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New generation in the spotlight

As London Fashion Week looms on the horizon, we look at the young UK design talents who have been highlighted as the ones to watch

The best of the UK's young design talent was identified this week by the British Fashion Council, when the recipients of next season's New Generation funding were announced.

Among the 15 designers receiving the Topshop-backed sponsorship are some now-familiar names, including Christopher Kane, Gareth Pugh and Marios Schwab. But also raising their profile are two emerging talents who debuted on Topshop's Fashion East catwalk last season, Danielle Scutt and Louise Goldin.

The New Generation sponsorship, which was set up in 1993, acts as a professional launch pad for young designers. Alexander McQueen, Clements Ribeiro, Julien Macdonald and Matthew Williamson are among the previous winners. It gives such designers a media profile and a platform for orders and investment that would usually be beyond their reach at this stage in their career.

Both Scutt and Goldin will showcase their collections on the catwalk and in the Exhibition at London Fashion Week. Other new designers who will receive Exhibition sponsorship for the first time are Emilio de la Morena, Borba Margo, Peter Pilotto and Modernist.

Andrew Tucker, one of the talent scouts from the British Fashion Council charged with making sure the best new designers out there are part of New Generation, says one of his key criteria is innovation. "There are lots of commercial collections, but what we're looking for needs to go above and beyond," he says. "They must also show they approach business seriously and are not just in it for the media coverage. We're looking for real potential to grow into a proper business; Jonathan Saunders is a good example of how that has worked.

"Danielle Scutt and Louise Goldin are our two new catwalk designers," adds Tucker. "I picked them up from their MA shows two years ago and I believe they're on the point of solo shows. But they need one more season working as a double act, showing their collections back to back."

Tucker believes that London Fashion Week, which runs from September 15-20, is proving to be the key fashion week on the calendar for spotting new, exciting designers.

Hilary Riva, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, adds that the sponsorship has been responsible for launching many successful international careers. "There is a creative energy in London that continues to produce diverse and dynamic designers. I am in no doubt that some of this season's New Generation will go on to develop established businesses and prominent careers within the industry," she says.

LOUISE GOLDIN

Graduated from Central Saint Martins College in 2005 with a distinction in fashion with knitwear. Her graduate collection was ordered exclusively and reproduced for Selfridges. She debuted at LFW in February 2005 as part of Central Saint Martins' MA show. Much of her inspiration comes from architect Antonio Gaudi, using yarns such as Lurex combined with cashmere blends in her knitwear.

DANIELLE SCUTT

Selected by Phoebe Philo for the Chloe Award for Best Designer and the Lancome Award for Modern Femininity after graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2005. She describes her collections as "clothes you can fight in". With her own take on 1980s power dressing, super-skinny silhouettes, oversized prints and matching hosiery and footwear make up her signature look.

RECIPIENTS OF NEW GENERATION SPONSORSHIP

Catwalk & Exhibition sponsorship

Todd Lynn - Debuted at LFW in September 2006. Sold in Browns in the UK, Barneys in New York and online at Net-a-Porter.com.

Danielle Scutt - See box

Louise Goldin - See box

Catwalk sponsorship

Christopher Kane - Graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2006; won the Harrods Design Awards. Named New Scottish Designer of the Year after graduating. Debuted at LFW in September 2006; works on a freelance basis for Versace.

Gareth Pugh - Graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002; regularly styles shoots and collaborates with i-D Magazine.

Erdem - Erdem Moralioglu completed an internship with Vivienne Westwood in 2000. Graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2003.

Duro Olowu - Launched his womenswear label for spring 2005. Won New Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards 2005.

Marios Schwab - Graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2003. Debuted at LFW last season. Best new designer at the British Fashion Awards 2006. Stocked in Browns and Harvey Nichols.

Exhibition sponsorship

Meadham/Kirchoff - Benjamin Kirchhoff and Edward Meadham graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002. Took part in the inaugural MAN show in September 2005.

Ginta - Accessories designer Ginta Siceva graduated from London College of Fashion in 2004. Debuted at LFW last season.

Osman Yousefzada - Foundation course at Central Saint Martins in 1991. Debuted at LFW in 2005; 25 stockists internationally, including Selfridges and Liberty in the UK.

Emilio de la Morena - Started his own label, after graduating from Central Saint Martins, which was exhibited at On/Off in 2005.

Borba Margo - Accessories-focused label is a collaboration between Anderson Borba Da Silva, who gained his skills as a tailor for Her Majesty's Royal Guards, and Jessika Margo Goransson, who studied fashion at Middlesex University.

Peter Pilotto - Graduated from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2004. Won the Flanders Fashion Institute Award in 2004.

Modernist - Formed by Abdul Koroma and Andrew Jones in September 2005 as an entry to Fashion Fringe at LFW. The pair met while consulting for the MaxMara label.

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