I love receiving stuff in the post. Most of the time this is instigated by myself and is rarely a surprise, yet there's something exciting about a purchase arriving that you've forgotten about for a few days. I'm a massive fan of Asian fashion (I went to Hong Kong a few years ago and brought back 16kg worth of stuff, luckily wasn't charged for going overweight) and while in Paris, I spied the perfect book showing off a wealth of Eastern inspiration and innovation; then I found it cheaper online. Young Asian Fashion Designers documents some up and coming innovators in the fashion world, some of whom we're beginning to hear of now, such as Everlasting Sprout and Disaya, so it's great to see some of their earlier collections and humble beginnings. This book was published last year, but it's a great reference point for finding new designers as it sums up their design ethos. I've decided to single out out a few I hadn't previously heard of, and will definitely look out for again.
Gail Sorronda hails from Brisbane Australia and creates structured pieces using a variety of techniques, which always compliment the feminine sillhouette. The colours are neutral, yet these pieces would never fail to stand out.
Auckland designer Jaeha creates voluminous designs using draping and all kinds of other trickery, and appears to create clothes the wearer can play with and adjust. After looking at this website, the price points are vaguely within reach and although he does create statement pieces like the one above, there's also a lot of accessible fashion in his collection.
I'm a sucker for a quirky pair of leggings, these scalloped creations by Qiu Hao are definitely a fave. He has also used some inventive pattern cutting to produce his take on the traditional, such as gorgous looking blouse that appears to be made of petal shaped pieces. His website seems to be down, but the book contains more intriguing imagery.
I loved the layering of this Joseph Li piece, and this tends to be a main feature of his collections, combining and contrasting different materials with each other. There are some really nice colour blocked dresses in the book, reminding me of period costume, and giving me yet more DIY inspiration.
Realistic Situation aims to create new sillhouettes, and I really liked the unusual jacket on the right, with it's curved aysemmetry. They also like to play with clashing prints, which adds to the variety of their work.
LifewithBird was probably my favourite collection, with many looks I would wear in a heartbeat. It came out two summers ago, yet still looks relevant and it probably helps that the designers were previously stylists, as the pieces look cohesive and work so well together. Their website suggests they are still going strong, and it looks like they've inspired some high street fashion, as the leggings on the right look remarkably similar to the Topshop leggings I bought last month. Slightly cheeky, though they seemed to have moved on with even stronger 2009 collections. Add Australia to my list of fashion destinations to visit.
Another thing I received in the post was a nice ASOS package, containing their take on the Chanel two-tone tights. At £10 and sans Chanel logo, they are a few hundred quid cheaper than the original and perhaps I won't cry as much if they get a ladder. I also bought a grey New Look leotard, unfourtunately not from the web (though I did save 20% using a coupon making this baby £4.80) to complete the look. It's quite decent for that price, as it handily contains press studs at the *ahem* crotch area, so you can actually go to the toilet without having to totally disrobe. American Apparel and Topshop take note.