Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Fashion Fringe: Weekly Update

So, the general election campaign is underway – and so is this year's FF@CG search for a new designer. Since we made the announcement that John Galliano is going to chair and judge Fashion Fringe for the next two years our website has had 228,000 hits and more than 1,300 application forms have been downloaded. The closing date for applications is April 30th and I am hoping that from such large numbers we will be able to give John a good shortlist from which to choose the finalists and then the eventual winner, who receives £100,000 to start a business.

I can't help you win FF@CG – the final decision will be John's alone – but I can help you not to lose before you even start. I hope that we have made it clear that we are not looking for fantasy but for flair; not craziness but originality; not costume but entirely new forms of cutting and shaping that can be used as the basis for looks that can eventually be worn at high-street level. We don't want to see hundreds of outfits only suitable for Lady Gaga. As John, Hussein Chalayan and Vivienne Westwood have shown – not forgetting Rick Owen, Helmut Lang, Azzadine Alaia, Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe – great clothes with real ideas come from a philosophy … and young designers can't start figuring what theirs is soon enough. Otherwise they become, not leaders, but followers; part of the flock that spews out of colleges around the world every year and has no affect on fashion at all.

So, to potential applicants I would give this advice: Remember what the job of a leading designer actually is and study the approaches that put the ones listed above where they are today.


  1. Good luck to the would be designers, let them heed Colin's wise words before submitting anything! and even more good luck to the John Galliano and judges; I hope for their sakes that some really good couturiers emerge.

  2. Everyone these days is in such a rush to grab some or the other opportunity to catapult themselves to fame, that they think pondering over details is actually a waste of time.

    All of us need to keep reminding ourselves that in today's world full of opportunities, if we really take the time to think and apply ourselves sincerely to perfecting our craft,there is a fair chance that the fame and money will come to us.

  3. Oh it's all so exciting Colin - and they're off!!

    Let's hope we can get a return to the glory days when Erdem won. With John on board, he should help to sort the wheat from the chaff!

    Here's hoping for a biggie this year!