Ones to Watch – Thomas Wakeford

Now in its second season, the London-based line, Thomas Wakeford, is quickly gaining traction on both sides of the pond for its irreverent denim touches.

The magnetic attraction to London, England as the new center of the fashion universe is one so strong that it is pulling Canadian fashion talent across the pond. The city already plays host to homegrown super talents – Erdem, Mark Fast and Jean Pierre Braganza – but there is a new wave of up-and-comers to keep your eye on. Of this new generation, we’re putting the spotlight first on new label, Thomas Wakeford: a progressive womenswear line by design duo Thomas Wakeford (London-based, 28), and Raphael Castelmezzano (Toronto-native, 23).

After meeting in 2009, the pair soon formed a friendship that would lead to their creative and business partnership upon Wakeford’s completion of his MA in womenswear at Central Saint Martins last spring. Castelmezzano, who moved to London at the tender age of 19 to explore his fashion career, has assisted fashion editors at AnOther Man, Dazed & Confused and Harper’s Bazaar. He later become the editorial coordinator and production manager of Man About Town. This pair certainly seems to be a match made in fashion heaven.

Together they use Wakeford’s understanding of cut and construction, and Castelmezzano’s stylistic point of view to produce their cutting-edge brand. For Fall 2011, they present a collection of minimalist silhouettes in obscure fabrications that challenge conventional garment construction and texture combinations. There is an extreme contrast of the obnoxious with the luxurious: the raw denim with lambskin, rubber with delicate silks, and diverse palette all jar coherently. Tomboyish pants, boxy jackets and sharp skirts follow a raw aesthetic with grids of intentionally unfinished edges, giving the line, as Castelmezzano calls it, an “urban hard-edge”.

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