Fashion’s New Pioneers

By Courtney Kenefick  •  September 6, 2019

Style stars are defining tomorrow’s sensibilities in all corners of the globe. We’re highlighting singular talents from Beijing to The Bahamas.

Fashion Month is here, luring editors, buyers, and influencers from across the globe to New York, Paris, London, and Milan for four weeks of runway shows, presentations, and street style snaps. But, just like any good travel destination, there is much to be seen off the beaten path. Designers in unlikely corners of the earth are offering a new style perspective, combining their native city’s culture with global appeal. Here, six designers who are remapping the world’s fashion capitals.

 

Theodore Elyett, The Bahamas

 

Native Bahamian Elyett became a local sensation at the age of 13 when the Junkanoo-inspired gown he made for a friend stole the show at a beauty pageant. Now 31, the winner of the 2018 Bahamian Icon Award for Fine Arts award has catapulted himself onto the international stage designing one-of-a-kind gowns for the likes of Michelle Williams, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Porsha Williams. After an education that brought him to London and Paris, Elyett runs his studio out of Nassau, allowing him to infuse couture offerings with the elements of the islands. Elyett’s signature dresses are remarkable for their bright colors, showy silhouettes and floral motifs — like his most recent creation for Michelle Williams (see gallery). The feather-lined sequined kimono was also inspired by The Bahamas’ annual Junkanoo parade, marking a full circle moment for the designer.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Baha Mar

 

Madiyah Al Sharqi, United Arab Emirates

 

Al Sharqi took an unconventional path for a princess. The daughter of Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, the ruler of Fujairah, one of the seven emirates of the UAE, studied at France’s prestigious Esmod fashion school, establishing her eponymous ready-to-wear label in 2012. Avoiding the spotlight and working mostly behind the scenes, Al Sharqi lets her clothes—which have been worn by Priyanka Chopra, Vanessa Hudgens, Leslie Mann, and Chrissy Teigen—speak for themselves. Her feminine womenswear combines luxe fabrics with striking color stories, and references her tutelage among the world’s best tailors in Paris—all while deferring to the region’s sartorial modesty. Her most recent collection drew inspiration from Jackie Kennedy’s first trip India in 1962, adding a modern flair to the vintage-like silhouettes.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Abu Dhabi

Parissara na Phatthalung, Phuket

To say that Parissara na Patthalung’s eponymous brand is quintessentially Thai is an understatement. The label, founded in 2016, purposefully devotes most of its messaging to the local craftspeople who make its traditionally woven, sustainable textiles. Yet while Thai silk usually shows up in opulent gowns and showy garments, Parissara reimagines the fabric’s uses, focusing on minimalist resortwear ideal for the region’s climate—caftans, kimonos, dresses. Through its designs, Parissara is bringing Thailand’s ages-old crafts into a modern light.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Phuket

Heading to Fashion Week?

The extravagant ritual of fashion week often seems to be happening in some city, somewhere in the world most of the time. That traveling circus of designers, models, editors, buyers and celebrities flits in between New York, London, Paris and Milan twice a year. Of course, seeing the same people every six months doesn’t mean you actually remember their names. Don’t let it on. Everyone is “Darling,” “Gorgeous” or “You fabulous, fabulous man.” Don’t hesitate, don’t blink. You know everyone.

We pull back the curtain to decode other must-know  etiquette and formalities for Fashion Week first-timers.

The Ultimate Fashion Week Etiquette Guide

 

Christine Lau, Beijing

One of Beijing’s most sought-after independent designers, Lau has helped push the city towards fashion capital status. After studying textile design at London’s Central Saint Martins, Lau returned to China in 2008 to launch the Chictopia label at the age of 24. Her boldly printed, ultra-feminine dresses, suits, and separates offer a sense of playfulness with their exaggerated silhouettes and bright colors. Lau’s fun-loving, whimsical pieces satisfy the Chinese market’s thirst for home-grown designers that set themselves apart from Westerners, earning Lau a loyal following of celebrities and it girls, like actress Fan Bingbing, as well as a partnership with Tumi luggage.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Beijing

Disaya Sorakraikitikul, Bangkok

 

Disaya Sorakraikitikul designed lingerie before launching her ready-to-wear collection, Disaya, in 2004. Based in her native Bangkok, the Central Saint Martins graduate uses modern techniques such as digital printing and 3D embroidery for her women’s clothing and jewelry, recasting typically femine fabrics like lace and sequins for an edgier interpretation of unlikely motifs. Take, for example, a recent collection which offered her idyllic perspective on Catholicism’s Sacred Heart symbol. It manifested as romantic embellishments on her typical feminine garbs. Disaya’s concept shop in Bangkok’s chic Central World shopping center brings together her own offerings with a thoughtfully curated assortment of international labels, Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster and wares designed by Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Bangkok

Daniel Mofor, Dallas

 

Considering his current status as custom suit designer for the likes of NBA center Dwight Howard and rapper Mike Jones, it may come as a surprise that Don Morphy designer Daniel Mofor was working for Walmart just three years ago. The most recent winner of the Fashion Group International Rising Star Award In Menswear, Mofor combines classic tailoring techniques with a modern dapper aesthetic. His bold, handmade designs are catnip for street style photographers at global fashion events like Pitti Uomo in Italy. But Mofor himself flies under the radar, working out of his appointment-only atelier in Dallas’s Design District.

Where to Stay: Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

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Uncover our musings on travel, art, fashion, and culture from the legendary personalities who embody the spirit of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.