Ham’s dresses; in NY, certain Show Rooms visitors kept their eyes peeled for Met Ball gown options.

For designers Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, now in their fifth season, it’s all a matter of spreading the message printed on their garment labels: “Made with Love and Care in England.”

‘We’ve had those in place since last season and the response has been really good,’ Jones said. Teatum added, ‘People really want to see heritage and craftsmanship. If you’re not on the shop floor, you want them to understand that part of the story.’

Look for someone to understand that part of the story all the way down the Met Ball red carpet—maybe, just maybe—in Teatum Jones’ polka-dotted, tulle-sleeved Melissa dress.

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