As some of you might have read, I’ve been bleating on about the return of logomania both here and for other publications and linked onto this current wave of positively branding oneself is the general popularity of visual motifs.  They’re eye-catchers that make an item of clothing stick in your head easily even if you’ve only looked at lookbook or catwalk images  - any number of Givenchy’s prints for example or Prada’s S/S 14 mural faces, which I’ve practically nicknamed every one of.  There’s nothing new of course about memorable graphics in fashion but perhaps every notable piece with its cartoonish and cute motif feels that bit more overexposed because of the proliferation of its imagery across the internet.  Not coincidentally, I’ve gathered up a group of young female designers who are taking the animated, the drawn out and borrowings from street or pop art and creating their own visual language for their collections.  From the traditionally male-dominated world of comic books and graphic novels, these female designers are taking those recognisable elements and reappropriating them in a way that funnels something fun, fresh and Insta-friendly for the heaps of people who like their clothes shamelessly unsubtle and perhaps even a touch literal.  In other words, things that are right up my street for my “bubblegum approach to personal style” (or so says the Telegraph in their round-up of signature looks).

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Peiran Gong‘s graduate collection from the Royal College of Art last year already blew me away with her incredible printed collection to give the impression of shaping illusion and 3D structures on the body.  She has developed a brilliant way of articulating shape and space by printing spray painted lines on bonded fabrics to mimic details like pockets, ties and seams.  Now currently back in her hometown Beijing in China, Gong has created a new follow-up S/S 14 collection that has a bit more fun with that kitsch spray painted gradient technique.  A loose “Slam Dunk” basketball theme, Jem (as in the cartoon) type graphics, colours that would not look out of place in the girly section of the Argos toy catalogue and a few dinosaurs for good measure, all combine together for the sort of outfits that I’d wanna wear if I were in a fantasy girl band.  Visual grabbing qualities aside, Gong is honing in on her unique print technique that’s definitely got legs if she were to carry on solo.

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I’ve not been featuring many new-new-NEW designers lately (i.e. ones I’ve never heard of or talked up about before) but Nila Mistry is one that I immediately starred when she sent me an email.  After graduating from LCF in menswear design, Mistry worked at Hussein Chalayan, with Kim Jones at Dunhill and also working freelance as art director and designer for SBTRKT.  Mistry has struck out on her own to create a small tomboyish collection that literally go pop with a bold squiggle, inspired by the stop motion film Fantastic Planet.  There’s something sparse and spare about Mistry’s work and so the calculated burst of pop art graphics look even more striking on the slightly oversized garments.  Mistry seems to be treating this collection as an initial tester and maybe it was the intriguing use of graphics but there’s definitely something here that sticks in your head.

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On the first day of London Fashion Week in September, it was so great to revisit a star graduate from Ravensbourne, who caught my eye at this year’s GFW.  Print designer Josephine Pettman aka Phiney Pet, who is currently working for a high street retailer, was immediately asked to present an off-schedule presentation at Apartment 58 and so Phiney pulled together key looks from her wonderfully manic graduate collection, some newly illustrated peep-toe shoes and trainers to amp up the accessories and a human Garfield character to join in on the fun.  One ogle at Pettman’s felt-tipped awesome trainers and you’re pondering all the possible fun collaborations that she could do.  

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Clio Peppiatt is also another fellow Ravensbourne class of 2013 print graduate and has started out small to strike out on her own with a new line of “Miami Vixens $$14″ t-shirts inspired by the ladies of the video game Grand Theft Auto, which are now available for pre-order on Art Wednesday.  The colours of Miami, the defined outlines of GTA’s graphic style and of course the women with serious ‘tude in hot rides make for some fun tees.  The bulldog, which featured heavily in Peppiatt’s graduate collection along with hamburgers and bling, returns once more as though Peppiatt was setting into motion a potential signature for herself.

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Comments (10)

  1. Denisa says:

    Beautiful and creative. Nice inspiration.
    xx
    http://www.fashiondenis.com/

  2. Ana says:

    Does anyone know who the girl in the Nila Mistry shoot is?

  3. I loooooove all these clothes! So creative and fancy! :)
    http://andreavytlacilova.com/

  4. Marta Pozzan says:

    Obsessing over this post, insanely amazing

  5. Greta says:

    Wow all these collections are stunning!
    xox greta
    flourish-blog.blogspot.com

  6. I’m loving seeing more illustration and pop art in fashion lately! Great post, and very inspiring for a fellow illustrator here! :) Thank you for sharing so much amazing new talent!

  7. Where can I order one of this T-Shirts? I really like this one with cabriolet. It gives me a good mood! Thanks for “happy” post.

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