London Fashion Week is always exciting, it’s a hotbed for fresh talent and in terms of ‘The Big Four’, it’s the one we look to for micro trend inspiration. It’s a great place for spotting emerging design talent and the FW17 season saw several designers make their debut, a few of whom stand out for all the right reasons. Jessie Western showed their first runway collection this season to huge success and another young designer to break the mound is Chanel Joan Elkayam.
Elkayam has been on my radar for a little while now, she’s an interesting girl and I’ve followed her career to date with curiosity after she contacted me a couple of years back. Elkayam has an impressive CV and a list of awards and accolades as long as the train on her finale gown. Whenever I read about her, I’m always curious to find out more. The reason I’m so interested in her is that she’s just 19 years old. Yes Voyeurs you read that right, this is a fully fledged fashion designer who not only creates her own collections, but produces her own elaborate shows, all at the tender age of 19.
Elkayam is a Womenswear student studying at Central St. Martin’s, she’s been around on the tradeshow scene for a little while now but in 2016 the girl blew up in a big way. Major players started to take notice, she was invited to show at Paris Fashion Week for FW16 and in doing so, became the youngest designer to show a couture collection during Fashion Month. Since then, she’s shown at New York Fashion Week for SS17 and spoken at several conferences about women in business. She may be just 19 years old but the girl is a powerhouse; at the 2016 New York Fashion Awards, Elkayam was awarded the ‘International Designer of the Year’ by industry professionals.
Her FW17 collection, La Sola Rosa was a story of Love and loss. Inspired by poet Vera Brittain who was given a single red rose by her fiancé at the train station on their last day together during World War 1. Elkayam sought to portray raw beauty, emotion, power and romantic sensuality though her collection and did this with drama and flair.
Guests took their seats and the lights were dimmed before the show began. Models walked the runway with a strong Dolce Vita inspired beauty look reminiscent of Dolce & Gabbana’s Sicilian princesses, a timeless red lip and a single red rose to compliment Elkayam’s debut accessory line. A largely monochrome palette with flashes of red and tapestry brocade, the collection showcased the female form using traditional shapes with a focus on the waist using leather waspies to cinch and create an hourglass shape.
When you’re watching a show with as many looks, comprising both a fashion collection and an accessories line, it’s hard to remember that Elkayam is still in her first year at Central St Martin’s. Detailing throughout the collection is uniform and exquisite, her eye for detail is mature well beyond her years and whilst the shapes are simple, Elkayam clearly knows where her strengths lie.
Personally, I’m looking forward to seeing how Elkayam’s career progresses, with preparations already underway for SS18, I’ll be back on the frow in September so keep it here Voyeurs and remember the name Chanel Joan Elkayam, you’ll be hearing it a lot more….