Five designers got their moment in Paris as the Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge headed across the Pond. Rhonda Richford followed their progress
photographed by Vitaliy Djamgarov
Rhonda Richford is a Paris-based writer.
The Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge held its first European competition
in Paris, naming American designer Christine Manthey the winner
amongst the five entrants. Judges Artem Balaev, producer of Aurora
Fashion Week in St Petersburg, Russia; Barry Laden, CEO of the
Laden Showroom in London; and Olivia Pinnock, editor of TellusFashion.com,
selected Manthey’s colourful contemporary designs as the winning
looks and predictor of what’s to come in fashion’s future.
Held in the glass-roofed penthouse of Paris’s Éspace St Martin,
an intriguing maze of a building dotted with Egyptian statues in
the shadow of the Pompidou Centre, the Saturday night show was structured
to highlight looks from each designer’s past, present and upcoming
collections. The three-part presentation enabled audience and judges
to understand how their visions and styles are staying consistent
while still adapting to fashion’s constantly changing trends.
The competition, which originated as part of Boston Fashion Week
in 2008, made its Paris début with five designers chosen from around
the world: Rudy Wolff from Norway, Jamie Ochrey from Canada, Pakistani designer Saman Arif presenting her label Nayna Fashion House, Kristi Vosbeck and Manthey both hailing from the United States. Wolff
and Vosbeck placed as second and first runners-up respectively,
with Manthey taking home the top prize after Project Runway-style
Q&As with the panel.
Wolff presented the most avant-garde designs, showing an eclectic
range of looks ranging from princess to punk, with a sequinned military
jacket and modern Middle East conceptual colour-blocked jersey dress
thrown in for good measure. Though a couple of pieces came off as
too extreme, Wolff took risks to create unique looks for each segment.
All of Wolff’s one-of-a-kind designs were made of recycled or repurposed
fabrics, highlighting the growing eco-consciousness of the fashion
Vosbeck showed off a collection inspired by Old Hollywood, and
as nostalgic as it often felt in a show dedicated to the future,
a bold poppy red pant suit and an impeccably tailored silk gown demonstrated
a sharp eye for form-fitting construction that would do well on
the red carpet once her collection becomes more consistent and less
reliant on retro references and vintage styling.
Of the top three, winner Manthey presented the most consumer-friendly
contemporary collection, with wearable separates in a mix of patterns
and colours. A candy-striped pencil skirt paired with an equally
bright print and lace blouse that looked particularly strong on
the runway and a combo of a tailored striped pant, black and white
ombre T and glossy, wide-lapelled leather jacket were the looks
that felt most fashion-forward. Her metallic and leather headbands
were also fun additions to the collection.
In taking the top prize, Manthey was awarded US$5,000 and offered a spot on the runway during the upcoming Boston Fashion Week show on September 29, 2012. She’ll continue to design her
two-year-old collection from New York, and is currently shooting
a new lookbook to present to buyers across the United States at
market week in September.
The Emerging Trends Fashion Challenge will be held in London in 2013 with more fresh faces in fashion. •
| Related articles
Couture’s celluloid inspirations
Lola Saab reports on Jean Paul Gaultier and Givenchy’s autumn–winter 2012–13 haute couture collections, both of which have a film connection
photographed by Patrice Stable for Jean Paul Gaultier and courtesy Givenchy
||Miromoda 2012’s unique stories
In his third year judging Miromoda, publisher Jack Yan reports on the 2012 winners who will go on to New Zealand Fashion Week, at the awards’ ceremony at Te Puni Kōkiri in Wellington
photographed by Nikita Brown
Another win, and a fresh start
Jack Yan interviews Miss Abigail’s Abigail Moir, the winner of the Young Designers’ Award at Wellington Fashion Week, about to embark on creating uniforms for the Museum Art Hotel’s reception staff
photographed by the author