The three recipients of the first McArthurGlen Spirit of Fashion Awards, in association with the Royal College of Art, will reveal their unique designs on the 7 September at an exclusive McArthurGlen Spirit of Fashion pop up shop in Londonâs Seven Dials, Covent Garden.
The Spirit of Fashion Awards was judged in 2010 by Betty Jackson CBE, Peter Sidell (The Library/RCA visiting menswear professor) Professor Wendy Dagworthy OBE, Ike Rust and Tristan Webber (RCA senior fashion tutors) and Shaeren McKenzie - Marketing Director McArthurGlen. The winners, announced in June 2010, were briefed to reinvent a timeless classic fashion garment in their own âhandwritingâ creating unique, commercial, designs.
As part of the award, McArthurGlen has provided the designers with 12 months PR support, access to leading industry professionals, and commercial exposure through the manufacture and sale of the Spirit of Fashion Collection which they have designed exclusively for this project.
The McArthurGlen Spirit of Fashion pop up shop will debut in Londonâs Seven Dials, Covent Garden at 4 Monmouth Street on the 7th September where it will stay open for 12 days. The pop up shop will then move onto Matthew Millerâs home town of Manchester (30 September - 6 October), before completing its journey in Rachael Barrettâs hometown of Glasgow (14 - 20 October).
Shaeren McKenzie, Director of McArthurGlen Group, says; âReinventing a classic is one of the most difficult challenges any designer can face. To take something iconic and attempt to completely remould it from the original is a risk, and we were keen to see how each designer would approach this briefâ.
Shaeren McKenzie continues; âWhat we ultimately wanted was a finished project that was true to each designerâs own personal style but at the same time demonstrated true commercial potential - and that in itself is a challenge. Getting the combination right was a real balancing act but has given the designers invaluable experience for their own labels.â
RACHAEL BARRETT - Womenswear
Rachael, the only womenswear designer to receive the McArthurGlen Spirit of Fashion Award, has produced a capsule collection, under the Spirit of Fashion/Rachael Barrett label. Inspired by classic old school uniforms, Rachaelâs collection, her first since graduating from the RCA in 2009, is a world away from her graduate showcase of silicone and ethereal lace pieces which have been snapped-up by international music stars. The eight piece range features key uniform-inspired items such as a tunic, blazer and pleated skirt, produced in beautifully desirable fabrics in a muted colour palette and black.
MATTHEW MILLER - Menswear
Matthew, who through his mainline collections consistently pushes boundaries in terms of fabric compositions and manufacturing techniques, was inspired by the brief to create a blueprint for the âperfectâ white shirt. Never one to accept the status quo, Matthewâs design has been created using 3D software and digital print techniques. It is cut in pieces designed by the parameters of the system in which the 3D model was folded, resulting in an end product that reduces waste, is cost efficient and environmentally friendly. His method could set a new benchmark for future approach to design across the industry.