Young British Designers Fly Their Freak Flags During the Recession

Looks by Alex Mattson, Johanne Anderson, and Rachel Barrett from the Royal College of Art Summer Fashion Show.

British fashion students are getting in touch with their creative sides in this downtrodden economy, showing off the ingenuity and flair we've come to associate with the country's alumni (Alexander McQueen, John Galliano). Could it be that the recession is in fact helping fashion? According to the Independent, yes!

"The last recession brought a burst of creativity," says Willie Walters, course director of the BA fashion degree at London's Central St. Martin's. "Young designers understood there were no jobs out there, but they soldiered on with a hope and a prayer. It takes hard times for creativity to really be appreciated."

The last major recession, if you'll recall, birthed the previous generation of wunder-designers from London: Stella McCartney, Galliano, McQueen, Phoebe Philo. Without the ax of commercialism and the need to please buyers hanging over them, designers are able to make what they like. And this year's crop of graduate students showed clothing more worthy of London Fashion Week than some of the clothes we saw on London's rather tame runways. From extra sleeves to anatomical imagery to inspirations drawn from Kill Bill, the newbies are all about taking risks. And if that's the silver lining in These Economic Times, hell, we'll take it.

Britain's got new fashion talent [Independent UK]