It sky-rocketed the careers of Cheryl Cole favourite David Koma and London-based identical twin designers Felder & Felder, and this year’s Vauxhall Fashion Scout awards look set to do no less for Central St Martin’s graduate Phoebe English who has just walked away with the coveted Merit Award for AW/12-13.
A judging panel including long-time Kate Moss collaborator, Katy England, Marios Schwab - whose designs have been worn by Kylie Minogue, Clemence Poesy and Chloe Sevigny – and Susie Lau of fashion blog Style bubble, selected the luxury womenswear designer as their winner last week.
The highly acclaimed Merit Award gives the winner a fully sponsored catwalk show, exhibition space at London and Paris Fashion Weeks and a £1000 prize.
It was English’s intricate designs, attention to detail and return to lost, forgotten or little-used techniques that caught the judges’ eyes.
“Phoebe English has demonstrated a remarkable design talent which is reflected in the make of each piece,” said VFS director Martyn Roberts. “From her graduate collection through her Ones to Watch show she has explored individual techniques and is developing a unique vision of design.”
This year Village Bicycle joined the judging panel. The Notting Hill boutique is a treasure trove of some of London Fashion Week 's brightest young stars, with Craig Lawrence, Mark Fast, Felder Felder and Marjan Pejoski lining the rails, as well as trans-Atlantic imports from NY Tripp jeans, which have been unavailable in England until now.
VFS also announced their new Ones to Watch designers for the autumn-winter 2012 season. Heohwan Simulation, Anne Sofie Madsen, Nova Chiu and Myrza de Muynck will take part in the group show in February 2012.
Watch this space!