Every year the eyes of the world look on in eager anticipation as the major fashion houses step out to flex their creativity, extravagance, and sartorial flair on the red carpet of the Met Gala.
The ingenuity of designers is truly at the heart of this iconic, celebratory event, and this year Lewis Hamilton reminded us of this fact when he bought out an entire table to host three up-and-coming Black designers and display their work.
With individual tickets rumoured to cost around £21k this is no mean feat. For many smaller designers the opportunity to appear and showcase their work on the prestigious steps of the MET is a farfetched fantasy, which is why Lewis's decision to quite literally give these emerging designers ‘a seat at the table’ is so groundbreaking.
At an event where we're used to seeing the same rotation of designer names each year, it was enormously refreshing to see Hamilton providing a platform for young Black talent. It was also a very strong hint that these three emerging designers are well worth keeping an eye on…
The man behind the brand Theophilio, this New York-based designer’s star is truly on the rise. The 2021 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner dressed model Alton Mason and Athlete Sha’Carri Richardson for the 2021 Gala.
Born in Jamaica, his heritage inherently flows through everything he creates. His most recent collection ‘Air Jamaica’, named after the airline that first took him to America as a child, wowed at New York Fashion Week.
His effortlessly cool and fluid use of silhouette transcends notions of gender and his loud use of colour and fabric textures speaks to the vibrancy of the Caribbean culture he hopes to share with the world.
The power of his designs lies in his focus on diversity, inclusivity, and the multicultural identity that is so integral to his brand.
Thompson’s creativity is also strongly tied to sustainable practices. His first collection, ‘Melancholy’ was pulled together by repurposing deadstock fabrics. In an interview with The Cut, Thompson explained: “I really wanted to have a conversation about artists not having a lot of resources but drawing work from that.”.
Although Thompson’s sustainable practices were founded in necessity, they remain central to his brand's ethos and the future of Theophillio.
Another creative championed by Hamilton during the ‘biggest night of Fashion’ was Jason Rembert. A talented stylist, Rembert has worked with a huge celebrity clientele, including Winnie Harlow, John Boyega, and Rita Ora.
When he’s not styling editorials for major fashion magazines, he’s designing for his womenswear brand, ALIÉTTE. Inspired by Rembert’s late mother and the complexities of womanhood, his brand ‘sews the seam between traditional design and innovative fantasy’.
His designs feature powerful, structured silhouettes – think cinched satin suits with exaggerated proportions – and slender sweeping dresses that imbue the wearer with the elegance of a Grecian statue.
Rembert often focuses on monochrome looks to communicate his vision of bold, uncompromising femininity.
Kehlani made a perfect ambassador for his brand at the Met Gala, an intergalactic goddess dressed in a shimmering cropped silver jacket and trousers by Rembert.
One of the most exciting young fashion designers of the moment, Kenneth Nicholson is a name to remember. His LA-based eponymous label has garnered much attention in recent years thanks to his playful approach to design and his constant experimentation with notions of gender.
His SS22 collection was a source of much excitement at New York Fashion Week, and it certainly did not disappoint.
Flowing ungendered silhouettes and bold prints places the collection in a rose-tinted world, and the historical reference points that underpin his design process shone through in contemporary, romantic tailoring.
Although his vision of this nonconformist menswear brand was realised in 2016, Nicholson found his passion at a young age designing collections and hosting fashion presentations at just 14 years old.
Nicholson had the honour of dressing Hamilton for the event; the sartorial sharpness contrasted with draped lace and sheer revealing Nicholson’s fascination with menswear and desire to broaden society's understanding of 'masculinity'.
Hamilton gushed on Instagram ‘Kenneth’s craftmanship and point of view advances menswear in truly inspiring ways. It’s a dream.’.
This was originally published on Glamour UK.