Kinder Aggugini, today showing his first catwalk collection, is a different kind of debuting London designer. For a start, he’s 38, and secondly, he’s already been designing for twenty years, working behind the scenes for some of the biggest names in fashion; John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Paul Smith, Calvin Klein and Versace.
In New York, this is how most designers come to have their own label, by biding their time and learning their skills from the best in the business; like Narciso Rodriguez starting out at Calvin Klein or Nathan Jenden, who worked as Creative Director at Diane von Furstenberg before launching his own label.
In London, we like our designers young and fresh out of college, and preferably, too cocky to want to work for anyone else, even if that means living in a squat, as Gareth Pugh was when his graduate collection was on the cover of Dazed & Confused, in the window of Browns Focus, and in Kylie’s tour wardrobe.
But times are changing and perhaps there’s room for a more mature and considered approach to a career in fashion. Aggugini started his own line three seasons ago, privately selling his carefully edited-down collections of “rocking chic” clothes to fashion insiders, from magazine editors to jewellery designers, who love to wear his designs.
Known for his interesting shapes and luxurious fabrics, Aggugini’s collection played to his strengths; from the cinch-waisted 50’s sundresses in polka dots or bold stripes, to the ¾ sleeve 40’s style buttoned-up jacket in lipstick red, and the billowing light-as-air evening dress in a pinky-gold printed parachute silk, which hung languorously from straps which crossed the shoulder blades.
Watching from the front row; models-turned-designers Yasmin Le Bon and Jasmine Guinness, jewellery designer Solange Azagury Patridge, and fashion talent agent Camilla Lowther, whose business, like LFW, has its 25th anniversary this year. To celebrate, Lowther spent the company’s party budget on sponsoring Aggugini. Not just his patroness, Lowther is another industry insider who loves to wear Aggugini’s clothes. It’s not hard to see why.
- Angela Buttolph