Eastern bloc labels pop-up in London

New kids Acephala and Lake Studio strut their stuff in the city

From left: Acephala denim jeans, £160; virgin-wool shirt, £260; and cotton/denim shirt, £260
From left: Acephala denim jeans, £160; virgin-wool shirt, £260; and cotton/denim shirt, £260

The rise of designers such as Demna Gvasalia and Gosha Rubchinskiy has opened doors for Eastern bloc creatives. Talent has never been in short supply in the region and now there is the mind-set and resources to help them train and establish businesses. But this success is harder to replicate in the fiercely competitive west. Increasingly, pop-ups are proving their worth in raising the profile of generation next, and this month Acephala and Lake Studio, two exciting but very different fashion brands, will strut their stuff in temporary London locations.

From left: Lake Studio silk midi dress, £765; hand-embroidered silk midi wrap dress, £1,205; one-shoulder silk top, £365; and silk midi dress, £555
From left: Lake Studio silk midi dress, £765; hand-embroidered silk midi wrap dress, £1,205; one-shoulder silk top, £365; and silk midi dress, £555

Acephala, a fledgling Polish label founded four years ago by designer Monika Kędziora and brand manager Bartek Korzeniowski, already has a hipster following, and arrives April 13 for a three-day pop-up at RedGalleryldn in Shoreditch. The pair, who trained in Poland and the UK, comment on women’s status and rights through conceptual and individualistic designs with quality fabrics and finishing.

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The spring collection riffs on modern tailoring that adapts for both work and weekend wear including boldly shaped puff-sleeved shirts (£260), wide-shouldered tailored coat dresses (£335) that can be worn alone or over trousers, plus smartly tailored wide-leg 1970s-inspired jeans (£160) and sharp asymmetric black dresses (£200).

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Ukrainian label Lake Studio is a firm fixture on Moda Operandi and, hot on the heels of a successful trunk show, steps into Liberty until April 22. It’s the brainchild of Ukrainian designers Anastasia Riabokon and Olesya Kononova, who create soft tailoring and covetable dresses in slip or wrap style in silk georgette, organza, lace and light wool. Its spring collection, Sirens, is inspired by abstract seascapes in soft pastel or rich sunset shades and comes in drapes (its silk knot dress is £555), ruffles and embroidery (its embroidered midi-wrap dress is £1,205) and prints (its one-shoulder top is £365).  “We’re always looking for emerging talent, and I was very excited to come across Lake Studio’s effortless elegance,” says Liberty womenswear buyer Alexandra Gordon. Hunters of fierce fresh fashion, prepare to shop. 

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