IDEAS ARE A VULNERABLE SPECIES
As we all know, the slightest disturbance in their life-cycle occur...and puff they are gone.
Providing a nursery for ideas is therefore crucial. A greenhouse where they can grow and realize their true potential at their own pace.
At Esprit we’ve always been aware of the volatile nature of ideas, their tendency to either become diluted or just dwindle away if not nurtured properly. In an environment as noisy and fluid as the fashion industry this is particularly relevant. Here, more often than not, conformist yelling is heard at the expense of the voice of the individual.
Supporting young talent and elevating remarkable fashion design lies very much at the heart of Esprit. Therefore, initiating a design competition together with the Royal College of Art in London last year for graduating fashion students was a natural progression for us.
RCA is and has always been a hotbed for fresh ideas and new takes in fashion. The school’s hallmark - to provide an environment of comfort for research and experiment - allows the students to trust their creative instincts, guiding them into uncharted waters.
Journeys into the unknown tend to end up in unexpected places. Something that was certainly evident in this year’s Esprit RCA competition. Graduating RCA students were asked to create a collection that broached the question of whether fashion can be truly sustainable. The collection was also to reflect the zeitgeist of the students’ generation.
The quality and originality of entries was matched only by abundance and variation. In the end, we fell madly in love with three collections in particular: those of Julia Mackenroth, Ryan Mercer and Rachael Hall. In their own unique way, Julia, Ryan and Rachael embody the bold, playful and adventurous attitude you expect from a new generation of designers, combined with an uncompromising approach to the craft of making clothes. Immaculate finish is a given, conformity a no-no.
Their designs have now been turned into a limited edition range, an enticing glimpse of which you’ll catch in the following pages. For your further enjoyment we have also featured the intriguing stories behind the designs, told in the winners’ own words.