LONDON, United Kingdom — London Fashion Week continues to be the world’s premier platform for emerging fashion talent. And while Danish-born, London-based designer Louise Amstrup isn’t yet on the official LFW schedule, we think she should be.
Last season, Amstrup’s show — sponsored by On|Off, a platform for emerging fashion talent that presented the designer with the Visionary Award for 2010 and has previously showcased designers like Mark Fast and Peter Pilotto — hit all the right notes.
Inspired by the darkness lurking amidst the sun-drenched glare of the American desert and a vision of a strong woman traversing “dusty roads and carcass-covered plains” (the press notes referenced Sissy Spacek in Badlands and Marianne Sägebrecht in Bagdad Café), the collection was exceptionally crafted and communicated a clear aesthetic vision.
“I’m often inspired by a certain mood or colours in movies,” Ms. Amstrup told BoF. “From there I build my own story and concept… the ‘story’ often has a leading role, based on a strong yet vulnerable woman.”
Ms. Amstrup rendered the duality of her vision in starkly contrasting materials and colours. Sky blues, dirty pastels and sandy yellows were set against blacks and purples. Soft silks and Broderie Anglaise contrasted the hardness of leather and thick cotton. And Amstrup’s signature paneling alternated between soothing solids and digital prints depicting thunder storms, rocks and vulture feathers.
What’s more, the collection beautifully balanced creative success with commercial savvy, managing to feel both contemporary and feminine in the same breath. Indeed, Opening Ceremony in New York, Nag People in Copenhagen, Runway in Azerbaijan and ASOS in the UK are amongst the retailers who have snapped up Louise Amstrup for Spring.
Amstrup, who studied at Dusseldorf’s Akademie Mode and Design, worked with the late Alexander McQueen, Jonathan Saunders, and Sophia Kokosalaki before establishing her label in 2006. And while led by her innate curiosity and personal vision, Ms. Amstrup is also rather practical: “Each season I look at what I think worked last season, which ideas on a conceptual level and technical level can be pushed further and which I should put on a shelf for a while.”
On her future plans, Ms. Amstrup said: “I would definitely like to do a diffusion line soon,” mentioning the success of a moderately priced collaboration she did for “ASOS Hub,” an initiative which featured a number of capsule collections created by emerging design talents including Ostwald Helgason, Holly Fulton, Amstrup and others. She adds: “My scarves, belts and hats are also doing really well, so accessories is also something I’d like to focus more on.”
As we eagerly await her Autumn-Winter collection, to be shown in London on February 19 as part of On|Off, it is with much pleasure that we shine our Spotlight on Louise Amstrup and highlight, in our logo, the entrancing digital prints that have become a recurring theme in her work. At BoF, we think Ms. Amstrup is one to watch!
The Spotlight is BoF’s showcase for emerging talent employing creativity and business acumen to make their mark in the fashion business.