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Introduced in September 2017, MATCHESFASHION.COM’s The Innovators initiative champions fresh ideas, platforming designers with a new and distinct point of view. Hand-selected brands create collections available exclusively through the online retailer. The second edition of The Innovators launched earlier this month, ahead of New York Fashion Week. MATCHESFASHION.COM Buying Director, Natalie Kingham said: “I am excited to launch the second season of The Innovators on site after the strong response from its first season.  For SS18 we have partnered with three experimental luxury fashion brands on exclusive capsule collections.  The Innovators embrace the best in emerging talent, whether it is menswear designer Charles Jeffrey whose styles have been translated into womenswear, Eckhaus Latta who uses deadstock textiles to create their androgynous designs or Horror Vacui a designer who was never formally trained, uses Liberty prints to create her vintage-inspired collection.”

Distressed double-breasted pinstripe wool blazer by Charles Jeffrey

Glasgow-born and London-based, Charles Jeffrey’s first collection, for SS18, launched to much critical acclaim in June 2017 after which he received the British Fashion Awards Emerging Talent prize in November 2017, was nominated for an LVMH prize and exhibited solo at London’s NOW gallery. Kingham has admired his “wit and integrity” since launch, and worked closely with him to translate his signature aesthetic and key styles into a capsule collection of womenswear pieces. “Because Charles had never designed for women before, it was exciting to collaborate with him to translate a series of favourite pieces – the deconstructed Aran sweater and the drunk and nervous suit – into womenswear designs,” she says.

Floral-print scallop-edged cotton dress by Horror Vacui

Launched in 2014 in Paris, German label Horror Vacui creates pyjamas and nightwear-inspired pieces. Dainty floral prints are the label’s signature, following the origins of the phrase “horror vacui” – that all empty space must be decorated. The label “translates vintage-inspired nightgowns in Liberty-style fabrics into the perfect day dresses and blouses,” says Kingham. Though creative director Anna Heinrichs has no formal design training, a natural instinct underpins her covetable collections and “smocking techniques and serrated details give edge to the feminine styles,” Kingham notes.

High-neck striped cotton-blend top by Eckhaus Latta

New York label Eckhaus Latta is the brainchild of Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta. Launched in 2011, signature styles include experimental knits and abstract silhouettes. The house, which creates gender-fluid designs, is known for provocative shows and campaigns, using directional details to drive conversations. The designers said: “Since launch, we’ve regularly used deadstock materials throughout our collection in an effort to introduce sustainable practices in to what we create.  When Natalie Kingham approached us about working together we took the opportunity to take this one step further and make a capsule collection entirely out of deadstock and recycled fabrics. Working with suppliers around NY and Los Angeles we sourced some incredible fabrics for a collection that is limited in availability, ethically produced and something we’re really proud of.”


Feature image: Slashed striped-print wool-blend cropped sweater by Charles Jeffrey | Images courtesy MATCHESFASHION.COM

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