It’s not too difficult to imagine a time when the names Phoebe Philo, Roland Mouret, Haider Ackermann, Olivier Theyskens, and even Raf Simons weren’t included in the global fashion glossary; by Phaidon Press’s account, it was 2005. Then, the publisher asked ten curators (among them: Alexander McQueen, Tim Blanks, and Harriet Quick) to each choose ten designers on the brink of ubiquity. The list of 100, plus sketches, never-before-seen photos, and campaigns, was packaged as the 400-page book Sample. Today brings the release of its sequel, Pattern — a new who’s who of the industry.
For the followup, Phaidon polled Yasmin Sewell; SHOWstudio; Tavi Gevinson; Jop van Bennekom and Gert Jonkers of Fantastic Man; Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen; academic Heather Sproat; Imran Amed of Business of Fashion; An Vandevorst and Filip Arickx of A.F. Vandevorst; Tim Lim, group fashion director of Modern Media in China; and stylist Keegan Singh. “They asked me to pick designers who had only been in business for about five years, so that narrowed it down,” Singh told the Cut. “I based it on my taste and who I like to shoot editorially … It was a back-and-forth process because other curators had picked some of my designers, so then I’d have to pick somebody new.” Singh’s final selections included Fashion Week players (Cushnie et Ochs and Olivier Rousteing), “clean and a little rock-and-roll” jewelry-makers (Gaia Repossi and Dominic Jones), and lesser-known labels (Graeme Armour and Hakaan).
In Pattern, Singh writes, “Cushnie and Michelle Ochs’s dresses form a kind of second skin on the body,” which Cushnie calls “not easy at all … We fit and re-fit our production samples to ensure we have a good fit for our customers. It’s important for women to feel secure in our clothes.” Asked what’s next for her brand, she said, “We’ve already started thinking about Resort — when you’re first starting a collection, you always think, God, what are we going to do? But there hasn’t been a lack of ideas yet. At least there’s two of us.” She continued, “There’s no real science to it. It’s just a progression of what we’ve been doing and how we’re both feeling … our underlying DNA is very much the same — we still reinvent it every season, but she’s still the same woman.” Perhaps when we talk next, Cushnie will be on the curating side of Phaidon’s threequel.
Click through our slideshow for a preview of Pattern.